Montpelier Board of School CommissionersMinutesMinutes - December 17, 2014

Minutes - December 17, 2014

1.  Call to Order The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. by Vice Chair Charlie Phillips.

2.  Adjust/Review Agenda No changes.

3.  Public Comments Jim Hutton inquired as to whether or not the Board had any feedback yet in regard to the possibility of bussing for fifth graders after the move to Main Street Middle School. According to Mr. Phillips, an update on that matter is scheduled for the first meeting in January.

4.  Presentation of FY16 School Budget Superintendent Ricca and the Leadership Team presented the FY16 draft budget. As part of the budget presentation, members of Mrs. Pierce’s fifth grade class highlighted their sustainability work on the whole school energy challenge, two MSMS Team Summit students discussed their personalized learning plans, and two MHS students talked about student-centered learning.

The FY16 budgeting process and priorities were explained and reviewed. The proposed budget assumes a 4.5% increase for health insurance, a 56% reimbursement rate for support services, a 97.92% common level of appraisal, as well as other assumptions. Proposed reductions and additions were reviewed. Those reductions include 6.57 instructional assistant positions, $5,000 in facilities substitutes, $10,000 from facilities summer hires, a $36,250 reduction to the Community Connections program, $56,956 less for an EEE transportation service contract, and $165,688 less in overall support services spending, which includes tuitions, summer hires and substitutes. Director of Support Services Mary Lundeen spoke about the reductions to the special education program.

Additions to the proposed budget at the district level include $24,000 to upgrade the phone system, $19,000 for mentoring, $30,000 for planned capital improvements, and one full-time special educator position. At Montpelier High School, the proposal adds additional summer professional development in the amount of $2,153, $30,541 for a 0.4 FTE sustainability coordinator, and $10,000 for dual enrollment to comply with Act 77. At Main Street Middle School, additional summer professional development will add $2,153, a 0.2 FTE French teacher position will add $10,928, a part-time custodial position will add $29,565, as well as additions for cross country in the amount of $2,798 and Ultimate Frisbee in the amount $3,996. At Union Elementary School, a part-time custodian is being added at $26,782, a 0.6 FTE music teacher position is being added at $44,003, a full-time special educator position is being added at an unspecified cost, and $10,879 is being added to change a position from school-year school secretary to year-round administrative assistant.

According to Superintendent Ricca’s presentation, $150,000 of the district’s $948,255 unreserved fund balance will be used to offset the tax impact. An additional $235,000 of that money will be used for renovations to Main Street Middle School to accommodate the fifth grade moving from Union Elementary School, leaving a balance of $563,255.

Mr. Jones requested a presentation from Tom Sabo to better explain and justify the proposed .4 FTE sustainability coordinator position. Mr. Wood fielded questions in regard to the custodial additions. Superintendent Ricca explained what the proposed reduction would mean to the Community Connections program.

The FY16 proposed budget calls for less than a 1% increase over the FY15 budget. Superintendent Ricca said he believes the budget meets all of the priorities the Board asked for, while at the same time keeping the needs of the students at the forefront. He said he was proud of the proposed budget and believed it was a reflection of sustained leadership. The Board thanked Superintendent Ricca and the Leadership Team for their work.

5.  Consent Agenda

a.  Minutes of December 3, 2014

b.  Warrants

c.  Co-Curricular Contract

Mr. VanDerlip moved, seconded by Ms. Paquette, to approve the consent agenda including minutes of the December 3, 2014 regular meeting, Warrants 32 and 33 dated December 18, 2014 in the amounts of $539,864.56 and $22,888.16 respectively, Warrants 34 and 35 dated December 31, 2014 in the amounts of $858,260.23 and $25,500.00 respectively, and a co-curricular contract (see listing). Motion carried unanimously.

6. Announcements/Review Meeting (+/∆)

-       Mr. VanDerlip commented that it was a pleasure to have the student presentations and the Leadership Team in attendance for the budget conversation.

7.  Executive Session   Mr. Jones moved that the Board find that discussing contract negotiations in open session would put the Board at a substantial disadvantage.  Mrs. Braun seconded and the motion carried unanimously at 9:08 p.m.  Mrs. Bean moved that the Board enter into executive session in accordance with 1 VSA §313 to discuss contract negotiations.  Ms. Paquette seconded and the motion carried unanimously at 9:08 p.m.  On a motion duly made and seconded, the Board voted unanimously to leave Executive Session at 9:23 p.m. 

a.  Contract Negotiations

8.  Adjournment On a motion duly made and seconded, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn at 9:23 p.m.


Heather Michaud




Co-curricular Appointment


Weigand, Scott

Drama Director



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