TOWN OF EAST HAVEN, CT
EAST HAVEN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
BOARD OF EDUCATION
REGULAR BOARD MEETING MINUTES
35 WHEELBARROW LANE, EAST HAVEN, CT 06513
TUESDAY, MAY 25, 2010
PRESENT: MR. PALLADINO, MR. DENUZZO, MRS. DEPALMA,
MR. HENNESSEY, MRS. MAISANO, MR. POMPANO,
MR. SCALESSE and MRS. VINEYARD
ARRIVED LATE: MRS. KLUTH (7:11 p.m.)
ALSO PRESENT: MR. ANTHONY SERIO, SUPERINTENDENT
MR. FRANK MEOLI, ASSISTANT SUPT.
MRS. ERICA FORTI, ASST. SUPT. OF
CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION
MRS. MARY ACQUARULO, DIRECTOR OF
MR. JOSEPH TRAVAGLINO, DIRECTOR OF
BLDGS. & GROUNDS
MR. JASON LATHROP, BUSINESS ADMIN.
1. CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Palladino called the regular Board of Education meeting
to order at 7:01 p.m. in the Boardroom at the High School. He
then asked that everyone stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Palladino asked for a motion for the approval of the revised
minutes for the Regular Board meeting of May 11, 2010.
Motion was made by Mr. Pompano and seconded by
Any discussion on the motion? There was none.
There were no objections or abstentions made to the motion.
Motion carries. The minutes were approved.
Mr. Palladino asked for a motion for the approval of the minutes
for the Special Board meeting of May 18, 2010.
Motion was made by Mrs. DePalma and seconded by
Any discussion on the motion? There was none.
There were no objections or abstentions made to the motion.
Motion carries. The minutes were approved.
• Chairperson, Nicholas Palladino
Mr. Palladino invited any Board member who wanted to attend
an FOI workshop at the Hagaman Memorial Library tomorrow
evening at 7 p.m. It was open to the public for free.
• Superintendent, Mr. Anthony Serio
Mr. Serio had no correspondence this evening.
4. SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS
• Athletic Oversight, Raymond Pompano, Chair
Mr. Pompano congratulated the girls’ softball team won the SCC
Oronoque title and the boy’s baseball team were the co-champs
of the SCC Oronoque title. The golf team won the SCC
Oronoque divisional as well.
• Buildings & Grounds, Raymond Pompano, Chair
Mr. Pompano reported that the School Building Committee will
give a report later on in the evening.
• Curriculum & Instruction/Negotiations, Tia DePalma, Chair
Mrs. DePalma reported there was a Curriculum Subcommittee
meeting held on May 18th. ACES attended and helped explain
the SRBI Initiatives for moving forward next year. It was on the
agenda this evening for approval.
Mrs. Forti thanked all the teachers and administrators for a
successful Data Showcase and for all of their hard work.
Mrs. DePalma believed there were some meetings scheduled and
they were expecting an update from Dolan & Luzzi which she
thought was tonight. Mr. Serio felt it was a week too early to do
that. Mr. Serio explained there were three meetings on Thursday
• Finance/Grants, Christine Maisano, Chair
Mrs. Maisano reported they had a meeting last Monday
evening. She was waiting for Mr. Palladino to get back to her
on another meeting she wanted scheduled for this Thursday.
Mr. Palladino stated the Town Finance Director was here
tonight and they could then decide if they needed a
subcommittee meeting or a Special Meeting if votes were
needed. A quick poll would be taken later.
Mr. Thompson was here this evening to clarify some questions
the Board had with the Town vs. Board of Education budget
and what the actual amount due was. Mr. Lathrop stated that
Mr. Thompson would report under the Superintendent’s Report.
• Food Service & PTA/PTO Advisory Committee, Kristen
Mrs. Vineyard stated they would be having a financial report
from Whitson’s this evening. Mrs. Vineyard was still
requesting a PTA/PTO meeting and Mr. Serio responded
they were getting closer to having that.
• Legal/Ronald DeNuzzo, Chair
Mr. DeNuzzo stated they had some legal bills to consider
• Policies and Bylaws, Charles Scalesse, Chair
Mr. Scalesse stated he plans to have a Policy & Bylaws
Subcommittee with Personnel as soon as they settle the
budget which was hopefully within a month.
• Personnel, Laura Kluth, Chair
Mrs. Kluth was not available at this point in the meeting.
• Student Representatives, Albert DeCaprio & Gabrielle Caruso
Albert DeCaprio updated the Board on some of the events at the
high school. These included the Senior Luncheon, Scholarship
Night, and the Prom was this Friday night. Last week they had a
SADD assembly for juniors and seniors. The speaker spoke
about his experience and there were students crying. It was very,
very effective and a wise way to warn people about prom night.
Albert spoke about the Gay Straight Alliance and how they had a
Day of Silence in order to show what things gay people are faced
with in school and in public places.
Mrs. Kluth arrived at 7:11 p.m.
Mr. Palladino commented he had lost a son himself, not to
alcohol, but he did know how it felt. Mr. Palladino did not know
how Mr. Church did this four or five times a week.
Mr. DeNuzzo stated that Mr. Church and his wife did speak
about losing their son to a drunk driver crash and Lauren
Iannucci from MADD was also there at the DUI presentation.
He asked that Mr. Serio acknowledge them in some way. He
would appreciate that.
Mrs. Maisano stated it was very moving…it was very sad. She
was glad he took the time to be there. She wanted to say she
attended the awards ceremony last week and the students did a
phenomenal job. They should all be extremely proud of the
administration and teachers here at the high school. It was an
amazing experience. She was proud not only to be a parent of a
child here but also a resident of East Haven.
Mrs. Maisano asked Albert to speak to how well he was doing
here. Albert stated it was honorable and it did mean a lot. It
helps in the end when you are rewarded for doing good work.
Mrs. Maisano stated that Albert was also Valedictorian of his
class and that Gabby had received awards as well. Gabby was
going to UNH and Albert was going to Duke.
