53 Green Street
Brattleboro, VT 05301
NOTICE OF BOARD MEETING
The Windham Southeast School District Board will meet at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday,
May 3, 2022 in the WRCC Cusick Conference Room and remotely via Zoom.
Meeting ID: 828 3845 1714
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Meeting ID: 828 3845 1714
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I. CALL TO ORDER – 6:00 p.m. – Kelly Young, Board Chair
II. CONSENT AGENDA
• CLERK’S REPORT – Approval of Minutes – April 12
III. Recognition of Ali West, 2022 Recipient of Vermont Nutrition Association’s School Nutrition Outstanding Achievement Award (presented at the 4/13/2022 WSESU Board Meeting)
IV. Public Comment on Non-agenda Items (10 minutes)
V. Unfinished Business
A. Sexual Abuse Investigation Update – Outreach and Education
B. Update on BUHS School Climate Surveys
C. SRO (School Resource Office) and Task Force Proposal
VI. Committee Assignments
VII. Administrative Report
• Resignations / Hiring
VIII. Fiscal Report
IX. New Business
A. EES Head Start/Early Head Start Application for COLA and Quality Improvement Funds – Action Needed
B. Motion to award the BUHS HVAC Mechanical Systems replacement project Bid to BG Mechanical in the amount of $473,860, as authorized by the WSESD Board-approved capital plan.
C. Motion to award the BUHS HVAC Controls System replacement project bid to Control Technologies, Inc., in the amount of $603,284, as authorized by the WSESD Board-approved capital plan.
D. Motion to approve implementing upgrades to creating a living school yard at the Oak Grove School to facilitate independent, exploratory learning. Improvements include building a pathway for accessibility, edible and fragrant vegetation, and organic interactive play spaces. Students will also have the ability to plant and maintain their own plants. $15,000 in ARP ESSER funds are expected to cover the cost.
E. Authorization for the WSESD Personnel Committee to approve hiring recommendations on behalf of the Board from this meeting forward through the
end of the summer – 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 12, 2022
REGULAR BOARD MEETING – 6:00PM
HYBRID MEETING: WRCC CUSICK CONFERENCE ROOM & REMOTELY VIA ZOOM
WSESD Board Members Present: Chairperson Kelly Young (KY), Liz Adams (LA), Anne Beekman
(AB), Lana Dever (LD), Michelle Green (MG), Tim Maciel (TM), Shaun Murphy (SM), David
Schoales (DSC), Deborah Stanford (DST).
WSESD Board Members Absent: Emily Murphy Kaur
WSESU & WSESD Administrators Present: Interim Superintendent Mark Speno, Business
Administrator Frank Rucker, BUHS Principal Steve Perrin, Oak Grove School Principal Mary
Kauffman, BAMS Principal Keith Lyman, WRCC Director Nancy Wiese, Guilford Central School
Principal John Gagnon, Green Street School Interim Principal Kate Margaitis, Dummerston School
Principal Julianne Eagan, BUHS Assistant Principal Chris Day.
Media Present: Chris Mays
Others Present: Jaime Contois, Mindy Haskins Rogers, Mike Szostak, Mikaela Simms, Nakia Adams,
Lyndall Boal, Kaiya Colby, Lucy Corbin, Robin Macy, Liana Moskowitz, Anna Mullany, Imani
Namutebi, Z’Aira Pacheco-Wright, Winston Sailsman, Habame Scholz-Karabakakis, Henry Zacchini,
Amanda Rodriquez, Jeffrey Kendrick, Ricky Davidson, Bethany Rahnquist, Jody Normandeau, Ruby
Please note: this attendance may be incomplete.
I. CALL TO ORDER
Chair KY called the meeting to order at 6:02pm.
II. SRO REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION – POWERPOINT PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION
• Mikaela Simms introduced the presentation and provided some background. Highlights included:
• The history of the project leading to the report.
• This started with Youth4Change.
• The report is based on the lived experiences of the people most affected.
• It’s more of a qualitative, rather than a quantitative, study.
• A reminder that equity isn’t just about what the majority wants.
• The students really did the work on this project.
Mike Szostak spoke about the SRO Task Force. Highlights included:
• How it was organized.
• What the subcommittees were, how they did their work, and what they studied.
• A note that this is all in the report’s Executive Summary.
• The study found that BUHS has an effective safety staff.
• The task force has four recommendations:
◦ This continue without an SRO.
◦ BUHS establish or explore establishing a liaison officer from the Brattleboro Police Department or the Windham County Sheriff Department. This person should be skilled at working with young people, and will come on campus when needed.
