Approved October 16, 2008

Holliston Public Schools

Holliston, MA  01746

 

School Committee Meeting

October 2, 2008

 

 

Present:            Mrs. Emmons, Mrs. Galeaz (Chair), Mr. Gray, Mr. Jones (arrived at 7:03 pm), Mrs. Murphy, Mrs. Pennypacker, Mrs. Plunkett (Vice-Chair), Mr. Jackson, Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Cornely, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Buday, Business Manager, Mrs. Colarusso, Student Services Director

 

Absent:             No one

 

Call to Order

Mrs. Galeaz called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.  Mrs. Galeaz asked for a moment of silence for Joey Larracey and Timothy O’Connell.

 

Minutes

On a motion made by Mr. Gray, seconded by Mrs. Pennypacker, the Committee voted to approve the minutes of the September 4, 2008, School Committee Regular Session, as presented.

Vote:                Favor:   6          Oppose: 0                    Abstain: 0                     Absent: 1 (Jones)          

 

On a motion made by Mr. Gray, seconded by Mrs. Pennypacker, the Committee voted to approve and retain the minutes of the September 4, 2008, School Committee Executive Session, as presented.

Vote:                Favor:   6          Oppose: 0                    Abstain: 0                     Absent: 1 (Jones)          

 

(Mr. Jones arrived at 7:03 pm)

 

Communications

School Committee Individual Comment

Mrs. Plunkett announced that the Adams Middle School has a school dance scheduled for October 24, 2008.

Mr. Gray thanked the school department and administration in all of the buildings for the way they handled the recent unfortunate circumstances involving the High School and Placentino Elementary School.  The High School Open House was well done and appreciated.  The Senior Class Auction is October 13.  They are still collecting goods and looking for volunteers.

Mrs. Pennypacker announced that the HEPO Fundraiser, Innisbrook, has been extended to October 8.  Family Picture Day is October 18.  The first Math Council meeting is October 15.

 

Central Office Administrator’s Comment

Mr. Jackson announced that the bus fee refunds were mailed October 1, 2008.  He reported that the National Honor Society Induction was last Thursday.  He congratulated everyone involved.

 

Mr. Cornely discussed the Professional Learning Community, describing the mentor training and peer observations that are occurring now.

 

Opportunity for the Public to Address the School Committee

There was no public comment.

 

Presentations

A.      Energy Improvements to Holliston High School

Mr. Buday reviewed the Field House Lighting and how the Town had allocated $25,000 to the schools for equipment to improve energy efficiency.  He described the scope of the project which involved the replacement of 96 fixtures.  It began on September 8 and was completed by September 12.  The cost normally would have been funded 50% by NSTAR and 50% by the school department.  NSTAR offered to pay for 100% of the project.  Mr. Buday reviewed the cost savings of using the new high intensity florescent lighting.  The School Committee was very pleased with this project and the cost savings to the School Department. 

Mr. Jackson congratulated Mr. Buday for his hard work and the work of the Maintenance and Support Staff in completing this project.

 

Mr. Jackson explained that with the cost savings from the Field House Lighting, there was still $25,000 funded at the Town Meeting slated for use in energy efficiency upgrades for the schools.  He will develop a list of alternatives for the School Committee to review for use of this funding.  The list could include replacing the window wall in the High School Library, replacing the windows in the main office of the High School or possibly motion detectors for lights.  The options will be presented to the School Committee at the next meeting.  School Committee discussion occurred around possible areas to focus on for the energy savings.

 

Policy

A.      Policy EEA – Transportation – Student (revision)

Mrs. Emmons reviewed the policy and the changes being recommended.  They have made the policy as broad as possible to encompass various scenarios that are determined by the annual school budget. 

 

On a motion made by Mr. Jones, seconded by Mrs. Plunkett, the Committee voted to accept the policy as amended and presented this evening. 

