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 Tuesday, May 11, 2021 via Zoom.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 962 2908 4449
Dial by your location
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 962 2908 4449
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/abaphqPz6j
I. CALL TO ORDER – 6:00 p.m. – David Schoales, Board Chair
• Chloe Leary, Winston Prouty Center – Childrens’ Integrated Services
• Cassandra Holloway, BPAC – Prevention Efforts in the Community
III. CONSENT AGENDA
• CLERK’S REPORT – Approval of Minutes – April 27, 2021
Warrants of April 5, 2021
Warrant No. 1297 in the amount of $ 2,500.00
Warrant No. 1298 in the amount of 928.93
Warrant No. 1299 in the amount of 32,276.04
Warrant No. 1300 in the amount of 138.89
Warrant No. 1301 in the amount of 1,175.57
Warrant No. 1302 in the amount of 930,402.02
Warrants of April 12, 2021
Warrant No. 1305 in the amount of 1,579.00
Warrant No. 1306 in the amount of 4,026.39
Warrant No. 1307 in the amount of 96,010.38
Warrants of April 19, 2021
Warrant No. 1309 in the amount of $32,339.57
Warrant No. 1310 in the amount of 6,400.00
Warrant No. 1311 in the amount of 5,382.49
Warrant No. 1312 in the amount of 102,776.83
Warrants of April 26, 2021
Warrant No. 1314 in the amount of $ 2,245.44
Warrant No. 1318 in the amount of 2,011.45
Warrant No. 1320 in the amount of 1,012.49
Warrant No. 1321 in the amount of 46,267.98
Warrants of May 3, 2021
Warrant No. 1323 in the amount of $ 1,200.00
Warrant No. 1325 in the amount of 2,000.00
Warrant No. 1326 in the amount of 7,250.00
Warrant No. 1327 in the amount of 42.61
Warrant No. 1328 in the amount of 814,949.05
April 12, 2021 $1,264,695.04
April 23, 2021 $1,267,402.51
Linda Rinder – BUHS School Nurse – Retirement
Catherine Dorian – BUHS English – Resignation
Cyrus Dudgeon – BUHS English – Resignation
Erica Garnett – Dummerston Counselor – Resignation
Dianne Clouet – Green Street Academic Support/Enrichment – Resignation
Audrey Sager – Putney Central Grade 5 – Resignation
• NEW HIRES
Brian Buettner – Oak Grove Academic Support
Catherine Hagarty – BUHS Spanish
David Tournoux – Putney Central Music
IV. Public Comment on Non-agenda Items (10 minutes)
V. ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT
• Presentation – Brattleboro Area Middle School
VI. FISCAL REPORT
VII. COMMITTEE REPORTS
• Leadership Council Reports
• WSESD/WSESU Diversity/Equity Committee
• Finance Committee
• Personnel Committee
• Policy and Amendment Committee
• Programmatic and Performance Equity Committee
• Climate Crisis Task Force
• Communications Council
• Social Justice Committee
• Early Education
• WSESU Board
VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS, if any
IX. NEW BUSINESS, if any
A. Student Engagement Coordinator – New Position – Action Needed
B. Flexible Pathways Coordinator – New Position – Action Needed
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
TUESDAY, APRIL 27, 2021
REGULAR BOARD MEETING – 6:00PM
WSESD Board Members Present:
WSESD Board Members Absent:
WSESU Administrators Present: Andrew Skarzynski (Superintendent); Frank Rucker (Finance Director)
Media Present: Rich Melanson (BCTV)
Others Present: Wendy M. Levy (Board Recorder),
I. CALL TO ORDER
Chair DS called the meeting to order at 6:02pm.
TM announced the passing of Thomas C. Yahn.
