Montpelier Board of School CommissionersMinutesMinutes - October 3, 2012

Minutes - October 3, 2012



1.       Call to Order The meeting was called to order at 7:02 p.m.

2.       Adjust/Review Agenda There were several additions to the agenda including a teacher presentation, discussion of a tuition waiver request, and ratification of the MESSA Negotiated Agreement for FY13-15. A second resignation was added to the consent agenda.

3.       Public Comments Acacia Jackson Vance requested an Executive Session for the purpose of discussing a personnel matter.

4.       Executive Session On a motion duly made and seconded, the Board voted unanimously to enter Executive Session at 7:04 p.m. On a motion duly made and seconded, the Board voted unanimously to leave Executive Session at 7:43 p.m.

a.       Personnel

5.       Return to Open Session 7:43 p.m.

Action Taken

a.  Personnel No action was taken at this time.

6.       Teacher Presentation Mary Mello shared some of the work being done in the first grade. Following the presentation, Superintendent Ricca recognized Ms. Mello as one of UVM’s teachers of the year.

7.       Visit with Mary O’Neill, Interim Director of Support Services Ms. O’Neill shared with the Board her thoughts in regard to the functionality of the district’s special education system.

8.       Discuss Spiral International The Board granted Superintendent Ricca approval to sign an agreement with Spiral International whereby Montpelier High School agrees to accept tuition paying students from China in 2012-2013. The responsibility of finding housing for these students was discussed.

9.       Review Crisis Response Protocol Superintendent Ricca posed the following question: In a crisis situation, should the district attempt to tap into the social media side of life - specifically, is it worthwhile to begin exploring being proactive with social media and directing the message, rather than reacting to what is out there? Following discussion, Mr. VanDerlip suggested a focus group of parents to obtain feedback.

 10.   Action Item

a.       Approve Ratification of MEA Negotiated Agreement for FY13-FY15 Superintendent Ricca reviewed the substantive changes to the agreement. Mr. Phillips moved, seconded by Mr. Jones, to approve the Montpelier Education Association Negotiated Agreement for 2012-2015. Motion passed 6-0, Mr. Robinson abstaining. Superintendent Ricca thanked Messrs. Phillips and Jones for their work on this matter.

b.       Approve Ratification of MESSA Negotiated Agreement for FY13-FY15 Mr. Robinson has kept the Board well apprised on the status of this matter. Mr. Robinson moved, seconded by Mr. VanDerlip, to approve the Montpelier Educational Support Staff Association Negotiated Agreement for 2012-2015. Motion passed 6-0, Mr. Phillips abstaining. Superintendent Ricca thanked Mr. Robinson for his work.

11.   Review FY14 Budget Timeline A timeline was provided. In order to begin the budget process, Superintendent Ricca asked the Board for a ballpark per-pupil or percentage increase to help frame the overall conversation. Mr. Jones requested a budget that meets the consumer price index and provides alternate approaches to providing opportunities for students where a teacher is the sole source of knowledge instruction. Mr. Phillips asked for a budget increase in the 3-3.5% range, with a commitment that he will not second guess any staffing conclusions presented by the administration. Mr. VanDerlip agreed that a 3-3.5% budget increase passes the reasonableness test, but noted the need for community input earlier in the process. Mr. VanDerlip requested a study of enrollment numbers to determine growth or reduction rates. Mr. Robinson questioned if board members were factoring in the bond with the proposed 3-3.5% increase. With the exception of moving community input up higher on the list, there were no other issues with the proposed timeline.

12.   Discuss 1:1 Technology Initiative from the Department of Education Superintendent Ricca requested feedback on this proposed technology initiative. Before jumping on board, Mr. Jones suggested exploring places with 1:1 experience to find out what they have learned so far. Superintendent Ricca questioned if this is right model for MPS in 2012 going into 2013. Mr. Jones presented the idea of tapping into the community for help on this. Mr. VanDerlip suggested including a few students as well.

13.   Discuss Public Preschool Passed over.

14.   Discuss Annual Calendar A written memo was provided. Mr. VanDerlip noted the need to make a decision about whether or not to continue with policy governance. Mrs. Aldrich suggested preparation of a draft calendar for discussion at the next meeting.

15.   Discuss Tuition Waiver Request Superintendent Ricca presented the Board with a request for a tuition waiver for the 2012-2013 school year. Mr. Phillips said it was his understanding that there were avenues available for kids to do an exchange. According to Mr. Jones, the fact that the student involved is a senior makes a difference for him, and he therefore feels it would be appropriate for the family to come and speak with the Board during an Executive Session.

16.   Policy

a.       Harassment – Third Reading Additional changes were reviewed. The policy will be warned for adoption at the October 17 meeting.

17.   Consent Agenda

a.       Minutes of September 19, 2012

b.       Warrants

c.       Resignations

i)        Vincent Rossano

ii)       Bonnie Flanagan

d.       MSMS Athletic Director Contract

Mr. Phillips moved, seconded by Mr. VanDerlip, to approve the consent agenda including minutes of the September 19, 2012 regular meeting, Warrants 15 and 16 dated October 11, 2012 in the amounts of $465,688.21 and $26,033.64 respectively, two resignations, and the MSMS athletic director contract. Motion carried unanimously.

18.   Announcements/Review Meeting (+/∆)

-          Governor Shumlin will be here on Monday, October 8, 2012 at 9:30 a.m.

-          Future agenda items – influx of special education students at Union Elementary School and review of class size.

19.   Adjournment On a motion duly made and seconded, the board voted unanimously to adjourn at 9:22 p.m.

 Heather Michaud




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