Farmington River Regional School District
Farmington River Elementary School
555 North Main Road, Otis, MA 01253
Monday March 5, 2018
Members Present: Nick DellaGiustina, Jessica Drenga, Hillary Howard, Carol Lombardo, Billie Pachulski, John Skrip, Arlene Tolopko, Tom Nadolny and Eric Jesner
Guests: Ron Pachulski
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 7:00p.m. by the chair, Nicholas DellaGiustina.
Community Participation: none
- Approval of Minutes of Meeting #358: The minutes of Meeting #358 were approved as submitted, Motioned by Carol Lombardo, seconded by Billie Pachulski. Vote unanimous
- Principal/Superintendent monthly undates: Tom updated the Committee on February’s
happenings. Jenna Daley, our gym teacher, is pregnant. Her due date is in September, so she
will not be here for the start of the 2018-2019 school year.
The PTA sponsored a Winter Fun Day at Butternut for grades K-6. The students went tubing for half a day. Work was incorporated into the trip so nothing was missed in the curriculum. Students and staff had a great time.
Two teachers have accepted the retirement package. They will retire at the end of June 2018. One request for a transfer has risen already. Posting for the open positions will go out this month.
- School safety topics: There have been a lot of phone calls about the school’s safety
procedures. Tom has sent home letters about the procedures to the parents and guardians
outlining our procedures. Cameras came up, but the cameras will not prevent attacks. They
will only show what happened after the fact. Someone would need to monitor the cameras
all the time to be affective.
Otis Police Department has offered free service for an Officer to spend a half day or day at
the school. This would be random days during the week, not a scheduled time.
- Financial Update: Nick started off by saying we are in agreement with BHRSD. We
negotiated with the School Committee at BHRSD to keep our increase of tuition at 4% for the
next 5 years. The SPED tuition is under a 5 year contract as well, but not 4% across the
board. Eric Jesner crunched the numbers over the next 5 years. That information is available
at the school for viewing if anyone wants to see the numbers.
Eric moved on to the expenditures. There are reports available to view at the school. Overall
the expenditures are good. The school is in good shape as of right now. We do need some
new equipment. A new tractor, a Pre-School shed, and kitchen equipment including two
new stoves and service station. Kendra Rybacki submitted a state grant and was approved
for one stove, which is a tremendous help to us. The only item Eric wants to purchase
at this point is the Pre-School shed. This shed is $2,000. We are still getting quotes on the
rest of the items needed so Eric wants to hold off another month. No vote was need to
purchase the shed, but all agreed to do so.
Eric asked the Committee to vote on the purchase of a new Pre-School van. We have funding
from the regional transportation fund to pay for the majority of the van cost. We would
have to use the monies by the end of this school year. We would have to paid a couple
thousand dollars towards the van. Eric did have several quotes on vans, the School
Committee picked out the most affordable van for the school’s needs. Nick motioned to
purchase the van, Jess seconded. Vote was unanimous.
Eric moved on to discuss the increase/decrease of the budget for the two towns. Sandisfield
increased 2.5%. Otis decreased by -2.5%..this is based on their operational budget.
Billie Pachulski motioned to accept the 2018-2019 school budget, Carol Lombardo seconded
the motion, vote was unanimous.
- Vote to approve Nature’s Classroom to Cape Cod: School Committee must vote to
approve this trip. 5th and 6th grade students only go. It is for a week in October. Selected
teachers and one parent are needed on the trip. Jess Drenga motioned to approve the trip.
Billie Pachulski seconded the motion. Vote was unanimous.
- Vote to approve participating in school choice for the 2018-2019 school year:
Jess Drenga motioned to approve school choice, Billie Pachulski seconded the motion.
Vote was unanimous.
- Vote for land transfer: The School Committee needs to vote on property that the town
of Otis would like to own. It is next to the DPW. A trail runs between the school and
the DPW. The deal is if we transfer the land, the trail would be maintained as an escape
route for students if there ever was a need to evacuate the building. The town agreed.
Jess Drenga motioned to approve the land transfer, Arlene Tolopko seconded the motion.
Vote was unanimous.
- Vote to support a new stipend position: Tom requested a stipend for an assistant to the
Music teacher. The person would assist in plays and musical. The stipend will not exceed
$400.00. Carol Lombardo motioned to approve the stipend position, Jess Drenga seconded
the motion. Vote was unanimous.
- Busing issue: It was brought to Nick DellaGiustina’s attention that out of district students are
are being transported, by our district transportation, to school choice schools. As a courtesy,
Farmington River School District has always transported out of district students who have
graduated from Farmington River. That is the stipulation. The transportation does not go out
to any resident who school choices. Why do non-residents who school choice have to provide
transportation to their children, when non-residents get the benefit of the transportation just
because a sibling graduated from Farmington River? This was the question brought up.
Nick DellaGiustina motioned for the School Committee to approve that no transportation be
provided for any out of district student attending Farmington River School past 6th grade, nor
will transportation be provided for in district students who school choice out of district. Out
of district students can ride the bus, only if they are attending Farmington River School and
there is room available on the bus. The student would need to meet the bus at a bus stop, not
their home. Jess Drenga seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.
- Vote on increasing Pre-School tuition: With the decrease and eventual loss of the grant to
fund our Pre-School program, the School Committee was asked to approve a 10% increase
for Pre-School tuition. Motioned by Billie Pachulski to approve, seconded by Carol
Lombardo. Vote was unanimous.
- Unanticipated topics for discussion: none
Adjourn: Motion to adjourn the meeting by Jess Drenga, seconded by Arlene Tolopko.
Vote was unanimous. 7:45pm
Teresa DellaGiustina, Secretary of School Committee