Danville-Cabot Boards
Transcripts of Merger Discussions (Act 46)
(pdf)
Meeting of July 11
Meeting of June 18


State Board of Education

Vermonters for Schools & Communities
(Act 46)


SBE email
             addresses 
---
aoe.section9proposals @vermont.gov (SBE)
----
Krista.Huling@vermont.gov  (Chair, SBE)
--- 
dan.french@vermont.
gov (Sec'y Education)
---

SBE Postal Address
219 North Main Street, Suite 402
Barre, VT 05641
RE:  State Board of Educaiton

Secretary
of Education
 
Proposed Statewide Plan for School District Governance  (Act 46) ... June 1, 2018    pdf



Next Meetings (Updated 02/11/2019) 

Thursday, February 28, 2019  |  Special Meeting "  |  Danville Town Hall  @ 7:00 p.m. |  Informational Meeting on budget
|  Monday, March 4, 2019  |  Informational Meeting on budget |  North Danville School @ 6:30 p.m. 
Tuesday, March 5, 2019  |  Annual School Board Meeting (Town Meeting Day)   |  Danville School @ 10 a.m. 
Tuesday, March 12, 2019  | Regular Meeting  | Danville School @ 6:00 pm |  Agenda (pending) | 

Budget documents for January 23rd meeting
Draft #3 documents (new as of 1/18)
Single 15-page document with 1o sections:
                               ·   
                            ·   Danville FY20 Budget Rationale (1 p.)
                           ·   
Danville School District | Educational Tax Rate Comparison | 3 Year Comparison                                           (1 p.) 
                             
·   
Danville School District |  Budget  | Revenue  (1 p.)
 
                               ·  
Danville School District  | Budget  (3 pp.)
 
                               ·  
Danville School District All Salary and Wages for FY18  (1 p. )
 
                                ·  
Caledonia Central Supervisory Union  Assessment Shares  (1 p.)
                             
 ·  
Caledonia Central Supervisory Union | Budget Summary  (3 pp.)
                             
 ·  
Caledonia Central Supervisory Union | Position and Contracted Wages (2 pp.)


Minutes Highlights  
<  Scroll down for earlier Highlights  >.
2019:  23 & 8 January
2018:  11 December  |  13 November  |  2 October |  4 September | 9 August |  7 August 

DANVILLE SCHOOL BOARD
Minutes Highlights 
January 8th and 23rd, 2019

January 23rd, 2019

  1. The board set the maximum limits for public high school choice students as per Act 129 of 2012  at 5 students-in and  5 students-out.

  2. The board ADOPTED the final (Draft #3) School Budget for FY 2020 (changes relative to FY 2019 are indicated below):

● Total Education Spending at $5,356,408  -  up about $300,000 (6.1%)
● Number of Equalized Pupils at 314 – down from 322.5 (2.6%)
● Total Enrollment at 379 – up 2 (0.5%)
● Education Spending per Equalized Pupil at $17,074 - up about $1,400
         (9%)
● Local Homestead Tax Rate of 1.56 - up 0.074 (5%)

  1. ● Joint Meeting of DSB with Danville Select Board on budget, Thursday, February
            28th, 2019 at Town Hall @ 7 p.m.
    ●  DSB Information Meeting on budget at North Danville School, Monday, March
              4th, 2019”
    ● Annual Danville School Board Meeting on Town Meeting Day, Tuesday, March
             5th, 2019 at Danville School @ 10 a.m.

January 8th, 2019

  1. The Principal proposed a change in high school graduation requirements in which category requirements would revert to being semester-based rather than course-based, for example, English Language Arts from 5 courses to 8 semesters,  Math from 3 courses to 6 semesters.  The change is intended, in part, to promote students taking more in-depth courses.

  2. Class minimum size was set at 5-6 students, with a slightly lower option for enrollment in college-credit bearing courses, should they be needed to preserve college-credits for all those completing the course.

  3. The after-school program is up and running (again) under the direction of Chantal Prescott.

  4. The new security system is completed with the exception of installation of two minor pieces of hardware.  The sound systems in the cafeteria and gym (mixer board only) have been replaced.

  5. Peggy Remick and others asked the board to increase their annual stipends as School Board Directors from its present $300.  There was a sense of the board that a recommendation of an increase for future boards should be considered, but there was little support for such an increase as applicable to the current board.  Discussion would resume at the next regular meeting.

