Good news about health insurance

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Hebron - posted Tue., Mar. 19, 2013

The March 14 Hebron Board of Education meeting opened with the information that students are in the process of taking Connecticut Mastery Tests. Hebron Elementary School Principal Amy Campbell noted that, “Some students are proud to take the test because it lets them show what they’ve been learning.”  Others were, “Not quite so thrilled, as you can imagine,” said Campbell.

Campbell said that nearly 1,900 booklets were required for testing, with 26 classrooms testing in addition to 20 small-group sessions. Sixty students were currently testing on the computer. With many children missing early sessions due to illness, there had already been 47 make-up groups scheduled with approximately 20 more to come, said Campbell. After beginning on March 4, the CMT sessions were scheduled to end on March 15, with fifth-graders taking science tests.

Gilead Hill School acting Principal Eric Brody reported that Read Across America Day on March 1 kicked off the annual reading challenge at the school. This year, if the students read 9,000 books by April 12, they will be rewarded by a concert at the school, including a singing performance by their principal. “I don’t have any doubt that the kids will meet their goal,” said Brody, inviting members of the public to attend the performance.

During her report, Acting Superintendent Kathryn Veronesi provided a handout to the board. Former Superintendent Eleanor Cruz is currently under investigation for the alleged misappropriation of slightly over $15,000 of funds from the district. During a discussion of this issue, board members and members of the public had questioned whether China trips arranged under Cruz' tenure had been completely covered by grants, as Cruz had alleged. Veronesi passed out a form to board members which she said outlined expenditures coming from Title II grant money as opposed to expenditures coming from district funds. Asked to provide a copy of the form, Veronesi hesitated. “We are just checking to see if we can put that information up on the website,” she said. Veronesi said that she needed to be careful “not to do anything that puts us in a compromised position.” 

Regarding transportation changes, Veronesi said that the elimination of two buses would result in “significant savings” for the district. Veronesi said that she was seeking information from parents regarding their drop-off/pick-up plans for next year, so that routes could be consolidated.She hoped that close communication with parents might make the transition go more smoothly, but stressed that parents needed to understand there might not be door-to-door pickup for every child.

Veronesi ended her report with a bit of good news for the district. A projected 24.95 percent increase in insurance costs, she said, had been reduced to 13.43 percent. Board member Bill Moorcroft asked if this was a result of the district’s decision to go out to bid. Veronesi said that it appeared to be a combination of the threat of losing district business and an improving claim rate that prompted Anthem to revise the estimates.

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