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Board of Education Minutes 11-14-17
Willington Board of Education
November 14, 2017, 7:00 p.m.
Town Office Building, Lower Level Meeting Room
(unofficial until approved)


Audio Recording         yes
Notes Taken             yes

Prior to the meeting, Willington Town Clerk, Donna Hardie swore in new B.O.E. members:

Elena Testa (replaces Melissa McKinnon at next meeting)

Chiara Bambara (replaces Peggy Roberts at this meeting)

Tracey Anderson (replaces Erika Wiecenski at next meeting)

Members present at meeting:
Herb Arico
Chiara Bambara
Michelle Doucette Cunningham
Ann Grosjean
Marybeth Wallett
Erika Wiecenski

Also present: Interim Superintendent of Schools Jacqueline J. Jacoby
                
Call to Order at 7 p.m. by Erika Wiecenski

2. Present to Speak – none

3.  Communications- none

4.  Board of Education Chairman’s Report
  • Peggy Roberts and Melissa McKinnon: two former members whose terms ended on election day.  We want to thank them for their service and for stepping up when needed.
  • Welcome to Chiara Bambara, Tracey Anderson, and Elena Testa who are our newest Board of Education board members elected on November 7, 2017.
  • The Board of Finance meets November 16, 2017 and will be discussing a part of the Board of Education’s budget, specifically teacher retirement funds.
                       
5. Superintendent Reports
  • At Hall Memorial School a huge tree branch fell onto the field shortly after students were playing on.  An inspection was done on the trees and they need to be removed. Dr. Jacoby is working with the Tree Warden to determine the work that needs to be done. Dr. Jacoby will also make a call to the Hall Foundation to provide information on the work that needs to be done.
  • Students at Hall Memorial School, with the leadership of Becky Muldoon (new part-time Health teacher), were in the news for participating in the Fitness Challenge in Hartford.
  • In October, Ken Craig, Principal of HMS, and Kate Grabowski Clark, Gifted and Talented teacher, lead the facilitation of Say Something Week initiated by Sandy Hook Promise.  These efforts were recognized in the Sandy Hook Promise Newsletter, a publication that goes out to all CT schools.
  • We are starting conversations on the 2018-2019 budget now that the state has passed a budget.  The budget will be developed based on needs.
  • A legislative update was provided to the Board by Dr. Jacoby with areas of interests pointed out, including the mandated relief area and mandatory trainings needed for teachers.
6.    Financial Reports:        

A.      Approval of Transfers 2017-2018 Budget          Attachment # 1

Proposed Motion:        

MOTION:  by Erika Wiecenski to transfer to Program 1, (CES Staffing), in the amount of $31,654 and to Program 2, (Hall Staffing) in the amount of $61,859 from Programs 4 (Transportation), 6 (Curriculum and Staff Development), 9 (System-wide Support), and 10 (Fringe Benefits/Substitutes in the total amount of $93,513 in accordance with Willington Board of Education Policy 3160.

Seconded by Ann Grosjean

Discussion:  Concerns were raised regarding the proposal to transfer $20,000 out of Curriculum and Staff Development due to the importance of this aspect of education.  Dr. Jacoby explained that grant monies had been received (and are in hand) that would be used for Curriculum and Staff Development.  There was a new motion made:
NEW MOTION: by Herb Arico to table initial transfer motion until December meeting, so that Dr. Jacoby can find other possible areas in the budget to transfer from (Dr. Jacoby was willing to take a look at other areas).

Seconded by Marybeth Wallett    

VOTE:                                   Yes             No              Abstain

Herb Arico                                      X               -----           -----
Chiara Bambara                          -----           -----           X
Michelle Doucette Cunningham    X               -----           -----
Ann Grosjean                            X               -----           -----
Marybeth Wallett                                X               -----           -----
Erika Wiecenski                                 X               -----           -----

Motion      Passed


B.      B.O.E. Policy 3160, Transfer of Funds                   Attachment # 2
  • The funds to be transferred for staffing are spread out over eight different positions.
C.      Budget Summary Adjusted after Transfers         Attachment # 3
  • Discussion came up about including the financial statement with the meeting minutes in an effort to be more transparent.  There are some website limitations but it will be reviewed.
7. Committee Reports –next month (December) there will be a shift on committees as we add new board members.

