May 2012

May 24, 2012

The regular meeting of the Chester Board of Education was held on Thursday, May 24, 2012. In attendance Lianne Rutty, Peg Reyer, Ashley Marsh, Amy Safran(7:45), Jim Gordon, David Fitzgibbons, Wendy King and Nicole Sypher. 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: Laurie Rubinow

Ms. King called the meeting to order at 7:06pm.

Lianne Rutty moved to approve the minutes from the March 22, 2012 meeting and the Accounts Payable report. Nicole Sypher seconded the motion which carried by a unanimous vote.

Sue Hotkowski, a representative from the Parks and Recreation Commission in regards to a facility need. Previously, the summer camp was based in the Community Center which was destroyed last year in a storm. She said that town is not in a position to construct a new facility, and has asked the school to use the building and to have permanent storage available in the building. She requests that the storage area be locked when not in use. The department would request this until another building is constructed.

Student Presentation
Mr. Barile updated the Board on many exciting things happening at the school. He noted that the band and chorus concert was last week and many people attended. Last night was the annual Art Show. He introduced two sixth grade students, Tesla Lowrey and Meagan Miller who updated the Board on Social Development.

Ms. King asked that the Board receive the school newletter and a calendar so the Board may attend some of the school events.

Ms. Rutty requested the Facilities Report be moved to the beginning of the Reports section of the agenda.

Ms. Rutty listed the members on the Facilities Committee. There are two members who are going off of this committee and need to be replaced. Ms. King asked that this be in the school newsletter. There are several projects going on this summer. Fencing along the driveway and playground will be installed. There will be drainage added to the back of the school. They will repaint and inspect the gym floor. Repairs will be made to the Project Adventure course. The hallways, trim and cafeteria will be painted. White boards and Smartboards will be moved to areas they are needed. The oil tank will be inspected. The State will then determine repair and a maintenance schedule. Tree trimming will occur in the playground area. All items are in the budget. Ms. King recommends that the Facility Committee have a chairperson. The roof repair information will need to be given to the Board who will submit to the Town for recommendations. Dr. Levy asked that this be looked at in October with estimates completed in November and presented to the Board in December so that it can be presented to the town in a timely manner.

John Brodzinski, a facilities committee member, discussed the process for identifying items to be worked on in and around the school in 2001. The items were worked on through the years as they fit into the budget. One of the last items is the roof. Ms. King requested a summary to go to along with the Capital Request so that the Town understands how the numbers were prepared. Mr. Barile said that he will work on a five year plan and present it to the Board.

Financial Status Report – Mr. Garth Sawyer
Mr. Sawyer gave a brief update of the financial status for Chester Elementary School. The numbers are becoming more accurate as we get to the end of the year. The Chester Elementary budget is expected to have a small surplus. Mr. Sawyer will keep the Board informed of any developments as they arise.

Cafeteria Report – Mr. Sawyer
Mr. Sawyer gave an update on the status of the Cafeteria Budget Updates. He noted that we are still projecting the board subsidy. This deficit will be made up in other areas by the end of the year. Cafeteria staff will revamp the menu to focus on the items that were the biggest sellers. The cost for the individual meal will be reviewed at the next meeting. Ms. King asked that the donations given to the cafeteria be designated in a separate line item in the Budget Status Report. We are looking into Paypal for payment for cafeteria purchases.

The insurance agent reviewed the renewal for next year which is approximately a 5 percent increase. We discussed the medical insurance fund which is being scrutinized. We will try to build up a reserve for this fund in the future.

Ms. King requested moving the Park and Recreation discussion to this point in the agenda to accommodate audience attendees.

Dr. Levy said that the school wants to work with the Parks and Recreation. Mr. Barile and James have come up with a solution to meet the needs of the children. She noted that Parks and Recreation has equipment for a game room that may benefit our students. She is concerned that rollerblading on the gym floor has safety issues and she asked the Board to consider this. There are a number of programs that work during the year as well as the summertime. She said that the Boards and Administration should support having Parks and Recreation in the school if their programs do not interfere with what we are doing in the school and it is not an activity that presents a major liability. Mr. Barile said that space could be used in the sixth grade classrooms which would also give them ample storage. This would be set up with temporary partitions. Good communication is important. She noted that the kids and school benefit from this program. She acknowledged that the Town needs some time to plan for a Community Center and using the school allows for the time needed. Dr. Levy has said that for safety and confidentiality issues she can not allow non-authorized personnel in the building during school hours. We will need to clearly define the management of the outdoor projects and billing for maintenance personnel after these programs are complete. Dr. Levy requested that Mr. Barile and Park and Recreation give a report after the summer so that this arrangement can be reviewed to avoid any disruption.

