School workshop addresses BOE subcommittees

By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

The Plainville Board of Education held a special meeting on Monday, Nov. 25, to discuss the roles and expectations of the board’s subcommittees, as well as the expectations of BOE liaisons to the five parent and teacher organizations.

Becky Tyrrell, BOE chairwoman, explained that the subcommittee structure “is done by the board, so that it helps us do our work.” Since 2001, Plainville has had a policy and a facilities subcommittee, and in 2013 a finance subcommittee was added.

Vice chairwoman Crystal St. Lawrence compiled a list of subcommittees and descriptions from other Connecticut school communities to use as a template for the discussion. These included a budget and finance subcommittee, an outreach committee, a curriculum committee, a police committee, and a strategic planning committee.

After much discussion, it was decided that the board would have four subcommittees. One will be dedicated to the district curriculum with a focus on reviewing the goals for levels of study. A finance and facilities committee will be dedicated to reviewing the budget, as well as budgeting facilities work such as the upcoming work needed at the Middle School of Plainville. The policy subcommittee will remain, and an outreach subcommittee will be added as a way to “be more proactive” in the community regarding things such as the budget process.

Commissioners agreed that all BOE decisions should come in front of the full board, but each subcommittee would be able to make recommendations regarding the work specific to each subcommittee.

One item listed on the board’s agenda each month is the report of the turf committee, which has not met since the completion and subsequent repairs made to the turf fields. It was then suggested that Plainville Community Schools director of business and operations Sam Adlerstein deliver two semi-annual reports regarding the status of the field—as well as the funds used to support the maintenance of the turf fields.

Also listed on the agenda is the “advocacy update,” which the commissioners decided to remove from the agenda, as some of that work could be combined with the work done by the outreach subcommittee.

The policy subcommittee will be manned by St. Lawrence, Foster White, and Deborah Hardy. The curriculum subcommittee will consist of Kathleen Wells and Rebecca Martinez, while Nicole Palmieri, St. Lawrence and White will make up the outreach subcommittee. White suggested that district outreach coordinator Lynn Davis also be involved in that subcommittee’s work. The finance and facilities subcommittee will be manned by White, Wells, and Palmieri.

Currently, Martinez serves as the liaison to the Louis Toffolon Elementary School parent teacher organization (PTO). White is the liaison of the Plainville High School Parent Advisory Council (PAC). Wells is the liaison to the Linden Street School PTO. St. Lawrence (and possibly Brent Davenport) would serve as the liaison to the Middle School of Plainville Parent Teacher Club, and Palmieri serves as the liaison to the Frank T. Wheeler Elementary School PTO.

BOE commissioners Davenport and Laurie Peterson were unable to attend this meeting, but will be able to select at least one of the subcommittees on which to serve. White and Tyrrell emphasized that no more than three to four board members should be on any given subcommittee, in order to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.

The full board will vote to accept or decline these changes during the regularly scheduled meeting of the Plainville BOE on Monday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. in Plainville High School cafeteria. At that time, there will be further discussion on the responsibilities of the board in coherence with the State of Connecticut Board of Education, to which all town BOE’s must answer.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@PlainvilleObserver.com.