Windham's Rockingham Board Minutes 3/16/20 page

Rockingham Board Minutes 3/16/20

Rockingham Board Minutes March 16, 2020
Posted on 03/20/2020
Rockingham Board Minutes March 16, 2020

ROCKINGHAM SCHOOL DISTRICT Reorganizational & Regular School Board Meeting (Teleconference)
Monday, March 16, 2020 @ 5:30 P.M.



Members in Attendance: Rick Holloway, George Smith, Priscilla Lambert, Jason Terry, Jason Benson


Others in Attendance: Chris Pratt, Laura Hazard, Keith Nemlich


1.  Call to Order:  Chris Pratt called the meeting to order at 5:32 pm.


2.  Adjustments to Agenda:


            a.  All items were struck from the agenda except for reorganizational items, new business, and the superintendent’s report.


3.  Communications and Public Comments: none


4.  Reorganization of the Board:

            a.  Election of Chairperson


Priscilla Lambert nominated Rick Holloway as chairperson.

Rick Holloway accepted

Priscilla Lambert moved that nominations be closed and to request the superintendent Chris Pratt cast one ballot for Rick Holloway as chairperson.

Rick Holloway abstained from voting.

The motion passed.

            b.  Election of Vice Chairperson


Priscilla Lambert nominated George Smith as Vice Chairperson

George Smith accepted.

Priscilla Lambert moved that nominations be closed and to direct the board chair to cast one ballot for George Smith as Vice Chairperson.

The motion passed.

            c.  Election of Clerk:


George Smith nominated Priscilla Lambert

Priscilla Lambert accepted

George Smith moved that nominations be closed and to direct the board chair to cast one ballot for Priscilla Lambert as Clerk.

Priscilla Lambert abstained from voting. 

The motion passed.


            d.  Appoint Voting Members to the WNESU Board:


Rick Holloway appointed Priscilla Lambert, Jason Terry, and himself as voting members to the WNESU board.  All members are welcome to attend the WNESU meetings.  In the absence of a voting member the board chair will appoint a designee.


            e.  Appoint Truant Officer


The board was unanimous appointed BFPD as Truant Officer.


            f.  Set Time, Date and Location of Regular Monthly Meetings


The board set the time, date, and location of their regular monthly meeting for 5:30 pm on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the Month with rotating locations.  The third Monday will be reserved for meetings only if needed.


            e.  Establish the Brattleboro Reformer to be Used to Announce School

Board Functions and Activities


George Smith: suggested that getting more meeting agendas to more people outside of the newspapers is this something we should do this year.  Mr. Smith recommended sending out with weekly emails from principals in addition to using WNESU web page and Facebook page.


Priscilla Lambert: as we expand the website, we need to decide on a newspaper to announce functions.


Rick Holloway:  this is intended for if we need to notify the public of special meetings or events. 


Chris Pratt: we do not post every warning in the newspapers there are designated places where agendas and minutes need to be posted this is for special events as Mr. Holloway stated. 


Priscilla Lambert moved to establish the Eagle Times and Brattleboro reformer to be used to announce school board functions and activities.

The motion passed.


            f.  Committee Assignments:  


            i.  Teacher Negotiations


Rick Holloway assigned himself to teacher negotiations.


                        ii.  Support Staff Negotiations


Rick Holloway assigned himself to support staff negotiations.

                        iii. CIP Teams:


Rick Holloway appointed George Smith and George Benson to the CIP team.


                        iv.   Finance/Budget:


Rick Holloway declared that the Budget Committee shall be a committee of the whole.

            v. Warrant Signing:


All board members are authorized to sign warrants and Rick Holloway will be the primary signer.   


Rick Holloway:  the finance/budget committee is everybody all members will be involved and vote.  The committee for the SU has its own voting members.  Any board member is welcome to attend and give input. However, not all members of the Rockingham board are voting members of the WNESU board or its committees.  Warrant signing involves signing off on bills that are being paid within a two-week period.  There are other committees in the works.

            v. Transportation: 


Rick Holloway assigned George Smith and Jason Terry to the transportation committee.


            vi.  Buildings and Grounds Committee: 


Buildings and grounds will be addressed under regular school board business.


            vii. Policy: 


Rick Holloway assigned Jason Benson to the Policy Committee.

Rick Holloway assigned Priscilla Lambert as an alternate to the Policy Committee.


            viii. Business Systems Analysis and Audit:


Rick Holloway assigned Priscilla Lambert to the Business Systems Analysis and Audit Committee.



            g.  Adopt Robert's Rules for Small Boards:


Priscilla Lambert moved to adopt Robert’s Rule’s for Small Boards.

