• SC Executive Session Minutes 03/26/2014


    EXECUTIVE SESSION – No Redactions

    SHARON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

    School Committee Meeting

    Wednesday, March 26, 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

    MOTION: (Kaplan/Currul-Dykeman) Moved to adjourn Open Session and enter into Executive Session for discussion of negotiation and/or renewal/nonrenewal of contracts with non-union personnel, and for legal matters with the intent to return to Open Session. Yes vote: Currul-Dykeman, Hitter, Kaplan, Smith-Lee. No vote: Salomons, Wiseman

    Executive Session was convened at 7:10 p.m.

    T. Farmer presented the contract terms for Susan Owen, Business Manager, Steven Kaplan, Director of Student Services and Chief Joseph Bernstein, Attendance Officer.

    Highlights of the three-year contract (starting 7/1/14) for the Business Manager (Susan Owen):

    • contract is similar to past contracts

    • compensation over 3 years is 7%

    • professional development remains the same

    • evaluation piece, as in all contracts, reflects the new evaluator language

    • resignation requires a 60 day notice

    J. Hitter asked if S. Owen’s job responsibilities would be impacted by G. Brand’s leaving on June 30th. T. Farmer explained that he would be taking over the major piece of finance and Susan would continue to maintain the day-to-day school budget. T. Farmer will make presentations to Capital Outlay, Finance Committee, etc. Susan will continue to provide the financial information.

    E. Smith-Lee asked for clarification of the Complaints or Concerns paragraph. T. Farmer explained that it is the suggested DESE language.

    Highlights of the three-year contract (starting 7/1/14) for the Director of Student Services (Steven Kaplan):

    • contract terms are same as past contracts

    • compensation is less than similar positions in comparable communities

    • five vacation days (to be taken during school time) have been built into the contract

    • evaluation language is the same as other administrators

    • As for all administrator contracts, length of contract can be reduced for just cause.

    T. Farmer stated that over the last 5 years, through efforts of S. Kaplan, there has been significant savings to the budget (approximately $400,000 to $500,000) as a result of bringing SPED programs in-house.

    E. Smith-Lee stated that regardless of who was Director of Student Services, she was concerned with the confidentiality language and that by naming the individual bringing a complaint forward, it could inhibit the Superintendent’s ability to proceed. L. Salomons stated that she would trust the Superintendent’s ability to approach any administrator and allow an opportunity to respond. T. Farmer stated that staff should have the right to know who is bringing a complaint forward.

    E. Smith-Lee objected to the terms of Mr. Kaplan’s contract and listed her concerns. L. Salomons voiced her objection to E. Smith-Lee’s comments because they went beyond the approved purpose for this Executive Session.

    K. Currul-Dykeman stated that any discussion of Mr. Kaplan should take place in private to preserve his reputation in our community and his ability to seek employment elsewhere.

    E. Smith-Lee, K. Currul-Dykeman and M. Kaplan would not support a 3-year contract. J. Hitter, V. Wiseman and L. Salomons would support the contract terms as presented by Superintendent Farmer. It was the consensus of the Committee that there would not be a vote in Open Session and that T. Farmer should again discuss the terms (length of contract) with S. Kaplan. L. Salomons stated that the terms of the contract should align with the educator evaluation model we are using for all district administrators. The vote will be taken at the April 9th meeting.

    Stipend for Chief Bernstein, Attendance Officer:

    In the past, Chief Bernstein has been paid in July the sum of $2,500 for being the district’s attendance officer. Upon the Chief’s retirement, T. Farmer suggests that the SRO Officer should also assume the truant officer’s responsibilities (resident checks, truancy and student absences, etc.). L. Salomons stated that she could not support the stipend and would like to have the SRO assume those responsibilities starting in 2014. The rest of the Committee stated, though they had some reservations, they would support the contract for Chief Bernstein for the upcoming school year.

    Next Steps

    T. Farmer will renegotiate contract terms with S. Kaplan. Vote on the Director of Student Services’ contract will not take place during Open Session at this evening’s meeting. Contract will be presented at the April 9th meeting.

    A motion will be made on whether the School Committee will discuss the terms of the Director of Student Services’ contract in Open or Executive Session. L. Salomons stated that she is comfortable with Open Session discussion. L. Salomons stated that the other option would be to go into Executive Session to discuss the reputation of the administrator and give the administrator advance notice in order for him to attend.

    There being no further Executive Session business, E. Smith-Lee asked for a motion to adjourn Executive Session and enter into Open Session with the intent to re-enter Executive Session at the end of Open Session.

    MOTION: (Hitter/Wiseman) Moved to adjourn Executive Session.

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

    Executive Session was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

    MOTION: (Hitter/Kaplan) Moved to adjourn Open Session and enter into Executive Session to discuss legal issues with the intent not to return to Open Session. Yes vote: Currul-Dykeman, Hitter, Kaplan, Salomons, Smith-Lee, Wiseman

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    EXECUTIVE SESSION

    SHARON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

    School Committee Meeting

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

    Sharon Middle School

    75 Mountain Street

    Sharon, MA 02067

    Executive Session was reconvened at 9:39 p.m.

    Filing of Unfair Labor Practice

    T. Farmer informed the Committee that a cashier/helper from the Cottage Street School has filed a claim of bullying and harassment with the Department of Labor.

    Background information:

    • Every cafeteria must have an employee who is Serv-Safe certified in the kitchen. The Lead Cook, who was certified, was absent for three days. At the time, there were no other Cottage cafeteria employees who were certified so the Food Service Director filled in as Lead. It was during those thre days that the employee alleges she was bullied and harassed. She filed two Level 2 grievances.

    • G. Brand held a hearing on the grievances and determined that there was no evidence to support the grievance.

    • G. Brand, separate from the filed grievances, conducted a thorough investigation of the harassment allegations. Again, it was determined that neither bullying or harassment of the cafeteria worker occurred.

    • The Food Service Director is retiring as of June 30, 2014.

    • Department of Labor has scheduled an in-district hearing on either April 29th or June 6th. Attorney Harry Beach will attend the hearing.

    There being no further discussion on the Unfair Labor Practice filing, E. Smith-Lee asked for a motion to adjourn Executive Session.

    MOTION: (Kaplan/Hitter) Moved to adjourn Executive Session. Yes vote: Currul-Dykeman, Hitter, Kaplan, Salomons, Smith-Lee, Wiseman

    Meeting was adjourned at 9:45 p.m.

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