School Committee Meeting Minutes 02/04/2019

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Farmington River Regional School District

Farmington River Elementary School

555 North Main Road, Otis, MA 01253

Monday February 4, 2019

Minutes #369


Members Present:  Nicholas DellaGiustina, Jessica Drenga,, Carol Lombardo, Billie Pachulski,  John Skrip, Thomas Nadolny, and Eric Jesner


Absent:  Arlene Tolopko


Guests:  Jonina Decker and Katherine Graham


Call to order:  The meeting was called to order at 7:00 P.M. by Nicholas DellaGiustina.

Community Discussion:  None


  1. Approval of Minutes #368 and #368 Executive Meeting: The School Committee voted and unanimously accepted both minutes # 368 and #368.  Carol motioned the vote, Billie seconded


  1. Principal/Superintendent monthly updates on school and staffing: Tom informed the Committee that Laurie Flower will be in next month to discuss MCAS testing.  We posted the front end secretary position.  Despite the amount of work that was stipend out, a front end secretary is needed.  It is a part time Monday through Friday position.  We have received quite a bit of applications.  Interviews will be in a couple of weeks during Winter Break.  Val Morrison, one of the night custodians, resigned.  The job has been posted and we will start the interviewing process in a couple of weeks.  Teresa sent a video to the Committee on rural school funding.  There is going to be a big trip out to Boston to see if they can talk to legislation about changing the formula for the rural funding.  Tom is unable to go, but will keep everyone posted on what happens and if any changes are made.  Rachel Cannon was hired for the SPED position that opened up.  She was teaching the Enrichment Program and thought that she would be able to teach both SPED and Enrichment, the SPED count went up and Rachel hasn’t had the time to teach both.  Tom is going to talk to both Rachel and the 4th-6th grade teachers about coming up with a program for the advanced students.


  1. Financial update: Eric Jesner needs the School Committee to approve taking Mike Kinney off the bank accounts and put Jane Gleason on the accounts.  Jane was hired to take the place of Treasurer of the school.  The School Committee unanimously agreed to remove Mike and put Jane on the accounts.


      Eric Jesner updated the Committee on the finances.  This is the last year for the state’s

help in funding the Pre-School Program.  We can claim the students under Chapter 70.

We can get some funding this way.  Eric handed out the FY20 Budget for the School

Committee to vote on.  Some of the increases include:  Health Insurance for staff and

retirees.  We do have more retirees this year than last year.  Tuition has increased due to

the contracts with the Berkshire Hills and Lee Public Schools.  Special needs non public

out of district cost is going down due to a graduating student, but the special needs out of

district public is going up due to a student in an expensive program.  Special needs

transportation is going up, but the vocational transportation is going down.

Transportation(busing) is going up due to contractual obligation.  After all the increases

and decreases within the budget, Sandisfield’s percentage of increase is 8.82 ($127,000)

and Otis is a decrease of 0.18%.  Without the increases that we have obligations to

or contractual obligations budget increased 1.73%.


The School Committee unanimously voted to approve the budet presented by Eric.

Carol motioned to accept the budget, John seconded…vote unanimous.


Budget Hearing is set with both towns on Tuesday February 12th.


  1. Adjournment: Jess Drenga motioned to adjourn from the meeting at 7:28 p.m., John seconded.  Vote was unanimous.





Respectively Submitted,



Teresa DellaGiustina

Assistant to the Superintendent