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Meeting Type:
Board of Education Meeting
Terryville High School Cafeteria
10/12/2011 7:00:00 PM

United In Our Commitment to Excellence in Education

The Plymouth Public Schools’ mission is to ensure that all students learn to the best of their abilities.

We support their growth into knowledgeable, skilled, and contributing citizens

capable of succeeding in their work, personal, and family lives.



WEDNESDAY, October 12, 2011



 Present: Board: Raymond Engle, Patrick Perugino, Roxanne Perugino, Karen Kulesa,

Martin Wetzel, Mark Berube, Anthony Orsini and Daniel Santorso

Excused Absence: Gerard Bourbonniere

Administrators: Dr. Distasio, Superintendent of Schools, Thomas Meehan, Director of Pupil Personnel & Special Education, Peter Lovely, Director of Curriculum & Instruction, Michael Santogatta, Business Manager and Richard Trudeau, Director of Technology


Mr. Perugino 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 Roxanne Perugino, seconded Martin Wetzel, motion passed unanimously.


MOTION: To approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting of September 14, 2011.

Motion Anthony Orsini, seconded Martin Wetzel motion passed unanimously.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 2 October 12, 2011 Minutes


Mr. James Galletly, President of Marketing from Energy Education for energy savings measures since 2009, presented an Energy Stewardship Award to the Superintendent and the Board of Education.


Kari Nizzardo Patti Griffin

9 Whitney Court 94 Ridge Road

Plymouth, CT Terryville, CT

Both parents addressed their concerns regarding the early start of the school year for students. They proposed the Board consider a later date in August.


  • Letter from Mr. Ralph Zovich, Chairman of the Board of Finance, see copy of letter attached hereto and made a part hereof as if fully stated herein.
  • Congratulatory letters from Dr. Distasio to students, Tyler Raymond and Elizabeth Haylette
  • Letter from Mayor Festa, see copy of letter attached hereto and made a part hereof as if fully stated herein.


A. School Calendars

MOTION: To discuss the proposed school calendars for the next three years. Motion Raymond Engle, secondedMartin Wetzel motion passed unanimously.

 After a brief discussion and taking into consideration the concerns addressed by the parents, the following motion was made:

 MOTION: To approve the school calendars for the 2012 – 2013; 2013 – 2014; and 2014 – 2015 school years include a shortened February vacation and a later start for students in August.

Motion Raymond Engle, seconded Roxanne Perugino. At this time the chair polled the Board Members, Mr. Berube, Mr. Engle, Mr. Orsini, Mrs. Perugino, Mr.Santorso, Mr. Wetzel,

Mrs. Kulesa all voted in favor of the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

 Plymouth Board of Education Page 3 October 12, 2011 Minutes


A. Policy Revisions

MOTION: The passing of Policy 5131.911 which complies with the passage of the new laws 10-222d on bullying behavior as amended by Public Act 08-160 and Public Act 11-232; Public Act 06-115, an Act Concerning Bullying Policies in Schools and Notices Sent to Parents or Guardians; and Public Act 11-232, an Act Concerning the Strengthening of School Bullying Laws. Motion Roxanne Perugino, seconded Anthony Orsini motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To approve adding the terms “gender identity” to the list of protected classes listed in the following policies as dictated by law: Policy 0521(a); Policy 2111; Policy 4111;

Policy 4118.11(a); Policy 4118.22(b); Policy 4211; Policy 5000; Policy 5145(a); and Policy 6180. Motion Karen Kulesa, seconded Daniel Santorso motion passed unanimously.

B. CABE Recognition Award Submission

MOTION: To approve the submission of a packet of information on behalf of the Plymouth Board of Education for the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education’s Recognition Award. Motion Martin Wetzel, secondedRaymond Engle motion passed unanimously.

C. Out-of-State Field Trips

MOTION: To approve the out-of-state field trip to Agawam, Massachusetts for Band and Chorus students at Eli Terry Jr. Middle School to attend the Adjudicated Performance Competition at Six Flags Park for May 25, 2012. Motion Roxanne Perugino, seconded Anthony Orsini motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To approve the out-of-state field trip which is funded by a grant from Sturbridge Village, to Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts on November 10, 2011 for grade 5 students at Harry S. Fisher Elementary School. Motion Roxanne Perugino, seconded Daniel Santorso motion passed unanimously.

D. Courtyard at Harry S. Fisher Elementary School

MOTION: To approve the naming of the courtyard at Harry S. Fisher Elementary School the “Perugino Courtyard” in recognition of the efforts of Patrick Perugino and Roxanne Perugino in the improvements at the school. Motion Raymond Engle, seconded Anthony Orsini motion passed with a NO vote from Roxanne Perugino.

 Plymouth Board of Education Page 4 October 12, 2011 Minutes

E. Childbearing/Childrearing Leaves

MOTION: To approve the request for childrearing leave for Eleanor Riker, World Language Teacher at Eli Terry Jr. Middle School, beginning on or about March 11, 2012 for the remainder of the school year. Motion, Roxanne Perugino, seconded Martin Wetzel motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To approve the request for childrearing leave for Jennie Fowler, Grade 1 teacher at Harry S. Fisher Elementary School, beginning on or around December 30, 2011. Motion Anthony Orsini, seconded Roxanne Perugino motion passed unanimously.

