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Board of Education Minutes
Executive and Regular Meeting
Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The regular meeting of the Meriden Board of Education was held on Tuesday, August 21, 2012, in the Ellen Mazza Board Room, 22 Liberty Street, Meriden, Connecticut.

Board Members:  Pamela S. Bahre, Kim A. Carbone-Pandiani, Michael P. Cardona, Scott R. Hozebin, Mark A. Hughes, Robert E. Kosienski, Jr. John D. Lineen, Jr., Steven J. O'Donnell, and Irene E. Parisi.   

Also Present:           Mark D. Benigni, Robert J. Angeli, Michael S. Grove, Thomas W. Giard III, and Donna Adduci Mik; media and the general public.

President Hughes called the regular meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

Mr. Cardona, seconded by Mrs. Bahre, moved that the Board of Education goes into Executive Session at
6:02 p.m. for the purpose of discussing the executive session agenda.  It was so voted unanimously.

The meeting was reconvened in open session at 6:25 p.m.  President Hughes reconvened the regular meeting at
6:32 p.m.

34673.          Pledge of Allegiance

President Hughes requested that everyone join in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

President Hughes asked for a moment of silence in memory of Doris Rohde, who recently passed away.  Doris taught for 37 years at various schools in Meriden and served as principal of both Hanover and Israel Putnam Schools and later as Director of Elementary Education.  

34674.          Petitions and Comments


34675.          Approval of Minutes

Mr. Kosienski, seconded by Mr. Lineen, moved that the Meriden Board of Education hereby approves the minutes of the Executive Session and Regular Meeting of the Board of Education dated July 17, 2012.  It was so voted unanimously.

34676           Report of the Student Representatives

President Hughes stated that the student representatives would start reporting in September.

34677.          Report of the Superintendent

Dr. Benigni called on Ms. Joanne Conte, Supervisor of Language Arts, to give a presentation based on the work of the High School Assessment Committee.  Ms. Conte stated that this new committee was established to work in collaboration with Dr. Al Larson, Research and Evaluation Specialist, and a team of 30 high school teachers.  The focus of this committee is to improve student reading in the content areas--Social Studies, Science, Career and Technical Education, English, and Reading by 1) writing and revising short passages aligned with Common Core State Standards, 2) writing valid and reliable multiple choice items, 3) uploading common assessments to key concepts, and 4) utilizing these tools for improved instruction.  

Dr. Benigni called on Dr. Al Larson to discuss the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) and the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) results.  Dr. Larson gave an analytical report pertaining to the results on the CAPT and CMT that were administered March 2012.  The CAPT graphics showed the percent of students at or above proficiency for Grade 10 from 2007 to 2011 in Math, Science, Reading, and Writing.  Dr. Larson stated that of concern is a decrease over the last three years in reading.  The CMT graphics, Grade 3 to 8, showed percent of students at or above proficiency from 2006 to 2012.  Dr. Larson stated that the Math and Reading scores are continually increasing in almost every grade level, especially in grades 3 and 8.  In writing, grade 5 showed the highest scores.  Science has been increasing in grade 5 and flat in grade 6.  He listed the highest percent of students at/above proficiency that the district has ever had on the CMT for the following sub-test, as follows:

Grade           Academic Area

3               Math and Reading
4               Reading
5               Science and Writing
7               Writing
8               Math and Reading

Dr. Larson also compiled data on proficiency performance gaps by ethnicity and lunch status for both the CAPT and CMT and vertical scale score growth for the CMT.

Dr. Benigni thanked Ms. Conte and Dr. Larson for their presentations.
Dr. Benigni announced that the State released the results from two competitive grant processes.  He said that Meriden was selected to receive a literacy grant for John Barry School.  This grant will bring five additional staff members to support our literacy efforts.  He also announced that the other grant awarded is for a Family Resource Center at Roger Sherman School.  

