WINDHAM SOUTHEAST SCHOOL DISTRICT
53 Green Street
Brattleboro, VT 05301
NOTICE OF BOARD MEETING
The Windham Southeast School District Board will meet remotely at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 via Zoom:
Meeting ID: 937 6764 9684
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I. CALL TO ORDER – 6:00 p.m. – David Schoales, Board Chair
II. RECOGNITION OF VISITORS
III. CLERK’S REPORT – Approval of Minutes – September 2, 2020
V. COMMITTEE REPORTS
• WSESD/WSESU Diversity/Equity Committee
o Teacher-Leaders will describe the structure of their program and their work in each building.
• Finance Committee
• Personnel Committee
• Policy and Amendment Committee
• Programmatic and Performance Equity Committee
• Climate Crisis Task Force
• Communications Council
• Social Justice Committee
• WSESU Board
• Council Reports
VI. ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT
• Reopening Data: Enrollment comparisons for all school buildings; number of remote classes and learners; special education services; number of inadequate internet service; number of new enrollees. Report on ongoing Professional Development efforts.
VII. FISCAL REPORT
• The Board will discuss the “Financial Statements for FY 20, ending 6/30/2020: provided for the last meeting; update on COVID reimbursements.
VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
IX. NEW BUSINESS
X. Public Comment on Non-agenda Items
EXECUTIVE SESSION (If Needed)
Note: These proposed minutes should be considered preliminary until they are approved by the board at a future meeting.
WINDHAM SOUTHEAST SCHOOL DISTRICT (WSESD) BOARD
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2020
REGULAR BOARD MEETING – 6:00PM
WSESD Board Members Present: David Schoales, Chair (DS); Liz Adams (LA); Anne Beekman (AB); Michelle Green (MG); Shaun Murphy (SM); Thomas Nolan (TN); Jaci Reynolds (JR); Kelly Young (KY)
WSESU Administrators Present: Andrew Skarzynski (Superintendent); Frank Rucker (Finance Director)
Media Present: Rich Melanson (BCTV); Kevin O’Connor (VTDigger)
Others Present: [note: Zoom allows attendees to log in without providing their last names.] Amy Skolnick, Cory Sorensen, Steven Perrin, TonTon Brian, Bakers, Chantelle Albin, Chelsea Wiehl, Amy Sprague, Wendy M. Levy (WSESD Board Recorder), Pietro Lynn, Deb Coombs, Deb Kardane, Debra Gass, Eric Bright, Erin Hilow, Erin Tkaczyk, Joann, Henry Zacchini, Herve Pelletier, John Gagnon, Jon Sessions, Karen Duggan, Karen Tyler, Kate Margaitis, Keith Lyman, Kelly, Kerry Amidon, Kylie Weld, Laureen Reavey, Liz Dimick, Mary Kaufmann, Mary Ross, Mark Speno, Mike Szostak, Mikaela Simms, Molly Sauvain, Nancy Wiese, Paul Smith, Ruby McAdoo, Sarah Cassidy, Shannon Kelly, Shelley Wilson, Stacey Frazer, Tara Castine, Ellen Tumavicus
I. CALL TO ORDER
Chair DS called the meeting to order at 6:04pm.
II. RECOGNITION OF VISITORS
Pietro Lynn, the WSESD attorney, was recognized. He gave a training to the Board about Vermont’s Open Meeting Law (OML) at the request of Andy Skarzynski. In his introduction, Pietro gave the Board the opportunity to conduct this training in Executive Session, and explained that, under OML, trainings do not have to take place in a warned, open meeting. The Board declined, and decided to proceed with the training in open meeting.
Highlights of Pietro’s training included:
• Issues specifically related to COVID, and changes in Vermont’s OML as a result of the pandemic.
• Potential penalties if OML is not followed.
• Definitions of a meeting, including what’s not a meeting, and what’s never a meeting.
• That OML promotes transparency, accountability, and a formal structure.
• Quasi-judicial functions.
• Protecting the public’s right to attend public meetings.
• The difference between emergency meetings and special meetings.
• Public comment/participation and the Board Chair’s powers around this.
• Chat functions during online meetings.
• The public’s right to get an item on the agenda.
• The agenda.
• Executive session.
• Meeting minutes and what they have to include, at a minimum.
• Robert’s Rules of Order, and some aspects of running a meeting using it.
After a brief question-and-answer period, Pietro invited the Board to call or email him with further questions.
