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11/9/2005

Minutes

Meeting Type: Board of Education Meeting
Location: Terryville High School Cafeteria
Date: 11/9/2005 7:00:00 PM

Plymouth Board of Education
Regular Meeting
Wednesday, November 9, 2005
Terryville High School Cafeteria

MINUTES

Present:
Board: Roxanne Perugino, Raymond Engle, Patrick Perugino, Karen Kulesa, Lisbeth Leonhardt, Lisa Moriarty, Dan Gentile, Patricia Budnick and Velma McConnell

Administrators: Dr. Distasio, Gerry Perusse, Keith Rafaniello, Carol Doiron and
Peter Lovely

1. CALL TO ORDER AND PLEDGE TO THE FLAG

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

2. ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

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

3. APPROVAL OF MINUTES

MOTION: To approve the minutes of October 12, 2005. Motion Roxanne Perugino, seconded Ray Engle, motion passed unanimously.

4. PRESENTATIONS

This month’s presentation was the introduction of the CAPSS Superintendent/Student Award Recipients. Dr. Distasio explained these students were selected for their academic prowness, school citizenship, and community service. He then introduced each principal who in turn introduced his/her students and read a short biography.
Dr. Distasio indicated the students will receive their awards at the CAPSS Dinner on November 17, 2005 at the Cornucopia Restaurant in Torrington.

Congratulations to:
Main Street School Plymouth Center School
Angel Katiewicz Anna Dupaul
Ryan Schultz Luke Huntley

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Harry S. Fisher Middle School Terryville High School
Yusra Khan Jennifer Dutkiewicz
Robert McLam Sean Link

MOTION: To adjourn at 7:18 p.m. for a brief reception for our award winners.
Motion Ray Engle, seconded Roxanne Perugino, motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To go back into session at 7:33 p.m. Motion Roxanne Perugino, seconded Dan Gentile, motion passed unanimously.

5. PUBLIC COMMENTS REGARDING AGENDA ITEMS

None

6. COMMUNICATIONS

None

7. OLD BUSINESS

Plymouth Fire Marshal John Schubert
44 Fairway View Drive
Bristol CT 06010

Dr. Distasio provided some background information regarding the fire code issue at Plymouth Center School before the Fire Marshal spoke.

Dr. Distasio explained, in order to correct a problem of overcrowding of kindergarten students, an extra class was added at Plymouth Center School. However, finding a space was the issue. There was space available on the second level directly above the other kindergarten classes at the school. A fire code issue was not a problem, so we thought, because all of Plymouth Center School was at ground level. However, the Fire Marshal informed us there was a potential problem because of a little caveat in the fire code indicating ground access exit must be within 200’ and the exit was 400’. We met with the Fire Marshal and came up with some exceptions which we later discovered were unnecessary due to new information. Plymouth Center School was, in fact, within code.

The Fire Marshal explained, “Rooms normally occupied by preschool, kindergarten or first grade pupils shall not be located above or below the stay of exit discharge” meaning the door going out of the building. “Rooms normally occupied by second grade pupils

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shall not be located more than one story above the stay of exit of discharge” meaning students can be housed on the second floor. But, he indicated there was an exception. “Rooms or areas located on floor levels other than as specified above may be used where provided with independent egress facilities dedicated for use by the preschool, kindergarten, or first or second grade pupils”. In speaking with Mrs. Collins, that exit is just used for the kindergarten, the floor below them and up to second grade and students at that end of the building. This falls within that exception so there is NO FIRE CODE VIOLATION. Mr. Schubert researched the matter further by speaking with a specialist from the State Fire Marshal’s office. This individual helps to write the codes for the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association).

Mr. Schubert has been a Fire Marshal for 17 years, a career firefighter in Bristol for 33 years, averages 200 hours every three years for recertification (90 hours minimum are required every three years for re-certification)

8. NEW BUSINESS

A. Appointments

MOTION: To approve the appointment of the following individuals to coaching positions at Terryville High School:

Mark Fowler Boy’s Varsity Basketball Coach
A. J. Sirianni Boy’s JV Basketball Coach
Peter Veleas Varsity Wrestling Coach
Mark Sconziano JV Wrestling Coach
Angie Suffridge Girl’s Varsity Basketball Coach

Motion Roxanne Perugino, seconded Patricia Budnick motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To approve the appointment of the following individuals as volunteer coaches at Harry S. Fisher Middle School:

John Szyndlar Volunteer Assistant Boy’s Basketball
Robert McLam Volunteer Assistant Boy’s Basketball

Motion: Roxanne Perugino, seconded Lisbeth Leonhardt, motion passed unanimously.

