Somers Public Schools
January 28, 2019 7:00 PM
Somers Board of Education
1. CALL TO ORDER
Discussion

The regular meeting of the Board of Education was called to order by Chairman Devlin at 7:03 p.m. in the Mabelle B. Avery School Board of Education meeting room.

2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
3. STUDENT REPRESENTATIVES' REPORT
Discussion

Faith Sarisley and Edwin Genece, SHS representatives, updated the Board of Education on SHS events.  A new semester started this week with class and lunch changes.  Midterms occurred last week.  There will be an 8th grade evening on 2/12/19 where the band leaders will introduce band class.  The class of 2021 will host a Mario Kart Tournament on 3/31/19.  The Drama Club has begun rehearsing their production of "The Drowsy Chaperone."  Lacrosse sign-ups have begun.  The Beta Club held a bottle drive.  Five students are auditioning for the Music Festival.  A winter concert was held on 1/17/19 with solos and multiple pieces by the band and chorus.  The SHS Variety Show will hold their first meeting this Wednesday, 1/30/19.  The Beta Club held a Blood Drive on 12/13/18 through the American Red Cross.

4. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
4.1. Board of Education Minutes of January 14, 2019
Rationale

The Board will review and approve the minutes of the January 14, 2019 meeting.

Attachments
5. AUDIENCE TO CITIZENS/STAFF/STUDENTS
6. CORRESPONDENCE
7. OPPORTUNITY TO ADD/DELETE AGENDA ITEMS
8. CONSENT AGENDA
8.1. Warrant of January 28, 2019
Rationale

The Board of Education is to review the warrant in the amount of $256,431.53 and give consent.

Attachments
9. NEW BUSINESS
9.1. Field Trip - Approval Somers High School Students Supporting Students (SSS) Retreat
Rationale

Mrs. Suzy Williams, SHS Social Worker will be taking the SSS (Student Supporting Students) to their annual weekend overnight Retreat to Silver Lake Conference Center from March 8-10, 2019.

Attachments
Discussion

Superintendent Czapla recommended approving the field trip and stated that Mrs. Williams has been involved with this field trip for a number of years.  It is good leadership training and has been well received by students in the past.

9.2. Approval of the Educational Specifications for the Oil Tank Removal Project at Somers Elementary School.
Rationale

Approval of the Educational Specifications for the Oil Tank Removal Project at Somers Elementary School.


Attachments
9.3. Approval of Company for Removal of Somers Elementary's Oil Tank
Rationale

Approval of awarding RZ Design Associate, Inc.  the engineering, architectural and design contract for the Oil Tank Removal Project at Somers Elementary School

Discussion

The project is to be completed during the summer.

9.4. Approval of awarding SMRT the engineering, architectural and design contract for the SHS track replacement project and to direct the Superintendent to enter into final contract negotiations with SMRT.
Rationale

Approval of awarding SMRT Architects and Engineers, the engineering, architectural and design contract for the SHS track replacement project and to direct the Superintendent to enter into final contract negotiations with SMRT Architects and Engineers.

Discussion

David Palmer reported that the BOE will serve as the Building Committee.

10. OLD BUSINESS
10.1. Discussion: 2019-20 Superintendent's Proposed Budget
Rationale

 Discussion:  2019-20 Superintendent's Proposed Budget

Discussion

Superintendent Czapla reported that he did not receive any questions from the BOE.  He will present the proposed 2019-20 budget to the BOF on 2/25/19.  Important dates include:  3/11/19 - the public hearing in the SHS auditorium at 6 p.m.; 3/25/19 - the BOF will vote on the budget; 4/23/19 - the BOF will hold the public hearing; 5/7/19 - annual town meeting; and, 5/14/19 - budget referendum.  The important dates are also listed on the school website under District Information. 

11. ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS
11.1. Mindfulness Presentation
Rationale

SES Principal, Mrs. Dina Senecal will do a Mindfulness Presentation.

Attachments
Discussion

Mrs. Dina Senecal, SES Principal, and Mrs. Melissa Mucci, SES Assistant Principal, updated the BOE on Growth Mindset and how they are implementing the program at SES.  They started the presentation off with a video describing the differences between the psychology behind Growth Mindset and Fixed Mindset.  A Fixed Mindset is described as having fixed traits and is set on the "now."  A Growth Mindset focuses on developing abilities through effort, process, and use of strategies.  The Growth Mindset helps develop resilience, perseverance, and confidence.  Mrs. Senecal described how it has been scientifically proven that learning causes neurons in the brain to make new and stronger connections.  She mentioned Carol Dweck, who is the leading psychologist in Growth Mindset.  She has claimed that people are born with a Fixed Mindset but may be taught to have a Growth Mindset.  Effort and the process to problem solve are keys to perseverance.  With a Growth Mindset, students understand that they need more help and that they can't understand it yet.  Their abilities are developed through hard work and dedication.  With a Fixed Mindset, students believe that they are who they are and that they can only achieve so much.  The Growth Mindset was implemented at SES at the beginning of school last year and was introduced during Professional Development.  Teachers are to look at the whole student and determine how they learn best.  Students are rewarded for taking risks and making mistakes which is part of the learning process.  Feedback from the teacher and peers is important.  Teachers are rephrasing language with students when mistakes are made.  There are Growth Mindset resources for the teachers at SES as well as two models of the brain to teach children the neuroscience behind it.  Teachers are embedding Growth Mindset in their class meetings and school assemblies.  Monthly newsletters are sent to parents to teach them how to frame questions at home.    

11.2. Superintendent's Update
Rationale

Mr Czapla will give the latest update on Somers Public Schools.

Discussion

Superintendent Czapla reported that he will be presenting the proposed 2019-20 budget to the PTO on Monday, 2/4/19 at 5:30 p.m.

12. COMMITTEE REPORTS
12.1. CURRICULUM
Discussion

No report.

12.2. POLICY
Discussion

Anne Kirkpatrick reported that the next meeting will be held on 2/11/19 at 6 p.m.; however, the planning committee will take precedence over the policy committee if a meeting is scheduled at that time.  

12.3. SALARY & NEGOTIATION
Discussion

No report.

12.4. PLANNING
Discussion

No report.

13. OTHER
Discussion

Anne Kirkpatrick reported that Jan Martin, Brian Czapla, and herself attended the CABE Legislative Breakfast on 1/15/19.  The Ellington BOE presented a proposal to the Legislature to change the graduation date to be set at the 180-day mark instead of having to change the graduation day due to snow days, etc.  Setting the graduation day at the 180-day mark would be beneficial for college orientations, military, summer jobs, paid venues, family travel, and speakers who are scheduled for graduation.  Anne also attended a CREC Legislative Breakfast.    A resolution was adopted unanimously from the CREC Board of Directors to ask the State to meet its obligation to fund a minimum of 75% of the cost of the student population (the State's per student contribution was reduced in 2017 and 2018).  She reported on the statistics from the CREC report of 16 schools and two programs which included the ethnic population percentage as well as the percentages of students utilizing free/reduced lunches, SPED, 504 programs, ELL, and the percentage of those living in alliance districts.  Legislation has also mandated that CREC schools have unifying bell times to include the same delay schedules.  There is also a new program to recruit ten minorities from Hartford with Bachelor degrees as teachers.  The prospective educators will attend summer classes, mentor one year, and then become certified.     


14. ADJOURNMENT