This site was last updated on 16 October 2020 at 5:47 pm.

Special Meeting  |  Tuesday, October 27, 2020
6:00 pm |  Agenda 

This meeting will be held via Zoom teleconferencing only and updated in real time in the Meeting Status  section below. There will be no physical place at which the board either convenes or designates for public attendance.    

This Special Meeting replaces the Regular Board Meeting scheduled for November 3, 2020.

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Meeting ID: 879 3732 3845

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MEETING STATUS:      Real time reporting of meeting progress, problems and notifications.     
           Pending as scheduled: Tuesday, October 27, 2020 @ 6 pm                                                             
         √  Link to join opens at 5:45 pm                                                                                                               
            Called-to-order at  ...  pm                                                                                                                      
            Adjourned at  ...  pm                                                                                                                               
            Active problems:  none                                                                                                                      

Meeting documents
Minutes for approval:
Reports:  Superintendent  |  Principal  |  Student Services  | Student Representatives
New Policy on Student Representation on the School Board - Draft #3 (Intent to adopt)
          Prior drafts:  Draft #2 (8 September 2020),  Draft #1 (24 August 2020)
Revised Policy A5 - Role and Adoption of School Board Policies - Draft #3 (Intent to adopt)
          Prior drafts:  Draft #2 (undated, mtg of 6 Oct.),  Draft #1 (undated, mtg of 1 Sept.)

Scroll down for previous months' Highlights

October 6, 2020  
                                                                                       Full Minutes

1.  Danville School is receiving $250,000 from Efficiency Vermont toward the rehabilitation of its ventilation system, a 10-fold increase in the amount it had expected to receive.  This stabilizes efforts to provide a warm and safe environment in the entire school for this coming year (and maybe a bit longer) as we return to focus on longer-term plans for school renovation.  Superintendent Tucker singled out the uncommonly skillful and indefatigable efforts of Principal Schilling in gaining this award to the school; the Board agreed.

2.  The Board has initiated a process to address the school mascot issue by (1) having students work on a research-based finding relative the Vermont School Boards Association’s recommendation of mascot replacement under the direction of Principal Schilling and faculty, (2) “encouraging teachers and staff to openly and freely engage in discussions of the issue within the school community”, and (3) further encouraging resident parents, non-resident parents of Danville students, native Americans, alumnae, and other interested members of the public to communicate in writing/email their comments to any member of the board at any time prior to a decision (board member email addresses at .  Information from these sources will be brought together for a decision in March of 2021.

3.  The faculty has formed an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee with the goal of: “By respecting each person’s unique identity, perspective, and learning style, we create a stronger community.  We honor differences including races and cultures, genders and sexual orientations, abilities and aspirations, identities and affiliations, socioeconomics and worldviews.”

4.  The board intends to adopt a new policy on student board representatives at its next meeting on October 27th.  It includes a recently added provision for course credit for representatives.

5.  A report on the schools’ endowment funds showed the Danville School Endowment Fund at $603,990 and the Marion Sevigny Endowment Fund at $690,107.  The balances of 21 other smaller funds were also reported.

6.  Given an uncertain financial picture for FY22 the Board decided not to offer early retirement packages to teachers and support staff for next year.

7.  Principals David Schilling and Sarah Welch reported that the reopening of school had gone well, the implementation of PBIS (Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports) had reduced behavioral referrals by 50%, and Danville PRIDE (Polite-Responsive-Inclusive-Determined-Engaged) is reinforced though out the day and appears to be working well also.

8.  The Board accepted the Continuous Improvement Plan developed by the administration for FY21.

Robert Edgar/Clerk

September 1, 2020         
                                                                           Full Minutes

1.  Superintendent Tucker informed the board that he was restructuring the administration at Danville School to take advantage of the strengths of its two current primary administrators.  Accordingly David Schilling is now the “Secondary Principal”, responsible for grades 7-12, the building and budgetary matters and Sarah Welch is now the “Elementary Principal”, responsible for grades preK-6.

2.  Principal Schilling updated the board of the state of the ventilation system in preparation for the resumption of in-person schooling on September 8thAll the ventilation units are operational and have been cleaned, and air is circulating through all spaces in the building, which it has not done in years, providing adequate ventilation based on the engineers’ estimates.   More extensive cleaning the duct work will proceed this fall as a heat source is added to the system.

