03 March 2022 / 7:00 PM / hybrid meeting
Mr. Nero noted that today was the first day without masks required in school. He is still working closely with LLHD as the situation evolves. Our new facilities director has started work. A new Associate Principal with special education duties has been hired for the elementary school and will onboard at the end of the month. Mr. Nero reiterated the importance of advocating for the children in our schools during municipal budget season. He recommends that the Board of Education approves his recommendation to make masks optional on busses.
Mrs. St. Germain noted that the Wheeler basketball teams are entering state tournaments this week. Preparation for the junior SAT testing is underway. ECC athlete representatives are working to address negative behaviors at sporting events recently in the region, however it was noted that Wheeler students have been conducting themselves well. Staff will continue climate/culture development with consultants on the March 11th Professional
Development day. Mrs. St. Germain noted that the first day without masks went well and students respected the decisions of others. She also reminded parents to please utilize the COVID tests sent home with students.
Kim Haggerty was present as the representative of the Class of 2024. She noted the PRIDE event with the MS students went very well.
Mr. Cillino reiterated the excitement in the school with the mask mandate change. He noted that for some of the students this is their first school experience without masks. Some of the younger students were nervous at first but the transition is going smoothly. This week is Read Across America week. Spelling bees will start this week for 4th-6th grade students. Today started the 3rd trimester and conference are coming up in mid-March. Picture day is scheduled for March 23rd. Kindergarten registration is starting so please spread the word to parents of incoming Kindergarten students.
Mrs. Gonzalez provided a Drama Club update- Wizard of Oz will be performed in late March. Fifty-seven students are participating. Special thanks to parents and volunteers
Mrs. Coats reiterated mask comments and the positive change in the students. Linda thanks the PTO for the Wellness Bar teacher appreciation event.
Board of Education Presentation
Christine Wagner, Board of Education (BOE) Chairperson, attended to discuss the 2022-2023 budget. The BOE is looking to rally support to get parents more engaged in the budget process. Our budgets have been lean in the past and the BOE would like to offer more robust programming and more support for teachers who have been doing a lot with very limited resources.
To briefly explain the budget process, it was noted that the process starts with planning in December with a budget vote in May. Administrators meet with the Superintendent to develop needs, which are then presented to the BOE. The BOE then revises the budget, reallocates, etc. BOE will present their budget to the BOF on March 9th. BOE believes that this budget is already lean and wants to avoid the typical cuts that happen with BOF. Parent support will be needed to prevent additional cuts so the full budget that is needed can be presented to the town for a vote. Ms. Wagner noted that our schools are our biggest asset in town and draw many people to live here. The voices of parents are critical prior to the referendum.
The starting balance for February was $34,286.16. After income and expenses, our ending balance was $34,275.94. The report was approved by vote.
One correction was noted- Kristen St. Germain noted that she did not lead the superintendent search, so this was corrected to reflect that she led the search for the Special Services Director. The minutes were approved by vote with this amendment.
Family Fun Night
Dawn noted that we are working on our next upcoming Family Fun Night, with the previous date canceled due to winter weather.
Revised bylaws were sent out with the agenda and minutes. Please get any comments back to us by the middle of March. We hope to vote on the final version at the April meeting.
Request and Review
Lauren Anderson requested $500 toward the purchase of an art display board for the art show. The board is a durable, large standing display and will be re-used from year-to-year. The motion passed.
Day of Awesomeness
Dawn noted that the Step It Up fundraiser “Day of Awesomeness” will be held Thursday, April 14th and parent volunteers will be needed. This will be a very fun opportunity for parents to get involved, and will be a fun send-off for students on the last day of school before spring break.
Basket Raffle will be rescheduled to April 29th. The Family Fun Night that was originally planned for that night will be rescheduled to April 8th. We are planning to go back to the original basket raffle model of an in-person event. Parent volunteers and participation will be needed, so please keep an eye out for notices.
COMMENTS & QUESTIONS
Dawn noted that the community support for Kael Mason was very much appreciated by the family.
Meeting was adjourned at 7:51 pm.