B. Approval of Plymouth Board of Education Meeting Dates for the 2006 Calendar Year.

MOTION: To approve the Plymouth Board of Education Meeting Dates for the 2006 Calendar Year. Motion Roxanne Perugino, seconded Dan Gentile motion passed unanimously.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 4 November 9, 2005

C. Approval of Out-of-State Field Trip

MOTION: To approve the trip to West Springfield High School, in West Springfield, Massachusetts for grades 7 & 8 Chorus students at Harry S. Fisher Middle School for Friday, May 19, 2006 for participation in the Great East Festival. Motion Ray Engle, seconded Lisa Moriarty, motion passed unanimously,

D. Approval of Childbearing/Childrearing Leave

MOTION: To approve a Childbearing Leave for Mrs. Amy Battisto, Grade 1 teacher at Prospect Street School, beginning on or about December 9, 2005. Following her childbearing leave, approval for Childrearing Leave through the end of the 2005 – 2006 school year. Motion Ray Engle, seconded Lisa Moriarty, motion passed unanimously.

9. BOARD MEMBER/COMMITTEE REPORTS

A. Curriculum – Karen Kulesa, Chair

The Curriculum Subcommittee met on November 2, 2005. The following topics were discussed: (1) Curriculum Mapping – revision of the curriculum mapping is necessary due to the change in the testing dates of the Connecticut Mastery Test and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test; (2) Textbook replacement cycle – Information was shared on the purchase of textbooks based on the textbook replacement cycle and monies allocated for content areas at the high school level. Administrators and teachers will be revising the replacement cycle this year to reflect purchases and the course restructuring at the high and middle school with respect to changes in special education services; (3) Inclusion – Courses have been consolidated at the high school and have reduced our stand-alone special education classes at all levels; and (4) Mr. Lovely shared the District Strategic School Profile with Curriculum Subcommittee members.

B. Facilities – Ray Engle, Chair

Preliminary bid packet will go out on November 29, 2005 and is due back on December 15, 2005 for bid opening. There will be a list of alternatives should there be cost overruns.

Everything is still on schedule. We should be seeing work on the site sometime in late December or early January.

Mr. Engle submitted the minutes of the October 15, 2005 Building Committee Meeting. There are pre-bid meetings taking place at Town Hall. There is also a list of alternates to be bid on. This is necessary in case there are cost overruns.

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C. Finance – Patricia Budnick, Chair

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

The subcommittee reviewed two transfers amounting to $85.00 which were previously approved by the Superintendent.

D. Negotiations – Lisa Moriarty, Chair

Three negotiations and one mediation session have taken place and as yet there is no agreement with the PEA (Plymouth Education Association). The next step will be binding arbitration. The Negotiations Subcommittee will go into executive session after the Board of Education Meeting for further discussions.

E. Personnel – Roxanne Perugino, Chair

Mrs. Perugino reported that the personnel sub-committee met with the Superintendent prior to the Board meeting and approved of all of his appointments.

F. Policy – Velma McConnell, Chair

The Policy Subcommittee met on November 2, 2005. Subcommittee members reviewed the following policies with the Superintendent (1) 7551 – Naming Facilities Policy;
(2) 4112.8 - Nepotism Policy; and (3) 4139 – Computer Use Policy (New/Staff). These policies were included in Board Members Packets for review. Approval for the same will be brought up at the December Board of Education Meeting.

G. Safety & Transportation – Ray Engle, Chair

No Report

H. Education Connection - Patricia Budnick

Mrs. Budnick included articles with respect to Education Connection in the Board packet for members to review for informational purposes. Individuals, not connected with education, are uncertain as to the purpose and meaning of Education Connection. Education Connection is trying to find a way to inform the public regarding the services they offer and what they stand for. Mrs. Budnick suggested inviting a member of Education Connection to speak before the Board of Education at one of their meetings, especially, since there are a number of new Board Members.

