School Committee Meeting Minutes 06/04/2018

Farmington River Regional School District

Farmington River Elementary School

555 North Main Road, Otis, MA 01253



Monday June 4, 2018

Meeting #362

7:00 P.M.



Community Participation:  None


Warrants:  All that were present were signed


Guests:  Meaghan Martin, Nanette Higgins, Amy Maxton, Kendra Rybacki, Candy Chaffee, and Star O’Brien


Call to Order:  Nicholas DellaGiustina call the meeting to order at 7:08 P.M.


  1. Reorganization of the Board: Tom Nadolny took over the meeting to have the Board vote on the reorganization of the Committee.  Nicholas DellaGiustina, Carol Lombardo and Jessica Drenga were nominated for Chair.  Nicholas DellaGiustina won by majority.  Jessica Drenga and Carol Lombardo were nominated for Vice Chair.  Carol Lombardo won by majority.


  1. Approval of minutes #361: Minutes were accepted as submitted per majority of vote.


  1. Teacher participation with School Committee: Before this topic started, Nicholas DellaGiustina reminded the Committee and the guest that the purpose of this topic is to let the Committee know how the 2017-2018 school year went and if there was anything that could benefit the upcoming school year in any way.  Grievances were not on the agenda and if there where any then let the committee know and the Teacher’s Union because there are protocol steps to be followed.  Same with non-union workers, let the Committee know and an executive meeting can be set up to discuss such grievances.  Nicholas handed the meeting over to Carol Lombardo because the topic was suggested by Carol.  The Committee asked Tom Nadolny and Eric Jesner to exit the meeting as this point.


Meaghan Martin spoke on behalf of the Teachers.  The Teachers want clarification on the steps or

protocol of grievances or concerns concerning the Principal/Superintendent.  If something were to

come up who do they report to in order of protocol.  The School Committee explained that first

they need to report to the Principal/Superintendent.  If the outcome did not satisfy the issue/topic,

then they should get in contact with either the Chair or Vice Chair of the School Committee to

proceed forward.  Then if that does not work, submit a grievance with the Teacher’s Union





Next the Kitchen Staff wanted to speak with a concern they had.  Kendra Rybacki, Candy Chaffee and Star O’Brien all spoke about the concerns they are having with the Administration. They are not happy with the chain of command, nor are they happy with the responses they get when bringing a concern to the Administration.  Star O’Brien expressed how she resigned from the kitchen staff due to being uncomfortable coming to work.  Candy Chaffee expressed there is no confidentiality when bringing up a concern.  The departments that the problem is about then become irritable with the Kitchen Staff and they feel that is not right.  Kendra Rybacki is concerned that the family feeling and “love” is not present anymore.  They also are confused with the chain of command, and  who they should go to with a problem or concern.  Carol Lombardo asked what could be done to help with this concern, they did not have an answer, they did not know if it could be rectified.  Carol did remind the Kitchen Staff that this was not on the agenda for discussion, this was not the intent of the topic. If they want to put in a grievance, just let them know and an executive meeting will be available to them for their grievance.


At this point Carol did ask if there were any positive aspects of the past school year.  The teachers agreed that the Blizzard Bags were a hit with the teachers and students.  Nanette Higgins and Amy Maxton were asked how the year went being the first year they were here as teachers.  Both agreed that they like it at Farmington River.  Nanette responded that working at Farmington was like paradise, and Amy Maxton said she doesn’t have any complaints.  The school in which she came from was so hostile.  She enjoys working here.  Both enjoy working with everyone in the building and everyone is very nice.


The Kitchen Staff did bring up they love working with the children and Kendra did a fabulous job getting a grant for new well needed equipment.  They are grateful for the ice cream truck that is provided by the Saloomey family on field day.  They do enjoy working with staff members as well.


The School Committee thanks everyone for coming in and expressing their views of the school. Tom and Eric were then asked to come back and attend the rest of the meeting.


Tom was told the issues and concerns the Teachers and the Kitchen Staff brought forward.  The Committee is hoping that Tom can bring all the Staff together for a feel better atmosphere at the school.


  1. Principal/Superintendent monthly updates on school and staffing: Tom talked about some of the programming that would like to be brought into the school.  The new core social study programming for K-6, runs around 50,000 dollars.  But, through the new departmental programming the social studies books are falling apart and are very old.  They should be updated.  Tom wants to go through what is out there with the teachers then start looking into buying what they feel is appropriate.


Tom did approve the move Katherine Graham from 4th grade to 3rd grade for next year.  Bethany Mielke will be returning to Farmington River as the 4th grade teacher.  The School Committee was a little concerned about hiring Mrs. Mielke back after leaving the school last year.  Tom assured them that Bethany is a great teacher and the opportunity for her to come back is a benefit to the school.


Tom brought up the Blizzard Bags.  A survey was sent home to Parents asking how they liked them.  30 responses came back.  26 voted positive.  4 were negative.  Teachers were positive in their responses.  The students were also surveyed.  65% were positive, 27% were undecided, and 8% were negative.


Mrs. Flower talked to Tom and the Teachers are going to rotate showing up to concerts and after school events.  This is due to complaints Tom received about the lack of the Teacher presence at these functions.


  1. Financial Update: Eric Jesner was in to get approval/vote to remove Jane Gleason from all bank accounts.  Eric would then be on in place of Jane, and Teresa DellaGiustina will also be put on two accounts as a signatory along with Tom. Vote was unanimous in favor of removing Jane, placing Eric in her place and adding Teresa as a signatory on two accounts.


There will be a meeting on July 2, 2018.


  1. Carol Lombardo made a motion to adjourn the meeting, Arlene Tolopko seconded

The meeting was ajourned by unanimous vote at 8:14 P.M.


Respectfully submitted,



Teresa DellaGiustina