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Meeting Type:
Board of Education Meeting
Terryville High School Cafeteria
10/10/2007 7:00:00 PM

WEDNESDAY, October 10, 2007


Present: Board: Ray Engle, Dan Gentile, Patrick Perugino,
Karen Kulesa, Lisbeth Leonardt, Martin Wetzel, Lenny Morgan, Michelle Spencer

Excused Absence: Jennifer Zalaski and Dan Gentile

Administrators: Dr. Distasio, Superintendent of Schools, Carol Doiron, Director of Pupil Personnel & Special Education, Peter Lovely, Director of Curriculum and Keith Rafaniello, Director or Technology

Excused Absence: Gerry Perusse, Business Manager


Mr. Engle called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. The group joined in the Pledge to the Flag.


MOTION: To adopt the agenda as presented. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Martin Wetzel, motion passed unanimously.


MOTION: To approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting of September 12, 2007. Motion Martin Wetzel, seconded Patrick Perugino, motion passed unanimously.





Plymouth Board of Education Page 2 October 10, 2007


Mr. Engle reported, he had written a letter to Mayor Krampitz requesting an item be placed on the next Town Council Agenda for Special Appropriations. She informed him by letter dated September 24, 2007 the Board needed a formal vote to request special appropriations. A formal vote is requested under new business.

Dr. Distasio reported receiving a Letter of Commendation for Ross P. Milne for outstanding performance on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. 




A. Request to Mayor & Town Council for Special Appropriations

MOTION: To formally request the following item be placed on the next Plymouth Town Council Agenda in November as indicated by the Mayor in her letter dated September 24, 2007: A request for a special appropriation of $95,000 to be used for an art teacher, replacement windows at Harry S. Fisher Middle School, a custodian at the new high school, a part-time secretary at Plymouth Center School, and to eliminate the need for Sport’s Participation Fee.
Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Martin Wetzel motion passed unanimously.

B. Out-of-State Field Trips

MOTION: To approve the trip to Salem, Massachusetts, for grade 11 students from Terryville High School to reinforce the learning conducted in the classroom studies of Puritan Literature & History, for October 30, 2007. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Karen Kulesa motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To approve the trip to Montreal & Quebec, Canada for selected grade 11 – 12 World Language Department students to experience French Culture & Language for April 12 – 15, 2008. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Lenny Morgan motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To approve the trip to Washington, D.C. for grade 8 students at Harry S. Fisher Middle School for April 29 – May 2, 2008. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Lenny Morgan motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To approve the trip to Boston, Massachusetts for selected Terryville High School science students to attend the Science Museum as an extension of the curriculum in natural sciences for May 22,2008. Motion Martin Wetzel seconded Karen Kulesa motion passed unanimously.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 3 October 10, 2007

C. Appointments

MOTION: To approve the appointment of Martin Sandshaw to the position of In School Suspension Monitor at Terryville High School effective October 11, 2007. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Karen Kulesa motion passed with Martin Wetzel abstaining.

MOTION: To approve the appointment of Paula Anderson as cafeteria helper at Plymouth Center School effective October 11, 2007. Motion Martin Wetzel, seconded Karen Kulesa motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To approve the appointment of Jason Hart, to the position of Music co-advisor at Harry S. Fisher Middle School and Jeffrey Telke, to the position of Television Production Advisor (District-Wide). Motion Karen Kulesa, seconded Martin Wetzel motion passed unanimously.

D. Childbearing/Childrearing Leave

MOTION: To approve childbearing leave for Lori Lavallee, grade 5 teacher at Plymouth Center School beginning on or about November 14, 2007. Motion Karen Kulesa, seconded Lenny Morgan motion passed unanimously.

E. Leave of Absence

MOTION: To approve a leave of absence for Joseph Barbino, history teacher at Terryville High School until October 30, 2007. Motion Martin Wetzel, seconded Lenny Morgan motion passed unanimously.

F. Resignation

Dr. Distasio accepted the resignation of Paul Carobini, Assistant Girl’s Basketball Coach at Terryville High School.