  6. The board discussed Draft #2 of the FY 2020 School Budget, which showed Total Education Spending at $5,503286 (up about $600,00 from last year), Education Spending per Equalized Pupil at $17,888 (up about$ 2,200 from last year) leading to a Local Homestead Tax Rate of 1.63 (up 0.14 from last).  After a discussion, the Board asked the Principal and Pat Amsden (CCSU Business Manager) to cut the increase in Total Education Spending in half (c. $300,000.  [See Meeting of January 23rd for changes incorporated in Draft #3.]



Minutes HIGHLIGHTS

Special Meeting of  11 December 2018   Access Full Minutes

  1.  Danville School’s after school program is expected to resume operation and be open for enrollment following the holiday break.  Interviews for staff positions are being conduct during 12/11-12/21.  The expected cost per pupil per day will be $4.00.

  2. The Music Program under the direction of Emily Wiggett has had High School students accepted into the 2018 Northeast Musical Festival in both voice and instrumental categories.  Instrumental students had among the highest scores in all of District II, which encompasses North Country, Lake Region, St J Academy, Lyndon Institute, Cabot, Blue Mountain, Stowe, Peoples Academy and Canaan.

  3. The Principal outlined his interest in seeing the Engineering Sustainable Systems [ESS] program, which emphasizes hands-on science learning, expanding to bring more life skills (agriculture, animal husbandry) into the experiences of our students with more intensive (special) needs.  Much of this expansion could be supported from tuition income.

  4. The board reviewed a first draft of a school budget for SY 2019-2020 (est. $5,600,000). Unfortunately at this point in mid-December, many critical fiscal variables are needed from the State (e.g.  equalized pupil counts, excess spending threshold, special education block grant, etc.)  but are not expected to be available before mid-January,  At that time the budget proposal will come into much sharper focus so we can let the Town know where it stands and ways we will reshape it.

  5. The State of Board of Education, while leaving the Danville School District un-merged with other districts, has added Cabot School District and the Twinfield Union School to the Caledonia Central Supervisory Union, as un-merged and independent districts.  This assimilation is effective on July 1, 2019, or sooner if the parties agree to do so. Talks among the districts and at the CCSU level have commenced to look at the effects of this reorganization on the SU.

  6. Installation of the new school security system has reached about 98% completion according to the principal.   Staff door keys have been replaced with fobs, programmable electronic entry devices, and the new security cameras and “control” center are operational.

  7. The radar-speed-control sign for eastward flowing traffic on Route 2 is scheduled to be installed by the State.  A second sign is being considered for Peacham Round for northbound traffic between the entrances to the Town athletic fields and the School.

  8. Danville’s National Honor Society distributed milk and backpacks of healthy food supplementing food at home for kids, and its Student Council collected and distributed over 300 food items to the community around Thanksgiving.  Several students attended the Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership Conference in early November.

  9. The principal indicated that the High School curriculum and graduation requirements were being reviewed focusing on addressing problems associated with “over-enrollment”  in some courses and seeking a better balance among maintaining high variety in course availability, flexibility in course selection for students and discouraging minimally rigorous paths to graduation.

  10. Anticipating future need for classroom space at the School the Board heard informal proposals (1) to restructure the central ground floor of the building to be a student support complex, thus freeing up classroom space, and (2) possibly adding classrooms by expanding the size of the building.  This was a first pass on these discussions which recognize that we are getting near building capacity..  The School, which expanded its preK offering to 3 classrooms this year, is expected to operate 3 again next year.
                                                                                                                   Access Full Minutes

Email questions/comments to
Bruce Melendy Dave Towle  | Tim Sanborn | Ginni Lavely  | Robert Edgar 
or, if desirable,
send anonymously to the Board




Minutes HIGHLIGHTS

Special Meeting of  13 November 2018   Access Full Minutes

  1. Board continued working with the Town of Danville to install a solar powered, radar, speed-feedback sign on Rt 2 near the tennis courts to slow down eastwardly flowing traffic as it approaches the School.  An additional sign on Peacham Road is being considered.  The Board  has allocated $4000 toward these signs.

  2. Eve reported the great success of Homecoming/Spirit week, and the successful involvement of elementary school students in the activities.   Cole proposed anti-tobacco and other signs be placed at the athletic fields to reinforce messages about student health.  The Principal indicated the School would cover the cost of the signs.

  3. Martin Larrabee Construction was awarded the snow removal contract for the school - a job that it has had for several years.

