Approved April 28, 2005                Holliston Public Schools

                                        Holliston, Massachusetts

 

                                       School Committee Meeting

                                              April 7, 2005

 

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

                        Mr. Cornely, Mr. Jackson

 

Absent:            Mrs. Foote

 

Call to Order

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

 

Public Hearings

 

FY06 Budget Update

Mr. Jackson presented the current status of the FY06 Spending Plan.  He reviewed the budget process to date, including an increase analysis summary and the approved new initiatives, which led to the School Committee’s approval of a Spending Plan of $24,939.950, an increase of 7.86%, on March 3, 2005.  The Finance Committee reviewed and revised the increase analysis and proposed new initiatives, resulting in a recommended FY06 budget of $24,724,950, an increase of 6.93%.  Both the School Committee’s and the Finance Committee’s recommended budgets include an increase over the 0% increase initially asked of the School Committee, and are subject to a Proposition 2 ½ override.  The Board of Selectmen has placed a Proposition 2 ½ override on town election ballot.

 

Mr. Jackson provided an overview of the impact that a rejected budget will have on new initiative requests, additional fees, curriculum and instructional support and class sizes.   If the budget is approved, it would translate to an average tax bill increase of $232.57 per year. Tonight, the Committee will review the Finance Committee’s recommended budget, and vote on the acceptance of this budget, as recommended by the Budget Subcommittee.   On April 28, 2005 the Superintendent will provide specific impacts to the programs, services and reductions in staffing, should the budget not be approved. 

 

Holliston Police Station Relocation to the Flagg Building

John Jewell of the Holliston Police Station Study Committee introduced the members of his Committee.  He stated that if the Police Department’s request to renovate the Police Station is approved at Town Meeting, the Police Department will need a temporary relocation site.  Different sites were considered, and it was agreed that the Flagg School would be the best site for temporary relocation.  They Police Station Study Committee is coming to the School Committee to ask for permission to be tenants at Flagg School for approximately 12-18 months during the 2007-2008 school year, while the Police Station is being renovated.  Discussion was held and questions answered.  Specific safety issues related to prisoners and weapons were addressed.  It was confirmed that the current tenants, the Park and Recreation Department and Youth and Family Services, have been cooperative and that the three groups can all reside at Flagg School together.

 

It was stated that a meeting was held with neighbors on March 30th, and that the feedback received from this meeting along with input from discussions and concerns of school personnel were incorporated into their current plan.  Mr. Jackson informed the Committee that parents were sent a letter informing them of this Public Hearing, and it was noted that no parents were present.

 

On a motion made by Mr. Ganzenmuller, seconded by Mrs. McColl, the Committee voted to allow the Police Department to temporarily relocate to the Flagg School during the time that the Police Station is being renovated.

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

 

Minutes

Minutes of the March 17, 2005 Open Session were reviewed.  There was a correction to the names on the vote for a Waiver of Policy KFCA.  Mr Post, not Mr. Jones, opposed the waiver to allow the Holliston Youth Soccer Association to have the lights for an evening soccer game at Kamitian Field.

 

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mr. Post, the Committee voted to approve the minutes of the March 17, 2005 Open Session, as corrected.

Vote:    Favor: 5            Oppose: 0         Abstain: 1 (Mr. Ganzenmuller)   Absent: 1 (Mrs. Foote)

 

Minutes of the March 17, 2005 Executive Session were reviewed.  It was noted that Mr. Ganzenmuller and Mrs. Foote were absent at that meeting, and therefore should not be included in a vote.

 

On a motion made by Mr. Post, seconded by Mrs. McColl, the Committee voted to approve and retain the minutes of the March 17, 2005 Executive Session, as corrected.

