• SC Minutes 02/12/2014



    School Committee Meeting

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

    Sharon Middle School

    75 Mountain Street

    Sharon, MA 02067

    Present: Katie Currul-Dykeman, Jon Hitter, Marcy Kaplan, Laura Salomons, Emily Smith-Lee

    Absent: Veronica Wiseman

    Also present: Tim Farmer, Glenn Brand, Steven Kaplan, Susan Owen, Principals Lisa Lamore, Jose Libano, Kevin Madden, Elizabeth Murphy, Kevin O’Rourke, Coordinators Barbara Barros, Tina Kemp, music department staff, students from Heights Elementary School, members of the community and a member of the press

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



    Correspondence received included:

    • Several letters from parents and community members were received in support of the current music program configuration.

    Student Advisory Committee Representative

    There were no members of the SHS Student Advisory Committee present at this evening’s meeting.

    Heights Elementary School Update

    Heights students reported on recent happenings:

    • Projects displayed and explained included:

    • Science, ELA and Art

    • Bottle Greenhouse Project

    • Wonder Project


    Consent Agenda

    Consent agenda items:

    1-Vote Open Session & Executive Session 1-29-14 minutes

    2-Vote Policies: Vote Policies: IGA-Curriculum Development; IGD-Curriculum Adoption; IMB-Teaching about Controversial Issues/Controversial Speakers; JIE, Pregnant Students; JJ-Co-curricular Activities; JJA-Student Organizations; JJB-Student Social Events; JJC-Student Performances; JJF-Student Activity Accounts; JJIB-Interscholastic Athletics; JKAA-Physical Restraint of Students; JKD-Student Suspension Policy; JL-Student Welfare; JLCC-Communicable Diseases; JLCDA-Condom Policy; JLCDA-E-Sample Parent Letter; JLD-Guidance Program; JQ-Student Fees, Fines & Charges; JRA-Student Records; JRD-Student Photographs; KCB-Community Involvement in Decision Making; KDB-Public’s Right to Know; KDD-News Media Relations/News Releases; KE-Public Complaints

    3-Vote approval of FY 2014 Chinese New Year Celebration Donation ($4,890)

    4-Vote approval of Prize for “Things that Make You Smile” sponsored by the Hunakai Art Studio, Foxboro ($1,000)

    5-Vote approval of Model UN Trip (March 14-16, 2014)

    E. Smith-Lee asked for a motion to approve consent agenda items 1, 2 (minus IGA, IGD & KCB) 3, 4 and 5 as presented. A separate vote will be taken on policies IGA, IGD & KCB.

    MOTION: (Hitter/Salomons) Moved to approve consent agenda items 1, 2 (minus IGA, IGD & KCB) 3, 4 & 5 as presented on February 12, 2014. Yes vote: Currul-Dykeman, Hitter, Kaplan, Salomons, Smith-Lee

    E. Smith-Lee asked for a motion to approve Policies IGA-Curriculum Development, IGD-Curriculum Adoption and KCB-Community Involvement in Decision Making as presented. Yes vote: Hitter, Kaplan, Salomons, Smith-Lee. No vote: Currul-Dykeman.


    SHS Program of Studies

    Principal, Jose Libano and Director of Guidance, Bob Pomer, reviewed the slight proposed changes to the 2014-2015 Program of Studies. Course selections will be made on-line. Following the presentation, there was a brief Q&A with the Committee. A vote on the Program of Studies will be part of the February 26th Consent Agenda.

    FY 2015 Preliminary Budget Open Forum

    T. Farmer presented a brief overview of the preliminary budget and discussion on the budget from the January 29th meeting. G. Brand and S. Owen, with the aid of PowerPoint presented the 2.38% budget. The budget, in its entirety, is on the school department’s website. The presentation included:

    • Enrollment projections - current enrollment is 3,357 students

    • Elementary class size comparisons

    • Secondary enrollment projections

    • Staffing overview & by category

    • Preliminary budget overview by transfer categories

    • Seven-year budget history (2009-2015)

    • $620,311 reduction to align with Priorities Committee 2.38% increase

    • Overview of FY 2015 Capital requests & five-year history of Capital requests

    • Items not included in the current preliminary budget

    • Next steps

    School Committee vote on the preliminary budget is a February 26th agenda item. Presentation of the preliminary budget to the Finance Committee will be on March 3rd.

    Principals Lamore, Madden and Murphy, with the aide of PowerPoint, presented the proposed elementary instrumental music realignment for 2014-2015. The goal is to increase core academic instructional time for all students in grades 4 and 5 by 80 minutes per week. The presentation included:

    • Reports from curriculum coordinators

    • Survey of time that surrounding towns allocate for instrumental/chorus time

    • Current instrumental/choral time for grades 4 & 5

    • Impact on class instruction

    • Proposed conservatory block schedule

    Following the presentation, there was a Q&A with the School Committee and members of the audience. E. Smith Lee next opened up the budget forum discussion. Conversation and questions from members of the audience surrounded the proposed elementary music realignment for grades 4 and 5. The majority of those in attendance at this evening’s meeting spoke in favor of retaining the current music configuration.

    School Committee votes the bottom line figure for the budget. A realignment of the elementary music program would result in a $40,000 savings. The School Committee can vote the bottom line preliminary budget on February 26th while Administration continues the process of exploring options for the music realignment. There was a lengthy discussion among the School Committee members and members of the audience.

    T. Farmer presented the proposed foreign language changes for grade 6. K. O’Rourke presented schedule options that would accommodate the expansion of grade 6 foreign language. The model is a 7-day rotation instead of 6 with one bell schedule for every day. There would be a block in the schedule for RTI, Advisory, etc. – similar to SHS eagle block.

    Before moving to the next agenda item, K. Currul-Dykeman asked for further clarification of the contingency funds built into the budget.

    Wording of Questions as it Relates to the School Committee’s Appointment Authority for Certain Positions as Outlined in MA General Law

    E. Smith-Lee said that this evening’s discussion would be reasons for renewal or non-renewal of administrative positions that require a vote by the School Committee. Areas of discussion included:

    • Does discussion take place in Open Session?

    • What are the legal ramifications in conducting discussions of employees in Open Session?

    T. Farmer explained the timeline for contract negotiations with individual administrators.


    Five SHS seniors have been invited to participate in the US Presidential Scholars Program.


    T. Farmer presented the make-up of the search committees for the positions of Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Administration and Community Education Director. Interviews would take place in March.

    Other Business

    There being no further business, E. Smith-Lee asked for a motion to adjourn Open Session.

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

    Open Session was adjourned at 11:02 p.m.

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

    Back-up Materials for the February 12, 2014 meeting

    • copies of correspondence

    • copy of 1/29/14 minutes

    • copy of FY 2015 Preliminary Budget


    • copy of field trip request

    • copy of contributors to Chinese New Year Celebration

    • copy of info re: Prize sponsored by the Hunakai Art Studio

    • copy of field trip info

    • copy of SHS 2014-2015 Program of Studies

    • copy of PowerPoint re: Proposed Elementary Instrumental Music Realignment

    • copy of Time-on-Learning information from elementary coordinators

    • copy of recent enrollment figures

    • copy of TJF memo re: MCAS, PARCC

    • copy of SMS Wellness Newsletter