Montpelier Board of School CommissionersMinutesMinutes - April 16, 2014

Minutes - April 16, 2014

1.  Call to Order The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.

2.  Adjust/Review Agenda Superintendent Ricca requested addition of a discussion item in regard to the Harry Sheridan Scholarship Committee.   Mr. Phillips requested addition of a discussion item in regard to an article that appeared in the World. Mrs. Aldrich requested addition of an Executive Session after presentations, and before approval of the consent agenda, for the purpose of discussing a personnel evaluation and a student issue.

3.  Public Comments None.

4.  Discuss Field Trips

a.  Montreal – Andrea Myotte MHS French students gave a presentation on why they wished to go to Montreal. Mr. Phillips moved, seconded by Mrs. Braun, to give permission for the field trip, with the despoliation that the students return and present to the Board the status of the trip. The motion passed 5-0, all in favor.

b.  Overland Park, Kansas – Marijke Russo Andrea Myotte gave a presentation on the National Debate Tournament Field Trip. Five MHS students were chosen to attend the Debate Tournament. Only three students will be attending. Seeing that the Debate Team does not have a budget, the funding is coming from donations from the Boosters Club and a contribution from the National Debate Association, a grant is being submitted from Ben & Jerry’s, and fundraising. Mr. Phillip’s moved, second by Mr. Jones. The motion passed 5-0, all in favor and the Board wished them all good luck and report back on outcome of debate.

5.  Visit with Director of Curriculum & Technology Director of Curriculum & Technology Michael Martin presented an update on Phase One, the rebuilding restructure of the server. Mr. Martin provided an update of Phase Two, the wireless network. Mr. Martin also reported on Phase Three. Phase Three is about diagnosing problem machines, prioritizing MPS machines on the network and password protection.

Mr. Martin also discussed professional development status. He showed a PowerPoint and a slide show. Discussion followed.

6.  Discuss Expectations Regarding Ends Policy Reports Superintendent Ricca asked What does the Board want in them?” Mr. Phillips motion on discipline report, has it increased/decreased and why. What is the status on bullying? Mrs. Aldrich would like to know are students going out into the community and making a difference. Track changes over time. What about The Page program, high school art display, CBL/SOAR and the UES/Community project?

7.  Update on Program/Finance Committee Superintendent Ricca and Mrs. Braun gave an update on the committee. A notice went into the World and the Times Argus, but they were unable to get the notice into the Bridge, because of newspaper deadline. So Brian Ricca read the article to the community. Looking for four community members to join committee. On May 8, 2014 they will appoint members to the committee and the first meeting will take place on May 14, 2014. The meeting will be in a public location. The public is very welcome and invited to attend. The committee would like public comments.

8.  Discuss Superintendent Evaluation Discuss about the survey to teachers/staff and the community. Will the survey be out and get back in time, so that people don’t have to rush? Are there standards that are nationally accepted? Mr. Martin advised he would look into that and send the standards and a copy of leadership goals to the Board. Seven to eight questions, about 75% are Board related questions. Ben Field asked if students would have feedback into the evaluation. Mr. Fields believes students would love to give feedback. Mr. Jones asked Mr. Field to help with the student survey. Mr. Field said he would take it to the Student Council for input.

9.  Approve 2014-2015 School Calendar A discussion developed over the school calendar. Superintendent Ricca advised that he met with the Teachers Union from all three buildings and the Union had some concerns. The first concern they had was that the scheduled date for parent/teacher conferences was too early for two buildings-Union Elementary and Main Street Middle School. They would like in the future to move the date to November. There was agreement to move the parent/teacher conference form October 13-14, 2014 until the following week on October 23-24, 2014. A discussion developed about parent/teacher conferences. Do students attend/not attend? There should be better communication and expectations between teachers, students and parents. Mr. Phillips moved, seconded by Mr. Jones, to put parent/teacher conferences on the agenda for further discussion at the next meeting.

The second item the Union had was to extend the winter recess by one day. Instead of returning to session on Friday, January 2, 2015, they wanted to return on Monday, January 5, 2015.

