Act 46 Study Committee - Appointees of Dover, Wardsboro, Marlboro
Wardsboro Elementary School, Wardsboro, VT
August 9, 2016 at 7:15 PM
Marlboro: Daniel MacArthur, Lucy Gratwick
Dover: Rich Werner, Laura Sibilia, Randy Capitani, Chip Vicary,
Wardsboro: Mike Murphy, Dwight Boerem, Jill Dean
Members of the Public: Sheri Lewis (Minutes Recorder), John Everitt, Rich Melanson - videographer, Doug Korb.
Call to order by Rich Werner. The meeting was convened at 7:17 PM
1. Introductions were made
2. Approval of Minutes for the July 28th, 2016 meeting to include the following corrections:
Corrections on Page 1-under Present section:
a. Misspelling of David Sklar’s name and identified inaccurately he was representing Dover. Correction should read that he was representing Wardsboro.
b. Correction should identify Mr. Murphy as absent.
c. Correction should identify that Mr. Vicary as absent.
d. Correction-Misspelling on page 3 -should read work force rather than worforce.
Motion to accept by Mr. MacArthur, Mr. Capitani seconded. All in favor to accept minutes with changes- unanimous.
3. Interview of Applicant for the position of Consultant to the Act 46 Study Committee.
Mr. Werner directed Mr. John Everett, applicant for the Study Committee consultant position to speak about his past work with past Act 46 Study Committees.
Resumes’ were offered to members. Review of resume and experience with Act 46 shared. Mr. Everitt shared his vision for his role with the committee. Rich Werner identified himself as speaking for the group discussed the current status of the group and the members experience. Mr. Werner directed the members to ask questions of Mr. Everitt starting with Mr. MacArthur.
Board Member Questions and/or Comments to Mr. Everitt followed by his replies:
Marlboro representative Mr. MacArthur stated that Marlboro continues to explore alternative structures while a part of this Exploratory Committee. He also shared their situation as they look at physical proximity to other schools, as well as their current structure as a K-8.
Mr. Boerem stated that the role of consultant required specific experience with this process as this is a vital role for the committee.
Mr. Everitt stated that outreach and communication to community members is vital. Using community groups and meetings were suggested.
Mr.Capitani asked what specific experience Mr. Everitt had with this (Act 46) process.
Mr. Everett-Having the end product in mind throughout the process was also identified. Study process history with Rochester, Winooski, Leland and Gray, Windsor Central, and Wilmington-(Twin Valley).
Ms. Gratwick asked who else he is working with in this manner.
Mr. Everitt replied that this committee would be his only Act 46 client.
Document Distributed- Scope of Work to be Performed
Mr. Murphy had no questions
Ms. Dean asked Mr. Everitt what suggestions would he have for the committee based on his experience?-
Mr. Everitt replied that a strong chair for the committee. In addition, making sure the meetings are well attended and “homework” for members be taken care of.
Mr. Vicary asked what role he would play to ensure things happened.
Mr. Everitt stated that his role would include taking care of details for the completion of the report, prompts for members to meet deadlines, communications to administrators when needed. Mr. Merritt stated that a flexible position to accommodate the needs for the committee was important. In addition, looking at what is not being done and ensure it does happen…or suggest them.
Mr.Vicary asked where mediation comes into play in this role. Is it part of his role?
Mr. Everitt stated that facilitation would be possible if requested, otherwise he would make suggestion and problem-solve how to deal with conflicts. He reiterated that a strong chair is necessary.
Mr. Vicary asked if the document did not pass, then what would he propose at that time.
Mr. Everitt stated that he would provide ongoing communication about his the concerns and issues if the passage seemed unlikely.
Ms. Sibilia stated that looking to broaden opportunities for kids her priority and how will this experience be better for kids based on his past work?
Mr. Everitt suggested that meeting with administration in the past has helped to refocus the lens upon growth for student opportunities. He reiterated that the principals are the best informed.
Mr. Werner stated that the Exploratory Committee noted that financial and student opportunities have been the most widely discussed topics. Is school financing strength for you?
Mr. Everitt – As a previous Superintendent whose role required this, he feels quite competent. Mr. Everitt added that incentives are short-lived financial savings, population trends, and providing the ground work based on these bigger pictures.
Mr. Werner asked if Mr. Everitt had ever been involved in a K-6.
*Mr. Everitt-I have familiarity with this structure.
Mr. Werner: As a consultant, do you work for the state or for us? There was a minority report written by members who voted against articles and they had felt as though the consultant was pushing for consolidation and not looking at what was best for their area-
Mr. Everitt replied that he would work for the committee and that was his primary goal was to assist the committee. Discussion of opportunities based on prior experience with schools would open up other possibilities.
Open Discussion and Questions-
Mr. Everitt - Would not act as chair but taking direction from the chair and committee. Checklists are successful tools to meet goals. In addition, using trends of a four year average of change has been another tool that he has used to assist in gaining an understanding of school population trends.
End Q and A with Mr. Everitt.
Request that EV to be excused for the Committee the Exploratory Committee move to Executive Session.
4. Executive Session
Motion made by Dan MacArthur, Seconded by Dwight Boerem. This motion was voted unanimous to move into Executive Session at 8:01 p.m. to discuss contractual issue- Sherri Lewis and Doug Korb also participated.
Out of Executive Session-At 8:10p.m. by unanimous consent.
Action Taken-References will be checked by committee members
Dan MacArthur made a motion to approve the hiring of the John Everitt as Consultant to the Exploratory Committee on August 11th contingent on positive responses of references. Mr. Vicary seconded this motion. Vote in favor was unanimous.
Tentative meeting was set for meeting at WES on August 25th at 6:30 p.m. WCSU Superintendent’s office will warn this meeting. Identification of which committee members were calling references was discussed.
5. Next Meeting:
Mr. McArthur stated that Marlboro continues to explore alternative structures while a part of this Exploratory Committee. Ms. Sibilia supported this statement included that all schools are looking for what is best for each school and its townspeople.
Ms. Sibilia also stated that communication should be a priority and constantly updated in order to keep the public informed. Mr. Werner suggested that at the next meeting this will be discussed and a Committee member identified for each town of this duty.
Mr. Werner suggests that this committee establish structure and core of the committee before other interested parties are invited to the meetings. This would include what the goal is for the committee including if they are looking at a PreK-6 or PreK-8. Mr. Werner also requested that a five minute overview of each school will be shared at the next meeting by one town representative. In the future, this may include the principals of the schools.
Other meeting agenda items to include a timeline, request for sample articles for merger from JE similar to the structures this committee are pursuing.
The Meeting was adjourned at 8: 45PM by Mr. MacArthur, seconded by Mr. Capitani. The members voted to adjourn by unanimous consent.
Respectfully submitted, Sheri Lewis, Recorder, August 9, 2016