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Meeting Type: Board of Education Meeting
Terryville High School Cafeteria
5/11/2005 7:00:00 PM

Plymouth Board of Education

Regular Meeting

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Terryville High School Cafeteria



Board: Roxanne Perugino, Patrick Perugino, Karen Kulesa,

Lisa Moriarty, Patricia Budnick, Velma McConnell , and

Lisbeth Leonhardt

Excused Absence: Dan Gentile and Ray Engle

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


Mr. Perugino called the meeting to order at 7:08 p.m. The group joined in the Pledge to the Flag.


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


MOTION: To approve the minutes of April 13, 2005 . Motion Velma McConnell, seconded Roxanne Perugino, motion passed unanimously.


Mr. Peter Lovely, Director of Curriculum & Instruction, gave a brief presentation of the new Tetra Data Program. He explained that Tetra Data is a system that collects and then helps one analyze data electronically. It is an Internet based system. The staff will be able to follow students over time and even years. This system will be used the next calendar year and in the future. It will be a benefit to the system since one of our goals is to enhance the systematic implementation of data collection and analysis to differentiate instruction in Language Arts, Math and Science. Mr. Lovely explained that data analysis and collection has become a major driving force in education.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 2 April 13. 2005








A. Appointments

MOTION: To appoint to the position of Track Coach at Harry S. Fisher Middle School for the remainder of the season, Jennifer Baccei. Motion Roxanne Perugino, seconded Lisbeth Leonhardt motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To appoint to the position of System-Wide Literacy Consultant, Rebecca Hollaran, beginning July 1, 2005 . Motion Velma McConnell, seconded Roxanne Perugino Motion passed unanimously.

Prior to the next two appointments, Dr. Distasio gave a brief explanation of the interview process for the positions of Assistant Principal of Harry S. Fisher Middle School and Principal of Main and Prospect Street Schools .

Dr. Distasio explained both positions were advertised in early April. Fifty-six applications were received for the Assistant Principal position and twenty-eight applications for Principal. Committees were formed for each position which consisted of teachers, parents and administrators. Seven candidates were interviewed for the Assistant Principal position. From the seven, three were chosen and interviewed by Dr. Distasio. Six candidates were interviewed for the Main and Prospect Street Schools position. There was one candidate that was an overwhelming choice so no further interviews were conducted by the Superintendent.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 3 May 11, 2005

The Personnel Subcommittee met prior to the Board meeting and interviewed both of the recommended candidates. At this time, the following motions were made:

MOTION: To appoint to the position of Assistant Principal, Gary Travers, at Harry S. Fisher Middle School , effective July 1, 2005 . Motion Roxanne Perugino, seconded Karen Kulesa. The chairman conducted a roll call vote of the Board of Education Members: Mrs. Budnick, Mrs. Moriarty, Mrs. Leonhardt, Mrs. Kulesa, Mrs. Perugino, Mrs. McConnell and the chair, Patrick Perugino. All voted in favor of appointing Gary Travers, Assistant Principal of Harry S. Fisher Middle School .

MOTION: To appoint to the position of Principal, Phyllis Worhunsky, at Main Street/Prospect Street Schools, effective July 1, 2005 . Motion Roxanne Perugino, seconded Velma McConnell. The chairman conducted a roll call vote of the Board of Education Members: Mrs. Budnick, Mrs. Moriarty, Mrs. Leonhardt, Mrs. Kulesa, Mrs. Perugino, Mrs. McConnell and the chair, Patrick Perugino. All voted in favor of appointing Phyllis Worhunsky, Principal of Main Street/Prospect Street Schools.

Mr. Perugino called for a Motion to recess in order to welcome the new administrators.

MOTION: To adjourn at 7:27 p.m. for a brief recess to welcome the new administrators. Motion Velma McConnell, seconded Roxanne Perugino motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To reconvene at 7:35 p.m. Motion Roxanne Perugino, seconded Velma McConnell motion passed unanimously.