Mrs. Vineyard stated that Albert had given a great speech at the
Middle School last week.
Mr. DeNuzzo wanted to thank Mr. Vaspasiano for organizing the
presentation and he should be commended for that. There were
200 kids in the SADD Program.
The Board thanked Albert for his report.
• Superintendent and Central Office Administration
Mr. Serio stated he wanted to thank Ron DeNuzzo and the people
responsible at the high school for setting up that program. There
had been two Honor Society Inductions at the high school and
middle school which were both nice ceremonies. The staff,
parents and administration should be proud. The academic
awards were phenomenal this year. They had the Data Fair on
the 18th and it was still on display the night of the awards which
was nice. Mr. Serio stated it was the time of year that made a lot
of what they do worthwhile.
Mr. Serio stated he wanted to inform the Board that since the
Retirement Incentive was passed at the Special Meeting, he
would like to have the opportunity to post for some
administrative positions so we can start to put leadership in the
schools with the reconfigurations. This way they did not have to
wait until the last minute to start seeing how they are going to fill
out those positions. He would meet with the Board prior to the
posting being up for 10 days. No interviews would be set up
prior to coming back to the Board. Applications would be
accepted electronically. Mr. Serio explained the application
Mr. Lathrop handed out the financial report and informed the
Board that Mr. Thompson would present first. Mr. Thompson
explained that Mr. Lathrop and Mr. Serio had requested he do an
analysis of the Board’s comp claims. He explained the numbers
to the Board and how the Board and Town have not been
forwarding the funds entirely and now they had a deficit in that
fund. The Town contributes 65% to that fund and the Board of
Education contributes 35%. The current loss for 2008-09 was
discussed and the Board’s contribution for next year could go
down if claims were not as high as last year. It could be
reassessed if there were not so many and then it would not be
quite as high. Mrs. Maisano asked Mr. Thompson how he came
up with 35%. Mr. Thompson believed that was what the Town
had always used based on the claims that are submitted to PMA.
Mr. Palladino argued that point and asked Mr. Thompson to
show them the actual numbers for what the Board of Ed’s
worker’s comp paid and what was paid out for the rest of the
Town because he was new at this. He could not imagine that
teachers, café workers, and a couple of custodians get hurt as
much as public works, police officers and firefighters.
Mr. Palladino wanted to see the numbers and if the Board should
be paying that 35%. He thought that it should probably be
around 15-20% and that was a stretch.
Mr. Lathrop had been working with PMA to get some historical
numbers. Another month of claims might show it had dropped
off or it has continued.
There was discussion on wanting to see a breakdown by
bargaining unit or if it was non-union to see where the claims
were coming from. Mr. Palladino wanted an explanation as to
why they pay into the fund and then they get one big claim or
settlement, and now they were asked to foot that bill too. He
would like that to be explained. Mrs. Maisano had asked on
May 5th for a historical layout and she had not received it.
Mr. Lathrop explained he had the historical forecasted out
and the actuals for the current year.
There was discussion on the monies that they had talked about in
the past regarding worker’s comp. Mr. Lathrop had stated the
Board had requested that they wanted to hear from
Mr. Thompson and showing the fund performance was how he
had done it.
Mrs. Maisano stated there was a huge difference of $451,000 vs.
$1.3 million. They did not have this kind of money. She
wondered instead of amortizing it over 5 years, and if they were
responsible for that portion of it, she would recommend to the
Town that they prolong that amortization. Mr. Thompson stated
there was no problem with that as long as they pay the current
portion each year of $991,000. Mrs. Maisano stated that was
$500,000 over what they were budgeting for last year.
Mr. Palladino asked how close was the Board of Ed to taking the
worker’s comp and health insurance and turning it over
completely to the Town so we don’t have to deal with this.
Mr. Thompson responded was he turning it over to them meaning
you want to self-insure yourselves or not. Mr. Palladino
explained why he thought it was ridiculous for the Town to give
the Board the money and then the Board give it back. The Town
should just pay for it. Mr. Serio explained this was the problem
he had run into over the past two years. He presents a budget to
not show these large increases and the Town Council and Board
of Finance appropriate the Board of Ed after that another $1.3
million, you give me $300,000 and then they up my ante about
$1.3. It does not work. They had spent weeks and weeks
eliminating teaching positions. They have retired 54 certified
employees in the last two years. How much more did they want
him to do? They had cost him a million last year and a $1.3 this
year. It just didn’t add up. People want things status quo and we
just can’t afford it anymore. They can’t just pluck a million
dollars out of our budget, there was not that much wiggle room in
Mr. Thompson wanted to establish that both the Town and Board
of Ed get in the habit of recognizing these liabilities and make
systematic payments every year. They could extend the
amortization period, but they don’t want it to get more negative.
Mr. DeNuzzo asked how many years he could extend it.
Mr. Thompson replied that he could consult with Mr. Lathrop
and the auditors as to what an appropriate period would be.
Mr. Serio asked if the shortage shows up in the overall debt of
the Town account. Mr. Thompson stated not in the general fund,
There was some discussion about PMA. Mr. Hennessey stated
he thought that they “stink”. Claims go up 100% in one year. He
said that we don’t have anything in this Town as far as preventive
such as seminars; no enforcement. He asked if private
investigators come out. He thought they should get rid of PMA.
Mr. Thompson stated they do have an investigator and they do
run seminars. Mr. DeNuzzo asked if the private investigator had
uncovered any fraud. Mr. Thompson stated that he did not know
offhand and would check with Sharon Costello. He was sure
they had. Mr. DeNuzzo stated he had not heard of one case.
Mr. Thompson stated he would have to ask her.
There was discussion on what had been budgeted and what they
now had to pay for worker’s comp. Mrs. Maisano questioned if
their bill would now be $991,000 in a well-month period with the
claims we have paid, correct. All along they were paying so
much less. Mr. Thompson informed them that both sides had
never paid enough when the prior finance director had been there.
Mrs. Maisano asked what the Town’s approach was on this.
