• SC Minutes 03/12/2014



    School Committee Meeting

    Wednesday, March 12, 2014

    Sharon Middle School

    75 Mountain Street

    Sharon, MA 02067

    Present: Katie Currul-Dykeman, Jon Hitter (arrived at 7:40 p.m.), Marcy Kaplan, Laura Salomons, Emily Smith-Lee, Veronica Wiseman (arrived at 10:00 p.m.)

    Also present: Tim Farmer, Glenn Brand, Lorraine Finnegan and Phil Poinelli from SMMA

    Open Session was convened at 7:01 p.m.


    Open Forum

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


    Correspondence received included:

    • A letter from a community member re: S.C. procedures for open forum and having concerns raised by the public addressed at a S.C. meeting. E. Smith-Lee explained that Open Forum is held on the first meeting of every month. Members of the community have the opportunity to speak on school-related concerns. All correspondence received before a S.C. meeting will be shared at the meeting.

    • Letters from parents in support of retaining the current configuration for the elementary music program. T. Farmer has responded to the correspondence.

    • A letter from a Heights parent re: concerns over class size, particularly gr. 4 & gr. 5. T. Farmer responded to the correspondence. Additional letters were sent directly to Mr. Farmer, which he responded to.

    • A letter from parents of a student who recently suffered a concussion at school re: issues regarding school department staff adhering to the School Committee’s concussion policy.

    Student Advisory Committee

    Recent happenings at SHS:

    • Seniors enjoyed their extended lunch privilege yesterday

    • Progress Reports were distributed yesterday

    • Winter Varsity Team Awards Night – March 16th

    • Cosmic Bowling event was well attended

    • SHS drama dept. will presen the play, “Epic Proportions” this weekend

    • SHS will be competing against Hingham in the WGBH Quiz Bowl on March 15th at 6:00 p.m.

    • Congratulations to the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams for a great season

    • SHS Foreign Language Honor Society Induction Ceremony – March 17th

    • Course selections for next year will all be done on-line

    • Sophomore semi-formal and freshman dance were a great success

    • Spring sports sign-ups are underway

    • Debate Team – March 15th at Needham


    Consent Agenda

    Consent agenda items:

    1-Approve Open Session & Executive Session 2-26-14 minutes

    2-Approval of Grants/Revolving Fund Fees will be held over to a subsequent meeting

    3-Approve SHS PTSO Grants

    4-Approve SHS NEA Award ($650)

    5-Approve SHS Baseball Team Field Trip to Cooperstown N.Y. (April)

    6-Approve SHS Football Team Field Trip to Vermont Academy (August)

    7-Approve Home Schooling Requests

    Separate vote: (if needed)

    Waive, reduce or charge full tuition for international student

    E. Smith-Lee asked for a motion to approve consent agenda items 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 as presented. A separate vote, if needed, will be taken on whether to waive, reduce or charge full tuition for an international student

    MOTION: (Salomons/Kaplan) Moved to approve consent agenda items 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 as presented on March 12, 2014. Yes vote: Currul-Dykeman, Kaplan, Salomons, Smith-Lee

    Separate vote: Waive, reduce or charge full tuition for international student

    – This agenda item was deferred for later in the meeting until all S.C. members are present.


    SHS Existing Conditions Study Presentation

    Lorraine Finnegan and Phil Poinelli from Symmes, Maini & McKee, with the aid of PowerPoint, presented their findings on the existing conditions study for Sharon High School. Areas covered in the presentation included:

    • Construction/renovation history of SHS

    • Existing floor plans and MSBA sq. footage comparison

    • Floor plan characteristics – ie. areas in the building that are not ADA noncompliant

    • Five options were presented:

    Option 1: Deferred maintenance & code required upgrades, which includes exterior & interior repairs, upgrades to meet building codes, plumbing/fire protection and electrical upgrades, technology. There would be no reimbursement from MSBA for items in Option 1.

    Option 2: Includes Option 1 and 6 priority areas

    Option 2A: Includes Option 2 plus 2 additional priority areas (8 priority areas total)

    Option 3: Option 1 plus all 16 building area

    Option 4: New high school building

    There was a discussion and explanation of each of the proposed options as well as an explanation of the eligibility period for filing a MOI (Memorandum of Intent) with the MSBA. Anticipated time from filing an SOI to project completion is 6 years.

    As a result of the presentation and discussion, M. Kaplan asked that the S.C. further discuss the parcel of land that is for sale adjacent to the High School and the identified under-sized SPED space.

