Montpelier Board of School CommissionersMinutesMinutes - October 16, 2013

Minutes - October 16, 2013

1.   Call to Order The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Vice Chairman Charlie Phillips.

2.       Adjust/Review Agenda Mr. Phillips asked to provide a short update on labor relations.

3.       Public Comments None.

4.    Student Presentation – MSMS Team Sirius Mr. Rosenberg and members of the 7/8 Team Sirius science class gave a presentation on their food unit.

5.  Discuss Field Trips Following a short discussion in regard to transportation, Mr. Jones moved, seconded by Mr. VanDerlip, to approve both field trips. Motion carried unanimously, Mrs. Aldrich abstaining.

a.       Lonesome Lake – Myles Chater

b.       New York City – Myles Chater

6.   Review Recreation Department Truck Bids – Arne McMullen Mr. McMullen reported on his efforts to secure bids. Despite his efforts, only two bids were submitted and one of those bids was incomplete. Mr. McMullen recommended purchase of the truck through Gateway Motors for the amount of $40,170, plus an additional $1,700 for an extended warranty, for a total bid price of $41,870. There is sufficient money in the Recreation Department’s fund balance to pay for the truck and this purchase will not affect the Recreation Department’s FY15 budget. Mr. VanDerlip moved, seconded by Mr. Phillips, to accept the recommendation of the Recreation Department to purchase a new plow truck through Gateway Motors. Motion carried unanimously.

7.  Visit with Director of Facilities Thom Wood Mr. Wood provided a space analysis in regard to the possibility of moving the 5th grade to MSMS. The square footage configuration of each building was provided. From a statistical point of view, Mr. Wood said it makes sense to move the 5th grade to MSMS. It was decided that the focus of the Board’s work post budget will be substantive conversations on this issue. These conversations and the gathering of community input and feedback will take place in February, March and April of 2014. If, following those discussions, there is no support for the idea of moving the 5th grade to MSMS, the Board asked Mr. Wood for an idea of the level of work needed at UES to make that building optimal for the permanent housing of grades K-5. If, in the alternative, there is support for the idea of moving the 5th grade to MSMS, Mr. Wood will return to the Board with a proposal at the first May meeting, with a final decision at the second May meeting. This timeline will allow the development process to begin in June 2014, with construction to begin in June 2015.

Mr. Wood also provided updates on the entry access system, paving of the Franklin Street parking lot at MSMS, roof bids for MSMS, parking renovation work, the bleachers at MHS, and the district heat. He promised to return at a future date with ideas for upgrading ventilation on the new part of the building at UES.

8.      Update on Foreign Language at Union Elementary School Superintendent Ricca asked the Board for a direction to pursue, exposure or proficiency? Following discussion, the Board delivered a directive to pursue a proficiency model.  

9.    Discuss FY15 Budget Priorities Superintendent Ricca asked board members for desired budget scenarios to begin upcoming discussions. Mr. Jones would like to see a budget with a 2% per-pupil increase. Mrs. Braun wants a level-funded discretionary spending budget. Mrs. Aldrich would like a rollover budget to see what type of increase that generates. Ms. Paquette would also like to see a rollover budget. Mr. Phillips wants a 2% per-pupil increase scenario, along with exploration of offering a buyout. Mr. VanDerlip would like a budget with a per-pupil spending increase no more than statewide or local CPI. Mr. VanDerlip also asked to look at distribution of staffing from building to building as he believes there are some strange inequities there. Mrs. Bean was satisfied with the scenarios presented. Superintendent Ricca noted the caveat that the rollover budget will be based on last year’s numbers. Mrs. Braun would also like to hear about needed additions to the budget as seen by the administrators or anything that naturally needs to go. Alex Stetter and Ben Field will poll the students as to things they would add to or get rid of from their educational program if given the chance.

10.   Review Superintendent Limitations Policies

a.       2.3 Financial Condition and Activities Under subparagraph #4, Mr. VanDerlip noted the need for the Board to receive the annual audit before budget season and asked Superintendent Ricca to investigate why that does not happen. Under subparagraph #5, he noted the need for more dialogue about quarterly financial reports. Under subparagraph #12, Mr. VanDerlip would like to know the grants that are available and which ones are being pursued.

b.   2.4 Financial Planning and Budgeting Regarding subparagraph #6, Mr. VanDerlip feels it would be very helpful to see the progression in budget functions and asked for assurance of when that will happen in the budget process. Regarding the upcoming budget process, Mrs. Braun asked for budgeted and actuals for FY13, budgeted for FY14, and proposed budgeted for FY15.

11. Discuss Board Subcommittees Mrs. Braun and Mr. Phillips will serve on the foreign language at the elementary school subcommittee. Mr. VanDerlip and Mr. Jones will serve on the subcommittee for spending discussions with the VAM people. Superintendent Ricca asked that the focus of those discussions be contained to discretionary spending. Mr. Jones will also serve on the facilities subcommittee.

12.   Review Quarterly Financial Report The FY14 first quarter financial report was reviewed and discussed.

13. Update on Labor Relations Mr. Phillips reported on his recent meeting with the MEA representatives. During that meeting, concern about the evaluation process at Union Elementary School was expressed in a positive way. The numbers Principal Hennessey is dealing with are problematic. According to Mr. Phillips, these numbers will continue to climb and he wanted to bring this matter to the Board’s attention since it was also an issue last year. There is a plan already in place that was proposed by Superintendent Ricca and which the Union believes will work very well.

14.   Consent Agenda

a.       Minutes of October 2, 2013

b.       Warrants

Mr. VanDerlip moved, seconded by Mrs. Bean, to approve the consent agenda including minutes of the October 2, 2013 regular meeting and Warrants 21, 22 and 23 dated October 24, 2013 in the amounts of $862,892.77, $24,921.89 and $137,531.20 respectively. Motion carried unanimously.

15.   Announcements/Review Meeting (+/∆)

-          Katy Chabot and Mike Baginski were honored today as UVM teachers of the year.

-          The network upgrade was completed successfully.

16. Adjournment On a motion duly made and seconded, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn at 9:48 p.m.


Heather Michaud




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