New officers for Salisbury’s new Board of Education
SALISBURY — The Board of Education elected Brian Bartram as chairman at a special meeting Monday, Nov. 28, at Salisbury Central School.He was nominated by Jennifer Wiegel; the nomination was seconded by Jeff Lloyd. There were no other nominations, and Bartram was elected unanimously.Wiegel was re-elected as vice-chairman and Lloyd was chosen for the secretary’s position.Also on hand was Scooter Tedder, the newly elected Salisbury representative on the Region One Board of Education. Bartram thanked him for coming, and Tedder replied, “I’ll be here for every meeting. I think it’s important.”Later in the meeting, the board appointed Mike Flint, who ran against Tedder for the Region One spot, as the alternate member. (The Region One representative is an elected position, but the board chooses the alternate.)Other assignments included Wiegel as the board’s representative to the town’s Recreation Commission and Amy Lake to the Cable Advisory Board.It was the first meeting for newly elected board members Claude Rolo, Stephanie Thomas and Beth Vernali.Principal Chris Butwill offered a quick report, noting that this is the pilot year for the Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) program, which in practical terms means there are “adults catching students being good,” as he put it.Adults in the two school buildings have pads of PBIS tickets that are given out in recognition of “appropriate and positive student behavior” (according to Butwill’s handout). Students can earn a “variety of recognitions and privileges” with their tickets.Region One Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain reported that the central office is trying to find ways to make up the six days lost to the October snowstorm. Options include changing two full days of professional development in February to half days, which would then count as full student days.“We’re trying to hold onto the [April] spring break,” Chamberlain said. “But should we have a major snowstorm we might have to revisit that.”Chamberlain also said there would be a Freedom of Information Act workshop at some point in the near future for the region’s board members, new and experienced alike.Lloyd asked how Housatonic Valley Regional High School was faring under new Principal Matt Harnett. Chamberlain and Assistant Superintendent Diane Goncalves were both enthusiastic.“It’s been an incredible start,” said Chamberlain, adding that she had met with Harnett recently about continuing progress in meeting the goals set in response to a 2007 report from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges that was critical of the school.And Goncalves noted that Harnett is popular with the high school students. “He took a pie in the face” at a Homecoming bonfire.“The kids are all over him. Not that he doesn’t have standards. He does, and they know it.”After considerable discussion, the board authorized Bartram to convey to the All-Boards Committee (made up of the chairmen of all seven regional boards of education) its support of a new middle school athletics handbook, and its skepticism and reservations about establishing a new position of middle school athletic director.Lake said, “It’s a good idea, but is it a real need?” (echoing a remark by Wiegel at a previous meeting).And Wiegel added that she wasn’t convinced creating a position would improve middle school athletics.