SC Executvie Session Minutes 06/11/2014
SHARON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
School Committee Meeting
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Sharon Middle School
75 Mountain Street
Sharon, MA 02067
Present: Katie Currul-Dykeman, Jon Hitter, Marcy Kaplan, Laura Salomons, Emily Smith-Lee, Veronica Wiseman
Also Present: Tim Farmer, Glenn Brand, Attorney Harry Beach
MOTION: (Salomons/Wiseman) Moved motion to adjourn Open Session and enter into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing litigation/legal matters affecting the School Committee and School Department and release of Open & Executive Session minutes. Yes vote: Currul-Dykeman, Hitter, Kaplan, Salomons, Smith-Lee, Wiseman
Executive Session was convened at 6:31 p.m.
Attorney Beach reviewed the May 28, 2014 public records request from the attorney representing the Director of Student Services. Response must be within ten days from receipt of the request. Correspondence dated June 2 and 3, 2014 from the same attorney was also reviewed. Allegations included violations of the Open Meeting Law, Conflict of Interest and Ethics violations and harassment of the Director of Student Services by the Sharon Teachers Association. G. Brand and Attorney Mary Jo Reedy are investigating the harassment allegations.
When the investigation has been completed, T. Farmer will render a decision on how to proceed with the contract for the Director of Student Services.
Attorney Beach has reviewed the Executive Session and Open Session minutes (January – May 2014) with respect to the allegations of violations.
Executive Session Minutes
Attorney for the Director of Student Services has requested copies of all recent Executive Session minutes and emails from administration and School Committee members. Attorney Beach reviewed the Executive Session minutes and emails as they relate to the allegations of noncompliance to the Open Meeting Law. Recommendations as follows:
January 29, 2014No redactions
February 26, 2014Redact privileged attorney-client communications regarding a former SHS teacher
March 12, 2014No redactions
March 26, 2014Consensus of the Committee to release the minutes in its entirety with no redactions
April 9, 2014Redact language regarding a former custodian
April 16, 2014No redactions
April 30, 2014No redactions
May 14, 2014Redaction of one sentence
May 28, 2014No redactions
Attorney Beach explained that emails from one School Committee member to another is not
confidential and is public record and subject to the Public Record Act. Some of the emails include
legal advice, which can be redacted (with appropriate explanation) as it is considered attorney-client
privilege. A number of emails contained personal characterizations about one or more School
Committee members and is not a basis for redaction. There was a discussion about the emails and
their content and whether the members wanted to review all the emails prior to their release to the
Conflict of Interest
In the opinion of Attorney Beach, there is no merit to the allegation of conflict of interest
against certain School Committee members whose children receive special services, are on an IEP or
a 504 plan or an out-of-district placement paid by the Sharon Public Schools. Members who vote on
special education issues do not violate the law. Members were urged to sign public disclosure
documents with the Town Clerk if they have not already done so.
Open Meeting Law
Deadline for responding to the OML allegations is June 24th.
Attorney Beach updated the Committee on the proposed financial settlement ($5,000), which would close the file on continued grievance/arbitration involving a former instructional assistant. There would be legal releases that the former employee must sign in order to receive the settlement.
There being no further discussion on the matter, V. Wiseman asked for a motion to approve the settlement.
MOTION: (Salomons/Hitter) Moved to authorize Superintendent Farmer to proceed with drawing up the necessary legal documents for signature by a former instructional assistant in order to receive a $5,000 settlement. Yes vote: Currul-Dykeman, Hitter, Kaplan, Salomons, Smith-Lee, Wiseman
There being no further Executive Session business, V. Wiseman asked for a motion to adjourn Executive Session and convene Open Session.
MOTION: (Salomons/Currul-Dykeman) Moved to adjourn Executive Session. Yes vote: Currul-Dykeman, Hitter, Kaplan, Salomons, Smith-Lee, Wiseman
Executive Session was adjourned at 8:01 p.m.
Submitted on behalf of the School Committee by: Helen Campanario, Recording Secretary to the School Committee