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RSD #17 Board of Education: Summary of Oct. 2020 Meetings

Submitted by Jennifer Favalora, RSD #17 BOE.

2020-2021 School Year:

The Superintendent provided the following school summary for October: Our first full month of in-school learning for our K-8 students was successful. There were some challenges with transportation, which is common, and adjustments are being made to accommodate for fluctuations in driver shortages.  In the high school, which remains in the hybrid model, the administration has been assessing how the students have been doing academically, socially and emotionally.  Teachers and guidance counselors have held small group check ins and students and parents have been surveyed. As a result, some students were given the opportunity to come back to school full time or switch the days they attended in order to better support their academic or social-emotional needs at this time. The administration and staff at all of our schools will continue to keep an eye on students’ needs throughout this unique school year.

Policy:

The Policy Subcommittee Chair, Joanne Nesti, led the Board in reviewing the 9000 Series of the Board Bylaws – the role of the Board of Education and its members.  The Subcommittee recommended, and the Board voted, to accept several changes including 1) limit the term of the Chairperson to two consecutive terms (past practice is that the chairmanship transfers between the towns of Killingworth and Haddam every two years, however there is no written policy that requires the Board to do so) and 2) allow three members of the Board to dictate to the Chairman and Superintendent to add an item to the Agenda on any given meeting agenda.

Facilities:

The Facilities Subcommittee Chair, Peter Sonski reported that the replacement of the underground oil tank at Burr was completed and the KES oil tank is close to completion.  The Field House project at HKHS is progressing as expected.  The Public Building Committee recommended, and the Board approved, adding two expenses to the original scope of the project.  The first was to hire a contractor to remove and replace the window caulk surrounding the Field House windows for $33,500,  and the second was to install a new system for hanging the athletic banners inside the gymnasium for $20,900.  Finally, the Facilities Committee will begin to take steps towards a more formal and extended capital plan for the buildings in our district.

Vision of the Graduate:

The Board of Education is developing a long-term strategic plan for the district. At the center of the strategic plan is the “Vision of the Graduate”- which is what the HK community believes are the essential skills and dispositions that our students need to acquire by the time they graduate high school. The School District invites every member of Haddam and Killingworth, whether parent, student, staff or community member, to provide input on the “Vision of the Graduate”.   Please take the time to participate in an online survey to consider the question:  “What are the most essential skills and dispositions every Region 17 student needs to be successful in a highly dynamic and challenging world?” We invite everyone to contribute to the community conversation through a link posted on the homepage of the RSD17 website titled  “Vision of the Graduate Thought Exchange.”

Website:

On The RSD17.org website: the 2021 Board of Education Meeting Schedule, including important budget dates, has been posted under District -> Board of Education -> BOE Minutes and Schedules.

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