3.  Richard Deane (Truexcullins, Burlington) reported on his firm’s design to install heating elements in the ventilation system necessary to get the school through the winter.  He explained a design change in using propane-fired boilers and extant piping to heat the entering air replacing a temporarily contemplated use of electrical heating elements, thus minimizing investments in temporary equipment.  These installations will commence as school resumes this fall.  It was also noted that air in the building is not re-circulated; all air input is fresh air.

4.  In response to substantial concern within the school over the past year with the School’s mascot name “Indians” and a statement discouraging the use of such names by the Executive Committee of the Vermont Principal’s Association in August, the board has placed on the agenda for its October regular meeting (10/6) a discussion to produce a clear procedure to address this issue, including provision for community, staff and, importantly, student input.  A forum for a discussion of the pros and cons of a name change and a possible name change are expected to be set then or shortly thereafter

5.  The board approved the allocation of $16,400 from the Sevigny Endowment Funds to complete the rebuilding of the dugouts and other structures at the softball field at the School.

6.  The board is developing a policy to guide the selection of student representatives to the School Board.  At present, there would be two representatives, each selected in alternative years by the Board and serving until they graduate.  Board member-Principal mentors would guide a representative’s work on the board.  The policy describes the roles and responsibilities of a student representative, their powers as a representative, the selection process and conditions effecting removal as a representative. A second reading of this policy will occur at the October 6th meeting.

7.  The board is reviewing a change in CCSU Policy A5 which addresses the “Role and Adoption of School Board Policies”.  The CCSU has proposed that district boards be able to adopt policies that apply only to their own district.  The discussion focused on district boards being able to develop, not just adopt, policies applicable to their own districts, thus providing some policy independence from the CCSU board and on clarifying the options available to a district board in responding to CCSU-wide  policy proposals.

Robert Edgar/Clerk

August 4, 2020    
                                                                                                   Full minutes

1.  The Board found authority to proceed immediately with the school ventilation project given emergency powers provisions in Vermont Statutes with regard to its duty to preserve the safety and functioning of the School.  Consequently, the Board voted to take out a current expense loan with Passumpsic Savings Bank for $550,00o at 1.53% per annum interest for an initial term of 6 months.  It further authorized the Superintendent to initiate the renovation project. 

2.  The Board postponed a public vote for authority to borrow $550,000 for the school ventilation project at this meeting due to a statutory requirement for a 30-40 day warning and expected to reschedule that vote or an updated variation in the fall.

3.  The Board endorsed the Superintendent’s continued operational planning for school reopening around the hybrid-learning model, which he characterized as best facilitating the “need to reopen the schools with the greatest flexibility to serve the greatest number of families who rely on Danville School to educate their children.”

4 .  Based on responses from just over half the students, a Danville school survey on reopening ending on July 30 found 75% of families preferring an all in-person model for the first 6 weeks, 20% opting to go fully remote learning, and 5% planning to homeschool.  At about a six-week mark in the semester students will be able to change options if they wish.

5.  Principal Schilling provided a brief outline of school reopening on September 8th.  Two of the major considerations were (1) distancing and (2) cohort management, that is, keeping a group of students together as long as feasible.  Remote learners would   be tied to their teachers and not lumped into a single large group.

6.  The day-t0-day schedule was described for grades K-8 as 5 days a week in-person learning with a shorted day, and for grades 9-12 there would be two groups attending in-person 2 days a week and remotely on the other days. 

7.  The Principal also firmly stated as part a brief review of problematic air ventilation units that we “will not put students and staff in under-ventilated spaces at all.”

8.  The Sevigny Fund which supports athletic and playing fields at the school reported a fund balance of $690,000.

9. Plans for outdoor classroom pavilions have been shelved due to problems in sourcing materials, but a back-up plan of using tents has replaced it.

July 22, 2020          
                                                                                               Full Minutes

1.  This special meeting addressed ventilation system problems at the School in the light of the most recent (July) engineering assessment and their short-run and long-term resolution.  The estimated cost of full restoration of the system is $700,000.

2.  Discussion centered on (1) assessing the data in-hand and those data which still needed to be secured or firmed up for the Board to take action, and (2) exploring various scenarios including whether to try to implement full repair/replacement or only that for some of the more critical rooms/spaces, the need to secure a short-term loan, its magnitude and conditions, the effects on the school’s reopening and ability to stay open, and the effects on tax rates for FY22 and a 5-year projection.

