Somers Public Schools
October 26, 2020 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 Chairman Devlin in the SHS Media Center.

2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
3. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
3.1. Draft Minutes of October 13, 2020
Rationale

The  Board is to review and approve the draft minutes of the Board of Education meeting on October 13, 2020.

Attachments
4. AUDIENCE TO CITIZENS/STAFF/STUDENTS
5. OPPORTUNITY TO ADD/DELETE AGENDA ITEMS
6. CONSENT AGENDA
6.1. Warrant of October 26, 2020
Rationale

The Board will review and give consent to the warrant of October 26, 2020 in the amount of $97,395.95.

Attachments
6.2. Resignation of Speech & Language Teacher
Rationale

Mrs. Stephanie Jodice, Somers Elementary School Speech and Language Teacher, has put in her resignation.  She was with Somers Public Schools for 10 years.

6.3. Retirement of Director of Cafeteria
Rationale

Mrs. Leslie Gengenbach will be retiring at the end of November, 2020.  She has been over the cafeterias in the system and worked daily at Somers High School.  She has been with Somers Public Schools since 1989.

Discussion

Discussion ensued regarding the food program.  Position may be posted early November.

6.4. Retirement of MBA Custodian
Rationale

Mr. Gary Kane, 2nd shift custodian at Mabelle B. Avery Middle School,  will be leaving us on January 2, 2021.  He has been with Somers Public Schools since 2004.

7. NEW BUSINESS
7.1. 2021-2022 Budget Process and Calendar
Rationale

The Board is to review and approve the 2021-2022 Budget Process and Calendar.

Attachments
8. OLD BUSINESS
9. ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS
9.1. 2020 Veteran's Day Report
Rationale

Mrs. Senecal has prepared a report on the 2020 Veteran's Day.

Attachments
Discussion

Superintendent Czapla stated that assemblies and visitors have been suspended this year due to COVID and the physical distance guidelines.  SES, MBA, and SHS will recognize veterans via digital presentations.

9.2. Diversity & Equity Plan Update
Rationale

Mrs. Senecal has prepared the Diversity and Equity Plan Update.

Attachments
Discussion

Superintendent Czapla stated that the Diversity and Equity Plan is reviewed and reported annually. Dina Senecal, Director of Curriculum, updated the BOE on the Diversity and Equity Plan.  She stated that the team gathers information on past practice and investigates ways to move forward.  There have been two meetings at this time.  Courageous Conversations continues at SHS, but the team wants to take it further and continue work in the classroom.  Staff has had Implicit Bias Training through Professional Development.  Part of the focus this year will be a book study of "Not Light, But Fire" in conjunction with "Creative Conversations" and following up with PD next fall utilizing these tools and teachings in the classroom.  Mrs. Senecal is participating in antiracism training offered by the State. A "Mind the Gap" presentation was held at MBA and SHS.  SES will be provided PD in the near future.  She also envisions a book study during the summer for teachers and breakout groups in the fall.  Mrs. Senecal will distribute a book list to BOE members that have been recommended by the CREC Equity Council.    

9.3. Technology 5-Year Plan
Rationale

Mr. Rob Wilson has updated the Technology 5-Year Plan and will answer any questions.

Attachments
Discussion

Rob Wilson, Director of Technology and Information Services, updated the BOE on the Technology 5-Year Plan.  He stated that he has spaced out the updated technology cost more evenly over the five years.  There was a high demand and need for every student to have a device.  SHS received new Chromebooks this year.  Every classroom was hard-wired for the teachers so as not to tax Wifi.  Wifi hotspots were purchased in the spring and a few have been distributed.  In order to prepare the staff for hybrid and remote learning, there was a significant amount of PD.  The SPS Educational Technology Website was created for teachers to easily navigate digital platforms and research tutorials at their own pace.  There were major changes that occurred in each classroom by adding secondary monitors and document cameras.  Document cameras are portable if SPS moves to a full remote learning model.  Superintendent Czapla acknowledged Mr. Wilson and his department for their tremendous work and dedication.

9.4. Superintendent's Update
Rationale

Mr. Czapla will update the Board of Education on issues of Somers Public Schools.

Discussion

Superintendent Czapla updated the BOE on recent events.  SES has returned to full in-person learning.  SES dismissals have been impressive with the purchase of the School Dismissal Manager program which parents download.  Parents receive a code which is then scanned at dismissal.  Drop-off has also gone smoothly.  There are some people who carpool, but there is more ridership on buses now.  Superintendent Czapla will be reevaluating full in-person learning at MBA and SHS.  There is no target date at this time.  He acknowledged the professionalism of the teachers who have been working very hard managing two classrooms.  He is looking at different ways to support them and may utilize PD time to help with planning on their part.  Discussion ensued among BOE members.    

10. COMMITTEE REPORTS
10.1. CURRICULUM
Discussion

No report.

10.2. POLICY
Discussion

Anne Kirkpatrick reported that the committee is on hold.

10.3. SALARY & NEGOTIATION
Discussion

Chairman Devlin reported that there will be an upcoming administrators' meeting and that negotiations are going well.  

10.4. PLANNING
Discussion

Superintendent Czapla reported that the next meeting will be held on 11/9/20 where there will be an annual review of the long-range facility plan as well as beginning the process of CIP approval.

11. CREC UPDATE
Discussion

Anne Kirkpatrick reported that Krista Cherry zoomed into Wednesday's meeting and is ready to take her place.

12. ADJOURNMENT