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Meeting Type:
Board of Education Meeting
Terryville High School Cafeteria
5/9/2007 7:00:00 PM

Plymouth Board of Education
Regular Meeting
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Terryville High School Cafeteria



Board: Michelle Spencer, Velma McConnell, Martin Wetzel, Patrick Perugino, Jennifer Zalaski, Leonard Morgan and Raymond Engle

Excused Absence: Daniel Gentile and Lisbeth Leonhardt
Administrators: Dr. Distasio, Superintendent; Gerry Perusse, Business Manager;
Keith Rafaniello, Director of Technology, Peter Lovely, Director of Curriculum & Instruction and Carol Doiron, Director of Pupil Personnel & Special Education


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


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


MOTION: To approve the minutes of April 11, 2007. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Martin Wetzel, motion passed unanimously.


The first presentation of the evening was the Connecticut Boards of Education’s Eleventh Annual Student Leadership Award. This program was developed to provide local boards the opportunity to recognize student achievement and leadership potential in our students. Mr. Engle, Board of Education Chair and Mr. Cerruto, Principal of Terryville High School presented awards to this year’s recipients Ms. Stephanie Batters and Mr. Eric Dolecki, both seniors at Terryville High School.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 2 May 9, 2007

This month’s presentation was provided by the Fine Arts Department of Main Street and Prospect Street Schools. The video presentation showed the way Art, Music and Physical Education make connections to the Connecticut Mastery Test. Some examples were: using similar vocabulary; estimation; measurement; fractions; math calculations; and using similar questioning techniques. The video presentation included students in grades Kindergarten through Grade 5. 








A. Approval of the Specifications for the Replacement of Oil Tanks

Mr. Charles Ahles and Mr. Steve Sevell from the firm of Fuss & O’Neil Engineers provided a presentation concerning specifications for the replacement of the oil tanks at Main Street School, Plymouth Center School, Prospect Street School and Harry S. Fisher Middle School. After a brief discussion, the following motion was made:

MOTION: To approve the specifications for replacement of the oil tanks at Main Street School, Prospect Street School, Plymouth Center School and Harry S. Fisher Middle School for the purpose of presentation to the Building Committee and the Bureau of School Facilities. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Lenny Morgan motion passed unanimously.

B. Resignation

Dr. Distasio accepted the resignation of Brenda Malachowski, paraprofessional at Plymouth Center School effective April 27, 2007.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 3 May 9, 2007


  1. Curriculum – Lisbeth Leonhardt, Chair

In lieu of Mrs. Leonhardt’s absence, Mr. Lovely, Director of Curriculum & Instruction reported the Curriculum Subcommittee met on May 2, 2007. The following items were discussed: (1) New England Association of Schools & Colleges – Mr. Lovely presented the Terryville High School NEASC development plan. The staff at Terryville High School has been preparing draft documents for each of the seven accreditation areas. The mission document has been finalized and will be voted on at the next staff meeting. The six remaining draft documents will be submitted to the steering committee by June 15, 2007 to be read over the summer with recommendations for revision. The three student academic achievement standards piloted this spring were problem-solving, technology and writing. Data will be reviewed over the summer. The remaining student academic achievement standards, speaking, listening and writing, will be piloted in the fall.
(2) Early Literacy Plan – Mrs. Rebecca Holleran, District Literacy Specialist, presented a summary of year one of the Three-Year Literacy Plan and the implementation of the Developmental Reading Assessment, 2nd Edition. All eight objectives have been completed, data will be reviewed during the summer, and information gained from the data analysis will be used to make adjustments to the elementary language arts curriculum. Preliminary student assessments have shown a positive growth, especially in the early primary grades. (3) Developmental Reading Assessment – This is a nationally recognized standardized reading test used throughout the nation. We have used this in our district for the past 8 years. A new version has been published and our district will be training teachers during the next school year. Mrs. Holleran presented an in-depth analysis of the differences between the old and new versions and how the assessment data is used to develop comprehensive instructional plans for students.

  1. Facilities – Daniel Gentile, Chair

In lieu of Mr. Gentile’s absence, Mr. Perusse reported the following: the new high school is approximately 70% complete; the elevator has been installed; electricity is waiting to be hooked up along with gas and water lines; the first floor is painted; drop ceilings are being installed and the auditorium and gymnasium ceilings have been painted.