3.  Because public input is critically important to the Board decision and because public approval is required to give the board authority to engage in short-term borrowing for this project, the Board will be holding a special meeting/public forum Thursday, July 30th via Zoom videoonferencing.  This forum will consist of a presentation of the problem and  a discussion with the public on our approach to solving it in preparation for a Town vote soon-to-be-held (likely August 4th) on provision of authority to the Board to secure a loan for the project and commence repairs.

4.  A more detailed discussion of these issues, included relevant engineering reports and fiscal estimates, is contained in the Full Minutes of the 7/22 meeting.  Relevant documents are also accessible on the School Board Home Page along with Zoom links to scheduled board meetings.

Robert Edgar/Clerk

Zoom meeting July 7th. 

July 7, 2020                                                                                                                                       Full Minutes

1.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic Danville School Board meetings are currently conducted as Zoom videoconferences, which are publicly noticed on the warned agendas and on the School Board's website.  Connect by computer or phone.

2.  Much of the discussion at this meeting addressed issues associated with reopening the school in the fall informed by guidance by Vermont's Agency of Education.  That guidance provides both for in-person and on-line learning, but with the details of the reopening plans left under the control of local school boards.  The superintendent indicated some regulations with respect to reopening will be non-negotiable across the entire Supervisory Union and others will be adapted to the idiosyncrasies of the districts.  There are also links to the AOE guidance document on the Board’s website Home Page.

3.  The board was informed of the variety of reopening issues being addressed by the SU's leadership team and expects a reopening plan to be available to the board and the community around the end of July.  A SU-wide COVID-19 coordinator has been selected, but her contract has not yet been finalized.  She would work with a COVID-19 team of SU personnel and local community medical professionals, which is being set up.

4.   Ventilation in the school building is currently problematic for a fall reopening, but an engineering firm has assessed the problems in detail, proposals for remediation are being developed, and the Principal expects it will be ready to support the start of the school year in late August.  However, as colder weather sets in during the fall, additional work will be required on the ventilation units.

5.  A link to the full Danville School Facilities Evaluation Report from Truexcullins submitted to the Board in May 2020 has been provided on the Board's website Home Page.  This report does not include the more intensive engineering investigation/proposal currently underway regarding ventilation; see #4.  Videos of the of the Truexcullins overview of the school in June are available also on the Home Page (see past Highlights).

6.  Bids for the construction of several, outdoor, roughly 20’ x 20’, open-picnic-pavilion-style shelters have been solicited for expanding usable space during the COVID-19 crisis. 

7.  The Principal reported a project* supported by a community group to create outdoor classrooms as part of the wooded Nature Preserve south of the soccer field.  These spaces are being designed to accommodate preK-12 classes, to be readily accessible to all students, and to permit classes that have used them in the past and currently funded student projects to continue using them.  * See “Outdoor Classroom” project on embedded Facebook posts on School Home Page.

8.  The Board approved up to $30,000 for the replacement in the school kitchen of a steam-cooker and a tilt skillet, each having entered school service 51 years ago (1969) and well-exceeded their life expectancy.

9.  The Board approved the expenditure of $21,175 from the Sevigny Fund largely to initiate renovation and rebuilding of the dugouts on the school softball field. 

10.  The Board adopted a new policy on HIV/AIDS Education for preK-12 (F33) and reviewed and adopted older policies on Student Freedom of Expression (C11) and Prevention of Harassment, Hazing and Bullying (C10).

Robert Edgar/Clerk

Danville School Board
Meeting Highlights
June 2, 2020                                                                                                           Full Minutes

1.  Richard Deane of TruexCullins Architects presented an overview of his firm’s Board-commissioned, 260-page report on the historic and current status of the Danville School facilities as a means of defining current and future issues related to school safety, learning environments and community engagement.  A link to a video of his full 47 minute presentation is provided below; 9 smaller video clips are also provided capturing his presentation on particular topic; all 9 cover the full presentation.  An expanded description of these topics is in the full minutes.

Full presentation (47:51)
(1) Guiding Principles (02:58),
Constructional History (1937-2007) (7:32),
Issues and Codes (7:49),
Building Structural Issues (3:36) ,
Building Envelope Issues (7:59),
Building Interior Issues (3:41]),
Mechanical System Issues (3:59),
Electrical Systems Issues (2:38), and
Next Steps (7:34)

2.  Kevin Davis of Norwich Solar Technologies presented his firm’s proposal to enter in a net metering agreement with the school in connection with a ground-based solar panel array it will start constructing adjacent to the school in 2021.   The agreement involves no construction costs to the school and an estimated savings in electricity costs the first year of nearly $7,000 and over the life of the 25-year agreement of about $400,000.  A video of his 27-minute presentation covers the history of the company, project environmental impacts, regionally similar projects, and estimates of financial and educational benefits.  The board has taken the proposal into consideration.