Vote:    Favor: 5            Oppose: 0         Abstain: 1 (Mr. Ganzenmuller)   Absent: 1 (Mrs. Foote)

 

Communication

 

School Committee Individual Comments

Mrs. Emmons announced that the HEPO Sciencefest, held on April 2, 2005, was featured in an article in the Tab.  She congratulated the students who were recently inducted into the National Honor Society.  She announced that the PTSA Auction, Hollywood Nights, will be held on April 9, 2005.

 

Central Office Administrator’s Comment

            Mr. Jackson reported on the Holliston High School Peer Helper program.

 

            Mr. Cornely reported that the Elementary Literacy Team recently attended a workshop on

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                        strategies around reading in the content areas held at Framingham State College.  He announced that students at the Miller School raised $1,400 for the Tsunami Relief Fund.

 

Public Comment

            There was no public comment

 

Policy

The second reading of the School-Based Public Access Defibrillation Program was postponed to the next meeting.

 

Personnel

Mr. Jackson announced that Mr. Buday, on behalf of the High School, has requested the creation of the position of a freshman softball coach.  There was increased interest in softball this year, with a total enrollment of 40 students.  The factors have been negotiated with the Holliston Federation of Teachers and the factors will be T = 5, R = 1.4.  The fees of the program will cover the total cost of this position.

 

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mr. Post, the Committee voted to create a position of Freshman Softball Coach with factors T = 5, R = 1.4.

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

 

Old Business

School Calendar

Mr. Jackson stated that the 2005-2006 School Calendar approved by the Committee on March 17, 2005, included January 2, 2006 as a professional day.  This date is a federal holiday, the celebration of New Year’s Day, as January 1, 2006 falls on a Sunday.  Mr. Jackson proposed a new calendar which includes January 2, 2006 as a school holiday, and adding a professional day on January 13, 2006.  The final day of school would be June 16, 2006.

 

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mr. Ganzenmuller, the Committee voted to approve the new calendar for the 2005-2006 School Year, as presented by Mr. Jackson.

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

 

FY06 Budget Update

Mr. Jackson stated that the recommended budget numbers previously approved by the School Committee and those recommended by the Finance Committee still need to be reconciled. 

 

On a motion made by Mr. Jones, seconded by Mr. Ganzenmuller, the Committee approved the budget number of $24,724,950, as recommended by the Finance Committee.

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

 

 

New Business

Superintendent’s Report

·                     Leave of Absence Request

Mr. Jackson reported that there is a request by a teacher for an unpaid leave of absence for the 2005-2006 school year. He had previously suggested that this discussion be held in Executive Session for privacy issues, but the Federation of Teachers requested that the discussion be held during Open Session.  Mr. Jackson reported that the teacher making this request had taken a leave of absence during the 2003-2004 school year.  She is currently working part time, and has requested an additional unpaid leave of absence for the 2005 - 2006 school year.  Discussion was held. 

 

On a motion made by Mr. Post, seconded by Mrs. Emmons, the Committee did not approve the teacher’s request for an unpaid leave of absence for the 2005-2006 school year.

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

                       

·                     Strategic Plan Update

Mr. Jackson reported that the Strategic Plan Steering Committee has been meeting and has identified 20 key issues.  A survey will be distributed to collect community input.  Mr. Jackson hopes to have the process complete by the end of the school year.  It was stated that Mrs. McColl is currently the School Committee representative on this Committee, but as of May 24, 2005, she will no longer be a School Committee member.

                       

On a motion made by Mrs. Emmons, seconded by Mr. Post, the Committee voted to retain Mrs. McColl as their representative on the Strategic Plan Steering Committee

                        until the plan’s completion.

