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Meeting Type:
Board of Education Meeting
Terryville High School Cafeteria
12/12/2007 7:00:00 PM

Plymouth Board of Education
Regular Meeting
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Terryville High School Cafeteria


Board: Ray Engle, Patrick Perugino, Jennifer Zalaski, Roxanne Perugino, Lenny Morgan, Martin Wetzel, Michelle Spencer and Karen Kulesa

Excused Absence: Dan Gentile

Administrators: Dr. Anthony W. Distasio, Superintendent, Gerry Perusse, Business Manager; Carol Doiron, Director of Pupil Personnel & Special Education, Peter Lovely, Director of Curriculum & Instruction and Keith Rafaniello, Director of Technology


Dr. Distasio called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. The group joined in the Pledge to the Flag.


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


MOTION: To approve the minutes of the regular meeting of November 14, 2007. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Roxanne Perugino motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To approve the minutes of the Special Meeting of December 14, 2007.
Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Martin Wetzel, motion passed unanimously.


A group of students from the Fresh Start Program gave a brief presentation of what the program was all about. They explained the program uses upper classmen to serve as mentors to freshman. This program is run by Mrs. Aiudi, School-to-Career and Mr. Cerruto, Principal of Terryville High School. The Fresh Start Program helps to ease the transition from the middle school to the high school which makes high school less intimidating. Currently, there are 54 juniors and seniors that are mentors. 

Plymouth Board of Education Page 2 December 12, 2007






A. Leadership Team Evaluation

After a brief explanation by the Superintendent, the following motion was made:

MOTION: To approve the Leadership Team Evaluation for the Board of Education and the Superintendent of Schools as proposed on October 10, 2007. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Lenny Morgan motion passed unanimously.


A. Appointments

MOTION: To approve the appointment of Scott Payne, to the position of custodian at Main Street School effective January 2, 2008. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Roxanne Perugino motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To approve the following coaching appointments for Terryville High School:
Angie Suffridge, Varsity Girl’s Basketball; Damian Coggshall, Jr. Varsity Girl’s Basketball;
Mark Fowler, Varsity Boy’s Basketball; A. J. Siriani, Jr. Varsity Boy’s Basketball;
Peter Veleas, Varsity Wrestling, and Christopher Label, Jr. Varsity Wrestling. Motion Karen Kulesa, seconded Patrick Perugino motion passed unanimously

MOTION: To approve the following coaching appointments for Harry S. Fisher Middle School: Jerry Curtiss, Boy’s Basketball; Charles McDermott, Co-Girl’s Basketball; Kelly Vitale, Co-Girl’s Basketball; and Dawn Alarcon, Cheerleading. Motion Roxanne Perugino, seconded Lenny Morgan motion passed unanimously.

B. Resignations

Dr. Distasio accepted the following resignations: Patricia Hale, Secretary at Terryville High School effective November 28, 2007; Michael Michaud, Assistant Principal at Terryville High School for the purpose of retirement, effective June 30, 2008; Ms. Carol Doiron, Director of Pupil Personnel & Special Education for the purpose of retirement, effective June 30, 2008; and
Mr. Gerard Perusse, Business Manager for the purpose of retirement, effective June 30, 2008.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 3 December 12, 2007

C. Amended Calendar 2008 – 2009 School Years

Due to the move to the new high school and the renovation of the old high school and Fisher buildings, Dr. Distasio requested the following:

MOTION: To approve the opening of the 2008 – 2009 school years to be after Labor Day, with an added vacation day of January 2, 2009, leave the vacation weeks as is and change the closing date from June 12th of 2009 to June 17th, 2009.
Motion Martin Wetzel, seconded Patrick Perugino motion passed unanimously.

Dr. Distasio also explained the start of school after winter break will be on Monday, January 5, 2009; snow days will be added up to June 26th and in the event of excessive snow days, days will be made up during the April vacation starting with the end of the April vacation; and open house dates to be amended by the principals.

D. Public Comment Guidelines

Dr. Distasio recommended the following statement be included at the bottom of all Agendas of the Plymouth Board of Education:

MOTION: “Public comment provides the public with an opportunity to address the Plymouth Board of Education. The Board asks that speakers be courteous and respectful, avoid personal attacks, and keep comments to 3 minutes or less. One must be reminded that public comment is not public debate or questioning. If a question is posed by the public at the meeting, it will be addressed at the next regular meeting as a matter of practice. If a large number of individuals wish to speak, the Board may require individuals to sign up to speak”. Motion Lenny Morgan,
 seconded Patrick Perugino motion passed unanimously.


