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West

Milford committee to discuss school chief

The Milford School Committee on Thursday is expected to discuss whether to discipline Superintendent Robert Tremblay, following a meeting in which a committee member criticized him for what he called a delayed response in sharing information with the board.

The committee member, Donald Quattrochio, said he wanted information about a practice in a Milford elementary school, in which some students are allowed to leave gym classes to participate in an instrumental music program. He questioned whether this violated a district policy that requires all students to take a certain number of hours of physical education.

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Quattrochio seemed to publicly advocate for suspending the superintendent on June 5, after he said he had waited more than three weeks for information on the matter from the administration.

“I’m not going to suggest we terminate you, Bob,” Quattrochio said. “But I wouldn’t mind making a motion of suspending you for a time, so that you can focus on this and get this thing completed.”

The committee meeting was broadcast by the town’s local access cable system, Milford TV, and can be seen on its YouTube channel.

In an interviewlast week, Quattrochio said he was not making a formal motion. “My feeling was, if I bring up the fact that we’re violating policy, why wasn’t it dealt with the next day?”

Tremblay is a seven-year superintendent whose 16-year administrative career has been spent in Milford. He has never been disciplined in that time.

In an interview last week, Tremblay said he was preparing a full report for the committee on the Woodland Elementary School strings program, and the scheduling conflict with physical education.

He said he did not think communications over the program and scheduling should rise to a disciplinary offense, and emphasized that he had been investigating the issue and telling the board that in each of its recent meetings.

“I don’t communicate to any one member,” Tremblay said. “I communicate to the School Committee.”

He did not respond to Quattrochio’s concerns in the meeting because the School Committee’s chairman abruptly stopped the discussion, Tremblay said.

Committee chairman Scott Harrison, who apparently interpreted Quattrochio’s comments as a formal motion to suspend the superintendent, would not allow a second for discussion, and said the seven-member committee instead would give Tremblay two weeks to respond to the issue, in writing, and address it at the meeting on Thursday.

It is not clear whether that discussion will take place in open session. Harrison said he planned to contact the town counsel, Gerry Moody, to make sure the superintendent’s contract is not violated. The contract requires a two-week notice be given before any discussion of disciplining him for his performance, according to Tremblay.

When School Committee member Jennifer Parson objected to the chairman’s ending the discussion on June 5, Harrison said he would not allow additional comment.

“I’ve made the decision. We are going to move on,” he said.

Mary MacDonald can be reached at marymacdonald@ aol.com.
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