Mr. Thompson responded $1.9 this new budget year. Last year
they only contributed $1.6. Mrs. Maisano stated he was asking
the Board to increase by $752,000. What upset her was they had
spent hours and hours working on the budget to save money and
they had saved $978,000 and now they had to subtract $500,000
from that. We have a huge, huge problem. She felt the Town
and Board should be equal in paying this. Mr. Thompson
stated that he and Mr. Lathrop would have to work on the
percentages. Mr. Lathrop stated as soon as he heard from
PMA he would bring it back to the Board.
Mr. Palladino asked what the cost was for administration for this
company and Mr. Lathrop replied it was $150,000. There were
two pieces to this. One was the training portion and the other
was claims administration. There were also legal and medical
expenses for evaluations. Mr. Palladino asked if it was $150,000
for the Board or for the Board and Town. The answer was both.
The Board of Ed paid 35% of the cost. Mr. Serio explained they
had fewer people on comp now than a year before. He felt they
were moving in the right direction.
Mr. Hennessey felt they should look into the training and
amortization and see if they could get a better number.
Mr. DeNuzzo asked what was so great about this company that
we could not do it for $150,000 a year. Mr. Hennessey asked if
they couldn’t train the person they had there already.
Mr. Thompson stated probably. There was discussion on how
North Haven paid just premiums for worker’s comp and if this
would be a feasible idea for East Haven and if it would cost less
in the long run. There were differing opinions. The insurance
company would not pick up the past liability. They would not
assume responsibility for that. Mr. Lathrop spoke about risk
managers and stated that both he and Mr. Thompson were the
Mr. Palladino asked Mr. Thompson if it would be cheaper for us
to go and pay a premium opposed to 35% of this big number.
What would be cheaper for the Board of Ed? Mr. Thompson
stated he could certainly investigate that for them. Mr. Lathrop
stated he had investigated this. He had contacted KIRMA. The
attractive part of insurance from worker’s comp was that in year
one you go by a pool rating and not an individual rating. It might
be cheaper for one year. If claims were a million dollars,
typically they cover up to a certain point, but not 100%. It could
be one-half million the first year and the next year you get
whacked. You also had to give a 6-month notice by Charter for
either party wanting to exit the insurance part of things.
Mr. Palladino thought they should talk to someone in North
Haven and see how it works for them.
Mr. Lathrop stated he was with Mr. Thompson on this; they
should right the medical fund. Mr. Lathrop explained at that time
both Tom and he discussed righting the worker’s comp fund.
Last year’s request was $968,000 with an additional $1 million
for self-insurance. There was $700,000 for worker’s comp. It
would be about $1.7 million over a 2-year period just to stop the
“bleeding”. Mrs. Maisano stated her question to Mr. Lathrop was
if last year was $968,000, how did he put this year at $451,000?
Mr. Thompson explained that the balance you did not pay, he had
that included in the last $3,024,000. Mr. Lathrop stated his
recommendation was not to hire back 20 teachers and pay the
worker’s comp of $1 million. The reason was that the long-term
stability of the Town will equal appropriations in the future. That
did not come true this year.
Mr. Thompson stated he would go over these percentages,
65% and 35%, and do an analysis and bring it back to them
again. He would increase the amortization period and that
would help. Mr. Hennessey stated he did not agree with that. “I
think we are crazy.” He thought they should manage the future
of these things by hiring non-smokers and offering gyms. They
need to start managing health insurance and worker’s comp. If
they didn’t start managing, pretty soon worker’s comp would be
more than 10% of their budget.
Mr. Pompano felt they needed to be more proactive and educate
their employees and do a better job policing it. They needed to
take all of these steps. They had been underfunding this for a
long time and they still needed to address that number.
Mr. Hennessey stated they all jump to the conclusion that that is
true. If it was 18%, they were clean. They were under the
assumption that that is true, that they are underfunded and
throwing more on us. It should not be three years, it should be
ten years. If they were not really underfunding it, they should not
be giving anymore money. Mrs. Maisano asked Mr. Thompson
how quickly he could get that percentage to them.
Mr. Thompson stated he would work on it first thing tomorrow.
Mr. DeNuzzo asked Mr. Thompson for a more realistic time than
the three years to pay back the $1.2 million. Mr. Thompson
stated they could not pay the $1.2 million over three years. They
needed to pay the current liabilities. There was $6 million in
worker’s comp debt for a total of $10 million debt in the fund
balance. Mrs. Maisano thought that a 10-year plan was not
unrealistic. Hopefully, if the claims went down that number goes
Mrs. Maisano asked where they were with the medical.
Mr. Lathrop responded that the medical gave us a lower number
than what we have in our budget. Our number combined
contribution from the Board and the grant fund are about
$200,000 more. The Board thanked Mr. Thompson for coming
to the meeting this evening.
Mr. Lathrop spoke about the paperwork he handed out earlier.
He stated that currently the Board was plus $55,000 and it was a
good place to be. He reported a positive number in the Food
Service report. Electric and heating was down. He recommended
to the Board that we move the expenses associated with the move
into this year’s 2009-10 budget.
Mrs. Maisano reiterated what Mr. Lathrop had stated about
paying for the move in this fiscal period before June 30th and she
stated she did not agree with that. The move certainly would not
be done until sometime in July so why incur or put yourself up
for liability of going over your budget. Mrs. Maisano asked what
the advantage was to paying it this year. Mr. Lathrop explained
that Meyer will not move them until they get a purchase order.
The move was beginning before July 1st and would be eligible to
be taken out of this year. Mrs. Maisano stated that it would not
be completed until after July 1st and she did not see the
advantage. Mr. Hennessey explained that they were running a
surplus and did not want to give that money back to the Town.
You take next year’s costs and move them into this year.
Mrs. Maisano stated if they had not saved $167,000, they would
be over. Mr. Lathrop explained that they would have a surplus
of about $100,000 as they approach the end of the year. It could
be up a little or down a little. Mrs. DePalma stated you do not
pay somebody before they do the work usually. Mr. Lathrop
believed their work would begin prior to the fiscal year.
