The Bulletin Board - December 8, 2008



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

Board Member Resignation: John Richards announced his resignation from the Board of Education, effective December 8. He thanked the Board for the privilege of serving the youth of Berlin. Board members and administrators conveyed their appreciation for Mr. Richards’ eleven years of distinguished service, marked by significant contributions to improving learning for all students.
Student Presentation □ Berlin High School students Eric Pick, Steven Lewczyk, Jason Gundry, Doug Ferraguto and JR Dynak, along with Broadcast Journalism teachers Chris Wolfe and Ruth Jarusinsky, presented information on the development of the Berlin High School Veterans Project. After the teachers explained the interdisciplinary nature of the project, the students described the work that they did and what they learned through documenting interviews with eight Berlin veterans. The presentation ended with a viewing of the project.
Textbook Adoption □ The Board approved the adoption of the textbooks, Forensic Science: Fundamentals and Investigations by Anthony J. Bertino and published by South-Western Cengage Learning and A Survey: American History by Alan Brinkley and published by McGraw Hill.    The first textbook will be used in Forensic Science, an elective course for grade 11-12 students.     The second textbook will be used in Advanced Placement United States History for grade 11students.
Awards & Presentations in Conjunction with American Education Week □ The Superintendent’s CAPSS (Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents) Student Award was presented to Berlin High School Senior Erica Barnes and the “Friend of Berlin Schools” Award was presented to Alisha Bouchard, both of whom were unable to attend the November 24 Annual meeting of the Board to receive their award with other recipients.
Overnight Field Trip Request – Berlin High School – Washington, D.C. □ The Board granted permission for Berlin High School students to travel to Washington, D.C., in March of 2009 to participate in the annual Close-Up program. Students will have an in-depth look at the way our government operates and will learn to become active citizens who will make responsible civic decisions.
Adult Education □ Adult Education Director Nancy Testori, who assumed leadership of this program in August, and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Rena Klebart, provided an overview of the adult education program including program offerings, funding sources, compliance review, and community outreach efforts. The Board commended Mrs. Testori for her leadership in redefining the program.
Educational Specifications for Griswold School Relocatable Classrooms □ Director of Business Operations Roman Czuchta reported that a walk-through meeting was held at Griswold School last week for seven architectural firms interested in submitting proposals for the design phase of relocatable classrooms. The Public Building Commission will review bids and interview firms next week and then approach the Council for design funds in early January, 2009.

Technology Bond □ Director of Business Operations Roman Czuchta reported that all fiber connection between schools and Town Hall are scheduled to be completed by the end of this week. Remaining WAN hardware will also be installed by the end of this week. Once completed, all connections will be tested for proper function, with locations expected to be brought online on the fiber network in early February .
Berlin High School 2009-2010 Program of Studies □ The Board of Education approved the new course offerings and revisions to the Berlin High School Program of Studies for 2009-2010 as presented by Principal George Synnott. New courses to be offered include Art History, Environmental Science, Senior English Seminar, and University of Connecticut Early College Experience Program.


403(b) Plan □ In July of 2007, the IRS published final 403(b) regulations governing retirement savings arrangements sponsored by public schools, to be effective starting January 1, 2009. The final regulations include the requirement that schools develop a written plan document that outlines provisions allowed under a 403(b) plan. The Board approved the resolutions, as presented, regarding the Berlin Board of Education’s 403(b) Plan.
Administrator Evaluation Plan □ A team of administrators led by Superintendent of Schools Michael Cicchetti, Assistant Superintendent Rena Klebart, McGee Middle School Principal Brian Benigni, Griswold School Principal Laurie Gjerpen, and Berlin High School Principal James Sachs developed an Administrator Evaluation Plan for the district. As stated, the primary purpose of the plan is “to build the capacity of school and district leaders so that they can successfully plan, implement, and sustain continuous improvement initiatives leading to the highest quality of teaching and learning.” Several of the plan’s components parallel the Professional Growth and Evaluation Plan that is used with certified teaching staff. The Board adopted the Administrator Evaluation Plan as presented and thanked the administrative team for their excellent work.
Professional Growth and Evaluation Plan □ Two years ago, Assistant Superintendent Rena Klebart led a district-wide initiative to develop a new Professional Growth and Evaluation Plan. The development of the plan - which outlines procedures for the supervision and evaluation of certified staff - was the collective effort of the teachers and administrators who serve on the district’s Professional Growth and Evaluation Committee, members of the Administrative Council, and the Board’s Leadership, Accountability, and Measurement Committee. The plan has undergone revision since its implementation in August of 2007, the result of which is a document that is valued by district staff and recognized as an exemplary document by the State Department of Education. The Board adopted the Professional Growth and Evaluation Plan, as required by the State, and recognized the outstanding work of the Professional Growth and Evaluation Committee.
Unaffiliated Employee Contract – Director of Food Services □ The Board approved the proposed employee contract for the Food Services Director for the 2008-2009 school year, retroactive to July 1, 2008.
Contract for the Superintendent of Schools □ The Board authorized Board President Gary Brochu to negotiate and finalize the proposed contract for the superintendent of schools for the 2008-2009 school year, retroactive to July 1, 2008.
The next regular meeting of the Board of Education will be held on Monday, January 12, 2009, beginning at 7:00 P.M. in the Board Meeting Room, 238 Kensington Road. 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 .

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