B. Resignations

Dr. Distasio accepted the resignation of Johann Harms, grade six teacher at Harry S. Fisher Middle School effective June 30, 2005 .

Dr. Distasio accepted the resignation of Mrs. Paula Gorham, Kindergarten teacher at Prospect Street School effective June 30, 2005 .

C. Out of State Field Trips

MOTION: To approve the trip to New York City for grade 6 students on both academic teams at Harry S. Fisher Middle School as part of their academic enrichment for June 1, 2005 and June 15, 2005 , respectively. Motion Lisa Moriarty, seconded Patricia Budnick motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To approve the trip to Newport , Rhode Island for grade 11 and 12 English students from Terryville High School as an extension of the curriculum for June 1, 2005 . Motion Lisa Moriarty, seconded Lisbeth Leonhardt, motion passed unanimously.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 4 May 11, 2005


• Curriculum - Karen Kulesa, Chair

The Curriculum Subcommittee met on May 11, 2005 and discussed the following items:

(1) Tetra Data - covered under tonight's presentation; (2) Title 1 Program Report - this program at the elementary level was restructured this year to more of an inclusionary model than the typical pull out model that is more traditional in special education. Special Education teachers are spending more time in the classroom co-teaching with the regular education teachers. This model helps all the children in the classroom and will continue next year. The middle school program is also combining its Title I and Special Education services in order to move towards a more inclusionary model as well; (3) Saturday Detention - Out-of-School suspensions have dropped by 50% compared to the 2002 - 2003 school year. The number of In-School suspensions has risen because students are being kept in school as opposed to sending them home. (4) Tranquility - Mrs. Worhunsky provided a report on the Clarity-Tranquility Special Education reporting program. This is a reporting system whereby members of a PPT, a planning team for special education students, all get together and are able to do their reporting on a computer screen rather than using paper reports.

• Facilities - Ray Engle, Chair (excused absence)

Dr. Distasio reported that extensive work has been done on the baseball and softball fields, in particular, Harry S. Fisher Middle School and Main Street School softball fields. Some top soil has been put down in the outfields, clay on the infields, fields have been raked out, some injection seeding has been done in the outfield, fields have been rolled, and new benches installed for the players. Dr. Distasio reported the fields are looking better than they have been in a long time. A lot of effort has been put in to make them look good. Dr. Distasio publicly thanked Mr. Perusse for all the effort he put in to make all this happen.

Mr. Perugino indicated a tentative date of June 1, 2005 has been scheduled to put a shovel in the ground for the new high school. He received a letter from the State, indicating everything was cleared. The bidding process has now begun. We are on track and may even be a bit ahead of schedule.

Dr. Distasio added all that is needed to secure the grant is to have a signed contract. The project is moving along as planned.

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.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 5 May 11, 2005

One of the items on the report that was called to the committee's attention was that the fuel at all of the schools is running over budget because the cost of oil is $1.48 per gallon and it was budgeted at $1.10 per gallon.

Also discussed were the budget cuts that need to be made as a result of the Town approved budget of the other night. Basically, we are looking at a $166,303 cut. The Superintendent provided the Finance Subcommittee with a recommended listing of positions and areas that will need to be cut. We as a subcommittee discussed the same and approved the Superintendent's recommendations. The following motion was brought to the Board.

MOTION: To make a cut of $166,303 using the details provided to us by the Superintendent. Motion Roxanne Perugino, seconded Lisa Moriarty motion passed unanimously.

D. Negotiations - Lisa Moriarty, Chair

No Report

E. Personnel - Roxanne Perugino, Chair

Mrs. Perugino reported all items were handled under new business.

