Approved October 21, 2004††††††††† Holliston Public Schools

Holliston, Massachusetts

 

School Committee

September 23, 2004

 

Present:†††††††††† Mr. Post, Mrs. Foote, Mrs. Emmons, Mr. Ganzenmuller, Mrs. McColl, Mr. Jones, Mrs. Deering, Mr. Jackson, Mr. Cornely

 

Absent:††††††††††† none

 

Call to Order

Mrs. Deering called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.

 

Minutes

Mrs. McColl noted that the minutes from the August 26, 2004 Open Session should read that Mrs. Canty presented the 2003-2004 School Improvement Plan prior to the 2004-2005 Plan.The minutes were corrected.

 

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mr. Ganzenmuller, the Committee voted to approve the minutes of the August 26, 2004 Open Session, as corrected.

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

 

Mrs. McColl stated that the Executive Session minutes should include summation votes after the roll call vote.It was agreed, and this will be included in future minutes.

 

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mr. Jones, the Committee voted to accept the minutes of the August 26, 2004 Executive Session, as presented.

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

 

On a motion made by Mr. Post, seconded by Mr. Ganzenmuller, the Committee voted to retain the minutes of the August 26, 2004 Executive Session.

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

 

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mrs. Emmons, the Committee voted to approvethe minutes of the September 2, 2004 Open Session, as presented.

Vote:††† Favor: 4††††††††††† Oppose: 0†††††††† Abstain: 3 (Mr. Jones, Mrs. McColl, ††††† Absent: 0

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††† Mr. Ganzenmuller)

 

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mr. Post, the Committee voted to accept and retain the minutes of the September 2, 2004 Executive Session, as presented.

Vote:††† Favor: 4††††††††††† Oppose: 0†††††††† Abstain: 3 (Mr. Jones, Mrs. Foote†††††††† Absent: 0†††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† Mr. Ganzenmuller)

 

Communications

1.        Public Comment - There was no public comment.

 

2.        School Committee Individual Comment

Mrs. Emmons encouraged everyone to get out and vote for lights for the †††††††††††††††††††††† baseball field.Holliston is in second place to receive free lights.She provided the address, and stated that the contest ends on September 30.

 

Mrs. Deering announced that there will be an Open House Reception from 6:00 - 8:00 pm on September 30, 2004 to welcome Mr. Jackson as our new Superintendent.The reception is sponsored by HEF.

 

3.        Superintendentís Comment - There was no Superintendentís comment

 

4.        Assistant Superintendentís Comment

Mr. Cornely thanked National Honor Society students for helping organize the leveled book room at the Placentino School.The hard work of Drew Madden, Maddie Powers, Alison Dillon, Emily Naughton and Kaitlyn McGrath is greatly appreciated.

 

Presentations

 

Technology Update

Mrs. Dooley and Mr. Keim informed the Committee that the old Miller School Computers were removed, and new computers installed over the summer.Billy Lixfield, an Eagle Scout, organized this project and recruited volunteers to assist in this extensive project. The students who helped were individually thanked.Mr. Keim also thanked Winnie Carey, Ann Prete, Allison Curley and Kathy Dooley for their assistance with this project.†† Mrs. Dooley explained the benefits of the new computers.

 

Mr. Dooley stated that the fiber installation is complete.The cable connection is much quicker, and this process will future-proof our network.

 

Enrollment/Class Size Update

Mr. Cornely presented the current class size situation at all schools.Placentino Elementary School currently has 735 students, Miller has 684 students, Adams has 733 students and the High School has 888 students, for a total of 3040 students in the Holliston Schools.The goal is to have less than 25 students in each classroom, as research indicates that optimal learning happens when there is less than 25 students in a class.Mr. Cornely reported that they know the areas that still need to be addressed, but overall, there has been great improvement in reducing the size of classes.School Committee members thanked the administration for their commitment to lower class size.

 

 

MCAS results

Mr Cornely announced that the State Department of Education released the MCAS results today.Mr. Cornely was able to prepare a preliminary summary for tonightís meeting, and an more detailed analysis of the results will be presented at the next meeting.Mr. Cornely displayed the Three-year comparison of district performance level results for the following grades and subjects: Grade 3 reading, Grade 4 Math, Grade 4 Language Arts, Grade 5 Science and Technology, Grade 6 Math, Grade 7 Language Arts, Grade 8 Math, Grade 8 Science and Technology, Grade 10 Math, and Grade 10 Language Arts.

 

He stated the next step is to analyze the results and begin action plan with the Principals and Curriculum Specialists and with the teachers.Student results will be mailed to parents on October 1, 2004 and a full MCAS report will be presented to the School Committee on October 7, 2004.

 

Discussion was held regarding the results.The information provided by these results will help administrators look at the curriculum initiatives.It also allows them to reflect on teaching practices.