  4. Two groups of administrators and teachers attended training sessions for preventing hazing, harassment and bullying (HHB) sponsored by the Vermont School Boards Insurance Trust.  As a result some aspects of the school’s bullying policy are being considered.

  5. The Superintendent and Principal are looking at (1) growth in the Engineering and Sustainable Systems Program and contemplating offering it in larger time blocks and adapting it to incoming tuition students, and (2) expanding life-skills educational offerings in the Special Education Program.

  6. The after-school program now has the priority of hiring staff. 

  7. As of mid-November the new school security system was one-technician’s-visit away from being completely functional and users trained.  
      
  8. The State Board of Education has provisionally accepted Danville’s Act 46 AGS proposal to not merge, and it has recommended Cabot and Twinfield be added to the CCSU as independent school districts.  A final decision is expected on November 30th.

  9. The Board authorized up to $11,000 for a major physical upgrade of two student bathrooms by replacing all the stalls with new, more durable, non-rust, graffiti-resistant, high-grade plastic ones.

  10. The wood chip boiler used for heating is being repaired and its feeder system is being redesigned to restore it to being operational.
                                                                                                                   Access Full Minutes

Email questions/comments to
Bruce Melendy Dave Towle  | Tim Sanborn | Ginni Lavely  | Robert Edgar 
or, if desirable,
send anonymously to the Board


Minutes HIGHLIGHTS

Regular Meeting of  2 October 2018   Access Full Minutes

1.The Principal reported that "challenging behaviors" have increased in the elementary grades.  These are behaviors that require student removal, even temporarily, from the classroom, ones that extend beyond that ability of teachers to address themselves using classroom consequences.  However, the installation of a new behavioral intervention tracking/reporting system has permitted better management of this problem.  Also, with some new staff trained in behavioral intervention and a shift from reactive to proactive intervention the increase is expected to be stemmed. [Revised 10/10/2018]

2.  The student representative on the Board, Eve Codling, reported on the Student Council's development of a homecoming, spirit week (10/8-10/13) in recognition of the soccer and cross-country teams.  She also indicated students had expressed interest in the creation of a group of student tutors to assist others wanting extra help.

3.  The Principal brought major facilities needs to the attention of the Board:  replacement of oil-fired boilers and repair of wood chip boiler for heating, renovation of the cafeteria floor and bathroom stalls and fixtures and conversion of some lighting to more efficient LED systems.

4.  Repairs and renovations to the sports playing turf and facilities at the Town Field were authorized from the Sevigny Fund.

5.  Addressing school community and public concerns about school climate, the Board encouraged a collaboration among the parties involved:  "Surveys, press releases and social media will not solve this issue.  People willing to work together collaboratively will resolve many issues, while policies, laws and the the proper chain of command are being followed.  The Danville School Board encourages this to happen."

6.  The Principal reported that he had been able to move re-institution of the After School Program forward to the point where he was beginning to address hiring staff so that it could resume soon.  He estimated the number of students interested in the program at 43 (age 4 and younger) with a contemplated daily fee of $3-5.

7.  The newly installed security system for the building is completed except for some final software configuration.

8.  With respect to the Act 46 merger process, the Board indicated that no decision had been made yet by the State Board of Education (SBE) on Danville's and Cabot's stand-alone AGS proposals, but that Representative Toll had sent the SBE a letter (copy in minutes) supporting both school districts' desire to remain independent of one another.

9.  Again, with respect to Act 46, the Board joined a lawsuit by Vermonters for Schools and Communities as plaintiff in opposing forced merger of the Danville and Cabot School Districts, should that be the decision of SBE. The School Board will reassess its position as a plaintiff based on the costs and prospects just before the suit is filed.


                                                                                                                   Access Full Minutes

Email questions/comments to
Bruce Melendy Dave Towle  | Tim Sanborn | Ginni Lavely  | Robert Edgar 
or, if desirable,
send anonymously to the Board


Minutes HIGHLIGHTS
Regular Meeting of  4 September 2018   Access Full Minutes

1. In the past several weeks the Board has presented to the State Board of Education (SBE) a proposal for Danville School to remain unmerged with Cabot in respect to Act 46. While the Danville Board has drafted proposals, testified at the State House and summoned support from throughout the school system in support of its position to move forward independently, the voice of the Danville community will also be a consideration in the SBE decision. Consequently, the Board urges citizens of the Town to communicate in writing their support for our proposal directly to the SBE. The proposal is well summarized in the oral testimony of Chair Melendy in August to the SBE and in the longer written response submitted by the Board regarding its position. The final decision of SBE is expected in October.