◦ More emphasis on a more inclusive school atmosphere.
◦ Build school-wide systems for accountability and repair to address systemic biases, and place more emphasis on mental health supports.
• The task force’s work and findings are mostly a result of the students’ work.
• The subcommittees.
• The work the subcommittees did.
• Who and what was included in the focus groups.
• That SROs were not specifically mentioned in the questions, and SROs were only mentioned if a participant in the focus group brought it up.
• A number of themes emerged in the focus groups.
• Students’ experiences with the administration and disparities in how discipline is administered among different groups.
• Students’ experiences with power dynamics in school.
• Students’ experiences with each other.
• Inclusion / diversity / justice issues.
• Supports, or lack thereof.
• COVID issues.
TM thanked and commended the SRO study committee, and Mikaela, and praised their excellent research and reporting methods. He indicated support for their recommendations, and said the Board must closely monitor the BUHS environment and work to improve it. He noted this work is not just the responsibility of a few people; it’s for everyone to do.
A lengthy discussion ensued with students, Board members, school staff, school administrators, and community members participating. Highlights include:
• Challenges staff have with bathroom patrols.
• The legal implications of reporting the results of bullying / harassment / and hazing complaints.
• The leadership qualities exhibited by the students who presented on the study.
• The relevance of this report to the sexual abuse allegations.
• This group performed valuable and rare work: they got teenagers to open up and speak their minds.
• The study’s findings should not be seen as opinions the presenters generated; these findings came from their community, they came from student focus groups.
• The experience of being a dual-language student.
• These students did graduate-level work.
• BUHS Principal Steve Perrin expressed disappointment that no administrators, school counselors, or school safety personnel were involved in the project. He refuted some of the report’s findings. He recommended the students join the various school groups to improve the school culture.
• SM commended the students on their work. He dissented from Steve Perrin’s suggestion that they join a group, and noted they have already formed a group.
• DST expressed her disappointment that the students had to reiterate that these were not their opinions and were study results, and that the administration responded so quickly in defensiveness, instead of simply listening.
• Henry Zacchini disputed the statement that the administration was not involved in this study; he said he was on the committee and administrators were at some of the early meetings.
• Nancy Wiese said she is offended by some of the Board members’ comments, and she does not believe Board members support administrators. She said she is being marginalized, and that school administrators have difficult jobs. She said current school staff cannot be held accountable for Mr. Hecker’s actions from decades ago.
• Anna Mullany, who facilitated the committee, spoke about how people not in power are often not believed by people who are in power. She noted that, regarding the SRO, it’s important to consider other research and writing on this issue, which is in the report, and that BUHS is not unique in these issues.
• Liana Moskowitz spoke about the difference between listening to students and being marginalized.
• MG wants the Board to request the Climate Survey responses, data, and what the administration is doing with this, from the administration.
• A recommendation for more regular meetings between Board members and each school’s community.
MOTION BY LD THAT THE SCHOOL BOARD ACCEPT THE PROPOSAL AS OUTLINED IN THE CALL FOR STUDENT REPRESENTATIVES IN THE WSESD SCHOOL BOARD DOCUMENT ATTACHED TO TODAY’S AGENDA THAT ENABLES US TO OFFER A ONE- YEAR POSITION TO TWO STUDENTS WHO ARE EITHER FULL-TIME RISING SOPHOMORES OR JUNIORS LIVING IN THE WSESD, AND IN THIS VENTURE WE LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH THE BUHS ADMINISTRATION AS WE IMPLEMENT THIS INITIATIVE. SM SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
MG thanked the Board members who worked on this.
LA encouraged all students to come to Board meetings.
A discussion ensued on why the Board specified its parameters for which students can join the Board.
KY called for a meeting break from 7:21pm to 7:26pm.
IV. CONSENT AGENDA
– CLERK’S REPORT –
Approval of Minutes – December 14, January 25, March 15 (all pending), March 22, March 29, April 5
MOTION BY MG TO APPROVE THE MINUTES AS AMENDED. LA SECONDED.
Discussion: DST said the March 29 minutes were not consistent in identifying whether it was she, or DSC, spoke at the meeting. TM said he will correct those minutes.
VOTE ON THE MG MOTION: MOTION WAS APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY.