The third item discussed was that all three buildings would like to see more in-service/ professional development days. Discussion developed about how many school calendar days we have. Brian Ricca advised that they are well above state required school days. Mrs. Braun mentioned that there is a long time from September to October before a break occurs. There seems to be nowhere to place a break. Where should the day be? Where do we make it up? Further discussion warranted by board members.

10.  Discuss Harry Sheridan Scholarship Committee The Harry Sheridan Scholarship Committee is overseen by a member of the City Council of Montpelier, an MPS representative, a U-32 representative and others. Geoff Sather is the representative for MPS. There is a conflict with Geoff being on the committee, as he has a relative who is applying for the scholarship. Superintendent Ricca suggested that whenever there is a conflict, Mr. Sather be replaced by Mrs. Knauss as the MPS representative. Mr. Phillips moved, seconded by Mrs. Braun, that Mrs. Knauss replace Mr. Sather on the Harry Sheridan Scholarship Committee if and when there is a conflict of interest.

11.  Discuss Letter to the Editor of the World Mr. Phillips read an article from the World that accused the Board of paying $900.00 to place an ad in the World about pushing the pass the budget and vote. Superintendent Ricca assured the Board that MPS did no such thing and he would reach out to the person who wrote the article personally. Mrs. Braun discussed that Friends of Montpelier placed the ad. The ad was paid for by the Friends of Montpelier, not the School Board.

12.  Executive Session On a motion duly made and seconded, the Board voted unanimously to enter Executive Session at 9:00 p.m. On a motion duly made and seconded, the Board voted unanimously to leave Executive Session at 9:34 p.m.

    1. Superintendent Evaluation
    2. Student Issue

13.  Consent Agenda

    1. Minutes of April 2, 2014
    2. Warrants
    3. Resignations

i)    Susan Beem

ii)   Marianne McNamara

iii)  Linda MacDonald

d.  Teacher Contract List

e.  Leadership Team Contracts

f.  Aide Contract

g.  Non-Unionized Staff Contracts

h.  Teacher Contract

i.  Financial Report

j.  Recreation Department Fee Proposal

k.  Co-Curricular Contracts

Mr. Phillips moved, seconded by Mrs Braun, to approve the consent agenda including minutes of the April 2, 2014 regular meeting, Warrants 52 and 53 dated April 24, 2014 in the amounts of $924,174.83 and $20,940.61 respectively, teacher resignations, the teacher contract list, leadership team contracts, the aide contract (Mr. Phillips recusing), non-unionized staff contracts, the recommendation to offer a teaching contract to Elisabeth Kahn (foreign language – MSMS), a financial report, a Recreation Department fee proposal, and co-curricular contracts (see listing). Motion carried unanimously.

14.  Announcements/Review Meeting (+/∆)

-          Mr. Jones suggested that since the budget passed the Board think about and consider a wish list of things they would like to see the money go to. How about splitting the money between the reserve fund and a wish list of items to obtain? With all the resignations and retirements approved, Mr. Jones suggested that the Board consider not filling the vacancies unless necessary, or filling the vacancies for a portion of the time. Mrs. Aldrich moved to publicly thank Mrs. McNamara, Mrs. Abrams, Mrs. Beem, Mrs. MacDonald, and Mr. Mears for all their hard work and years of service and that they will be missed. Members of the Board asked if the Board had a policy or token of some kind that is given to staff who are leaving. Superintendent Ricca advised the Board that there is an end-of-year potluck celebration that is held and all staff leaving are honored at this event and given a chance to speak. Superintendent Ricca advised the Board that they have also started acknowledging first year teachers. Ben Field mentioned that the students also honor the teachers who are leaving as well. Superintendent Ricca extended an invitation to all to attend the end-of-year event.

15.  Adjournment On a motion duly made and seconded the Board voted unanimously to adjourn at 9:35 p.m.


Dotty Rowe




Co-curricular Appointments


Furber, Laura

Tennis, Girls: JV Coach


McCarthy, James

Baseball: Head Coach


Watson, Wendy

Tennis, Girls: Varsity Coach










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