  1. Curriculum

No Report

  1. Facilities

No meeting, however, the Chair called on Mr. Perusse for an update on the new high school.
Mr. Perusse reported the following: (a) bleachers are to be installed on December 26th;
(b) electricians plan to be done by January 2nd; and (c) gymnasium to be ready on January 6th with the first game scheduled to be played on January 11th against Thomaston.

  1. Finance – Mr. Gentile, Chair (excused absence)

Mr. Engle reported that the Finance Sub-Committee met prior to the Board of Education Meeting. The November accounts by facilities report was reviewed and will be forwarded to the Town of Plymouth Board of Finance.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 4 December 12, 2007

D. Negotiations


E. Personnel - Roxanne Perugino, Chair

Mrs. Perugino reported that the Personnel Sub-Committee met with the Superintendent prior to the Board meeting and all matters were covered under new business.

F. Policy

No Report

G. Safety & Transportation

Mrs. Spencer reported that a Safety/Transportation Hearing was conducted on November 7, 2007. There was an appeal to the State. A State Hearing will be conducted on December 18, 2007 at 10:30 a.m. at the Board of Education Offices.

H. Education Connection - Karen Kulesa

No Report

I. Student Representatives

Merissa Heslin – excused absence

Robert Lutters– (a) a dress code committee has been created by the Student Council; (b) at the November meeting the Student Council set up a schedule for students to work at the boys’ and girls’ basketball games; (c) the Leo Club just completed a toy drive where over 300 toys will be distributed; (d) Leo Club installation has already taken place with 64 new members being installed for a total of 124 members; (e) seniors have been measured for cap and gowns;
(f) there will be a food drive at the IGA on Saturday, December 15th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and
(g) the United Way Youth Board will be collecting baby items this week.

Patricia Kuhn – (a) some of the high school students will be visiting Cook Willow on December 18th to spread some holiday spirit. Technology Education students made wooden gifts, Future Business Leaders of America made cards for the gifts; and the school chorus will perform holiday songs; (b) the National Honors Society is sponsoring a coat drive for the month of December. Collected items will be distributed to the Terryville Congregational Church and (c) sophomores received their class rings on December 7th.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 5 December 12, 2007


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

No Report

Mr. Lovely – Director of Curriculum and Instruction

(a) applications are being accepted for the Rotella and Maloney Magnet Schools. Deadline for applications is March 14th; (b) Maloney Magnet School – open house – January 6, 2008
@ 6 p.m. with a second open house scheduled for sometime in February (date and time not set yet); (c) Rotella Magnet School – open house – January 16th, 2008 at 6 p.m. and February 13, 2008 @ 9:30 a.m.; (d) Waterbury Arts Magnet School – applications will not be out until sometime in February. No dates or times have been set for open house. and (e) FYI – Rotella Magnet School – 31 students attending; Maloney Magnet School – 54 students attending and Waterbury Arts Magnet School – 38 students attending.

Mr. Rafaniello, Director of Technology

Mr. Rafaniello thanked tonight’s crew: Brian Luba; Rich Keater; Connor Raymond; Scott Mamross, and Bobby Petrovic not only are they broadcasting tonight’s meeting live but the first home baskeball games for the girls’ and boys’ were also broadcast live. Bracelets were given to Board members and administrators which had mission statement of Terryville High School embossed on them. Every student will receive a bracelet which will be tied into some sort of reward.

Mr. Perusse, Business Manager

No Report

Dr. Distasio, Superintendent

Dr. Distasio reported the following: (a) the Plymouth Public Schools participation in Toy Drives and Food Drives over the Thanksgiving Holiday which provided items to some of the local families in town; (b) the induction on November 28, 2007 of 124 students from Terryville High School into the Leo Club. (c) a letter to Mrs. Ritchie, art teacher at Terryville High School from the Terryville Lion’s Club thanking her and her students for donation of props for the Haunted House at the annual Safe Halloween Party; (d) the “Special Community Service Award” presented to Mrs. Aiudi and the Leo Club from the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce. The award will be presented at the annual dinner on January 22, 2008 at the Pequabuck Golf Club; and
 (e) elementary school students received report cards on December 7th.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 6 December 12, 2007

Dr. Distasio reminded parents that school closings, late openings, and early dismissals would be broadcast over cable Channel 16, and the major television and radio stations. Also, parents and staff would receive a call from the AlertNow automated emergency system. Calls for staff would be made at about 5:00 a.m. and to parents at about 5:30 a.m.