F. Board of Education Yearly Meeting Dates

MOTION: To approve the revision of the Yearly Meeting Date from, Thursday, January 12, 2012 toWednesday, January 11, 2012. Motion Roxanne Perugino, seconded Daniel Santorso motion passed unanimously.

G. Resignation

Dr. Distasio informed the Board Members that he has accepted the resignation of Mr. Tommy Meehan, Director of Pupil Personnel effective November 11, 2011.


A. Curriculum – Karen. Kulesa, Chair

The Curriculum Subcommittee met on October 5, 2011 and discussed the following: The 2010 Connecticut Mastery Test and Connecticut Academic Performance Test Scores. Significant gains have been made at the elementary level; middle school scores are mixed; and the student subgroup populations, Economically Disadvantaged and especially Special Education, continue to hold back the overall whole-school gains. Programmatic changes have been instituted to address the subgroup populations such as using the Leveled Literary Intervention Program at the elementary school which emphasizes reading comprehension through a combination of reading, writing, phonics and word study. A computer-based literacy lab has been designed and implemented at the middle school that tracks student reading comprehension and adjusts lessons specifically for targeted areas of need. We are working with Education Connection to adjust the curriculum standards to align with the Common Core State Standards in mathematics.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 5 October 12, 2011 Minutes

B. Facilities – Mr. Engle, Chair

Item was addressed under New Business. Mr. Engle informed Board Members of the Donor Plaque on display at Terryville High School acknowledging those individuals and businesses who provide scholarships for high school seniors.


C. Finance – Mr. Bourbonniere, Chair

In lieu of Mr. Bourbonniere’s absence, Dr. Distasio reported 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.

D. Negotiations - Mr. Wetzel, Chair

The first meeting for negotiations with the Plymouth Education Association will be held on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 6 p.m. for subcommittee members and at 6:30 p.m. for negotiations. Two other dates have also been set: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 and Tuesday, November 15, 2011 both at 6 p.m. for subcommittee members and at 6:30p.m. for negotiations.

E. Personnel – Roxanne Perugino, Chair

The Personnel Subcommittee met with the Superintendent prior to the Board Meeting and all items were addressed under New Business.

F. Policy – Mr. Berube, Chair

All matters were addressed under New Business

G. Safety/Transportation – Mr. Orsini, Chair

While the Safety & Transportation Subcommittee did not meet, the schools’ Crisis Team met with the Police and Fire Personnel on September 29, 2011 to help revise our schools’ crisis response plans.

H. Education Connection – Karen Kulesa

Education Connection met on October 6, 2011. The following items were discussed: an administrative meeting, looking for individuals to run for president and vice-president; grants; executive session to review director’s contract.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 6 October 12, 2011 Minutes

I. Student Representatives

Tim King

Items Discussed:

10/12 Sophomores & Juniors take the PSAT’s

10/13 Emergency Blood Drive @ THS from 6:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

10/17 Student Council Meeting

10/22 Academic Bowl Team going to Yale

10/26 National Honor Society & Leo Club Meetings

10/31 Report Cards Issued

11/05 Dram Club Performance “Aladdin” – 3 p.m. & 7 P.m.

Tyler Tarnowicz

Items Discussed:

10/12 Seniors Career & College Searching

10/19 First Fresh Start Mentor Day

10/31 Leo Club Haunted House at the Fair Grounds (Free)

11/18 (PTSA sponsored) Professional Wrestling Night – Main Event 7:30 p.m. Tickets - ww.northeastwrestling.com

Vannesa Kello (Captain of the Volleyball Team)

Items Discussed: First section of the Cross Country Trail is complete will also be used as a Nature Trail for the Environmental Science Classes at Terryville High School. The Fall Season Athletes received long sleeve pink shirts to wear on October 13 in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.

10/24 – 10/28 Red Ribbon Week & Spirit Week

10/24 In-School Pep Rally

10/25 Muzzi Field Soccer Games: Girls @ 6 p.m. Boys @ 7:30 p.m.

10/26 Jr./Sr. Flag Football Game @ 2:45 – THS

10/26 Guest Speaker, Patrick Perez, to address Drugs, Bullying and Decision Making

10/27 Bon Fire – Back Parking Lot @ THS – 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

10/28 Homecoming Dance 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. 

Team Standings

Volleyball 10 – 0

Boys Cross Country 5 – 4

Girls Cross Country 2 – 7

Boys Soccer 2 – 6

Girls Soccer 0 - 8

Plymouth Board of Education Page 7 October 12, 2011 Minutes


Mr. Lovely, Director of Curriculum & Instruction

No Report

Mr. Meehan, Director of Pupil Personnel

No Report

Mr. Trudeau – Director of Technology

Mr. Trudeau thanked tonight’s crew. We are airing the Board Meeting live on Channel 16. He also wished Tommy Meehan the best as he moves forward.

