Holliston Public Schools

Holliston, MA

School Committee Meeting                                                                        March 20, 2003                                                                        Page  - 1 -

 

 

Present:  Mr. Coppelman, Mrs. McColl, Mrs. Gleason, Mrs. Deering, Mr. Post, Mrs. Matz,

   Mr. Blaney, Dr. Young, Dr. Smith

 

Call to Order:  7:05 p.m.

 

Minutes

Note:  The vote on the minutes from the March 13, 2003 open session meeting were postponed for the next meeting.

 

On a motion made by Mr. Blaney, seconded by Mr. Post, the Committee accepted the minutes of the March 13, 2003 executive session meeting, as amended.

 

Vote:    Favor:  5          Oppose:  0          Abstain:  1 (Mrs. Gleason)            Absent: 1 (Mrs. Deering)

 

On a motion made by Mr. Post, seconded by Mrs. Matz, the Committee accepted the minutes of the February 27, 2003 executive session meeting as amended.

 

Vote:    Favor:  5          Oppose:  0          Abstain:  1 (Mrs. Gleason)            Absent: 1( Mrs. Deering)

 

[Mrs. Deering arrived late to meeting and was absent for vote on minutes.]

 

Communications

 

School Committee Individual Comment

 

Mrs. Gleason reported on her recent trip to China and indicated that the Chinese teachers were a pleasure to work with.  Mrs. Gleason also announced that she will not be seeking re-election to School Committee for next year.

 

Mrs. Matz stated that the Senior Showcase was taking place tomorrow evening and she encouraged all to attend.

 

Mr. Coppelman reported on a misleading headline in this week’s newspaper.  The headline questioned the NEASC certification of the High School and whether accreditation was at risk.  Mr. Coppelman indicated that the High School accreditation was absolutely not at risk.

 

Superintendent’s Comment

 

Dr. Young gave the floor to Ms. Canty, who then introduced Stephanie Gove.  Stephanie was awarded the National Honor Society for the state of Massachusetts.

 


Holliston Public Schools

Holliston, MA

School Committee Meeting                                                                      March 20, 2003                                                                                                                      Page  - 2 –

 

Presentations

 

Stanford Results – Dr. Young and Dr. Smith

Dr. Young gave the background on the goals toward improvement for the period 1996 to 2003.  She reviewed the cycle of continuous improvement and the steps around planning, implementation, and assessment.  She indicated that three areas of achievement would be covered during this evening’s presentation, as follows.

 

Stanford Test Results -  Dr. Smith reviewed the recent Stanford Test results, giving comparisons of each grade from the October 01 testing to the January 03 testing, and comparisons of the same student groups across two grades.  Strongest gains were made in math in grades 3 – 7 and 9.  There were also significant gains in reading in grades 3 – 7.   Dr. Smith indicated that results would be mailed to parents next week.  Dr. Smith also stated that all High School seniors passed the MCAS tests this year.

 

Adams Middle School – Dr. Young reported that the DOE has invited the Adams Middle School to participate in the Commonwealth Compass Schools program and to apply for candidacy for service as a Compass School during next school year.  This is a special recognition and last year only 14 of 233 schools were part of the program.  As a Compass School, the school helps provide direction to other schools exploring, planning or implementing improvement strategies.  Compass schools receive special recognition and a $10,000 grant to support their participation in the program.  The Middle School was invited to participate based on its substantial improvement in MCAS scores.  Ms. Szal spoke about the changes in the school that have contributed to improvements in test scores.

 

Mr. Coppelman recommended that the Schools communicate this news to parents, and explain how the Middle School achieved this recognition, as well as how programs such as professional days and common planning time have helped.

 

NEASC Results for High School – Ms. Canty and Dr. Young reported on the results of the final NEASC report, based on the visit from 9/29/02 – 10/2/02.  Two areas were reviewed:  teaching and learning standards, and support for teaching and learning.  Ms. Canty reported that accreditation will be coming soon.  Things that the school must agree to are: 1) being regularly monitored by NEASC; 2) following through on NEASC recommendations; and, 3) continuing to improve and address recommendations.

 

Personnel

 

Athletic Director’s Resignation – Dr. Young reported the resignation of the Athletic Director, effective June 30th.

 

Unpaid Leave of Absence – Dr. Young presented the letter from Marie DeCoste, requesting an extension of her leave of absence from her Montessori 6-9 teaching position for the 2003-2004 school year.  Dr. Young indicated that Mrs. Weene supports this request.

 

Mrs. Gleason made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Matz, to extend the leave of absence for Marie DeCoste from her Montessori 6-9 teaching position for the 2003-2004 school year.

 

Vote:    Favor:  6          Oppose:  1          Abstain:  1 (Mr. Blaney)            Absent:  0

 

Holliston Public Schools

Holliston, MA

School Committee Meeting                                                                      March 20, 2003                                                                                                                      Page  - 3 

 

Old Business

 

Extension of Town Occupancy of Flagg Building

Mr. Coppelman presented a letter from the Town Administrator requesting an extension of the Town’s occupancy of the Flagg building for the period May 15, 2003 to June 30, 2004.  The continued occupancy would include the Park Commission and Youth and Family Services.  The letter from Mr. LeBeau indicated that the Town would assume the costs associated with Town’s continued occupancy including utilities, cleaning, supplies, repairs and maintenance.  The Town would also continue to assume responsibility for access, security and day-to-day use of the building.

