WINDHAM SOUTHEAST SCHOOL DISTRICT
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 17, 2022 in the WRCC Cusick Conference Room and remotely via Zoom.
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Meeting ID: 832 6869 5884
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Meeting ID: 832 6869 5884
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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 – May 3 and May 10
III. Pupil Weighting – Emilie Kornheiser
IV. Coalition for Vermont Student Equity
V. Public Comment on Non-agenda Items (10 minutes)
VI. Unfinished Business
A. Sexual Abuse Investigation Update
VII. Committee Assignments
VIII. Administrative Report
IX. Fiscal Report
X. New Business
A. Act 250 School Impact Questionnaire
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 3, 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), Emily Murphy Kaur (EMK), Deborah Stanford (DST).
WSESD Board Members Absent: David Schoales
WSESUWSESD Administrators Present: Interim Superintendent Mark Speno, BUHS Assistant Principal Chris Day, Oak Grove School Principal Mary Kaufman, WRCC Director Nancy Wiese, Guilford Central School Principal John Gagnon, Green Street School Interim Principal Kate Margaitis, Dummerston School Principal Julianne Eagan, EES Director Deb Gass.
Others Present: Wendy M. Levy (Board Recorder), Mindy Haskins Rogers, Mike Szostak, Paul Smith,
Mikaela Simms, Lisa Ford, Jody Normandeau, Kaila Colby, Lynda Boal, Bethany Ranquist.
Please note: this attendance may be incomplete.
I. CALL TO ORDER
Chair KY called the meeting to order at 6:01pm.
II. CONSENT AGENDA
– CLERK’S REPORT –
Approval of Minutes – April 12
MOTION BY TM TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF APRIL 12. DST SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
III. RECOGNITION OF ALI WEST
Interim Superintendent Mark Speno spoke in high regard of Ali West.
MG spoke about Ali’s nomination—and win—of the 2022 Vermont Nutrition Association’s School Nutrition Outstanding Achievement Award, which was presented at the April 13, 2022 WSESU Board meeting. MG noted that Ali easily won, and MG praised Ali for her quick work establishing a meal- delivery program during lockdown. MG also reported Ali developed an influential trauma-informed series of cafeteria practices.
KY read a statement about the procedures, and potential technological limitations, of conducting hybrid meetings and how Open Meeting Law addresses this.
KY reported she, Mark Speno, and other Board members participated in Board trainings.
KY read the parameters of public comments on non-agenda items, and how and when the Board will respond to public comments.
IV. PUBLIC COMMENT ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS
Lisa Ford of Guilford said she attended a recent Guilford Leadership Council meeting and was alarmed by the behavior of a Board member there. KY asked Lisa to email her and to follow protocols for reporting complaints to supervisors.
Jody Normandeau of Dummerston spoke in favor of recording committee meetings and putting them on the website. A discussion ensued about the technological challenges, and possible ADA-compliance issues, with this request. Mark noted the administration is preparing to send out an rfp soon to develop a new website. A discussion ensued about the Board’s participation in this process.
Mindy Haskins Rogers of Northampton, Massachusetts, asked why BUHS Principal Steve Perrin is on leave. KY said she cannot comment because it is not a Board action. Mark Speno said he will not comment on personnel matters.
V. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
A. Sexual Abuse Investigation Update – Outreach and Education
KY reported the investigator is continuing to work with the consultant on any information received from the public. The Board is putting distance between itself and the investigator to avoid a conflict of interest.
MG spoke about outreach and education improvements from the investigators.
Mindy Haskins Rogers asked for clarification of Dr. Overtree’s role in the investigation. KY responded: Dr. Overtree works for the Board. A discussion ensued on Dr. Overtree’s role, why he is included in Executive Sessions, and whether he and the Board receives reporting information and what it does, and does not, include.
B. Update on BUHS School Climate Surveys
TM noted the Board received the report two hours before the meeting started, which did not give them enough time to review it. He would like further discussion at a future Board meeting.
Mark Speno presented on the surveys. Highlights included:
• The administration has been conducting climate surveys of students for 15 years.
• Last year they implemented a pilot survey using Panorama.
• In a few weeks they will have results from the spring surveys.
These are the fall results.
• This timeline is true for BUHS and all other schools in the district.
Paul Smith presented on the WSESU overview. He shared a document, “Panorama Climate Survey— Fall 2021.” Highlights included:
• The timing.
• Demographic data.
• Categories of survey questions.
• The “national norm pool” for comparisons.
• The results of questions, and how they compare to national norms.
• Measuring students’ experiences in school.
• Data on when students’ attachment to school wanes.
• That this survey was done in October, 2021, which was a challenging time for students.
• Trends here versus national averages.
Kaila Colby of Brattleboro asked about the collection methods for the BUHS results. BUHS Assistant Principal Chris Day responded: the responses were collected during advisory meetings. He noted 748 students in Grades 6 through 12 responded.
Chris spoke about what the BUHS administration did with the survey data. Highlights included:
• September and October of 2021 was a tough time for BUHS.
• Some improvement ideas that came from students’ comments.
• Committees’ and groups’ activities.
• Staff action steps in response to students’ survey responses.
• Communications with families.
• How the administration does and does not use the data.
• The goal is to be more proactive, and use the data points as benchmarks to assess progress.
DST asked about the drop-out rate at BUHS. A discussion ensued on measuring this, and a comparison between state and BUHS data. Paul Smith responded: approximately 15-20% of BUHS students are not graduating.
DST asked about the SRO report; specifically, how are students on the hiring committee selected?