G. Grant Application Package

MOTION: To approve the Plymouth Center School PTA’s plan to add to the playscape at Plymouth Center School. Motion Karen Kulesa, seconded Martin Wetzel motion passed unanimously.

H. Explore Playscape Funding for Harry S. Fisher Elementary School

MOTION: To grant permission to Mrs. Worhunsky and the playground committee to begin the exploring and funding of a Playscape at Harry S. Fisher Elementary School. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Martin Wetzel motion passed unanimously.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 4 October 10, 2007

I. Plymouth Board of Education Strategic Plan

MOTION: To approve the Plymouth Board of Education Strategic Plan. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Lenny Morgan motion passed unanimously.


A. Curriculum – Lisbeth Leonhardt, Chair

Mrs. Leonhardt deferred to Mr. Lovely for the Curriculum Subcommittee Report. Mr. Lovely reported the following: The Curriculum Subcommittee Meeting took place on October 3, 2007. The following items were discussed: (a) the Connecticut Mastery Test/Connecticut Academic Performance Test Analysis – Mr. Lovely presented the 2007 CMT/CAPT score information. A discussion took place concerning how to increase student performance overtime. The committee discussed various ways the data is analyzed and interpreted to establish growth goals for students and staff; (b) Mid-term Examination Schedule at Terryville High School – Mr. Cerruto, Principal of Terryville High School requested a one-time midterm examination schedule modification for the following reasons the high school will be in the process of packing and moving and the reports of the New England Association of School and Colleges are at a critical stage of editing and rewriting. Examination days will be regular half session days and mid-term examinations will be administered within the regular school day; and (c) Kindergarten Inventory – the Connecticut State Department of Education is gathering data on each kindergarten student state-wide. Inventory evaluates six areas of student kindergarten readiness. The CSDE is compiling baseline data for future student and program evaluations.

B. Facilities - Dan Gentile, Chair

No Report – Excused Absence

C. Finance – Dan Gentile, Chair

In lieu of Mr. Gentile’s Absence, Mr. Gentle reported on the following: 

The Finance Subcommittee met prior to the Board of Education Meeting and reviewed the September accounts by facilities report and moved that it be forwarded to the Town of Plymouth Board of Finance.

MOTION: To approve the transfers as presented to the Finance Subcommittee. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Martin Wetzel motion passed unanimously.

D. Negotiations

No Report

Plymouth Board of Education Page 5 October 10, 2007

E. Personnel – Patrick Perugino, Chair

Mr. Perugino reported that the Personnel Subcommittee met with the Superintendent prior to the Board meeting and approved all of his appointments and leaves.

F. Policy – Jennifer Zalaski, Chair

Excused Absence

G. Safety/Transportation – Michelle Spencer, Chair

Mrs. Spencer reported there will be a meeting of the Safety and Transportation Committee on Wednesday, November 7, 2007 at 7 p.m. 

H. Education Connection –

No Report

I. Student Representatives

Merissa Heslin – Excused Absence

Robert Lutters – The boys’ soccer team is off to a rough beginning; the girls’ soccer team is fairing well; the Haunted Hallway is scheduled for October 27th; Future Business Leaders of America is planning for the opening of a school store at the new high school where they will be responsible for all operations which include working in the store and being responsible for the business aspects; there will be a blood drive the last week in October with sign ups being taken this week.

Patricia Kuhn – Excused Absence


Mrs. Doiron – Director of Pupil Personnel/District Administrator in Charge

Mrs. Doiron on behalf of the Board of Education expressed sympathy to the family of Al Roberts who recently passed away. Mr. Roberts will be missed by families, children and staff.

