Approved October 1, 2009

Holliston Public Schools

Holliston, MA  01746

 

School Committee Meeting

September 17, 2009

 

Present:            Mrs. Emmons, Mrs. Galeaz (Chair), Mr. Gray, Mr. Jones, Mrs. Murphy,

Mrs. Pennypacker, Mrs. Plunkett (Vice Chair), Dr. Jackson, Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Cornely, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Buday, Business Manager, Dr. Einsel, Student Services Director

 

Absent:             No one

 

Call to Order

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

 

Minutes

On a motion made by Mr. Gray, seconded by Mrs. Pennypacker, the Committee voted to approve the minutes of the September 3, 2009, School Committee Regular Session, as presented.

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 and retain the minutes of the September 3, 2009, School Committee Executive Session, as presented.

Vote:

Favor: 7

Oppose: 0

Abstain: 0

Absent: 0

 

Communications

School Committee Individual Comment

Mrs. Murphy remarked that the Grade 6 Open House was a great evening and thanks to all. 

Mrs. Pennypacker announced the next HEPO meeting would be October 21, 2009.

Mrs. Emmons reminded everyone that the Senior Class Auction is October 12 at the High School.  She also noted there was an article in the Boston Globe, “More Bang for Your Buck” and Holliston was one of the communities discussed in a very positive light.

Mrs. Plunkett commented that Holliston had a 100% passing rate with respect to the MCAS scores, also in the newspaper today. 

 

Central Office Administrator’s Comment

Dr. Jackson said that he and Mrs. Plunkett had attended the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the Holliston Police Station on Tuesday, September 15.  It was a great ceremony and the Holliston High School Band played the “Star Spangled Banner.”  Mrs. Plunkett commented that there is an Open House scheduled for September 26 at the Holliston Police Station.

Mr. Cornely discussed professional development, stating that it does not begin and end with the four professional days, but continues throughout the school year.  He mentioned two classes currently underway, the “Understanding by Design Class,” and the “New Teacher Institute.” 

 

Opportunity for the Public to Address the School Committee

There was no public comment.

 

Presentations

A.      State of our Technology

Mr. Keith Buday reviewed the “State of our Technology” in the schools.  He discussed, in detail, the equipment in each of the schools, the technology staff and the Technology Plan, stating that we have had some of the equipment for nine years.  We have dealt with sporadic failures, data losses and are facing the potential of catastrophic losses.  He discussed some possible solutions and presented the costs involved in updating the technology in the schools. 

 

Dr. Jackson stated the total technology replacement costs are $1.8 million, which can all be justified.  The schools have not allocated any funds for technology in two and one half years. 

Dr. Jackson’s initial recommendation to the School Committee is to attend Town Meeting on October 26th and ask the Town to appropriate $682,000 for technology in the schools.

Dr. Jackson continued saying that state of the art technology is integral for teachers, parents and students in the 21st century.  Technology has changed three times since we purchased equipment in the year 2000.  General School Committee discussion followed.  There was conversation with two FinCom members who were present (Jay Leary and Ken Szajda) about the process to have this item added to the Town Warrant. 

 

Dr. Jackson recommended that we take the requests from tonight’s meeting, tighten them up, and bring them to the next School Committee meeting on October 1.  Dr. Jackson and

Mr. Buday will meet with the Budget Subcommittee and then bring forth the recommendations to the School Committee on October 1.  Following that meeting, the recommendations will be presented to the Finance Committee for the Town Meeting Warrant.

 

B.      District AYP Status (addition to the original agenda)

Dr. Jackson discussed the District Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Status.  It is part of the “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) Act and shows progress made by schools and districts.  The goal is to have all students reach “Proficiency” in English Language Arts/Reading and Mathematics by the year 2014.  Dr. Jackson discussed the challenge areas for Holliston, noting there is one subgroup of students who are in need of additional services to attain this goal.  He said we are not alone in this challenge and that there are other communities, similar to Holliston, who are facing the same challenges.  He said that the AYP goals are admirable, but they do not reflect reality and are statistically impossible to meet.  He continued, saying while this report is important, it is not a serious reflection of the quality of our schools.  School Committee discussion followed.

 

Policy

None

 

Personnel

None

 

Old Business

None

 

New Business

A.      MASS/MASC Joint Conference

Dr. Jackson gave a brief description of the MASS/MASC Joint Conference on

November 18-21, 2009.  He asked interested School Committee members contact him with their plans to attend the meeting. 

 

Warrants

On a motion made by Mr. Gray, seconded by Mr. Jones, the Committee voted to approve a school bill warrant in the amount of $438,990.79.

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 cafeteria revolving account bill in the amount of $17,996.38.

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 Student Activity Replenishment Request for the High School in the amount of $6,965.95.

Vote:

Favor: 7

Oppose: 0

Abstain: 0

Absent: 0

Items of Information

None

 

Future Meeting Dates and Agenda Items

The next School Committee meeting is October 1, 2009.  Topics at this meeting will include the FY11 Budget Development Calendar, the next school year calendar, Class Size Report, Professional Day preview for October 9, an overview of the MCAS results, possibly the Flagg School Agreement and follow-up technology discussion.  The principals will talk about the MCAS scores at the October 15th meeting.

 

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 Mr. Gray, seconded by Mrs. Plunkett, the Committee voted to adjourn to Executive Session at 8:32 pm for the purposes of discussing collective bargaining.  The Committee will not be returning to Open Session. 

 

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