• SC Minutes 01/11/2017



    School Committee Meeting

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

    Sharon Middle School

    75 Mountain Street

    Sharon, MA 02067

    Present: Katie Currul-Dykeman, Marcy Kaplan, Laura Salomons, Emily Smith-Lee, Veronica Wiseman

    Absent: Jon Hitter

    Also present for Open Session: Tim Farmer, Jahmal Mosley, John Marcus, Susan Owen, Meg Dussault and members of the community

    Open Session was called to order at 7:02 p.m.


    Open Forum

    Two parents (Andrea Pannone and Judy Clougherty) read a lengthy statement, which outlined their concerns regarding some school system’s instituting software for “personalized learning”, and questioned how much “personalized learning” is in the Sharon Public Schools. Dr. Marcus clarified that SPS does not have “personalized learning” and has no intentions of pursuing that course of student tracking in the future. Community members were encouraged to attend the evening sessions for meeting the three finalists for Superintendent, where at that time, they can ask the candidates their view on “personalized learning”.

    This subject will be a discussion item at a future meeting.


    The following correspondence was received:

    1) The letter that was read during Open Forum was also sent to the School Committee.

    2) A letter from a parent re: using Styrofoam trays in the cafeteria. T. Farmer and M. VanCott, Food Service Director, responded to the parent’s inquiry.

    SHS Student Representative

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


    Consent Agenda:

    1. Approve Executive & Open Session Minutes (Dec. 21, 2016 & Jan. 4, 2017)

    2. Approve SHS All-State Music Festival - Boston (March 9-11, 2017)

    3. Approve SHS Model UN Conference – BU (Feb. 10-12, 2017)

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

    Separate vote:

    Consent Agenda #4 – Approve Assessment Advisory Committee letter to the Department of Education – re: testing and results being tied to teacher evaluations. The Advisory Committee submitted the draft letter to the S.C. for their review with the request that the S.C. vote to approve/support the letter and send it to the DESE. Prior the vote, there was a discussion on the request and whether the S.C. should vote on the letter or should this be handled by administration. There being no further discussion, M. Kaplan asked for a motion.

    MOTION: (Wiseman/Currul-Dykeman) Moved to approve the letter submitted by the Assessment Advisory Committee for S.C. approval as presented at this evening’s meeting. Yes vote: Currul-Dykeman, Kaplan, Wiseman. Abstained: Salomons, Smith-Lee


    Community Education – Looking to the Future – Meg Dussault

    M. Dussault, Director of Community Education, with the aid of PowerPoint presented an overview of the growth and future expansion of the Community Education Program. Highlights included:

    • Goals: continue offering quality programs; expand adult education offerings; invest resources back into programs

    • Community education is a self-sustained part of the SPS

    • Current offerings include: before/after care; enrichment; STAR camp; CREATE program; family field trips; adult education

    • a strong working relationship has developed with the Town’s Rec Department

    • Fees for SPS program are compatible with fees charged by surrounding communities

    • To date there is an accumulated end balance of $666,516.80 in the five community education revolving accounts

    • Factors contributing to the growth of the program: expansion of after care to East and SMS; expansion of enrichment, adult education, summer and music programs; school department does not charge a yearly rental fee for use of school facilities

    • Possible ways to expand program:

    -Short-term - purchase new building allowing classroom and meeting room space for adult education programming. Purchase would be from existing funds.

    -Long-range – build own building using school-owned property. Advantages would include: ability to continue growing program; insures use of financial resources; would provide permanent home for SPS; allows collaboration with town/school departments; would free up current buildings from overuse

    Following the presentation, there was a lengthy Q&A with the Committee regarding the forward thinking proposals presented at this evening’s meeting. It was noted that any of the proposals would not be at the expense of taxpayers.

    Student Activity Audit Report – Susan Owen

    S. Owen, Business Manager, presented an overview of the FY 2016 Student Activity Accounts Audit Report. There were few, minor findings. Corrective action on the findings, approved by DESE, will be implemented and modifications made to the district’s procedures as noted in order to be in compliance with all regulations.

    FY 2018 Preliminary Budget

    T. Farmer and S. Owen presented an overview of the preliminary 2018 budget, which was presented and discussed at a previous meeting. This budget comes within the 2.79% increase recommended by the Priorities Committee. In order to meet the 2.79%, funding for a .30 Middle School custodian will be funded through the Community Education Program. There would not be a .25 increase to the technology integration specialist position for the 2017-2018 school year. There was a discussion regarding the decrease of $25,000 from the special education summer program budget. For clarification, the $25,000 has not been utilized over the past years, and the program has met all the I.E.P. expectations of the students without the additional $25,000 spending. There will be further budget discussion at the January 25th meeting. Budget open forum is scheduled for Feb. 8th. School Committee will be asked to vote approval of the preliminary budget at the Feb. 15th meeting.

    Kindergarten Revolving Account Balance

    T. Farmer presented a ten-year breakdown of the kindergarten revolving account (2006 through projected balance for 2017). There was a lengthy discussion on the amount that should be carried forward from year to year and the most effective dissolution of the current balance. Areas of discussion included:

    • should the balance be maintained at $60,000

    • with the current financial structure, it is not possible to gradually start incorporating full-day kindergarten expenses into the operating budget

    • S.C. decide what to do with the balance after 2018

    • use the surplus to grow the program

    • maintain the balance in order to maintain the tuition at $3,100

    • have operating budget absorb increases beyond $3,100

    • February will have more concrete kindergarten enrollment figures

    This issue will be further discussed in early March.


    • Priorities Committee will have a follow-up meeting in early March

    • Capital Outlay’s tour took place on January 7th

    • There will be a meet and greet at 5:30 p.m. and a 7:00 p.m. S.C. meeting on January 12th for the public to meet superintendent finalist, Patricia Kinsella. Sharon cable TV will air the tapings of all three finalists after January 19th.


    There were no Superintendent Items for this evening’s meeting.

    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 10:20 p.m.

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

    Back-up Materials for the January 11, 2017 meeting

    • copies of correspondence

    • copies of consent agenda materials

    ª copy of PP presentation – Community Education

    • copy of Student Activity Audit Report

    • copy of preliminary 2018 budget

    • back-up information re: kindergarten revolving account