The motion passed.




5.  Review and Approve Board Minutes of February 17, 2020 & March 16, 2020:


Priscilla Lambert moved the to approve the minutes of February 17, 2020 and March 16, 2020.

The motion passed.


6.  Reports:

            Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent:  Chris Pratt gave a report.  Governor Scott announced Sunday that all schools will be closed as of Wednesday.  It is not a closure.  Rather, we will be dismissing all students from school.  If it were a closure there would be no education provided.  The priority is providing students with education and food to families.  Initially, we were planning on having teachers come in today without the students.  However, due to the latest info that an employee was being tested we moved form dismissal to closure for Monday and Tuesday with the hope of returning Wednesday.  Things may be put back into effect if more employees require testing.  Mr. Pratt said that he is optimistic that once we have teachers in buildings that we will be bale to get packets to students.  The process has moving parts.  We are scheduling and planning drop off areas for food.  We will have another admin meeting tomorrow.  Mr. Pratt said that he has never been involved with anything of this magnitude.  With things constantly changing we are continuing to keep everyone as updated as possible.


Priscilla Lambert: asked are we paying hourly employees?


Chris Pratt: yes, the governor said that all hourly employees would be paid.


Priscilla Lambert: recommended taking care with paper distribution.  The governor said the virus lives on paper for up to 12 hours.


Chris Pratt: It will be a one-way distribution.  We can’t go 100-percent with tech to provide education because some families cannot access the internet.    \


George Smith:  teachers are eager to get back.  Is there a way they can do that without going into the building?


Chris Pratt:  we will try to use the summer food program drop off points to distribute work.  It would be best if folks do not go further than the front lobby or the front of the school and we will need to designate times for pick up do that there is not a chaotic situation we need to try to limit contact, we can not just put things out and have parent spick it up if everyone comes at once we will continue to discuss things at the admin team meeting.


Priscilla Lambert:  the president is recommending groups of no more than 10 get together which is very restrictive.


Chris Pratt:  these are the problems we are faced with as administrators.  There are obstacles that need to be overcome but I know we will get there.  There is a lot of planning and coordination that needs to take place. 


Rick Holloway:  has there been discussion about an April Vacation swap?


Chris Pratt: no, there are to many uncertainties at this time.


Jason Terry:  this is a great opportunity for all of us to improve how we do things.  Is there a courier service that can drop off work?


Chris Pratt: it is a good question, we can’t force anyone to put himself or herself in harms way to drop off items. 


Jason Terry:  every obstacle we run into as Americans we adapt and improve how we do things.  Is there fact checking to determine if someone claiming to be sick is actually sick so that they do not grind things to a halt? 


Chris Pratt:  if a doctor determines it is necessary they inform the CDC and we wait for results.


Jason Terry:  whatever we do we need to make everything as simple as possible.  What is the worse case scenario?


Chris Pratt:  the state has not said yet what the expectation would be if schools were closed.  


7.  New Business for Discussion/Action:


            a.  Appointments/Retirement:


Kate Gravelle has submitted her letter of resignation as teacher at Saxtons River Elementary School effective the end of the year.


Priscilla Lambert moved to accept with gratitude for her many years of service effective. June 30 2020.


The motion passed.


Rick Holloway noted that it is with great sadness that we are losing a longstanding and great teacher from the elementary school.


8.  Director’s Comments:


Rick Holloway:  Mr. Pratt, you have a hard job right now.

Priscilla Lambert: the administration is doing a great job.  Everyone in the nation is in the same boat.

Chris Pratt: the leadership team has been phenomenal in trying to meet the needs of each community.  We will get through this and continue to work together.  We will need to be flexible in regard to the mandates and directives being given by the state.


Jason Terry:  something else will come up down the road and we will figure it out.  It is forcing us to get to a place sooner than later regarding technology.  It may force us to move our timeline up regarding the future of education.  


George Smith:  how would people go to work all day and then come home and then have to facilitate a home school scenario?  Mr. Smith requested this is kept in mind while these plans are being developed.


Chris Pratt:  it is a good point.  We are only going to send home what we can and need to so that information is retained and not lost.  In a perfect situation classes could be taught on a device online.  This is the real push that we need to make with communities and providers.  This is the future of education.   


9.  Agenda Items for Next Board Meeting:


            a. Increase CIP participation.


10.  Date of Next Meeting: April 6, 2020


11.  Adjournment:  


George Smith moved to adjourn at 6:40 pm

The motion passed.


The meeting adjourned at 6:40 pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Josh Aberman


Board Clerk, ______________________________________


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