The Danville School Board (Vermont) meets regularly on the first Tuesday of every month.
This site was last updated on 20 November at 11:00 am.
2020
... earlier than 7/30

Mascot/Nickname
Board Correspondence
(October 2020 - June 6, 2021)

School Renovation
Project
 
(TruexCullins)
July 2021:
Nov 2021:



Special Meeting | Thursday, 9 December 2021

Danville School Library and Zoom 

6:00 pm  |  Agenda



Danville School Board Special Meeting

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MEETING STATUS:      Real time reporting of meeting progress, problems and notifications.              

             Pending as scheduled: Thursday, 9 December 2021 @ 6:00 pm                                                                
             
Link to join opens at 5:45 pm                                                                                                                          
             Called-to-order at  ...  pm                                                                                                                              
             Adjourned at ... pm                                                                                                                                              
             Active problems:  none       

MEETING DOCUMENTS

Superintendent  |  Principals |  Student Services |  Facilities  |  Student Representatives 
Unapproved minutes:  Reg Mtg 2 November 2021  



Scroll down for previous months' Highlights
Danville School Landscape Site Plan
November 2021
(Click image to enlarge; link to largest image in Highlights #2 below)
(Link to floor plans in Highlights #2)

DANVILLE SCHOOL BOARD
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES HIGHLIGHTS
November 2, 2021                                                                                                    Full Minutes

1.  The Covid-associated Test-to-Stay program's availability at the school is imminent as resources are acquired and procedures clarified.  This program tests unvaccinated students who have been deemed "close contacts" and provides the student the option of being antigen-tested daily and remaining in school (if test-negative) or quaratining at home (if test-positive or untested).  Pfizer covid-19 vaccine (for kids 5-11) availability at the school will not occur on December 8th, but supplies are expected a week or two afterward, as they are made available from the State.  The Pfizer vaccine for 5-11 years old is available locally the week of the 8th:  see Department of Heath website.

2 TruexCullins, the Burlington architectural firm working with the school on a proposed addition/renovation, engaged in  a 36-minute presentation to the board of significantly updated plans.  These included both a site landscape plan and building floor plans (links are to large pdf versions of the graphic plans).  The plans have been designed to generate a cost estimate, which will be available at the board's meeting on Thursday, December 9th.  A verbal summary and overview of their presentation are provided in the full minutes.  A audio-visual recording of its entire presentation is provided here.  

3. The board will also commence discussion of FY22-23 Danville School Budget at its December meeting, which will occur as a Special Meeting on Thursday, December 9th, replacing the usual Regular Meeting intended for December 7th.

4.  The board approved the principals' recommendation of Thomas Edgar, Class of 2023, as a new student representative to the board.



DANVILLE SCHOOL BOARD
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES HIGHLIGHTS
October 5, 2021  
                                                                                                                 
Full Minutes

1.   The board adopted new policies:  C28 (Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students) and C31 (Covid-19 Mitigation).

2.  Prior to voting on the Covid-19 Mitigation Policy for about 50 minutes the board listened to public concerns, questions and comments regarding the masking policy from nine persons, all but one a parent.  Among the topics (with abbreviated superintendent/board responses) were:

(a) potential use of ethylene-oxide-contaminated swabs being in PCR testing (question taken under advisement for checking, but viewed as not likely occurring)

(b) less stringent regulations regarding quarantine of close-contact students so they could return sooner to in-school learning (a new antigen-based "Test-to-Stay" program is expected to be introduced in about a week, which is expected to facilitate an earlier return)

(c) more exhaustive examination by the board and more studies on the social-emotional effects of masking; mask-generated medical problems

(d) concern that mask breaks for kids are not frequent and long enough given mask breathability (the principals indicated they had already talked about break expansion and would engage it further)

(e) who is paying for this (new) testing?  (State of Vermont)

(f) protocol for PPE to be used in "Test-to-Stay" Program (not yet known, guidelines of the Department of Health expected soon)

(g) proof that masking works and the source(s) of information on masking on which the Superintendent  bases his decisions?  The Superintendent's answers were consistent with Policy C31, which has been developed over the past several months and adopted by this Board at this meeting:

The Superintendent is directed [by the Danville School Board] to adopt appropriate practices and procedures to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19 among and within the school communities, based on applicable mandates, recommendations, or directives of the State of Vermont Agency of Human Services and Agency of Education, as well as applicable federal [e.g., Centers for Disease Control] guidance or mandates.

