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RSD 17 Board of Education: Meeting Summary, January 2023

Submitted by Jennifer Favalora, Vice Chair, RSD 17 Board of Education

(March 1, 2023) — The following is a report on the January 2023 meeting of the Regional School District 17 Board of Education:

Cougar Pride

HKHS senior Paige Corcoran, along with Principal Donna Hayward, provided a review of the 34th Annual Holiday Telethon that took place on January 3, 2023, raising more than $28,800.00 with all proceeds going to Rachel Webster, who is battling a rare form of cancer. Paige shared how the holiday show brings the school and the community together for a good cause. Fox 61 News covered the event live, adding an additional level of excitement to the day.

 Student Representatives

HKHS Alumni Day took place on January 4, 2023, where current seniors were able to speak with graduates of the Class of 2022 who returned to share their experiences of life after high school.

 Annual CSDE Accountability Report

Superintendent Jeff Wihbey provided a review of the Annual Accountability Report from the Connecticut State Department of Education, which reflected areas of celebration as well as some areas for focused growth efforts. Superintendent Wihbey reviewed the twelve indicators that are used to measure accountability and the category levels that each school would be assigned based upon performance. All HK schools were within levels 1-3 and Burr Elementary and Killingworth Elementary were both named as Schools of Distinction for Overall Performance/Achievement in 2022. The strategic plan has positioned the District for continued monitoring and growth within the CSDE standards utilizing Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment.

Budget Drivers

Superintendent Wihbey reported on an initial review of areas that will be important for the upcoming budget discussions, including increased fixed costs, such as a busing contract renewal, diesel fuel, heating oil, and insurance. In February, the Superintendent will share the budget drivers in the goal areas of:

  • Maintaining successful student services at current levels
  • Security Package
  • Funding of Phase 3 of the Capital Planning process
  • Instructional Growth of District professionals
  • Offsetting the excessive fund balance refund from last year.


Haddam and Killingworth BOS and BOF participated in tours of District schools and shared their appreciation for the experience of seeing the schools firsthand. The Tecton District Assessment is partially complete with Part 2 being a demographic study and Part 3 a masterplan for the future of the district and its buildings.

The Board approved the replacement of two boilers at KES which provide heat to the original portion of the school.

HKHS Textbook and Course Approval

The Board approved the purchase of updated textbooks and additional course selections at HKHS. The Superintendent noted that, beginning next year, the full course catalog will be presented to the Curriculum subcommittee and then to the Board for review.

Recommendations will then be based upon the standards and how the courses are connected to:

  • The Vision of the Graduate
  • College and Career Readiness Standards
  • The Accountability Index
  • The Strategic Operating Plan
  • Student Interest

Scheduling for this year will be known by February after selections are made. Superintendent Wihbey will provide the Board with additional data on courses from the past few years for better analysis.


The 2022-2027 Strategic Plan, District Core Values and District Vision can be found on the District Website, www.rsd17.org.

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