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

                       

·                     Montessori Program Update

Mr. Jackson reported that the Elementary School Principals were approached by Montessori teachers to discuss the challenges they are facing in developing and teaching 3 years of standards in the classroom.  They proposed a plan, which would allow them to effectively teach the required standards, while maintaining a Montessori program.  A meeting was recently held with teachers, administrators and parents to discuss this plan.  The plan includes maintaining the Montessori 3-6 program as it is.  Students would then move into a classroom of 1st and 2nd year (first and second grade) students.  The third year students would be in their own classroom at Placentino, but would be on the Miller School bus and schedule with the other third grade students.  Being housed in the same hall with the 1st and 2nd year students will still allow them to be role models in the Montessori community.  The 4th year transitional program at Miller will stay the same at this time.   It was stated that the goal of this change is to strengthen the Montessori program in a standards based system.  Mr. Jackson stated that the meeting with parents was informative and helpful.  He announced a commitment to educating incoming parents about the uniqueness and benefits of each of the three programs Holliston has to offer.

                        Discussion was held.

 

Assistant Superintendent’s Report

·                     Professional Development

Mr. Cornely presented and discussed the Professional Development Activities that were held at each school on March 18, 2005. He stated that a Professional Development Task Force of 25 staff members has been formed and is currently meeting twice a month.  The mission of the task force is to develop a professional development plan that provides teachers and support staff with job-embedded professional development.   The task force is responsible for developing a district-wide professional development philosophy, researching best practices that lead to high quality professional development, researching existing professional development plans in other communities and developing a plan that focuses on student learning, is consistent with the newly developed strategic plan and is sensitive to the content needs of staff.

 

·                    Stanford Follow-up

Mr. Cornely provided additional information regarding the Stanford Achievement Results based on questions that were asked at the Mach 17, 2005 School Committee meeting. This information included revised cohort scoring graphs looking at the effect of class size on student learning.  He stated that spelling concerns will be addressed by providing elementary teachers with materials from the updated Rebecca Stitton spelling program.  Discussion was held.

                                   

 

Business Manager’s Report      

·                     School Choice

Mr. Buday reported that the recommendation of the Administrative Team for the number of School Choice seats available for the 2005-2006 school year is one seat per grade, for grades 1 -8, and 4 seats in the Kindergarten French Immersion Program.   He stated that the School Committee is required to vote on this number and present the number of available seats to the state by May 1, 2005.  The number may be amended after that date. Discussion was held.

 

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mr. Post, the Committee voted to open one seat per grade in grades 1-8, and 4 seats in Kindergarten French Immersion to School Choice students.

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

           

·                     High School Student Activity Account

                        Mr. Buday requested a permanent increase to the maximum balance allowed for the High School’s Student Activity Checking account from the current maximum of $20,000 to $30,000.  He stated that escalating prices for activities have made the current limit not substantial enough to pay for student activities while waiting to replenish the account through the warrant process.

 

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mr. Post, the Committee voted to increase the maximum balance of the High School’s Student Activity Checking Account from $20,000 to $30,000.

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

 

Warrants

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mr. Post, the Committee approved a cafeteria revolving account bill in the amount of $21,480.84.

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

 

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mr. Post, the Committee approved a school bill in the amount of $325,127.23.

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

 

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mr. Post, the Committee approved a bill warrant of $30,000 to replenish the Adams School Account, and $3,521.75 to replenish the Placentino School Account.

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

 

Items of Information

Mr. Jackson stated that as per a notice from Jacqueline Dellicker, Town Clerk, annual town meeting will be held on May 9, 2005 and town election will be held on May 24, 2005.  Town committees are prohibited from meeting on these days.

 

The following items are included in School Committee members’ packets: the Miller Madness newspaper, the Vision newspaper, a thank you to the Miller School for their contribution to the American Red Cross International Relief Fund, and the agenda from the National Honor Society Induction Ceremony.

 

Future Meeting Dates

The next School Committee meeting will be held on April 28, 2005.   Agenda items include budget options to be considered if an override does not pass, a second reading of the School-Based Public Access Defibrillation Policy, and a reading of the Adams Field Lighting Policy.

 

Adjournment of Open Session

Mr. Jackson announced that there was no need for Executive Session. 

 

On a motion made by Mrs. McColl, seconded by Mr. Jones, the Committee voted to adjourn the School Committee meeting at 9:50 pm.

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