MOTION BY TM TO APPROVE THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION:
“WHEREAS, Thomas C. Yahn of Brattleboro, a veteran educator who directed the Windham Regional Collegiate High School, a dual-enrollment program that enabled high school students to earn college credit and that became a model for similar programs across Vermont;
WHEREAS, Thomas Yahn’s lifelong service as mentor along with his devotion and his great success in inspiring students to seek innovative, alternative entryways to learning, ways that valued their experiences and abilities and that tore down barriers of class, financial hardship and academic traditions; and
WHEREAS Thomas Yahn’s educational philosophy, one that respected the role of the student as an active learner, one that demonstrated the power of student-centered teaching and one that inspired countless others;
WHEREAS, his love of Vermont and his life of great integrity, commitment, humanity and friendship have inspired us all,
Therefore, be it resolved that the Windham Southeast School District (WSESD) recognizes the extraordinary contributions of Thomas C. Yahn, mourns his passing and extends sincerest condolences to his wife, Ann Fielder, and to other surviving family members, friends and former students.”
MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
II. CONSENT AGENDA
– Clerk’s Report: Approval of Minutes from the April 6, 2021 meeting.
MOTION BY TN TO APPROVE THE APRIL 6, 2021 MINUTES. LA SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
No amendments or discussion.
III. PUBLIC COMMENT ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS (10 minutes)
There was none.
IV. ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT
Andy noted the receipt of numerous applications for many open positions. Some positions, said Andy, are still open.
DS asked about contracts for returning teachers. Andy responded: some of the contracts are still going to the teachers, so there may be a few more resignations and openings.
Andy announced resignations.
MOTION BY AB TO ACCEPT WITH REGRET THE RESIGNATIONS OF SHANNON WARD, THIRD GRADE TEACHER AT GREEN STREET SCHOOL; LEAH TOFFOLON, MIDDLE SCHOOL SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER AT PUTNEY CENTRAL SCHOOL; AND MATTHEW WRIGHT, SCHOOL NURSE AT ACADEMY SCHOOL. TN SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Andy announced new hires.
MOTION BY MG TO APPROVE THE NEW HIRES: JULIA WOCHOS, SECOND GRADE TEACHER AT ACADEMY SCHOOL; JEREMY KELLET, MUSIC TEACHER AT ACADEMY SCHOOL [ONE YEAR POSITION (LEAVE OF ABSENCE REPLACEMENT)]; ERIN ROBINSON, HEALTH TEACHER AT BUHS; ANNA BASSETT, ACADEMIC SUPPORT STAFF AT DUMMERSTON; EMILY COREY, MIDDLE GRADES SCIENCE TEACHER AT PUTNEY CENTRAL SCHOOL; WILLIAM SAVIGNY, ELECTRICAL TEACHER AT WRCC; ELIZABETH STEELE, HEALTH CAREERS TEACHER AT WRCC; AND JEAN HODSEN, HEALTH CAREERS TEACHER AT WRCC. MOTION SECONDED BY AB. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
DS requested Andy delay further work on the Student Engagement Coordinator until he can discuss it with Andy.
– Recovery Plan Update
Deb Kardane, who is coordinating the recovery plan, shared a slide presentation, “Recovery Work Overview – So Far,” and reviewed the teams’ work so far. Highlights included:
• The process for setting goals and getting feedback.
• An overview of the following:
◦ Professional development
◦ Data systems
◦ Summer experiences.
– Morris/Gannon Training
Andy announced the administration is still settling the dates for this training program, and will share them once they are established. Andy summarized the anticipated plans for the meetings, which will happen in August, September, and October.
– End-of-the-year Activities Schedule
Andy reported he recently received information on the requirements, and noted the targets are aligned with the vaccination rates, as per state guidance. He announced it is likely graduation ceremonies will be in-person.
Andy requested the Board approve the last day of school be a half-day.
MOTION BY LA TO AUTHORIZE THE SUPERINTENDENT TO HAVE A HALF-DAY OF SCHOOL ON THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL—JUNE 14, 2021—TO PREPARE FOR GRADUATION. MG SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
– Presentation – Dummerston School
Julianne Eagan, Dummerston School Principal, shared a slide presentation, “Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning at Dummerston School 2020-2021.” She provided some history of the process, including pre-pandemic planning with the leadership team. Highlights included:
• Foundation of Developmental Designs. What Developmental Designs is—and isn’t—and why the leadership team chose it.
• Developmental Design elements.
