Response to Board Concerns and Questions


    Questions/Concerns from BOE Meeting August 9, 2021


    Leslie Blatteau

    1. Use of grant for support of before and after school programs.
      Answer: The ESSER grants have been utilized to support summer school etc. Monies were allocated to each school to determine use of funds. Grants come with specifications and parameters for spending. 21st Century and State afterschool grants are specified for some schools because they were written into the grants.
    2. When will BOE have public meetings?
      Answer: Members of the community can request in-person and a space has to be provided. Board members can choose to be in-person or continue with zoom—it’s up to the individual board member to select the mode of participation in meetings.


    Kirsten McFadden

    1. Concern about investigation at Brennan-Rogers.
      Answer: The Board will have to answer this.
    2. Concerns about Delta virus and how it will affect people who are compromised.
      Answer: The system, along with the health department, are monitoring the virus spread and will share any additional mitigation strategies—note that fall opening plan is on the website.
    3. Will vaccine be mandated and will there be an option for testing?
      Answer: Vaccination is mandated for all staff. The Governor just gave an executive order regarding this matter.


    Chris Criscola

    1. Concerns about new staff.
      Answer: Unfortunately, there is a teacher shortage in special education and other fields. We have to rely on new staff who are certified to work in the system.


    Teresa Johnson 

    1. When will our questions be addressed? Plans were discussed that the administration will designate someone to respond to questions and post it on the website—under response to public questions. 
      Answer: The board designates, in Bylaw 9131(a), that "The  Governance  Committee  shall  also, with the Superintendent, track and follow up on issues raised by the Board and public, whether for  information,  consultation,  or  for  decision  by  the  Board,  including  issues  raised  in  public comment and those identified by the Superintendent or his/her staff."  
    2. When will the two minutes be increased?
      Answer: President Rivera answered this—it depends on how many people sign up for public comments. 
      We currently say "Public comment will be limited to two minutes per speaker. The Board will hear public comment for up to 90 minutes." If the Board chooses to, this could easily be three minutes per speaker for up to 90 minutes total. 
    3. When will the chat be connected so that members of the public can communicate back and forth? 
      Answer: We already provide a forum for public comment and many options exist in the world for people to chat via facebook, etc. If we were going to consider expanding our public forum to a chat session, then it would be recommended for a lawyer to opine on liability for comments.  
    4. Is the BOE going to address the Brennan Rogers investigation --because it won’t go away? 
      Answer: This information was a personnel matter that was investigated by the district Human Resources labor department. A BOE member could make a motion to require an investigation at a cost. Regular reporting to the board on progress made there minimizes the chances that will happen, or that it will be a successful motion. 
    5. When will Dr. Tracey provide proof that she lives in New Haven?  
      Answer: I am unable to find any BOE policy or contract provision requiring her to live in New Haven, or to provide proof of doing so. So there is no need for her to provide proof to us. 

      That said, the NH Charter does have requirements related department heads meeting requirements related to residency. I assume that it is the mayor's or the BOA's job to determine if she meets those requirements. Hopefully everything is fine, because it requires immediate termination of employment if she does not meet the standard. If need be, we can ask the city's corp counsel office to provide a memo with the finding if she meets the requirement, since immediate dismissal would have a major impact on NHPS.