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Meeting Type: Board of Education Meeting
Terryville High School Cafeteria
10/11/2006 7:00:00 PM




Board: Raymond Engle, Dan Gentile, Patrick Perugino, Velma McConnell,
Michelle Spencer, Martin Wetzel, Lisbeth Leonhardt and Leonard Morgan

Excused Absence: Jennifer Zalaski

Administrators: Dr. Distasio, Superintendent of Schools, Carol Doiron, Director of Pupil Personnel & Special Education, Peter Lovely, Director of Curriculum and
Keith Rafaniello, Director of 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 Velma McConnell, motion passed unanimously.


MOTION: To approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting of September 13, 2006. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Martin Wetzel, motion passed with Mrs. McConnell abstaining.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 2 October 11, 2006


Dr. Distasio introduced Mr. J. C. (Cal) Heminway, Chair of the Granby Board of Education and Mr. Michael Guarco, Granby Board of Finance Chair. Mr. Heminway and Mr. Guarco made a presentation on behalf of the Connecticut Municipal Consortium for Fiscal Responsibility. They explained that the Coalition is an informal group of local officials. The message they are trying to convey to the Capitol is “to untie our hands so that we are more able to better and more efficiently manage our own local affairs”. A short question and answer period followed the presentation.


Melanie Church – 328 Main Street – Terryville – Mrs. Church commented on the presentation. Through personal experience, she feels that one individual can make a difference if he/she believes in the issues. Her suggestion to the Board was to review the materials and consider joining the consortium.






A. Names for the New High School, the Current High School and the Current
Middle School

Dr. Distasio reported that on September 28, 2006, in accordance with Board of Education policy, a bi-partisan committee gathered to consider, discuss and recommend names for the new high school, re-naming the two renovated facilities for the middle and elementary schools. The committee consisted of two representatives from the Facilities Subcommittee, two members of the community, a parent, an administrator, a teacher, and a student. Mr. Gentile and Mr. Perugino co-chaired this meeting.

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Dr. Distasio and Mr. Perugino gave some background information as to how the recommendations came about. For instance, the naming of the (1) new high school “Terryville High School”, the committee felt the name should remain the same because of its historical significance , it would also save on the replacement of new band uniforms, etc.; (2) “Eli Terry Middle School” due to the history behind Eli Terry, what he meant to the community and to retain the history of the town; and (3) “Harry S. Fisher Elementary School” – Mr. Fisher was a principal and superintendent in town and it was noted that once an individual’s name was on a particular building it would not be removed. After a brief discussion, the following motions were made:

MOTION: To approve that the new high school be named the “Terryville High School” when it reopens in 2008. Motion Velma McConnell, seconded Patrick Perugino. The Chair conducted a roll call and the motion passed with Mr. Morgan abstaining.

MOTION: To approve that the current Terryville High School be renamed the “Eli Terry Middle School” following the renovation of that facility. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Dan Gentile. The Chair conducted a roll call and the motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To approve that the current Harry S. Fisher Middle School be renamed the “Harry S. Fisher Elementary School” following the renovation of that facility.
Motion Velma McConnell, seconded Martin Wetzel. The Chair conducted a roll call and the motion passed unanimously.

B. Out-of-State Field Trips

MOTION: To approve the trip to New York City, for Grade 12 Social Studies students from Terryville High School to see the Broadway Show, “Avenue Q” in the spring of 2007. Motion Velma McConnell, seconded Patrick Perugino motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To approve the trip to New York for Grade 12 Social Studies students to Ellis Island and the Statute of Liberty for May, 2007. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Velma McConnell motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To approve the trip to Westfield State College in Agawam, Massachusetts for 7th and 8th grade chorus and band students from Harry S. Fisher Middle School for
June 1, 2007. This trip is for our band and chorus to participate in the Great East Festival Performance. Motion Lisbeth Leonhardt, seconded Patrick Perugino motion passed with Mrs. McConnell abstaining.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 4 October 11, 2006

C. Appointments

MOTION: To approve the appointment of Megan Charette to the position of Cheerleading Coach at Terryville High School for the 2006-2007 school year.
Motion Velma McConnell, seconded Martin Wetzel motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To approve the appointment of Mrs. Karen Zagurski to the Agricultural Science and Technology Advisory Board at WAMOGO Regional High School.
Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Velma McConnell motion passed with Mr. Wetzel abstaining.

D. Childbearing/Childrearing Leaves

MOTION: To approve a request of a childbearing/childrearing leave for Pamela Thomas, World Language teacher at Terryville High School beginning on or about January 6, 2007 for the remainder of the school year. Motion Dan Gentile, seconded Lisbeth Leonhardt motion passed unanimously.

