Approved June 3, 2004                   Holliston Public Schools

Holliston, Massachusetts

 

 

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School Committee

May 20, 2004

 

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

                        Mrs. Matz, Dr. Young.

 

Absent:            none

 

Call to Order

Mr. Coppelman called the meeting to order at 7:02 pm.

 

Minutes

On a motion made by Mrs. Deering, seconded by Mr. Ganzenmuller, the Committee voted to approve the minutes of the April 29, 2004 meeting.

Vote:    Favor: 5            Oppose: 0            Abstain: 2 (Mrs. Matz, Mrs. McColl)            Absent: 0

 

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mr. Post, the Committee voted to approve the minutes of the May 6, 2004 meeting.

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

 

Communications

 

Public                          Neil Osterweil, a Norfolk Street resident, expressed his concerns regarding his research on First Student Transportation.

                                   

Debbie Moore, a Mill Street resident, showed the Committee a handout she received from her son’s bus driver.  The flyer contained information inappropriate to be distributed to students.  All flyers given to students must be approved by the school, and these flyers were not approved for distribution.  The situation will be addressed with Holmes Bus Company.

                       

Gig Micheud, a representative of First Student Bus Company, stated that First Student is a nationwide company that is run be local people. He expressed his confidence in his company, and stated that they have provided transportation services to Holliston in the past. 

 

School Committee             Mr. Post stated that the Committee must follow procedures under Chapter 30B for bids on transportation services.

 

 

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Mrs. Deering reported that tonight is the last meeting for Mr. Coppelman and Mrs. Matz.   She thanked them for their hard work and expressed her feelings of honor that she had the opportunity to  work with them.


 

Mrs. McColl also expressed her appreciation for  Mrs. Matz’s 9 years, and Mr. Coppelman’s 3 years on the School Committee.

 

                                    Mrs. Matz thanked the Committee members.

 

Mr. Coppelman shared his thoughts and ideals for our schools.  He stated that the best moments were when students came to the table to receive awards and to share their talents.  He thanked the Committee for their teamwork.

 

Superintendent            Dr. Young shared her thoughts about Mr. Coppelman’s comments.  She stated her respect for Mrs. Matz.

Presentations

 

Student and Teacher Honors

Mary Canty congratulated Taylor Colantonio on winning the grand prize in the Artistic Discover 2000.  His work will be hung in the Capital Building in Washington D.C. He is eligible for a major scholarship for the Savannah College of Art. She also congratulated Margaret Abbey for her poetry publication.   “Art Saves Lives” will be held at the High School on Friday, May 21st.  This art program, created by Doug Lack, celebrates the work of students, faculty and alumni.  The program includes a display of poetry, art, music and performing art.   All are invited.

 

David Keim announced that Carol Salvi, a 3rd Grade teacher at Miller,  received the Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year award.  She was nominated by a student in her class.

 

Stanford Test Results

Tim Cornely and Pat Rouke presented information regarding the 2003-2004 math program and professional development, comparisons of cohort total math scores, comparison of cohorts by quartiles, and the 2004 -2005 math program and professional development.

 

Pat Rouke was hired as the Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 8 Math Coordinator in November, 2003.  She spends 40% of her time at Placentino, 40% at Miller, and 20% at Adams.  The Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley program is in its 3rd year of implementation in Grades 6-7, its 2nd year in Grades 3-5 and its first year in Kindergarten-Grade 2.   Mr. Cornely summarized the 2003-2004 opportunities for staff to develop skills and to learn the changes in state standards.   There have been grade level meetings, a Grade 5-8 organizational meeting and an online course, “Data Analysis and Probability.”  Fourteen teachers in grades Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 5 took this course.  Grade 3 teachers participated in a “Writing in Mathematics” workshop. 

 

The School Committee received charts on cohort comparisons for all grades.  Mr. Cornely highlighted a few grades from the packet.

 

The Math Stanford Achievement Test scores were compared for the Grade 5 cohort. In 2002, the average score was 60%.  The math program was introduced, and these scores jumped to 76% in 2003.  They were at76% in 2004, which indicates a full year of growth.

When looking at the Grade 5 cohort by quartile, it was determined that students were not receiving instruction on decimal and fractions until the end of the year.  The order of instruction will be changed, so students will learn these skills earlier in the school year.

 

The scores of the Grade 7 Cohort went from 61% in 2002, to 77% in 2003 to 87% in 2004.

 

Questions were asked and other grades were discussed.

 

Mr. Cornely reviewed the mathematics program development for 2004 - 2005.  New state standards will be reviewed with teachers.  There will be a focus on writing in mathematics.  There will be an expansion of the Grade 3-5 focus to PreK - Grade 8 to reach kids at all levels.  This will include training in selected differentiated materials to insure smooth flow between grades. There will be an implementation of differentiated materials including My Skills Tutor software for Grades 3-8, CLEAR Math for Grade 8, Awesome Math for Grades 3-6 and Tops Problem Solving kits for Grades 2-6.

