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Meeting Type: Board of Education Meeting
Location: Terryville High School Cafeteria
10/12/2005 7:00:00 PM

Plymouth Board of Education
Regular Meeting
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Terryville High School Cafeteria


Board: Roxanne Perugino, Velma McConnell, Ray Engle, Karen Kulesa, Lisbeth Leonhardt, Lisa Moriarty, Dan Gentile, and Patrick Perugino

Excused Absence: Patricia Budnick

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

Excused Absence: Dr. Distasio, Superintendent


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 Dan Gentile, seconded
Roxanne Perugino, motion passed unanimously.


MOTION: To approve the minutes of September 14, 2005. Motion Ray Engle, seconded Roxanne Perugino, motion passed unanimously.



Plymouth Board of Education Page 2 October 12, 2005


Dr. Distasio received a letter from Attorney General Richard Blumenthal regarding this Board’s support of the No Child Left Behind lawsuit.

Board Members received letters from Mrs. Lisa Whitney and Mrs. Linda Hotchkiss but due to the Columbus Day Holiday, were not able to review the same.

Meet the Board of Education Candidates on Wednesday, October 26tth, 7 p.m. at the Community Room, Town Hall.




A. Out-of-State Field Trip

MOTION: To approve the trip to Washington, D.C. for grade 8 students at Harry S. Fisher Middle School from May 2 to May 5, 2006. Motion Velma McConnell, seconded Lisbeth Leonhardt, motion passed unanimously.

B. Appointments

MOTION: To approve the appointment of Fran Block, Julie Tracy and Rich Trudeau to the shared position of Television Production Specialist/Club Advisor for the 2005 – 2006 school year. Motion Roxanne Perugino, seconded Karen Kulesa, motion passed with one abstention from Velma McConnell.

MOTION: To approve the appointment of Melissa Gilbert to the position of Newspaper Advisor at Terryville High School for the 2005 – 2006 school year. Motion Roxanne Perugino seconded Karen Kulesa, motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To approve the appointment of Lori Bartholomew to the position of Title 1 Tutor at Main Street School for the 2005 – 2006 school year. Motion Velma McConnell, seconded Roxanne Perugino, motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To approve the appointment of Jennifer Fredlund to the position of Title 1 Tutor at Harry S. Fisher Middle School for the 2005 – 2006 school year. Motion Roxanne Perugino, seconded Ray Engle, motion passed unanimously.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 3 October 12, 2005

MOTION: To approve the appointment of Joseph Barbino to the position of Boy’s Basketball Coach at Harry S. Fisher Middle School for the 2005 – 2006 school year. Motion Roxanne Perugino, seconded Ray Engle, motion passed unanimously.


A. Curriculum – Karen Kulesa, Chair

Mrs. Kulesa deferred her report to Mr. Lovely since she was not in attendance at the October 5th meeting. The following items were discussed: (1) changes in the report card in curriculum in grades 3 – 10; Mastery Test date moved - March 1st - 28th is the testing window – thus the reason for looking at the curriculum in language arts and math in order to make certain all of the curriculum items are in alignment with the Connecticut Mastery testing schedule; CAPT Testing has been moved back a month to make certain that 8th and 10th grade students would receive all the curriculum items before the CAPT testing the 1st of March.

(2) Title 1 positions for the 2005 – 2006 school years.

Prospect Street School 1 ½ Tutors
Main Street School 1 Tutor
Harry S. Fisher Middle School 2 Tutors

(3) Fresh Start Program – A summer training program for approximately 45 juniors and seniors who became mentors to the freshman class was provided by Patrick Connolly, YMCA Middlesex programs coordinator. Groups of 3 to 4 upperclassmen mentor 8 to 10 freshman.

B. Facilities – Ray Engle, Chair

Mr. Engle reported the following: submitted a copy of the OSF information (Office of School Facilities); is waiting to hear if the bidding can begin; the thirteen minor code violations were corrected immediately; submitted progress report status; hoping to break ground sometime around mid December; everything is going quite well; submitted construction report; the high school is on schedule and there are no set backs. Mr. Engle encourages all citizens to attend the Building Committee Meetings and get involved. The cost of materials is on the rise. There has been a 50% - 70% increase in steel and the cost of cement is skyrocketing.

