• SC Minutes 05/28/2014



    School Committee Meeting

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

    Sharon Middle School

    75 Mountain Street

    Sharon, MA 02067

    Present: Katie Currul-Dykeman, Jon Hitter (arrived at 8:00 p.m.), Marcy Kaplan, Laura Salomons, Emily Smith-Lee, Veronica Wiseman

    Also present: Tim Farmer, Glenn Brand, Susan Owen

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



    The following correspondence was received:

    • A letter from a parent requesting a review of the current bus stop locations and the possibility of adding an additional stop. G. Brand will respond.

    • A letter from a parent regarding a recent Globe article, which reported on schools eliminating a class valedictorian.

    • A letter from Gordon Gladstone, Chair of the Standing Building Committee asking for a S.C. member to serve on the Standing Building Selection Committee

    • A letter from a parent expressing her opinion on the recent changes to the elementary instrumental music program.

    • A letter from a lawyer requesting immediate release of Executive Session minutes. E. Smith-Lee and Attorney Beach will review the specified minutes.

    Student Advisory Committee

    Recent happenings at SHS:

    • Junior Prom is tonight

    • Graduation is June 1st

    • Science MCAS exams will be administered next week

    • SHS Poetry magazine, Euphony, is available

    • Last issue of the SHS newspaper, The Talon, is available

    • Spring sports are winding down


    Consent Agenda

    Consent agenda items:

    1. Approve Executive & Open Session minutes (4/30/14 & 4/16/14)
    2. Approve SHS Chinese Exchange Annual Trip to NYC (10/11-13/14)
    3. Approve SHS Student Exchange Trip to China (7 weeks 3/25-5/7/15)
    4. Approve SHS Trip to France (4/16-24/15)
    5. Approve SHS Trip to England (4/16-24/15)
    6. Approve SHS Donation ($2,900) for the Purchase of Sailboats

    MOTION: (Salomons/Kaplan) Moved to approve the consent agenda items 1-6 as presented. Yes vote: Currul-Dykeman, Kaplan, Salomons, Smith-Lee, Wiseman


    Third Quarter FY 2014 Budget Report

    S. Owen highlighted her May 5th FY Quarter 3 Report Memorandum. Areas covered and explained during the presentation included:

    • Circuit Breaker – funds will be carried over in their entirety to balance the FY 2015 budget.

    • General Fund – expenses proceeding as projected

    Salaries – no areas of concern; assets – these funds will be used to offset expenses or to buy ahead 2015 tuitions; electric utility – costs and usage have increased; gas utility – costs and usage have significantly increased. Offsets of $130,000 from rental revolving will help cover utility costs.

    There was a discussion on the cause and most effective way to control spiraling utility costs.

    • Capital Outlay – No additional surplus funds at this time

    • Grants – money must be expended by August 31st except for METCO Grant, which must be expended by June 30th. Grant funds are used to employ 18.1 additional staff.

    • Revolving Accounts – in each revolving fund there is a line item (next fiscal year), which indicates that the funds were carried forward from the previous year.

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

    On-Line Payment Contract

    S. Owen presented an overview of the bidding process followed for securing a company for on-line payments. One responsive, responsible bidder (Horizon Software International) was received. Our food service department currently uses Horizon for their on-line payments. There is no cost to the district for this service. Parents who choose to use the on-line service will be charged a user fee. On-line payments are optional. Community members can continue to opt for payments by check. The service should be up and running for the start of the 2014-15 school year.

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

    As there were no further questions or concerns, E. Smith-Lee asked if the members would be comfortable voting approval of the contract to Horizon Software. It was the consensus of the Committee to take a vote at this evening’s meeting.

    MOTION: (Salomons/Currul-Dykeman) Move to authorize the Chair to sign the Agreement, which awards the online payment services to Horizon Software International as presented at this evening’s meeting. Yes vote: Currul-Dykeman, Kaplan, Salomons, Smith-Lee, Wiseman

    Student Activity Audit

    S. Owen highlighted the results of the recent independent audit on the SPS Student Activity Funds. There were no deficiencies noted as a result of the audit. The audit does not extend beyond the school department to any financial statements of the Town of Sharon as a whole.

    Proposed Meeting Dates

    Meeting dates for the 2014-2015 school year was presented and discussed. The possibility of a summer meeting was discussed.