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

 

Personnel

A.      New Teacher Institute 2008-2009 Overview

Mr. Cornely discussed the New Teacher Institute describing how teachers can share their experiences and concerns over their first year of teaching.  The Institute provides an opportunity for open discussion with questions and answers.  In addition, they review classroom management and the importance of a positive mental attitude.  Dr. Pat Smith, the instructor, uses the book “The Art and Science of Teaching,” by Robert Marzano as a guide for the course.  School Committee discussion followed the presentation.

 

Old Business

A.      MCAS Preliminary Report

Mr. Cornely reviewed the preliminary MCAS results and trends.  He reminded the Committee that this is not a norm-referenced test, but a criterion-referenced test which changes from year to year.  They look at a cohort group as the students move through the district.  A cohort measures the progress of the same group of students and does not include the Alternate Assessment group.  Mr. Cornely explained the scores at each of the grade levels and the trends over time.  He discussed the areas of the tests where students excelled and areas of focus for the district.  He explained that they will be working with the principals, curriculum specialists and teachers to analyze the scores.

 

B.   October 10 Professional Development Day Preview

Mr. Cornely explained the plans for the October 10 Professional Day for each of the schools.  At the elementary level, they will be participating in a 3-part seminar that will encompass 3 professional days.  The topic will be “Looking at Student Work” and “Effective Teaching Strategies.”  At the Adams Middle School, their focus will be on “Teaching and Learning Conversations.”  At the High School, they will take an inventory of their personal and collective knowledge of the attributes of a successful learning community.  They will then create school wide and individual department action plans, focusing on the success of all students. The nurses will be focusing on the flu vaccine for their professional day.

 

New Business

A.      Foundation Reserve Program

Mr. Jackson described the Foundation Reserve (Pothole) Program.  The program provides funding for issues that plague a community.  We applied for funding and received $59,000.  No other TEC Community received this money and Holliston is the only community in the Metrowest Area to receive the funding.  This is a significant award because Holliston has not been able to make up State Aid funding from FY02.  Mr. Buday noted that in FY02 Holliston received $7.25 million in Chapter 70 State Aid.  In FY09, we received $6.88 million – a reduction of over $371,000 or about 5.1%.  It is a one time cash award to the School Committee for their allocation without further appropriation from the Town Meeting. 

Mr. Jackson is working to develop allocations for these funds and would like to find ways to reduce FY10 Budget shortfalls. 

 

Warrants

On a motion made by Mr. Gray, seconded by Mr. Jones, the Committee voted to approve a cafeteria revolving account bill in the amount of $31,866.44.

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

           

On a motion made by­­­ Mr. Gray, seconded by Mr. Jones, the Committee voted to approve a school bill warrant in the amount of $206,855.85.

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

 

On a motion made by Mr. Gray, seconded by Mrs. Pennypacker, the Committee voted to approve a school bill warrant for a bus fee warrant for a limited number of local people in the amount of $700.00.

Vote:    Favor:   4          Oppose: 0               Abstain: 3 (Galeaz, Jones, Emmons)    Absent: 0         

 

Items of Information

A.      Middle Matters

 

Future Meeting Dates and Agenda Items

The next School Committee meeting is October 16, 2008.  Topics to be discussed include the October 1 Enrollment Report, Preliminary FY10 Budget Development Calendar, first pass at the 2010 School Calendar, re-draft of a new System-wide Field Trip Permission Form, spending plan recommendation for the Foundation Reserve Award and the High School Energy Improvement Project spending plan.

 

Adjournment of Open Session

Mrs. Galeaz announced that there would be a need for an Executive Session to discuss collective bargaining from which the Committee will not be returning to open session.

 

On a motion made by Mrs. Emmons, seconded by Mrs. Plunkett, the Committee voted to adjourn to Executive Session at 8:39 pm for the purposes of discussing collective bargaining.  The Committee will not be returning to open session. 

 

Roll Call vote: Mrs. Murphy, yes; Mrs. Emmons, yes; Mr. Gray, yes; Mr. Jones, yes;

Mrs. Pennypacker, yes; Mrs. Plunkett, yes; Mrs. Galeaz, yes.

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

 

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Cheryl A. Kelly

Recording Secretary