With respect to the fire code issue at Plymouth Center School, Mr. Engle indicated we are abiding and adhering to whatever guidelines have been set up by the state and local fire marshals, i.e. limited the number of children in the classroom; 2 adults are available for fire evacuation.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 4 October 12, 2005

C. Finance – Patricia Budnick, Chair

In lieu of Mrs. Budnick’s absence, Mrs. Leonhardt reported on the activities of the Finance Subcommittee.

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.

The Finance Subcommittee reviewed the end of the year salary transfers.
Mrs. Leonhardt made the following Motion:

MOTION: To approve the end of the year salary transfers. Motion Roxanne Perugino, seconded Dan Gentile, motion passed unanimously.

The Finance Subcommittee discussed the CASBO 457 Deferred Compensation Plan. After a brief discussion, the subcommittee agreed to bring the matter before the full board for approval. Mrs. Leonhardt made the following Motion:

MOTION: The Board has determined that it will establish a Section 457(b) deferred compensation plan by adopting the CASBO 457 Plan and selecting the ING Product to provide investment options and administrative services with respect to Plan accounts invested in such investment options for the Plan and AXA Equitable is hereby approved and adopted by the Board, effective as of October 12, 2005. Motion Velma McConnell, seconded Roxanne Perugino, motion passed unanimously.

D. Negotiations – Lisa Moriarty, Chair

Mrs. Moriarty reported two sessions have taken place with respect to negotiations with the PEA which have been very positive. Additional sessions are scheduled for October 20th and October 27th, 2005. Matters seem to be moving along smoothly.

E. Personnel – Roxanne Perugino, Chair

Mrs. Perugino reported that the personnel sub-committee met prior to the Board meeting. All of the Superintendent’s recommendations were approved under New Business.

F. Policy – Velma McConnell, Chair

Policy Subcommittee will be meeting prior to the next Board of Education Meeting. Time and date to be determined.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 5 October 12, 2005

G. Safety & Transportation- Ray Engle, Chair

The Safety & Transportation Subcommittee met with a group of parents who reside on Ridge Road. They were concerned for the safety of their children because the school bus did not come on to Ridge Road. Dr. Distasio contacted the bus company with respect to placing a school bus stop in the center of Ridge Road.

H. Education Connection - Patricia Budnick

Excused Absence – No report

I. Student Representatives

Jen Dutkiewicz – There will be a Haunted House at Terryville High School on October 29th to benefit the after grad party; the junior class is sponsoring a tag sale at the high school on Saturday, October 15th from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Krispy Crème Senior Class Fundraiser at the Terryville Congregational Church; Freshman Car Wash on October 22nd.

Sean Link – The students of Terryville High School raised $4,713.24 for the victims of Katrina; Mayoral Debate will take place on October 27th at 7 p.m. in the Community
Room at Town Hall, mediators will be Jen Dutkiewicz and Sean Link, and questions may be submitted by students and citizens and 150 sophomores and juniors took the PSAT.

Kaitlin Palance – The State Department of Education invited 3 students and a teacher to attend a regional student forum as part of a statewide initiative to develop a framework for Connecticut students. Individuals discussed and shared thoughts on school, their recommendations on the instruction and their ideas about reconstruction.


Mrs. Doiron, Director of Pupil Personnel & Special Educational Services/District Administrator in Charge

No Report

Mr. Lovely – Director of Curriculum and Instruction

No Report
Plymouth Board of Education Page 6 October 12, 2005

Mr. Rafaniello, Director of Technology

Mr. Rafaniello thanked the Board Members for the appointment of the Television Production Specialist/Club Advisors.

A special “thank you” to Ms. Fran Block for helping with tonight’s Board of Education Meeting.

Mr. Rafaniello recognized and thanked the following students for helping with the night’s broadcast:
Scott Manrosh Director & Audio
Danielle Negro Camera B
Connor Raymond Camera C
Adam Synott Text
Brian Luba Quality Control
Beth Tamburrino Camera A

Mr. Perusse, Business Manager

The first of two environmental air tests have been completed. Top soil has been delivered to the softball field at Harry S. Fisher Middle School in order to try to level off the left hand side of the field.