Mr. Lovely – Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Though Mr. Lovely, Mr. Mabasa wanted to thank the Board for allowing him to teach German this year. He has a total of 24 students.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 6 October 10, 2007

Mr. Rafaniello – Director of Technology

Due to technical difficulties at the beginning of the Board of Education Meeting, tonight’s meeting will be shown in its entirety immediately following the meeting. AlertNow is in effect. Test messages will be sent out sometime next week to the middle and elementary school parents .Terryville High School’s new mission statement is: RRAP = Respect, Responsibility & Academic Pride. Every teacher has this posted in his/her classroom. Hopefully, after the new high school has opened, a kick off rally and be formed to promote RRAP. Thank You to Tonight’s crew: Josh Roland, Brian Luba; Scott Mamross and Ms. Fran Block, club organizer.
Mr. Perusse – Business Manager

Excused Absence

Dr. Distasio – Superintendent

Dr Distasio reported on the following: (1) Fresh Start - 57 upperclassmen trained to be Fresh Start Mentors approximately 2 weeks ago with Patrick Connolly, a YMCA Director, they learned how to facilitate small groups and discussed a variety of elements of leadership which included compassion and empathy. The mentors will begin on October 24th and will team up with each other, meet monthly with their assigned freshmen group of ten students. The Fresh Start Program has proven to be effective in helping with the sometimes difficult transition of freshmen to high school life; (2) Municipal Facilities Committee – this committee met on October 1st. Tours will be scheduled to look over the existing town facilities to get an idea of the condition of the town buildings: Main Street School was toured prior to the Board of Education meeting and tours of Prospect Street School, the Library, Public Health, and the Fire Marshal’s office areas will take place on October 15, 2007 @ 5 p.m.. The next meeting of the Municipal Facilities Committee is scheduled for November 5, 2007 @ 6 p.m. at Town Hall. (3) Thomaston Savings
Bank – scholarships provided by Thomaston Savings Bank for the following programs in the Plymouth School District- Becky Hollaran, Literacy Specialist, $826.50 for Reader’s Notebooks for our elementary programs; Bonnie Doughty-Jenkins, teacher @ Harry S. Fisher Middle School, $298 for CPR program; Robin Gudeczauskas, School-to-Career Secretary - $1,590 to
purchase a cordless microphone for School-to-Career; Brooke Matusczcak, Business Education Teacher at Terryville High School - $2,029 to purchase a high format printer/scanner for use in the business classes; Amy Radke, Special Education Teacher at Terryville High School and Booster Club Parent - $1,500 to assist in the purchase of a girls’ softball scoreboard and boys’ baseball scoreboard for the new high school fields; Lois McCoy, Speech & Language Teacher at PCS received $1,263 for materials to support the Pre-School Language Program; Sandy Etting, Special Education Teacher At PCS received $589 for materials to support the Pre-School Special
Education Program; Jennie Fowler, Grade One Teacher at PCS received $1,655 for Early Literacy Materials; Chris Greaney, Special Education Teacher in the Apple Program received $826 for materials for the Apple Program; Family Literacy Night event received $726 for the purchase of “take home” literacy materials; Mary Connelly, Special Education Teacher at PCS received $1,000 for the purchase of a new assistive technology device for reading and writing; Mrs. Worhunsky, Principal of Prospect/Main Street Schools received $1,250 for paint for bookcases as part of the transition to the new Harry S. Fisher Elementary School; Grade One at PSS received $1,120 for a scanner; Grade 5 received $807 for science materials, Rob Carter,

Plymouth Board of Education Page 7 October 10, 2007

Music Teacher and Jerry Curtiss, Physical Education Teacher both received money to be used for the Nature’s Classroom Trip for grade 5 students. As you can see, this is quite an extensive list of grant monies provided to our district by Thomaston Savings Bank. Dr. Distasio thanked Mrs. Joan Fowler, Terryville’s Branch Manager, and to Thomaston Savings Bank for their continued support of our school programs.

11. Public Comments Regarding Agenda or Non-Agenda Items

Sue Murawski, Liason to the Board of Education – Please review your figures regarding the $95,000 request for a special appropriations.

