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, June 8, 2021 via Zoom.
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Meeting ID: 994 3243 2765
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Meeting ID: 994 3243 2765
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I. CALL TO ORDER – 6:00 p.m. – David Schoales, Board Chair
III. CONSENT AGENDA
• CLERK’S REPORT – Approval of Minutes – May 25, 2021
Warrants of May 10, 2021
Warrant No, 1329 in the amount of $ 2,325.00
Warrant No. 1330 in the amount of 13,925.00
Warrant No. 1331 in the amount of 1,468.02
Warrant No. 1332 in the amount of 16,513.87
Warrant No. 1333 in the amount of 121.50
Warrant No. 1337 in the amount of 32,325.24
Warrant No. 1338 in the amount of 24,132.00
Warrant No. 1339 in the amount of 1,153.64
Warrant No. 1340 in the amount of 96,421.25
Warrants of May 17, 2021
Warrant No. 1342 in the amount of $ 6,000.00
Warrant No. 1343 in the amount of 26,901.82
Warrant No. 1344 in the amount of 805.00
Warrant No. 1345 in the amount of 7,884.76
Warrant No. 1346 in the amount of 36,087.93
Warrant No. 1347 in the amount of 10,968.83
Warrant No. 1348 in the amount of 138,670.84
Warrants of May 24, 2021
Warrant No. 1349 in the amount of $710.00
Warrant No. 1350 in the amount of 24,375.00
Warrant No. 1355 in the amount of 48,184.67
Warrant No. 1356 in the amount of 5,394.76
Warrant No. 1357 in the amount of 128,986.47
May 7, 2021 $1,253,536.06
May 21, 2021 $1,451,385.85
• NEW HIRES
Linda Alvarez – WRCC, Business Education
Kimberly Edgar – BUHS, School Nurse
Torin Riddle – Putney Central School, Middle School Social Studies
Nicole Thomas – Dummerston School, School Counselor
IV. Public Comment on Non-agenda Items (10 minutes)
V. ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT
• Update on Community Conversations Around the School Resource Officer
• ESSER Update – Plan for Getting Public Comments
VI. FISCAL REPORT
VII. COMMITTEE REPORTS
• Leadership Council Reports
o Leadership Council Appointments – Board Approval
• 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
A. Board Consideration of Progress and Challenges After the First Year of
Leadership Councils, and Adjustments Going Forward
B. Leadership Council Summit Planning
C. Policy Review:
• C6 – Board/Superintendent Relationship – Additional Reading
IX. NEW BUSINESS, if any
A. Board Approval of Recommended Pre-Qualified Bidders – Action Needed
B. Ellen P. Darrow Scholarship – Action Needed
C. Set Summer Meeting Schedule
D. Authorization for the WSESD Finance Committee to Approve Warrants and
Payrolls During the Summer Months
E. Authorization for the WSESD Personnel Committee to Make Hiring Decisions
During the Summer Months
F. Planning EES Training
G. Structural Adjustments to Reduce the Length of Meetings
H. Using Hybrid In-Person/Zoom Format for FY 22 Meetings
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, MAY 25, 2021
REGULAR BOARD MEETING – 6:00PM
WSESD Board Members Present:
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.
DS announced that day was the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd.
DS announced the Vermont Legislature unanimously approved a bill to establish a legislative task force to address the Fair Weighting system. Over the summer, the Legislature will draft legislation, which will then go to Governor Phil Scott for his signature. This bill includes a one-year suspension of the excess spending penalty, and the WSESD School Board supported this.
DS introduced Richard Mills from Dummerston, who is a member of the BUHS Leadership Council.
He spoke about the 2021 Senior Night celebration, which will occur on June 12 at Natowich Field.
This event replaces the Junior Prom. He asked for donations and volunteer help. MG offered to send an alert from the Communications Council.
