Submitted by Jennifer Favalora.
Cougar Pride : The board held its annual recognition ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of Class of 2021’s Top Ten Students, award the District’s Staff Members and Teachers of the Year and thank the District’s Retirees for their many years of service to the students in our District. Notable awards went to this year’s Valedictorian, Maxwell Cozean and Salutatorian Julian Spector. Ronnie Ellinson was named District Staff Person of the Year and Wendy Scoppa was named Teacher of the Year. With gratitude we celebrated the retirements of Juliann Bacewicz, Kathleen Briotti , Jill MacDiarmid , Katharine O’Mara, and Linda Hansen.
Dr. Hageman highlighted the Burr Elementary Learning Fair which featured 72 projects submitted by students across all grade levels who shared their learnings and interests. From creating elephant toothpaste to inventing robots who can read minds, this event featured the ingenuity and creativity of our children and the openness of our staff to encourage our students to pursue learning that meets their interests.
Despite a very complicated school year for sports, HKHS won the most Shoreline Championships in school history, with Titles won by Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer, Volleyball, Boys Cross Country, Gymnastics, Boys Indoor Track, Girls Outdoor Track, Boys Lacrosse and Boys Outdoor Track. Twenty HK Seniors will continue to play sports at the college level and six of our HKHS outdoor track athletes competed and placed in the top 10 at the National Track and Field Tournament with Kedarjah Lewis and Eamon Sweeney earning All-American honors.
Superintendent Search: In June, JE Consulting gathered information through conversations and surveys from over 300 community stakeholders for a community profile of the Superintendent. This profile, which can be found on our website under Superintendent Search, was presented to the hiring committee, which includes all Board members along with five representatives from the District’s Central Office, administrators, teachers, staff and parents. Applications for the position closed in July with 29 applicants from seven states applying to be the next Superintendent of RSD17.
Facilities Assessment: The Facilities Committee recommended, and the Board agreed, to hire Tecton Architects for $61,200 to perform an assessment of all of the District’s facilities. Tecton will collect data through site walkthroughs of each property to assess the physical condition of the space and report an assessment of each property based upon current condition, expected useful life, and conditions due to use. Finally they will generate a report based on short, medium and long-range maintenance and capital improvement priorities.
End-of-Year Fiscal Update: With continued uncertainties facing the district in the next school year due to Covid-19, the Finance Committee recommended, and the Board approved, to use $200,000 from the ‘20-’21 fund balance to pre-pay a portion of the State Partnership Insurance Premiums approved in the ‘21-’22 budget. The Board agreed that the money remaining in the ‘21-’22 budget for Health Insurance would only be used for Covid-related expenditures, including pandemic related learning loss, and any unspent funds will be returned to the towns in the following year’s audited fund balance.
ESS Update: The Board approved a fund transfer from Transportation and Tuition lines to the ESS line of the ‘21 – ‘22 budget to pay for a second clinician in the Effective Schools Solutions High School program to support the needs of the high school students next school year. One student will be returning from an out-of-district placement into the ESS program, therefore, the $117,500 fee for the new clinician will be offset in the ‘21 – ‘22 budget by what would have been paid for out-of-district tuition and transportation for that returning student.
On our Website: The Board has reviewed and updated nearly 40 Policies in the 5000 series. This series, which relates to Students covers many topics from student dress code to fundraising to transportation. You can read the find the Board policies on our RSD17 website under District → Board of Education → Policies and Resources.