Mrs. Maisano stated that based on the numbers they received in
the past, she did not think they could be confident that there
would be that surplus there to pay it. She had asked him
specifically when they were going to incur this expense and she
was told in July. Why were they in a rush to pay a vendor when
the job was not going to be complete? Mr. Hennessey explained
it would be dated June 30th but the check would not be cut prior
to June 30th. Mr. Lathrop explained that he was trying to give
the Board some flexibility and there were adequate reserves in
the utilities. He stated they had a positive variance and he was
pleased to report that to the Board. Mrs. Kluth stated she did not
want to pay them until the work was done.
• Comments from the Chairperson, Nicholas Palladino
Mr. Palladino wanted to thank everyone for their hard work and
hours. He spoke about the Academy Lottery that took place last
night and wanted to commend the secretaries and principals that
helped. Children pulled the numbers out and it was done 100%
Mr. DeNuzzo added that he too thought that Mrs. Johnson and
her staff did a phenomenal job. Mr. DeNuzzo spoke about how
there were 214 applicants and there were 101 selected with a
waiting list of 113. He had one of the two packets with him this
evening and he would turn it over to Janice Ball to file away.
6. COMMUNICATION FROM PUBLIC
Mr. Palladino asked if there was any communication from the
Pam CoFrancesco, 54 Green Street, wanted to thank Mr. Prato for
taking her on a tour of the Middle School and felt that they should
do something over the summer for the 5th grade parents. She felt
much more comfortable and thought other parents would too.
Mrs. CoFrancesco stated that Mr. Palladino had said there
would be some question and answer sessions regarding the
reconfiguration in order to keep the parents updated.
Mr. Palladino stated if it was necessary they would do that. He
thought most of the questions would revolve around the Middle
School, but Mrs. CoFrancesco stated she had other questions about
Ferrara. Mr. Palladino stated they would definitely set something
Any further communications? There were none.
7. SPECIAL RECOGNITIONS/PRESENTATIONS
7.1 School Building Committee Update – Stan Seliga
Mr. Seliga reported that everything was still on course for the
solar panels. They were in the finalization for the structural and
electrical design plans for all of them. The physical installation
or construction was on target for the end of the school year.
Construction would continue throughout the summer months
and the wrap-up date was scheduled for late September. He
would update them on Tuttle School as soon as they hear
anything. Mr. Lathrop stated he had heard from the State
Department of Education regarding the Tuttle School Project
and they would be receiving a letter for that after the Memorial
Mr. DeNuzzo asked if they had received the 68% percent
reimbursement from the State for that. Mr. Seliga responded
when the finalization and punch list were complete and the
projects were signed off. Mr. DeNuzzo stated they had
received $1.3 million so far. What was the final figure they
were going to be reimbursed for from the State? Mr. Lathrop
responded $3.2 million. They needed the State Bonding
Commission before it was approved. The approval was coming
out of the legislature. They would get through the bonding by
July 1st. Mr. Lathrop stated it was his goal over the next two or
three weeks to process the request for payment to get the couple
of million dollars. Mr. Seliga stated it was usually the end of
June. Mr. Lathrop explained they needed to get the documents
to them by June 5th and receive payment by July 10th.
Mr. DeNuzzo asked if $3.2 million was the final figure and
Mr. Lathrop responded yes. Mrs. DePalma asked if they did
not get that in, it won’t change? Mr. Lathrop stated it would
put it off another month. This helps Tom from a cash flow
standpoint. Mr. DeNuzzo asked where they were. Mr. Seliga
stated that they were in the finalization plans for structural and
electrical for the panels in all of the schools. It would be
probably four (4) weeks bringing them to June 18th
approximately. Momauguin was the first school targeted out of
Momauguin, Overbrook, Deer Run and the Middle School.
Mr. DeNuzzo asked if they had started the roof on Tuttle and
Mr. Seliga stated not yet, the paperwork was submitted to the
State and they were awaiting approval.
7.2 NEASC Presentation – High School Staff
Mrs. Reale thanked Mr. DeNuzzo for doing the Drunk Driving
presentation. It was greatly appreciated. Mr. DeNuzzo thought
that the kids got it. Mrs. Reale replied that they won’t forget
Mrs. Reale informed everyone that NEASC was coming up in
the fall of 2011. Tonight the presentation would be given by
Jackie Albis and Lisa Veleas. They were doing a wonderful
job. They would be giving an overview of what NEASC was
all about. Any questions, please feel free to ask. Any materials
regarding the presentation, just give us a call and we will send
them to you.
Ms. Albis and Ms. Veleas explained the accreditation process
and the seven (7) standards for the accreditation. They were
required to do follow-up reports at two and five years on
progress they had made. We are not judged on how much
progress we have made since 2001, rather we are judged on the
level we are getting to for the 2011 standards. A lack of
accreditation has the potential to discourage individuals from
pursuing residency in East Haven. They discussed the timelines
involved, the committees that were created, and the surveys that
were administered. The data was collected and analyzed by the
committees. The curriculum revisions in all departments were
finalized. They spoke about the NEASC visit in 2011 and the
final report arrived in 2012. The approximate expense for the
visit was $25,000. The Board asked questions during the
presentation and discussion on each ensued. The Board thanked
both for their presentation.
8. OLD BUSINESS
8.1 Any questions or comments on the Board Briefs (5-11-10)
(5-3-10 & 5-5-10)
Were there any questions or comments?
Mrs. Maisano stated there were a number of things on the
Board Briefs but for the sake of time she would not go through
all of them. She did want to request though that they receive
things on a timelier basis. If they receive them tonight, they
don’t have time to absorb it all. She would like to receive
the information within a couple of days. Mr. Lathrop
apologized for the delays.
9. NEW BUSINESS
9.1 Ratification of Appointments
• Family Resource Center Teachers’ Aides (2 part-time)
Mr. Serio requested the Board ratify the two part-time
appointments for the Family Resource Center which were
Alicia Ranfone and Nancy Hendrick.
