The Berlin Board of Education

The Bulletin Board


A Summary of the OCTOBER 24, 2011 Board of Education Meeting



The Berlin Public Schools  □  238 Kensington Road  □  Berlin, CT 06037  □  (860) 828-6581



Personnel □ The Board of Education appointed Pamela C. Hamad to the position of Assistant Principal ofCatherineM.McGeeSchool, effective November 7, 2011.  Ms. Hamad currently serves as a teacher of social studies atBerlinHigh School.


Special Recognition □ CIAC Unified Sports Program Essay:  Lou Pear, Director of Unified Sports at CIAC; Beth Rasmussen, Young Athlete/Elementary Unified Sports Coordinator; and Mr. George Synnott, Assistant Director of Unified Sports at CIAC recognized Caitlyn Guild for winning first place in an essay contest sponsored by CIAC’s Unified Sports Program.  The award is made available each year to high school and middle school students throughout the state who participate as partners in the Unified Sports Program.  The prompt for the essay was “Describe the benefits that accrue as a result of your experience as a Unified Sports partner.”  At the end of her 8th grade year at McGee, Caitlyn participated in and won first place in the essay contest.  As a result of her achievement, Catherine M. McGee School received a check in the amount of $1,000.  Caitlyn read her essay and a short video describing the Unified Sports Program was viewed.  Emma Hart Willard School Student Artwork:  Willard School Art Teacher Kristin Vernon and her students, Isabella Bonfiglio, Kelly Brett, Gianna Coccomo, Abigail Cutler, Mason DiMauro, Emma Ellison, Marek Midura, Kasey Ouellette, Angela Perrelli, and Izabelle Peter were recognized for the creative artwork currently on display in the Board of Education meeting room.


Student Presentation – Mary E. Griswold School □ Nicole Arsenault, second grade teacher atGriswoldSchool, was accompanied by students Bailey Baclaski, Garrett Fallon, Griffin Hilbie, Mollykate Maguder, and Emily Roche who were excited to share their wonderful writing.  The students have been working on a writing unit called Small Moments during Writing Workshop.  They have learned to catch the moments from their own lives and write about them.  Through the use of model texts written by real authors, the students learned that they are authors too!  They learned to create stories out of the details of their own experiences. 


Audience of Citizens □ Helen deRito, ofVivian Drive, addressed the Board regarding the high school band uniforms.  The band is celebrating 30 years of the same uniforms and she requested, as the 2012-2013 budget process gets underway, that the Board find a way to pay for new uniforms for the band. 


Educational Specifications (Statement of Need) – Total Roof Replacement – Emma Hart Willard School □ Director of Business Operations Roman J. Czuchta presented and reviewed the Educational Specifications (Statement of Need) for a total roof replacement project at Emma Hart Willard School, dated October 11, 2011.  Mr. Czuchta provided an amended Statement of Need as he reported a photovoltaic generator system should be investigated for feasibility and incorporated into this roof replacement project, if it is found to be cost effective. The Board approved the Educational Specifications (Statement of Need), dated October 11, 2011, for a total roof replacement at Emma Hart Willard School as presented and as amended this evening and to forward the Educational Specifications (Statement of Need) to the town manager for action.


Revised Schematic Plans – Berlin High School Renovation Project □ The Board approved the revised schematic plans for the renovations and additions for the high school as presented by Dean Petrucelli and David Stein, representatives of Silver/Petrucelli + Associates.


CMT, CAPT & SAT Reports □ Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and InstructionBrian Benigni and Berlin High School Principal Francis Kennedy reviewed the results from the spring 2011 CMT and CAPT testing, along with Advanced Placement and SAT scores.  In addition to the grade level results, a cohort analysis of the CMT and longitudinal studies of CMT and CAPT were presented.  Mr. Benigni explained how this student performance data will impact planning for continuous improvement, professional development, and curriculum review. 


Facilities Related Updates □ Director of Business Operations Roman J. Czuchta reported on the status of facilities projects. Berlin High School Code Renovations:  Last week, there was a preliminary walk through with firms that are interested in being the project manager for the Town.  There are about six interested parties.  It is anticipated interviews will take place mid-November.  Indoor Air Quality – McGee School:  Work continues with the architect and construction firm on taking care of some of the issues that remain unresolved.  Mr. Czuchta reported he met with them on Tuesday, October 17, 2011, and spent quite a bit of time going through the items on the punch list.  The firm was in over the weekend to try to resolve some of the issues discussed.  The architect and construction firm continue to work with the staff to iron out issues as they come up.  In response to Mr. Richards’ question concerning the progress of the further testing of the four roof units that were still off line as of the October 11, 2011 meeting, Mr. Czuchta reported he has not seen anything beyond what was discussed at the October 11, 2011 Board meeting.  There was an attempt to load the building with the four units that were brought on line but was not able to get a true reading.  BVH Integrated Services is continuing with calculations, reviewing usage and the draw on various units.  In response to Mr. Richards’ question concerning the option of having an independent contractor evaluate the equipment that was put in place, Mr. Czuchta reported there has been discussion with the Public Building Commission to have that done, but there has been no resolution to date. School Roof – McGee School:  The electrician identified the areas that were affected by the penetrations, which appear to be limited to the wrestling gym.  The electrician is scheduled to repair the damage that was done. 


Adult Education Report □ Adult Education Director Nancy Testori provided an overview of the adult education program including program offerings (mandated and enrichment), funding sources, curriculum, community outreach, changes in the adult education program, and future goals.  Copies of the student handbook and fall 2011 brochure were distributed.


Policy Review/Revision – First Reading – Policy 5131.911 – Bullying Prevention and Intervention □ The Board conducted a first reading of the Bullying Prevention and Intervention policy which has been updated to reflect Public Act 11-232, as recommended by Shipman & Goodwin LLP.  The recommendation was reviewed by the Ad-Hoc Committee for Policy Review/Revision at their meeting on October 11, 2011.  The revised policy will be considered for approval the November 21st Board meeting.


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The next meeting of the Board of Education will be held on Monday, November 21, 2011, beginning at 7:00 p.m., at Catherine M. McGee School, 899 Norton Road, Berlin.  The agenda will be available online at


The Bulletin Board provides a summary of Board of Education meetings.  Official minutes from Board meetings are available at the Board of Education Offices, the Town Clerk’s office, the Berlin Public Library, or on the district’s website at