Windham's WNUESD Minutes 3/19/20 page

WNUESD Minutes 3/19/20

WNUESD Board Minutes for March 19, 2020
Posted on 03/24/2020
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Grafton Elementary School @ 6:30 p.m.



Members in Attendance: Jack Bryar, Cheryl Charles, Lynn Morgan, Melissa Calrstrom, Jessa Westclark


Advisory Committee Members in Attendance: David Major (Westminster), Charles Hutchinson (Westminster), John Turner (Athens/Grafton), Don Capponcelli (Athens/Grafton), Steve Fine (Athens/Grafton), Rick Gordon (Westminster)


Others in Attendance: Fact TV, Dr. Lynn Carey, Doug Kussius, Liz Harty


1.  Call to Order:  Jack Bryar called the meeting to order at 6:35 pm.


2.  Consider Adjustments/Amendments to Agenda:


            a.  COVID 19 Scenarios/Questions for the State, 7c

            b.  Organization of Materials, 7d

            c.  Weighting Legislation, 7e


3.  Review and Approve Board/Budget Minutes for February 20, 2020:


Cheryl Charles moved to approve the board and budget minutes of February 20, 2020.  

Melissa Carlstrom - affirmative

Cheryl Charles - affirmative

LM - affirmative

JB - affirmative

JW – not yet present.

The motion passed.


4.  Communications and Public Comments: none


5.  Reports:

            a. Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent

                        i. WNESU Office Report:  Dr. Lynn Carey gave a report.  A Legislation Education Update from the last session has been posted.  WNESU is working on responding to the Corona Virus pandemic.  We are struggling with childcare for people that are essential during this situation.  Things are changing continually.  Teachers will be going in tomorrow staggered by 2 hour intervals and will be working on creating 2-3 weeks worth of educational material for students to work on at home.  The CDC is talking about up to 8 weeks of ‘staying at home.’  The office is open but not to the public.  The office, and each school will have no more than 10 people in the building at one time.  We are working on continuing on the maintenance of sped students.  We are working with technology for meetings and for instruction.  If we pass a 2-week period of dismissal, we will need to introduce new strategies.  Admin team is meeting with principals and student support services have met several times.  We are working on getting food out to families, and packets out to families.  The schedule for pick up of materials will be Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.


Jack Bryar:  Chris Pratt mentioned a date of March 23rd for a plan being put together, is this still the plan?

Lynn Carey:  Every day things are changing.  Food packets and teaching is setup, now we need to look at the long term plan past the 2-week period.

Cheryl Charles: thanked the whole team for the efforts.

Lynn Carey:  thanked the principals for working overtime on this.  

Jack Bryar:  suggested putting a request out for volunteers, and also posting a video blurb daily to let people know we are on top of things and to get people used to the website.

Lynn Carey:  there are some reasons that we can not use volunteers at this point, the video blurb is a great suggestion. 


                  ii. Leadership Staffing Plans (principal, etc.) Tabled


                  iii. Emergency and Medical Planning Update: Tabled


            b. Westminster Principal Report:  Doug Kussius gave a report.  Things have changed dramatically over the past week.  The central office report covered most of the elements of what we are doing to reach out to parents and students with learning packets.  Pick ups will begin on Wednesday.  We are staggering pick up times.  Teachers will be coming back in tomorrow on a staggered schedule.  We were fortunate to have hired custodian Craig Washburn, things have been working out great and it is good to be at our full capacity with custodial staff.


David Major: said that Hilltop is using remote learning and asked if it is something that we are thinking about?


Doug Kussius:  there are so many pieces related to doing something like that and he is reticent to jump in and clean up pieces remotely.   Google classroom was being used at other schools but had to be shut down for a variety of reasons.  There are layers that we need to attend to if we are going to do something like that.  At this time the hold steady plan of getting on something concrete, and achievable makes sense and so we are sticking with paper packets.


            c. Athens/Grafton Principal Report:  Liz Harty gave a report.  We were able to squeeze the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast in.  Bill Watson read to students, Ms. Harty thanked Mr. Watson and food services for there help.  March 9 and 10 was Fountas and Pinnel training.  Two buses will be bringing meals to students, one to Athens and one to Grafton leaving from Saxtons River.  Beginning March 25 packets will be available for pickup between 8am-12pm, though separate arrangements can be made.  Teachers have been communicating with families.  We are looking at morning meetings through zoom and Google classroom but the work packets are universally available to all students. 


Lynn Morgan: if parents have problems picking up packets can board members help with delivery via bus routes?


Lynn Carey:  guidance is strict on volunteers.  We are opening up the option to paras. Packets will be a one way distribution.  Feed back will be given to students via phone telecommunication.

d. Business Manager:  Chris Pratt is acting business manager Edie Cole is out on FMLA.  Auditors have been assisting with daily operation. Staffing changes have taken place.  All purchases will be done by April 1.

e. Committees/Town Boards: Tabled


6.  Old/Unfinished Business for Discussion/Action: Tabled


            a. Act 46 Lawsuit:  The Supreme Court is putting things on pause until the health situation gets better.  The annual meeting for the unified district will likely be postponed.


7.  New Business for Discussion/Action:

      a. Principal Positions for the Coming Year: Tabled


b. April 9th Annual Meeting Preparation:


Jack Bryar: said that he in contact with moderator and the Secretary of State’s office.  They are saying that we could cancel the meeting.  They recommend we not do that, as it would require 40 days of waiting with no guarantee anything would improve.  The other suggestion is to send a note to all parties and a press release to recommend that people not attend.  A minimum number of people could entertain a motion to recess to a date certain after April 9 and then resume.  The Secretary of State and the Legislature are aware of the situation. If we can empower boards to move everything to Australian Ballot without prior permission from the district meeting, we could then have nominate for board positions with no requirement for ballots.  The approval of the budget would be a ballot item.  There would likely be one or two electronic meetings for discussion.  This is all dependent on the legislature approving, but it is the recommendation from the Secretary of State as of this morning.


David Major: it would not be required to get a number of signatures as is usual with Australian Ballot. 


Jack Bryar: letter to the community from the board chair. 


David Major: food will be increasingly important have the notice include the food route.


c.  Jack Bryar:  stated that there is ongoing discussion about weighting legislation that would change the formula by which the equalized pupil is created by modifying the formula to account for poverty rates.


Lynn Carey:  The matter is addressed in Chris Pratt’s letter to the community. 


d.  Organization of materials:  The board entered into discussion around the preparation and organization of materials including the posting of board minutes on the WNESU website.  Richard Adams said that issues with the posting of the minutes are likely a training issue and that he will follow up on the question.


8.  Appointments/Resignations if any:  


Sue Lockerby is submitting a letter of resignation effective June 30, 2020 contingent upon the school nurse becoming job share 55-percent, and that she is hired for the 55-percent position of 103 paid days.


Lynn Carey: What is the contingency?  If we approve and can’t fill position where are we?


No Action.  Postponed.


9.  Directors’ Comments:


Cheryl Charles: experienced issues with being bounced out of the conference.  Is this a problem with being live steamed?  Welcome to town school board advisory members it takes more minds than a few.  Ms. Charles said that she is looking forward to seeing a written version of the implications for town meeting.


10.  Executive Session, if needed: none


11.  Agenda Items for Next Board Meeting:


12.  Date of Next Board Meeting – April 16, 2020


13. Adjournment:  7:55 pm. 


Respectfully Submitted,

Josh Aberman



Board Clerk,   _______________________




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