Windham Southeast School District (WSESD) Policy and Amendment Committee Meeting Minutes – Mar 27

Note: These minutes should be considered preliminary until they are approved at the next Policy
and Amendment Committee meeting.
Windham Southeast School District (WSESD) Policy and Amendment Committee
Wednesday, March 27, 2024
Regular meeting 2:00 pm
Hybrid meeting: WSESU Central Office, 53 Green St., Brattleboro, VT and
Remotely via Zoom
Policy and Amendment Committee members present: Deborah Stanford (DS, Chair), Tim
Maciel (TM), Anne Beekman (AB, via zoom)
WSESD/U Staff and Administrators present: Superintendent Mark Speno (MS), Mo Hart (MH),
Michael Kelliher (MK), Keith Lyman (KL, via zoom), Shannon Kelly (SK), Aidy Holding (AH)

Call to Order

Chair DS convened the meeting at 2:01 pm and read the hybrid statement.

I. Approval of Minutes and confirmation of next meeting date

The minutes of 2/28/24 meeting approved by assent.

The Policy and Amendment Committee meets on second and fourth Wednesdays, from 2-4 pm at the WSESU Central Office and on Zoom. The next meetings are scheduled for:

April 10
No meeting April 24 due to school break
May 8

II. Reorganization of Policy and Amendment Committee

• TM nominated DS for Chair. AB seconded.

• AB suggested that Vice-Chair and Clerk positions be combined, as on SU.

• TM nominated AB for Vice-Chair / Clerk. AB accepted.

• After reorganization:
o Voting Committee Members: Deborah Stanford, Tim Maciel, Anne Beekman
o Chair: Deborah Stanford
o Vice-Chair/Clerk: Anne Beekman

• Meeting schedule confirmed for second and fourth Wednesdays, 2-4 pm.

Updates from the 3/12/24 Board meeting:

• The following policies were presented for a first reading on 3/12/24 and will go for a second reading on 4/9/24:
o E6 Emergency Closings
o E7 Safety and Security of School Facilities
o E8 Tobacco/Nicotine Prohibition
o F12 Transportation
o G14 Animal Dissection
o G15 Title 1 Comparability Policy

• The following policies went for a second reading on 3/12/24 and will be presented for readoption on 4/9/24:
o F22 Student Assessment
o G1 Curriculum Development and Coordination
o H2 Family Engagement Policy (Parental Involvement Policy)

• The following policy was readopted by the Board on 3/12/24:
o G8 Continuous Improvement Plan

III. Policies

D1 Personnel Recruitment, Selection, Appointment and Background Checks (edit Appendix A only)

• Amend Appendix A to include curriculum director position: 1 director, 2 curriculum coordinators.
• D1 will go for a 1st reading on 4/9/24.

F26 Participation of Home Study Students in School Programs and Activities
• PS reorganized F26 and sent an updated version to MH.
• F26 on hold until 4/10 meeting.

E14 Environmental Awareness and Responsibility
• This policy first came up a year ago and has been on hold pending availability of the town’s sustainability coordinator. DS would like to move it forward.
• TM suggested getting feedback from the science teachers at the high school. MS will follow up on that.
• MS will also ask Frank Rucker to review Priority 2.
• E14 on hold until 4/10, pending review from high school science teachers and Frank Rucker.

D2 Professional Development
• D2 has been on hold since October.
• Committee agreed that it makes sense to look at D2 in this committee even though the policy is SU related. There is no SU committee for this.
• Committee reviewed the policy and made minor changes, including:
o All references to “action plan” were updated to “continuous improvement plan” or “CIP.”
o “A professional development committee may be composed of teachers, instructional assistants, support staff and administrators.”

 After a vigorous discussion of “may” versus “will,” the line was changed to: “A professional development committee will be (to the extent possible) composed of teachers, instructional assistants, support staff and administrators.”

• TM raised the question of whether there should be a yearly summary assessment presented to the Board on all PD activities. A discussion ensued about what that might encompass and entail. TM will bring up the question with the Board: Does the Board want to see a full survey of PD data?

• D2 will go for a first reading on April 9.

D4 Educator Supervision and Evaluation: Probationary Teachers
• Committee reviewed D4 and made edits:
o Minor changes to wording and punctuation for correctness and clarity (e.g., updated “action plan” to “continuous improvement plan,” added “caregivers,” removed infelicitous semicolons).
o Articulated goals  documented goals.
o “…in need of intensive support or other special attention.”  “…in need of additional support.”

• A larger discussion took place regarding the title of the policy and how much of the policy applies (or can legally apply) to non-probationary teachers, given the master contract. The following changes were made:
o Change title to: Educator Supervision and Evaluation.
o Move the final three paragraphs, which apply to all teachers, up to just before the section on probationary teachers. The section to be moved begins
“Administrators will use a variety of staff evaluation strategies…” and includes the four numbered strategies as well as the final two paragraphs.

• MS: This policy should be reviewed by union leadership before it is approved. We can’t approve a policy that goes against the master agreement.

• MS will give a clean copy of the edited policy to the union reps.

• D4 on hold until 4/10 pending union review.

B1 Board Member Education
• Committee reviewed B1 and made edits:
o First line: “It is the policy of the Windham Southeast School District to encourage and support board members’ efforts to remain knowledgeable about their roles and the issues with which they deal.” —> “…about their roles and relevant issues.”
o Under Implementation: “Vermont Agency of Education functions” —> delete functions.
o Delete the following sentence: “In developing professional training for school board members, the board may consider topics such as educational equity, dispute resolution, conflict of interest, etc.”
• Discussion took place about the VSA spring conference. This conference counts as professional training hours. The 2024 conference will take place May 15-16 in Burlington.
• B1 will go for a first reading on 4/9/24.

IV. Proposed Policy: Gender Freedom in Schools
• Discussion focused on trying to parse the dense paragraph/sentence at the bottom of page 3, a holdover from the original F34 policy:

Where a student’s record(s) may not be changed absent court order due to state and federal law, efforts will be taken to maintain those records in strictest confidentiality in order to preserve the student’s transgender status and, where appropriate, for an amended version to be maintained which preserves the confidentiality of that transgender status where a review of the record is required for educational purposes by either school personnel, the student, or personnel who will be evaluating the student (for eligibility purposes, for example).

• AH and SK will re-write the paragraph in short declarative sentences. VSBIT may need to be consulted for a legal perspective.

• SK shared that some sixth graders at Academy School worked on a design project about all-gender bathrooms. The committee was enthusiastic about welcoming the students to the next meeting to present their project. There will be snacks.

Meeting adjourned at 4:05 pm

Notes taken by Anna Monders (recorder)

Submitted by Anne Beekman (vice chair)

Leave a Reply