In response to Mrs. Spencer’s question regarding sidewalks, Mr. Perusse indicated there will be sidewalks on the Harwinton Avenue side. There are plans for sidewalks on the North Harwinton side but there is not enough room on the school property side, therefore, sidewalks need to be built on the Industrial Park side. Mr. Perusse indicated this is only a plan.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 4 May 9, 2007

C. Finance – Daniel Gentile, Chair

In lieu of Mr. Gentile’s absence, Mr. Engle informed board members that the Finance Subcommittee met prior to the Board Meeting and reviewed the April Accounts by Facilities Report and will be forwarding the same to the Town of Plymouth Board of Finance.

D. Negotiations – Velma McConnell, Chair

Mrs. McConnell reported the first preliminary negotiation date with the Secretary’s & Paraprofessional’s Union, Local 376 will take place on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at
2:30 p.m. in the Superintendent’s Office at Board of Education, 77 Main Street, Terryville CT 06786

E. Personnel – Patrick Perugino, Chair

Mr. Perugino reported that the Personnel Subcommittee met with the Superintendent prior to the Board meeting. All personnel matters were handled under new business.

  1. Policy – Jennifer Zalaski, Chair

No Report at this time.

G. Safety & Transportation – Michelle Spencer, Chair

No Report at this time.

H. Education Connection – Velma McConnell

Mrs. McConnell reported she was unable to attend the meeting. She was in attendance at the United Way dinner honoring School-to-Career. However, she indicated Education Connection forwarded information recapping some of the services it provides to Plymouth.

I. Student Representatives

Kaitlin Palance – Some dates to remember:

May 18th United Way, Day of Caring
May 19th Senior Prom (Villa Rosa)
May 22nd Trip to Ellis Island
May 23rd Science Class to New York City (Museum)
May 25th Awards Day (12:30 p.m. to 2:10 p.m.)
May 29th Leon Club/Rock Cats Game to celebrate their accomplishments
May 31st Scholarship Night (7 p.m.)
June 1st Senior Class Trip to Holiday Hill

Plymouth Board of Education Page 5 May 9, 2007

Anna Plotnikova – Excused Absence

Robert Lutters – Updates 

Pasta Supper sponsored by the Leo Club raised approximately $600
May 6th was Youth In Government Day
May 12th Junior Prom – (7 p.m.)
May 15th National Honor Society Installation Night
Advance Placement Testing has begun


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

Mrs. Doiron reported the following: April 27th was the Annual State PTA Convention.
Melissa Johnson was elected President of the State PTA. She has held the following positions: Past President of Plymouth Center School; Past President of the PTA Council; Past President and founder of SEPTA; and Vice President of the Convention.
Seven staff members and forty-five parents from Plymouth participated in these years Annual Convention. Diana Luba and Sue Kadenza were recipients of the Spirit of PTA Award together with four staff members, Carol Doiron, Joe Dennis, Chrystal Collins and Pam Wessman. Honorary Membership went to Patricia Broderick.

 Mr. Lovely – Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Mr. Lovely encouraged parents whose children were accepted into WAMS (Waterbury Arts Magnet School) to return their paperwork and accept their child’s placement in WAMS. Mr. Lovely also reported the following: 6 students were accepted in grade 6; 4 students were accepted in grade 9 and 1 student was accepted in grade 12.

 Mr. Rafaniello, Director of Technology

May 10th Grade 8 orientation at Terryville High School

Mr. Rafaniello thanked his crew for helping to air tonight’s Board of Education Meeting:
Chris Casola, Brian Luba, Connor Raymond, Scott Mamrosh and Josh Roland.

Mr. Rafaniello , Chris, Brian, Connor and Josh spent a half day at WAMS. They met with Scott Serafin, took a tour of the school and observed several classes. The purpose of the trip was to see what WAMS had and how Plymouth may be able to incorporate some of their ideas.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 6 May 9, 2007

Mr. Perusse, Business Manager

No Report

Dr. Distasio, Superintendent

Dr. Distasio thanked the students who participated in the Annual Terryville Rotary Road Race on Sunday, April 29, 2007 and to the staff members who volunteered their time, Lisa Aiudi, Allison Beal, Jerry Curtiss, Don Jarvie, Ray Lapinski, Peter Tunila, Katie Breitkreutz, Wayne Waldron, Jill Levandoski, and Casey Lumley.

Dr. Distasio announced that currently, the Girl’s Softball team is currently ranked #1 in Class S rankings.

