50 Sheffield St.

Old Saybrook CT  06475

(860) 395-3157


The Old Saybrook Board of Education met in Regular Session on Tuesday, October 17, 2006 at the Board of Education Office, 50 Sheffield St., Old Saybrook CT 06475.


Board Members                                            Others                                                           


Jan Murray, Chairman                                    Joseph Onofrio, Interim Superintendent

Sandra Harder, Vice-Chairman                       Scott Schoonmaker, Principal of OSHS

Eileen Baker                                                    Tara Winch, Assoc. Principal of OSHS

Alan Spargo    (arrived at 8:15 pm)                 Heston Sutman, Assoc. Principal of OSMS

Brad Thorpe                                                    Sheila Brown, Principal of Goodwin School

Dr. Mario Gaboury                                         Julie Pendleton, Business Manager

Carol Hanover                                                 Eleanor Gerretsen, Interim Dir. of PPS


Citizens:          3                                              Student Representatives

                                                                        Kristen Leighton

                                                                        Jenna Shaw


I           CALL TO ORDER


Chairman Murray called the meeting to order at 7:32 p.m. and led the Pledge of Allegiance.  She advised those present of the process for addressing the Board of Education.


Proclamation – Anti-Bullying Day


The following proclamation was read in recognition of Anti-Bullying Day (October 16, 2006):


Whereas, schools make substantial contributions to the future of America and to the development of our nation’s young people as knowledgeable, responsible, and productive citizens; and

Whereas, excellence in education is dependent on safe, secure, and peaceful school settings; and

Whereas, the safety and well-being of many students are unnecessarily jeopardized by bullying in our schools; and

Whereas, between 15-25 percent of all U.S. students are bullied with some frequency; and

Whereas, as many as 160,000 students stay home on any given day because they are afraid of being bullied; and

Whereas, it is the responsibility of all citizens to enhance the learning experiences of young people by helping to ensure fair and effective discipline, promoting good citizenship, and making schools safe and secure; and

Whereas, all leaders-especially those in education, law enforcement, government and business-should eagerly collaborate with each other to focus public attention on school safety and to promote anti-bullying efforts; and


Old Saybrook Board of Education – Regular Meeting Minutes  -  October 17, 2006  (Page 2)


Whereas, numerous schools, school districts and states throughout the country, have adopted policies and programs in order to raise awareness and prevent bullying; and

Whereas, Anti-Bullying Day, in conjunction with the observance of America’s Safe Schools Week and Connecticut Safe Schools Week which is to be held October 15-21, 2006, will substantially promote efforts to provide all schools with a positive and safe learning climate.


This was signed by Joseph Onofrio II, Interim Superintendent of Schools and Janet V. Murray, Chairman of the Board of Education.


Chairman Murray will be voting on all motions made at this meeting.




            Not held




Correspondence was passed on the clipboard.  The student representatives reported on sports, upcoming dances, PSAT’s, Field Day, and Portfolio Night. 


Request for Leave



“Move to approve the leave of absence request from Melissa Kalisz under FMLA beginning on or about December 21, 2006.  Anticipated date of return is February 1, 2007.”



Audience of Citizens

Dr. Robert Siegelman thanked the BOE for supporting healthier meal choices for students.  He also asked if he could advertise the Goodwin School PTO Auction on the signs outside of the middle and high schools.




“Move to approve the minutes of October 3, 2006 Regular Board of Education meeting, as amended.”

Amendment:  Page 2  - Last paragraph; last sentence should read:  Ms. Baker was asked to submit the specifications of the workshop that she will be facilitating regarding student representation on Boards of Education at the CABE Conference to Mr. Onofrio.

            MOTION:  CARRIED






Old Saybrook Board of Education – Regular Meeting Minutes  -  October 17, 2006  (Page 3)




AP/SAT Testing Report

Mr. Schoonmaker reported on SAT and AP test results for the Class of 2006.


Annual Student Enrollment Report

Official enrollment numbers for 2006-2007 are greater than anticipated.  The difference between what was predicted and the number who have actually enrolled district-wide as of September 29th is 43 more students.  The elementary growth continues to be within the target range of our projections with more students than expected enrolling at the middle and high school levels.


The total full time teacher equivalent (FTE) for 2006/2007 is 150.20, which is .80 FTE less than last year.


There are six home schooled students who have registered with the Interim Superintendent’s office.  All but one of these students were home schooled last year.


No students dropped out of school during the 2005/2006 school year.