 

Mr. Jones requested a continuum of initiatives that have been put into place with annual testing results on the MCAS, Stanford test, Advanced Placement tests and SAT.By looking at cohort groups in a cycle we can better evaluate the progress made and contribute progress to programs we put in place.††

 

Policy

 

††††††† Update from Policy Subcommittee regarding the transportation policy

The Policy Subcommittee, Mrs. Foote, Mrs. Emmons and Mrs. McColl, met with Mr. Jackson to prepare a proposed amendment to the Student Transportation Policy.The proposed change states ďThe Superintendent or designee may waive these eligibility requirements if a studentís health and/or safety might be affected by the lack of school bus transportation. Determination of waiver will take bus space availability into consideration.A fee may be required.Ē

 

This amendment is based on the feeling that it is not appropriate for a family to have to discuss private family issues publically at a School Committee meeting.The right to a waiver should be an administrative decision, and not a School Committee decision.The proposed change gives the Superintendent the capability to make waiver decisions based on the guidelines in the policy.Discussion was held regarding the wording of the policy.Waivers are granted only for health and safety issues.As the policy reads, the Superintendent will not entertain a request for a waiver based on convenience.However, if he determines it is a health and safety issue, he can grant the waiver.If he denies the waiver, the family may appeal to the School Committee, but it is the familyís choice to take this step.The phrase ďa fee may be requiredĒ was discussed.It was decided that the phrase would be removed from the policy.Mrs. McColl read the policy change.††† Mr. Jones stated that we also need to discuss waivers based on day care pick up and drop off.The current system is working, but it is a waiver procedure that is not documented.†† We should include this documented procedure with the policy.It was agreed that Mr. Buday will draft the procedure regarding waiver requests for pick up and drop off at day care sites.

 

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mrs. Emmons, the Committee voted to amend the Transportation Policy, Policy EEA, as presented.

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

 

††††††† Transportation Policy Waive Requests

††††††††††† Mr. Jackson will review the two waiver requests, and notify the families of his decision.

 

Old Business

 

††††††† Mentor Plan

The final copy of the Plan for the Comprehensive Induction of New Teachers was distributed to School Committee members.The draft of the plan was reviewed at the August 26, 2004 School Committee Meeting.Upon School Committee approval, the Plan will be sent to the Department of Education.

 

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mr. Jones, the Committee voted to approve the Plan for the Comprehensive Induction of New Teachers.

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

 

New Business

 

Superintendentís Report

1.        Strategic Plan Update

Mr. Jackson presented a recommended list for the Strategic Plan Steering Committee.The list included representatives from a broad cross section of the community.He stated that the Steering Committee will be charged with drafting a community vision with no more than 7 strategic goals.The School Committee will oversee and direct the Steering Committee. Mr. Jackson presented his recommended time-line, including hiring a Consultant in October and hosting focus groups in the winter.The goal is to present the Strategic Plan at the end of the school year, with a start date of July 1, 2005.Discussion was held regarding the role of a consultant.Mr. Jackson stated that he has received two bids, and is comfortable with both firms.The consultant fee will not exceed $15,000.Mr. Jackson and Mr. Buday both expressed their feeling that this was within our budget.

†††††††††††††††††††††††

On a motion my Mr. Post, seconded by Mrs. McColl, the Committee approves the allocation of not more than $15,000 to hire a consultant to assist in the development of a strategic plan.

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

†††††††††††††††††††††††

On a motion made by Mr. Post, seconded by Mrs. Foote, the Committee approved the representatives for the Strategic Plan Steering Committee as presented.

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

 

2.        MASS/MASC Joint Conference

Mr. Jackson reported that the MASS/MASC Joint Conference will be held from October 27 - 29 in Worcester.He stated that this is an informative conference for School Superintendents and School Committee members.Please let Mr. Jackson know if you would like to attend. The School Committee will need to elect a delegate at the next meeting.

 

Assistant Superintendentís Report

Mr. Cornely announced that Kathleen Caswell has been hired as the AdministrativeAssistant to the Assistant Superintendent.

 

Business Managerís Report

Mr. Buday presented the FY05 Financial Report.He presented the areas where we had shortfalls, and the areas where we were favorable.

 

Principalís Report

††††††††††† There was no principalís report

 

Warrants

On a motion made by Mr. Post, seconded by Mrs. McColl, the Committee approved a bill warrant in the amount of $184,472.30.

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

 

On a motion made by Mr. Post, seconded by Mrs. McColl, the Committee approved a cafeteria revolving account bill in the amount of $36,324.04.

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

 

Items of Information

School Committee members received a letter from Mrs. Weene explaining the changes Placentino has made in visitor check in and security.Security is an item discussed regularly at administrative meetings.

 

The School Committee received a memo from the Town Clerk that Town Meeting will be held on October 25, 2004.In accordance with the by-laws, no other town meetings can be planned for that evening.

 

Mr. Jackson reported that there will be two waiver requests at the next meeting.These include a building fee waiver and a request by Chief Cassidy to use the lights at the Field House on October 30 for the Safe Halloween Celebration.

 

Adjournment of Open Session

 

Mr. Jackson announced that there is a need for Executive session for the purpose of collective bargaining.The committee will not be returning to open session.

 

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mr. Jones, the Committee took a roll call vote to move into Executive Session for collective bargaining, after which the committee will not be returning to open session.

 

Vote:††† Mrs. Foote, yes; Mr. Jones, yes; Mrs. McColl, yes; Mr. Ganzenmuller, yes; Mr. Post, yes; Mrs. Emmons, yes; Mrs. Deering, yes.

††††††††††† Favor: 7††††††††††† Oppose: 0†††††††† Abstain: 0†††††††† Absent: 0

 

Open Session was adjourned at 9:27 pm.