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Summary of RSD 17 Board of Education Meeting, February 2023

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

(March 30, 2023) — The following is a summary of the February 7, 2023 meeting of the Regional School District 17 Board of Education:

Cougar Pride: The Board, along with Superintendent Jeff Wihbey and Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Miller presented banners to both Burr Elementary School and Killingworth Elementary School. Each school was named a School of Distinction by the Connecticut Department of Education based on their academic excellence, performing in the top ten percent of the state. Principals Brienne Whidden and Dennis Reed attended as well as staff and student representatives. The banners will be proudly displayed in the halls of our elementary schools.

Student Representatives: Student Representative Madison Moriarty reported on Senior meetings where HK Seniors are working on learning expectation #1 for their graduate portfolios, which includes discussions of personal responsibility, character, cultural understanding, and ethical behavior. Also, HKHS will host a one act play entitled “The Hallmarks of Horror,” written and directed by HKHS Senior, Pooja Badami. Madison also reported on the winter sports season, including boys hockey, girls basketball, boys basketball, and winter track, which has four All-Shoreline Conference athletes. The boys swim team has had a very successful season and three HK swimmers have qualified for the state meet.

Facilities: Peter Sonski spoke about the work Tecton has been performing, including a comprehensive assessment of all facilities to assist in Capital Planning and projections for the needs of all RSD17 buildings. Board Chair Suzanne Sack discussed the steps that have already taken place and that these are the beginning stages of a larger project that will be an investment for the Board as well as the community. The Board approved Tecton’s proposal of the demographic study and development of the Master Plan, which will cost $66,300.00. The next steps of the process will involve engagement from the District as well as the greater community.

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT

Monthly Summary and Updates: Superintendent Wihbey provided information on his initial budget recommendations and goals and shared that the budget presentation is scheduled for next month. There has been a significant inflationary estimated increase to fixed costs such as transportation, fuel, utilities, employee contracts, and health insurance. Superintendent Wihbey also reported that the recommended Budget maintains services at their current level with savings and efficiencies where possible.

Middle School/Intermediate School Assessment: Superintendent Wihbey reported on the development of an outside independent study of HKI/MS structures. The time frame will be approximately 6-8 weeks and will involve interviewing teachers, parents, administrators, and various community members as part of the process. The next step will be creating a committee that will redesign structures based on given objectives. The committee will consist of teachers, parents, a Board member, and two administrators with Assistant Superintendent Miller as Chair.

ON OUR WEBSITE

The 2022-2023 Strategic Plan, District Core Values and District Vision can be found on the RSD17.org District Website. As 2023-24 budget information and Tecton updates become available, they will also be found under the Board of Education section of the RSD17.org website.

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