• SC Minutes 01/25/2017



    School Committee Meeting

    Wednesday, January 25, 2017

    Sharon Middle School

    75 Mountain Street

    Sharon, MA 02067

    Present: Katie Currul-Dykeman, Marcy Kaplan, Laura Salomons (left meeting at 7:00 p.m.), Emily Smith-Lee, Veronica Wiseman

    Absent: Jon Hitter (participated via phone for Superintendent vote) – left participation in meeting at 6:50 p.m.

    Also present for Open Session: Tim Farmer, Jahmal Mosley, John Marcus, Susan Owen, members of administration and teaching staff, members of the community and a member of the press

    Open Session was called to order at 6:02 p.m.



    The following correspondence was received:

    1) The letter from a Cottage parent re: lack of heat in a kindergarten classroom. The situation has been resolved.

    SHS Student Representative

    There were no SHS student representatives present at this evening’s meeting.


    Consent Agenda:

    1. Approve Open Session Minutes (Jan. 11, 2017)

    2. Approve donation from NPL Construction ($2,000)

    3. Approve donation to SMS from Intel App Challenge ($5,000)

    4. Approve SHS Student Activity Fund for Academic Decathlon

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

    Separate vote:

    Superintendent appointment and enter into contract negotiations (after discussion and review of superintendent finalists)


    Superintendent Finalist Review

    M. Kaplan presented a thorough overview of the superintendent search process up to this evening’s discussion, which included the following chronology:

    • consulting firm NESDEC was hired to assist in the superintendent search process

    • focus groups were formed as well as on-line surveys to receive input from all stakeholders – data was collected and analyzed

    • 18-member screening committee was formed – 3 finalists were forwarded to the School Committee

    • finalists met individually with staff, community and School Committee

    • interviews were taped and aired on Sharon Cable TV and posted on school department’s website

    • community feed-back forms were distributed and collected

    • feedback was carefully read

    • there was community feedback forms received for a write-in candidate

    M. Kaplan explained that the purpose of this evening’s discussion is to allow School Committee members to discuss, deliberate and come to a decision on the finalist to move forward to contract negotiations for the superintendent position. The three finalists are:

    Dr. Victoria Greer from the Cambridge Public Schools

    Dr. Laurie Hunter from the Duxbury Public Schools

    Patricia Kinsella from the Lincoln Public Schools

    Members provided their individual thoughts on the strengths and qualities of the three finalists. It was the consensus of the members that all three candidates were highly qualified. It is now their responsibility to find the best fit for the Sharon Public Schools.

    Following a discussion on the merits of each candidate, M. Kaplan asked each member to put forward the name of his or her finalist selection. Each member recommended Dr. Victoria Greer as the best fit for the Sharon Public Schools and to lead the district forward. There being no further discussion, M. Kaplan asked for a motion.

    Separate vote:

    Superintendent appointment and enter into contract negotiations (after discussion and review of superintendent finalists).

    MOTION: (Smith-Lee/Salomons) Moved to authorize the Chair to enter into contract negotiations with Dr. Victoria Greer. Yes vote: Currul-Dykeman, Hitter, Kaplan, Salomons, Smith-Lee, Wiseman

    M. Kaplan will contact Dr. Greer and report back to the School Committee on the progress of contract negotiations.

    Sharon Middle School App Competition Award

    At this time, SMS seventh grade students Rohan Bommaraju, Amilia Dasari, Shreesh Nalatwad, Srivishnu Piratla and Tanvi Shah were recognized for their achievement of winning the Intel App Challenge of Massachusetts. The app, entitled Empower, is a comprehensive approach to closing the hiring gap for autistic individuals by connecting families, vocational trainers, and volunteers from the local community with businesses. It engages all key stakeholders in one place. The students will find out in January whether or not they move on to the next stage of the competition.

    Elementary Foreign Language Presentation/Update

    Dr. Mosley, Autumn deLeon-Andrade, Emily VanVaerenewyck, and Pamela Billings, with the aid of PowerPoint presented an update on the FLES Program and proposed expansion to third grade. Areas covered in the presentation included:

    • history of program from its inception up to present

    • progress of curriculum development (grades 1-3)

    • how FLES program mirrors best practices

    • first and second grade benchmarks/standards

    • assessment and rubric to determine proficiency

    • third grade roll-out

    • SPED update – partnering for all students

    • next steps

    Following the presentation, there was a Q&A with the members.

    FY 2018 Preliminary Budget

    T. Farmer presented a brief overview of the 2018 preliminary budget, which was discussed at the January 11th meeting. Class size will be closely monitored, and if necessary during the summer, an additional sixth grade section would be added if enrollment increases. The public open budget forum will be on February 8th. The preliminary budget comes within the 2.79% recommended by the Priorities Committee. T. Farmer will update the members monthly on class-size district-wide.

    K. Currul-Dykeman stated that parents have asked if there is a better way to improve the summer program. Amy Steinberg and Susan Fisichella will address the concern of parents.


    • Capital Outlay meeting – January 26th

    • Rec Dept. meeting discussed the Ames Street playground renovation

    • Policy subcommittee meeting – February 7th


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

    • SPS received a DESE grant to support ELL students in the amount of $16,000

    • Town Meeting articles – school committee composition; Heights roof

    • STA draft language review will be sent to the membership within the next few days.

    • Newsletter reminders – Feb/March (E. Smith-Lee); May/June (K. Currul-Dykeman)

    • Heat has been restored/regulated in Room 14 at Cottage Street School

    • Work from the water damage in the SHS 700 wing is progressing

    • Administration is working on a performance report on the 5-yr. strategic plan

    • Heights Elementary School will receive recognition at the State House on Feb. 1st

    • Kindergarten registration update – February 8th

    • Task Force Updates – February 15th  

    Other Business

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

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

    Open Session was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

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

    Back-up Materials for the January 25, 2017 meeting

    • copies of correspondence

    • copies of consent agenda materials

    ª copy of PP presentation – FLES Program

    • copy of preliminary 2018 budget

    • copy of current class sizes

    • copy of PP presentation – Supt. Items