    FY 2013 End-of-Year Audit

    G. Brand updated the Committee on one finding from the FY 2013 end-of-year financial audit report, which was the result from incomplete data from the Town. The amendment was filed with the DESE on February 19th.

    School Security Update

    G. Brand, with the aid of PowerPoint, presented a safety and emergency planning update. Areas covered in the presentation included:

    • Focus of the District Safety Committee – building evacuation, lockdown planning, communication

    • Alternative Lock-Down Procedures – “Run, Fight, Hide” and A.L.I.C.E. These alternative response plans will be further explored.

    • Key Developments This Year – primary location for building evacuation, evacuation planning, alternatives to traditional lockdown procedures

    • Next Steps – sub-committee work groups continue to work; lock-down procedure presentations presented to staff in April and May; community update in the planning; evacuation drill for Heights Elementary School (May 2nd)

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


    L. Salomons updated the Committee on the following policies that were discussed/vetted at their last meeting.

    ACA-Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex – change to “Basis of Gender”

    ACAB-Sexual Harassment – Updated to reflect changes in federal/state regulations

    JFCB-Students Who Move During the School Year – no changes

    JJE-Student Fundraising Activities – minor changes for clarification

    JRA-R-Student Records – Updated to reflect changes in state regulations

    KHA-Non-student Based Fundraising Activities – minor revisions to include building principal in decision-making process

    KHB-Advertising in the Schools – No change (was recently revised)

    KI-Visitors to the Schools – no changes

    KIB-Guidelines for Observations by Parents/Guardians and/or Parent/Guardian Designees – Delete (same as IHBAA)

    LB-Relations with Other Schools and School Districts – minor changes for clarity

    LBC-Relations with Nonpublic Schools – no change

    LDA-Student Teaching Internships – Revise for language clarity re: ability to terminate a student intern at any time

    The subcommittee is also reviewing student handbooks to ensure that policy revisions are included and up-to-date.

    Legal Guidance re: School Committee’s Appointment Authority

    E. Smith-Lee opened the discussion by explaining the email she received from MA Association of School Committees’ Attorney Stephen Finnegan regarding appointment authority for Special Education Director. It is the legal opinion of Attorney Finnegan that the general appointment or hiring authority delegated by the Legislature to school committees includes the authority to reappoint such personnel upon the expiration of their term.

    Attorney Harry Beach also rendered his decision that school committee’s vote on reappointment.

    There was a lengthy discussion on:

    • The School Committee’s legal authority and under the Open Meeting Law, what matters must be discussed in Open Session and Executive Session.

    • What is the intent of a School Committee reappointment vote – confirmation of the Superintendent’s recommendation or does School Committee make reappointment decision independent of the Superintendent’s recommendations?

    • Past practice has been that School Committee votes for reappointment were based on the Superintendent’s recommendations.

    Superintendent Farmer will present his recommendations for reappointment to the School Committee at their March 26th meeting.

    Separate vote: Waive, reduce or charge full tuition for international student

    – This agenda item was deferred for later in the meeting until all S.C. members are present. As all members were present, there was a discussion of this agenda item. As there was no motion, the current policy will prevail, which is to charge full tuition to any student who lives in Sharon for the express purpose of attending our schools.


    None at this time


    T. Farmer, with the aid of PowerPoint, presented an overview of District-Determined Measures and Student Impact Ratings.

    Due to the low number of applicants, the position of Science Coordinator (6-12) will be re-advertised.

    The SPS will attend a STEM symposium at the Museum of Science on March 20th.

    The elementary math program selection is scheduled for April 3rd.

    Other Business

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

    MOTION: (Hitter/Salomons) 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

    Open Session was adjourned at 10:55 p.m.

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

    Back-up Materials for the March 12, 2014 meeting

    • copies of correspondence

    • copy of 2/26/14 minutes

    • copy of SHS spring grants

    • copy of field trip requests

    • copy of home schooling requests

    • copy of SHS NEA Foundation Award notice

    • copy of End-of-Year Audit information

    • copy of PowerPoint re: SHS Existing Studies Report

    • copy of PowerPoint re: Safety & Emergency Planning Update

    • copy of PowerPoint re: District-Determined Measures and Student Impact Ratings

    • copy of legal opinions re: School Committee’s Reappointment Authority

    • copy of Coordinated Program Review Draft Report

    • copy of Policies: ACA, ACAB, JFCB, JJE, JRA-R, KHA, KHB, KI, KIB, LB, LBC, LDA

    • copy of SPS enrollment numbers

    • copy of SMS Wellness Newsletter