Mr. Santogatta – Business Manager

 Mr. Santogatta reported as discussed earlier at the Finance Subcommittee Meeting, the budget as of October 1 looks good. The acquisition for textbooks series for the new courses implemented at the high school have been received. With respect to Building & Grounds: the district is going out to bid for boiler replacement at Harry S. Fisher Elementary School; the gymnasium and refurbishing of the stage are complete at Fisher; and the locker replacement at the middle school is approximately 70% complete.

Dr. Distasio – Superintendent

Dr. Distasio congratulated the Board for receiving the Energy Education Award and for their support in this endeavor. He congratulated Mr. Santogatta, Mr. Joe Dennis, Buildings & Grounds and Mr. Marty Sandshaw for their leadership. He also thanked teachers, staff and administrators for their support.

Dr. Distasio commended Board Members for again pursuing the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education’s Leadership Award. He indicated the Plymouth Board of Education was one of 12 Boards of Education statewide to receive this award from CABE. He commended the Board of the example they set never allowing politics and personal agendas to factor into Board decisions. Dr. Distasio expressed the Board does what is best for the children and for the Town of Plymouth. A copy of the packet that was submitted to CABE was passed around to Board Members for their viewing.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 8 October 12, 2011 Minutes




Harry S. Fisher Elementary SchoolMrs. Perugino

PTA Meeting took place on October 4, 2011. Currently the PTA has 67 members. Please join and support your PTA.

Some of the events taking place during the month of October are:

October Events

October 17, 24, 31 Recorder Club

October 17 4th Grade Field Trip

October 18 & 25 Art Club

October 19 - 21 Parent Conferences – 12:45 p.m. dismissal – lunches will be served

October 21 Halloween Party 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

November Election Day – Bake Sale – Please bring your item down the Monday before .

Possible Fund raisers: “Buy A Brick” – for the walkway in the courtyard – may be engraved up to 21 characters; Movie Night and Book Swap.

Plymouth Center SchoolMr. Engle


A guest speaker was present and reviewed products for fundraising for next year. Cookie Dough Sales are down slightly. Five Enrichment Programs – November 4 “Bullying”; other programs to come: Science; Dr. Seuss; Arithmetic; and Recycling. November 3, 2011 – Picture Retakes. The PTA is exploring ways to spend the Campbell Soup points. Also, Mr. Engle reported the PTA currently has 82 members.

Eli Terry Jr. Middle SchoolMr. Orsini

 No Report

Reminder: October 23 from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. at Terryville High School – Community Safety Day. This event is in conjunction with the 100th Anniversary of the Terryville Fire Department.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 9 October 12, 2011


Terryville High SchoolMr. Bourbonniere

Excused Absence

SEPTAMr. Berube

No Report

PTA CouncilDr. Distasio

The PTA Council met on September 21. Dr. Distasio urged parents to considering joining the

the PTA or PTSA in their child’s school. The PTA Council is in the process of exploring

fundraisers for the future, i.e. retail fundraiser. Just as a second reminder, November 18th -

Wrestling Fundraiser.


Mr. Berube - Thank you very much Mr. Meehan. The demands of your position were very much appreciated. You did a good job.

Mr. Engle – Thank you very much Mr. Meehan for your time. It’s been a pleasure serving with you. Those of us who serve on the Board do so for the children and because we want to do what is right.

Mr. Orsini – Thank for Mr. Meehan for the 3 great years you have given to the Plymouth School District. You will be missed. Congratulations Mr. Sandshaw for the fine job you’re doing for the district.

Mrs. Perugino – Thank you to Tommy. It’s been a pleasure. Thank you to Marty. There is a wine tasting fundraiser for the Zukowski Family Foundation, please support this event. This being an election year, Mrs. Perugino took this opportunity to thank the parents, staff and administration for a wonderful 4 years.

Mr. Santorso – Thank you Mr. Meehan. Your shoes will be hard to fill. Thank you to the parents at tonight’s meeting for expressing their concerns. Thank you to Mr. Perkins for all the work he has done with respect to the cross country track.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 10 October 12, 2011 Minutes

Mr. Wetzel – Thank you to Mr. Meehan for your 3 years with the district. It has been a pleasure working with the Board Members who are up for re-election.

Mrs. Kulesa – Mrs. Kulesa encouraged the public to continue to contact Board Members whether it is about policy questions or any concerns they may have and to attend Board Meetings. Congratulations to Tommy Meehan, our loss is their gain. Thank you for everything.

Mr. Perugino – Tommy you will be missed. You did a great job for us. Good Luck in your new assignment. Marty you did a great job. The entire district received the award due to your leadership. If it had not been for you, Joe Dennis and the teachers, administrators and staff this would never have happened. Mr. Perugino thanked the members of the Board of Education for the work they have done during the past 4 years. No matter what the outcome of the election, he asked members to make certain they stay as a team for this is the only way the Town will move forward.


Mr. Perugino stated that the next regular Board of Education Meeting will be held on

November 9, 2011 at 7 p.m. at Terryville High School.


MOTION: To adjourn the meeting at 8:07 p.m. Motion Roxanne Perugino, seconded Raymond Engle motion passed unanimously.

 Respectfully submitted,



Patrick Perugino, Chair

Board of Education

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