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RSD #17 BOE: Summary of May 2021 Meetings

Submitted by Jen Favalora, RSD #17 BOE.

Cougar Pride :  HKHS Baseball Coach, Mark Brookes, was recognized by Superintendent Hageman for his 700th career win with the Cougars this Spring. Coach Brookes is presently coaching his 45th season and has been the only head coach since the program began. He is the second winningest coach in Connecticut State Baseball History and has led HK to the state tournament 44 times. The Board also recognized HKHS Senior Matthew Jennings, who has been the Student Representative to the Board for the past two years.  Matthew, who will be attending Yale in the fall, was honored for all his hard work and dedication to the multiple leadership positions he fulfilled.

Superintendent Search The Board of Education has begun a search for a new Superintendent of Haddam and Killingworth schools. JE Consulting has been hired to begin the search for a new Superintendent and community focus groups will take place virtually in June. The Board has appointed Dr. JeanAnn Paddyfote as Interim Superintendent effective July 1st  through November 19th.  Dr. Paddyfote has a proven record of success as a superintendent of 13.5 years and post retirement as Interim Superintendent in several school districts, including a recent six month post in neighboring Madison.

2021-2022 Capital Expenditures:  The Board voted to approve $360,322 in Capital Improvements to begin over the summer.  Improvements include paving, painting and repairs as well as replacing the K-1 Playground at KES that was removed this past fall and upgrading the Boiler and Circulating Pump KES. The District is still waiting on reimbursements from the state from the High School Energy Project and the recent HS Gymnasium renovations.

SSA Contract Approval:  The Board of Education reached a three year agreement with the Support Services Union, which includes the District’s secretaries, paraprofessionals, food service employees and library media coordinators.  The most notable terms of the agreement include an insurance cost share increase of 2% to all employees and a 7% wage increase spread over the three years.

Strategic Planning Proposal The Strategic Planning Committee proposed, and the Board agreed, to hire Hazard Young Attea & Associates to build a research-based strategic plan for the District.  This plan will engage all stakeholders, build a consensus around what matters most, and create a plan that channels resources accordingly to ensure fulfillment of our mission in a sustainable way.  The final strategic plan will include the Vision of the Graduate as well as a Facilities Master Plan and integrate student success and resource stewardship that sets the direction for the District’s future.

Audit Financial Report, FY 2020;  Michele Loso, CPA Seward and Monde, reported that the audit for Regional School District 17 for Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2020 states a clean and unmodified opinion with no material weaknesses, no compliance issues and no deficiencies.  She added that the District can anticipate a Federal Single Audit for this present fiscal year due to the Covid-related grants received by the District.

Accelerating Learning in the Face of a Pandemic: Superintendent Hageman and Curriculum Coordinators Jenn Beermuder and Heather Rigatti reported the effects of the pandemic on RSD17’s student response to instruction and intervention to date.  Student assessments for grades K-8 show that students that were struggling before the pandemic have fallen further behind in the last year and are a focus in the accelerated learning plan.  Additionally, the Board was updated on the intended use of anticipated ESSER II and ESSER III to further accelerate student learning including a High School Credit Recovery Program this summer and next summer for the increased number of students who are failing high school courses. This workshop can be viewed on the RSD17.org website under Board of Education→ BoE Meeting Schedules and Minutes→May 18, 2021 Board Workshop→Video

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