Somers Public Schools
November 25, 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 at 7:00 p.m. by Bruce Devlin in the Mabelle B. Avery Board of Education meeting room.

2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
3. ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Rationale

Superintendent will proceed to the Election of Officers.

4. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
4.1. Draft Minutes of November 11, 2019
Rationale

The Board will review and approve the minutes from November 11, 2019.

Attachments
5. AUDIENCE TO CITIZENS/STAFF/STUDENTS
6. OPPORTUNITY TO ADD/DELETE AGENDA ITEMS
Discussion

David Palmer requested a non-meeting post adjournment to discuss SEA.

7. CONSENT AGENDA
7.1. Warrant of November 25, 2019
Rationale

The Board will review and approve the warrant of November 25, 2019 in the amount of $331,716.51.

Attachments
7.2. 2nd Warning of Somers DBS Policy 6142.61 - Physical Activity - Recess
Rationale

The Board will consent on Somers DBS Policy 6142.61 - Physical Activity - Recess.

Attachments
7.3. 2nd Warning of DBS Policy 6146 - Graduation Requirements
Rationale

The Board will consent on Somers DBS Policy 6146 - Graduation Requirements

Attachments
8. NEW BUSINESS
8.1. Pillars of a Nation Project - Students
Rationale

Somers High School Students will make a presentation on the "Pillars of a Nation."

Discussion

SHS students from History Club presented the "Pillars of a Nation" project to the BOE.  Christian Chlebowski, Fiona Cheyney, Amit Deonarine, Keeley Joyal, Shawn Gentilcore, Spencer Whitford, and Victoria Reid make up the team behind the project.  Mr. Phil Goduti and Mr. Andrew Drummey, SHS Social Studies Teachers, are the History Club advisors.  The goal of this project is to develop a living timeline monument consisting of plaques to hang on the pillars outside of SHS in order to educate students, teachers, and the community regarding Somers' notable contributions in American history.  Brochures were passed out to the BOE.  Currently, the team is working on implementation and presented a sample plaque and video.  QR codes will correspond with the plaque in order to provide more context.  The team plans on marketing the project by outsourcing to local advertisers, business cards, signs, brochures, etc.  There is a goal budget of $30,000 for plaques, design, brochure, business cards, and advertising.  The team has gathered their information from the Somers Historical Society as well as the Library of Congress.  The team would also like to speak with American Legion and Rotary Club as well as other groups to collect accurate information.  They stated that this is a project to grow on.  The team would like to potentially dedicate this monument to the town on Memorial Day weekend.  Mr. Goduti stated that at some point in the near future he would like to have the History Club compete in the Connecticut History Day State Contest.  BOE members recognized SEF and the Fire Department as good resources.  The BOE members thanked the students for their presentation.       

8.2. Approval of Somers High School Field Trip to Washington, DC
Rationale

Mr. Phil Goduti will be present to answer any questions of the Board on the Spring field trip to Washington, DC.

Attachments
Discussion

Discussion ensued regarding cost and activities.  Mr. Goduti stated that students will be able to incorporate something from the field trip into a future assignment.

8.3. Approval of the HVAC Energy Efficiency Project
Rationale

The Board will review and approve the HVAC Energy Efficiency Project.

Attachments
Discussion

Superintendent Czapla stated that this is phase 2 of the project.  The project will have some offsets in energy savings costs and from incentives from the state. Ten of the thirty rooftop units to be replaced at the middle school. 

8.4. 1st Warning - New course at Somers High School - AP Physics
Rationale

1st Warning - New course at Somers High School - AP Physics.  Dr. Zytka will answer any questions on this course.

Attachments
8.5. 1st Warning - New course for Somers High School - AP Psychology
Rationale

1st Warning - New course at Somers High School - AP Psychology.  Dr. Zytka will answer any questions on this course.

Attachments
8.6. 1st Warning - New course at Somers High School- AP World History: Modern.
Rationale

1st Warning - New course at Somers High School - AP World History:  Modern.  Dr. Zytka will be present to answer any questions.

Attachments
8.7. 1st Warning - New course at Somers High School - AP Computer Science Principles
Rationale

1st Warning - New course at Somers High School - AP Computer Science Principles.  Dr. Zytka will be present to answer questions.

Attachments
8.8. 1st Warning - New Course at Somers High School - Capstone
Rationale

1st Warning - New Course at Somers High School  - Capstone.  Dr. Zytka will be present to answer questions.

Attachments
8.9. 1st Warning - New textbook for Somers High School -"Ways of the World" and "AMSCO AP World History: Modern"
Rationale

1st Warning -New textbook for Somers High School -"Ways of the World" and "AMSCO AP World History:  Modern."  Dr. Zytka will be present to answer questions.

Attachments
8.10. 1st warning - New textbook proposal for Somers High School - "Myers' Psychology" for the AP Course.
Rationale

1st warning - New textbook proposal for Somers High School - "Myers' Psychology" for the AP Course.  Dr. Zytka will be present to answer questions.