Email communication to krista.huling@vermont.gov (SBE, Chair).
Postal communication to State Board of Education, Agency of Education, 219 North Main
        Street, Suite 402, Barre, VT 05641.
Relevant documents and addresses are on the Danville School Board website Home Page.

2. All School staff engaged in an ALICE* training workshop in late August, designed to sharpen school-wide and individual responses to physically aggressive threats, including active shooters, to the School. Five staff members are also ALICE certified trainers and in the future are expected to train new staff and refresh the practices of the present staff.

3. Fifteen (15) MacBook Pros (Apple) were leased for use by the Art Department for the next 4 years.

4. The School will be filling 3 positions with respect to Student Services: (1) academic support of grades 4-6, (2) proactive, behavioral support for grades 1-2, and (3) a life-skills position to work 1-on-1.

5. Safety concerns with respect to Route 2 continued to be addressed by considering the installation (not just the purchase) and regulatory hurdles associated with a proposed “slow down” sign. The Principal reported an agreement with Danville United Methodist Church on the Green to serve as a rally point during school evacuations.

6. The new security system cameras and keyless door locks have been installed. Receipt of IP numbers for systems components is expected to enable completion of the installation in about a week.

7. The 2018-2019 edition of the Danville School Handbook for Students and Parents was adopted by the Board, and printed copies are expected soon.

8. The Board approved the donation of old security system components - cameras, server and monitor - to the Bath Village School in Bath, NH.

9. A discussion of the resurrection of the After School Program was added to the agenda for the October meeting.

                                                                                                                   Access Full Minutes

Email questions/comments to
Bruce Melendy Dave Towle  | Tim Sanborn | Ginni Lavely  | Robert Edgar 
or, if desirable,
send anonymously to the Board


Minutes HIGHLIGHTS

Regular Meeting of  9 August 2018         Access Full Minutes

1. The School Board’s response to the Secretary of Education’s proposed merger of the Danville and Cabot School Districts was presented by Board Chairman Bruce Melendy at a hearing before the State Board of Education on Wednesday, August 15th at the State House in Montpelier. 

The response emphasized Danville’s wish to remain un-merged (stand-alone) and pursue satisfying the aims of Act 46 in accord with the Alternative Governance Proposal the Board had previously submitted.

·        Oral remarks of Chairman Melendy to the State Board of Education – 15 August 2018

·        Written response to the State Board of Education by the Danville Board – 13/15 August 2018

2. An overview and summary of the last meeting of the Danville and Cabot School Boards relative to Act 46 are included in the Board’s minutes of August 9th.

                                                                                                                   Access Full Minutes

Email questions/comments to
Bruce Melendy Dave Towle  | Tim Sanborn | Ginni Lavely  | Robert Edgar 
or, if desirable,
send anonymously to the Board


Minutes HIGHLIGHTS
Special Meeting of 7 August 2018            
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1. The filling of 3 Special Education positions for the beginning of the School Year has been completed. One position is at Danville, and the other two have split service-provision/case-management responsibilities shared among other districts.

2. Drafting of a CCSU Benchmark and Goals document hase been completed at a recent administrative retreat. The document ties curriculum and management matters to CCSU-wide goals focussing on student outcomes. The distribution of the finalized document was expected within a week.

3. Arising from parental concerns, a first step in considering a policy addressing safety concerns of athletic teams using off-campus locations, such as local roads, during practice was taken by the Board by asking the Principal and Athletic Director to assess the situation and offer a recommendation.

4. Emily Shopland was hired as a member of the 5th/6th grade team of teachers.

5. The Board asked the Principal to develop a proposal with staff for the re-institution of the After-school Program.

6 The Board encouraged the Superintendent to make public notice of meetings of his Superintendent-Parent Advisory Committee consistently better known and to make their openness robust.

7. Work on the installation of the new security system components for the building is on schedule and is expected to be completed by the end of August.

8. Continuation of posting of Highlights of School Board meeting minutes on the Board website was approved. In addition, posting of them on the School’s blog and Facebook pages, with permission to moderate granted to the Principal, was also approved.