34678.          Announcements by the President

President Hughes stated that he had the opportunity to attend and interact with new teachers at the orientation breakfast held this morning. He also attended the Back to School Expo and expressed his congratulations to everyone involved for providing these great services to our students and the community.  Dr. Benigni thanked the two main presenters who spent time organizing this event--the Meriden-Wallingford NAACP and Beat the Street Community Center. He said that our students were very excited to receive the book bags.

Unfinished Business

34679.          School Building Committee (SBC) Liaison Update

Mr. Lineen gave a brief summary on the Hanover project and the renovation projects at the high schools.  
Mr. Lineen stated that at Hanover the brick veneer is about 75% done.  The project is on time and completion is anticipated to be by December 2012.  

Concerning the Maloney renovation, Mr. Lineen stated that the team has met with the State.  A few items are being reviewed before plans are approved.  The anticipated construction start date is December 2012.

Concerning the Platt renovation, he said the plans are still in the design phase.  The project cost estimate is now $109 million.  The original budget was for $111 million.  If the fly system is added, the estimated added cost is $2.4 million, which would keep it just over the $111million original cost estimate.  The projected date for submission to the State is sometime in December 2012.

34680.          Curriculum Committee Report

Mr. Lineen, seconded by Mr. Hozebin, moved that the Board of Education accepts the Curriculum Committee Report dated July 17, 2012.  It was so voted unanimously.

New Business

34681.          Alliance District Plan

Mr. Kosienski, seconded by Mr. Cardona, moved that the Board of Education approves the Meriden Public Schools' Five-Year Alliance District Plan. Mr. Hozebin asked that the administration give an overview of the plan. Dr. Benigni called on Mr. Angeli to review the reasons why the district is now submitting and Alliance District Plan versus a District Improvement Plan (DIP).  

Mr. Angeli reiterated that the Alliance District Plan replaces the District Improvement Plan.  The state had applied for a waiver of NCLB and as part of that waiver it must developed a new mechanism by which schools and districts are evaluated on the progress made in terms of educating students.  The State developed a new mathematical equation that can calculate the district performance index and well as the school performance indexes. Meriden was one of the 12 original priority school districts.  During the last few years, the number grew to 18 districts and now there are 30 alliance school districts.

Previously the district developed a three-year District Improvement Plan; under the new system, we developed a five-year alliance district plan.  We are calling it a plan but when it is submitted to the State it will be considered an application along with the Alliance District Initiative. Additional money has been made available to the school districts.  The Meriden Public Schools will be receiving approximately $1.7 million.  We developed a plan by which we would use those moneys along with other district funds/grants to create a DIP which is now the Alliance District Plan in order to improve instructional practices for the Meriden district.  The plan was submitted to the state on August 3rd, in anticipation of receiving feedback from that state and subsequently submitting a revised version  by the August 15th deadline. As the state is reviewing 30 plans, we are still awaiting notification from the state regarding acceptance of our plan.  Mr. Angeli detailed the plan's focus, which not only included our expansion of reading but other initiatives that the district has been doing under the DIP.

The motion passed unanimously.
34682.          Israel Putnam Elementary School Roof Replacement

Mr. Kosienski, seconded by Mr. Lineen, moved that the Board of Education approves the educational specifications for replacement of the roof at Israel Putnam Elementary School, and further, request that the City Council (1) name the School Building committee to oversee this project; (2) authorize the preparation of plans and specifications for the total reroofing of Israel Putnam Elementary School, and (3) authorize the Meriden Board of Education to apply for a school construction grant.   It was so voted unanimously.

34683.          Correspondence

No correspondence.

34684.          Announcements

Mr. Kosienski announced that the Contracts Committee will convene on September 20th at 5:00 p.m.  Mr. Cardona announced that the Policy Committee will convene on September 4th at 5:00 p.m.  Mr. Lineen announced that the Finance Committee will convene on September 25th at 5:0 p.m.  

Mr. Kosienski, seconded by Mr. Cardona, moved to adjourn the Board Meeting. It was so voted unanimously.  The time was 7:34 p.m.

                                                        Norma I. Hernandez
Board Clerk

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