F. Policy - Velma McConnell , Chair

No Report at this time

G. Safety & Transportation - Ray Engle, Chair

Excused absence

H. Education Connection - Patricia Budnick

Mrs. Budnick reported she attended last Thursday's meeting of Education Connection. Elections were held. She was again elected Director at Large. She reported the annual submission of Head Start grants needed to be voted on as part of a committee. Twenty-one applications were submitted for various grants and programs throughout the school year. On May 18, 2005 , they will find out what summer sessions were funded and how much they were funded. Notifications will be sent.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 6 May 11, 2005

I. Student Representatives

Cassandra Huizenga - excused absence

Sophia Sopczneski - (1) AP Exams were completed on Monday; (2) May 14, 2005, the senior class is having a hot dog sale in the parking lot of IGA, hotdog, chips and soda - $1.75, profits go to benefit the senior class fund; (3) on May 14, 2005, the post office will be collecting food from around the town. The Leo Club will be helping to organize this event at the Ambulance Building from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. ; (4) May 26, 2005 , Terryville High School will have a Harry S. Fisher Middle School mentor day. Eighth grade students will be following high school students throughout the day. Eighth graders will have an opportunity to become more acquainted with the high school environment. This is a pilot program consisting of forty students. And (5) the senior prom will take place on Saturday, May 28, 2005 .

Dr. Distasio added that Sophia was selected by the Rotary Club as Student of the Month and was treated to a luncheon at Silvio's.

Sean Link - (1) inductions for National Honors Society for Juniors - May 17, 2005 ;

(2) Town Youth & Government Day - May 23, 2005; (3) Voter Registration at Terryville High School - May 24, 2005; and Drama Production "Into the Woods" has been cancelled.


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

Mrs. Doiron reported on the Compliance Review. Special Education focus monitoring was done from March 7 - 11, 2005 by six people (3 from the state; 2 directors; and a parent from another town). A preliminary report was received. The focus monitoring was on education of students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment. The outcome will hopefully be to decrease the number of students with disabilities who spend zero to 40% of their time with non-disabled peers. This has been a goal of the district all year. There were four required actions and a couple of recommendations. There was a recommendation to work on a plan. The required actions were basically to hold a few different PPT's and to look at our time, i.e. the way time is calculated with non-disabled peers. Mrs. Doiron, Mr. Lovely, Mr. Michaud, Mrs. Morley, and Mrs. Worhunsky, will be attending a meeting on June 2, 2005 wherein they will be working with the school improvement plans and suggestions of the state to come up with a Plan. They will be meeting with three other small towns on that date and maybe get some ideas from them. Mrs. Doiron will report back to the Board as to the outcome of this meeting.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 7 May 11, 2005

Mr. Lovely - Director of Curriculum and Instruction

No report at this time

Mr. Rafaniello , Director of Technology

Mr. Rafaniello thanked his T.V. Production crew. Ms. Block, club supervisor from Harry S. Fisher Middle School and Fisher News Network for overseeing the production and Camera A; Brian Luba - Harry S. Fisher Middle School - director; Connor Raymond - Harry S. Fisher Middle School - on Camera C; Scott Mamrosh - Harry S. Fisher Middle School on Text; Caraline McGrane - Harry S. Fisher Middle School on Camera B and Rich Keator a Senior at Terryville High School on Audio and Quality Control. Mr. Rafaniello indicated that Rich has been working on a senior video which will be shown on class night. Rich has been filming since the fourth grade.

Whats (What's Happening at Terryville High School ) - 2 episodes will be shown this week end and 3 episodes will air next week.

It's All Good - a community show - will air on May 12, 2005 .

Mr. Rafaniello personally thanked Mr. David Merchant, Chairperson of the Board of Finance. Mr. Merchant sat down a few years ago with some high school students and explained how the budget process worked and from that a video tape was produced which has been broadcast year after year.

Mr. Perusse , Business Manager

No report at this time.