 

Mr. Blaney expressed his concern that this request has come so late in the process and that there would be no time to react for a contingency plan if the School Committee did not approve the request.  However, he also indicated that he was in favor of the requested extension.

Mrs. Matz asked Dr. Young and Ms. Szal to comment on any reason for the Committee not to grant the extension.

 

Mr. Blaney made a motion, seconded by Mrs. McColl, to extend the Town’s occupancy request of the Flagg Building from May 15, 2003 to June 30, 2004 for the purpose of occupancy by the Park Commission and Youth and Family Services.  Prior to the vote, discussion ensued re: whether there would be any budgetary impact for the schools for any system repair issues at Flagg.

 

Mrs. Gleason then made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Matz, to amend Mr. Blaney’s original motion to include that the schools would not be responsible to pay any costs for repairs within the Flagg Building.

 

Vote:    Favor:  7          Oppose:  0          Abstain:  0          Absent:  0

 

The amended motion voted on was as follows:  To extend the Town’s occupancy of the Flagg Building from May 15, 2003 to June 30, 2004 for the purpose of occupancy by the Park Commission and Youth and Family Services, with the condition that the schools would not be responsible for payment of any repair costs to systems within the building.

 

Vote:    Favor:  6          Oppose:  0          Abstain:  1 (Mr. Post)            Absent:  0

 

Budget Update – Mr. Buday

Mr. Buday distributed a new “bring back” list from the negative 4% budget.  Mr. Blaney commented on the need to clarify the School Committee’s role in reviewing the budget.  Discussion ensued re: whether the School Committee was responsible for solely approving the bottom-line budget amount, or whether the Committee also had a role in discussing and agreeing upon the detail of the budget line items.  Mr. Post also commented on the need to understand the budget detail, as well as have a sense of areas impacted by budget decreases.  He stressed the urgency of discussing the detail, prior to the Town vote.

Mr. Coppelman suggested that once they know the bottom-line from the Finance Committee, they could then further discuss the budget detail.  Mr. Blaney suggested that the next School Committee meeting agenda be dedicated solely to the discussion of the budget.  Dr. Young suggested that at this meeting, Administration come back with specific data and recommendations for the budget points raised by Mr. Buday.


 

Holliston Public Schools

Holliston, MA

School Committee Meeting                                                                      March 20, 2003                                                                                                                      Page  - 4 

 

Old Business (continued)

 

Distribution of Diplomas at High School Graduation

Mrs. Gleason indicated the need to look at the procedure for handing out diplomas at High School graduation.  Discussion ensued re: ways to make this process personal for the students (eg. allowing students to select an individual, who made an impact in their education, to give them their diploma).  Being able to effectively manage the process was also discussed.  Mr. Post indicated that he wrote a draft policy for this and would revise it based on this evening’s discussion and bring it back for review.  At the same time, Ms. Canty will speak with the school secretaries to determine how the work could be delegated.

 

New Business

 

Superintendent’s Report

 

Gifts to School – Dr. Young expressed her appreciation to Beverly Menapace for her donation of a scanner and printer to the High School.

Mr. Blaney reported that someone is willing to donate a baby grand piano to the schools.  Mr. Blaney asked who this person should contact.

 

Principal’s Report

 

High School Tardy Policy

The High School Student Advisory Council developed and presented a new policy for students who are tardy at school.  Ms. Canty indicated that she would like to pilot this policy for the final term of this school year.  If the School finds favorable data regarding the number of students who are tardy, they will incorporate the new policy into the Student Handbook for school year 2003 – 2004.

 

Mrs. Gleason made a motion, seconded by Mrs. McColl, to approve the changes to the Tardy policy included in the Student Handbook, as presented by the Student Advisory Council.

 

Vote:    Favor:  7          Oppose:  0          Abstain:  0          Absent:  0

 

School Choice

Mr. Buday updated the School Committee on School Choice.  To date, the schools have received interest from parents wishing to attend at every grade level (except grades 11 and 12).

 

Mr. Post made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Matz, to accept for School Choice purposes one student in each grade, K-9.

 

Vote:    Favor:  7          Oppose:  0          Abstain:  0          Absent:  0

 


 

Holliston Public Schools

Holliston, MA

School Committee Meeting                                                                      March 20, 2003                                                                                                                      Page  - 5 

 

 

Warrants

 

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mrs. Matz, the Committee approved a revolving cafeteria warrant in the amount of $17,753.08.

 

Vote:    Favor:  7          Oppose:  0          Abstain:  0          Absent:  0

 

 

Calendar

 

Next School Committee meetings:   April 3rd and April 9th.

 

Public Budget Hearing:  May 1st.

 

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mr. Post, the Committee voted by roll call to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of discussion of the Superintendent’s contract and maintenance personnel.

 

 

Mrs. Deering:  Yes, Mrs. Matz:  Yes, Mrs. McColl:  Yes,  Mr. Post:  Yes,  Mr. Blaney:  Yes,  Mr. Coppelman:  Yes, Mrs. Gleason.

 

Note:  Open session meeting adjourned at 10:10 p.m.