3.  With one month left in FY2019-2020 Christina Kimball (CCSU Business Manager) reported she projects the Danville School District will end the year (June 30) ab0ut $107,000 (1.7%) under budget, while taking into consideration some still unresolved financial variables, e.g., Covid-19 reimbursement from the CARES Act of 2020, special education expenses and legal challenges to external provider billing.

4.  Ashley Muscarella, previously at Hazen Union High School, was hired as the Middle School Social Studies teacher for the forthcoming year.

5.  Sarah Welch reported that next year the 37-38 students in Grades 2 & 3 will be partitioned into 1 grade-2 classroom, 1 grade-3 classroom and 1 combined-grades-2-and-3 classroom, yielding classroom sizes of 14 students or fewer in each.

Danville School Board
Minutes Highlights                                                                                                Full Minutes
Meeting of 5 May 2020 

1.  For the first time since the onset of the Covid-19 disruption the Board formally met via Zoom audio-visual teleconferencing.  Meeting minutes are time-stamped with reference to audio and audio-visual recordings of the meeting.  

2.  The Superintendent reported to the Board on the Covid-19 situation and the hiring of Michael Concessi as the CCSU Finance and Operations Director.

3.  The Principal described some of the School's responses to the Covid-19 crisis, including a revised system of assessments (with a universal guide to grading) and community and staff support for keeping the meals program operational.  Additionally, new staffing assignments: elementary school (Nick Decaro), full-time middle school math (Emily Greaves), full-time K-6 math interventionist (Peggy Remick) and 0.8 FTE interventionist (Tari Priddy).

4.  The Board approved the 2020-2021 School Year Calendar.  School for students starts on Wednesday, August 16ht and ends on Thursday, June 10th.

5.  New and revised CCSU policies on Student Freedom of Expression (Policy C11), Prevention of Harassment, Hazing and Bullying (Policy C10) and HIV PreK-12 Management (Policy F33) were examined and scheduled for approval at the June 2nd Regular Board meeting.

6.  The Board decided to continue to operate under the standard Robert's Rules of Order and not to change to the rules for "Small Boards."

7.  An expenditure from the Sevigny Fund for $23,149.25 was approved for annual playing fields' maintenance and associated improvements.

8.  Facilities and infrastructure projects are largely on hold until the future financial picture clarifies, but custodial staff is working on projects in the school given available resources.

9.  A proposal from Norwich Solar Technologies for a ground-based solar panel system adjacent to the school is expected to be on the Board's June agenda.

Danville School Board
Minutes Highlights                                                                                                   Full Minutes
Meeting of 16 March 2020

1  Results of Board Re-organization following the Town Meeting on March 3, 2020
            Chair  Bruce Melendy
            Vice-Chair  David Towle
            Clerk   Robert Edgar
            Representatives to the CCSU Board   Bruce Melendy, David Towle, Clayton
            Representatives to Negotiations Council  Bruce Melendy, Clayton Cargill,
                    Ginni Lavely
            Voting delegate to state-wide health insurance council:  Clayton Cargill

  Regular meetings of the board are the 1st Tuesday of the month in Danville School          Library at 6 pm

3  Posting of public  warnings of agendas of School Board meetings:  Caledonian
Record, Town Hall (exterior bulletin board), Marty’s First Stop (exterior bulletin board), Danville Post Office (interior bulletin board), Danville School (on window next to main entrance doors for present, but planned to be transferred to exterior bulletin board in the exterior entrance way), and Danville School Board

4  Both the Principal and Superintendent provided overviews of their responses to the coronavirus pandemic, which summarized their recent public communications.  These administrative communications are available on the Danville School Board’s website’s Home Page:  Home Page  under “Coronavirus (COVID-19).”

5  The Board postponed meeting with parties involved in ongoing  orproposed solar development and infrastructural projects until the school and community adjusts to the public health disruption of the school schedule.

Email questions/comments to
Bruce Melendy  Dave Towle  |  Tim Sanborn | Clayton Cargill |   Robert Edgar