February 2, 2012

Holliston Public Schools

Holliston, MA  01746


School Committee Meeting

January 5, 2012


Present:            Mrs. Plunkett (Chair), Mr. Gray, Mr. Jones, Mrs. Murphy, Mrs. Galeaz-Weber,

Mrs. Pennypacker (Vice Chair), Dr. Jackson, Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Ahern, Assistant Superintendent of Schools,  


Absent:             Mrs. Emmons


Call to Order

Mrs. Plunkett called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.



On a motion made by Mr. Gray, seconded by Mrs. Pennypacker, the Committee voted to approve the minutes of the December 8, 2011, School Committee Regular Session, as presented.


Favor: 6

Oppose: 0

Abstain: 0

Absent: 1



School Committee Individual Comment


Mrs. Pennypacker enjoyed the High School Band and Choral Concert before the winter break.  She wants to thank all the teachers, students and parent volunteers for their efforts.  The Music and Arts Parent Meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the Adams Library.  Next HABA Meeting will be held on Monday, January 9, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.


Mr. Gray commented on the “Jump Rope for the Playground Event” on March 1st.  It’s a fun fundraiser for the children.  Families will be seeing envelopes coming home shortly.  There will be an Elementary Parents Group meeting on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 conducting the annual grant appropriation.  On February 4th, the Annual Science Fest will take place at Miller and Placentino Cafetorium.


Mr. Jones opened up the meeting with an update to the Committee and the Community on the FY13 budget process.  The 2013 budget preliminary guidelines predict an increase of 1.5 percent for all departments.  Mr. Jones encourages people to become educated in this process and not to wait until after all of the decisions have been made.


Mrs. Plunkett stated that School Committee office hours will be held next Thursday, January 12, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. at the Coffee Haven.


Central Office Administrator’s Comment

Dr. Jackson gave a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) update.  Earlier in the week, an all school assembly was held for all students and faculty.  For the faculty, expectations for the fall semester were outlined.  Dr. Jackson acknowledged that there is a lot of anxiety around this issue.  However, he is confident that Holliston will be a model for technology initiatives across the State.


Dr. Ahern commented on Reading Street and the enVison Math Program – she wants to give credit to the Principals and Pat Rourke.  Most validating were the teachers’ comments to the Math Educators who were visiting from the Waltham School District.  Our teachers stated how they were able to prepare students in math and address the student’s learning needs.  She would like to recognize the efforts of educators.






Opportunity for the Public to Address the School Committee


The public comments of the evening were made by a parent who expressed concern regarding the transportation of students via taxi cabs and the implications for the District’s CORI policy.  (See policy item below).





School Improvement Plan Presentations:

Mr. Cournoyor, Principal – Holliston High School:

Mr. Cournoyor reviewed the School Improvement Plan for the Holliston High School. 

Their focus is on the following:


  • UbD (Understanding by Design) Stage 2 – Assessment (philosophy and unification of


  • Technology – (including the hardware and software for teachers, professional development for

            teachers, hardware and software for students as well as instructional changes) 

  • School Environment (improved school climate).
  • Self-Assessment (using NEASC as a method for self-improvement).   


Mr. Botelho, Principal – Robert H. Adams Middle School:

Mr. Botelho reviewed the School Improvement Plan for the Robert H. Adams Middle School.  Their focus is on the following:


  • Inquiry and engagement
  • Work of Curriculum and Technology Integration Specialists
  • 21st Century Teaching and Learning cohort
  • School Climate and Anti-Bullying Initiative


Mr. Keim, Principal – Fred W, Miller Elementary School:

Mr. Keim reviewed the School Improvement Plan for the Fred Miller Elementary School.  Their current focus is on:


  • Math Common Core Standards (including professional development and enVision Math materials.
  • Professional Learning Communities (development of new teacher leaders, teacher-driven initiatives, and team planning).


Mrs. Weene, Principal – Placentino Elementary School

Mrs. Weene reviewed the School Improvement Plan for Placentino Elementary School.  Their focus is on:


  • Curriculum and Instruction (writing, curriculum design, assessments, and technology)
  • Communication (community outreach to the Holliston Food Pantry, translations for ELL parent


  • Health, Safety, and Well-Being of the students
  • Respectful School Culture
  • Fitness



A.      Amendment to Policy ADDA -CORI Requirements


Dr. Jackson described the proposed changes to the policy.  A general discussion followed.

Add “Prior to commencing such transportation” on page 3 when the CORI checks are to be performed.


On a motion made by Mr. Gray, seconded by Mrs. Galaez-Weber, the Committee voted to adopt the revised CORI Requirements Policy as amended.


Favor: 6

Oppose: 0

Abstain: 0

Absent: 1


On a motion made by Mr. Gray, seconded by Mrs. Galeaz-Weber, the Committee voted to approve a school bill warrant in the amount of $201,204.47


Favor: 6

Oppose: 0

Abstain: 0

Absent: 1


On a motion made by Mr. Gray, seconded by Mrs. Galeaz-Weber, the Committee voted to approve a cafeteria revolving account bill in the amount of 19,294.59


Favor: 6

Oppose: 0

Abstain: 0

Absent: 1


Items of Information



Future Meeting Dates and Agenda Items

The next School Committee meeting will be held on January 20, 2012, at 4 p.m. in the High School Library.  This will be to present the Fiscal Year 2013’s New Initiatives.


The next regular School Committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 19, 2012, however, the agenda is very light so there is a possibility of the meeting being cancelled.  The following regularly scheduled meeting date is Thursday, February 2, 2012 at which point Dr. Jackson will present his FY 2013 recommended budget.  In addition, Dr. Jackson and Dr. Ahern would like to present an overview of the January 13, 2012 Professional Day.


Adjournment of Open Session

Mrs. Plunkett announced that there would be a need for an Executive Session from which the Committee will not be returning to Open Session.


On a motion made by Mr. Gray seconded by Mrs. Galeaz-Weber, the Committee voted to adjourn to Executive Session for the purposes of Collective Bargaining with the Superintendent at 8:45 p.m.


Roll Call vote:  Mr. Gray, yes; Mr. Jones, yes; Mrs. Murphy, yes; Mrs. Pennypacker, yes; Mrs. Galeaz-Weber, yes; Mrs. Plunkett, yes, Mrs. Emmons, Absent.


Favor: 6

Oppose: 0

Abstain: 0

Absent: 1


Respectfully submitted,



Robin Tusino