• SC Minutes 03/15/2017



    School Committee Meeting

    Wednesday, March 15, 2017

    Sharon Middle School

    75 Mountain Street

    Sharon, MA 02067

    Present: Katie Currul-Dykeman, Jon Hitter, Marcy Kaplan, Laura Salomons (participated via phone), Emily Smith-Lee

    Absent: Veronica Wiseman

    Also present for Open Session: Tim Farmer, Jahmal Mosley, John Marcus, members of the Performing Arts Committee, student representatives, members of the community and a member of the press

    Open Session was called to order at 7:10 p.m.



    One piece of correspondence was received from a student from Avon inquiring whether Sharon participates in School Choice. T. Farmer responded.

    SHS Student Representatives

    Recent happenings at SHS:

    • Course selection for 2017-2018 must be submitted by March 20th

    • Congratulations to the Mock Trial for advancing to the finals

    • Spring sports start March 20th

    • National Honor Society is sponsoring a fund raiser “Hoops for Hearts” – proceeds for heart disease awareness

    • Drama Company will be performing their entry for the competition.

    • Twenty-seven SHS students and one SMS student were recognized by the Globe Art Awards

    • Last Teen Speak-Out for the year – March 31st

    • Forty Japanese students will arrive at SHS on March 17th for a one-day immersion experience


    Consent Agenda:

    1. Approve Open Session Minutes (March 1, 2017)

    2. Approve SHS Donation from GPI US, Inc. ($500)

    3. Approve SHS acceptance of a MassCue Grant to Cottage Street School ($2,830.28) for after school Lego Club

    4. School Choice (hold for separate vote)

    5. Approve SHS Ultimate Frisbee Trip (Amherst, MA – May 13 & 14, 2017)

    6. Approve appointment of Rory Marty, Director of Maintenance & Operations, to the Standing Building Committee for Sharon High School

    Separate Vote:

    7. Approve Superintendent salary for 7/1/17 – 8/10/17

    8. Approve Social Media Policy (after discussion) Following a lengthy discussion, it was the consensus of the Committee to vote on the Social Media Policy at the March 29th meeting.

    MOTION: (Hitter/Smith-Lee) Moved to approve consent agenda items #1, 2, 3, 5, 6 as presented. Yes vote: Currul-Dykeman, Hitter, Kaplan, Salomons, Smith-Lee

    Consent Agenda Item #4. School Choice

    By state law, School Committees must vote yearly on school choice participation. Vote must be taken before May 1st. E. Smith-Lee stated though she is an advocate of school choice, with the burgeoning student population and class sizes, now would not be the time to approve school choice participation.

    MOTION: (Currul-Dykeman/Hitter) Moved that the Sharon Public Schools opt out of School Choice for the 2017-2018 school year. Yes vote:Currul-Dykeman, Hitter, Kaplan, Salomons, Smith-Lee

    Consent Agenda Item #7. Approve Superintendent salary for 7/1/17 – 8/10/17

    M. Kaplan asked for a motion to approve the addendum employment contract for T. Farmer, which authorizes his pay from July 1, 2017 to August 10, 2017.

    MOTION: (Smith-Lee/Currul-Dykeman) Moved to approve the employment contract addendum for Timothy Farmer from July 1, 2017-August 10, 2017 as required for submission to the MA Teachers Retirement Board. Yes vote:Currul-Dykeman, Hitter, Kaplan, Salomons, Smith-Lee


    Mid-Year Budget Review (Q2) – Susan Owen

    S. Owen, with the aid of PowerPoint, presented an overview of the mid-year budget report. As requested by members, the presentation included a cost comparison of spending to date from 2016 to 2017. Areas covered in the presentation included:

    • Mid-year spending to date on gas and electric

    • Circuit breaker funds will be used to offset any deficits in the SPED Tuition account

    • Capital Outlay for 2017 is being used for computers, phone system, furniture, Middle School track, classroom acoustics and a SPED van

    • Grants for 2017 are the same as 2016 with the exception of a new Title III Grant in the amount of $16,678

    • Revolving accounts remain the same for both years. There is a growing balance in the Community Education Revolving Account, which will be discussed at a future meeting.

    • The new guidelines from the state for Student Activity Funds was reviewed.

    • Donation accounts remain the same for both years.