Dr. Distasio congratulated the students who graduated from the CPR class at Harry S. Fisher Middle School on April 25th. Dr. Doughty-Jenkins has certified approximately one thousand students in CPR over the past ten years. Dr. Distasio also reported that several students were certified in using defibulators. 

Dr. Distasio congratulated the Plymouth School-to-Career Business Partnership Program. This organization received the “Special Initiative Award” by the United Way of West Central Connecticut at the Community Builder’s Reception. He thanked the many business partners, Mrs. Aiudi, Mr. Cary Dupont and the United Way for their continued support to the school district and community.

The last day of school is Friday, June 15th. Promotion exercises at Harry S. Fisher Middle School will be held at 10:30 a.m. and the graduation ceremony for Terryville High School will be held at 7 p.m. A reminder to parents: the last 3 days of school are shortened days and no lunches will be served.

11. Public Comments Regarding Agenda or Non-Agenda Items

Linda Hotchkiss – 15 Curtiss Road, Terryville CT

Thanked everyone who attended the convention including Board Member, Jennifer Zalaski. Informed the public that volunteers are needed at Plymouth Center School.

Mrs. Hotchkiss asked the following question: Is the running track at the high school still in place?

Although it is not the practice of the Plymouth Board of Education to engage in questions during public comment, Dr. Distasio offered the following response: He indicated that the running track was an add all; meaning, its existence will depend on the amount of funds left at the end of the project.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 7 May 9, 2007

Melissa Johnson – 20 Woodside Lane Terryville CT

Melissa informed the public that any Board Member can attend the convention. On behalf of SEPTA, she thanked Mrs. Aiudi, Mr. Dennis and the students at Terryville High School who built the picnic table for the students at Plymouth Center School. Also, SEPTA will be sponsoring Focus in October of 2007. 

Melissa also made the following statement: “As a member of the Plymouth/Terryville PTA Council, I would like to make an official statement that has been voted on by Plymouth Center School, Harry S. Fisher Middle School, Terryville Elementary and SEPTA” “We the PTA’s of Plymouth/Terryville would like to show our support toward the continuous funding of Nature’s Classroom for the 5th graders of Plymouth Center and Main Street Schools. Also for the Washington, D.C. trip for the 8th graders at Harry S. Fisher Middle School. We feel these two field trips are invaluable”.

Dr. Distasio responded: The trips will stay. However, funding will not. The Board has no intention to cut these two trips. Funding is another issue. Parents will incur additional costs for the trips. In the past, the Board tried to help fund these trips, i.e. substitute teachers. If the budget does not pass, difficult decisions will need to be made, decisions more difficult than funding field trips. Dr. Distasio indicated he will be scheduling a meeting with the Townwide PTA Council to discuss how to get support from the PTA’s. Some cuts may be, i.e. loss of programs and increase in class size.

12. Board Liaisons to the Schools

Mr. Perugino – Main Street School/Prospect Street School

May 18th Karate Demonstration 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
May 23rd Spring Band & Chorus Concert 7:00 p.m. @ MSS
May 29th Art Show 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
May 30th Art Show 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
May 31st Art Show 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Mr. Engle – Plymouth Center School

May 16th 6th grade, Parent Orientation, Harry S. Fisher Middle School, 6 p.m.
May 23rd Mentor Picnic
May 27th 5th grade students to recite Gettysburg Address on the Plymouth Green (10 a.m.)
May 31st Kindergarten Orientation

June 4th – 5th Art Show
June 6th Band and Choral Concert
June 14th 5th grade awards and pizza party

Plymouth Board of Education Page 8 May 9, 2007

Martin Wetzel – SEPTA (Special Education PTA)

No report at this time.

Jennifer Zalaski – Terryville High School

No report at this time.

13. Final Board Comments (if any)

Mr. Wetzel – Thank you to all who voted

Mr. Perugino – mentor picnic – May 23rd. Just a reminder, mentors are very much needed. The Republican American newspaper ran an article on the Rotella Magnet School indicating that it was #1 in the country.

Mr. Engle – Congratulations to Ms. Batters and Mr. Dolecki as recipients of the Connecticut Boards of Education Eleventh Annual Student Leadership Award.

14. Next Regular Board Meeting

Mr. Engle stated that the next Regular Board of Education Meeting will be held on
June 13, 2007 at 7 p.m. at Terryville High School in the cafeteria.

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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