Somers Public Schools
February 22, 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 7:00 p.m. via Zoom.  

2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
2.1. Draft Minutes of February 8,2021
Rationale

Review and approve the draft minutes of the Board on February 8, 2021.

Attachments
3. OPPORTUNITY TO ADD/DELETE AGENDA ITEMS
4. CONSENT AGENDA
4.1. Warrant of February 22, 2021
Rationale

The Board to review and consent to the warrant of February 22, 2021 in the amount of $517,794.54.

Attachments
5. NEW BUSINESS
Discussion

Chairman Devlin stated that questions may be directed to any member of the Policy Committee.

5.1. 1st Warning on Somers DBS Code 4134 - Personnel - Certificated - Tutoring
Rationale

The Board will review the 1st Warning on Somers DBS Code 4134 - Personnel - Certificated - Tutoring.

Attachments
5.2. 1st Warning of Somers DBS Code 4150 - Personnel - Certificated: Sick Leave, Vacation
Rationale

The Board will review the 1st Warning of Somers DBS Code 4150 - Personnel - Certificated:  Sick Leave, Vacation.

Attachments
5.3. 1st Warning of DBS Code 4218.232 - Personnel - Certified/Not Certified- Smoke-Free Workplace
Rationale

The Board will review the 1st Warning of DBS Code 4218.232 - Personnel - Certified/Not Certified - Smoke-Free Workplace

Attachments
6. OLD BUSINESS
7. ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS
7.1. Curriculum and Instruction Update
Rationale

Mrs. Senecal will be present to talk to the Board about the Curriculum and Instruction Update.

Discussion

Superintendent Czapla introduced Dina Senecal, Director of Curriculum, to update the BOE on curriculum instruction, achievements, concerns, etc.  There was nothing to report to the BOE in the fall because there wasn't standardized testing.  Mrs. Senecal presented the first of a three-part presentation of curriculum instruction and assessment.  SPS has come up with a philosophy of education and guiding principles of decisions when it comes to curriculum instruction and assessment.  SPS believes in educating the whole child.  The success of students is not measured by testing alone.  Ultimately, the goal of SPS is to create engaged, motivated, and well-adjusted learners.  Schools and districts that foster relationships that promote a positive culture and climate along with a growth mindset influence academic achievement and, ultimately, long-term success. 

Strategic planning began in 2018 and included educating the whole child with multiple indicators determining the success of students as part of SPS's mission.  This is a shift in thinking.  Data used to drive decisions.  This shift in thinking led to the Change Theory and is comprised of six principles:

  • Identify problems and root causes
  • Identify possible solutions
  • Pilot programs
  • Secure funding
  • Train staff
  • Implement

In order to educate the whole child, SPS has to look at the child's academic achievement and academic ability as well as their social/emotional learning. Over the last three years, the district has continued to implement social/emotional learning curriculum by utilizing a program called Second Step at SES and MBA, including social/emotional learning in Professional Development, developing a Six Grade Success Skills course at MBA focusing on executive functioning, adding psychologists at SES and MBA, hiring a district-wide BCBA, and looking to add a Pupil Services Coordinator for next year.  Mrs. Senecal is also looking to implement Second Step for adults in the fall. 

Academic achievement has included:

  • Revising the MBA schedule to ensure common planning time
  • Collaboration time for "transition year" teachers
  • Learning Centers developed at MBA
  • Increased AP Course offerings at SHS with the addition of two more courses in the fall
  • Providing standards-based report cards for PreK-5
  • PD embedded throughout the school year and aligns with programs that have been implemented
  • PD "Workshop Week" prior to the beginning of the school year
  • District-wide discussions/piloting of New ELA and Math universal screener (i-Ready)
  • Continued discussion of the new ELA Program at MBA

Mrs. Senecal stated that she wanted to make sure that staffing supported the initiatives: 

  • SES:  Reading Consultant, Kindergarten Teacher , Fifth Grade Teacher, and additional "tutor time"
  • MBA:  Math Intervention Teacher and additional "tutor time" through grant funding

Two programs have been implemented at SES:  Fundations and Fountas & Pinnell classroom.  This is an exemplar of a systemic rollout.  This third grade cohort is the first cohort that has had this reading program since Kindergarten.  The staggered rollout provided PD for all teachers as well as continued PD to keep their skills sharp.  New this year is the implementation of two math programs, Investigations for grades K-4 and i-Ready for grades 5-8.  Mrs. Senecal shared a timeline slide to demonstrate when programs were implemented over the course of three years. 

Upcoming presentation topics will include data (SBAC, NGSS, etc.) and future initiatives, programs, etc.  Discussion ensued among BOE members.  





7.2. Superintendent's Update
Rationale

The Superintendent will update the Board on Somers Public Schools events.

Discussion

Superintendent Czapla updated the BOE on recent events.  He presented the budget to the BOF in a special meeting last week.  They were appreciative of the work done in scrubbing the budget for reductions due to fiscal uncertainties.  SPS received a $172,000 grant from the federal government for recovery services which will be used for staffing.  This plan will be evolving over the spring and summer.  The BOE Public Hearing will be held on 3/8/21 at 6:30 p.m. followed by a regular BOE meeting.  Superintendent Czapla will present the approved BOE budget to the BOF on 3/10/21.  

Superintendent Czapla reported that the Covid numbers are decreasing, but he will be monitoring the variants.  He is analyzing different scenarios in order to bring K-12 to full learning.  The Governor has released the next rounds of vaccinations on 3/1/21 to include teachers.  There will be an onsite clinic facilitated by the North Central Health District for staff to receive the vaccine.  



8. COMMITTEE REPORTS
8.1. CURRICULUM
Discussion

No report.

8.2. POLICY
Discussion

Anne Kirkpatrick stated that the committee is on hold.

8.3. SALARY & NEGOTIATION
Discussion

David Palmer stated that the committee met prior to the BOE meeting this evening.  Bargaining is scheduled with the ParaEducators and Secretaries next week.  Superintendent Czapla and Bill Boutwell, Director of Business Services, will be present for negotiations.  

8.4. PLANNING
Discussion

David Palmer stated that there has been no activity since last meeting.

9. CREC UPDATE
Discussion

Krista Cherry was not present for a CREC update.  Jan Martin attended the virtual Legislative Forum this month.  

10. ADJOURNMENT