WSESU Board Meeting Minutes Nov 29, 2023

Windham Southeast Supervisory Union School Board
Minutes — November 29, 2023
Directors present: Anne Beekman, Kerry Amidon, Tim Maciel, Deborah Stanford
Via Zoom: Kelly Young
Mark Speno, Frank Rucker, Paul Smith, Brin Tucker
(List of Zoom attendees as of 6:15 at the end of the minutes)

CALL TO ORDER—6:03 p.m. – Anne Beekman, Chair

On a motion by the chair the board voted to amend the agenda to include retirements.

On a motion by Deborah Stanford the board moved to approve the minutes of November 8, 2023.

Mark announced the upcoming retirements of Sue Mitchell, a Special Education para at BAMS, and Paul Smith, the WSESU Curriculum Coordinator.

On a motion by Kelly Young, the board voted to accept the retirements with sincerest and heartfelt regret.

Mark presented a draft of an approach for moving forward in the Curriculum & Instruction area given Paul’s retirement. The distributed proposal will be discussed further at the next meeting.

FINANCE – Frank distributed the anticipated budget for Administration & Supportive instruction as well as the Grants proposal.

In his fiscal overview it was noted that increased staffing amounts to the following:
PreK Coordinator (was ESSER funded) .8 position
(Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds)
DEI coordinator (was ESSER funded) full time
Facilities Director (was ESSER funded) full time English Language Learner (for increased student needs)

As has been previously noted our Grants programs are anticipating a $3.8 million reduction due to the end of ESSER funding.

Frank reminded the board of the previously determined budget schedule which includes next Wednesday (12/6) Special Education and food service and updates on other revenue sources (12/13). A final vote of the SU board on our budget is anticipated on Wednesday, December 20th.

(NOTE: The vote, if taken, will be held at 5 PM on Wednesday, December 20th, to accommodate a WSESD meeting.)

On a motion by Anne Beekman, the board voted to approve the following warrants and payroll Warrants of November 8, 2023

Warrant No. 1080 in the amount of $ 1,911.03
Warrant No. 1081 in the amount of $ 12,030.57
Warrant No. 1085 in the amount of $ 1,660.00
Warrant No. 1086 in the amount of $ 2,059.33
Warrant No. 1087 in the amount of $ 1,517.74
Warrant No. 1088 in the amount of $ 394,149.80
Total Accounts Payable $ 413,328.47
Payroll – November 3, 2023 $ 599,668.95

Warrants of November 22, 2023
Warrant No. 1089 in the amount of $ 2,343.40
Warrant No. 1090 in the amount of $ 58,541.99
Warrant No. 1095 in the amount of $ 8,317.20
Warrant No. 1098 in the amount of $ 260.15
Warrant No. 1099 in the amount of $ 2,713.05
Warrant No. 1100 in the amount of $ 680,050.22
Total Accounts Payable $ 752,226.01
Payroll – November 17, 2023 $ 601,175.21


INSURANCE COVERAGE UPDATE – Frank Rucker updated the board on recent developments with the SU’s insurance coverage. Our current provider was looking to end our coverage (property, liability, workers’ compensation and auto) as of December 1st due to changes in the risk environment. After further discussion the offer was made on their end to continue coverage with a 40% increase in premiums. Frank reached out to the Vermont School Board Insurance Trust (VSBIT) which agreed to take on our coverage off-cycle and continue all lines of coverage at a better price. Frank has worked with many in this group before and is confident that we are in good hands and with a stable entity.

FOOD SERVICES – Mark updated the board on the recent feedback that has been relayed to staff and board members around the cafeteria services provided by Fresh Picks. Mark reached out prior to the Thanksgiving holiday to arrange a meeting and that was held yesterday. At the meeting Mark, Frank, Susan Grabowski, and Hannah Parker, met with corporate and local employees from Fresh Picks including the two head cooks at the BUHS/BAMS campus. The SU team shared specific feedback including board conversations, reviewed the guidelines around serving sizes and then planned for what immediate changes, starting as soon as tomorrow, can occur. Improvements include; a staff member in charge of line maintenance to keep restocking food so the line moves at a better pace, a student and a family survey, an after school meal program, increased information on the share cooler for both Fresh PIcks staff and students, and increased food choices once staff capacity allows. The financial impact on the district should be insignificant as subsidies are currently almost at 100%.

In the longer term, Fresh Picks is willing to work with the SU on a “back pack” program in conjunction with the VT Foodbank to supply students and families with meals over the weekend. Mark will be keeping in touch with Fresh PIcks and updating the board. The next meeting is anticipated to be mid to late January, but updates are anticipated to be more frequent from Mark.

On a motion by Deborah Stanford, the board voted to adjourn at 8:05 pm.

Notes respectfully submitted

Kerry Amidon

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