BOE Meeting – Feb 3, 2022

SSCSD Board of Education Meeting Notes (SEEN)
February 3, 2022
Notes by Marie McCabe
View the meeting. Read the meeting agenda.

Board Members in attendance: Anjeanette Emeka, John Brueggemann, Amanda Ellithorpe, Tony Krackeler, Dean Kolligan, Natalya Lakhtakia, Erika Borman

Board Members absent: Connie Woytowich, John Ellis

Public Comments

  1. Charley Samuels: Offers praise to the school district for holding vaccine clinics, maintaining mask mandates, and keeping children safe. Expresses gratitude for teachers and staff and encourages district and community to trust CDC, public health experts, etc. 
  2. Carmela Frias: Questions vaccine mandates, what rate of transmission will be acceptable to remove mask mandates. Expresses upset about mask mandates.
  3. Michelle King: Describes frustration on the part of students and teachers with masks. Comments that vaccines and masks are not helping and are making children miserable, dividing children, not uniting them
  4. Rebecca Lynch: Expressing appreciation and support for teachers, staff 
  5. Peggy Clancy: Disturbed by mask mandate and district’s decision to maintain mandate after 1/24 court decision
  6. Gavin Clancy (student): Comments on the difficulty of wearing masks and how kids dislike masks. Mentions that he cannot see friends’ faces when he tells a joke and that he got COVID despite wearing a mask. 
  7. Mark Crockett: Expresses gratitude to Dr. Patton for signing Pathway to Normalcy letter, described masks as detrimental and not helpful, and requested more timely communication (specifically regarding the court decision on mask mandates)

Board Committee Reports

  1. Property: Asbestos abatement at HS and Greenfield to occur during February break
  2. Finance Committee 
    1. Top grades on fiscal stress monitoring report card
    2. (Point 2)
    3. (Point 3)
    4. Facilities bond proposition: Makes financial sense to buy (vs rent) snow equipment
    5. Bond refunding will allow for net savings

Superintendent Comments

  • Starting to see reduction in COVID rates and increase in students in school
  • Asking for clear plan from state that helps to unify communities
  • Spoke to the timing of the message regarding the court decision on the mask mandate
  • Blue Streak Hall of Fame ceremony upcoming (2/8)

State of IT

Presenters: David L’Hommedieu, Lucas Manny, Ryan Lucas 

  • EdLaw2D
  • PII quiz
  • Contracts (Bill of Rights) with software vendors to ensure privacy
  • Steps
    • Identify risks using asset management software to keep track of all hard and software, establish cyber security roles and responsibilities
    • Protect: Implement layered controls to ensure privacy and protection
    • Detect: Develop and implement appropriate activities to detect cybersecurity event
    • Respond: Steps to be taken after a cybersecurity event
    • Recover: Rapidly restore to baseline 
  • Example of phishing email

Consent Agenda: Unanimously approved

Public Comments

  1. Erin Leary: Presents information on 33 school districts throughout the state that did not require masks for one day following the Nassau Court decision; COVID rates increased or plateaued compared to districts that maintained mask mandates and saw falling rates. Acknowledges that she is not a statistician.  
  2. Michelle King: High school changed to rotating 4-day schedule; parents and students got notice of just one week. This was disruptive given that it happened in the middle of the year and has an effect on transportation and work schedules
  3. Carmela Frias: reading comment from Andrea Penarama who shares that her medically compromised son has not been able to learn/participate given mask mandates and that her other son has not yet been to elementary school in person (now in 1st grade)
  4. Sharon Dominguez: Asking if someone could confirm what time the appeal was made to stay the mask mandate.

Agenda Planning

Natalya Lakhtakia puts forth a resolution in strong support of educators (crafted by herself, John Brueggemann, and Tony Krackeler) that BOE recognizes training, expertise of educators, affirms the hard work that teachers do; condemns behavior of any and all that express views in uncivil manner with personalized attacks; 

Natalya Lakhtakia moves to discuss and adopt the resolution at the next BOE meeting 

The Board unanimously agrees to add this to the agenda for the next meeting

Amanda Ellithorpe expresses interest in discussing procedures around executive sessions, specifically tightening up and putting parameters on the timing of these. Anjeanette Emeka offers to present possible parameters to the board for discussion 

Amanda Ellithorpe asks when the board will hear from the district safety committee and indicates that she is looking for an update on safety and SRO in the high school specifically. Anjie Emeka responds that the district safety committee gave their annual presentation to the board before October 1 (as is required). Parents of high school students are encouraged to speak with the high school directly if they have any concerns. Amanda is advised that she can reach out to Mike Patton for more information, but that it would not be proper to speak to the high school in her role as a board trustee.

Board Member Comments

Natalya Lakhtakia: Thank you to teachers, staff, substitutes, and administration; recognition of them as not just educators, also humans

Erika Borman: Expresses appreciation to teachers, etc. and parents for coming tonight 

Amanda Ellithorpe: recognition of Middle School’s performance of Shrek

Dean Kolligan: Kudos to Blue Streak Hall of Famers, IT team for presentation, John Teder and team 

Dr. Patton: Apologizes for being on his phone during part of the meeting and shares that he was because he has just closed school for tomorrow due to the weather (2/4/22)

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