There were no community comments at last night’s school board meeting. Warrants, contracts and minutes from previous meetings were all approved after a short discussion of each.

Amy Rex started her superintendent’s report with acknowledgement of the devastating flooding that has taken place around the state. She then gave a legislative update. Universal school meals was passed during the last legislative session making them permanent and full implementation of this will be given by the AOE this summer. Act 78, which was a fiscal act not just dealing with education, does discuss aid for school construction projects, PCB testing and afterschool and summer program funding. Act 76 was regarding how to fund universal preK through the public school system. Finally, Act 29 was about school safety. MTSD is participating in the PCB lawsuit which is similar to the JULE lawsuit in which the school was awarded $16k for smoking prevention. There were a number of staff departures. About half of those leaving participated in a survey and/or exit interview. The top reasons for leaving were retirement, career change and dissatisfaction. Jenn wanted to know if there was a way to get more outgoing staff to participate in interviews and Kumulia expressed concern over the dissatisfaction of the staff. Although there were not numbers to compare, Amy said that the turnover rate this year was not different than previous years. Finally, Amy gave a brief update on TruexCullens and the new building. There have been site visits by engineers. They have also met with stakeholders, which consist mostly of staff members, to show them floor plans. The next iteration of the floor plans and a more details estimate will be available in early August. After that, a presentation to the community will be planned for early September.

The Operations Report and Finance Report were combined and presented by Matt Grasso. The board requested that Matt look into the jamming of cell phones on school grounds, but this would be a violation of federal law. The PCB testing at the high school will take place this fall instead of 2025 when it was originally scheduled. It will take a total of 12 weeks. There is an audit coming up which will cost $20k. In the past, this was split with the town, but more work is done at the school, so it was decided to have the school pay for more of it. The Tax Anticipation Loan (TAN) was discussed. This loan is taken every year. Two thirds of the taxes owed to the school district are not paid by the town until the school year is over. Therefore, the school must take a loan to pay its bills in the meantime. The goal is to eventually make money off of this loan through interest. Of eight banks that were contacted, two came back with proposals and the school will be going with Union Bank.

The policy committees have their reports. The policy committee has been busy. Two of the three new policies required in Act 29 were ready for first reads last night. Only four school policies are left to review, and all policies are now on a good review cycle. The facilities committee meeting had to be canceled because it was not warned properly. Kumulia had wanted to discuss PCB’s and the capital improvement plan at that meeting. He suggested these meetings be warned 30 days ahead of time. The strategic planning committee’s first meeting is coming up.

Three policies had first reads last night which included F3 Fire and emergency preparedness drills, F4 Access control and visitor management and F40 fundraising to support school programs. Three policies had second reads last night which included A40 board committees, C15 student conduct and discipline and E21 distribution of non-school sponsored literature in schools. Jenn expressed concern that C15 does not hold students properly accountable for their actions. Amy disagreed and stated that it is a state required policy that will be the same in all schools and allow for continuity.

In action items, the TAN and audit contract were approved. Five policies were also approved which included C2 student drugs and alcohol, C22 student athletics, clubs and activities, C29 district equity policy, E40 use of school district equipment and F41 school property disposal. Kumulia thanked everyone involved in the drafting of the equity policy and made sure to mention that all emails were read and concerns heard.


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