50 Sheffield Street

Old Saybrook CT 06475

(860) 395-3157


The Old Saybrook Board of Education met in Regular Session on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at the Board of Education Office, 50 Sheffield St., Old Saybrook CT.


Board Members                                            Others                                                                       


Jan Murray, Chairman                                    Joseph Onofrio II, Interim Superintendent

Sandra Harder, Vice-Chairman                       Eleanor Gerretsen, Interim Dir. of PPS

Karen Brodeur, Secretary                                Tara Winch, Assoc. Principal of OSHS

Dr. Albert Anderson                                       Michael Rafferty, Principal of OSMS

Dr. Mario Gaboury                                         Heston Sutman, Assoc. Principal of OSMS

Carol Hanover                                                 Sheila Brown, Principal of Goodwin 

Alan Spargo                                                    Julie Pendleton, Business Manager    

Brad Thorpe   


Student Representative:   0                              Press:                         Citizens: 2


I           CALL TO ORDER


The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m.




“Move to enter Executive Session for the purpose of evaluation of interim superintendent.”

            MOTION: CARRIED


            Board of Education members listed above were present. Mr. Onofrio joined the meeting at 6:05 p.m. A telephone conference was conducted with Eileen Baker from 7:20 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The Board returned to Open Session at 7:30 p.m.



Chairman Murray led the Pledge of Allegiance. She advised those present of the process to follow for addressing the Board of Education.  A moment of silence was held for Cecilia Brown and Debra Ferrara who recently passed away.




            “Move to approve Lynn Sullivan’s request for a leave of absence beginning mid June 2007.”


Old Saybrook Board of Education – Regular Meeting Minutes – January 23, 2007  (Page 2)



Correspondence was passed on the clipboard.  There was no audience of citizens.




            “Move to approve the minutes of the January 9, 2007 meeting.”

MOTION:  CARRIED (Gaboury, Hanover abstained)





            School Facilities Update

The School Building Committee has approved installation of a new gym floor at the high school. This project was included in the original plan but was put on hold when initial estimates were higher than budgeted. Various changes within the cost of the overall project now allow for this expenditure. April is the anticipated move in date for the school offices and band room. It is anticipated that the gym floor will be completed this summer as scheduled.


The middle school project is also progressing on time. The new multi purpose and resource rooms will be ready for occupancy shortly.


Proposed 2007-2008 Budget


Board Members have received a copy of the budget book for 2007-2008. The proposed budget will continue to be reviewed by the Budget and Fiscal Committee and any changes will be brought forward to the Board.


Five-Year Comprehensive Professional Development Plan


A Comprehensive Professional Development Plan has been prepared for the 2006-2007 school year. The committee, initially under Joe Onofrio’s leadership and more recently Eleanor Gerretsen’s, is comprised of administrators, teacher representatives from each building, and the K-12 District Curriculum Coordinator. The committee studied the needs of the District for two years considering state and district initiatives, the District’s Long Range Plan, CEU requirements for certification, and areas of interest and need. Professional development activities have been outlined for the next five years and will be updated annually to address changing needs and mandates. The specific professional development activities planned for next year will be shared with the Board of Education annually in June. A cost analysis of these professional activities will be shared with the Board at a future meeting.



Old Saybrook Board of Education – Regular Meeting Minutes – January 23, 2007  (Page 3)





            NCLB Student Achievement English Language Learners      


NCLB federal law requires the state to set specific goals for students to speak English. When one of the three target goals or Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAO) is not met and the school receives Title III funds, a letter must be sent home to the parents of the ELL students.  This year Old Saybrook far exceeded the goal for students becoming proficient with the English language, but missed by 14% the target set for students making progress. Of the 49 students tested 23 obtained proficiency, 13 made progress and 13 stayed the same. Goal 2 requires 16% of students to attain English language proficiency.  The district exceeded this goal since 42.9 percent of the students attained English language proficiency. Goal 3 data is measured by Connecticut Mastery Testing. This subgroup was not calculated because there were fewer than 40 identified English language learners in District. Of the 49 English language learners, some students are enrolled below grade 3 or above grade 8.  A letter has been mailed to parents of ELL students noting these achievement standards.




Tara Winch, Associate Principal OSHS:

Students completed their mid term exams today. Parents of 11th grade students were invited to attend a college financial planning meeting on January 8. Thank you to Maureen Healy and Kathy Scully for planning this informative program.

Healthy Communities/Healthy Youth presented a town forum on the state of our students last week. This was an excellent opportunity for educators, youth service providers, and community members to discuss the results of the HCHY survey. The Board of Education was thanked for approving the student survey three times during recent years thus allowing for the collection of relevant statistics. Youth and Family Services SAT counselor, Lisa Uihlein will begin meeting with high school students next week. She replaces Karen Fisher. In addition, Wendy Mill, Youth and Family Services Activity and Program Coordinator, will be reviewing afterschool program offerings at both the middle and high schools as well as facilitating the mentor/mentee program.


Eleanor Gerretsen, Director of Pupils and Professional Services:

Ellen Sumby and Eleanor Gerretsen have met with each department chair for a mid year review. OSMS recently hosted a MathCounts session in which 110 students from multiple school districts participated. Our 6th grade students earned third place. Sara Ingram is teaching sign language to 2nd graders. A geography bee was held at the middle school and 7th grader Erin Woods won the competition. She will now compete at the state level.