III. CLERK’S REPORT: APPROVE MINUTES
Warrants of June 29, 2020
Warrant No. 1410 in the amount of $ 1,679.00
Warrant No. 1411 in the amount of 2,500.00
Warrant No. 1412 in the amount of 124,976.76
Warrant No. 1414 in the amount of 20,170.23
Warrant No. 1417 in the amount of 116,291.28
Warrants of July 7, 2020
Warrant No. 1418 in the amount of $ 37,495.50
Warrant No. 1419 in the amount of 74,103.00
Warrant No. 1420 in the amount of 611.50
Warrant No. 1421 in the amount of 9,232.58
Warrant No. 1422 in the amount of 410.72
Warrant No. 1423 in the amount of 24,476.61
Warrant No. 1001 in the amount of 35,825.00
Warrant No. 1002 in the amount of 19,030.02
Warrant No. 1003 in the amount of 590.00
Warrant No. 1005 in the amount of 6,965.00
Warrant No. 1006 in the amount of 2,485.00
Warrant of July 20, 2020
Warrant No. 1009 in the amount of $ 6,015.84
Warrant No. 1011 in the amount of 2,250.00
Warrant No. 1012 in the amount of 746,741.50
Warrant No. 1013 in the amount of 6,830.00
Warrant No. 1016 in the amount of 2,900.00
Warrant No. 1017 in the amount of 4,072.05
Warrant No. 1018 in the amount of 682.85
Warrant No. 1019 in the amount of 38,098.50
Warrant No. 1020 in the amount of 851.00
Warrant No. 1021 in the amount of 86,620.22
Warrant of July 27, 2020
Warrant No. 1023 in the amount of $ 44,690.44
Warrant No. 1024 in the amount of 1,200.00
Warrant No. 1027 in the amount of 55,016.12
Warrant No. 1028 in the amount of 49,181.00
Warrant No. 1029 in the amount of 1,000.00
Warrant No. 1030 in the amount of 20,509.30
Warrant of August 3, 2020
Warrant No. 1031 in the amount of $ 129.98
Warrant No. 1035 in the amount of 5,009.73
Warrant No. 1036 in the amount of 757,156.29
Warrant of August 10, 2020
Warrant No. 1039 in the amount of $ 5,385.84
Warrant No. 1040 in the amount of 450.00
Warrant No. 1041 in the amount of 34,218.14
Warrant of August 17, 2020
Warrant No. 1045 in the amount of $281,585.35
Warrant of August 24, 2020
Warrant No. 1047 in the amount of $ 300.00
Warrant No. 1049 in the amount of 1,050.00
Warrant No. 1050 in the amount of 25,210.00
Warrant No. 1051 in the amount of 136,402.57
July 3, 2020 $1,136,699.60
July 17, 2020 $1,137,899.92
July 31, 2020 $ 937,488.19
August 14, 2020 $1,163,603.69
DS asked the Board to approve the consent agenda: the minutes from the August 19, 2020 meeting, and the warrants and payrolls.
MOTION BY JR TO APPROVE THE CONSENT AGENDA AS PRESENTED. TN SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED 8-0.
KY and SM asked for amendments to the August 19, 2020 minutes; both were not included in the list of Board members in attendance, but they were in attendance.
There were none.
V. COMMITTEE REPORTS
SM reported this committee has not met. He carefully reviewed the warrants and payrolls, and spoke with Frank Rucker about them. The committee hopes to meet next month.
KY reported this committee has not met.
POLICY AND AMENDMENTS
AB reported this committee has not met, but may meet the following week.
PROGRAMMATIC AND PERFORMANCE EQUITY COMMITTEE
DS reported this committee has not met, and noted its chair, EMK, recently had a baby. DS congratulated EMK on her new baby.
CLIMATE CRISIS TASK FORCE
TN announced this committee will meet on September 15.
DS reported this committee has not met. MG presented a draft of the Facebook page committee members created. DS and MG reviewed it and discussed plans for it, including incorporating information from Andy Skarzynski, and event announcements. Paul Smith discussed the difference between WSESU and WSESD. Kerry Amidon, WSESU Board Chair, spoke about collaborating with the Communications Council.
SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE (formerly, DIVERSITY AND EQUITY COMMITTEE)
DS announced this committee has changed its name to the Social Justice Committee. TN reported this committee met on August 24. They discussed the name-change, how to recruit a more diverse workforce, and training. They will meet again later in September.
Kerry Amidon, WSESU Board Chair, reported the board has not met, and they are in the process of scheduling their next meeting.
LEADERSHIP COUNCIL (LC) REPORTS
TN reported the BAMS LC met on September 1 and discussed reopening, the ratio of hybrid/remote learners, and outdoor activities.
SM reported the Guilford LC didn’t meet, and they will meet on September 4 at 1pm.
MG reported the Dummerston LC met, and are meeting again on September 3 at 6pm.
Steve Perrin reported the BUHS LC met and discussed the reopening, and transitioning the LC to a robust parent support group.
Ruby McAdoo reported the Putney LC met and discussed the mission/vision statement, which is still in-progress. They are meeting again on September 3.
LA asked LC Chairs to post their meeting links online.
VII. ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT
Pending her Agency of Education certification, Academy School has hired a new Physical Education teacher, Kimberly Gorey. Academy School Principal Kelly Dias spoke about Kimberly’s skills, background, and experience.