Motion was made by Mrs. Vineyard and seconded by
Any questions on the motion?
Mrs. Kluth asked if these were replacements and Mr. Serio
There were no abstentions or objections to the motion.
9.2 Request for Approval of the Payment of Invoices:
• Dated May 26, 2010 for Fiscal Year 2009-10 in the
Amount of $402,688.35
Mr. Serio requested the Board approve the payment of
invoices dated May 26, 2010 for Fiscal Year 2009-10 in the
amount of $402,688.35 (Correct amount = $412,688.35).
Motion was made by Mr. Pompano and seconded by
Any discussion or questions on the invoices?
Mrs. Maisano asked the following questions and Mr. Lathrop
responded. Mrs. Maisano had sent questions to Mr. Lathrop prior
to the meeting.
Q Arpino Plumbing?
A When we approve them we cut the check.
Q Where are we with open PO’s?
A The balance stands at $3.2 million with the vast majority for
transportation, medical self-insurance and tuitions.
Q Equipment – Line Item 2355 – Were these the only two
purchase orders open?
A Purchase Order 1 is Goody’s and the other is invoices yet to
be paid. There is $23,000 and approximately $5,000 is open
for things that we have not accounted for or things that might
happen. The only other major ones would be for substitutes
and legal expenses.
Q Athletics. Were there any transfers into that account?
A No, I am working on a draft for a transfer. He would like at
their next finance subcommittee meeting to go over
transfers for the next Board meeting.
Q Durant Nichols. It was a concern that the attorney sat here for
5½ hours and they paid her $1,200. Mrs. DePalma
remembered suggesting they move these items up on the
agenda. Mrs. Maisano thought that preparation and travel to
and from the Board meeting was outrageous. The bill was for
$11,000 – almost $12,000. Where are we on legal?
A I think we may go over once we get our May and June bills.
Mr. Serio to check into this bill with Don Houston to see
what could be done.
Mrs. Maisano asked that they table this bill to see if they
could get it down a little bit with travel, etc. Mr. Lathrop
stated he thought they had already reached out to Durant
Nichols to discuss the nature of their bill today.
Q Shipman & Goodwin – An over-expenditure occurred.
A I think he is talking about a prior year. This was discussed
with Attorney Dolan – he could not remember exactly what
this conversation was.
Q I would like the answer on the over-expenditure. She would
like to table this until we find out the answer. Mr. Serio
thought it might be for a response to one of the memos for
Town Hall. Mr. Lathrop stated it had to do with shorting the
medical insurance fund and balance what we would return to
the Town in an effort to keep our budget below a certain
number. Mr. Serio stated the memo was sent by the Mayor
wanting us to pay them back $1 million. Mr. Lathrop
explained that they wanted to know if there was any specific
line item in the Town Charter saying you have to pay the
exact amount or if there was a penalty clause. The answer
was no based upon the review of the Charter. Past precedent
showed it had been shorted in the past both overpaid and
underpaid across a 5-year history. You can’t hold us
accountable for one year and not prior years. It would not
hold water. They advised the administration there was an
appropriate way to address this legally. When the Board is
approaching a deficit, they need to notify the Town in writing;
otherwise, technically, the Board of Education is on the hook
if it did not take diligence in trying to remedy the situation.
There was further discussion and Mr. Serio will check to
see if he had the correspondence regarding this.
Q Whitsons – We shorted them $90,000.
A Mr. Lathrop stated they could go over this when they do
the Whitson’s report.
Q Did you give them anymore of that $90,000?
A We should.
Q How much?
A The goal is to get to 30 days with them.
Q Wouldn’t that nice number of $55,000, if they gave the
$90,000 to Whitson’s, would be a negative?
There was further discussion on this issue and payments to
Whitsons and receiving payments from the State was also
discussed. Mr. Hennessey was opposed to all of this stuff.
You should never hold 60 days out with a vendor. He wanted
to pass a Board policy that it was Net 30. Mr. Serio explained
about how the Town sends us money and if we are told to
slow down or wait, we slow down or wait. They can’t send
the checks until they know the bank has the money in the
The two attorney bills will be tabled. The amount of the
bills should have been $412,688.35.
Mrs. Maisano asked where they were with the bill they had
tabled for Kostin & Ruffkess in the amount of $8,000. They
were going to find out if they could split it half and half with
the Town. Mr. Lathrop read the email he had and after
reviewing the minutes, the bill went out with the bills before.
The bill had already been sent out the prior week. It doesn’t
mean they couldn’t get a split out of it. Mr. Palladino
suggested they get him to give it back to us. Ask the Town
Mr. Serio stated there was another issue he was concerned
with and that was custodial overtime that the Town owes us.
Mr. Lathrop stated he did not bring that issue up with
Mr. Thompson. Mrs. Maisano asked what this was for. It
was when the Town uses our facility such as for Biddy
Basketball or when the Mayor had the budget presentation.
They incur overtime expenses from a vendor or payroll
standpoint. These things go into the custodial overtime
account. There was a memo last year requesting overtime
expenses and they had never been reimbursed for those
expenses this year.
Mrs. Maisano remembered she had asked him to table the
Kostin & Ruffkess bill along with the Register bill.
Mr. Lathrop stated if they went back to the minutes, it had
been paid for prior to that. It could be his oversight, and if it
was, he apologizes. There was discussion on what this bill
was for. Mr. Lathrop explained it was for the auditor to be the
referee between the Board and the Town. The Town was at
one amount and the Board had a different amount.
Mrs. Maisano stated then it made it more of a point to split the
bill with the Town. Mr. Serio stated they lost that $250,000.
Mr. Lathrop stated they whacked us. So they were over-
expended last year. Mr. Serio stated that that was the $8,000
expense was for.
Mr. Palladino stated they would table the two attorney
bills until they received a better explanation and more
negotiation on that. The amount for the bills was also
amended to $412,688.35.
Any further discussion on the motion? There was none.
