Note: Per C.G.S. 10 – 218, Board of Education meeting minutes are provided in a draft format within 48 hours of the date the meeting was held. With the exception of motions and votes recorded, these minutes are unofficial until they have been read and approved by a majority vote of the Board. Should edits be necessary, they will be made at the next regularly scheduled meeting, noted in the meeting minutes, and voted upon.
Chairperson Brynn Lipstreu called the meeting to order at 7:01 PM. Present were Board members Cassidy Martin, Scott Sears, Rod Perry and Bill Trudelle. Administrators present were Superintendent Dr. Francis Baran, Principal Dr. Catherine Pinsonneault and Finance Coordinator Tim Smith. Unable to attend were Board members Sherry Smardon and Steve Kurcinik.
SCOTLAND BOARD OF EDUCATION
November 3, 2020
The Board recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
Pajama Day was held last Friday on the first day of snow with close to 100% participation. It was a great day to celebrate Halloween without dealing with costumes.
4. WRITTEN COMMUNICATIONS: None
5. COMMUNICATION WITH THE AUDIENCE: None
6. ADDITIONS TO AGENDA – ADDITIONAL BUSINESS MAY BE CONSIDERED AT A REGULAR MEETING UPON A 2/3 VOTE OF THOSE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD PRESENT AND VOTING, PER STATE STATUTE: None
7. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
#1-20/21 Motion to approve the minutes from October 13, 2020, was made by Scott Sears, seconded by Rod Perry and carried unanimously.
8. FINANCE COORDINATOR REPORT:
A. Financial Report:
The Financial Reports were reviewed. Per request from the last meeting, the Cares Grant expenses will be charged to the General Fund until funding is received (the Grant has not been approved to date). Rod Perry asked about the Substitutes/Instructional Aides being almost half spent. Dr. Baran believes the bus monitors were paid out of this line item and will follow up to confirm. Scott Sears asked about heating oil not used that was purchased in this fiscal year. Dr. Baran reported that the contract does not extend to next year (there is a buy back penalty) and the tank is usually topped off. Rod Perry asked about federal rebates for propane (waiting to hear). Brynn Lipstreu asked about the high amount for testing in regular education (testing and scoring is purchased for the year).
B. Approval of Financial Statement:
#2-20/21 Motion to approve the Financial Statement dated October 28, 2020, was made by Rod Perry, seconded by Scott Sears and carried unanimously.
- SUPERINTENDENT REPORT:
- 2020-21 Calendar Update: No Update
- Lunch Program Update:
The average for October was 35 for breakfast (up from 26.4 in September) and 61 for Lunch (up from 51.9 in September).
- Green Skies Update:
There is no update due to the invoice not expected until November 9th.
- Teacher Evaluation (TEVAL) Update:
Teachers will use the Flexible plan with one academic goal (related to Math) and 2 walkthrough evaluations.
- COVID-19 Expense Update:
The Board was emailed COVID-19 expenses separated by FY 19/20 and FY 20/21. A cumulative report will be presented to the Board monthly.
- COVID-19 Learning Environment Survey:
Discussions are being held with the staff and taking longer than expected.
A letter was received from the State Department of Education Commissioner regarding weather related closures as remote learning days that will be determined by individual Superintendents. Superintendents from Scotland, Hampton and Chaplin met and discussed concerns with the difficulty in managing inconsistent power outages for remote learning. They decided that weather related closures will be treated as snow days and made up at the end of the school year.
- PRINCIPAL REPORT:
- Professional Development Opportunities:
The PreK teacher is attending training via Zoom on IEPs in the PreK classroom and remote classroom. Yale University is progressing and now into dealing with children.
- Current Enrollment:
The current enrollment remains the same with one Kindergarten student returning from remote learning.
- November is a busy month with the holidays.
- Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held Thursday, November 5th and Friday, November 6th via virtually or by phone (parent’s choice). Teachers can go home during the dinner hour.
- FRIENDS OF SES REPORT: No Report
- NEW BUSINESS:
- Change in IT Services for SES:
The Administration has recommended a change and asked the Board to allow entering into a contract with Savage Systems for IT Services. Use of technology has outgrown services provided by Mr. Lary who works part-time (difficult to be in the building due to COVID-19 related issues). Deb Wright is the “go to” person for technology making it difficult to do her regular duties effectively. Interviews were conducted with Mr. Gould from Savage Systems and the Technology Committee and Administration is satisfied with the services they can provide. A review of technology will be conducted at Scotland Elementary over the course of approximately 4 weeks and will be monitored remotely with a 3-tier response system that varies based on the issue. The Administration will be provided with a monthly report. The first contract would be an 8-month contract at a cost of $36,000 (covers training and ticketing system) plus a set-up fee of approximately $4,000. Brynn Lipstreu asked if the contract covers remote learning (not in the contract but up for discussion) and that the same people be sent to the school to review for the purpose of contract tracing. Rod Perry reported that the Town of Scotland recently contracted with Savage Systems for IT Services.
