• SC Minutes 08/31/2016



    School Committee Meeting

    Wednesday, August 31, 2016

    Sharon Middle School

    75 Mountain Street

    Sharon, MA 02067

    Present: Katie Currul-Dykeman, Jon Hitter, Marcy Kaplan, Laura Salomon, Emily Smith-Lee, Veronica Wiseman

    Also present: Tim Farmer, Jahmal Mosley

    Open Session was convened at 7:04 p.m.



    • A letter was received from a parent re: items that were placed in the Cottage School dumpster. Administration responded to the parent.

    • A letter was received from SEEPAC requesting representation on the Superintendent Search Committee and the Enrollment Task Force.

    Open Forum

    There were no community members present for participation in Open Forum.

    SHS Student Representatives

    Recent happenings at SHS:

    • First day was very successful for all students

    • Picture Day: September 9th

    • Incoming freshmen are the first class to have individual computers as a result of the 1:1 initiative

    • Many improvements to the SHS over the summer, particularly bathroom upgrades – Thanks to the PTSO and the Class of 2016 for their donations; also cafeteria: new sound system and over 76 International flags on display (flags were provided by a generous donation from the Indian American Association); new recycling bins throughout the school

    • Freshmen Orientation – tours were provided by upperclassmen

    • New policy – use of phones will be allowed between classes and during lunch

    • New administrators - assistant principal: Mr. Nicholas Bacigalupi (former ELA coordinator) and new social studies coordinator: Mr. Chuck Fazzio (former social studies teacher) Rebecca Smoler new to SPS, (6-12 ELA Coordinator)

    • Fall sports meeting was held on Aug. 30th


    Consent Agenda:

    1. Approve SHS Donation ($3,021) from the Indian American Association of Sharon

    2. Approve Cottage Street School PTO Grant for $4775 (recycling stations)

    3. Approve all Clubs/Groups with student Activity Fund Ties

    4. Approve Home Schooling Requests

    5. Approve School Committee Goals – hold vote for a subsequent meeting

    There was a discussion on whether the goals language should be specific or general.

    MOTION: (Salomons/Wiseman) Moved to approve consent agenda items 1-4 as presented. Yes vote: Currul-Dykeman, Hitter, Kaplan, Salomons, Smith-Lee, Wiseman


    Consent Agenda #6 - Approve Superintendent Search Consulting Firm – hold vote following discussion

    Superintendent Search Update(s)/Consulting Firm Update

    J. Hitter, L. Salomons, and E. Smith-Lee interviewed 3 superintendents’ search consulting firms - two local firms in person (NESDEC & MASC) and one national firm by telephone (HYA). Following a discussion, which included the pros/cons of each firm, it was the consensus of the Committee to engage NESDEC, which has conducted successful superintendent searches in the area. Fee is approximately $18,000. The consulting firm works with focus groups for the purpose of gathering input from all town constituents. Following the discussion, M. Kaplan asked for a motion.

    MOTION: (Smith-Lee/Hitter) Moved that the School Committee retain NESDEC to launch the Superintendent Search. Yes vote: Currul-Dykeman, Hitter, Kaplan, Salomons, Smith-Lee, Wiseman

    Superintendent Search Committee Composition/Volunteer Recruitment

    There was a discussion on how to involve all stakeholders and still maintain a manageable number for the search committee. NESDEC recommends a committee of 10-12 members. NESDEC will conduct informational meetings with focus groups throughout the town and will then report their findings back to the search committee. NESDEC will attend the September 14th meeting to explain the process step by step. If members have specific questions/concerns, they are asked to contact L. Salomons prior to the September 14th meeting.

    Kindergarten Fee Question for Budget Subcommittee

    There was a discussion on the balance in the kindergarten account that is carried forward from year to year. It was the consensus of the Committee to hold the full-day kindergarten fee at $3,100. This sum is below the actual cost for full-day kindergarten. The current money in the kindergarten account is used to make up the difference. Discussion centered around:

    • Should the current practice continue until the balance is reduced to $61,000 (amount voted by the S.C. at a previous meeting to maintain in the account) – or to return a small amount to parents until the balance has been reduced. Note: Parents over the past two years would not receive any monetary reimbursement, as the kindergarten fee they paid was lower than the actual cost for full-day kindergarten. Members would like to receive feedback from parents – use the balance to grow the program or reimburse.

    This topic will be a discussion agenda item at the October 19th meeting.

    DESE Grant and Striar Hebrew Day School Collaboration

    T. Farmer updated the Committee on the successful filing of a DESE grant ($25,000) filed by the Striar Hebrew Day School in collaboration with the SPS. The grant would provide funding to hire a part-time special educator assigned to Striar for the benefit of its special needs students. To date, the grant has not yet been posted on the DESE website. Sharon Public Schools would apply for the grant; Striar would have access to the $25,000 for the special educator.


    None at this time


    Opening Day of School Updates – included in T. Farmer’s PowerPoint presentation:

    • Enrollment – total of 3532 (increase of 79 students from 2015-2016)

    • Attempts to schedule water testing in the schools continues. Committee will be updated when specific dates have been confirmed.

    Administrative Summer Retreat Update

    • Successful Administrative retreat was held on August 16 & 17

    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, Wiseman

    Open Session was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

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

    Back-up Materials for the August 31, 2016 meeting

    • copies of correspondence

    • copies of consent agenda materials

    • copy superintendent search committee proposals

    • copy of DESE/Striar grant information

    • copy of Supt. PowerPoint presentation