E. Plymouth School Administrator’s Contract 2007-2010

MOTION: To approve the contract with the Administrator’s Union as negotiated and presented for the 2007 – 2010 school years. Motion Martin Wetzel, seconded Patrick Perugino. The Chair conducted a roll call and the motion passed unanimously.


A. Curriculum – Lisbeth Leonhardt, Chair

The Curriculum Subcommittee met on October 4, 2006. The following items were:
(1) SAT/Advanced Placement Results – Mr. Lovely presented the 2006 test score information. A discussion took place on how to increase the number of Advanced
Placement courses; (2) Fresh Start Program – This program is in its second year. There are 42 eleventh and twelfth grade mentors who work with the entire 9th grade class. There are 14 groups with 3 upper class mentors to ten 9th graders who meet every month and discuss various topics. A kickoff meeting was held in September with a presentation from “Making It Count”; (3) Title I Report – There are 15 tutors in four schools. In grades 3 -5, each tutor meets with 3-4 groups of 4 – 8 at-risk readers per day for one hour. In grades K-2, each tutor works with the classroom teacher to provide direct

Plymouth Board of Education Page 5 October 11, 2006

reading lessons. In the middle school, 6th and 7th grade at-risk students are the focus of instructional support; (4) Textbook Replacement Cycle – This cycle was developed two years ago and is on target. Recommendations for next year will begin with the
development of the new budget; (5) NEASC Update – Eleven committees were established. They meet once per month to work on self study. Currently, data is being gathered from the student, parent and staff questionnaires. On November 6th a representative from NEASC is meeting with the committee to guide them through the self study process. A draft will be completed by June; (6) Other – Virtual High School – twelve students are currently enrolled.

Comments by Mr. Lovely – (1) NEASC Surveys - Surveys have been distributed to parents but the return response is slowly coming in. These surveys were distributed in order that the information would help to address issues in the high school and help the high school staff prepare for their draft report to NEASC. Please, parents return your surveys as soon as possible. (2) College Applications – Colleges have been rescinding applications from high school seniors because seniors have been taking light courses in their senior year. It seems once a student has been accepted their courses take on a lighter load. This is not the type of work ethic colleges are looking for. Later on in the year, there will be a presentation at the high school to the junior class addressing this issue.

B. Facilities - Dan Gentile, Chair

An update on the new high school, everything is progressing nicely. The replacement roof on Prospect Street School will begin on or before November 1, 2006 and should be completed by the end of the month.

A committee was formed and met during the month of October and the names for the new high school, the current high school and the current middle school were discussed and were brought to the full Board tonight for approval.

A Facilities Subcommittee will discuss, at a later date, the repair of the name on the current middle school.

C. Finance – Dan Gentile, Chair

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

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D. Negotiations – Velma McConnell, Chair

Negotiations were discussed under New Business.

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

Dr. Distasio - The Board Members were provided the first reading of two revised policies: Personnel – Certified/Non-Certified – Employee Protection 4141(a) 4248 and Personnel – Certified- Recruitment and Selection 4111.

Mr. Engle asked all Board Members to review these two policy revisions prior to the next Board Meeting.

G. Safety/Transportation – Michelle Spencer, Chair

No Report

H. Education Connection – Velma McConnell, Representative

Rather than a meeting, a teleconference call was held on Thursday, October 5th.
ED-099 Agreement in accordance with Public Act 06-63 (School Lunch Program) was discussed. Mrs. McConnell reported that many districts have chosen to opt out of this program.

Board Members were provided a handout entitled “How has EDUCATION CONNECTION served Plymouth in 2005 – 2006” for their review.

I. Student Representatives

Anna Plotnikova – Excused Absence

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Robert Lutters – Cross Country – THS lost to Thomaston but won
Against Lewis Mills in the regional’s
Girls Soccer – THS vs. Northwestern – Win

Teddy Bear Drive – event run by the student council and accomplished their goal

October 26 Blood Drive (46 individuals have signed up)

Kaitlin Palance – October 26 Community Health Fair 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
October 28 Haunted Hallway 10 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
October 18 PSAT ($20.00) (for sophomores & juniors)


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

A Special Education Workshop & Fair will be held at the Library on Saturday,
October 14, 2006. Cost is $10 and includes lunch. For more information, please contact Gretchen.

Mrs. Doiron extended Board Members and Student Representatives an invitation to view any of her Special Education Programs. You may contact her office to schedule a tour.