#3-20/21 Motion to authorize the Superintendent to sign a contract with Savage Systems at a cost of $36,000 plus a set-up fee of approximately $4,000 to provide IT Services for Scotland Elementary through the end of the school year, was made by Rod Perry, seconded by Bill Trudelle and carried unanimously.
- First Read BOE Communication Plan:
The Board was presented with the BOE Communication Plan for review and asked to email any feedback to Sherry Smardon by November 20th.
- Discuss Citizens’ Advisory Committee:
Members of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee wish to continue meeting virtually through Zoom. The Board would like to continue with the Committee with this year being a good planning year.
#4-20/21 Motion to continue with the SES Citizens’ Advisory Committee, was made by Scott Sears, seconded by Cassidy Martin and carried unanimously.
- OLD BUSINESS:
- School Reentry Plan:
Staff and students are adjusting well. The temperature taking stations have been pulled back due to the possibility of cold weather affecting readings. The Nurse is attending web meetings weekly for updates from the health department. Dr. Baran is picking up more masks from the state for the staff and students. The cafeteria is serving as the staff lounge (students are eating in their classrooms). Dr. Baran responded to question from Scott Sears regarding date when windows will no longer be open (will be dependent on the weather). Dr. Pinsonneault responded to question from Rod Perry regarding whether the buses are arriving on time (buses are arriving on time and students are being moved in quickly). Dr. Baran reported that Parish Hill requested using the gym for basketball (cannot be used due to the gym being used as a classroom to meet COVID requirements).
- Transportation Committee:
Dr. Baran is still working on $10 million dollar liability requirement.
- COMMITTEE REPORTS:
- Tri-Town BOE meeting update: No Update
EASTCONN has returned to Zoom meetings and is dealing with census issues and the number of PreK programs being way down. A separate retreat meeting is scheduled for later this week.
- Readiness Council Report:
The state will be requiring verification of types of services and activities being done for remote learning students.
- Communications Committee: No Report
- Policies Committee: No Report
- Technology Committee: Covered under Superintendent Report
- AUDIENCE FOR CITIZENS: None
- NEXT STEP HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS:
- Brynn Lipstreu will contact the Citizens Advisory Committee regarding continuing their work and ask for Zoom link for the next meeting.
- Dr. Baran will check on technology status report from Savage Systems and check on $10 million dollar requirement for liability.
- The Board will review Communication Plan and email any feedback to Sherry Smardon by November 20th.
- NEXT MEETING AGENDA ITEMS:
- School Reentry Plan Update
- Transportation Committee
- Board Reorganization
- Second Read Communication Plan
- EXECUTIVE SESSION ANTICIPATED – DISCUSSION REGARDING OFFICE ADMINISTRATIVE PERFORMANCE:
#5-20/21 Motion to enter into Executive Session (7:47 PM) for the purpose of discussing Office Administrative Performance and invite the Superintendent and Principal to attend, was made by Scott Sears, seconded by Bill Trudelle and carried unanimously.
The Board came out of Executive Session at 7:52 PM.
Dr. Baran reported the light out front has been researched and will be turned off.
#6-20/21 Motion to adjourn (7:55 PM) was made by Scott Sears, seconded by Cassidy Martin and carried unanimously.
Respectfully submitted by Kathleen Scott
Scotland Board of Education
October 28, 2020, 5:00 p.m.
- Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 5:00 p.m. by Dr. Baran
Dr. Baran, Mr.Perry, Mr. Kurcinik (remotely), Mr. Gould
- Discussion of possible services contract with Mr. Eric Gould of Savage Systems, LLC.
Mr. Gould introduced himself and explained the origin of his company, Savage systems.
Mr. Gould then explained the type of technology services his company would provide to Scotland Elementary School.
Mr. Perry and Mr. Kurcinik asked Mr. Gould a series of specific question such as the type of security software Mr. Gould would recommend, the response time to specific types of technology issues encountered at SES, and how his job ticket would work.
Mr. Kurcinik asked Mr. Gould to send him a copy of the proposed contract and Mr. Gould accomplished that at the meeting. Any questions concerning the proposed contract Mr. Kurcinik is to send to Dr. Baran for discussion with Mr. Gould. Mr. Gould indicated that the proposed contract was a template and that he would try to accommodate any suggested edits.
- Mr. Gould left the meeting at 5:35 p.m.
- Dr. Baran, Mr. Perry and Mr. Kurcinik discussed the technology services situation at SES and Mr. Perry and Mr. Kurcinik agreed that Mr. Gould’s company would meet the school’s needs.
The meeting was adjourned at 6 p.m.
Dr. Francis A. Baran