Somers Public Schools
May 13, 2019 7:00 PM
Board of Education Meeting
1. CALL TO ORDER
Discussion

The regular meeting of the Board of Education was called to order by Chairman Devlin at 7:01 p.m. in the Mabelle B. Avery Board of Education meeting room.

2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
3. School Wellness Committee Report
Rationale

Mrs. Fry, MBA School Nurse, will present the School Wellness Committee Report to the BOE.

Attachments
Discussion

Mrs. Cheryl Fry, MBA School Nurse, reported the School Wellness Committee Report to the BOE:

  • The amount of students seen in the schools have been less than last year; however, they have seen more staff members. 
  • There has been an uptick in mental health issues leading to more students being counseled.  SES students tend to complain more of physical ailments.  Social media is playing a part in increased anxiety and stress levels with decreased self esteem. 
  • The flu was not as bad as last year, and more students were vaccinated.  Hand sanitizers are in the classrooms, and students are reminded of good hygiene.  Health offices continued to see strep, stomach viruses, and colds. 
  • At MBA, there is a 1:1 nurse accompanying a student with multiple health needs. 
  • Immunization exemption breakdown within the district is as follows:  6 at MBA, 14 at SHS, and 24 at SES.  The majority include religious exemptions; however, there are some who are medically exempt. 
  • Concussions occurred more often out of school this year.  Medical plans were specialized and implemented. 
  • Vision screenings are currently being provided by the Lions Club. 
  • Staff training for EpiPen, basic first aid, Blood borne pathogens, AED's, and Heimlich maneuver is now being done online. 
  • The entire district received AED's including the Central Office.  The AED's are compatible with the Somers Fire Department's equipment.  The Fire Department will also be doing the school's monthly AED service checks. 
  • Narcan is available in the district.  Nursing staff attended the public education program for Narcan along with the Somers Fire Department with Somers Comes Together. 
  • A Registered Dietician was invited for the free "Healthy Snack" workshop held at SES.  The attendance was low. 
  • A self-defense class is scheduled for Thursday, May 16, 2019 for MBA and SHS females.  Currently, there have been 16 RSVP's.  There were more than 50 girls who attended last year's class.

Recommendations for the 2019-2020 school year are as follows:

  • There is a need for a breakfast program due to many students arriving to school without eating breakfast.  There are an increasing number of students who visit the health offices, the social worker's office (MBA), and the main office (MBA) requesting a breakfast snack.  It is still in the early planning stages. 
  • Lunch selections should include healthier choices.  There is a staff member at MBA who is working hard to make some minor changes.  It is a complicated issue.  Any program that is put in place must be affordable and sustainable.  There are many moving parts from the financial side of it.
  • The School Wellness Policy needs to be reviewed and revised to include nutritional and physical education recommendations.

4. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
4.1. Board of Education Meeting Minutes of April 22, 2019
Rationale

Board of Education Meeting Minutes of April 22, 2019

Attachments
4.2. Approval of April 29, 2019 Special Board of Education Meeting Minutes
Rationale

Approval of April 29, 2019 Special Board of Education Meeting Minutes

Attachments
5. AUDIENCE TO CITIZENS/STAFF/STUDENTS
6. OPPORTUNITY TO ADD/DELETE AGENDA ITEMS
7. CONSENT AGENDA
7.1. Warrant of May 1, 2019
Rationale

Board to review and consent to the Warrant of May 1, 2019 in the amount of $44,321.57.

Attachments
7.2. Warrant of May 13, 2019
Rationale

Board to review and consent to the Warrant of May 13, 2019 in the amount of $296,347.12.

Attachments
7.3. Maternity leave followed by Childrearing leave anticipated September 11, 2019 to June 30, 2020, for SES teacher, Jill Madden.
Rationale

Maternity leave followed by Childrearing leave for SES teacher, Jill Madden who is due September 11, 2019.