Dr. Distasio , Superintendent

The following items were highlighted by Dr. Distasio:

Plymouth Center School

May 12, 2005 - field trip for grade 5 students to Sturbridge Village

Prospect Street School/Main Street Schools

May 23, 2005 - grade 3 orientation at 9:30 a.m. for students and 7 p.m. for parents focusing on the transition from Prospect Street to Main Street Schools

May 31, 2005 - art show conducted by Mrs. Kohl in the Main Street School gymnasium

June 1 & 2, 2005

Plymouth Board of Education Page 8 May 11, 2005

Harry S. Fisher Middle School

May 12, 2005 - drama production @ 6:30 p.m. entitled, "Twinderella"

May 25, 2005 - CPR night to be held in the gymnasium

A Bicycle Safety Program is being sponsored by the town on Saturday, May 21, 2005 . This program is being held at Plymouth Center School . Dr. Distasio encouraged parents to attend this program with their child/children.

Important Upcoming Meetings

• May 17, 2005 - Board of Education Offices at 6 p.m. , there will be a presentation of the School Improvement Plans by each school principal.

• May 21, 2005 - Board of Education Offices at 9 a.m. , a meeting will be held to review the district goals.

As a reminder, please access the district website at Plymouth.k12.ct.us to view what is happening in the school district. The message board can now be viewed from channel 16 on the website.

Dr. Distasio extended his appreciation to the Town of Plymouth and the Board of Finance for their support on the Town Budget. He indicated that the Board of Finance for three months prior to the Town Meeting is out at least three nights a week dealing with not only the Board of Education Budget but with all budgets in the Town. These are extremely caring individuals whose task is difficult because they need to balance the revenues with the needs of our town. Each budget request is taken to heart. These are a group of wonderful individuals who did a great job.

11. Public Comments Regarding Agenda or Non-Agenda Items


12. Executive Session

Not needed

13. Business of the Board

Mrs. Perugino - Thank you to all those individuals who came out to support the budget on Monday night. Congratulations to those students who spoke at the budget meeting; Sophie for being recognized by the Rotary Club as student of the month; to our new administrators, Mr. Travers and Mrs. Worhunsky, we wish you the best of luck

Plymouth Board of Education Page 9 May 11, 2005

Mrs. McConnell - reiterates the comments of her fellow Board members. Comment - Urged and cautioned parents to have frank discussions with their children. They are the first line of defense in keeping them safe. Talk to your children about sex, drugs and alcohol and keep those lines of communications open.

Mrs. Leonhardt - Congratulations to Sophie. Congratulations to our two new administrators. I look forward to working with you.

Mr. Engle - Excused absence

Mrs. Budnick - Congratulations to Mr. Travers and Mrs. Worhunsky on their appointments as Assistant Principal and Principal respectively. The Booster Club is having a grinder sale. Orders can be place with Jolene Dutkiewicz or any member of the Booster Club. Congratulations to Sophie on being the Rotary Club's Student of the Month.

Mrs. Moriarty - Congratulations and Welcome to Mr. Travers and Mrs. Worhunsky

Mr. Gentile - excused absence

Mrs. Kulesa - Welcome to Mr. Travers and Mrs. Worhunsky. We appreciate your excitement for your new position.

Mr. Perugino - Congratulations to Sophie. Welcome to our new Principal and Assistant Principal. It's an exciting time. We're building a new school; we're changing some schools around. You both will love being a part of this whole situation.

Thank you to our Board for the work that they put into our budget along with our administrators. This was not an easy task. Many nights were spent going over the budget. When we did come up with what we thought was a great budget and made our presentation, it was good to sit before the Board of Finance. Thank You to Mark Goodwin of the Board of Finance and some of our council people for attending the Board of Education's budget meetings, for finding out what our problems were and for taking time to help us along the way. We have a great Board of Finance, great people out there, great Board of Education, new administrators, and we're about to put a shovel to the ground.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 10 May 11, 2005

14. Next Regular Board Meeting

Mr. Perugino stated the next Regular Board of Education Meeting will be held on June 8, 2005 at 7 p.m. , Terryville High School cafeteria.

15. Adjournment

MOTION: To adjourn the meeting at 8 p.m. Motion Roxanne Perugiono seconded Velma McConnell, motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,


Velma McConnell


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