And (h) the source of the masking mandate (Danville School Board Policy C31 Covid-19 Mitigation)

Several parents spoke in support of the board's decisions regarding masking and its positive approach to recommendations from the Agency of Education.

3.  The board approved the following expenditures:  (a) new gymnasium bleachers, $90,000, (2) roof ventilation air handlers - maintenance, $60,000, and (3) security/safety equipment, $61,251.

4.  The initial cost estimate for the school renovation project is expected from the architects (TruexCullins) in October.



DANVILLE SCHOOL BOARD
REGULAR MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
MEETING OF SEPTEMBER 7, 2021   
                                                                 FULL MINUTES

ENROLLMENT. 

For the past 7 years (2014-2020) Danville preK-12 enrollment has increased on average about 4-5 students per year reaching 380 students.  Last year (2021) with the covid-19 pandemic, it dropped to 355, a 25-student and 7% decrease.  Based on data reported by the Principals in this meeting the School is expecting an enrollment this year* of about 405-410 students, a 15% increase.  About half of this increase reflects students returning from remote learning or homeschooling and the other half (29) are new students. This has generated  a strong consideration of a tuition-student limit and waiting list due to a limitation of physical space, not staffing. 
          
* Enrollments are student counts made on October 1st but characterize the entire school year, in this case , 2021-2022.

EXPENDITURES

The board has authorized the renovation of the school's heating system -- the woodchip boiler & its delivery system -- for $180,000.  About $40,000 of this cost is expected to be met by grants through Efficiency Vermont.  Additionally, it has also  given tentative approval to the replacement of the gym bleachers, which are many decades old and mechanically fragile, for $90,000, and repairs to the roof air handlers for $60,000-$90,000 to increase the functionality and efficiency of the air circulation system in the school.  A formal vote on approval of these two latter items is scheduled for the October 5, 2021 regular meeting of the board.

AUDIT, SURPLUS & BOND VOTE

An audit of the 2019-2020 Danville School budget found the accounting procedures in place to have been sufficiently compliant with accepted standards that the financial figures showed no evidence of a “deficiency or weakness of internal controls.”   Over the past two years, the District has accumulated a unreserved fund balance surplus of nearly $600,000 (after covering the 3 expenditures described in the previous item).  The board is looking at moving this surplus to its Capital Fund to contribute to the proposed school renovation project, which will likely be the subject of a bond vote by the Town in the Spring of 2022. 

NEW POLICIES

The board has indicated its intent to adopt two new policies at its October 5th regular meeting:
     ●  C28 on Transgender and Gender Non-confirming Students, and
     ●  C35 Covid-19 Mitigation, which includes a universal masking requirement for all persons in the
          school building. 
See links to the policies above in the October 5th agenda.


DANVILLE SCHOOL BOARD
SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES HIGHLIGHTS
July 27, 2021                                                                                           
 Full Minutes

https://drive.google.com/file/d/13gksYUJaZb7Vshcd7X52DWxcvLwMLFn8/view?usp=sharing Click here to enlarge.

1.   A sketch of a plan for new construction and renovation at Danville School was presented to the Board by the Burlington architectural firm, TruexCullins.  The extensive plan includes (1) the addition of a new 40,000 square-foot elementary wing, including a gymnasium, over the existing playground, ball field and tennis courts, which will be relocated, (2) the demolition of the original 1937, two-story building facing Route 2 and its replacement, with a new building focused on  the middle school, (3) a new auditorium, (4) relocation of the kitchen and cafeteria  adjacent to the gymnasium, (5) additions to the physical plant section, (6) renovation of the room complex at the core of the current building, (7) renovation of the southern main entrance to the building and (8) a new traffic flow and revised parking areas.