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I. Student Representatives

Jennifer Dutkiewicz – the Roos, girls soccer team, ended the season with a 3 – 1 loss to Cromwell. The Leo Club is sponsoring a flu drive. Please drop off non-perishable items to the Food Pantry or at your child(s) school. Juniors will be job shadowing November 14th, and parent’s night for sophomores to purchase class rings will be held on November 16th at 6 p.m.

Sean Link – there will be a bake sale on November 11th in front of the Subway and IGA to help raise funds for a black and white formal in January for all grades. Hopefully, enough money will be raised to hold the formal in the Lyceum. Volleyball won the 1st round of the State Tournament, their regular season was undefeated; Boy’s Cross Country ended the season 4-7; Boy’s and Girl’s Cross Country placed 8th in the Berkshire League; and the Boy’s placed 17th in the Class S State Meet.

Kaitlin Palance – A school resource officer has been assigned for the Plymouth Schools and is housed at Terryville High School. He will help students with drug & alcohol problems; peer pressure and other concerns that arise.

10. ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS/REQUESTS/INFORMATION

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

Mrs. Doiron reported she will be working on the November report for the State on the progress of the 2 goals from the Special Education Compliance. She will share that information in the next Board of Education packet. She thanked all staff, regular and special education teachers and administrators for working hard on inclusion and differentiated instruction. She indicated Plymouth is really doing well.

A meeting on bus training for special education bus drivers will be held on Friday, November 10, 2005 at the Board of Education Offices in the conference room. Confidentiality and disabilities will be some of the topics for discussion.

Mr. Lovely – Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Thank you to Chief Krasicky and Resource Office Kevin Sulak for stepping in at the last minute to speak about Drug Awareness and the effect and penalties of drug use during Tuesday’s Professional Development Day. They were very well received by the group.

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Mr. Rafaniello, Director of Technology

Thank you to the following individuals for participating in tonight’s broadcast:

Ms. Fran Block Club Advisor
Brian Luba Director, Audio, and Quality Control
Kevin Luba Camera A
Connor Raymond Camera B
Scott Manrosh Quality Control, Set up & Break Down

Watch for Plymouth Rocks episode coming Thanksgiving Weekend.

The Terryville High School T.V. Production Club visited the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. The club met up with a former Terryville High School student who became involved in broadcasting due to classes he attended under the instruction of Mr. Trudeau.

Mr. Perusse, Business Manager

Mr. Perusse reported the cost of fuel oil for the year has been locked in at $2.03 per gallon and the cost of diesel, $2.16 per gallon. However, there is a tax for leaking underground storage tanks. One mill is added on to the price of oil.

Dr. Distasio, Superintendent

The following events will take place:

Prospect Street/Main Street Schools

The PTA at Prospect Street and Main Street Schools will conduct an Enrichment Program on November 16th for students in both schools.

Plymouth Center School

The PTA will be sponsoring a Movie Night on Friday, November 18th at 7 p.m. at Plymouth Center School.

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Harry S. Fisher Middle School

Red Ribbon Week, a week devoted to drug awareness, at Harry S. Fisher Middle School was a success. There were guest speakers and drug sniffing dogs were brought in by the Bristol Police Department and students were able to see Eagle One, a helicopter used in state police work.

Parent Conferences were held on November 7th. They will be held again on November 9th in the afternoon and on November 10th from 1 – 3 p.m.

Terryville High School

Congratulations to Mr. Grella and his Electrathon Team students. They won first and second place at Lime Rock last Friday.

A reminder to parents: There will be no school on Friday, November 11, 2005 in observance of Veteran’s Day and for the Thanksgiving Break, November 23 & 25th – No School.

If anyone has a question with respect to the 2004 -2005 Strategic School Profile or would like a copy, please contact your child’s school or the Board of Education.

Congratulations to the new Board of Education members: Lenny Morgan, Jennifer Zalaski, Martin Wetzel, Michele Spencer and returning Board of Education Member, Dan Gentile. I look forward to working with all of you.

