Montpelier Board of School CommissionersMinutesMinutes - May 21, 2014

Minutes - May 21, 2014

1. Call to Order The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m.

2.  Adjust/Review Agenda No changes.

3.  Public Comments City Councilor Dona Bate addressed the Board regarding the Citizens to Protect Berlin Pond’s petition to the Agency of Natural Resources. She asked board members to consider writing letters in support of the petition.

4.  Student Presentation Melissa Parker and students from her fifth grade class shared their work on a writing project. The students worked in conjunction with the residents of Woodridge Nursing Home and produced written stories on an artifact. The final product of the project was a DVD of the written stories. The goal is to provide each resident with a copy of the DVD. The entire project will be dedicated to Conrad, a Woodridge resident who participated and recently passed away.

5.  Visit with UES Principal Chris Hennessey reflected on his first year as principal of Union Elementary School. The focus of Principal Hennessey’s work during his first year was building relational trust, reducing distractions, and using technology. A nine minute video entitled “Our Story” was presented. Principal Hennessey discussed his vision for the future of UES. Needed playground renovations and repairs were discussed. Principal Hennessey invited and encouraged the community to get involved in this project. Following the presentation, Mr. VanDerlip requested an update on plans for moving the 5th grade to Main Street Middle School.

6.  Visit with Business Manager Don Morrill from Vermont School Boards Insurance Trust updated the Board on insurance coverage and resource information. Following that presentation, Business Manager Rossi provided financial updates.

7.  Update on Foreign Language Committee The Board previously delivered a directive to explore a proficiency based model. A committee was formed and researched the feasibility of forming this type of program at Union Elementary School. A report was generated and Director of Curriculum and Technology Michael Martin shared the results of the initial investigation.

8.  Discuss Board E-Mail Communication Mrs. Aldrich provided a brief reminder about open meeting law including the fact that board members cannot conduct email conversations.

9.  Discuss End #1 In addition to NECAP and AP test scores, Superintendent Ricca asked what other indicators board members wanted him to use for reporting on this end. Mr. Jones inquired about post-graduation follow-up. Mrs. Bean suggested looking at PNOA assessments. Mr. VanDerlip offered basic literacy assessments around second or third grade. Mrs. Aldrich suggested looking at cohort information. Ben Field asked if there was an exit survey for students. Mrs. Braun wondered if kindergarten screening data might be meaningful.

10.  Discuss Superintendent Limitations Report Superintendent Ricca distributed and invited feedback on his report. Mr. VanDerlip requested an update on playground safety issues including what might be done to remedy the situation.

11.  Consent Agenda

a.  Minutes of May 7, 2014

b.  Warrants

c.  Teacher Contracts

d.  Administrator Contracts

e.  Resignations

i.  Nathalie Sugarman

ii.  Lyman Castle

f.  Co-Curricular Contract

Mrs. Braun moved, seconded by Mrs. Bean, to approve the consent agenda including minutes of the May 7, 2014 regular meeting, Warrants 57, 58 and 59 dated May 22, 2014 in the amounts of $858,861.83, $27,742.60 and $29,637.80 respectively, the recommendation to offer teaching contracts to Julie Morton (English - MHS), Stephanie DiLena (SOAR - MHS), Josh Parker (Math - MHS), Suzanne Francke (School Counselor - UES), Scott Appel (Grade 6 - MSMS), and Michelle Harper (Grade 6 - MSMS), the recommendation to offer administrator contracts to Jen Wall Howard (Assistant Principal - MHS) and Benjamin White (Assistant Principal/Athletic Director - MSMS), two teacher resignations, and a co-curricular contract (see listing). Motion carried unanimously.

12.  Announcements/Review Meeting (+/∆)

-          The Mouse That Roared was hilarious and well-attended, a great show.

-          There has been excellent participation in the auditorium conversations.

-          The non-existent boys tennis team is probably going to playoffs.

-          Congratulations to all students who participated in the dance performance at the Barre Opera House.

-          Main Street Middle School had a Green Expo a few weeks ago. According to the Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District, in three years MSMS has reduced its trash by more than 50% and is making a concerted effort to be more sustainable.

-          The City is going to move forward on its solar net metering proposal without the school district. We will learn from their efforts and explore the possibility of going out on our own next year.

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


Heather Michaud



Co-curricular Appointment


Russo, Marijke

Debate/Forensics Co-Advisor



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