    PARCC/MCAS Question

    T. Farmer, with the aid of PowerPoint, presented an overview on whether to choose PARCC or MCAS for the 2014-2015 school year. Included in the presentation:

    • In a recent, informal survey, the majority of districts responding, said they plan to choose PARCC for 2014-2015 schools in MA will participate

    • The majority of students who participated in the online PARCC testing expressed a preference for the online testing over paper & pencil tests

    • 28% reported that the ELA test was more difficult than their schoolwork; 61% reported that the math test was more difficult

    • 46% reported technology problems during the math test compared to 31% in ELA

    • Parental opt outs are not allowed on state tests

    • Districts that choose to administer PARCC in 2015 will be able to do so at “No Risk” – accountability levels will be “held harmless”

    • PARCC will not cause interruption in a district’s ability to use student growth percentiles for educator evaluation

    Following the presentation there was a Q&A with the Committee, which included discussion on the pros/cons of administering MCAS or PARCC in 2015.


    L. Salomons presented the suggested changes to the following policies that were discussed at the last Policy Subcommittee meeting.

    IHAM-Health Education – Revise to clarify & simplify language

    JICJ-Electronic Devices – Revise language to reflect current practices at SHS

    There was a discussion on this policy re: protocol for students who have significant health issues being without a phone until parents come to SHS.

    JIH-Interrogations & Searches – Language changes (interrogation to questioning; parent must be present for students under 18; automobile can be searched).

    JLA-Student Insurance – Delete

    JLC-Student Health Services & Requirements – Grammatical changes; add cross references; school employees cannot transport sick students

    JLCA-Physical Examinations of Students – Revise for clarifications re: BMI; add legal references

    JLCB-Immunizations of Students – Add legal references, list specific immunizations & language re: homeless students

    JLCC-Communicable Diseases – Delete sentence, which lists specific illnesses

    JLCD-Administration of Medication – include field trip info, which was in JLCDA

    Recycling Policy

    Approval of these policies will be on the June 11th agenda.


    Elementary Music Update

    T. Farmer, with the aid of PowerPoint, presented the elementary music realignment. The goal is to increase the whole group core academic instructional time for students in grades 4 and 5 by 80 minutes per week. Elementary administrators and music staff worked collaboratively to come up with the following plan:

    • one (1) forty-minute conservatory block will be held weekly for each grade level.

    • Grades 4 and 5 will have instrumental & choral music every other week, on an alternating basis, in addition to their general music class.

    • All elementary music teachers will convene at one school to provide instruction to students.

    • Concerts will be held in January & June.

    • There will still be weekly general music classes.

    • Students can choose to participate in chorus at Grade 5.

    • The following instruments will be offered: flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone and violin. K. Currul-Dykeman asked that bells be included in the instruments.


    Other Business

    Approve FAME donation for SMS band & orchestra groups ($500)

    MOTION: (Wiseman/Salomons) Moved to approve the SHS $500 FAME donation. Yes vote: Currul-Dykeman, Hitter, Kaplan, Salomons, Smith-Lee, Wiseman

    S.C. Representative for Standing Building Search Committee

    K. Currul-Dykeman has volunteered to be the S.C. representative.

    There being no further business, E. Smith-Lee asked for a motion to adjourn Open Session and enter into Executive Session to discuss legal matters with the intent not to return to Open Session.

    MOTION: (Salomons/Hitter) Moved motion to adjourn Open Session and enter into Executive Session to discuss legal matters and Executive Session minutes with the intent not to return to Open Session.

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

    Open Session was adjourned at 10:10 p.m.

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

    Back-up Materials for the May 28, 2014 meeting

    • copies of correspondence

    • copy of Executive Session & Open Session 4/30/14 & 4/16/14 minutes

    • copy of field trip information

    • copy of $2,900 donation for sail boats

    • PowerPoint presentation re: PARCC/MCAS

    • Policy information

    • PowerPoint presentation re: elementary music program realignment

    • Quarter 3 budget information

    • copy of On-Line Payment Contract

    • copy of independent audit re: Student Activity Funds

    • copy of meeting date schedule

    • copy of East Council minutes

    • copy of employment agreements for: SHS Assistant Principal, Food Service Director, Director of Community Education