On behalf of the children of the Town of Plymouth, Dr. Distasio extended his sincerest appreciation to the outgoing Board of Education members, Lisa Moriarty, Karen Kulesa, Patricia Budnick and Roxanne Perugino. Their service and contribution to the children of Plymouth has been invaluable. These members put the children first. This Board never made decisions based on party lines or personal agenda. He expressed how extremely proud he was to have worked with each and every one of the outgoing members. The hard work and support they gave to the school system was greatly appreciated. He wished them best wishes in their future endeavors.

Teachers and town officials will be facing the Harlem Magic Masters Wizards in a basketball game scheduled for December 2nd at 7 p.m. in the Terryville High School gymnasium. The event is sponsored by the Booster Club.

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11. Public Comments Regarding Agenda or Non-Agenda Items

Linda Hotchkiss, 15 Curtiss Road, Terryville

Praised Mrs. Doiron for a great job she did filling in for Dr. Distasio in his absence at the last Board of Education meeting. Her comments at the last Board of Education meeting were not political in nature, they were her feelings, her point was to make the public aware of what was happening in the schools; get them to ask questions; and to share information so that we can do what’s best for the kids.

12. Business of the Board

Mrs. Perugino – Congratulations to those students receiving the Superintendent’s award.

In closing, Mrs. Perugino indicated she was proud to say: there are more children attending college; this school system has increased its GPA; class sizes have been stabilized; we are looking to employ more teachers; and we have been under budget for the 1st time and because of this 2 schools will have new roofs. Good Luck to the new Board Members. A final comment, people are more likely to criticize you than give you thanks in this position. Thank you Board Members, all staff and administrators for all of your hard work.

Mrs. McConnell – Congratulations to the 8 students. Some parting words for outgoing Board of Education members: I’ve learned a lot; Mrs. Kulesa you are the curriculum guru; Mrs. Moriarty although we have not served on any subcommittees together, you will be missed and I wish you the best of luck; Mrs. Perugino, your insight into personnel matters and the nuts and bolts of the new school will be missed; and to Mrs. Budnick, I have learned that the budget is just more than numbers, it is the cost of the nuts and bolts of a good education.

Mr. Engle – We, as a group, work together whether Republican or Democrat. Welcome to all the new Board members. Good Luck to all.

There will be a Friends of Music meeting on November 10th at 7 p.m.

At the Town Council Meeting last night, the roofs were approved for the 2 schools.

Mrs. Leonhardt – Congratulations to the 8 winners. All of the outgoing Board members will be missed. I have learned a lot from you.

Mrs. Moriarty – It has been a pleasure serving on the Board of Education; congratulations to the new Board members and the Best of Luck to everyone.

Mrs. Budnick – Congratulations to the Roos for winning the Berkshire Volleyball title and to the 8 student award recipients.

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Since she was unable to attend the previous Board Meeting and, therefore, was unable to address the letters with reference to the Fire Code issue, she made the following comment: To her knowledge, complaints were handled through the school and superintendent for resolution. Therefore, she was surprised the matter reached the level it had since the matter was resolved prior to letters being written and publicized in the newspapers.

She was thankful for the opportunity to serve on the Board of Education. She learned a lot. This Board operated as carrying individuals and worked for the best of the schools. She hoped the new Board works as a town and school system as a whole.

Mrs. Kulesa – She thanked the Fire Marshal for his clarification of the Fire Code Issue, congratulated the 8 award winners, thanked her family and community for the opportunity to help with the schools in a positive direction and she looks forward to spending more time with her family.

Mr. Gentile - Hopes departing members will keep involved; welcome to the new Board members; congratulations to all the student award winners; soccer and volleyball teams; thank you former Board members; and to all at Prospect Street School for keeping things in compliance.

Mr. Perugino – It has been a pleasure working with everyone; there is an abundance of work to be done; proud we did come under budget last year and the money was put to good use.

13. Next Regular Board Meeting

Mr. Perugino stated that the next Regular Board of Education Meeting will be held on December 14, 2005 at 7 p.m. Terryville High School cafeteria.

14. Adjournment

MOTION: To adjourn the meeting at 8:35 p.m. Motion Ray Engle, seconded
Roxanne Perugino, motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

____________________
Velma McConnell
Secretary

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