Warrants of March 21, 2022
Warrant No. 1274 in the amount of $ 279.00
Warrant No. 1275 in the amount of 12,595.00
Warrant No. 1276 in the amount of 136,777.00
Warrant No. 1277 in the amount of 2,642.36
Warrant No. 1278 in the amount of 129,426.22
Warrant No. 1281 in the amount of $ 20,563.35
Warrant No. 1286 in the amount of 6,000.00
Warrant No. 1287 in the amount of 4,042.20
Warrant No. 1288 in the amount of 830.50
Warrant No. 1289 in the amount of 49,904.67
Warrant No. 1291 in the amount of $ 1,880.49
Warrant No. 1292 in the amount of 264,813.83
Warrant No. 1293 in the amount of 3,100.10
Warrant No. 1294 in the amount of 29,808.32
Warrant No. 1295 in the amount of 8,362.75
Warrant No. 1296 in the amount of 2,872.92
Warrant No. 1297 in the amount of 902,733.94
MOTION BY DSC TO APPROVE THE WARRANTS. LD SECONDED.
Discussion: SM noted the Finance Committee reviewed these warrants at their meeting.
VOTE ON THE DSC MOTION: MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
March 25, 2022 $1,453,618.17
MOTION BY LD TO APPROVE THE PAYROLLS. DST SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
V. PUBLIC COMMENT ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS
Jody Normandeau of Dummerston had two comments:
1. She alerted interested parties about the weighting study happening in the Legislature. She invited everyone to contact their representatives.
2. She asked for the Finance Committee meetings to be filmed. She made a recommendation that every town in the WSESD have a representative on the Finance Committee. KY responded: That afternoon’s Finance Committee meeting was recorded to allow the Board Recorder to do her job, and Frank Rucker has it; she will look into recording all Finance Committee meetings. And, the next meeting’s agenda should include the weighting study; at the Finance Committee meeting, two WSESD Legislative Representatives were at that meeting to discuss the study. Bethany Rahnquist said she is concerned about the two-minute limit on each person making public comments. She asked if when the Board responses, it takes away time from other participants.
• The Board has not met with the investigator since the last Board meeting.
• Progress continues on the outreach plan.
• There will be more updates soon.
VII. COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS
DSC noted the late hour and recommended this item be tabled.
KY disagreed, and asked for one more attempt to fill vacancies, especially in the Personnel Committee.
DSC took nominations from Board members who want to be part of the Personnel Committee.
AB nominated herself.
LA nominated herself.
KY nominated herself to remain on the Personnel Committee.
DSC reviewed the Personnel Committee’s tasks, including over the summer.
MOTION BY DSC TO APPROVE ANNE BEEKMAN, LIZ ADAMS, AND KELLY YOUNG TO THE PERSONNEL COMMITTEE. MG SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
VIII. ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT
– Resignations / Hiring
Mark Speno noted the WSESD has 65 openings, and the candidate pools are shallow.
Mark announced the resignations:
• Emily McIntire Green Street School Music Teacher
• Adam Altshuler Green Street School Physical Education Teacher
• Megan Altshuler Green Street School Grade 4 Teacher
• Mary Beth Brain Putney Central School Grade 6-8 Math
• Molly Sauvain Green Street School Grade 5 Teacher
MOTION BY TM TO ACCEPT, WITH REGRET, THE FIVE RESIGNATIONS AS PRESENTED. LD SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Mark announced the new hires:
• Megan Altshuler Dummerston School Academic Support
• Matthew Betz BUHS Instructional Coach
• Orlando Alvarez WRCC Criminal Justice
• Taylor Chase BUHS Spanish
• Nancy Kowalski Oak Grove Academic Support
• Michele Nelson BUHS Academic Support
• Meghan Rink Guilford Central School School Nurse
• Molly Sauvain Guilford Central School Academic Support
• Leanne Souksanh Guilford Central School School Social Worker
• Jennifer Tallini BUHS Family & Consumer Science
• Ruth Venman-Clay Guilford Central School Grade 3 Teacher
MOTION BY MG TO EXTEND THE MEETING BY 10 MINUTES. TM SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
A. Plan to Address High-Risk Students / Families at High Risk
A. EXECUTIVE SESSION – 1 V.S.A. §313(a)(1)(A) Contracts
MOTION BY KY TO ENTER INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION AS STATED, UNDER 1 V.S.A. §313(a)(1)(A) CONTRACTS. DSC SECONDED. KY ADDED A FRIENDLY AMENDMENT TO HER MOTION TO INVITE FRANK RUCKER AND MARK SPENO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION. DSC ACCEPTED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
The Board entered into Executive Session at 8:30pm.
The Board rose from Executive Session 9:13pm.
MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
The Board entered into Executive Session at 9:18pm.
The Board rose from Executive Session at 9:48pm.
The Board took no action.
This represents my understanding of the above dated meeting. If you have any changes, please submit at the next meeting.