    Performing Arts Committee Update/Final Report – John Marcus

    J. Marcus, with the aid of PowerPoint, presented the final report and recommendations from the Performing Arts Committee. Highlights from the presentation included:

    • explanation of process – selected 18 demographically or geographically similar communities to explore; developed a survey based on charge questions; survey follow-up; analyzed results

    • comparison districts – Westwood, Hingham, Bedford, Milton, Acton, Westford, Marshfield, Duxbury, Easton, Canton, Norwood, Stoughton, Mansfield, Foxboro, Walpole, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline

    • Charge Questions:

    1) Review existing preK-12 offerings – compare to surrounding districts

    2) Staffing, coordinator support – compare Sharon’s staffing/support to surrounding districts

    3) Review instrumental music at all grade levels – compare to surrounding districts

    4) Review SPS implementation of choral program – compare to surrounding districts

    5) Compare course title and offerings 9-12

    6) Explore systemic focus, influence and prerequisites for one level to next

    7) Explore options for showcasing SPS music/theater department performances

    8) Explore options for older students to mentor younger children

    9) Solicit community feedback on music/theater in contest with other disciplines

    10) Explore grade-specific music experiences

    11) Explore graduation requirements (AP music/theater offerings) – compare to surrounding districts

    12) Engage SHS students for reasons behind low enrollments in music/theater

    13) Explore music/theater extensions (summer music festivals, music camps, etc.)

    Final Summary:

    • Recommend a coordinator to address issues such as unified departments, dedicated spaces for instruments, department meetings, SHS mentors, etc.

    • Ensure Creative Arts are represented and supported in the new Strategic Plan.

    •Recommend Performing Arts Committee members meet with new Superintendent, Dr. Greer, and potential coordinator for visual and performing arts to review/implement recommendations.

    Following the presentation, there was a Q&A with the Committee. M. Kaplan suggested that the Special Education Department be contacted for input on inclusive programming.

    Social Media Policy (discussion for language clarity)

    J. Marcus presented an overview of the proposed Guidelines for Official and Affiliated Organization Social Media Use (Policy INJDC Social Media Affiliates). The language changes suggested by members at the March 1st meeting were incorporated in this evening’s draft document. Following the discussion and the additional suggestions for language changes, a vote on the Social Media Policy will be a consent agenda item at the March 29th meeting.

    MA School Building Authority Certificate of Compliance (SHS)

    T. Farmer presented an overview of the compliance certification from the MA School Building Authority (MSBA) for a renovation or build to Sharon High School. Sharon was one of 17 districts out of 84 applicants that were invited into the MSBA program. There are five phases. Gordon Gladstone, Chair of the Standing Building Committee, along with T. Farmer, R. Marty, J. Libano will meet with Superintendent Dr. Victoria Greer (as of July 1st) on March 31st to review MSBA requirements. Phase one is approval for an architect and feasibility study.


    • Priorities Meeting met on March 6th to discuss the one-time infusion into the School Department’s operating budget of funding for the 1:1 technology initiative. The Priorities Committee did not approve the proposal.

    • Policy subcommittee will reschedule their March 14th meeting, which was cancelled due to snow.


    T. Farmer, with the aide of PowerPoint, updated the members on the following:

    • Heights is completing their application for consideration as a Blue Ribbon School

    • SHS students leave for China (3/16 – 5/7)

    • District newsletter will be going out next week

    • MSBA has accepted Sharon High School into their program

    • Diversity Task Force will be surveying middle and high schools on the topic of identity

    • STA membership is still reviewing the contract – possibly ready for signatures on 3/29

    • Dr. Greer will be in-district on 3/31

    • Last day of school will now be 6/23

    • Six administrators have negotiated new contracts with T. Farmer

    Other Business

    There being no other business, M. Kaplan asked for a motion to adjourn Open Session.

    MOTION: (Smith-Lee/Currul-Dykeman) Moved to adjourn Open Session. Yes vote: Currul-Dykeman, Hitter, Kaplan, Salomons, Smith-Lee

    Open Session was adjourned at 9:25 p.m.

    Submitted on behalf of the School Committee by: Helen Campanario, Recording Secretary to the School Committee

    Back-up Materials for the March 15, 2017 meeting

    • copies of consent agenda materials

    ª copy of PP Mid-Year budget report materials

    • copy of PP presentation re: Performing Arts Committee Update

    • copy of Social Media Policy

    • copy of PP presentation – Supt. Items