Linda Hotchkiss – 15 Curtiss Road, Terryville CT

1. Where does the process currently stand for the running track? Dr. Distasio indicated that once bid packets come in, we will have a better ideal of how much funds remain.
2. What happens if the new high school is not ready? At this point, everything appears to be on track. If for some reason there is an obstacle, we will have to remain at the old high school.
3. Parents may call or e-mail her with respect to the playground.
4. On behalf of the Plymouth Center PTA she thanked Board Members for approving Nature’s Classroom and the Washington, D.C. Trip.
5. Inquired if Terryville High School had some type of Community Service regarding tutoring students after school. Dr. Distasio referred to Mr. Cerruto, Principal of Terryville High School who indicated no there is no actual tutoring program.

12. Board Liaisons to Schools

Mr. Perugino – Prospect Street/Main Street School

The mascot for Fisher Elementary School will be the Wildcats. The school colors will be red and blue. Parent Conference Schedules are as follows: Prospect Street School: Tuesday, October 16th 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. & Wednesday, October 17th 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Main Street School – Tuesday, October 16th from 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 – p.m. and Wednesday, October 17th from 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.; school pictures – Prospect Street School – Wednesday, October 10th; and
 Main Street School Friday, October 12th. Received good feedback from students indicating they enjoyed Nature’s Classroom.

Mrs. Zalaski – Terryville High School

No Report – Excused Absence

Plymouth Board of Education Page 8 October 10, 2007

Mr. Engle – Plymouth Center School


October 25, 2007 Author/Illustrator Marc Nobleman – has written over 70 books, his cartoons have appeared in more than 100 publications and he has written more than a dozen magazines.

February 8, 2008 Science Enrichment Program – Science – Bubblemania is a science –based program that will entertain and teach at the same time.

March 7, 2008 Bulling, positive thinking, goal setting and much more. Chris Poulos is a professional bicycle stunt rider, motivational speaker, author and event promoter. He will encourage the children to lead a better and safer life.

April 25, 2008 Pioneer Living – A journey back in time – This is a hands on museum. It will consist of 6 different learning centers with historical displays and hands on stations.

October 11 & 12 Fire Prevention
October 16, 17 & 18 Parent/Teacher Conferences
October 23 School Pictures
October 26 Ice Cream Social
November 1 CPAC Workshop – 7 p.m.
November 16 Movie Night (Chair is needed)

The PTA Council has 120 people attend the Focus Program at Terryville High School of Autism Spectrum Children Mr. Engle reported that a $32,000 profit was made on the sale of cookie dough. However, this was $6,000 less than last year; and Mrs. Collins provided a handout on how to use the internet/How to keep your children safe when using the internet.

Mr. Wetzel – SEPTA (Special Education Parent/Teacher Association)

Mr. Wetzel reported on the Focus Program that took place on October 4th. This was an enlightening program. The children, who have various degrees of autism, shared their feelings, many of their hidden talents and problems they encounter during their daily lives. This was a nice and entertaining evening for all. Hopefully, if Focus returns, Mr. Rafaniello will be able to film this program for airing on Plymouth 16 for all to enjoy.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 9 October 10, 2007

13. Final Board Comments

Mrs. Leonhardt – Congratulations to Ross Milne for a job well done.

Mr. Perugino – When interviewing for a superintendent approximately 6 years ago,
 Mr. Perugino was looking for an individual who would get involved with the community. He has found this individual in Superintendent Distasio. Dr. Distasio has gone beyond the call of duty. This year he will be a presented at the CABE/CAPSS Convention. Thank you, Dr. Distasio.

Mrs. Kulesa – Her school is involved in a playground project. She indicated to Mrs. Worhunsky, Principal of Main Street/Prospect Street School of her willingness to share information. 

Mr. Engle – Congratulations to Kaitlin Palance, a former Terryville High School student and student representative on the Board of Education. She joined the military after graduation. Kaitlin has graduated from boot camp and is currently stationed in San Antonio, Texas. Congratulations!!!

14. Next Regular Board Meeting

Mr. Engle stated that the next Regular Board of Education Meeting will be held on November 14, 2007 at 7 p.m. at Terryville High School.

15. Adjournment

MOTION: To adjourn the meeting at 8 p.m. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Lenny Morgan motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Patrick Perugino

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