Redistricting meetings for parents at Prospect Street, Main Street and Plymouth Center Schools will take place during the month of January. Redistricting meeting for parents of Prospect Street and Main Street Schools will be held on January 8, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. in the Fisher Gymatorium. Redistricting meeting for parents of Plymouth Center School students will be held on January 14, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. in the Plymouth Center Gymatorium.

Plans to move into the new high school are scheduled for January 2, 2008. Open Houses for parents of the high school students and the general public will be scheduled once construction has been completed. 

Tours are planned for Junior and Senior students will be given a tour of the new high school on Thursday, December 20, 2007 and Freshman and Sophomore students will tour the new high school on Friday, December 21, 2007. 

Board Members were asked to save the afternoon of January 27, 2008 (tentative date) for an Open House for the new high school. 

Dr. Distasio announced the holiday break will take place from December 24th, 2007 through January 1st, 2008. Classes will resume on January 2, 2008. Best Wishes were extended to all on behalf of the Board of Education for a very happy holiday season.

Parents and students were reminded to check on the website for new bus routes for the new high school. Also, Mr. Cerruto indicated letters were sent home to parents.

A question was brought up with regard to redistricting by Mr. Engle. Dr. Distasio indicated he has worked with Mr. Perusse and Laura McBaine of our Technology Department on this matter. Every street in the district was reviewed. Students have been assigned to each street by grade. The goal is to try to create 2 schools of approximately 400 students, and the reason being to equalize the population on each side of town. We are also trying to keep Plymouth Center School smaller because of future building on that side of town. Meetings have taken place with teachers and the union and a process is in place with respect to transfers should they be necessary.

11. Public Comments Regarding Agenda or Non-Agenda Items


Plymouth Board of Education Page 7 December 12, 2007

12. Board Liaisons to Schools

Mr. Perugino – Main Street/Prospect Street Schools

December 12 Prospect Street School – Holiday Bazaar
December 13 Main Street School – Holiday Bazaar
December 18 PTA Meeting (looking for new members

Mrs. Zalaski – Terryville High School

No Report

Mr. Engle – Plymouth Center School

No Report

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

Mr. Wetzel reported: (a) the addition of 2 new members; (b) the main concern of the parents is the redistricting and how it will affect their child(ren). Parents will be attending Board Meetings, however, provided the Superintendent questions regarding their concerns prior to the meetings; (c) March 5th – Septa Meeting at the Capitol; and (d) April 3rd there will be a speaker at the meeting (to be announced).

Mr. Gentile – Harry S. Fisher Middle School
No Report – Excused Absence

Dr. Distasio – PTA Council

Dr. Distasio attended a meeting on December 12th and the topic was redistricting. He indicated the Special Education (Apple Program) will be at Plymouth Center & Harry S. Fisher Elementary Schools. The Star Program will remain at Plymouth Center School. Pre-School and Family Resource Center will be at both schools. Dr. Distasio explained, we are trying to equalize programs at both sides of town as long as it is cost effective to the Board.

13. Final Board Comments

Mrs. Perugino – No Comment

Mr. Wetzel – Thank you to the Lions Club and Mrs. Aiudi for all the work they did throughout the holidays and Happy Holidays to All.

Mr. Morgan – No Comment
Plymouth Board of Education Page 8 December 12, 2007

Mr. Perugino – Urged all citizens to contact their state and senate representatives regarding the new bills being look at: (i.e.) in-school suspension and more credits to graduate. These bills are not good for this Town or State, funds will come out of taxpayers pockets. On a lighter note,
Mr. Perugino and his son met a woman whose daughter attends St. Joseph College. Due to Mr. Stefanski’s instruction, she was well prepared in her calculus course and is doing well. Mr. Perugino regrets the loss of the 3 administrators but wishes them well in their retirement.

Jennifer Zalaski – Happy Holidays to All

Mr. Gentile – Excused Absence

Mrs. Spencer – No Comment

Mrs. Kulesa – No Comment

Mr. Engle – Echoed Mr. Perugino’s concern about the new bills being proposed and contacting your state and senate representatives. Best Wishes and Congratulations to the 3 retirees. Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year.

14. Next Regular Board Meeting

Mr. Engle stated that the next regular Board of Education Meeting will be held on January 9, 2008 at 7 p.m. at Terryville High School.

15. Adjournment

MOTION: To adjourn the meeting at 7:55 p.m. Motion Patrick Perugino seconded Martin Wetzel motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Patrick Perugino

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