III. CONSENT AGENDA
– Clerk’s Report – Approval of Minutes for May 11, 2021
Elyse Wadsworth, BUHS Choral Director
Alessandra Chardon, BAMS World Language
Karyn Tyler, Guilford, transition from a 1.0 position to a .5 position.
– New Hires:
Nathan Blunk, BUHS English
Christopher Hodsden, WRCC Math
Martha Lamb, Green Street School Academic Support
Hannah Lindner-Finlay, Dummerston School Kindergarten
Aaron Walsh, Putney Central School Grade 4
Johanna Wells, Guilford Central School .60 fte Physical Education
MOTION BY AB TO APPROVE THE CONSENT AGENDA AS PRESENTED. TN SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
IV. PUBLIC COMMENT ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS
V. ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT
– Presentation: Academy School
Principal Kelly Dias and members of her staff presented a slide show, “Wellness at School: 2020- 2021.” Highlights included:
• The focus on wellness, particularly due to COVID.
• The wellness team and who is part of it.
• Projects relating to family engagement, donations, and food programs.
• The school’s certified therapy dog, Soxy, and how Soxy interacts with students and teachers.
• Social-emotional work, and what it means in this context.
• Play-based therapy and services.
• Restorative justice at Academy School and its benefits.
• Outdoor education and project-based learning.
• The farm-to-school and garden projects.
• Activities for all seasons.
• Students’ statements about what they love about Academy School.
– Presentation: Putney Central School
Principal Herve Pelletier presented a video about the 2020-2021 school year. Highlights included:
• Challenges and opportunities.
• The food program.
• Behavioral supports.
• Interviews with teachers, staff, and students.
Bethany Ranquist asked about expanding access to outdoor learning facilities to students from schools without robust outdoor facilities.
– Recovery Plan: Progress To-Date and Requirement for Public Engagement
Deb Kardane and Paul Smith presented a slide-show and spoke about federal COVID support for schools. Highlights included:
• CRF and ESSER funds and their purpose.
• The recovery plan.
• Recent progress on the recovery plan.
• Lessons learned about the staff’s resilience.
• What’s next.
• The planning process.
• The state’s request for areas of focus.
• Needs-based planning.
• Professional development.
• Summer and afterschool programming.
• Mental health and social-emotional supports.
• The reopening plan.
• The ARP ESSER LEA plan.
• Which groups must be contacted for input, re “Meaningful Consultation.”
A discussion ensued, led by TM, on including Leadership Council chairs in the “Meaningful Consultation” plan.
A discussion ensued, led by TM, on the structure of high school—specifically, semesters—in the recovery plan.
Cassandra Holloway of Building a Positive Community made suggestions for other community partnerships for the recovery plan.
A discussion ensued, led by MG, on possible restrictions and guidance for site-based support and investment equity.
DS posed the question: What is the Board’s responsibility with the recovery plan? How will public engagement be enhanced? DS said he would like to see a plan, and other members of the Board agreed.
TM noted the Climate Crisis Task Force discussed, and agreed, that the Board should plan for the next crisis.
DS asked Deb Kardane and Paul Smith to return to the June 22 Board meeting, which is just before the plan’s deadline, with an update.
Deb said she and Paul want continued feedback and dialogue throughout the year.
VI. FISCAL REPORT
– FY21 General and Reserve Unencumbered Balances
Frank Rucker shared a document showing the Year-to-Date Fiscal Year 2021 General Ledger. He reviewed some highlights, including the budget balance as the FY comes to a close.
Frank shared his opinion that the District will have a favorable fiscal year-end, likely with a surplus.
He said he will recommend a transfer to the Capital Reserve Fund at a later meeting. He noted this is a regular Board function, and many capital improvements will be needed in the next four or five years.
Frank reviewed the current Capital Fund balance. He said he is awaiting approval from the Agency of Education on the Academy Project, and this is a requirement for receiving federal grant funding. – COVID Expenditures and Balances
Frank reviewed the FY21 and FY22 COVID grant summary, including figures, and some items it has funded and will fund.