MOTION BY SM TO ACCEPT THE NOMINATION OF KIMBERLY GOREY AS PHYS. ED. INSTRUCTOR AT ACADEMY SCHOOL. TN SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED 8-0.
Andy Skarzynski gave his report. Highlights included:
• Staff returned last week, and approximately 600 staff attended an online meeting. The focus was on reopening safely, the health monitoring process, and professional development, including for outdoor learning. Andy listed some of the workshops staff attended, especially those relating to COVID.
• The school nurses offered a safety slide show during the staff online meeting; Andy will send it to Board members.
• What to do about COVID exposure? Andy explained he will work with the Department of Health should that occur. He also discussed contact tracing, testing, masks, and that the focus is on vulnerable students, and students with different types of vulnerabilities, such as no internet and low-attendance.
• School counselors will work with students and families on internet access, and food/housing insecurity.
• Andy recently visited the schools, and they look great: easily marked, good signage.
• PPE was recently delivered to the staff.
• The district is fully staffed for nurses; it still needs a COVID coordinator.
• Andy will continue his weekly updates to families and staff.
DS thanked Andy for his specificity.
LA asked if there are substitute nurses for when a nurse gets sick or injured. Andy responded: other staff can perform some of their functions.
LA asked about class size for remote cohorts. Andy responded: it varies.
LA asked about in-class desk spacing.
MG asked about notification of possible COVID exposure. Andy responded: it depends, the guidance is unclear, and issues of privacy complicate matters. KY spoke about this. Andy responded.
DS opened up the discussion to questions from the public and explained the participation protocols.
DS asked about the schools’ ventilation projects. Andy gave an update.
DS asked about students wearing masks during school sports, and how to enforce their use.
Tara Castine asked about COVID notifications.
VIII. FISCAL REPORT
Frank Rucker gave his report, which included a review of the WSESD financial statement. He noted he will submit the financial statement to the auditors in the next few weeks. Highlights included:
• An overview of the balance sheet.
• The Fiscal Year ended favorably and why.
• The general ledger.
• The electric bill this Fiscal Year was lower than during previous years because WSESD is part of the Windham Solid Waste Management District’s net-metering solar array program.
• Frank thinks the audit will go well. The auditors will issue their report in November.
• Tax bills; Frank is working closely with Brattleboro’s Finance Director.
• The fuel oil bid, which happens in collaboration with the Town of Brattleboro. Frank noted every year the District’s fuel oil needs decrease because of the switch from fossil fuels.
• Frank has been communicating with Cory Frehsee of Stevens & Associates about the Academy School renovation/expansion project.
• The Agency of Education opened up applications for CARES Act funding. Frank is also trying to access FEMA funding.
DS said he will forward the financial statements to Board members, and he wants them to carefully review them.
DS asked about allowed uses of the reserve fund and fund balance—could it be used for the Academy School renovation/expansion project? A discussion ensued.
IX. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
There was none.
X. NEW BUSINESS
A. Request from Putney Selectboard to park vehicles in the circular driveway in the front of Putney Central School in order to more safely paint a BLM sign on the road surface.
AB gave an update on this topic.
MOTION BY LA TO APPROVE THE USE OF THE CIRCULAR DRIVEWAY AT THE PUTNEY CENTRAL SCHOOL ON 9/13 TO PARK VEHICLES. MG SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED 8-0.
XI. PUBLIC COMMENT ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS
Ruby McAdoo announced YAspire is offering a program to help students choosing the hybrid learning model on their non-in-school days. LA assisted with this, and other groups are involved, too. Ruby noted it’s a collaborative effort. She recommended the WSESD Board learn about this and get involved in it. YAspire needs more sites so they can expand the program, but they can’t use school sites. Ruby invited interested parties to contact her.
Shannon Kelly asked about the start-date for remote students, and suggested it be the same for all students. This could benefit teachers who are concerned with safety.
Cory Sorensen spoke about his concerns for the safety of paras in the lunch rooms. He agreed with Shannon Kelly on the reopening suggestion, and noted it will give everyone more time to prepare. He suggested paras who work closely with students receive hazard pay.
LA spoke about the family child-care registration at Winston Prouty Center’s referral line.
XII. EXECUTIVE SESSION
The Board entered into Executive Session at 8:50 pm to discuss a personnel matter and a student placement matter. The Board invited Superintendent Andy Skarzynski.
MOTION BY DS TO ENTER INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION. TN SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED 8-0.
The Board rose from Executive Session at 9:14pm.
MOTION BY AB TO ACCEPT THE ADMINISTRATION’S RECOMMENDATION OF A STUDENT PLACEMENT. LA SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED 8-0.
MOTION BY AB TO ADJOURN. TN SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED 8-0.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:16pm.
Submitted by Wendy M. Levy from minutes taken by Wendy M. Levy.
This represents my understanding of the above dated meeting. If you have any changes, please submit them at the next board meeting.