The meeting minutes report the basic issues discussed (see pages 2-5 ), and the meeting zoom video records the 38-minute session (passcode:  b1$fz45W | start time 00:12:00 | end time 00:50:35).  Further discussion of this proposal and updates have been placed on the agenda for the board's regular September 7th meeting.

2.  The Board approved the expenditure of $66,100 for TruexCullins to finish and prepare a site plan for the new building proposal, including updated engineering and other costs, sufficient to present to the community for a bond vote.

3.  Propane/biofuels and wood chips have historically been the major sources of heat for the school.  The 14-year old wood chip burner/boiler has rarely been operational and with low efficiency when it has been.  It however provides potentially the more cost effective means of heating the school.  Consequently, the Board received advice on repairs and modifications to this system to effect a proposed energy efficiency of c. 85% and increased fuel savings accorded by an emphasis on wood chips.  The cost of rehabilitation of this system is estimated at $150,000.  The Board deferred further discussion on this proposal pending receipt of more information and clarification of the funding options; this proposal was placed on the agenda for the next regular meeting on September 7th.

4.  Principal Schilling informed the Board that Seniors Ava Marshia and Liza Morse would be reappointed as School Board Representatives for the School Year 2021-2022.  He was considering the appointment of a third student.




DANVILLE SCHOOL BOARD

REGULAR MEETING MINUTES HIGHLIGHTS
June 1, 2021                                                                                                         Full minutes

1.   In response to a petition from community members and others (526 signers,  incl. 347 taxpayers) to "reverse" a policy (DB001) on school symbols adopted on March 23rd, the Board reaffirmed that policy by a vote of 4-1.  The board considered the contents of the petition, remarks from 15 people during a nearly 2-hour-long Public Comments session at the meeting,  and 29 letters of correspondence (since April 29th)  regarding the petition in reviewing its March 23rd action.

The petition requested that the board review Native American input to its decision.  Based on correspondence, oral testimony and individual investigations, the board indicated it was clear that all chiefs of the four VT Abenaki tribes/bands support the Board's March 23rd decision to retire the "Indians" representation. 

The petition also requested that the policy, which retired the School's "mascot name" and "mascot figure"  [logo],  be reversed and those representations reinstalled.  No reasons supporting such actions were addressed directly to the board in the petition.  Although in a request directed at the Vermont Legislature and the VPA ,  their deeming the representations as being "non-offensive" was sought.

The  board reiterated the reasons for adopting the policy were explicitly stated in the policy  --  those centered around community divisiveness, harm to kids' mental (psychosocial)  development and incompatibility with the mission of the school  --  and these remained justified, appropriate and sufficient.

2. The Board ratified the Teachers-Supervisory Union (CCEA-CCSU)  Agreement for FY21-22 and FYU 22-23, which provides for a 3% raise for teachers each year and which contractually and administratively further assimilates the Twinfield and Cabot districts into the CCSU.


DANVILLE SCHOOL BOARD
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES HIGHLIGHTS
MAY 4, 2021         
                                                                                                Full minutes

1   A  community petition to reverse the Board's decision on the "Indian" mascot/nickname issue has been placed on the agenda for the Board's regular meeting on June 1st.  It was received too late for inclusion on May's agenda.  The petition and emails received by the Board regarding issues it contains are being posted on the School Board web site.

2   Danville's skyline will be losing its iconic wind turbine.   Prospective repairs to its inverter are $4-11 K, other repairs over the last few years have not kept it running, and it generates very little power.   So, the Board has decided to take it down and shift focus to a solar demonstration project at the school this summer.

