Farmington River Regional School District
Farmington River Elementary School
555 North Main Road, Otis, MA 01253
Monday October 7, 2019, 7:00PM
Members Present: Nicholas DellaGiustina, Carol Lombardo, Deb Fogel, Jennifer Hibbins, Arlene Tolopko, Billie Pachulski, Jess Drenga, Thomas Nadolny and Eric Jesner
Guests: Amy Maxton, Nanette Higgins, Jamie Foster and Alex Lomaglio
Nicholas DellaGiustina called the meeting to order at 7:05pm
- Approval of last month’s minutes #377.
As submitted______X #377 As corrected_____________
- Principal/Superintendent updates. Tom Nadolny touched based on MCAS. Laurie Flower
will be in next month with a detailed presentation/slideshow explaining last year’s scores.
The state did raise the bar last year. All data is not in yet. The students took a survey on
how prepared they felt going into the testing and if the environment was comfortable and
safe for them. Overall, Farmington River did well on the survey from the children.
The front receptionist position was filled by Neesha Dolan, who already works in the district.
Tom hired a replacement for the Paraprofessional position that Neesha resigned from.
Susan Olds is now a full time Paraprofessional with the school. She comes with over
20 years’ experience working with children. Susan comes highly recommended from former
employers. She has worked across the spectrum with special needs children.
The second Professional Day is coming up. Farmington River is hosting a workshop on
Go Math, our new curriculum. The trainers from Go Math will be here to train and instruct
Teachers and Paraprofessionals.
We are also going to pilot a new Social Studies curriculum for minimal funding. We will
also continue with the new Adam curriculum in Science. We did have the highest scores
in Science throughout the county.
Flying Cloud is here for 3 sessions after school with a robotic program. They are coming
back in the spring for another 3 sessions.
Dale Abrahms and Tom are trying for the Star Grant to expand his annual program to the
lower grades. Dale usually takes the classes during the day to Miner Road in Otis to explore
the river for organisms and life within the river. Ecosystems.
Carol Lombardo asked how Music and Art are coming along. Tom stated that everything is
working out well. Michael Flower and Laura Catullo are working together to expand
different types of art and music to the program.
Jennifer Hibbins asked about the Pre-School playground. She was wondering if we could
incorporate money in the budget to possibly update the playground. Jennifer took pictures
of the equipment because the PVC coating is cracked. This will be talked about at a different
time because of other projects need attention as well, such as the gym ceiling and sidewalks.
Arlene Tolopko wanted to bring up Chapter 70 monies. The state is working on passing a
grant for disbursing more aid to all schools throughout the state. Eric is going to look
further into this information. We usually get minimum aid. Alex Lomaglio spoke to the
Committee because he knows more about this topic. He agrees with Eric as far as minimum
aid being distributed to the rural towns. The majority of the monies will go to the urban
towns. We will be getting a bump but not a significant amount. The state goes off on how
many English language learner children we have, how many poor children we have and
insurance costs. Monies should affect Circuit Breaker money and Regional Transportation.
They are looking to aid in special needs transportation as well.
- Eric Jesner to talk about the School’s vans. Eric has been researching the costs of
purchasing/leasing a new van. One of the vans is very old and is breaking down, therefore
should be replaced. Until the state officially adds on 4wheel drive vans to the state contract,
Eric cannot get an accurate quote. Right now we are focusing on getting the 7D
inspections done which are due at the end of the month.
Jennifer Hibbins asked Eric about the issue of transporting the Early K students if we switch.
Eric will be looking into this for next month’s meeting. He is researching the topic right now.
Eric did mention: if we replace the old van, the oldest van will now be the replacement. This
van does not have as many seats as the rest of the vans. If ever needed, the backup can not
hold as many students.
Jennifer asked Eric when we will start discussing the budget. The Sandisfield Selectmen
would like to attend early discussions. Eric stated that it is too early right now. Nicholas
DellaGiustina stated that the budget process begins early late November, early December.
- Discuss social media policy. Nicholas turned this topic over to Jennifer. Jennifer wanted to
get input on the existing policy opposed to a new policy. The majority consensus is to keep
the policy as is, just add or revise the piece concerning ‘friending” parents/guardians and
students. The policy should read the School Committee strongly discourages the
communications on any personal social media page. The majority of the Committee feels
they would be violating the staff’s right to speak to whom they want to outside of school.
Communications should be through the school email or phone calls concerning students.
The Remind App was brought up. Some teachers have opened accounts through Remind as
a formal way of communication between teachers and families. Remind is a specific teacher
media tool designed for school/home communications.
In conclusion, Jennifer is going to put together a draft of the new media policy to be brought
forward next month.
- Adjourn. Meeting was adjourned to enter into Executive Session, only to adjourn out of
Executive Session to enter School Committee meeting to adjourn. 7:40pm
Teresa DellaGiustina, School Committee Secretary