• SC Minutes 02/24/2016



    School Committee Meeting

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016

    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: Tim Farmer, Jahmal Mosley, Susan Owen, SPS Administrators

    Teachers and members of the community

    Open Session was convened at 7:05 p.m.



    The following correspondence was received:

    • Petition with over 206 signatures in support of the FLES program

    • Letters (29) – re: support of FLES program

    • Letter in support of the current music program

    • Letter in support of the SPED program

    • Letter from SSEPAC & Moms for FLES in support of working collaboratively for SPED programs and FLES program

    • Letter from community member re: suggestions for funding programs

    • Letter from community member re: operational costs needed to sustain FLES

    • Letter from SPS administration in support of the budget process and the preliminary budget as presented

    • Letter re: benefactor for sound improvements in the SHS auditorium

    • Letter from the Sharon Education Foundation re: guest speaker, Michael Thompson

    SHS Student Representatives

    Recent happenings at SHS:

    • March 4th fund-raiser – proceeds go to the Cancer Society

    • Fund-raiser “Hoops for Hearts” – proceeds go to the Heart Association

    • Gong Show – March 31st

    • Spring sport sign-ups are underway

    • Basketball teams heading to the play-offs; gymnastics undefeated; track are Hockomock champs; swimming finished third; mock trials are 3-0

    • Course selections for next year begin next week

    • SHS will hold a mock primary election on Super Tuesday

    • Follow SHS on Twitter, Facebook and You-Tube


    Consent Agenda:

    1. Approve Open and Executive Session Minutes (2/10/16)

    2. Approve SHS Regional Science Quiz Bowl Trip to Storrs, CT (3/5/16)

    3. Approve SHS Program of Studies

    4. Approve Administrative Assistants’ 3-year Contract

    5. Approve the following Ed Evaluation Language

    “Beginning in Spring 2016, each year all classroom teachers and specialized instructional support personnel (SISP) in the district must administer student surveys or other student feedback instruments designed to inform their self-assessment, shape their goal-setting process, and/or demonstrate changes in practice over time. The student feedback gathered through these instruments has no weight or value in a classroom teacher or SISP’s evaluation. Teachers will include an analysis of student feedback in their self-assessment at the beginning of each evaluation cycle.”

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


    Policy IGA (Curriculum Development), Elementary Foreign Language

    L. Salomons read the IGA Policy:

    “Constant revision and assessment of the efficacy of the curriculum is necessary if the District is to meet the needs of the students in its schools. Optimally, the development of an effective curriculum is a collaborative enterprise involving staff and administrators where input from parents, students, and community members will be considered.

    The School Committee expects its faculty and administration to evaluate the education program regularly, to recommend modifications of practice, changes in curriculum content, and the addition or deletion of courses of instruction.

    In all aspects of curriculum development, research findings supporting best practices shall be a guide. The administration shall work to maintain and constantly improve promulgation of curriculum modifications from school to school and grade to grade.

    The Superintendent shall have authority to approve new programs and courses of study after they have been thoroughly studied and found to support educational goals. The School Committee itself shall consider and officially adopt new programs, textbooks and courses when they constitute a substantial change in instructional content or approach, other than those changes dictated by the state and federal government.

    The Superintendent shall inform the School Committee of all new courses and substantial revisions of curriculum, and changes that have budget impact. Its acceptance of such reports, including a listing of the high school program of studies, will constitute its official adoption of the curriculum. In addition, the Superintendent shall inform the School Committee of substantial curricular changes dictated by the state and federal government.”

    L. Salomons – 3 components in the policy have been met: 1) input, 2) research findings for support, 3) programs have been studied and support educational goals. Based on the above criteria, the FLES curriculum should be adopted.

    M. Kaplan – Explained her role as a School Committee member; has budget concerns and sustainability going forward. Her role as a S.C. member is to examine the budget very closely. She is mindful of the interest of the community in the FLES program; has questions on “time on learning”, sustainability and roll out of the program for all students; has further questions of what the program will look like in two years. Based on the above, she cannot vote the adoption of the FLES Program under IGA, but will vote yes on this year’s budget with the FLES line item and would like further discussion on FLES for the 2017-2018 budget.