There were no abstentions or objections to the motion.
At this point there was a request for a two-minute recess.
Reconvened the meeting at 9:40 p.m.
9.3 Financial Report from Whitson’s
Mr. John Prunier and Mrs. Deb Spaziani talked about the state
of finances on Whitson’s side. There were $24,000 in program
over-expenditures; sales were very positive; and they had a 3%
increase over last year. The biggest change this year has been a
change in the amount of monies coming in from the
reimbursements or federal government monies and students
who actually have the ability to pay for lunches. There were a
good number of people who were out of work. Food costs were
level for next year and payroll was on par with what was in the
plan for the budget. Overall they felt very positive even with
the shift of the buildings. It would take some time for them to
adjust to the new grade levels and schools.
Mr. Lathrop spoke about the professional services line and the
revenues and expenses. There was discussion on the POS
system, free and reduced meals, and the reimbursable rates.
Mr. Lathrop spoke about Whitson’s renewal being reviewed at
the first meeting in June and then brought back for their
approval at the second meeting in June.
Mr. DeNuzzo asked Mr. Lathrop the following questions:
Q I do not see Whitson’s or our town employees, which
were around 30 people, on the spreadsheet a couple of
A Our food service employees are not on that list. They are
Fund 1 and Fund 2. He could provide those details to
Q How are their salaries paid? That money is generated
A Federal money received and cash reimbursed to us.
It is no cost to us. The only cost is the benefit costs
associated in providing benefits to nine (9) employees.
Q What would that be?
A It would be $100,000.
Q Where does that come out of?
A Out of the medical self-insurance.
Q That’s almost $100,000. (Mrs. Maisano stated nine (9)
employees cost $100,000.)
Q Did he also pay a tax on their salaries?
A From a benefits standpoint, that’s reflected. For most
employees that was Medicare. That was 2% of half a
million dollars – about $10,000. This was properly
reflected in the payroll.
Q What about worker’s comp?
A That is not in here.
Q Where is that paid out of?
A The General Fund. If we were to allocate, $100,000
would be the place to start.
Q Above and beyond, what is being allocated to pay our
employees out of the food service account which does
not cost us anything, $200,000 plus in the hole for our
Q How many employees?
A Thirty-three (33).
Mrs. Maisano wanted to know how 33 employees cost them
$200,000 and nine (9) employees cost $100,000. Mr. Lathrop
responded that some employees are single, some dual. What
was the average? Mr. Lathrop stated nine (9) employees
receive medical insurance from the Board of Ed and it
fluctuates during the year. If you take just those employees and
total the Board’s share of the cost is approximately $90,702 and
the employee’s cost is $7,400. Food Service, Security and
Custodians were the biggest costs and the biggest risk.
Mrs. Maisano stated he was showing a forecast at the end of
June 2010 with a positive balance of $52,000. Correct?
Mr. Lathrop responded correct. There was some discussion
about the contract and also on the food service fund balance.
Mr. Serio suggested from now on maybe they should have a
special finance subcommittee once a month because they were
only on 9.3 and it was all they had talked about all night. They
would never get to 9.8. Mrs. Maisano stated if this information
had been provided to us a week ago. They had been asking
week after week for Whitson’s, Little Jackets, and the Rentals
and they don’t get them. You can’t shove it down our throat
and expect to not talk about it. She realizes it is 10:00 p.m. and
we are all tired. If they get this report and then don’t look at it
again, they could be in the hold at the end of June. Mr. Serio
stated they needed to rethink how we do this. Mrs. DePalma
stated when they ask for the materials they would like to have
them. They were not getting them. Mrs. Maisano stated if the
information was provided to them on a monthly basis, we
would not be in this position right now.
Mr. Lathrop informed the Board that the goal for his
department was to have the month close by the 15th of the
month. Mrs. Maisano stated he had 8 people working in the
Finance Department. She did not understand what was going on
down there. Mr. Lathrop said he would love to say they were
perfect but they were not there yet. Mrs. Maisano thought that
the numbers did not add up and they had not received a report
from Whitson’s since November. Mrs. Maisano asked what the
ending number was. Mr. Lathrop responded they would finish
the year with a result of $24,142 profit standpoint. Mr. Lathrop
offered to pay Whitson’s the $60,000 right now. There was
discussion on the expenses and the money that would come in
from the State. Whitson’s provides a float for them because
they do not see that money from the State until September. The
Food Service was the most complicated of all of the grants.
Mr. Palladino stated the problem was it takes so long for the
State to get us the money. There was a 90-day delay or
Mr. DeNuzzo asked Mr. Prunier and Ms. Spaziani to give them
a report on the POS system. Mr. Prunier reported they had
successfully implemented the software and terminals into the
eight East Haven Schools. He wanted to thank all of the IT
people. They had done great work. He also wanted to thank
the NutriKids people. There had been some fear with the touch
screens and computers. There would be accountability for each
and every child on how much they eat and how much they put
on account. The second phase gets them acclimated online with
the prepay system that gives parents the ability to pay their
There was discussion on training of employees and retraining of
employees. Mr. DeNuzzo asked how many districts Whitson’s
serviced. They serviced 11 districts and all had POS systems
but one. The free and reduced meal count would be consistent.
There was some concern regarding kids remembering their PIN
numbers or someone getting their number. At the high school
they had to look up 20 kid’s numbers but at the elementary and
Middle School they were on point. Mr. Prunier stated it was a
very good move for us doing it now. Mrs. Kluth asked about
information being put on the website and that would be done
sometime in August.
9.4 Approval of the District SRBI Strategic Plan
Mrs. Forti stated they had presented last week during the
Curriculum Subcommittee meeting the District SRBI Plan. She
asked if there were any additional questions or comments
before she asked for their approval on it. Mrs. Kluth stated they
were ready. Mrs. Forti explained that the principals were here
tonight to talk about the targeted instructional block in a very
positive manner about communicating it to their staff and
getting it up and running. It had gotten late so the principals had
gone home. The Board asked a few questions and Mrs. Forti
gave them the requested information.