3   A multi-age classroom was piloted in the Elementary School this year by Kelly Robb, and it will be expanded to four grades-1/2 classrooms (12 pupils/room) and two grades-3/4 classrooms (11 pupils/room) this coming fall.  The model is designed to keep classroom sizes small while accommodating a substantial number of new kids returning for the fall, many who will need remedial work due to their covid-induced absence, to promote a stable teaching core, and to expand the kids' sphere of social interactions with adjacent cohorts.

4  Superintendent Tucker indicated that based on his interactions with state officials he expected masking requirements to continue when school reopens in the fall but likely with a loosening of some distancing requirements.  The continuance of a remote learning option is contingent on the Governor's Emergency Order last Spring staying in effect and new authorities and regulations that might be instituted.  At present it is not resolved but is under discussion in Montpelier.  The goal is all in-person instruction for all students all the time.

5   Four new, experienced special education teachers have been hired for the fall, and one speech language pathologist with skills in assistive computer technology will be shared with Twinfield.

6   The architects of the school renovation project are expected to present their first pass on a new physical layout for the school at the June 1st Board meeting.


DANVILLE SCHOOL BOARD
REGULAR MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
APRIL 6, 2021     
                                                                                                Full Minutes

After a year of dealing with covid and while continuing to do so, the Administration and the Board have resumed future planning for the School.  TruexCullins, the School’s architectural firm, presented to the Board an update on its planning in terms of an organization diagram, which conceptually combines the needs and resources of the school around the concept of a town square.  The diagram is not a spatial representation of the building layout but rather a representation of an idealized set of relationships among school entities and activities, which will become grounded in the physical spaces already available, costs and expected future needs.  This phase of the plan is best explained in a 24-minute presentation in the meeting recording (00:23:25 to 00:47:37).  [*See item #4]

2   The Board directed the Principals to find a new mascot/nickname for the School in accord with the following process, which is part of policy DB001, adopted on 23 March 2021.

 Upon written notification from the Board, the principal(s) shall form and chair a committee including at least one Middle- or High-School student, a school counselor, one faculty member, one parent/caretaker chosen from the pool of resident and tuition parents/caretakers and a member of the Town Select Board (if one consents) for the purpose of selecting a new or replacement representation.
   Any person in the School community (understood to include all alumni) or in the Town can propose a mascot/name/nickname/image or symbol to officially represent the School.  This proposal shall be in writing and include a brief statement as to why the proposed representation is well fit for the School.

   The committee shall design a fair, stakeholder-representative selection process.  The result of this process shall be communicated to the Superintendent for approval and, if approved, communicated to the Board.  The Board’s role is solely to approve of the selection if the requirements of this policy have been met.

3.  The Board approved expenditures from the Sevigny Fund up to $23,690 to cover spring-summer-fall field maintenance ($17,600), benches for the middle-school soccer field ($2,900), chain-link fence replacement on the school softball field ($775), a new sign for Town Athletic Fields Complex ($650) and other smaller items.

4  In case you have not noticed audi0-visual (AV) recordings of all board meetings are now routinely posted on the Boards’ Home Page, usually the day after the meeting.  The posted recordings currently go back to July of 2020.  They are accessed in the leftmost column on the Home Page under “Meeting Minutes & Videos” (see image on left).  The small “v’ after each meeting date provides the link to the video.  The meeting minutes, issued by 5 days after a meeting, contain timestamps linking the written record to the AV recording of the meeting.



Robert Edgar / Clerk



DANVILLE SCHOOL BOARD
SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES
HIGHLIGHTS   March 23, 2021       
                                                            Full Minutes

1.      The Board adopted a policy -- by a vote of 4-1-0 -- on school symbols, which “prohibits the representation of the School by the use of any race or ethnic group and its traditions or customs"; this prohibition includes the use of “Indians.”  The policy is a constraint on official representations of the School, not on the speech of any individual.  The policy reads

All mascots, names, nicknames, images and descriptors—including symbols, banners, flags, pennants, or similar identifiers—used by sports teams, extracurricular clubs, curricular clubs, or organizations representing the School shall respect cultural differences and values and shall be neither derogatory nor discriminatory. The Board explicitly prohibits the representation of the School by the use of any race or ethnic group and its traditions or customs as a mascot, name or nickname. This policy shall go into effect on the date of its adoption.