Dr. Distasio, Superintendent - Excused Absence

Mrs. Doiron, District Administrator in Charge reported on Dr. Distasio’s behalf.


Parent Conferences

October 18th, 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
October 19th 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.


Parent Conferences

October 18th 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
October 19th 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

The PTA is sponsoring a combination Halloween Party for Prospect Street and Main Street Schools on October 28th at Harry S. Fisher Middle School from 5:30 p.m. to
7:00 p.m.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 7 October 12, 2005


Parent Conferences

October 18th and October 20th
Students will be dismissed at 1 p.m. on elementary parent conference days

Picture Day – October 24th


October 5, 2005 – Author, Dr. Anthony Wolf addressed parents and staff concerning the development and parenting of teenage children.

October 24 – 28th – Red Ribbon Week – theme drug awareness

10. Public Comments Regarding Agenda or Non-Agenda Items

Linda Hotchkiss – 15 Curtin Road, Terryville CT
Lisa Whitney – 541 Main Street, Terryville CT

Both parents read a letter they had sent to Board of Education Members, Dr. Distasio and others with regard to a kindergarten class, Head Start and the Family Resource Center at Plymouth Center School. Mrs. Whitney indicated she wanted this matter investigated.

Lisa Whitney approached the podium as President of the PTA Council and indicated 4 members of the Executive Board of the Plymouth Center School PTA had resigned.

Linda Hotchkiss approached the podium for a second time, very emotional and apologized for disappointing the children and letting them down.

11. Business of the Board

Mrs. Perugino – an all day kindergarten has been discussed in subcommittee meetings. Members have looked into the matter, thought there was a need, but currently there is no room. However, there are opportunities for full day kindergartens within our school system at the magnet schools. The committee will address this matter again once the
new school is reconstructed to explore if it will allow more room for a full time kindergarten.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 8 October 12, 2005

Mrs. McConnell – could not emphasis enough the benefit of the Head Start and FRC Program; the officers that resigned from the Plymouth Center School PTA, need to ask themselves was this in the best interest of the children; and she addressed the outpouring of support and sympathy shown by the community for the Scott Family.

Mr. Engle – In terms of the new high school, if OSF (Office of School Facilities) approves of everything, the matter will be on the Town Council Agenda on November 1st.

With respect to the matter of the fire code issue, Mr. Engle indicated if anyone was to blame for the oversight of not addressing the matter at the previous Board Meeting, the fault lies with him as Chairperson of the Facilities Subcommittee. This was an oversight and not intentional.

Mrs. Kulesa – thanked everyone who sends the Board correspondence or brings their concerns to the meetings. Any and all opinions, questions, and concerns are valid and worthy of the Board’s attention. While the Board may not react or answer a concern immediately, they do take them all under consideration and discuss them in subcommittee meetings. Subcommittee Meetings are where most of the decisions are made and debates take place. The public is more than welcome to attend these meetings and address their issues and have their questions answered.

Mrs. Moriarty – Tuesday, November 8th, 2005 is Election Day. Get out and vote and let your voice be heard.

Mrs. Leonhardt – No Comments

Mr. Gentile – Inquired as to where CABE stood on the “No Child Left Behind” lawsuit. Mr. Perugino indicated this would be addressed at the CABE/CAPSS Convention on November 18th and 19th. He commended the students at the high school for an excellent job in raising funds for the victims of Katrina. Subcommittee meetings are important for people to attend. This is where discussions take place.

Mr. Perugino – Firefighters will be visiting our elementary schools to teach the children about fire safety; thank you to the students for raising money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina; regrets deeply the resignations of those individuals on the Plymouth Center School PTA, hope they will consider and work with the principal; please do not listen to rumors, get the facts, contact the Superintendent, the Board does not disregard anyone’s questions or concerns; this Board is not political by any means; and finally Thank You all the Board Members for the many hours of time they put in attending various meetings.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 9 October 12, 2005

12. Next Regular Board Meeting

Mr. Perugino stated that the next Regular Board of Education Meeting will be held on November 9, 2005 at 7 p.m. Terryville High School cafeteria.

13. Adjournment

MOTION: To adjourn the meeting at 7:50 p.m. Motion Dan Gentile, seconded Roxanne Perugino, motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Velma McConnell
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