Old Saybrook Board of Education – Regular Meeting Minutes – January 23, 2007  (Page 4)



Sheila Brown, Principal Goodwin School

Informal professional conversations are taking place at Goodwin once a month to review current professional writings. Mr. Onofrio participates in these discussions. The last meeting reviewed the definition of bullying, what it looks like, and what it isn’t.  Some teachers will be attending a day long institute to learn about strategies to address bullying. A school-wide strategy on bullying will be addressed during the next professional development day. The Celebration of Reading Week will take place February 26 through March 2. Board members, community members and parents are invited to the school to be guest readers during the week. Five SMART boards have generously been donated to the school by a group of parents. The two SMART boards currently in use have proved to be a thrilling way to learn and well received by students and teachers. Board members are invited to come to the school for a demonstration.


Michael Rafferty, Principal OSMS:

Student progress reports were sent to parents last week. Thanks to Heston Sutman’s hard work the reports were mailed on time and without error. Destination Imagination continues this year with six teams scheduled to compete in March. The Ski Club is taking 100 students to Mt Southington today. The annual Swing Dance will be held on Friday night for grades 6, 7 and 8 culminating the dance component of the physical education curriculum. On January 31 the NAEP assessment for grades 4 and 8 will take place. February 9 will see basketball mania at the middle school. Heston Sutman will be on the court and Mike Rafferty will be refereeing. DARE graduation is scheduled for February 28 at 6:30 p.m.


Heston Sutman, Associate Principal OSMS:

Progress reports were prepared using Power School, the district’s student data system purchased two years ago. There were 642 student progress reports prepared with 100% accuracy. The Saturday Art Club for middle school students is being run by high school students for their senior project. To date, 11 middle school students have signed up.


Julie Pendleton, Business Manager

The current year budget has experienced some additions and deletions. The deficit continues to be $325,000. We anticipate agency placement excess costs to cover this deficit. The Budget and Fiscal Committee will meet in two weeks to review where we stand at that time.


Joseph Onofrio, Interim Superintendent of Schools

Congratulations to Kristen Leighton who was chosen by Harbor News as the sports person of the week. On January 25, Old Saybrook is going to be named one of the “100 Best Communities for Young People” by the American’s Promise


Old Saybrook Board of Education – Regular Meeting Minutes – January 23, 2007  (Page 5)



Alliance. This recognition is based on what we do for children and how these school and community programs benefit them. The award is a tribute to our Board of Education members who support high standards for our schools. Larry Freundlich, Gretchen Bushnell and Mike Rafferty were instrumental in promoting our successful programs.


The recently conducted Focus Groups were very well received. There were a total of 141 individuals who attended the one hour sessions. Attendees enjoyed coming together to discuss what aspects of Old Saybrook Public Schools bring them the most pride, what we do well, our academic and sports programs, and the qualities they would like to see in their new superintendent. There is a consensus that the website is a useful communication tool and expansion of the information offered would be welcomed.


The Pandemic Flu Conference held last week initiated discussion of our response to a flu outbreak that might last 4-6 weeks and how would we deliver services to students both as a community and as a school system. Emergency Management Directors, Superintendents and other school officials, Selectmen, Public Health Professionals, Nurses, Fire, and Police representatives from area communities were invited to attend and participate in tabletop exercises to further define emergency preparedness.




CABE:                        No report


LEARN:          Dr. Anderson attended the National Education Service Agency conference. At the recent LEARN Board of Directors meeting, Joe Onofrio was the guest speaker and shared his perspective on being an interim superintendent.

Budget and Fiscal Planning Committee:          Already reported

Long Range Planning Committee:       No report

Personnel Committee:             No report

Board of Education:    No report




“Move to reconvene Executive Session for the purpose of evaluation of interim superintendent.”

            MOTION: CARRIED

            Board of Education members listed previously and Mr. Onofrio were present.

Mr. Onofrio was excused at 9:20 p.m. The Board returned to Open Session at 9:55 p.m.

Old Saybrook Board of Education – Regular Meeting Minutes – January 23, 2007  (Page 6)




“Move to offer Joseph Onofrio II the position of Superintendent of the Old Saybrook Schools effective January 24, 2007 with a contract to be negotiated by the Executive Committee with approval by the Board of Education.”

            MOTION: CARRIED


XI.          REMINDERS

Š      Board of Education Meeting – February 13, 2007  -  7:30 p.m.

Š      Board of Education Meeting – February 27, 2007  -  7:30 p.m.

Š      Board of Education Meeting – March 13, 2007  -  7:30 p.m.

Š      Board of Education Meeting – March 27, 2007  -  5:30 p.m.  Executive Session; 7:30 p.m.  Regular Meeting




            “Move to adjourn at 9:55 p.m.”

            MOTION:  CARRIED



Karen Brodeur, Secretary

Old Saybrook Board of Education


Minutes Recorded and Typed by:

Kathy Randall, Recording Secretary

Old Saybrook Board of Education


*DRAFT – Subject to approval at the next Board of Education Meeting