District Staffing Update

Ms. Eugenia Fafard has resigned her position as Gr. 7 mathematics teacher to accept an administrative position at Grasso Technical High School.  Craig Cooke, a retired OSMS math teacher, will cover these classes until a permanent teacher is hired.


Ms. Patricia Williams has resigned from her teaching position at Old Saybrook High School effective November 4, 2006.  A permanent substitute will fill that position.


The position of Curriculum Coordinator has been posted and interviews are taking place.  This position has been redesigned for this school year to provide an opportunity for two staff members to collaborate under the direction of the Director of Pupil and Professional Services to continue to provide leadership in the area of curriculum and professional development.


School Safety

At the Interim Superintendent’s request, each building principal sent a letter home to families co-signed by the school resource officer to assure parents of our vigilance concerning the safety of everyone in our care.  Security systems are in place in each of the buildings which require visitors to be ‘buzzed’ in during the school day.  A new security system will be installed as part of the building project at Old Saybrook High School.


Additional police officers will be on duty at Old Saybrook High School during voting on November 7, 2006.






Old Saybrook Board of Education – Regular Meeting Minutes  -  October 17, 2006  (Page 4)


Leadership Report 

Mr. Onofrio expressed his appreciation for being given the opportunity to lead Old Saybrook Public Schools.  Since school opened he has been actively involved in many activities for the district and with staff members through a variety of settings.




Heston Sutman, Associate Principal of Old Saybrook Middle School:  Mr. Sutman spoke about the Educational Forum which will be held for parents regarding underage drinking and new laws.  The Forum is being sponsored by the Old Saybrook Police Department, Youth & Family Services, and OSMS and will be held on November 1st at 7:00 pm in the middle school auditorium.  He also reported on the recent Celebration of Excellence and commended the students for their participation in the event.  The physical fitness initiative, Walk Across Old Saybrook, is progressing well.


Scott Schoonmaker, Principal of Old Saybrook High School:  Mr. Schoonmaker reported that PSAT’s will be administered to all sophomores and juniors on October 18th.  Freshmen and seniors will take part in other activities during that time.  He complimented the English Department for the Portfolio Night held last week.


Tara Winch, Associate Principal of Old Saybrook High School:  Ms. Winch reported on sports and Veteran’s Day activities. 


Eleanor Gerretsen, Interim Director of PPS:  Ms. Gerretsen reported on a partnership grant sponsored by LEARN that Jermainne Lowrie will take part in.  Professional Development on October 6th was productive.  The next Professional Development day will be department focused.  Attorney Patrick McHale met with the District Leadership Team to review teacher evaluation.


Sheila Brown, Principal of Goodwin School:  Ms. Brown reported on the Book Fair and upcoming PTO sponsored auction, and a workshop focusing on the external area of Goodwin School.


Julie Pendleton, Business Manager:  The building projects are progressing as expected.  Furniture, fixtures and equipment bids are being considered.  The State of CT will reimburse the district for the cost of irrigation at the high school. 


            Joseph Onofrio, Interim Superintendent of Schools:  Already reported













Old Saybrook Board of Education – Regular Meeting Minutes  -  October 17, 2006  (Page 5)




CABE:  Meetings take place monthly and are open to all BOE members.  The CABE conference is scheduled for November 17 and 18th.  The student representatives have been invited to attend.  Ms. Baker will be presenting at a conference regarding student wellness.


            LEARN:  No report


            Budget and Fiscal Planning Committee:  Meet regularly


            Long Range Planning Committee:  No report


            Personnel Committee:  No report


Board of Education:  Ms. Murray reported that the meeting on November 14 will begin at 7:00 p.m. with an Executive Session for the purpose of negotiations.  BOE members should plan to attend an Executive Session at 5:30 p.m. on January 23, 2007 for the purpose of the Superintendent’s Evaluation.  If necessary, that meeting will be continued on January 30, 2007.  The BOE retreat will be held March 27, 2007.  The BOE meeting in December will be held on December 12, 2006.




Š      Board of Education Meeting -  November 14, 2006 - 7:00 p.m. (Executive Session);  7:30 p.m. Regular Meeting

Š      Board of Education Meeting  -  November 28, 2006 - 7:30 p.m.





            “Move to adjourn at  8:43 p.m.”

            MOTION:  CARRIED






                                                                        Karen Brodeur, Secretary

                                                                        Old Saybrook Board of Education


                                                                        Minutes recorded and typed by:

                                                                        Debby Dwyer, Recording Secretary

                                                                        Old Saybrook Board of Education


*Subject to approval at the next BOE Meeting