Motion was made Mrs. DePalma and seconded by
Any discussion on the motion? There was none.
There were no abstentions or objections to the motion. Motion
9.5 Approval of the EHHS New Course Curriculum
Mrs. Forti was asking for final approval of the EHHS new
course curriculum which called for more elective courses.
Motion was made by Mrs. Kluth and seconded by
Any discussion on the motion?
Mr. Pompano said that Mrs. Kluth raised a good point about
dropping of courses. With all of the retirements going on, we
need to be real proactive and retain some of those courses that
we offer. It was important in a district like ours. Some of them
are shortage areas.
Mr. Scalesse asked if they were strictly electives. Mrs. Forti
responded yes, in the core content areas. These courses had
really engaging titles and she felt there would be no problem
with them. Some of the older courses have been redesigned
into these new courses. This was the first time officially that
they have designed new course curriculums. The district
curriculum committee and she filtered through teachers and
then brought them to Board level for approval. It was a great
accomplishment for her and this district at this point.
There were no objections or abstentions to the motion. Motion
9.7 Discussion and Possible Approval of Upgrade to
Infrastructure @ JMMS
Mrs. Forti asked that they move this item up on the agenda
because this folded into what they had been talking about.
They were looking to have a discussion and possible approval
this evening. With all of the new systems being implemented at
the Middle School, they needed to do an upgrade. Mr. Randel
Osborne gave an in-depth report on what was needed at the
Middle School over the next 12 months. He explained what
had taken place with the technology in East Haven over the last
12 years. They were adding systems such as Power School,
NutriKids, and Moodle. He anticipated they would have a
problem with the amount of data and that users would become
frustrated. He was suggesting the Optiman Fiber Network for
the next 12 months. This system was about 50 times more
robust than their current DSL servers. The cost was about
$38,000 for 12 months. The price would go down per year with
continued commitment. This could also be incorporated into
the Universal Service reimbursement.
There was discussion on what schools this would encompass
and Mr. Scalesse stated they had committed to this
reconfiguration and they needed to commit all of the way.
Mr. Pompano stated that STEM was a secondary-level
program. He didn’t know how they couldn’t do it. This kind of
supports everything that we are doing here. Mr. Serio stated
they did receive that $140,000 grant to make that work
properly. This is something you can use it as an in-kind type of
commitment by the district. It was looked well upon by the
people who issue the grants.
Mr. Palladino asked how soon they had to purchase this and
Mr. Osborne responded he would like to have it running and
tested and working with all of these systems on that page well
before we begin training in August. Mrs. DePalma asked if this
would include Power School training too. Mrs. Forti stated it
was inclusive of Power School too. The reimbursement of 50%
did not happen this year. Mrs. Forti explained that they were
awarded the $140,000 grant which could be used for Smart
Boards, laptops and professional development for blended on-
line training with Moodle.
Mrs. Kluth asked what happens in 12 months if you don’t have
a plan. Mr. Osborne stated he will have a plan and he will
present it to them. Mr. Palladino asked what kind of numbers
he was talking about when he comes up with his final solution.
Mr. Osborne stated in February it would be $116,000 per year
with 50% reimbursement.
There was discussion on what was wired and what was
Mrs. Kluth asked what would happen if they did not get this
grant next year. Mrs. Forti stated once the program was
established, they keep it and sustain it on their own and their
would probably be other opportunities for grants coming down.
This was a federal grant.
Mrs. Forti commended Randel on how diligent he has been in
attending so many presentations to make sure it is right for us,
right for our programs, and right for our infrastructure. He was
the mastermind behind all of this technology.
Motion was made by Mrs. Maisano and seconded by
Any further discussion? There was none.
There were no objections or abstentions to the motion. Motion
9.6 Approval of Auditor’s Kostin & Ruffkess Proposal for
Mr. Serio spoke about asking for more definitive numbers
regarding this because the Board feels like they are signing a
blank check without knowing what the result will be. The
auditors were talking about starting the second week in June.
Mr. Lathrop explained that they normally come in June and
then in July for additional testing and then in October.
Mr. Serio explained they could have him come in and we can
keep monitoring his hours so we don’t over-expend. He wanted
to know what the Board’s desires were. They were available to
meet with him and Mr. Lathrop and hopefully put some closure
by the end of the year with the Board. Mr. Serio stated he
would like to sign it but did not want to do it without the
Mr. Palladino asked if the Board should put a cap on it.
Mr. Serio stated he would. Mr. Serio asked Mr. Lathrop what
amount he would cap it at. Mr. Lathrop responded $8,500.
There was discussion regarding the amount of the cap.
Mr. Palladino asked for a motion to approve the proposal for
services with a cap of $8,500.
Motion was made by Mr. Pompano and seconded by
Any further discussion?
Mrs. DePalma stated she would like to defer to our finance
person over here. Mrs. Maisano asked what they were basing
the $8,500 on. Mr. Lathrop responded it was a number under
$10,000 and he did not who they would assign to it. Mr. Serio
initiated it and finance guys don’t get involved because we are
the ones being audited. Mrs. Maisano stated you know what
the discrepancies are. Mr. Lathrop responded he welcomed his
input on the federal and state grants. Mrs. Maisano asked how
much work $8,500 would give them. Mr. Lathrop stated it
would give one week of work by one of his employees.
Mrs. Maisano wasn’t disagreeing with this but did not know if
$8,500 is enough or is it too much. She thought they should
allocate $5,000 and if they needed to go over that amount, he
could come back to the Board.
Mr. Palladino stated they had a motion on the table for $8,500
and it was seconded. There was discussion on amending the
Motion to amend the original motion to read $5,000 was
Made by Mrs. DePalma and seconded by Mrs. Kluth.
Mr. Palladino asked for a roll call vote. Mr. Travaglino called
for a point of order. An amendment needed the majority, not
Mr. DeNuzzo - No
Mrs. DePalma - Yes
Mr. Hennessey - Yes
Mrs. Kluth - Yes
Mrs. Maisano - Yes
Mr. Pompano - No
Mr. Scalesse - No
Mrs. Vineyard - No
Mr. Palladino - No
Vote was four (4) in favor with five (5) opposed. Motion fails.