2.     The full, approved policy includes a preface addressing the mission of the school, a section explaining the reasons for adopting the policy, and a statement of the specific provisions of the policy.

3.     The policy also provides for the development of a process for securing a new mascot/nickname under the direction of Principals Schilling and Welch.  The board is expected to direct initiation of that process during the first week April.

4.     The meeting was attended by about 60 members of the public, 15 of which spoke either for or against adoption of the policy.  A petition from 121 Danville taxpayers/registered voters was received shortly before the meeting opened, but seen by all board members, expressing opposition to the policy being adopted and requesting that the Indian name not be retired.
 

5.     This board initiated this decision process in October of 2020, has received written testimony from 118 individuals or groups and held two, 2-hr long forums receiving oral testimony from 27 individuals.  Each forum was ended only when there were no longer requests from the public to speak.

Robert Edgar/Clerk


DANVILLE SCHOOL BOARD
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
HIGHLIGHTS   March 3, 2021                                                                       Full Minutes

1.  Reorganization of the Board

 The School Board is reorganized each year after the annual School Board election.  The results for  the 2021-2022 Board follow.  All positions are elected by a vote of board members.

Chairperson Bruce Melendy
Vice-Chair  David Towle
Clerk  Robert Edgar
CCSU Board Representatives  Bruce Melendy, Clayton Cargill. David Towle (alternative)
Negotiations Council  Bruce Melendy, Calyton Cargill
Voting Delegate for Statewide Health Insurance for Staff  Bruce Melendy
Signer of Warrants & Checks  Clayton Cargill, Robert Edgar (alternative)
Chair Singing Authority  Bruce Melendy

 Regular Meeting Schedule for Board  first Tuesday of each moth at 6:00 pm
Agenda Postings  Caledonia Record;  posting locations – Danville Town Hall, Danville School, Marty’s
     First Stop, Danville Post Office, and the Danville School Board Website

Public Forum on the School Mascot Issue

 ●  An audio-visual recording of the entire forum (and preliminary business meeting) has been posted on the School Board web site along with a timeline of speakers. 
●  A text transcript of the audio portion of the recording of the forum has also been produced.



DANVILLE SCHOOL BOARD
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
HIGHLIGHTS   FEBRUARY 2, 2021           
                                    Full Minutes

1.  A public discussion on the Danville School Mascot issue has been placed on the agenda by the Board for its Special Meeting on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.  All comments and documents received by the Board relative to this issue in the last 5 months are listed and hyperlinked on the Board’s Home Page under the warning notice for the meeting.  Presentations/comments by students, faculty, staff, alumni and the public are encouraged and welcome.  Future comments received before the meeting will be listed on the Home Page.
The board meeting will begin at 5:30 pm with the mascot forum expected to begin at 6:00 pm.

2.  In January the Vermont Legislature proposed increasing the Yield for FY2021-2022 from $10,763 to $11,385.  The Yield is roughly the per pupil contribution from the Education Fund to a school.  This expected increase would result in a 4.7 cents reduction in the Local Homestead Tax Rate for Danville for the next fiscal year relative to this current year:  from $1.610 to $1.563. 

3.  Five, new, full-sized school busses are coming to Danville next year.  The Board asked the Superintendent and his advisors to finalize a proposed, cooperative, 3-year leasing agreement involving Danville-Cabot and Twinfield.

4.  A 3rd round of COVID-19 testing among Danville School staff commenced the first week in February.  There were 5 actual or suspected cases across the CCSU in January.

5.  Fifteen (15) special education students are being registered for SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) testing with appropriate student accommodations, the Vermont Alternative Assessment.  These 15 represent about 1% of the CCSU student population, the same percentage as for all Vermont students.

6.  The Superintendent listed and hyperlinked 22 House bills and 11 Senate bills currently before the Legislature related to schools and education.

