Montpelier Board of School CommissionersMinutesMinutes - November 20, 2013

Minutes - November 20, 2013

1.       Call to Order The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m.

2.  Dinner with the Administrative Team The Board shared dinner and conversation with members of the Administrative Team in the cafeteria at Montpelier High School from 6-7 p.m. At 7:05 p.m., the Board moved to the library at Montpelier High School for the rest of the meeting.

3.  Adjust/Review Agenda Addition of student presentation. Addition of co-curricular contracts to the consent agenda. Addition of a short discussion regarding the superintendent’s evaluation.

4.    Public Comments None.

5.  Student Presentation Isa Ansari, Aurora Brush, Jillian Reed, Freddy Bashara, Ben Field and Reed Bingham discussed their experience as student attendees at the Rowland Conference. Talking points included student voice, relevance in education, relationships between students and teachers, personalized learning approaches and finding ways to bring students’ passions into their learning at school.

6.  Discuss Technology Phase II – Michael Martin Mr. Martin was unable to attend tonight’s meeting. In his absence, Superintendent Ricca discussed the need to hire a network administrator to help oversee day-to-day operations through the remainder of the 2013-2014 academic year. An RFP for these services was prepared. Advertising for the RFP was discussed. Superintendent Ricca reported that only one bid was received and recommended acceptance of that bid.

7.       Action Item

a.  Approve Technology RFP Recommendation Mr. Jones moved, seconded by Mr. VanDerlip, to accept the bid from Wild Branch Solutions for technology services through the remainder of the school year as recommended by the superintendent. Motion carried unanimously.

8.  Follow-Up discussion Regarding Parking Lot at MHS Board members shared received feedback. The public hearing on this matter is scheduled for December 4, 2013.

9. Review Expectations Regarding End #3 Superintendent Ricca asked the Board for guidance on indicators to be used to document evidence for this policy. The focus of the discussion became ePortfolios. Superintendent Ricca will update the Board on the current status of and the rollout plan for the ePortfolios. Mrs. Braun expressed interest in receiving additional information in regard to personalized learning plans. She noted the need for identifying systems currently in place and what is needed going forward. Mr. VanDerlip suggested finding ways to talk to students to get their perception of what rigor and relevance is. Mr. Phillips questioned the process for finalizing the ends policies. Mr. Jones moved, seconded by Mr. Phillips, to adopt the ends policies. Motion carried unanimously.

10. FY15 Budget Discussion and Refinement According to Superintendent Ricca, two variables at this point are the commitment to moving fifth grade to MSMS and the amount of resources to commit for Community Connections. Priorities and values to consider in budget discussions include relevance, relationships, sustained leadership, and economic sustainability. Superintendent Ricca noted the importance of conversations about what the community values rather than what program might be on the chopping block.

Montpelier resident Nathan Suter suggested as a starting point a proposal that establishes what is needed to maintain the current program and then a wish list from the superintendent. Mr. VanDerlip recognized the erosion of public support for the budget over the years and cited the need for a fiscally responsible budget with a determined dollar limit. He believes the Board needs to determine the “size of the pie” with some appreciation for the fact that it may get a little bit bigger. Mrs. Aldrich believes the budget is not about establishing a certain number, but rather about determining what’s responsible. She does not want decisions to be totally cost driven, and she is looking for a budget that maintains quality programs, preserves small class sizes, and establishes a foreign language program at the elementary school over the next few years. Mrs. Braun suggested looking at the programmatic result of a 2% per-pupil increase budget with an Admin. Team wish list beyond that. Mr. Jones reiterated his belief for the need to deliver more education with less money. He wants to see strategies for not replacing teachers who are leaving, as well as to continue to push the administration for alternative ways to deliver services. Mr. Phillips no longer thinks a 2% per-pupil increase budget is appropriate and he would like to take that proposal off the table. He believes the Board needs to provide Superintendent Ricca with a number to work with.

Following discussion, Superintendent Ricca requested permission to proceed with a first round budget absent a specific target number. He will approach the first draft of the budget mindful of fiscal responsibility and in terms of what the Board needs. Subsequent conversations will follow from that point. There was consensus to proceed in this fashion.

11.   Discuss Superintendent Evaluation Process Per the Board calendar, the evaluation is scheduled to be completed in November. Superintendent Ricca is entering his third year without a formal evaluation. At this point the missing piece is feedback from the people who work with him. A survey tool for gathering this feedback was discussed. Mr. Phillips asked to see the questions to be included on the survey.

12.   Consent Agenda

a.       Minutes of November 6, 2013

b.       Warrants

c.       Co-Curricular Contracts

Mr. Phillips moved, seconded by Mr. VanDerlip, to approve the consent agenda including minutes of the November 6, 2013 regular meeting, Warrants 27, 28 and 29 dated November 21, 2013 in the amounts of $805,887.64, $20,230.32 and $16,140.14 respectively, and co-curricular contracts (see listing). Motion carried unanimously.

13.   Announcements/Review Meeting (+/∆)

-          Student council has started a wreath fundraiser for technology.

14.  Executive Session On a motion duly made and seconded, the Board voted unanimously to enter Executive Session at 9:25 p.m., with the superintendent remaining. On a motion duly made and seconded, the Board voted unanimously to leave Executive Session at 9:44 p.m.

a.       Contract Matter

  15.  Adjournment On a motion duly made and seconded, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn at 9:44 p.m.


Heather Michaud



Co-curricular Appointments


Baker, Shannon

Basketball, Girls: Grade 7 Coach


Gingold, Jason

Basketball, Girls: Grade 8 Coach


Zurowski, Tim

Basketball, Boys: Grade 7 Coach


Zurowski, Tim

Basketball, Boys: Grade 8 Coach


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