September 2012

SEPTEMBER 27, 2012

The regular meeting of the Chester Board of Education was held on Thursday, September 27, 2012.

In attendance Lianne Rutty, Peg Reyer, Ashley Marsh, Amy Safran(7:07arrival), Laurie Rubinow (7:07 arrival) Sean Savoie, David Fitzgibbons and Wendy King. Also in attendance were Dr. Ruth Levy, Superintendent, Dr. Joanne Beekley, Assistant Superintendent, Michael Barile, Principal, Mr. Garth Sawyer, Business Manager and Kelley Frazier, Clerk.
Absent: Nicole Sypher

CALL TO ORDER Ms. King called the meeting to order at 7:04pm. Ms. King introduced Sean Savoie, who is a new Board member.

CONSENT AGENDA Peg Reyer moved to approve the minutes from the May 24, 2012 Regular Meeting, the July 31, 2012 Special Meeting as amended, the August 29, 2012 Special Meeting and the Accounts Payable report. David Fitzgibbons seconded the motion which carried by a unanimous vote.


OTHER ITEMS: Introduction of new hires CES – M. Barile Mr. Barile introduced Nichol Stevens and Elaine Fleischer who are new hires at Chester Elementary School. Mr. Barile reported that the school had an excellent opening to school. He noted that CES has been selected as a finalist for Connecticut Elementary School of the Year. Full day Kindergarten has gone extremely smooth. He is working on data analysis for students who may have additional needs as well as students who need to be challenged. Ms. King congratulated Mr. Barile on being a finalist for Elementary School of the Year.
Ms. King asked if there was an option to have Kindergarten students have a shorter day. No parents have asked for this option. Dr. Levy noted that there have been no parents who have opted to use this option in all three schools.

Financial Status Report – Mr. Garth Sawyer Mr. Sawyer gave a brief update of the financial status and the year-end numbers for the 2011-12 school year. Chester reported a deficit of approximately $1,400. The audit will begin soon.

Cafeteria Report – Mr. Sawyer Mr. Sawyer gave an update on the status of the Cafeteria Budget Updates. The wages and benefits have increased due to the union contract going into effect. This year full day Kindergarten will hopefully increase sales. Mr. Sawyer noted that he expects the subsidy to be lower next year. Mr. Peterlik will be looking at the menu and making changes if necessary. Recess is now before lunch and this is working better for students. The PTO is supporting a cultural arts program to make the cafeteria more appealing.

Financial Status Report 2012-13 – Mr. Garth Sawyer Mr. Sawyer gave a brief update of the financial status for the current year. Currently the Chester Elementary budget is projecting a small surplus. Mr. Sawyer noted that heating oil is locked in at $3.05 per gallon. This rate is a better rate than anticipated. Mr. Barile and Mr. Sawyer will keep the Board informed of any developments that may arise.

Tour of Building – M. Barile The Board members were able to tour the school and view work done over the summer. Dr. Levy said that the work and thought that has gone into the school over the years has made it a finalist as the Elementary School of the Year. Dr. Levy wanted to publicly recognize Mr. Barile for his leadership and vision to make sure the school was ready. The Visiting Team commented on how the school is a focal part of the town.

Finance The Finance Committee meeting will be changed due to the holiday next week.
The Curriculum Committee will meet in October.
Joint PK-12 Policy Committee
No Updates
Supervision District
No Updates

Essex did vote to house the preschool for one more year. We are in the process of developing a committee to plan for the preschool in the future. Declining enrollment and transition needs of our special needs students indicated that we need a study group with recommendations finalized by April 2013 for the preschool. Dr. Levy would like a plan to go into effect at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year. This is when the population is declining at the elementary schools and John Winthrop Middle School. Dr. Levy would like to consider a 6th, 7th and 8th grade model at the Middle School. Mr. Glowac is looking at how to reconfigure the existing footprint at John Winthrop.