Robert Edgar/Clerk



DANVILLE SCHOOL BOARD
REGULAR  & SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES 
HIGHLIGHTS   January 5 (Regular) and January 12 (Special), 2021     

January 12th                                                                                                                        Full Minutes

1.  The Board approved a School budget of $6,346,091 for FY 2021-2022 to be presented to voters of the Town for their approval at this year’s Annual Meeting.  $465,000 budgetary deficit stemming from reduced revenue and externally imposed costs was compensated for by a $290,000 cut in school education expenditures, which lowered next year’s projected education spending below that of this current year.  This produced a local homestead tax rate of 1.659, an increase of 3.0% (+0.048), proposed for FY 2020-2021.

2. The Board ratified a new two-year Master Agreement (July 1, 2020 t0 June 30, 2021) between the CCSU District Boards and the CCEA Staff Employees.

3.  A warning for the 2021 Annual Danville School District Meeting was approved, by the Board, which includes the election of 4 positions (School Moderator, 1 School Director [3 year term] and 2 School Directors [1-year terms], as well as the approval of the School budget and School borrowing and auditing authority.

January 5th                                                                                                             Full Minutes

1.  The board took up initial consideration of the School’s FY 2021-2022 budget, extended its scrutiny of it for a week (and approved the budget at its special meeting of January 12th ; see above).

2.  Shawn McNamara, the new facilities director, has initiated a monthly report on the School’s infrastructure and its needs to the Principals and the Board

3.  The Superintendent and the Principals report that resumption of school, including in-person learning, following the holidays was uneventful with respect to COVID-19, and that a second round of virus surveillance testing among staff was beginning this week.

4.  The board continued the annual limits for students exchanged by lottery among public schools with Danville under the Regional High School Choice Program at 5-in and 5-out.  While Danville has enjoyed under this program students choosing to come to Danville; it has never had a student choosing to leave for any other public school under the program.

4.  The board adopted a policy on Non-Discrimination (A22)  but it decided to take no action of a policy (A25) delegating certain authority to the Superintendent during the state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic by reaffirming its position from an August 2021 meeting that the Superintendent already had such authority based on Vermont Statutes.

Robert Edgar/Clerk


DANVILLE SCHOOL BOARD
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES HIGHLIGHTS  
December 1, 2020  
                                                                                           Full Minutes

1. The Board voted to hold to the 2021 Annual School Board Meeting on Town Meeting Day remotely with voting conducted by Australian ballot.  Detailed plans will be released in the next few weeks.

2.  The first round of PCR-based COVID-19 testing of SU employees uncovered zero positives cases among 121 persons tested; the statewide rate for school employees was 21 among 9000 persons tested (1.3%).  Due to State problems in rolling out this project, the extent of the initial round of testing was less than desired; a second round of testing is scheduled for the first week in January of 2021.

3.  Both Principals Schilling and Welch reported that across all grades that cooperation with pandemic protocols has been admirable.  The single incident of a coronavirus case identified before Thanksgiving was followed immediately by isolation of the group, State contact tracing and promptly informing the community of the event  --  all in conformity with the protocols that had been developed –with no “downstream” effects identified to date.

4.  Michael Concessi, the Director of Financial Operations, reported that Danville School ended FY2019-2020 with a $234K surplus balance.  It began the fiscal year with a $312K surplus, but revenues (a planned spend-down lowering taxes and over-estimation of tuition and interest incomes) were under-estimated by $300K, and costs (health insurance, supervisory union and transportation) were over-estimated by $200K resulting in an approximately $100K decrease in surplus balance .  Plans to improve some of these estimates will be pursued.

5.  Federal Coronavirus Relief Funds which have been approved by AOE to cover COVID-19 related costs incurred by the School have not yet been received, but the board was informed the “delay” reflected “11th hour” clerical details.

6.  Principal Schilling notified the board that the ventilation system rehabilitation had been completed (except for a temperature controller or two) with costs covered by a grant through Efficiency Vermont.  Plans to resume work on the full-school renovation project with the architects are expected to resume in the next few months as covid circumstances permit.