Frank reviewed segments of the WSESD Purchasing Manual, specifically the federal funding requirements, for which there are 70 pages of rules, with which the District must comply. He noted this manual is on the WSESU website, and anyone can access it.
VII. COMMITTEE REPORTS
DS recommended the Board set aside a substantial portion of the June 8 meeting to discuss Leadership Council matters. He reminded attendees Leadership Councils were only established in November 2019, so this is all new for everyone. He requested interested parties email him with their ideas.
A discussion ensued on when new Leadership Council members may begin their terms, when terms begin and end, and if they can start before the Board approves them. DS noted that because the entire structure is new, he has no guidance.
A discussion ensued on Leadership Council development, and their relationship to the Board. MG advocated for increasing involvement and welcoming people who want to participate.
MOTION BY TM TO APPROVE NEW MEMBERS OF THE LEADERSHIP COUNCILS AS SUBMITTED BY BARB NOWAKOWSKI THIS AFTERNOON. LA SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
GUILFORD LEADERSHIP COUNCIL – SM reported they met on May 14. They discussed the recent school award and report, standardized tests, and the end-of-the-year activities.
CLIMATE CRISIS TASK FORCE – TN reported they met on May 24. They discussed the future of the task force.
SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE – TN announced they are meeting on May 26.
EARLY EDUCATION POLICY COUNCIL – LA reported they met on May 20. They discussed their contracts for upgrades to the ventilation systems for both floors of the school on Birge Street. LA noted there is quite a bit of federal money left, and they are figuring out if they can roll it over to next year.
VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
A. Policy Adoption
– D1 – Personnel Recruitment, Selection, Appointment, and Record Checks
– E14 – Environmental Awareness and Responsibility
MOTION BY SM TO ADOPT POLICY D1 AND E14. MG SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
B. New Positions
– Flexible Pathways Coordinator
– Student Engagement Coordinator
BUHS Principal Steve Perrin spoke about the process and history of identifying the students’ needs and
how they led to creating these new positions. He explained the ethos behind these positions: to be proactive, not reactive, and to work one-on-one with students and their families who may be struggling. He provided details on the positions’ schedules, structure, and how the worker and the program will be evaluated.
MOTION BY SM THAT THE WSESD BOARD APPROVE TWO POSITIONS FOR BUHS: THE FLEXIBLE PATHWAYS COORDINATOR AND THE STUDENT ENGAGEMENT COORDINATOR. AB SECONDED.
A discussion ensued.
MG noted these positions replace the SRO, and a larger conversation is warranted to respond to the concerns of some families. Steve corrected this assertion: these positions do not replace the SRO or the Dean of Students. Instead, these new positions support the school’s philosophical shift from punitive responses, to helping students with self-regulation, especially students with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).
A discussion ensued, led by LA, about plans for students returning to school who are challenged by a full in-school return. Steve responded: the Flexible Pathways Coordinator will help with that. He noted some students may not have the academic stamina for an immediate full-return, and it will require a one-on-one process, with the help of counselors.
VOTE ON THE BUHS TWO NEW POSITIONS MOTION: MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
IX. NEW BUSINESS
A. Policy Review
– C6 – Board/Superintendent Relationship – 1st Reading
DS noted the Board will consider it for approval at the next meeting. DS explained the policy change and shared a document detailing the new information. He reviewed its relationship to the recovery plan’s outreach for public comment.
MOTION BY SM TO ENTER INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION UNDER 1 V.S.A. § 313 (a)(7) TO DISCUSS A STUDENT MATTER. TM SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
The Board invited Superintendent Andy Skarzynski to join them in Executive Session.
The Board entered Executive Session at 9:58pm.
The Board rose from Executive Session at 10:27pm.
MOTION BY MG TO ACCEPT THE SUPERINTENDENT’S RECOMMENDATION. EMK SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
MOTION BY AB TO ADJOURN. LA SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:28pm.
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.