8.      New Business

     A.  Approve minutes of October 10, 2017                            Attachment # 4

   MOTION: by Erika Wiecenski to approve the minutes of the October 10, 2017
    BOE meeting, with removing Marybeth Wallet from “Present at Meeting”

Seconded by Michelle Doucette Cunningham

VOTE:                                   Yes             No              Abstain

Herb Arico                                      X               -----           -----
Chiara Bambara                          -----           -----           X
Michelle Doucette Cunningham    X               -----           -----
Ann Grosjean                            X               -----           -----
Marybeth Wallett                                X               -----           -----
Erika Wiecenski                                 X               -----           -----

Motion      Passed   

B.      Draft of Board goals for 2018-2019                      Handout
  • Board goals are determined based on the Board’s self-assessment, review of the End of the Year (2016-17) Report, assessment of future needs and review of values (what the Board promised students, families, and community).  The Board will review the drafted goals at an upcoming retreat
9.      Old Business

        Facilities Study

        A.  Workshop Notes of October 10, 2017          Attachment # 5
  • The workshop included a presentation of all of the options presented in the facilities study and the Board and community members questions/comments



        B.  Exploring a Timeline
The Board needs to make a recommendation to the town regarding the outcome of our review of the facilities student.  We are early in our process and need to collect every piece of information available.  We also need to digest the information publically.  

We are continuing to collect more information:
  • Looking at other K-8 schools and asking questions
  • We are requesting the architect to provide additional information
Review of New England School Development Council enrollment projections for Willington
  • Reached out to bond counsel to get estimates
Looking into operational cost savings
  • Will look at tax bill and how will impact mill rate
                     
   9.   Present to Speak
Reza Shahroudi (student)- Where can the audio recording for BOE meetings be found?  
                Contact the Superintendent’s Office to listen to audio recordings

                John Bray (student)- What was the budget last year?
                2017-2018 budget was $8,100,000

Regina Chatel (resident)-
Wants Dr. Jacoby to consider the crumbling foundations in town and the impact on the tax base.  Additionally, she wants to make sure that the tax projections take into account the impact from the crumbling foundations. She also wanted to know why the transfer was tabled and how the grant money received comes into play.
There was clarification by Dr. Jacoby that there is $20,000 in grants that will be used in the area of Curriculum and Staff Development.

Linda Miner (resident)- Pointed out information on the website (pictures that she showed) stating that windows do need to be replaced.  Suggested that the numbers for maintaining the schools in the facilities study may be inflated.  She also asked what was wrong with the school roof and asked why it was patched.  She addressed some maintenance issues and gave some feedback on roof patch repairs.  She suggested that she may be able to contribute to future changes in relation to the roof.  She also asked for the name of the head person of the Hall Foundation.

Barry Wallet (resident)- He welcomed new Board members.  Asked for Board to keep in mind that that the state budget is 192 million short.  He added that a new school sounds good but encouraged the Board to keep an eye on the test scores as a new school is secondary to a good education.

Mike Cioe (teacher at HMS)- There is a Success Assembly at Hall School on 11/15/17.  There was a great Veterans Day Assembly at HMS and veterans from the community joined.


10.    Board Comments  

Herb Arico –Thank you, Dr. Jacoby for all your efforts.  Erika…goodbye.  We appreciate all you have done.  Welcome to our new members. EASTCONN has a new executive director from Avon, Gary Mala.  EASTCONN will host a legislative breakfast on December 6th at 7:30am.  Herb is on the Charter Advisory Council.
        
Chiara Bambara-Thanks for the warm welcome. Thanks Dr. Jacoby for addressing important issues that came up in the workshop last month.

Michelle Doucette Cunningham- Thank you to all the people who came to the meeting because these meetings are more vibrant with people in the audience. It is essential to our democracy that we have people participate. Thanks to the folks who brought Say Something Week to HMS!  Welcome to all new members and email us (BOE) to provide any information or feedback.  The emails of all the Board members are on the website.

Ann Grosjean-Thank you Erika, you have been a wonderful leader. Thank you to Peggy and Melissa for your service.  Welcome to the new members.  Thank you Mike (Cioe) for the invitation to the school.

Marybeth Wallett –Thanks to Peggy and Melissa who filled a vacancy, but didn’t just fill a seat, they contributed and were committed to the job.  Thanks for your service.  Welcome to the new board members.  We have many challenges ahead.

Erika Wiecenski –Thank you to Dr. Jacoby for all the hard work and for staying on board.  Thanks to the Board.  Good luck to the new members.  Thanks to everyone!  It takes opinions, suggestions of many people to be successful.  Thanks to the teachers and the administrators past and future.  Thanks to the students of Willington.

11.     Adjournment at 8:21 p.m.