Carolyn Havrda, Cindy Kehoe, Dee-Dee Desmarais, Lauren Akerlind, Rosana Bannock, Jonathan Seamans, Beayanka Pinckney-Naraine (via phone), Tracy Weiss, Jessica Chirdon, Fiona Shackelton, Kolaiah Williams, Kathy Evans and Jacqueline Cossentino
School Governance Council Meeting Minutes 5/6/15
Members Present: Carolyn Havrda, Cindy Kehoe, Dee-Dee Desmarais, Lauren Akerlind, Rosana Bannock, Jonathan Seamans, Beayanka Pinckney-Naraine (via phone), Tracy Weiss, Jessica Chirdon, Fiona Shackelton, Kolaiah Williams, Kathy Evans and Jacqueline Cossentino.
Guests Present: Don Slater (HPS Chief Operations Officer), Diedre Tavera (HPS Chief Engagement & Partnerships Officer), 2 non-members, 1 reporter
Due to a car accident on the way to the meeting, Beayanka Pinckney-Naraine participated in the meeting via phone.
Review and acceptance of April 2015 SGC minutes
April minutes were accepted with two corrections: a) Ms. Tracy attended April meeting (later remembered that she did not attend) b) delete the word â€œisâ€, after the word audience.
Ms. Shackleton suggested that the â€œYankee Flyerâ€ be consider for marketing next year. Ms. Shackleton will contact Kerry McNamee.
Jonathan welcomed Dr. Slater and Diedra Tavera, who would provide an update on school location.
SGC Ground Rules were read aloud by members of the SGC team, Dr. Slater and Diedra Tavera.
Ms. Tavera explained that there will be a letter and fax sheet that goes in the green bag this Friday, 5/8/15 with the details that she is sharing now with the SGC.
The decision is in hands of district. A letter was sent last week from the Mayor to a group of parents stating that school will remain in Hartford, so West Hartford is eliminated as temporary and permanent location. Specs, demographics, facility capacity, budget implications, Montessori Magnet Operations Plan, and other factors were considered in the search for a location. The district worked for over 2 years, and looked at over 20 locations. 425 Franklin Ave, Hartford has been identified as the temporary location. The district will use funds to modify this location to make it work for Montessori Magnet. These are the next steps:
1. Establish price. Two appraisals are being doneâ€“ one is complete, the other is expected to be completed this week. An environmental appraisal was also ordered.
2. Work with Attorneys Negotiate with the owner. Price cannot exceed 3,000,000.
5. Renovations & repairs. (approx. 1,000,000 and 9 months). Start by Sept 1, done by June,
furniture in July and move in Aug. TEMPORARY (incubation space) 5.6m from state. Doesnâ€™t
need to be reimbursed. Must be in line with state contract.
6. Continue progress toward a permanent location. Per the Sheff Agreement, we are to begin the
process to build a permanent location in 2017. Must identify a site in 2017. Design in 2018. Start construction in 2019. 18-24 period to do construction (whether new construction or existing), thus move into permanent location in 2021.
How do we communicate in positive light? Per Ms. Tavera, the Superintendent will send the letter and fact sheet.
Will renovations address the requirements of operations plan? Dr. Slater said the renovations will address most, but not all. ie: there is very limited green space available, but that will be all there is. Ms. Tavera said the 9 months of renovations will address some of the requirements. Per Ms. Havrda, a parent sent info. from the current owner that there is a space on south side of building that may be able to be expanded form parking spaces to green space.
Ms. Bannock expressed appreciation from the Teacherâ€™s Union that the guidesâ€™ input will be considered.
There was discussion about the ability to retain and attract top-quality guides. Some parents are concerned that if the location continues to limit the guideâ€™s ability to operate the classrooms to the fullest extent of the Montessori Operations plan, top-quality guides may seek better opportunities elsewhere.
Whatâ€™s the chance it could be less or more than 5 years until Montessori Magnet is in its permanent location? Per Dr. Slater, will not be less than 5 years but it may be more.
Will there still be medical offices in the middle of the building at 425 Franklin Ave? Per Dr. Slater, Yes.
Will school stop early and start late to allow guides to pack/unpack their classrooms, so they do not need to do on their own time. Dr. Slater said yes. He also said there will be professional movers. Teachers will be given time.
What happens to early start during the move? Per Dr. Slater, arrangements will be made â€“ perhaps in partnership with other early start programs.
Ms. Havrda said she believes the Sheff Agreement stipulates that CONSTRUCTION, not GRANT must begin in 2017. Dr. Slater agreed that IF the agreement reads that way, then construction may begin 1 year earlier than he stated earlier. Dr. Slater will communicate with state via email to clarify â€œconstructionâ€ or â€œgrantâ€ that must begin in 2017.
To clarify, there will not be Pre-K transportation to 425 Franklin Ave, correct? Dr. Slater confirmed that is accurate. Ms. Havrda echoed that it is a real concern for parents that live adjacent to the current location in Zone 3.
Will school hours change? Per Dr. Slater, the principal brings recommendation to the Board of Ed, but the Board of Ed will make the final decision.
***From June 10th meeting edits...
The issue of diversity among staff was raised at the meeting in May but was not added in the minutes. It was asked that this issue be noted and documented in Juneâ€™s minutes also, specifically noting the possibility of a new Dean of Students and the request for an effort to increase diversity among the staff at Montessori Magnet.
June 10 SGC Transition Meeting
Ms. Williams suggested that all incoming members review prior meeting minutes before beginning their term. Carolyn mentioned that all minutes are available at: www.montessorimagnet.org
Mr. Seamans asked about the process to ensure the whole SGC council doesnâ€™t turnover at once. It was mentioned that other SGCâ€™s have drawn straws to determine a couple of people to have 1 year terms and others to have 2 year initially. Ms. Havrda said this is true, but the new SGC must approve a process for doing this because they are voted in for 2 year term, so they have to agree to do 1 rather than 2 years.
There was discussion about where to have the June meeting. Pot-luck was suggested but some staff and parents felt it would be difficult. Off-site locations were discussed but some said that childcare would be difficult. Conclusion was to have the meeting at the Moylan campus library and order food.
There was discussion about having ceremonious token to give the incoming SGC, such as framed ground rules and hand over.
Jonathan will run the June meeting, as the new SGC hasnâ€™t elected a parent chair yet. The staff representatives to the SGC will be elected by vote on Wednesday. Concerns and Gratitude
Ms. Williams thanked the Staff, the SGC members and Ms. Havrda.
Ms. Havrda raised concern that the SGC communicate better amongst one another when things happen between meetings because things did happen between meetings and there was not good communication from SGC members back to the group.
Meeting Close Process Next Meeting
5:30 pm, June 10th
Minutes respectfully submitted by Tracy Weiss