Black River Independent School Committee

Date/Time: 09/19/2019 @ 7:30pm

Location: Black River High School Middle School Library


I. Call to Order-Rotated Chair roll, called to order by MHJ @ 7:46pm

  1. Roll Call: John Bannon, Uli Donohue, Melissa Perrino, Megan Harlow Jenkins,

Pat Pullinen, Suzy Buckley, Sean Williams, Kristen Garvey, Marissa Selleck, Summers Eatmon Williams, Sue Starr Adams, Hyle Daley, Judy Pullinen

  1. Approval of Agenda: Additions & Deletions-PP added Building Update to Board Comments; switched A. & B. under IV. Business so JP could share Special Ed contact info first.  PP made Motion, JB 2nd.  All in favor.  Passed.

II. Approval of Minutes

  1. 09/05/2019-PP made Motion to approve, SW made 2nd.  All in favor.  Passed.

III. Board Comments

  1. Building Update-PP spoke with Bruce Schmidt (Select Board) who spoke with Town Manager Scott Murphy and the vote for the Town to acquire the building will be on the floor, not by ballot.  JW is attending the LMHUUSD meeting tonight for this purpose according to MS.

IV. Business

  1. Discussion

1. Special Education Contact/Potential Consultant via PP/JP-Associate who worked in Special ED in Vermont and assisted with students’ transfers to the appropriated schools; involved with IEP’s for those students.  Advised we hire someone with this specialty because it needs to be handled carefully so as to avoid any discrimination, even if unintentionally.  MHJ: The Board has not had much discussion/experience on this matter as a Board, what steps can we take next that would support this effort.  JP-Again, someone with this experience is needed to properly address these needs and understand the financial piece/support.  MHJ advocated this is something she needs included at school to continue.  And there are definitely needs in this community that need these supports, it is a screening process and you need to be clear about those needs.  MP-So there are two parts, the State Application for Special Ed is the first part, second part is financial process.  JB-We did have this discussion at the very beginning.  JP-Heads up, they (the State) are in the process of changing this process; for now work with what you know.  MHJ suggested someone move forward to put out there that we invite this associate to meet with us.  JP offered to draft a letter for a scope of services. SB-Made motion that we pursue this avenue to contact associate of special education and for JP to draft letter.  MP 2nd.  MHJ asked for further discussion.  Group agreed that now that it has been explained we need someone to assist with all of these intricacies.  JP will draft it and share it with the group and then we can invite the associate to come meet with us at least once.  Group unanimously agreed.  Passed.

        *Follow Up-PP/JP to reach out to Special ED contact & draft letter

2. Money Handling Process: Vote Upon-Based upon protocol drafted by KG.  KG shared document prior to meeting, designates the role of money received, spent, & charted.  MHJ clarified up to $100 members can purchase, just have receipt, and over $100 board needs to be approved. Receipts are provided to Treasurer (MP); MP-Clarification requested, does under $100 need to be approved by Treasurer.  PP made Motion to accept process as designated and explained above, SB 2nd.  Board approved unanimously.  Passed.

  1. Updates

1. State Application-via UD, point person.  She initially received the document at the beginning from ED consultant.  She chunked it up and pooled out members to group and piece back together.  Curriculum has made huge progress.  UD offered that if someone else or another process is available for quicker completion she is willing to remove herself as point person.  PP asked for an idea of absolute completion.  UD explained JW had made a lot of progress on her section. Furthermore, staffing is a good start.  But nobody has really offered how to do so. HD’s suggestion: start adding names, even if it’s temporary.  SB-The layers to the actual curriculum will be more intricate.  MHJ requested for curriculum an open communication about its status even if it’s in flux/lulled that’s fine, just clarify the current update.  SEW explained there is now a curriculum.

Request shared to allow the process to function, trust others with the tasks; other sentiments shared about needing to be direct and acquiring requested information to move forward with separate yet overlapping tasks. Reminder that work groups were designated. Request not to be too sub-group centralized, though.  HD-suggested it goes back to designating leadership. Discussion shared about current roles and fulfilling tasks.  SS-Could be clearer once norms/processes are secure. *SW-Offered that this discussion is leading us to our Executive Session.  Group agreed to wrap up this part, via opting to have the State Application completed as nearly as possible for the October 2nd meeting with the AOE.  *MHJ-Clarified UD & HD to be the point people to work on it.

PP-Also, in draft form, not necessarily in finalized form

KG-The financial component needs clarity, it’s needs to be locked down because it has to be notarized. There is our current Board, but then there is also going to be the new board.  We have also gone back & forth about how much to raise. MHJ-we might also be able to show credibility on our financial capacity to the State that we have an agreement from the Town to utilize/maintain the building. SW-We are in good shape to get this letter drafted.  MHJ-Reiterated UD & HD will be lead on it.  HD-Is it ok to gather current ED members to put on the Staff section?  PP-believes we need clarification first, that doesn’t necessarily need to be robust.  Remember, draft version.  UD-Will be out of town for a few days, FYI.  JB will be available via email.  SB-also noted we can’t fill out sections such as the part about students & specific needs yet.  

V. Public Comments

VI. Executive Session

PP made Motion at 8:31pm for Executive Session to discuss Board Personnel and invite the 3 vistors/volunteers (SS, HD, & SEW).  SW 2nd. Discussion open: MHJ not sure it’s appropriate with these purposes for visitors to be included.  PP clarified that no voting is done in Executive Session.  SW further clarified how this is a continuation of our discussion from weeks ago that closely involved non-voting members would be reasonable to be included.  MP shared concern that we have never actually held an executive session and ergo perhaps we should not have them attend this Executive Session.  PP removed his Motion.  SW made Motion for the Board to have Executive Session as Board without visitors.  SB 2nd. Passed.

        *Executive Session*

Exited Executive Session at 9:56pm

VII. Suggested Items for Next Meeting

State App Update; Service Learning Project via SB;

        *Follow Up: Hiring Committee Repost Head of School Position

VIII. Adjournment

Adjourned by JB @ 9:58pm


*Follow Up-PP/JP to reach out to Special ED contact & draft letter

*Follow Up: Hiring Committee Repost Head of School Position

*State App Sections