    E. Smith-Lee – Agrees with M. Kaplan and would not adopt FLES under IGA; has concerns about the cost of the program; recognizes the support of parents and community members; cannot vote under IGA as presented; ok with voting the preliminary budget as presented; would like a continued pilot of the FLES program; S.C. should decide on the amount of money for programs; would approve providing money to continue to pilot FLES; cannot approve a program that is a blank check.

    K. Currul-Dykeman asked for clarification on members willing to vote the preliminary budget with FLES but not under IGA. A discussion on the interpretation of IGA followed.

    K. Currul-Dykeman – Is concerned having a full buy-in on the FLES Program; would prefer discussion year by year.

    V. Wiseman – Explained that it is the S.C. responsibility to allow the administration to make recommendations that will work and would approve FLES through IGA; if money and sustainability is at the heart of the members’ reservations, then how can any curriculum be approved through IGA.

    V. Wiseman stated that due to the absence of J. Hitter at this evening’s meeting, would the members like to wait until there is a full committee for a vote. A non-binding straw poll of the members on an IGA vote: L. Salomons – yes; K. Currul-Dykeman – no; M. Kaplan – no; E. Smith-Lee – no; V. Wiseman – yes.

    Policy IGA, Special Education Program – LEAP

    L. Salomons – Can the LEAP Program apply the same standards as applied to FLES? Cannot support adoption through IGA; would like the program evaluated after the first year of implementation.

    K. Currul-Dykeman – Would approve the adoption of LEAP under IGA.

    M. Kaplan – Would approve the adoption of LEAP under IGA. (Provides education as required by Federal law)

    E. Smith-Lee – Would approve the adoption of LEAP under IGA. (Meets needs of SPED students)

    V. Wiseman – Views both programs as the same; should allow the administration to make recommendations that will work; would vote yes with concerns on how the program will be implemented.

    FY 2017 Preliminary Budget

    T. Farmer recapped the budget discussions from previous meetings; explained roll-over costs; desire to move the district forward; have been successful in finding areas to address in order to meet the needs of the current budget; budget presented meets the recommendations of the Priorities Committee.

    The budget will be voted at the May 2, 2016 Town Meeting.

    MOTION: (Salomons/Kaplan) Move that the School Committee approve the Preliminary 2017 budget in the amount of $41,273,876.83, which includes appropriation for ARC.

    Prior to the vote, E. Smith-Lee stated that she would vote this preliminary budget but is concerned about administration adding an additional $63,000 every year for FLES.

    K. Currul-Dykeman stated that she cannot vote approval of this budget because the elimination of NEEC and the in-house program in place of NECC at the Middle School for 2017 school year. The in-house program will be difficult to replicate NECC.

    Yes vote: Salamons, Kaplan, Smith-Lee, Wiseman. No vote: Currul-Dykeman


    Subcommittee Updates: Budget, Capital, Policy

    Next Policy meeting – March 9th – review of Policies D, IJOA, field trips, and collection of money will be discussed.

    Next Capital Outlay meeting - March 14th. J. Marcus will attend the meeting to answer any questions on the 1:1 initiative. R. Marty has recommended reducing the Capital request for the track.

    Priorities Committee has not confirmed a date for their next meeting.


    T. Farmer informed the members that a parent of a student at the Children’s center is in the National Guard and has arranged for a Black Hawk helicopter to land at the Middle School field. SPS will notify the residents in advance of the event.

    Other Business

    There being no other business, V. Wiseman asked for a motion to adjourn Open Session and enter into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing a grievance from the Sharon Teacher’ Association with the intentions not to return to Open Session.

    MOTION: (Smith-Lee/Salomons) Moved to adjourn Open Session and enter into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing a grievance from the Sharon Teacher’ Association with the intentions not to return to Open Session.

    Yes vote: Currul-Dykeman, Kaplan, Salomons, Smith-Lee, Wiseman

    Meeting was adjourned at 9:21 p.m.

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

    Back-up Materials for the February 24, 2016 meeting

    • copy of correspondence

    • copies of consent agenda materials

    • budget spreadsheet

    • copy of executive session materials