Approved April 29, 2004                    Holliston Public Schools

Holliston, Massachusetts

 

School Committee Meeting

April 1, 2004

 

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

 

Absent:            None

 

Call to Order

Mr. Coppelman called the meeting to order at 7:03 pm.  He announced that the Budget Hearing will begin at 8:00 pm.

 

Minutes

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mrs. Matz, the Committee approved the minutes from the March 4, 2004 School Committee meeting.

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

 

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mrs. Deering, the Committee approved the minutes from the March 18, 2004 School Committee meeting, as corrected.

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

 

Communications

Public:             Will McColl introduced boy scouts from Troop 14.  They are attending the meeting as part of their requirement for a merit badge.

 

School Committee:      Mrs. McColl provided an update on the status of the Superintendent search process.  She reported that 2 of the 4 finalists have withdrawn. However, after visiting the sites of the 2 remaining candidates, she feels we have 2 very strong candidates going into the final interview stage.

 

Mrs. Matz reported on the recent article in Boston Magazine.  Holliston was chosen as the 24th best place to live in the greater Boston area.  We were ranked 10th in the category “Best Bang for your Buck in Education.”  She congratulated the educators.

 

Mr. Coppelman received a letter from Jackie Dellicker, thanking the Committee for scheduling a Professional Day on the November 2, 2004 Election Day.  Mr. Coppelman reported that he attended the National Honor Society induction.  He congratulated Jerry Kazanjian and Pat Smith for receiving the Golden Foundation Award, which will be presented next Monday.

 

Superintendent:           Dr. Young reported that she received a letter from the Massachusetts Music Educators Association, thanking Jerry Kazanjian for his presentation at their annual conference. 

 

Policy

CORI Policy

Mrs Deering read the CORI Policy (Policy ADDA).  Discussion was held regarding the School Committee’s right to request and review CORI information on any position in which they have statutory authority over.  Discussion was also held regarding students in intern positions.  It was stated that no school in the Metrowest consortium require intern supervisors to have a CORI check.  It was agreed that we should request a legal opinion on this issue.

 

On a motion made by Mrs. Matz, seconded by Mr. Ganzenmuller, the Committee voted to adopt the CORI Policy (Policy ADDA).

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

 

 

Old Business

School Calendar

Dr. Young presented the revised calendar for the 2004 -2005 school year.  This calendar includes a start date of August 30, 2004 for students, and an end date of June 17, with no snow days. September 14, 2004 was added back as a school day, and Good Friday is a holiday.  May 9, 2005 was added as a Professional Day.  This day will be used as a development day to follow up on areas of needed improvement, based on the Stanford results. 

 

Disposition of Wilder School

Mr. Buday announced that the roof on the Wilder building needs to be replaced.  Dr. Young recommended waiting to spend the money on fixing the roof until we know what will happen to the building.  It was recommended that we immediately move the documents currently housed in the building.  Mrs. Matz will clarify with Mr. LeBeau that the town is ready to accept the building.  If they are ready, the Committee will probably vote to turn the building over to the town.

 

New Business

Superintendent’s report

Dr. Young stated that there is an increase in teachers requesting unpaid leave for family reasons. Some of these teachers would like to come back with job sharing, or shorter weeks.  Dr. Young stated that the result is a disruption to the children’s schedule.  Dr. Young suggested a meeting with HFT and administration to discuss this trend.  After this meeting, she will present the 7 individual requests for parental leave to the School Committee for approval.

Principals Report

Linda Weene and Carlene McGorty presented on the status of Placentino Elementary School’s application for NAEYC (National Association of the Education of Young Children) accreditation.     NAEYC sets the benchmark for quality early childhood education.  Placentino completed its self study in the fall of 2000.  NAEYC performed its site visit last week, and we will have the results in June.    The validators observed teachers and students, and examined the physical environment.   We exceeded our own self study scores because of improvements that have been made since the self study.  Improvements have been made in the development of common planning time, an increase in gross motor activities, improved technology, more diversity and more effective transitions.  If accreditation is not granted, we have 9 months to address any issues that need to be improved.  

 

(Mrs. Matz left at 7:55 pm)

 

Warrants

 

On a motion made by Mr. Post, seconded by Mrs. McColl, the Committee approved a cafeteria revolving account bill in the amount of $13,476.71.