Mr. Palladino asked for a roll call vote for the original motion
of $8,500. Mr. Pompano had made the motion and it was
seconded by Mr. Scalesse.
Mr. DeNuzzo - Yes
Mrs. DePalma - No
Mr. Hennessey - Yes
Mrs. Kluth - No
Mrs. Maisano - No
Mr. Pompano - Yes
Mr. Scalesse - Yes
Mrs. Vineyard - Yes
Vote was five (5) in favor with three (3) opposed. Motion
9.8 Update on Reconfiguration Plan
Mr. Meoli stated in deference to the hour, he did not want to
shortchange the work that was done here on Monday. He
explained how the administrators, principals and union
members worked together to work on the reconfiguration of the
schools. He spoke about how Central Office had met with
those people who had been displaced. Right now there might
be one person who technically for the moment may be laid off.
Perhaps one of our new administrators will come from the
teaching ranks. Classrooms for each school were laid out by
Mr. Serio explained how he and Mrs. Forti had met with the
displaced teachers. We could have as many as three vs. one,
and we may have a couple of specialists once we finalize all of
the teaching positions. They had conversations with Durham
Bus Company. Mr. Lathrop was working with the numbers of
where students will be going and how the bus routes are
configured. Teaching assignments were due out June 1st and
they hoped to have the students’ assignments on their report
cards as they would normally get. They needed to configure
starting times through the bus company. Mr. Serio commended
everyone on how well this worked out. They could not have
done this without all of those people’s expertise.
Mr. Pompano asked if they had maintained the class sizes.
Mr. Serio responded yes. Mr. Pompano asked if they saw any
issues with the buildings. There was discussion on space and
having too many bodies in any one particular building. They
were working with the bus company on this. They wanted to
make sure the classes were functional and safe.
Mrs. DePalma was a little concerned that the bus company was
dictating where we put the kids. Mr. Serio explained that they
know where the kids live and what schools the kids are going
to. Mrs. DePalma asked if they were looking at Overbrook as a
different configuration other than K-2. Mrs. Forti responded
yes, they were. There was discussion on the grade
configurations at the schools. Mrs. DePalma asked where the
Little Jackets were because she did not see them anywhere.
Discussion ensued regarding where the Little Jackets may go.
Mrs. Kluth felt they should stay at Overbrook because she did
not want to see these kids bused.
Mrs. Kluth asked if they could see where the teachers were
going. Mr. Serio stated they could see it once it was finalized.
Mr. Moil stated that they were within a day of it being 100%.
He felt by the next meeting after they had done the
assignments, they could bring those boards up so they could see
Mrs. Maisano asked who handled transportation and it was
stated that Jason Lathrop was that person. Mrs. Maisano asked
why. Mr. Lathrop stated it was part of his job description.
Mr. Hennessey asked out of the 28 teachers that took the
retirement incentive, how many teaching positions would we be
losing for good. Mr. Meoli stated they had given them that
sheet last week with the 16.5 positions gone. Those are gone
and there would probably be more. Mr. Hennessey asked what
number he was thinking. Mr. Meoli responded it may be as
many as 20. Mr. Serio explained they would be rehiring more
because they need to hire at the high school and middle school
in the specialty areas.
Mrs. DePalma stated they had never finished going over the
budget. They had been looking at final decisions regarding
positions and whether there would be anymore cuts.
There was discussion regarding when the next meeting would
take place and whether it would be a subcommittee meeting or
a special meeting. Mrs. DePalma thought they may have to put
reading consultants back in the classrooms. They had to make
some big cuts.
Mrs. Kluth stated they had talked about a Personnel
Subcommittee meeting to discuss worker’s comp, food service
and also the budget. Mrs. Maisano stated what they had left to
do were cuts in other areas. They had their number from Tom
Mr. Serio asked Mr. Lathrop if he was prepared to have a
meeting for Thursday. Mr. Lathrop explained that the
transportation information was soaking up almost all of his
time. Mrs. DePalma stated with all due respect, there were two
assistant superintendents and a superintendent, and they were
asking for things in a timely fashion and it was not happening
since the beginning of our term here. Mrs. DePalma stated they
needed to see the job description. She stated that everybody is
working very hard. We are not saying you are not; I believe that
There was discussion on what would be placed on the agenda.
Mr. Hennessey stated they need an update on Early Retirement
and the Worker’s Comp number.
The Special Meeting will be held next Tuesday, June 1st.
Mrs. Kluth wanted to add Personnel issues. Mr. Serio stated
that perhaps the teaching assignment date could be waived for
an extension because of extreme circumstances. Mrs. Vineyard
could not make the meeting on Tuesday.
10. INFORMATION ITEMS
Mr. Palladino asked if there were any questions on the informational
items. There were none.
• Karen Goodale – Principal @ Momauguin
10.1.2 School Newsletters
10.1.3 Athletic Checkbook – Regular Acct. – April 2010
10.1.4 Invitation to EH Academy National Junior Honor
10.1.5 Invitation to EH Academy 8th Grade Promotion
11. EXECUTIVE SESSION – None.
12. ESTABLISHMENT OF NEXT REGULAR MEETING
THE NEXT REGULARLY SCHEDULED MEETING OF THE
BOARD OF EDUCATION – JUNE 8, 2010 – EAST
HAVEN HIGH SCHOOL, 35 WHEELBARROW LANE, EAST
HAVEN, CT 06513 at 7:00 p.m.
13. ADJOURNMENT OF REGULAR MEETING
Motion to adjourn was made by Mrs. DePalma and seconded by
There was no discussion on the motion, no objections, and no
abstentions. Motion carries. Meeting adjourned at 11:25 p.m.
MR. NICHOLAS PALLADINO, CHAIRMAN
EAST HAVEN BOARD OF EDUCATION