The count for special needs students: Number of PPT’s (Planning & Placement Team Meetings) held last year - Plymouth Center School – 146; Main Street School – 46; Prospect Street School – 41; Harry S. Fisher Middle School – 56; Terryville High School – 126 and outside placement – 41 = 456 PPT’s . Mrs. Doiron explained one PPT needs to be held from every special education child per year. Those in attendance are: special education teacher(s); regular teacher; administrator; parent; staff from mental health services (i.e. psychologist or social worker); also a speech pathologist, occupational therapist and or physical therapist may be involved.

Mr. Lovely – Director of Curriculum & Instruction

A reminder to all parents, please complete the NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges) Survey and return it to your child’s school as soon as possible.

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Mr. Rafaniello – Director of Technology

Tonight’s Crew Connor Raymond, Scott Mamrosh and Chris Casola

A Technology Training Class on PowerPoint 2003 – Level 2 is scheduled for Saturday, November 4th. The response and interest of the staff to further their skills has been overwhelming. The class is full; however, there is a wait list. On November 7th, all elementary teachers will learn to build and/or improve their classroom website.

A new security system has been installed to prevent hackers from breaking into our website. We are gradually getting things back to normal. So, if things seem to be slower than usual, please be patient.

Mr. Perusse – Business Manager

Excused Absence

Dr. Distasio – Superintendent

Dr. Distasio reported that nineteen Terryville High School students participated in the annual Connecticut Construction Day Program at Mountainside in Wallingford. The program gave students the opportunity to explore the various career opportunities in industry. This program was sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, various associations, trade unions and companies.

A nail driving competition was held and Terryville High School students placed first, second and third. The State Department of Education will be presenting awards to the following students: Marc Normandin, David Cody and Ryan Larson.

Both Mr. Rostowsky and Mrs. Aiudi who accompanied the students on this trip were very impressed by their professionalism at the program.

Dr. Distasio announced that there will be a joint meeting of the Building Committee and the Plymouth Board of Education at the new school site on Saturday, October 21, 2006 at 10 a.m. The purpose is to take a tour of the new school to receive a first-hand view of the progress of this facility.

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11. Public Comments Regarding Agenda or Non-Agenda Items

Melanie Church – 328 Main Street, Terryville – Mrs. Church stated that she wanted to address the comment made by the Board Chair at the September meeting regarding the certification of teachers in the Plymouth School District. The Board Chair and Superintendent indicated that all teachers hired in the district are certified. Mrs. Church stated that in her opinion this was not the case. She stated, in particular, that there was a teacher who is now in the Mayor’s office that was not certified because he did not have either a Bachelor’s or a Master’s Degree. The Board Chair and Superintendent both stated again that all teachers hired by the Plymouth Board of Education have been properly certified and that her statement was not accurate.

On another subject, Mrs. Church encouraged everyone to vote on the referendum question(s).

12. Board Liaisons to Schools

Mr. Perugino – Main Street/Prospect Street Schools

Main Street School

October 2 – 6 Nature’s Classroom (grade 5 students)
October 13 School Pictures
October 17 Conferences 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
October 18 Conferences 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
October 28 PTA Halloween Party – 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. for students of PSS/MSS

Prospect Street School

October 11 School Pictures
October 17 Conferences 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Conferences 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Main Street/Prospect Street Schools

Week of October 11 Fire Prevention Week
October Hearing Screening (during the month of October)

Reminder: If you have some free time, please consider volunteering as a Mentor.

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Mrs. Zalaski – Plymouth Center School

Excused Absence.

However, Mrs. McConnell reported the following:

October 2 – 6 Nature’s Classroom for grade 5 students
October 17 Fundraiser Pickup
October 23 Picture Day
October 31 Officer Phil enrichment Program 9:30 a.m./1:15 p.m. / 2 p.m.

Mr. Morgan – Harry S. Fisher Middle School

No Report

Mr. Engle – Terryville High School

No Report

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

No Report

13. Final Board Comments

Mr. Perugino – Acknowledged the participation of approximately 300 students at the Terryville Fair.

Mr. Gentile – The presentation tonight was excellent. One voice does count.

Mrs. McConnell – Vote – this is your opportunity to change things.

Mr. Morgan – the evening’s presentation was enlightening.

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Mr. Engle – Mr. Engle thanked the educators who signed up to participate in the workshop on Saturday, November 4th; acknowledged a letter from Sean Link, a former student and student representative on the Board of Education, on his accomplishments in French at college due to the teaching of his former French high school teacher, Mr. Mabasa; and Mr. Engle asked members to please review the materials with respect to the consortium.

14. Next Regular Board Meeting

Mr. Engle stated that the next Regular Board of Education Meeting will be held on November 8, 2006 at 7 p.m. at Terryville High School.

15. Adjournment

MOTION: To adjourn the meeting at 8:40 p.m. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded
Martin Wetzel motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Patrick Perugino

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