Attachments
8.11. 1st Warning -New textbook for ELA - Vocabulary for grades 5 - 10
Rationale

1st Warning - New textbook for ELA - Vocabulary for grades 5 - 10.  Dr. Zytka will be present to answer any questions.

Attachments
9. OLD BUSINESS
10. ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS
10.1. District Grant Updates
Rationale

Mr. Boutwell will be there to answer any questions on District Grants.

Attachments
Discussion

Mr. Bill Boutwell, Director of Business Services, reported on the district grant updates.  The report included one-year grants, two-year grants, and Town of Somers Education grants.  There have not been many significant changes in the one and two-year grants.  He recognized that the 2019-2020 ECS grant will decrease $60,000/year for ten years.  

10.2. Update of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
Rationale

Dr. Zytka will be there to answer any questions on the Next Generation Science Standards.

Attachments
Discussion

Dr. Irene Zytka, Director of Curriculum, updated the BOE on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  The 2018-19 school year was the first year that the State required students in Grades 5, 8, and 11 to participate in the NGSS exam.  The standards are complex and incredibly rigorous.  Teachers underwent a significant amount of training to understand the new standards.  The standards involve cross-cutting concepts and integrating components.  Dr. Zytka was impressed with the first round of testing.  Grade and individual student results were made available to the district; however, State results have not yet been released to the districts.  One issue at SHS is that there are not only juniors in junior science classes.  Dr. Zytka stated that they will be analyzing solutions and reaching out to other districts as well pertaining to this issue.    

10.3. School Improvement Plan - Curriculum and Instruction
Rationale

Dr. Zytka will be there to answer any questions on the School Improvement Plan - Curriculum and Instruction.  (Page 5-7)

Attachments
Discussion

Dr. Irene Zytka, Director of Curriculum, updated the BOE on the Professional Development calendar and committee update.  The committee will be meeting four times this year with a nice cross-representation from SES, MBA, and SHS.  The long-range plan is a three-year plan that was developed in partnership with EdLeader21 and will revolve around the four C's of the Strategic Plan.  The plan will include PD around student success skills, planning days, Fountas & Pinnell training, and training in diversity and equity strategies. 

New teachers will have to complete five modules in TEAM.  One of the modules, Professional Responsibility, will be done collectively as a group with scenarios.  The remaining modules to be completed will consist of reflective papers and an observation project in which teachers visit other classrooms in and out of of their grade and content instruction in order to observe various strategies. 

PDEC is looking at various teacher and administrator evaluations.  The goal is to narrow evaluations down to three to bring back to the committee.

The last update is a proposal for additional PD to be utilized throughout the district on early release days.  There is a great need for additional time for teachers to work together.  Dr. Zytka had asked administrators ways in which they would use the additional time.  A list of agenda items from SES, MBA, SHS, and Pupil Services was developed.  Superintendent Czapla stated that they are looking at establishing a calendar and can anticipate requesting a few more early release days.  The school is working with the P&R Department to see if they can provide after-school care on those early release days. 

Dr. Zytka stated that the Curriculum Department has completed some items on the school improvement plan already.  The department is continuing to coordinate PD in critical thinking; analyzing and revising the schedule at SHS; developing an ongoing partnership with Asnuntuck and Goodwin College and looking into nursing and technology credits; evaluating critical thinking examples in the current curriculum; developing new financial literacy and computer science programs; and, accessing RTI Direct so that teachers may upload files and data.  The PDEC committee and Assessment Task Force continue to meet.  Dr. Zytka will be reporting more later this year.



10.4. Superintendent Updates
Rationale

Superintendent will update the Board on current events.

Discussion

Superintendent Czapla reported that the oil tank was delivered today, and the track is coming along well.  

11. COMMITTEE REPORTS
Discussion

Chairman Devlin discussed committee positions and maintaining the same Chairs for each committee.  He discussed Marissa Marks joining the Curriculum and Policy committees and Krista Cherry joining the Planning and Salary & Negotiations committees.

11.1. BUDGET
Discussion

Superintendent Czapla reported that the committee is waiting for negotiations with SEA.  He stated that he is anticipating a larger increase in healthcare premiums.  

11.2. CURRICULUM
Discussion

Kate McLellan reported that there were a few first warnings.

11.3. POLICY
Discussion

Superintendent Czapla reported that the committee is all caught up and that there have been a few first warnings.

11.4. PLANNING
Discussion

No report.

12. CREC UPDATE
Discussion

Jan Martin reported that she and Anne Kirkpatrick attended the CABE Convention a week ago Friday.  Dr. Derrick Gay, an international Educational and Diversity Consultant, presented and spoke of diversity as looking at yourself and others as having differences.  Social/emotional learning experiences were also discussed.  CABE recognized David Palmer and Anne Kirkpatrick as BOE members for 20 years as well as Rick Lees as a BOE member for 10 years.

13. ADJOURNMENT