Ms. Reyer reviewed the Committee Assignments for Board members. Mr. Savoie volunteered to be on the Finance Committee which will meet on November 27, 2012. Ms. King requested that Ms. Bryan update the email to include Mr. Savoie. Mr. Fitzgibbons will be on the Network Technicians negotiation team and the Sixth Grade Study Committee. Mr. Fitzgibbons will contact Nicole Sypher to see if she is also interested in the Sixth Grade Study Committee. Peg Reyer and Ashley Marsh are the representatives on the Preschool Study Committee. These committees will meet once per month with the hope that by April we will have recommendations to bring to the Joint Board Meeting. Ms. Safran will volunteer to be the representative for the Board of Education at the PTO meetings.

General Update Dr. Beekley stated that all schools opened the school year smoothly. Dr. Beekley is working with Administrators and staff on the Common Core State Standards.

2011-12 CES CMT/CAPT Results Overview Dr. Beekley discussed that the State of Connecticut has a new accountability system. We now have Annual Performance Targets. She discussed in detail the performance targets and how schools are classified. She noted that CES is a progressing school and that there is still some work to be done in the sub groups. She then reviewed the CMT results by class. She said that the scores go at a nice trajectory as children advance through the grades. She noted that there is very little separating some of the scores in our DRG. She feels that Chester did very well.

Mr. Barile discussed the Action Plan for School Improvement. He noted that everyone is shifting to the Common Core State Standards. His team is developing grade level goals. Writing is an area that will be focused on. He noted that one student not doing well on the CMT can change the scores significantly. We are trying to use a Common Core Assessment type task to prepare for when the Common State Standards are implemented in 2014-15. Mr. Barile said it is an exciting time to be in both the CMT world and the Common Core State Standards world because of the rigor. He is developing Common Formative Performance Tasks as aligned with the Common Core State Standards.

District Update In October the District is planning to get the towns Chairpersons for the Boards of Finance and the First Selectmen and the Board of Education to have a discussion regarding the budget process before the budget cycle begins. We will answer any questions to allow for open communication and a pleasant budget process.

Information and Communication
Solar Panel Project Update
Ed Meehan, First Selectman of Chester said that the District Clean Energy Committee has come forward with options for solar panels in our community.  The CES is viewed as a good site for these panels due to its location, roof condition and the educational opportunity.  He noted that the Region 4 reimbursement will be returned to Chester this year.  The Board of Finance and the Board of Selectmen have endorsed the idea to use up to $8,000 to go forward with placing the solar panels on the CES roof.

Ms. King noted that this was discussed and the initial installation approved by the Board in July.  Mr. Meehan will put a letter of intent together for the grant application. He feels that Board endorsement of this project will allow for a stronger grant application. 

Upon a motion made by Peg Reyer and seconded by Laurie Rubinow, the Board unanimously VOTED to endorse the proposal from the Chester Clean Energy Group to go forward with the grant and to place the additional solar system on the roof of the Chester Elementary School. 

Mr. Meehan noted that the storage for Park and Recreation in one classroom at the Elementary School has worked well. The Town has received the insurance money for the Community Center. He would like to use this money to renovate the Town Hall for meeting space. He would also like to request a small addition to the alcove in the cafeteria of the school for Park and Recreation which would have access from the outside. He said that we need to move forward on this project quickly. The schematic plans will be developed over the next 4-6 weeks. He would like facilities personnel to be involved.

The alcove will be discussed at the next Board meeting.


ADJOURNMENT On a motion duly made and seconded the Board unanimously VOTED to adjourn at 9:05pm.

Respectfully Submitted,
Kelley Frazier, Board Clerk

Future Agenda Items:
7.1 Next Regular Joint BOE Meeting October 4, 2012
7.2 Next Regular Chester BOE Meeting November 19, 2012
7.3 Supt. Presents Major Budget Drivers for 2013-14(Nov)
7.4 BOE & Community Input on 2013-14 Budget (On-Going)

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