Tuttle Middle School Library, Jan. 16, 2019, 7-9:05 p.m.
Members present: Chair Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Superintendent David Young, Steve Wisloski, Alex McHenry, Bridget Burkhardt, and student representatives Arnel Husrefovic, and Cole Patno
Others present: Business Manager Amadee Denton, Director of Operations and Financial Management Gary Marckres, Tuttle Principal Karsten Schlenter, Director of Student Support Services Joanne Godek, High School Principal Patrick Burke, Orchard Principal Mike Trifilio, Chamberlin Principal Holly Rouelle, Dore and Whittier representative Rob Fitgerald
Public Comment: There was one comment from a resident concerned about the unfunded liability of the state teacher retirement system. According to this resident, as of June 30, 2018, the unfunded liability was $1.5 billion. He suggested this be a “memo item” during budget discussions so that taxpayers could better understand their responsibility.
Amendments to the Agenda: Real estate matters were discussed in addition to contract negotiations during the executive session that was held prior to the start of the regular school board meeting.
Announcements/Student Representative Report: The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service took place on Monday, Jan. 21, from 9-11:30 a.m. This was a community event open to the public. Orchard School will be having their production of “Beauty and the Beast” the week of Jan. 21. The captain of the boys high school basketball team announced that their game against Burlington High School on Jan. 25 will be dedicated to spreading awareness of mental health. The team felt it was important to highlight this issue especially during this time of year. All students who attend will receive a free t-shirt.
City and School Collaboration: Fitzgerald and Young will have their next meeting with Kevin Dorn and Helen Riehle on Jan. 25. In addition, the joint city council and school board steering committee meeting will occur Jan. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. This is the meeting where the city and school district will present their respective budgets.
Superintendent’s Report: Young provided an update on soundproofing at Chamberlin School. While the latest noise exposure mapping has been delayed, this does not impact Chamberlin School qualifying for soundproofing. The district conducted their own independent noise testing last year and the FAA approved acoustical testing based upon the current noise exposure map. The airport management has assured the district that they will be able to move forward with some level of soundproofing for the school.
Black Lives Matter Flag Raising: With the full support of the district and school board, the Black Lives Matter flag will be raised at the high school on Feb. 1 and will remain raised for the month of February, which is also Black History Month. The flag will be raised each February to come as well. Young said the flag will be a symbol of inclusion and inspire greater understanding of racial inequity. A statement of intent, drafted by students, will also be released in the weeks to come. A response to a letter Sheldon Katz read at the last board meeting requesting the board reconsider their decision was refuted by a member of the public who read her own letter in support of the district’s decision.
City Center Building Design: Young has been meeting regularly with city staff as they refine the design for the community center/senior center/library, slated to be located adjacent to Central School. The access to the Central School parking lot is a key feature of interest for the district and Young will continue to brief the board on the progress of that design.
Master Planning and Visioning: Rob Fitzgerald, of Dore and Whittier Architects presented an update to the board and public regarding Phase II of the master planning and visioning process. Fitzgerald reviewed the options for consideration as well as the evaluation criteria for each. The options, outlined 1-8, range from a baseline capital improvement plan which would only cover infrastructure improvements to the middle and high schools to option 8 which would involve building a new, combined middle and high school and demolishing the existing buildings. Cost estimates for each are not yet available. However, an evaluation matrix that includes considerations such as the site, cost, sustainability, logistics, education, and student centered/wellness/supports faculty was revealed. Next steps involve posting the visioning presentation and report to the district website, further concept development, a review of the options, community outreach, review, and input, and developing cost estimates.
The Public High School Choice Capacity - Title 16, Section 822(a) was presented to the board and the recommendation was that the cap for South Burlington be set at one student for the FY2019-20 school year with no additional siblings being provided the opportunity to attend. This was stipulated by the board in 2015. In the absence of the exchange of tuition, it does not make fiscal sense for the district to accept students without tuition. This item was unanimously approved.
The school board’s line item program budget for FY2019-20 was unanimously approved. One of the key increases this year is a $2,000 bump in dues to the Vermont School Boards Association. Dues are assessed based on enrollment and are going up due to the fact that there are fewer districts in Vermont from which to collect, yet the VSBA’s responsibilities remain the same.
The School District Budget for FY2019-20 was presented by Young and Amadee Denton and unanimously approved by the board. Student outcomes, budget additions, and justification were provided. The budget represents a 3.36 percent estimated tax increase and 4.15 percent change in total expenditures. Estimated equalized pupils are at 2,536.46 and this figure is subject to change. The impact per $100,000 of assessed value on the residential tax rate, factoring in the Common Level of Appraisal but prior to considering income sensitivity, would be an increase of $52. The average condo valued at $231,356 would see a tax increase of $120 and the average home valued at $336,110 would see an increase of $175.
The Annual School District Meeting Warning was read by Fitzgerald and unanimously approved. The warning gives notice to the voters of South Burlington to report to their respective polling locations March 5 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. to vote by Australian ballot on two items. Article I is the election of officers to the school board; one for a three-year term and another for a two-year term. Article II is the budget of $51,746,533 and notes education spending of $15,944.38 per pupil.
FY2019-20 Budget Communication Plan: Young and the board will be making the rounds, presenting the budget at various school events to staff and PTOs. Fitzgerald and Young will also do a budget presentation on Channel 17 where candidate forums will also take place. The development of the budget book is being coordinated with the city and will feature all pertinent budget information.
Other Paper Articles: Fitzgerald will write the next article on student outcomes. The March article will be written by Alex McHenry and will discuss substance abuse. Other upcoming topics early in the year include master planning and visioning and a legislative update.
Negotiations Update: The support staff met with board members for the second time Jan. 14 and are scheduled to meet again Feb. 11 and March 11 with planning meetings in between. A meeting with the South Burlington Education Association is scheduled for Jan. 24, Feb. 4, and Feb. 18.
The agenda was set for the Feb. 6, 2019 meeting. Young will not be present, therefore Joanne Godek will be overseeing the meeting.
Future Agenda Items include: Global Executive Constraint Community Feedback, Non Union Support Staff Employee Manual Federal and State Education Policies, Assessment of How We Are Doing, How to Run Effective Public Hearings, and the Youth Risk Behavior Survey Update.
The minutes of the meetings of Jan. 2, Jan. 4, and Jan. 7, 2019 at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. were approved via consensus.
The consent agenda included the retirement of Janet Hayden, 1.0 FTE English Learner teacher at Orchard School. Hayden has been with the district for 36 years. The agenda also included a bid for autonomous hard floor scrubbers.
There were no questions on Accounts Payable Orders #24 or #25.
The Accounts Payable Order Checks to the Howard Center for Human Services in the amount of $81,633.57, to the Burlington School District in the amount of $115,431.61, and Essex Westford ECUUSD in the amount of $76,422.78 were unanimously approved.