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

 

On a motion made my Mr. Post, seconded by Mrs. McColl, the Committee approved a bill warrant in the amount of $218, 276.70.

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

 

On a motion made by Mr. Post, seconded by Mrs. McColl, the Committee approved a bill warrant in the amount of $156,765.60.

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

 

BUDGET HEARING

 

On a motion made by Mr. Post, seconded by Mrs. Deering, the Committee voted to move into the Public Budget Hearing at 8:00 pm. 

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

 

(Mrs. Matz returned at 8:02 pm)

 

Mr. Jones of the Budget Subcommittee reported that the starting point for the FY05 budget was $22,323,094.   This was the appropriations for FY04.  At the February budget meeting, the administrators presented a needs budget, which was a 7% increase over the FY04 appropriations.  Mr. Jones demonstrated how this amount can be reduced to a 5.6% increase by specific reductions and the additional revenue of 16 school choice children.  This total can be further reduced to a 3.8% increase by the use of offsets and FY04 favorability.   The Finance Committee’s recommended budget increase is $800,000 over FY04.  At our current 3.8% budget, we are at $825,955 over FY04.  Mr. Jones expressed confidence that we can make adjustments to meet the $800,000 increase recommended by the Finance Committee.  This includes adding back classroom resources to reduce class size and keep the numbers within the district guidelines.  This also includes the elimination of club fees, maintance of a $175 athletic fee, and the reinstatement of Freshman Sports.  The Budget Subcommittee summarized the line item budget, as prepared.

 

Mrs. Deering congratulated and thanked the budget subcommittee for their hard work and positive results.  Mr. Jones praised the work of the administrators and the Finance Committee for working together to be in this positive budget position.

 

The bottom line budget for FY05 is $23,123,094.

 

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mrs. Matz, the Committee approved a budget of  $23,123,094 for the 2004 - 2005 School year.

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

 

On a motion made by Mr. Post, seconded by Mrs. McColl, the Committee voted to close the Public Budget Hearing at 8:25 pm, and return to the regular meeting agenda.

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

 

Update on Fiber Project

 

Kathy Dooley reported on the status of tying the buildings together with fiber data network, instead of the current coaxial cable.  The use of fiber cable will allow us to own and control the network.  It will be faster and it will allow us to move from 4 servers to 2 servers.  It also allows us more flexibility and more potential for future uses.  She reported that we will miss the April vacation deadline for installation, because we are still waiting for the permits so the vendors can run the cables from the street to the buildings.  Once all permits are in place, the network will be down for 4 days.  Everything must be completed by July 17th, as this is the closing date of our current contract with Comcast.  After discussion, it was decided that Mr. Coppelman should sign a letter to other town departments informing them of the critical nature of this situation. 

 

Calendar

The next public meetings will be held on Monday, April 12 and Tuesday, April 13, for the finalist interviews.  There will be a Community Open House to meet Brad Jackson on Monday, April 12 from 3:00 - 4:00 pm.  His interview will begin at 5:00 pm.   There will be a Community Open House to meet Bobbie D’Alessandro on Tuesday, April 13 from 5:00 - 6:00 pm.  Her interview will begin at 7:00 pm. 

 

The next regular School Committee meeting will be held on Thursday, April 29, 2004 at 7:00 pm. Dr. Young’s report on the Stanford tests and her recommendations for unpaid leave requests will take place at this meeting. 

 

There will be a School Committee meeting on Thursday, May 6 at 7:00 pm.

The Town Meeting will be held on May 10.

 

There will be a School Committee meeting on Thursday, May 20 at 7:00pm.  This meeting is following town elections, so there will be two new committee members at this meeting.  An interim chair will be appointed.

 

The election for new School Committee officers will take place at the June 17, 2004 School Committee meeting.

 

Adjournment

Mr. Coppelman announced that there was a need for Executive Session to discuss the custodial and paraprofessional contracts.  At 8:46 pm, The Committee voted to move into Executive Session.  The Committee will not be returning to Open Session.

Vote:    Mr. Coppelman, yes; Mr. Post, yes; Mr. Jones, yes; Mr. Ganzenmuller, yes; Mrs. McColl, yes; Mrs. Deering, yes; Mrs. Matz, yes.