School Committee Meeting Minutes 03/04/2019

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Farmington River Regional School District

Farmington River Elementary School

555 North Main Road, Otis, MA 01253

Monday March 4, 2019

Minutes #370


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


Absent:  none


Guests:  Linda Curtis, Jennifer Hibbins, Fred Ventresco


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

Community Discussion:  None


  1. Approval of Minutes #369: The School Committee voted and unanimously accepted minutes # 369.  Carol Lombardo motioned the vote, Jess Drenga seconded.


  1. Principal/Superintendent monthly updates on school and staffing: Tom informed the School Committee of the new baby to Farmington River School.  Rebecca Hamill is now on maternity leave for the rest of the school year.  A new front end receptionist was hired to take the place of the existing receptionist.  Monica Dingman is the newest member of the Farmingtion River Staff.


  1. Laurie Flower to present MCAS information: Due to unforeseen circumstances,

the presentation was moved to the April Meeting.


  1. Financial update: Eric handed out a copy of this year’s budget to show the School Committee where we are as we head to the remaining months of the school year.  We are roughly 64% into the budget at this time.  The Committee reviewed the budget with no questions at this point.  All expenses are on track considering our transportation costs have gone up due to Special Services that were/are needed.


Jess Drenga asked about the Sandisfield Finance Meeting that was held.  Nick DellaGiustina and Eric Jesner attended the meeting.  Nick summarized the contents of the meeting.  Sandisfield would like to have the School Committee cut the budget by 40,000 dollars.  This would help Sandisfield with their need of 13,000 dollars towards their budget.  They would like the Committee to cut the Stabilization Fund of the school by that amount.  Nicholas suggests that the Committee reduce the E&D of the school by 13,000 dollars.  This will drop the amount down to 200,000 dollars.  This would give Sandisfield around 5,000-6,000 dollars.  John Skrip spoke about Sandisfield’s budget and would like to see the School Committee give the entire amount to Sandisfield.  The School Committee is aware that a special services student may be entering our system.  This would cost the school at least 150,000 dollars to give the student the services needed.  If they cut the budget, where are they going to get the finances?  The answer is with the towns.  Carol Lombardo asked if we need that money, are the town’s going to be able to come up with the monies to cover the costs?  Nick asked for suggestions from the School Committee.  The Stabilization was cut last year by half and Sandisfield want to cut it in half again leaving the balance at 20,000.  This is a concern considering the amount of work that needs to be done around the school.  The sidewalks, parking lot and the gym are in dire need of repair.  Jess Drenga agreed with taking the 13,000 dollars from E&D.  The Committee asked Fred Ventresco the amount of Free Cash Sandisfield has.  Mr. Ventresco was unsure, but estimated 600,000 dollars, which is devoted to the Stabilization Fund and other projects.  Fred did state that the Selectmen would appreciate anything that the School Committee could offer.


There was a motion by Jess Drenga to reduce the E&D by 15,000 dollars.  Billie Pachulski seconded the motion.  Nick then motioned to bring in 15,000 dollars from E&D to the General Budget to meet Sandisfield half way.  Vote was unanimous.


  1. Vote for the 2019-2020 School Calendar: Vote was unanimous to approve the upcoming School Year’s calendar that was approved by the Teachers.  Motioned by Jess Drenga to accept the calendar as is, Nick seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous to approve the calendar.


  1. Vote to approve a 5th Grade out of state field trip: Chris Keller would like to get the approval of the School Committee for an out of state field trip to Fort Ticonderoga in New York.  The field trip is incorporated with Mr. Keller’s History Class curriculum.  The School Committee unanimously voted to approve this trip.  Motioned by Nicholas to accept the field trip.  Jess Drenga seconded the motion.


  1. Motion to move into an Executive Session for the following purposes and to reconvene in Open Session for the purpose of adjournment only: Nick DellaGiustina motioned to move into the Executive Session, Carol Lombardo seconded.


  1. Adjournment: Nick DellaGiustina motioned to adjourn and Billie Pachulski seconded the motion.  Meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.




Respectively Submitted,



Teresa DellaGiustina

Assistant to the Superintendent