Access Full Minutes

Email questions/comments to
Bruce Melendy Dave Towle  | Tim Sanborn | Ginni Lavely  | Robert Edgar 
or, if desirable,
send anonymously to the Board


Minutes HIGHLIGHTS
Regular Meeting of 17 July 2018                         
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1. The Danville School Board took its own initiative in confessing to its inadvertent
violation of the Open Meeting Law
 by conducting a short discussion after a board meeting on July 11th, when the public was absent. It remedied this mistake by reading into the minutes of this July 17th meeting in open session an account of that discussion and seeking public comment.

2. For the 2018-2019 Danville School will host an 
Artist-in-Residence as result of teachers (Mss Keach, Rapoza, Brehm, Setttles and Mr English) successfully securing one through the Creative Schools Initiative. This initiative encourages schools to integrate the arts into the curriculum using 21st century skills.

3. Danielle Scott has been hired as an elementary guidance counselor starting in September 2018. Also, a half-time, high school-focused, out-of-district case manager for Special Education has been hired for the 2018-2019 school year.

4. A final version of revised CCSU Policy B11 (Parental Complaints about Personnel) was adopted by the Danville Board. The revision segregates the processing of complaints into those requiring an administrative investigation and those not, and it outlines the investigation protocol.

5. The development of replacements for after school and summer programs has been encouraged by the Board to be under the direction of the Danville administration and persons responsible for and knowledgeable in running such programs.

6. The Board-proposed 
Firefighter and EMS program has been recommended to be given primarily to the administration for further development.

7. A review of the Student Handbook is currently being completed by the administrative team before its submission to the Board this August. The Handbook is expected to be available before the start of the school year.

8.  Danville will present it case for remaining unmerged under the Act 46 at a meeting with the State Board of Education on Wednesday, August 15th in Montpelier. However, discussions with the Cabot Board continue.

9. Recommendations from Principal Schilling to further integrate and upgrade the school security system beyond initial plans were accepted by the Board and funded. These include a common new server for all (old and new) cameras and additional electronic door locks. The funding draws on prior appropriations by the Board, an expected $20,000 security grant from the State and monies, as needed, from the Capital Reserve Fund.

10. A “slow down” sign for Route 2 for traffic approaching from the west has gathered independently of the School about $4,500 of the $7,000 needed to acquire it. The School Board will consider making up the needed difference at its next regular meeting.

Access Full Minutes

Email questions/comments to
Bruce Melendy Dave Towle  | Tim Sanborn | Ginni Lavely  | Robert Edgar 
or, if desirable,
send anonymously to the Board


Minutes HIGHLIGHTS
Special Meeting of 18 June 2018                         
Access Full Minutes

1.  A meeting of the Danville and Cabot School Boards occurred as a consequence of the Statewide Plan relative to Act 46 issued on June 1, 2018 by the Acting Secretary of Education.  In it she rejected the “stand alone” AGS proposals from both schools, because neither was better than a merged district in meeting the goals of Act 46:   each had too few students and a too-limited regional focus. --She recommended a merger of the governing boards, operating both schools.

In response the Danville Board decided (1) to appeal the recommendation on July19th at a meeting with the State and further argue for “standing alone”  and retaining “local control” but also (2) to re-engage with the Cabot Board in fresh discussions with respect to the pros/cons of merger and articles of agreement, anticipating the merger becoming mandatory.

At the meeting the Cabot Board outlined its case why it was interested in a merger.  It asked us to refresh data on which year-old (706 committee) impressions and decisions had been formed:  It addressed (1) its community’s strong interest in a Danville merger, viewing very positively Danville’s strong commitment to the education of its children (as does Cabot), (2) its enhanced commitment to a project-based learning curriculum, viewed as complementary to Danville’s, (3)  an improved situation with respect to debt and the condition of the campus infrastructure, etc….

The two boards will meet to continue this exploration at a public meeting in Cabot on Wednesday, July 11th.

2.  The Board imposed enrollment cap on the Freshman 2018-2016 class of 45 students.  Once the cap is reached resident students continue to be readily be admitted but tuitioning student admission is contingent on resources required to maintain program quality.

3.  A review of the dress code section of the Student Handbook as pertained to undergarments was left unchanged from last year’s Handbook.  Final review and approval of the Handbook is scheduled for a July meeting,

Access Full Minutes

Email questions/comments to
Bruce Melendy Dave Towle  | Tim Sanborn | Ginni Lavely  | Robert Edgar 
or, if desirable,
send anonymously to the Board








Regular Meetings  first Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at Danville School