January 2012

January 26, 2012

The regular meeting of the Chester Board of Education was held on Thursday, January 26, 2012. In attendance Lianne Rutty, Amy Safran, David Fitzgibbons, Wendy King, Nicole Sypher, and Laurie Rubinow. Also in attendance were Dr. Ruth Levy, Superintendent, Ian Neviaser, Assistant Superintendent, Michael Barile, Principal, Mr. Garth Sawyer, Business Manager and Kelley Frazier, Clerk. Absent: Peg Reyer, Ashley Marsh

Ms. King called the meeting to order at 7:12pm.

David Fitzgibbons moved to approve the minutes from the November 19, 2011 meeting and the Accounts Payable report. Laurie Rubinow seconded the motion which carried by a unanimous vote.


Ms. King asked to move the Principal’s Report up in the agenda.

Student Presentation
Mr. Barile introduced Jared Dompier and Juliette Linares who presented the school update in the area of science in grades K-6. They also shared masks which they created in art class and performed a jazz piece. Mr. Barile noted that these children are not only model students academically, but also succeed in the performing arts. Ms. King and the Board thanked the students for their presentation.

Mr. Barile noted that it was nice to have the administrators in the school today for instructional rounds. He received very positive feedback.

Possible Vote to Accept Donation of $1000 to the Region 4 Food Services Program from Dinners at the Farm – T. Peterlik & J. Rapp
On a motion made by Wendy King and seconded by Laurie Rubinow, the Board voted to accept the donation in the amount of $1,000.00 for the Region 4 Food Services Program. The motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Dr. Levy said that Mr. Peterlik and Mr. Rapp were not available to come to the meeting. She mentioned that they have donated monies to all five schools to help create nutritious meals for our children and to promote local farming and purchases.

Financial Status Report – Mr. Garth Sawyer
Mr. Sawyer gave a brief update of the financial status for Chester Elementary School. Unemployment Compensation is projected to have a surplus. Professional Development is projected to have a surplus for teacher course reimbursement. Communications is also projected to have a surplus. In district program for special needs students will have a deficit. Chester Elementary School is currently projected to have a $2,800 surplus at the end of the year.

Cafeteria Report – Mr. Sawyer
Mr. Sawyer gave an update on the status of the Cafeteria Budget. There is less activity in sales. This is to be expected due to a decline in enrollment. We are projecting a small board subsidy.

Joint PK-12 Policy Committee
Work is being done on the bullying policy.

Supervision District
This committee approved their budget which will go to the Joint Boards next week. The increase is 4.4%. Part of this increase includes a district wide phone system. The cost to CES is $21.00. The Calendar Committee reviewed and approved the calendar. This will be on the website soon. FLES will stay the same, but scheduling will be reviewed to see if we may increase FLES instruction.

There was a discussion of three additional classes to the Region 4 curriculum which will be addressed during the Region 4 budget workshops.

The next meeting is on Monday.

The Committee discussed the virtual online high school policy, homework policy and the religious holiday policy. The Committee is recommending that the CABE policy be discussed at the next meeting for the religious holiday policy. This policy is longstanding and should be looked at again. The Committee is comfortable with the homework and the virtual high school policy. This Committee will start looking at policies written prior to 2002 to update and see if revisions need to be made.

Dr. Levy asked if any board members had any questions regarding the anti-bullying policy. She noted the significant amount of time it takes our school leaders to comply with the law. Board members asked what constitutes bullying and how the school should handle this. This will be voted on at the next Joint Board of Education meeting.

Mr. Neviaser reported a number of things happening in January. Tuesday, January 17th all staff members, certified and non-certified, were at VRHS reviewing the bullying law with school attorneys. Staff will need yearly training. The Assistant Superintendent’s Roundtable will be meeting tomorrow. CMT and CAPT tests have arrived. The state provides workshops which were attended by representatives from our schools to see the changes for this year. There will be more online testing. Supplemental testing will follow a different procedure this year and may not have to be given to all of the students. On the 25th of January there was a Student Success Plan Forum. This is an academic and career plan for students from sixth grade through high school. The development of this plan is still being worked on. This is an outline of academic expectations and provides students with a path to whatever career they choose. The TEAM program for new teachers is still being focused on. Region 4 had a site visit from state officials on January 24th. They talked with various teachers, mentors and administrators. Math groups continue their work and will meet with consultants in February and April to discuss the final units of the year. We are part of the Middlesex Consortium which is working on plans for the Common Core State Standards.

District Update
This year Dr. Levy and Mr. Neviaser have met with the school principals to see how they are meeting their goals. Mr. Barile is doing a great job and it is remarkable to see the data he and his staff have compiled.

Last week there was a Community Share Dinner to receive input from the community to solidify goals for our schools for the next Five Years. There were 133 people who attended and gave their input and ideas. This information will be discussed on February 4th at the Board workshop. This will be a time to look at the results and develop a five year action plan. The bake sale was organized by all five PTO’s. The money was used for the sister cities project to provide needed materials.

The budget process is in full swing. They are looking into what is mandated and not. Dr. Levy will develop a guide on these explaining these budget items.

Dr. Levy feels that the language for the bullying legislation needs to be changed and she will be working on this. She will look at the timeline requirements, when to notify police requirements and the reports needed. She will be preparing to testify before the education committee.

The calendar has been approved and next year’s calendar will have more continuous instruction days especially in the fall.

There is going to be six different departments under the new Education Commissioner. There will be dramatic changes in education.

Dr. Levy presented the proposed school climate plans for Chester Elementary School. The plan will be on the website after the vote by all schools. The Board briefly discussed the bullying process and the professional and social development plan for continuing the discussion on the action plans.

Budget workshops for Chester Elementary are Feb 8th, Feb 16th and March 19th.

On a motion duly made and seconded the Board unanimously VOTED to approve the School Climate Plans as presented by Dr. Levy for Deep River Elementary School. The motion passed.

Information and Communication
Board and Community Input on 2012-2013 CES Budget
Mr. Fitzgibbons mentioned that he has had feedback about the increase in the Supervision District budget which people are upset about. This will be explained at the hearing. Information was inaccurately reported in our local papers. It is important to know that the hearing is a time for public input. Dr. Levy feels that the state needs to address how it funds education mandates. Ms. King hopes that the Board will be the voice as to why Supervision District is beneficial.

Superintendent’s Presentation of CES Draft Budget 2012-13
This will be presented at the budget workshops.


On motion duly made and seconded, the Board unanimously VOTED to adjourn at 8:54pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kelley Frazier, Board Clerk

8.1 CES BOE 2012-13 Budget Workshops (Feb 8th, Feb 16th, Mar 19th)
8.2 Vote to adopt CES Budget for 2012-13(Mar)
8.3 Vote on Staff non-renewals (Mar)
8.7 Present CES 2012-13 Budget at Town Meeting (TBD)

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