Chris responded: there is no process. He gave some examples of student participation in hiring.
Lynda Boal of Brookline said she was representing the NAACP, and she spoke in support of Chris Day and his work.
EMK spoke about the survey and its relationship to the recovery plan.
A discussion ensued on the process of the surveys, the data, what the administration does with it, how it relates to the recovery plan, specific goals for each school, and how they are identified.
TM said he was surprised it took so long to receive this data because the Board requested it—and student retention data—a long time ago. He noted this is the Board’s work, too, and these results can affect resource allocation. He expressed support for what Chris is doing with the survey data.
MG asked how Panorama compares with other survey programs. A discussion ensued. Paul Smith said he likes Panorama for its data information design aspects. Guilford Central School Principal John Gagnon said he likes Panorama for its twice-yearly surveys, and how the action steps and benchmarks come from it.
TM spoke about the need for more restorative justice and less punitive methods.
Bethany Ranquist of Brattleboro spoke about emailing the Board, the effectiveness of whether and where the survey data is available to the public, menstrual products and gender inclusivity of their distribution, parent surveys, the BUHS Principal leave-of-absence and support for students around that, student safety, and staff changes in Special Education. KY noted the survey results are attached to this meeting’s agenda on the WSESD website.
A discussion ensued on parent surveys, menstrual products and gender inclusivity of their distribution, an update on the Special Education hiring, and best practices for emailing the Board.
C. SRO (School Resource Officer) and Task Force Proposal
TM gave some background: the Task Force met for the last eight months and recently gave their report.
MOTION BY TM THAT THE SUPERINTENDENT’S OFFICE, IN COLLABORATION WITH THE BUHS ADMINISTRATION, CREATE A PLAN TO IMPLEMENT THE RECOMMENDATIONS BASED ON THE SRO TASK FORCE REPORT. IN ADDITION, TM MOVES THAT THE SUPERINTENDENT REPORT BACK ON THE STATUS OF THIS PLAN AT THE NEXT BOARD MEETING. LD SECONDED.
A lengthy discussion ensued. Highlights included:
• WRCC Director Nancy Wiese and Deb Kardane disagreed with making a decision using only the SRO Task Force report; they questioned the adequacy of its data.
• Mark and Chris requested more time.
• Members of the Board, the WSESD staff, and the public spoke in support of implementing the report and its recommendations.
MOTION BY KY TO EXTEND THE BOARD MEETING BY 15 MINUTES. MG SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
SM CALLED THE QUESTION AND REQUESTED A ROLL-CALL VOTE.
DST requested TM re-read his motion, which he did.
ROLL CALL VOTE ON TM MOTION:
MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
VI. COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS
Tabled by the Chair.
VII. ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT
– Resignations / Hiring
• Tessa Carpenter – Guilford Central School – Art
• Sean Clarke – BUHS – Math
• Mary Harvey-Bandish – Dummerston – Instrumental Music
• Shelley Wilson – WSESU – Special Education Director
MG noted that although Shelley Wilson is on the list, her resignation will be discussed at the May 4 WSESU Board meeting.
MOTION BY AB TO APPROVE THE OTHER THREE RESIGNATIONS WITH REGRET. MG SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Mark announced the new hires:
• Sean Clarke – BUHS – Academic Support
• Emma Cudney – Green Street – Grade 5
• Kathryn Haseltine – Green Street Putney Central – Grade 5
• Ashlee Lutz – BUHS – Counselor
• Erica Valente – Green Street – Phys. Ed.
• Hannah Wilson – Guilford Central – Grade 5
Green Street School Interim Principal Kate Margaitis noted Kathryn Haseltine is not a Green Street School hire.
MOTION BY AB TO ACCEPT THE HIRING RECOMMENDATIONS MAKE BY THE ADMINISTRATION. DST SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Mark noted that, although Chris Day planned to leave in May for the National Guard, he will remain at BUHS until graduations because he made arrangements to do so. AB thanked Chris.
VIII. FISCAL REPORT
Frank Rucker was absent, so there was no report.
IX. NEW BUSINESS
B. BUHS HVAC Mechanical Systems
MOTION BY SM 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. DST SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
C. BUHS HVAC Controls System
MOTION BY SM 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. AB SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
D. Oak Grove School Living School Yard
MOTION BY SM 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. TM SECONDED.
A discussion ensued. TM commended Oak Grove School Principal Mary Kauffman and Oak Grove parent Tara Davis for their work on this project.
VOTE ON THE SM MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
A. EES Head Start/Early Head Start Application for COLA and Quality Improvement Funds
MOTION BY LA TO APPROVE THE EES HEAD START/EARLY HEAD START SALARY INCREASE. SM SECONDED.
A discussion ensued on matching the increase for non-EES staff.
VOTE ON THE LA MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
E. WSESD Personnel Committee
MOTION BY KY TO AUTHORIZE THE WSESD PERSONNEL COMMITTEE TO APPROVE HIRING RECOMMENDATIONS ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD FROM THIS MEETING FORWARD THROUGH THE END OF THE SUMMER. MG SECONDED.
MG requested a discussion. KY explained the reason for this motion: it will facilitate summer-time hirings when Board participation may wane because of vacations.
VOTE ON THE KY MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
MOTION BY AB TO ADJOURN. MG SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:18pm.
• “Panorama Climate Survey—Fall 2021.”
• “Monthly Report for WSESD School Board.”
Respectfully submitted by Wendy M. Levy from minutes taken by Wendy M. Levy.