Discussion and possible Vote regarding usage of building for Chester Parks and Recreation summer programs.
On a motion made by Amy Safran and seconded by Jim Gordon the Board unanimously VOTED to allow usage of the school building for the Chester Parks and Recreation summer programs as recommended by the Principal and Superintendent.

District Update

Discussion and Possible Vote to Authorize the Board Chair and Town Treasurer as dual signors of checks written against Chester Board of Education funds.
Ms. King explained this process. She noted that Ms. Rubinow was not comfortable with a signature stamp. The alternative is to authorize the Town Treasurer and Ms. King as the dual signers of checks.

On a motion made by Peg Reyer and seconded by Jim Gordon the Board unanimously VOTED to authorize the Board Chair and the Town Treasurer as dual signors of checks written against Chester Board of Education funds.

The Curriculum Committee meeting was cancelled and will be rescheduled.

Joint PK-12 Policy Committee
The Policy Committee was cancelled and will be rescheduled.

Supervision District
There was an emergency session last night. An email was sent out today explaning issues discussed.

Other Committee Reports
Amy Safran discussed the Marine Science Magnet School in Groton tour she attended. She noted she enjoyed seeing this school.

General Update
Mr. Neviaser finished two weeks of curriculum meetings dealing with text complexity. The teachers are working on their data boards for the June Joint Board of Education meeting. The K-12 Curriculum committee and the Math Committee have completed their meetings for the year. His staff is working on the Celebrate Learning Summer Program which begins July 2nd and runs for four weeks.

Information and Communication
Discuss Strategic Plan Presented at April Joint BOE Meeting for Vote at June Joint BOE Meeting
Dr. Levy distributed and discussed the Strategic Plan brochure for Regional School District Number 4 for years 2012 through 2017.

June 9th will be the Fresh for Schools Dinner at Platwood Park to generate dollars to purchase food from local farmers for our schools.

Discussion and possible Vote to Renew the Agreement Concerning the Establishment and Operation of an Interim Collaborative Preschool Program dated February 13, 2008.
Dr. Levy discussed having the Preschool remain at Essex Elementary School. Dr. Beekley confirmed that Essex Elementary currently has space available for the preschool. She noted that the Preschool program is growing and space will be evaluated in the future.

On a motion duly made by Peg Reyer and seconded by Jim Gordon the Board unanimously VOTED to renew the Agreement Concerning the Establishment and Operation of an Interim Collaborative Preschool Program dated February 13, 2008 for renewal for a one year increment upon agreement (vote) of all signing parties (Boards of Education for Chester, Deep River, Essex and the Regional Supervision District Committee) no later than June 30, 2012.

Dr. Levy noted that budgets are complete except for Deep River who goes to referendum on May 31st. She is also busy with administrative staffing procedures. Dr. Jennifer Byars will be replacing Dr. Pietrick. Dave Russell is also retiring and will be replaced by William Duffy. He will bring innovations to the middle school. Dr. Levy congratulated Mr. Neviaser on his appointment as Superintendent of Schools in Region 18.

Dr. Levy discussed the article that she distributed and said it will be discussed in more detail at the Joint Board of Education meeting.

Ms. Safran coordinated the breakfast for the teachers. It was enjoyed by all.


On motion duly made and seconded, the Board unanimously VOTED to move into Executive Session at 8:33pm to discuss the Board of Education evaluation of the Superintendent and the Board of Education Self Evaluation. The motion passed. Dr. Levy remained at the meeting.

The Board Moved out of Executive Session at 9:45 pm.

On a motion duly made and seconded the Board unanimously VOTED to adjourn at 9:45 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kelley Frazier, Board Clerk

8.1 Joint BOE Meeting June 7, 2012
8.2 CES Regular BOE Meeting September 27, 2012

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