• Social contracts from each class, including testimony from First Grade teacher Beth Montgomery, who spoke about creating the contracts with First Grade students.
• School-wide social contract. This was developed with student representatives from each class. School Counselor Erica Garnett spoke about how she helped facilitate the student-led project. Julianne shared a slideshow of the social contract in-action.
• How does the social contract shape your experience?
• Developmental Design in the community. Julianne showed part of a video of the new Dummerston School trail that families built. Pre-K Para-Educator Hannah Van Loon spoke about how the school community is utilizing the trails, including in curriculum, independent work, recreation, and Pre-K parent conferences.
– Presentation — Green Street School
Principal Mark Speno shared a slide presentation, “Green Street School 2020-2021 Adaptability & Resilience In Action.” He spoke about challenges, resilience, and problem-solving. Highlights included:
Planning for next year.
The Tulip Trot, which, this year, includes a musical. Mark showed a video with highlights from the musical. He noted the event will be recorded for later viewing, and the public is welcome.
The Tier Two Team—School Counselor Tracy Binet-Perrin, Fifth Grade teacher Kaleigh Richardson, Second Grade remote teacher Brin Tucker, Second Grade teacher Meg Chingery, and Fourth Grade remote teacher Megan Altshuler—gave their presentation. It included testimony from the parent of a Second Grade student who is studying remotely.
A discussion ensued on the lessons learned during COVID, especially from the remote teachers and families, and what can continue beyond COVID.
V. FISCAL REPORT
– ESSER Update
Frank Rucker gave an update. He explained the four funding phases:
1. The District received a great deal of money from the federal government. About $1.5 million was spent on PPE and air quality.
2. ESSER 1 provided $1 million, and three-quarters of that will be spent in Fiscal Year 2021, and the remaining quarter in FY22.
3. ESSER 2 is still in-the-works, and the leadership team will soon submit the application for it.
4. Congress recently passed another round of funding through the American Recovery Act, and this will provide the District $9 million, of which $200,000 will go to technology, and $100,000 for personnel
KY asked Frank if any of this money will offset taxes. Frank responded: he is awaiting guidance on that, and that if the Capital Plan’s construction expenses are approved as part of this funding, it will reduce the local burden and avoid a “fiscal cliff” when this funding is no longer available.
VI. COMMITTEE REPORTS
DS asked Board members to think about alternating the schedule for reports from the leadership councils and the committees.
– Leadership Council Reports
GUILFORD: SM reported they met on April 16, and discussed Board and administration reports, and Principal John Gagnon reported on community partnerships. The next meeting is Friday, April 30, at 1pm.
GREEN STREET: JR reported they met on April 5, and discussed the return to a five-day in-school schedule, remote learners returning, diversity and equity, the Tulip Trot, leadership council stipends, recording the leadership council meetings, and the school’s gardens. The next meeting is Monday, May
EARLY EDUCATION SERVICES: LA reported they recently met and discussed the combined classroom with Mulberry Bush, which is going well, staff bonuses, the refunding application, Early Head Start, the air-exchange system at the Birge Street campus, home-based parents, workshops and events, Governor Scott’s idea to move EES to public schools and under the Agency of Education. LA expressed her concerns that this will lead to pre-schools closing and challenges with staffing.
A discussion ensued on the latter point, and DS recommended interested parties contact their legislators for updates.
PUTNEY CENTRAL SCHOOL: Ruby McAdoo reported they have not met, but there is an upcoming event for Green-Up Day, which will improve community engagement.
ACADEMY SCHOOL: Robin Morgan reported they recently met and discussed bicycles, summer playground plans, the upcoming vote, communications from the District, the return to a five-day school schedule and feedback on it, and the mission statement and purpose.
BAMS: Principal Keith Lyman reported they met in early-April and discussed academic testing, Keith’s update, outdoor learning, schedule changes, Teacher Appreciation Week, and the school gardens.
– Finance Committee: SM reported they met right before the Board meeting and discussed the Academy School project and the Dummerston pellet boiler.
VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
A. Policy Review
• D1 – Personnel Recruitment, Selection, Appointment and Background Checks – Updated – 2nd Reading
MOTION BY AB TO APPROVE THE UPDATED POLICY D1: PERSONNEL RECRUITMENT, SELECTION, APPOINTMENT, AND BACKGROUND CHECKS. EMK SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
DS noted this policy does not need a third reading.
• E14 – Environmental Awareness and Responsibility – New – 2nd Reading
MOTION BY LA TO ADOPT POLICY E14: ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS AND RESPONSIBILITY. SM SECONDED.
A discussion ensued. MG noted she could not find the referenced statute. The statute citation was corrected to read as follows: 18 V.S.A. § 1782.
MG asked if this policy will create a need for a change in curriculum. A discussion ensued. DS noted this policy went through several revisions in response to staff feedback.
VOTE: MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
VIII. NEW BUSINESS
A. Academy School Project Prequalification Criteria and Advertisement
Frank noted there is a meeting on Thursday, May 6, at 7pm, for an in-depth design discussion. Frank reviewed the recent progress and activity on this project, including workshops and what the Board has to do next, and upcoming dates and deadlines. He noted this complies with state guidance. Diane Abate from Stevens & Associates confirmed Frank’s reporting.
MOTION BY JR THAT TO ENSURE SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS ARE BID THROUGH A FAIR AND OPEN PROCESS AND BIDS ARE RECEIVED FROM RESPONSIBLE AND QUALIFIED CONTRACTORS THAT THE BOARD APPROVE THE PREQUALIFICATION CRITERIA AND ADVERTISEMENT THEREOF, FOR THE ACADEMY ADDITION/RENOVATION PROJECT AS RECOMMENDED BY THE CONSTRUCTION BIDDER PREQUALIFICATION SELECTION COMMITTEE. MG SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
B. Head Start & Early Head Start Refunding Application
EES Director Deb Gass explained the refunding agreement, the cost of living adjustment, and the partnership with Mulberry Bush. She announced two new goals: using diversity objectives, and relying more on technology to improve operations.
MOTION BY LA TO APPROVE THE SUBMISSION OF THE HEAD START / EARLY HEAD START REFUNDING APPLICATION, IN THE AMOUNT OF $3,045,161. TM SECONDED.
A discussion ensued. KY asked about the source of the funding. Deb responded: it is a continuation of EES applying for federal funding to continue operating EES. DS noted WSESD is EES’s fiscal manager.
VOTE: MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
DS asked how cost of living adjustments are determined. Deb responded: it originates with the federal government, and they issue the funding.
MOTION BY SM TO APPROVE A COST OF LIVING INCREASE SUPPLEMENT APPLICATION FOR $36,473 TO BE USED FOR A 2-PERCENT INCREASE FOR HEAD START AND EARLY HEAD START SALARIES. AB SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Deb thanked LA for her support and leadership at the Policy Council meetings. DS noted LA has a strong early-education background.
C. New Pre-Kindergarten Partnership Agreement
DS shared a document, an agreement between the District and the Lyndonville School in the Northeast Kingdom. He noted a student who lives in this district is enrolled there. A discussion ensued on the circumstances, and that the District is not paying this student’s tuition; rather, it is a funds-transfer. DS noted the District receives some administrative funds for doing this. Deb noted this is consistent with the issue of parent choice in education.
MOTION BY SM THAT THE WSESD BOARD APPROVE THE NEW PRE-KINDERGARTEN PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT AS PRESENTED. LA SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
MOTION BY SM TO ENTER INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION UNDER 1 V.S.A. § 313 (a)(7) TO DISCUSS A STUDENT MATTER. TN SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
The Board invited Superintendent Andy Skarzynski into Executive Session.
The Board entered into Executive Session at 8:59pm.
The Board rose from Executive Session at 9:16pm.
MOTION BY SM TO ACCEPT THE ADMINISTRATION’S RECOMMENDATIONS AS PRESENTED. AB SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
IX. PUBLIC COMMENT ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS
There was none.
MOTION BY AB TO ADJOURN. LA SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:17pm.
Respectfully 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.