8. NEW BUSINESS
8.1. 1st Warning on Strategic Plan
Rationale

1st Warning on Strategic Plan

Attachments
Discussion

Superintendent Czapla provided a draft of the Strategic Plan to the BOE.  He stated that this document has been in development for the past seven to eight months.  The committee's core mission in this plan was to focus on the students and the need to improve mastery of content and skills.  There will be three final documents:  a brochure for the community; a small booklet that will be mailed to everyone in the community; and, a full report detailing the core goals, mission, vision, and description of the process. To achieve a vision and mission, the committee had to make it a succinct plan.  The committee also focused on the graduate profile.  The graduate has to have content knowledge as well as a certain skill set to be successful in business and industry.  Graduates need to be critical thinkers, be able to problem solve, think innovatively, and collaborate.  Some curriculum revision may be needed; however, most of these concepts are currently embedded in instruction.  Rubrics will be generated to demonstrate critical thinking because it hasn't been measured.  There are three goals of the Strategic Plan: 

  1. Student Achievement
  2. Professional Learning--teachers and staff need to be trained in order to achieve the first goal.
  3. Accountability--SPS must be held responsible and focus on the best instructional practice and administrator evaluation models.

Superintendent Czapla is very pleased with the outcome of this plan.  He stated that it is unique in that it addresses one thing, student learning.  The second warning of the Strategic Plan will be held at the next BOE meeting.  

Chairman Devlin thanked Jeremy Anderson, Anne Kirkpatrick, Superintendent Czapla, and the rest of the committee members for their hard work in developing this plan.  Dan Clement was acknowledged on the draft design.  It was suggested that a message from the BOE be added to the last page.  Superintendent Czapla thanked Jan Martin for her editing.   



9. OLD BUSINESS
9.1. Board of Education to approve the proposed Track Replacement Project.
Rationale

Board of Education to approve the proposed Track Replacement Project.

Attachments
Discussion

Superintendent Czapla stated that any adjustments to the project will be brought back to the BOE.  Jeremy Anderson stated that he was appreciative of the open forum and the transparency of the process.

9.2. 2nd Warning - Grade 6 Transition Course
Rationale

The Board of Education to review and approve 2nd Warning of the Grade 6 Transition Course.

Attachments
Discussion

The objective of this program is to provide students with the necessary tools (i.e. executive functioning, study skills, etc.) to ensure a smooth transition from SES to MBA and beyond.  Dr. Zytka met with the Curriculum Council and discussed a number of topics to present in the curriculum including but not limited to social media, digital literacy, a community service project, etc.  There will be an introduction to Spanish and French with student language selection to be determined in Grade 7.  A curriculum-writing group of sixth grade teachers, social worker, school psychologist, and administrators will meet along with Dr. Zytka in developing the curriculum for this class.  The curriculum will be entered into Atlas.  A 6th Grade Seminar Teacher (0.6 FTE) position will be posted in the spring.  Mrs. Senecal, SES Principal, Dr. Zytka, and Mr. Krevolin, MBA Principal, have worked on restructuring current schedules and have come up with a good plan.  Mrs. Senecal stated that teachers will get additional instructional time during the week with the elimination of the Exploratory World Language Program.  There will be no Specials at SES on Wednesdays allowing for extracurricular activities (i.e. adapted PE for Special Education students, instrument lessons, students' week in review, picture day, etc.).  The 5th Grade will be switching classes through the day in order to transition them to MBA's schedule rotation. 


10. ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS
10.1. Superintendent's Update
Rationale

Community Conversation

Attachments
Discussion

Superintendent Czapla provided an example of an action plan in response to recent events within the community.  Communities who want to come together develop action plans around certain issues the community may be experiencing.  Rather than focusing on the controversial issues, the community can focus on their strengths to help deal with the issues.  Superintendent Czapla stated that this is not something the school or Board of Education should spearhead.  It should be a community coalition around faith-based service organizations or government organizations.  Kathy Devlin is speaking with the Lions Club.  Superintendent Czapla will introduce this to the Rotary Club.  The goal is to get a coalition together as a resource.    

11. COMMITTEE REPORTS
11.1. CURRICULUM
Discussion

No report.

11.2. POLICY
Discussion

Anne Kirkpatrick stated that the committee will review the School Wellness Policy.

11.3. SALARY & NEGOTIATION
Discussion

Chairman Devlin reported that he received SESA negotiation notification for the fall.  No dates have been scheduled yet.

11.4. PLANNING
Discussion

No report.

12. CREC UPDATE
Discussion

Anne Kirkpatrick reported that the regular meeting is scheduled for this Wednesday, 5/15/19, as well as the annual meeting.  She will update the BOE at the next meeting.

13. ADJOURNMENT