Montpelier Board of School CommissionersMinutesMinutes - July 16, 2014

Minutes - July 16, 2014

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

2.  Adjust/Review Agenda Discuss and approve bid for repair of the parking lot at MHS.

3.  Public Comments None.

4.   Visit with Director of Support Services Mary Lundeen reflected on her first year as Director of Support Services. Mrs. Lundeen shared that her work for 2013-2014 focused on relationships, relevance and rigor. She detailed her work in these areas, as well as in the areas of professional development activities, capacity building within the District, and coordination of specialized instruction. Mrs. Lundeen discussed next steps for Support Services for the upcoming year. Challenges and eligibility percentages were also discussed.

5. Discuss and Approve Bid for the Parking Lot at MHS Mr. Wood distributed a small key plan describing the work to be done. Goals of the project were discussed. Seven contractors attended the walk through, but there were only five bidders. A list of bid prices was provided. Mr. Wood detailed his efforts to mitigate costs while at the same time keeping the goals of the project in mind. He explained that despite these efforts, the lowest bid from Capitol Earthmoving was still significantly higher than originally anticipated.

Mr. Wood provided board members with an update on other bond projects and recommended using some of the identified savings from those projects for the high school parking lot project. He asked the Board for a motion to enter into a contract with Capitol Earthmoving for repair of the parking lot at MHS.

Mr. Jones requested some of the history around prior work on the parking lot at MHS in regard to biological treatment of stormwater. Mr. Wood confirmed that the intention with past renovations was to create a bioswale, but those efforts have been problematic and ineffective. Mr. Wood confirmed that missing from Capitol Earthmoving’s finished contract for which he was seeking approval were the pole lights and plantings. Following discussion, Mr. Jones moved, seconded by Mr. Phillips, to accept the bid of Capitol Earthmoving in the amount of $135,020 for repair of the parking lot at MHS. Motion carried unanimously.

6.  Discuss Board Meeting Date Changes Superintendent Ricca suggested the possibility of another half-day retreat between the Board and the Leadership Team in lieu of the scheduled August 13th meeting. There was consensus in support of this change. Following discussion regarding vacation schedules, Superintendent Ricca will work on scheduling another half-day retreat between the Board and the Leadership Team for either August 20th or August 21st.

Superintendent Ricca also asked for permission to move the second October meeting from October 15th to October 22nd. There were no objections to this change.  

7.   Review Meeting with Val Gardner Mrs. Aldrich asked board members to share their thoughts on the prior meeting with the Leadership Team and Val Gardner. She explained that she thought it would be helpful for Mr. Jones to hear what other board members took away from that meeting since he was unable to attend. Mr. Phillips said the meeting got him thinking about some of the ways the Board does business and the possibility of being more purposeful and running meetings more efficiently. He said he left the meeting thinking there was a lot of Board work to be done, but it would be worth it. Mr. Phillips said he would love to have Val come back to discuss things some more. Mrs. Braun said she was surprised by the Leadership Team’s level of frustration with the budget process. She said she would love for the Board to evaluate what policies they are using and whether or not changes need to be made. Mrs. Braun is also interested in comparing this Board’s policies with other districts operating under policy governance and having a good experience. Mrs. Bean felt the meeting with Val was incredibly valuable. She said a lot of what Val said was embarrassingly simple and so important to think about. She believes board evaluation is critical to understanding purpose and governance structure and that very basic groundwork is needed. Mr. VanDerlip was also surprised by the Leadership Team’s frustration with the budget and the newly-formed program/finance committee. He thinks it would be valuable to explore the annual calendar with Val to ensure the Board is discussing the right things at the right times. Mr. VanDerlip said he would also like to work with Val to get greater clarity on evidence for achieving the ends and usefulness of the limitations policies. Ms. Paquette said it was a gift to have Val present things so simply. She said she was surprised with the Leadership Team’s disappointment and wishes she had known their feelings. She would love to work further with Val. Mrs. Aldrich said she was not at all surprised with the Leadership Team’s frustration with the Board. She went on to say that the Board has been second guessing the Leadership Team for years. She said it was an incredibly dysfunctional budget season that should not be relived if at all possible. Mrs. Aldrich believes it is important for the Board to keep working with Val in order for board members to remind themselves of what their roles are. She said there needs to be a long-term discussion as a Board in regard to how board members feel about moving forward and what style they want to use in order to get the best from the Leadership Team.

Superintendent Ricca told the Board that Val Gardner is committed to just good governance and confirmed that her continued work with the Board is not reliant on policy governance or on any style whatsoever. Superintendent Ricca encouraged the Board to take advantage of the resources offered through the VSBA. It was decided through straw poll for the Board to schedule another meeting with Val Gardner. Superintendent Ricca will work on setting this up. Mr. Jones suggested that this meeting take place in addition to Board’s regularly scheduled meetings rather than in place of one since there is plenty of other work to be done. Mrs. Braun suggested Superintendent Ricca obtain a copy of Val Gardner’s presentation for Mr. Jones.

