Somers Public Schools
February 08, 2021 7:00 PM
Board of Education Meeting
1. CALL TO ORDER
Discussion

The regular Board of Education meeting was called to order by Chairman Devlin at 7:01 p.m. via Zoom.  

2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
2.1. Draft Minutes of January 25, 2021
Rationale

Board to review and approve draft minutes of Board Meeting on January 25, 2021

Attachments
3. OPPORTUNITY TO ADD/DELETE AGENDA ITEMS
4. CONSENT AGENDA
4.1. Warrant of February 8, 2021
Rationale

Board to consent to Warrant of February 8, 2021 in the amount of $270,739.65.

Attachments
4.2. 2nd Warning on 2021-2022 School Calendar
Rationale

The Board will review and consent the 2021-2022 School Calendar.

Attachments
5. NEW BUSINESS
5.1. CIP Plan Revision
Rationale

The Board will review and approve the CIP Plan with the revisions.

Attachments
Discussion

David Palmer stated that the CIP plan is a revised plan through 2026 that the subcommittee reviewed and approved.  Superintendent Czapla stated that there have been meetings with the CIP committee, and they voiced concerns with the fiscal uncertainty in the State and how the town will be impacted.  Items in the CIP plan have been reshuffled including the MBA fire alarm upgrade system, pressure washer, MBA border fence, dump truck, and pickup trucks.  Bill Boutwell, Director of Business Services, will be meeting with the CIP committee on Thursday, 2/11/21, to present the revised CIP plan.  Discussion ensued among BOE members.    

6. OLD BUSINESS
6.1. Approval of Supt. Proposed 2021-22 Budget to be sent to Public Hearing
Rationale

 

The Board will review the updates on the 2021-22 Budget and give Approval of Supt. Proposed 2021-22 Budget to be sent to Public Hearing.

Attachments
Discussion

Superintendent Czapla asked the BOE to approve the revised proposed budget for 2021-22 in the amount of $25,409,712 which is a $719,742 increase or 2.92% increase from the current year's budget and a $306,000 reduction from the original budget presented in early January.  There is a $67,000 reduction in salaries due to resignations and retirements.  There is a $229,000 reduction in health insurance. Originally, the premium rate was presented as 18%, but the rate was renegotiated to 7.4%.  However, this requires a change in healthcare providers.  Superintendent Czapla stated that a notice will be sent out to the unions. He will also be looking to reduce the budget line items for Special Education tuition and legal costs.  

7. ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS
7.1. Superintendent Update
Rationale

Superintendent Czapla will give an update on school events.

Discussion

Superintendent Czapla updated the BOE on recent events.  He stated that SPS is staying in line with this year's budget, and SPS is in good shape for the remainder of the school year.  Superintendent Czapla and Bill Boutwell, Director of Business Services, will be presenting a quarterly budget update for the BOE in March.  Superintendent Czapla stated that the budget freeze from 7/2/20 may be slowly released in order to make purchases for textbooks and technology. 

Superintendent Czapla reported that teachers may not be able to receive Covid vaccinations until mid-March or once the age 65+ category is completed.  He has weekly calls with the Department of Public Health as well as weekly meetings with the North Central Health District who have been very helpful.  They will be coming on campus to administer vaccinations.  He is watching the Covid variant and its impact.  Currently, it is not widespread.  The Covid cases in the schools have been family driven or due to recreational sports.  SPS will continue with contact tracing, quarantining, mitigation strategies, social distancing, etc. 

Discussion ensued regarding CARES Act 2.  The State of CT was allocated over $492,000,000.  Somers will receive $172,000 which is based on Title I allocation.  The Leadership Team discussed allocating funds to academic supports in order to help mitigate learning loss for the next year.  Kindergarten is a concern for next year.  Kindergarten did not have the usual level of student enrollment this year possibly due to Covid.  Superintendent Czapla expects a normal or additional enrollment of Kindergarten students next year which may require another Kindergarten teacher.  The goal is to keep class sizes low in order to support learning and maximize social distancing.  He expects interventionists will be needed at full capacity.  He is looking at providing tutoring opportunities as well as extra interventionists.  These positions may only be for one year.  In order to support academic recovery, summer school and after-school programs may be implemented.  Superintendent Czapla is awaiting final clarification from the State Board of Education.  


8. COMMITTEE REPORTS
8.1. CURRICULUM
Discussion

Jan Martin stated that the committee has not met and is on hold. 

8.2. POLICY
Discussion

Anne Kirkpatrick stated that the committee met this evening and have three policies to be warned for the next BOE meeting.  

8.3. SALARY & NEGOTIATION
Discussion

No report.

8.4. PLANNING
Discussion

No report.

9. CREC UPDATE
Discussion

Superintendent Czapla stated that Krista Cherry sent him an email which was forwarded to the BOE.  Krista Cherry reminded BOE members that the Virtual Legislative Forum will be held on Thursday, 2/11/21, at 8:30 a.m.  To register for the forum, BOE members should email Gloria which is found in the forwarded email from Superintendent Czapla.  

10. ADJOURNMENT