7.  On behalf of the Danville Board, the CCSU Board adopted statutorily mandated policies on employee unlawful harassment, English-language learners and homeless students (6 in Danville).  Policies on non-discrimination in hiring and superintendent authority during the covid state of emergency are scheduled for discussion and possible adoption at the board’s January 5, 2021 meeting.

8.  Shawn McNamara has been hired as the new Facilities Director, bringing his previous experiences in physical plant management and governmental budgeting from the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in White River Junction.

Robert Edgar/Clerk


DANVILLE SCHOOL BOARD
SPECIAL  MEETING MINUTES HIGHLIGHTS
October 27, 2020
                                                                                             Full Minutes

1.  The Principal and Superintendent reported that repairs to the ventilation were on-schedule and within budgetary expectations.  Importantly they added that a $600,000 grant had been secured from Energy Vermont which will likely make the bank note the school took out for the project unnecessary, leave the endowment funds largely untouched, and avoid a tax increase due to this project.

2.  The Board adopted the official statement of the School on equity and inclusion, as drafted by the faculty Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee:

By respecting each person’s unique identity, perspective, and learning style, we create a stronger community.  We honor differences including races and culture, genders and sexual orientations, abilities and aspirations, identities and affiliations, socioeconomics and worldviews.

3.  The Principals informed the Board that student-specific “emergency folders” were sent home to all K-8 students to be used in the advent of a sudden covid-based school closure.  These contained work for about 5 days put together by the student’s teachers.  These folders do not reflect any known imminent closure but rather are the results of prudent planning given myriad contingencies covid can generate.

4.  The Principal reported a “catch-up week” for high-school students to facilitate their adjustment to the new learning conditions and pace of learning expectations.  Additional in-school assistance for students who need it is being made available on Wednesdays.

5.  The Board adopted a revised policy (A5 – Role and Development of School Board Policies) to include new requirements from Title IX and the authority for district boards to develop their own policies.  [Title IX (1972 Education Amendments) protects persons from sexual discrimination who are involved in educational programs receiving federal funds.]

6.  The Board adopted a new policy defining the role and responsibilities of student school  board representatives, along with the conditions of eligibility as a representative, their selection, term, removal and potential receipt of academic credit.

7.  Given covid circumstances the School Board’s Annual Meeting, usually held on Town Meeting Day (first Tuesday in March), will be held remotely next spring (2021).  The board discussed moving matters usually voted on from the floor to being conducted by Australian ballot.  Adjustments to both the nomination process and means of engagement with candidates for school board directors were also discussed.  The items have been placed on the agenda for the December regular meeting of the board for being largely finalized.

Robert Edgar/Clerk


DANVILLE SCHOOL BOARD
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES 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 https://sites.google.com/a/danvillek12vt.us/danville-school-board/home) .  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


DANVILLE SCHOOL BOARD
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES HIGHLIGHTS
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



DANVILLE SCHOOL BOARD
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES HIGHLIGHTS
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.


DANVILLE SCHOOL BOARD
SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES HIGHLIGHTS
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. 

DANVILLE SCHOOL BOARD
MEETING MINUTES HIGHLIGHTS
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),
     (2)
Constructional History (1937-2007) (7:32),
     (3)
Issues and Codes (7:49),
     (4)
Building Structural Issues (3:36) ,
     (5)
Building Envelope Issues (7:59),
     (6)
Building Interior Issues (3:41]),
     (7)
Mechanical System Issues (3:59),
     (8)
Electrical Systems Issues (2:38), and
      (9)
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
                    Cargill
            Representatives to Negotiations Council  Bruce Melendy, Clayton Cargill,
                    Ginni Lavely
            Voting delegate to state-wide health insurance council:  Clayton Cargill

2
  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
website.

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  https://sites.google.com/a/danvillek12vt.us/danville-school-board/home  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.


For previous Minutes Highlights, go to Agendas/Meetings tab.

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






               

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