 

Mr Cornely reviewed the professional development for 2004 -2005.  Grade level meetings will continue, as will the online course, “Data Analysis and Probability.”  Consultant Patricia Davidson will discuss learning styles and differentiation in math at the November 2nd Professional Development day.  The classroom course “Enhancing Mathematical Learning,” will be open to teachers in PreK - Grade 6.

 

We currently have a block of time for comprehensive literacy instruction.  Guided reading is currently being used so children can read at their individual level.  We are looking into how we can do this in the area of math, to allow teachers to work with students at their level. 

 

Mr. Cornely thanked the parent groups for grant money used to purchase programs such as TOPS, Awesome Math and My Skills Tutor.  He thanked Pat Rouke for her extensive work in the short time she has been in Holliston.

 

Questions were asked and discussion was held.  It was stated that in the higher grades the concentration is on tests such as the SAT and ACT.  It was suggested that we include these tests as part of a continuum to the Stanford results.  Mr. Post questioned how math material is used in the Montessori program. It was stated that the goals and assessments are consistent across programs, but the teaching style is different.  Mrs. Rouke is currently working  with the 3rd Grade Montessori students.  The Montessori teachers are a part of the writing workshop.

 

The staff was commended on their hard work.

 

New Business

Principal’s Report

Mrs. Weene presented a proposal to increase the Pre-Kindergarten and Full Day Kindergarten fees for the 2004 - 2005 school year.  The current Pre-Kindergarten tuition for the 2003-2004 school year is $2825.  Mrs. Weene proposed increasing the tuition to $2875, a $50 increase.  The current Full Day Kindergarten tuition for the 2003-2004 school year is $2900.  Mrs. Weene proposed increasing the tuition to $2975, a $75 increase.  She recommends continuing to charge non-IEP students in the Integrated Preschool classrooms $1000.  Questions were asked.  Mrs. Weene stated that parents are billed quarterly.  At registration, parents were informed that there might be an increase in tuition fees.  Discussion was held regarding scholarships.  Mrs. Weene informed the Committee that the Community Partnership has scholarships available for Pre-Kindergarten families, based on financial need.  She also informed the Committee that payment plans have been worked out with specific families, as needed, and that no child has been excluded based on inability to pay. 

 

On a motion made by Mrs. Matz, seconded by Mrs. McColl, the Committee voted to increase the Pre-Kindergarten tuition to $2875, and the Full Day Kindergarten tuition to $2975, for the 2004 - 2005 school year, as presented.

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

 

 

Business Manager’s Report

 

Mr. Buday presented on the current situation with transportation bids.  He explained the Inspector General’s process on  posting, opening and evaluating bids.  We received two bids for transportation services, which were opened on May 4th.  Mr. Buday is now in the evaluation stage of the bid process.  This includes evaluating the responsiveness of the bids and the responsibility of the bidders.   He reviewed the minor informalities regarding the responsiveness within each bid.  Both companies had minor informalities, and these are waived.  The responsibility of the bidder includes the capability to perform, and the integrity to ensure good faith performance.  This involves reference checks.  Mr. Buday shared the results of the reference checks to date.  He stated that there were mixed results with First Student, and they may not be a responsible bidder.  It was stated that the lowest bid receives the contract, unless they are determined to be not responsible.

 

Mr. Micheud, of First Student, discussed the operations of his company. 

 

Tim Holmes, of Holmes Transportation, discussed the operations of his company.  He apologized for the flyer that was distributed by a bus driver.

 

It was suggested that Mr. Buday continue his reference checks on both companies and report back to the Committee at the next meeting.  The School Committee is the awarding authority, and a decision must be made by July 3rd.

 

Letter from Michael Cassidy

Mr. Coppelman reviewed a letter sent by Michael Cassidy, regarding a town emergency notification system.  In his letter, Chief Cassidy stated that the Town of Holliston is eligible for grant money to fund a portion of this system.  However, additional funds are needed to purchase this system, and he is requesting $15,000 of this year’s favorability from the School Committee.  He wrote that there is a very short window of opportunity, as grant funds must be obligated no later than June 30, 2004. Discussion was held.  It was stated that Chief Cassidy has been an extraordinary help to our schools, however, favorability funds is not money to be used as grant money.  It was suggested that we look towards town groups that grant funds, such as the Parent Groups and the Holliston Newcomer’s Club, to assist with funding. Specific information is still needed.  It was recommended that Chief Cassidy be invited to present at the next meeting.  It was also recommended that parent groups be invited to hear the presentation, as possible sources of funding.

 

Warrants

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mr. Post, the Committee approved a Cafeteria Revolving Account bill in the amount of $26,386.96

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

 

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mr. Post, the Committee approved a bill warrant in the amount of $308,245.62.

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

 

Calendar

May 25, 2004 is Town Election.

 

The next School Committee meeting is on June 3, 2004.  At this meeting, an interim Chairperson will be appointed.

 

High School Graduation is Sunday, June 6, 2004 at 2:00 pm.

 

Adjournment

Mr. Coppelman announced that there is no need for Executive Session. 

 

On a motion made by Mrs. Matz, seconded by Mrs. McColl, the Committee voted to adjourn the School Committee meeting at 9:00 pm.

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