8.   Discuss Next Steps for Board Development Mrs. Aldrich asked board members for their preference on whether they wanted to discuss common goals and roles going forward before meeting with Val Gardner or whether they wanted to meet with Val and then have that discussion. Mrs. Braun suggested having Val Gardner facilitate that discussion. The majority of the Board voted to have Val facilitate the discussion around goals and future board development. Mrs. Braun will be provided with copies of the policies adopted in 2007.

9.  Update on Program/Finance Committee Mr. VanDerlip reported that the committee received class size information for the middle school and the high school. Superintendent Ricca provided clarification on some of the numbers and there was nothing particularly alarming discovered. One committee member is in the process of comparing budget amounts and expenditures year to year. Although not yet complete, initial feedback is that the District’s budget is wonderful – incredibly well organized, accessible, etc. Additional information in regard to extensive curriculum offerings, i.e., distance learning, dual enrollments for college credits, collaboration with U-32, has been requested. One committee member has provided comparative data in regard to recreation departments which will be studied further. Community Connections was also discussed. Mr. VanDerlip reported that there has been some public interest in the committee meetings, with five or six people in attendance at each meeting. The committee will meet again in August.

10.  Consent Agenda

a.  Minutes of June 4, 2014

b.  Minutes of June 13, 2014

c.  Warrants

d.  Teacher Contract

e.  Resignation

i.  Erica Farnham

f.  Co-Curricular Contracts

Mr. Phillips moved, seconded by Mr. VanDerlip, to approve the consent agenda including minutes of the June 4, 2014 regular meeting, minutes of the June 13, 2014 special meeting, Warrants 3 and 4 dated July 17, 2014 in the amounts of $105,461.25 and $46,702.38 respectively, past Warrants 63 and 64 dated June 19, 2014 in the amounts of $505,458.00 and $38,728.17 respectively, past Warrants 65, 66 and 67 dated June 27, 2014 in the amounts of $412,918.56, $74,559.42 and $32,165.38 respectively, past Warrants 1 and 2 dated July 2, 2014 in the amounts of $712,340.22 and $62,588.66 respectively, the recommendation to offer a teaching contract to Mary Ellen Solon (school social worker – MHS/MSMS), a teacher resignation, and co-curricular contracts (see listing). Motion carried unanimously.

 11. Announcements/Review Meeting (+/∆)

 -    Mr. Phillips asked about the timeline for discussing negotiations. Superintendent Ricca shared that Laura Soares from VSBIT would love some Executive Session time to talk about this. He advised that the Leadership Team is in the process of putting together a prioritized list of recommendations. Preliminary numbers and recommendations will be discussed at the Board/Leadership Team retreat in August. Mr. Jones is on the negotiating team for the agreement that covers that Instructional Assistants, Mrs. Bean and Mr. Phillips on the contract for the teachers.

 12.  Adjournment On a motion duly made and seconded, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn at 8:39 p.m.

Heather Michaud

Recorder

Co-curricular Appointments

 

Basa, William

Soccer, Boys: Head Coach

MHS

Beach, Ashley

Unified Sports Co-Coordinator

UES

Bianchi, Timothy

Soccer, Boys: JV Coach

MHS

Brace, Rhonda

Crafter’s Edge Advisor

MSMS

Bravakis, Jenna

Student Leadership Advisor

MSMS

Chabot, Lauren

Field Hockey Coach

MSMS

Cobb, Peter

Soccer, Girls: Grade 8 Coach

MSMS

Cobb, Peter

Soccer, Girls: Grade 7 Coach

MSMS

Eldridge, Sophia

Field Hockey Co-Coach

MHS

Giroux, Anne

Crafter’s Edge Advisor

MSMS

Goodell, Diana

Unified Sports Co-Coordinator

UES

Link, Kayla

Field Hockey Co-Coach

MHS

Lyons, Gwendolyn

Soccer, Girls: JV Coach

MHS

Miles, Jason

Crafter’s Edge Advisor

MSMS

Noonan, Timothy

Cross Country: Varsity Coach

MHS

Pulsifer, Corey

Homework Club Advisor

MSMS

Robinson, Norm

Cross Country: Asst. Varsity Coach

MHS

Thomas, Joy

Yearbook Advisor

MSMS

Zurowski, Timothy

Soccer, Boys: Grade 8 Coach

MSMS

Zurowski, Timothy

Soccer, Boys: Grade 7 Coach

MSMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2015 Montpelier Public Schools