Study Comm Meeting Minutes August 25, 2011

CSSU RED Study Committee                                       August 25, 2011


Members Present: Zoe Erdman, Wendy Goodrich, Mary Catherine Jones, Jeanne Jensen, Charlie Magill, Deb Baker-Moody, Chris Kapsalis, Colleen MacKinnon, Bob Mason, Elaine Pinckney

Members Absent: Bob Goudreau, Russ Caffry, Lisa Falcone, Rich Lowrey, Brian O’Regan, Sue Thibault


Approval of July 21, 2011 Minutes

ACTION: Chris Kapsalis made the motion to approve the minutes as amended.  Charlie Magill seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.


Local Control Update and Discussion

The minutes from the 8/15/11 Local Control sub-committee meeting were distributed. 

A RED Local Council can provide enhanced opportunities for community involvement, which provides the potential for greater control.

Concerns of decreased control may be community misperception of current powers of local boards.


Article 18 states, “Your Plan must address how local participation in the development of RED policy and budget development will be assured.” 

May want to think about incorporating a structure for councils that already exist and build into it specific responsibilities for the RED Board with a set schedule.


Facilities in terms of local control could be the challenge.  How do you slice the pie?  The votes are co-mingled.  Would all towns support one specific town in a multi-million bond vote?  What are equal facilities?


Financial/Cost Benefit Discussion: Tax Rates Discussion

Can’t establish a RED to subsidize another town by reapportioning assessment.

Discussion ensued in relation to the 5-year estimated equalized homestead tax rate and changes in contribution to the Education Fund.


Alternative Approaches: Principal Hiring Suggestion

What if all the principals were hired by the SU Board?  Procedures for Hiring would need to be developed to allow for local community input.

Interesting concept which should be considered if the committee decision is not to form a RED.


Group Activity – RED: Why and Why Not: Questions and Answers




Why Not?

Accountability/Student Outcomes

·   Weakest link is lack of K-12 focus

·   Local boards not necessarily focused on same issues

·   Opportunity for strategic K-12 plans for solving “problems” ie. Substance abuse, school climate, as well as assessments

·   Strong SU prof/connected w/strong principals

·   Possible to add strong linkage w/out RED

Community Involvement

·   ? Local councils –greater community involvement among less engaged

·   Opportunity for a different kind of community

·   Less likely as more remote

·   Perception of less of local control

·   Loss of local identity

·   34 vs. 12-15+/- board members

Ed Program Opportunities

·   Opportunities for special program at individual school

·   Common educational program and opportunities in K-8 to enter grade 9

·   Opportunities for teacher and staff mobility between schools

·   Possibility of magnet schools

·   Opportunity for RED programs – e.g. online lrng, distance btwn schools

·   Opportunities for special program at individual school

·   Transportation

·   Impact on community connection w/school

·   Discrimination? – homogeneous classes


·   Choice K-8

·   Transportation

·   Impact on community connection w/school

Leadership Focus

·   Focus on coherent, cohesive single systems of operations

·   Less micromanagement

·   Ways to institutionalize current best practices

·   Less administrative board interface

·   Focus instructional leadership—student outcomes

·   More competitive board races

·   Less board discussion on specific items

·   Distraction to implement staffing from scratch

·   Less administrative board interface

Tax Savings




Items that stand out as key.


Would like to hear feedback on this list from principals.


General consensus that it would be valuable to add RED Study Committee to the CSSU governing board agenda as a Common Topic  presentation on September 14th.  Will not highlight the 3 Whys and 2 Why Nots on the list presenting.


Next meeting of the Study Committee will be the “decision meeting.”


Next Meeting  Next meeting is scheduled for 9/22 6-7:30pm at CSSU.  It is important that all Study Comm, Members be present at this meeting.