Building Bright Futures State Advisory Council (BBF SAC)
Meeting Minutes
August 25th   1:30-4:00
Vermont Family Network Conference Room
600 Blair Park, Suite 204, Williston, VT

Present: Betsy Rathbun-Gunn,  Dave Yacavone, Tim Volk, Mary Burns, Mark Sustic, Eddie Gale, Bill Frank, Ben Allen, Maleka Clarke, Breena Holmes, Manuela Fonseca, Mary Smit, Stacy Weinberger, David Young, Monica Hutt, Trish Shabazz

Absent: Harry Chen, Doug Racine, David Zuckerman, Kevin Mullin, Rebecca Holcombe

Community Partners/Guests:  Laura Bernard, Matt Levin, Kim Keiser, Reeva Murphy, Dorigan Keeney,  Ann Dillenbeck,  Pam McCarthy, Cynthia Greene, Robyn Freedner-Maguire, Judy Ashley, Barbara Gebhard, Julianne Nickerson, Julie Cadwallader-Staub

Staff:  Julie Coffey, Katie Mobbs, Thomas Firlik, Steve Ames, Nicole Briggs, Deb McLaughlin, Dana Anderson, Sylvie Corriveau, Dawn Powers, Traci Sawyers, Becky Raymond, Karen Conner, Sarah Buxton, Loli Berard, Nick Adams, Kathleen Paterson, Robin Stromgren


Call to Order and Welcome

Tim Volk called the meeting to order at 1:40pm and welcomed all in attendance.

Consent Agenda

Vote on May, June and July State Council meeting notes. Ben Allen motioned to pass previous months notes with a second by Bill Frank, all members voted in favor of passing the notes.

Introduction of BBF Regions Manager and Regional Council Coordinators

Deb McLaughlin, Regions Manager introduced herself to State Council members and asked that newly hired Regional Coordinators take a minute to introduce themselves and if prepared share the top pertinent issues in their regions:

Sarah Buxton (Hartford)

  1. Affordability of high quality care (matching supply and demand)
  2. Need for early childhood mental health services particular in the most rural communities

Becky Raymond (Central Vermont)

  1. Affordable housing
  2. Transportation

Dawn Powers (St. Johnsbury)

  1. How Children’s Integrative Services and Building Bright Futures can work collaboratively

Sylvie Corriveau (Newport)

  1. Transportation

Dana Anderson (Middlebury)

  1. Parent Education Courses
  2. Linking early childhood services with public schools

Nicole Briggs (Springfield)

  1. Transportation
  2. Heroin epidemic

Chad Simmons (Southeast Vermont)

  1. Affordability of high quality care

Julianne Nickerson (Chittenden)

  1. Homelessness
  2. Hunger

Deb McLaughlin, Regions Manager presentation

Working together to strengthen Building Bright Futures; realizing our full potential

  • To be mission driven
  • To embrace being proactive
  • To have young children and families at the center

Next steps

  • Continue Theory of Change work and create action plans at the regional level that aligns with Vermont’s Early Childhood Action Plan
  • Enlist new and diverse membership to Regional Councils. Determine a process to conduct a rigorous assessment of the Regional Council infrastructure across the state
  • Share issues with State Advisory Council that need their help and support to address or remedy
  • Create an ongoing feedback loop between the State Advisory Council and the Regional Councils
  • Create a sustainability planning process

Act 166- Preliminary Rulemaking Update, next steps & discussion by Manuela Fonseca and Reeva Murphy

Rulemaking began with representatives and legal council meeting for two hours every Thursday combing over the actual law. There will be a rough draft released on Thursday August 28th that went before the Vermont State Board of Education last week. There will be a working draft by September 4th and an open discussion on September 10th from 1-4pm in the Pavilion Auditorium in Montpelier.

Enrollment for the 2015-2016 school years will need to operate under these rules.

Pre-K Expansion Grant & Discussion by Aly Richards

Aly is requesting regional support to spread the message about this grant opportunity, to really make this “universal Pre-K”. A single point of contact is needed in each district.

Like Race To The Top this is a four year $37 million dollar grant with multiple partners and multiple projects (24). There will be an Advisory group that would like to quarterly utilize the State Advisory Council meeting time to look at projects.

The ask is that BBF allow representation from higher education (4 additional people) and possibly start meeting earlier on a quarterly basis to accommodate.

This is a direct service money grant that could be used for increasing quality or for a program to go from part-time to full-time, it will be much more competitive than the Race to The Top Grant. Aly is going to invite every school district in the state if they are interested. Proposals are due October 14th.

How is Vermont’s State Council doing by Barbara Gebhard, Zero to Three

Barbara presented on things that help make a State Council effective and things Vermont can do to help

  • Make sure vision and purpose of the Council is aligned
  • Using Action Plan to guide agendas
  • Membership- are the right people at the table? Need passion, commitment, diversity and include families
  • Structure- clear leadership structure with active work groups
  • Culture- trust relationships are building; contributions are valued from all members
  • Time and place are convenient
  • Offer food
  • Send meeting materials ahead of time
  • Assessment of the function of Council

FY15 Budget Presentation and Vote to Approve by Thom Firlik & Julie Coffey

Thom Firlik, Finance Manager passed out to Council members the FY15 budget information and gave a brief narrative. Mary Burns commented this budget report looks great and so easy to understand. Mary Burns made a motion to approve the Fy15 budget with a second by Maleka Clarke. All members voted to accept the FY15 budget with the exception of Mark Sustic whom obtains.


–        Welcome Ann Dillenbeck as Co-Chair of the Data & Evaluation Committee

–        Action Plan Coordinator to be hired soon

–        September 5th is deadline for submitting Legislative Priorities to Early Childhood Alliance

–        September 10th public forum around Act 166 Preliminary Rulemaking Recommendations; Pavilion Auditorium

–        November 20th Product Viewing of Early Childhood Data Reporting System, Montpelier VT

–        December 16th State Council Annual Retreat, location TBD

Next Meeting- Monday September 22nd   1:30-4

Vermont Family Network

600 Blair Park, Suite 204

Williston, VT