Approved 2/26/04     Holliston Public Schools - Holliston, MA

School Committee Meeting

January 8, 2004

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Present:            Mr. Jones, Mr. Ganzenmuller, Mr. Post, Mr. Coppelman, Mrs. Deering, Mrs. McColl,

                        Dr. Young

 

Absent:            Mrs. Matz

 

Call to Order

Mr. Coppelman called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm.

 

Minutes

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mrs. Deering, the Committee voted to accept the minutes of the December 17, 2003 open session meeting.

Vote:               Favor: 6            Oppose: 0            Abstain: 0            Absent: 1 (Mrs. Matz)

 

Communications

There was no public comment, school committee individual comment or Superintendent’s comment.

 

Presentations

 

Holliston Public Schools Music Program

Dr. Young, with Jerry Kazanjian and Barbara Stinson, presented the current status of music in all four of the Holliston schools.   Dr. Young concluded that there is adequate opportunity to participate in music courses at the elementary and middle school levels, but not at the High School.  Currently, the High School has .2 staffing for Band and .2 staffing for Chorus.  There are no courses in music subjects such as composition and theory.  It was stated that at its peak, there were 12 staff for music, compared to the 5.8 staff plus stipends now staffing the music program.  Discussion was held and questions answered.  Dr. Young recommended that we add an additional FTE to the high school, with the hope of ultimately adding 2 FTE.  This is in addition to the .5 recently added.   Representatives from the Holliston Music Parent Group were unable to attend this meeting.  It was suggested that representatives present their perspective at the next School Committee meeting.

 

Old Business

 

Budget

A presentation was given by Mr. Jones, Mr. Ganzenmuller and Mr. Post, the School Committee’s budget subcommittee.  They are currently working with the Finance Committee in the budget process.   The Finance Committee has asked them to assess the potential impact of a 0% increase in funding for 2004-2005.  They demonstrated that to have level funding, we must actually cut $1,231,085 from this year’s budget.  This translates to a cut of 5.5%, or loss of 12.1 to 18.1 FTE.   These numbers take into account areas of potential budget savings and revenue, including a possible bus fee.   This process was to show the impact of level funding, and is not an indicator of actual budget recommendations.  This assessment will be reviewed with the Finance Committee at a meeting on January 12.  The budget subcommittee will begin to meet with the Principals to discuss individual school budgets.  The budget hearing with the Finance Committee will be held on Saturday, February 7, 2004.  Discussion was held and questions answered.

      

School Building Construction Update

Dan Blaney, the liaison to the School Committee, will provide an update when requested.

 

New Business

 

Principal’s Report

Mrs. Szal requested clarification about the fees for Band, Chorus and Drama at the Middle School.  She stated that many parents found the fees objectionable because these after school clubs are connected to the curriculum.  It was stated that many parents did not know that they would have to pay for these clubs, and then they received a bill.  Parents are questioning what their money actually funds.  Mrs. Szal recommended that we waive the fees for this year, and the money needed would be covered in the Middle School budget.

 

Mr. Post discussed the need for fees.  The revenue raised from fees for after school clubs was used to develop this year’s budget.  If we do not have funding, we do not have programs.  It was previously decided that all after school clubs would have a flat fee of $40, instead of differentiated costs for each club.  

 

The issue of funding the late bus was raised.  Mrs. McColl stated that the funding for the late bus comes out of the transportation budget, and not club fees.   It was stated that the problem might have been with the billing process and lack of clear explanation of fees.

 

Discussion was held regarding a policy for what happens if someone does not pay the fee.   It was stated that students can not play sports if they have not paid the athletic fee. 

 

Discussion was held about how band and chorus became after school clubs.  These courses were moved to after school to allow more time for academics during the school day. 

 

Mr. Coppelman recommended that the administrators discuss the issues raised.   He requested a report on the number of students involved in these clubs, and the status of fee collection.  The Committee would also like to know how many students are not participating because of the fees.  He stated that this discussion was initially raised because of the multiple fees, and it was previously recommended that we consider charging one $40 fee to include any and all of these clubs.  He stated that Mr. Buday must be part of this discussion, as it involves the budget.  He concluded that upon receiving the status report from administration, the Committee will consider waiving the fee, or making one fee, depending on the impact on the budget.

 

Warrants

On a motion made by Mr, Post, seconded by Mrs. McColl, the Committee voted to approve a  bill warrant in the amount of $211,800.65.

Vote:               Favor: 6            Oppose: 0            Abstain: 0            Absent: 1 (Mrs. Matz)

 

On a motion made by Mr. Post, seconded by Mrs. McColl, the Committee voted to approve a cafeteria revolving account bill in the amount of $25,976.93.

Vote:               Favor: 6            Oppose: 0            Abstain: 0            Absent: 1 (Mrs. Matz)

 

On a motion made by Mr. Post, seconded by Mrs. McColl, the Committee voted to approve a bill warrant in the amount of $351,526.33.

Vote:               Favor: 6            Oppose: 0            Abstain: 0            Absent: 1 (Mrs. Matz)

 

Calendar

The next School Committee meetings will be held on January 22 and February 5, 2004.  The following meeting will be held on February 26, 2004 due to school vacation week.  The Budget Hearing with the Finance Committee will be held on Saturday, February 7, 2004.

 

Adjournment

Mr. Coppelman reported there was no need for executive session.

 

On a motion made by Mr. Post, seconded by Mrs. McColl, the Committee voted to adjourn the meeting at 8:25 pm.

Vote:               Favor: 6            Oppose: 0            Abstain: 0             Absent: 1 (Mrs. Matz)