• SC Minutes 01/08/2014



    School Committee Meeting

    Wednesday, January 8, 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, Susan Owen, Principals, Lisa Lamore, Elizabeth Murphy, Kevin Madden, Kevin O’Rourke, Jose Libano, staff members and members of the community

    Open Session was convened at 7:02 p.m.

    Note: There was no Executive Session


    Open Forum

    Community members presented the following concerns:

    • Parents from Heights Elementary School expressed concern of increasing class size.

    • Parents from Cottage Street School asked that the decision to eliminate the multi-age classroom be reviewed before reaching a final decision.

    • Parent expressed concern over the proposed budget cuts – particularly to the restructuring of the elementary music program.

    • SSEPAC parent expressed concern of increasing class size.


    There was no correspondence to come before the Committee at this time.

    Student Advisory Committee Representative

    Recent happenings at SHS:

    • Boys’ varsity basketball is ranked in the top 20 in the state

    • Girls’ varsity basketball record to date is 3-0

    • Mid-term exams is will start on January 21st

    • Foreign Language National Honor Society held a move night on January 7th

    • The Winter Concert was held on January 6th

    Cottage Street School Update

    Recent happenings at Cottage Street School:

    • Math Olympiad will be held on February 27th and 28th

    • Student Council is a new addition to Cottage

    • The play, Willy Wonka, was a great success


    Consent Agenda

    Separate vote for item #1:

    1. Approve Three-Year Contract with the Sharon Teachers’ Association

    Prior to the vote, T. Farmer presented a brief overview of the Memorandum of Agreement between the STA and School Committee. The contract in its entirety will be on the School Department’s website once negotiated topics have been adopted.

    MOTION: (Salomons/Kaplan) Moved that the School Committee approve the negotiated contract and memorandum of agreement between the Sharon Teachers’ Association and the Sharon School Committee. Yes vote: Currul-Dykeman, Kaplan, Salomons, Smith-Lee, Wiseman. J. Hitter was not present at the time of the vote.

    Following the vote, the contract was signed by: T. Farmer, G. Brand, C. Fazzio, E. Smith-Lee, L. Salomons and J. Roach.

    2. Approve meeting minutes – Open & Executive Session (12/18/13)

    3. Approve SHS Ultimate Disc Invitational Tournament (5/3 & 5/4, 2014)

    4. Approve SHS 2014 Ultimate Disc Championships (5/10 & 5/11, 2014)

    5. Approve SHS Exxon Mobil Corp. Donation ($500)

    6. Approve Chinese New Year Donation ($500)

    Smith-Lee asked for a motion to approve consent agenda items 2-6 as presented on 1/8/14.

    MOTION: (Salomons/Wiseman) Moved to approve consent agenda items 2-6 as presented on January 8, 2014. Yes vote: Currul-Dykeman, Kaplan, Salomons, Smith-Lee, Wiseman. J. Hitter was not present at the time of the vote.


    Superintendent’s Preliminary FY 2015 Budget

    G. Brand and S. Owen, with the aid of PowerPoint, presented an overview of the FY 2015 Preliminary Operating Budget. Two scenarios were presented a budget of a 4.02% increase and a budget with a 2.38% increase. The 4.02% budget was presented first. The Priorities Committee has indicated that 2.38% would be allocated to each town sector. An operating budget with a 2.38% increase would necessitate reductions district-wide. Areas covered in the presentation included:

    • Student enrollment information, which included estimated elementary class size comparisons for 2015, middle and high school projected enrollments

    • Budget transfer categories

    • Graphs, which reflected staff by job category and program/department

    • Staffing allocations by school & district – FTE & budget allocation

    • Dollar amounts for: contractual obligations, FTE adjustments due to enrollment changes, program & service improvements, other savings

    • List of capital project priorities for FY 2015

    • Historical budget information

    • Detailed spreadsheet, which outlined the FY 2015 budget planning to date

    • Added value of foreign language and enhancement of foreign language in grade 6 was discussed

    The FY 2015 budget total of a 4.02% increase is $39,289,579 – an increase of $1,519,014.45 over FY 2014.

    The FY 2015 budget total of 2.38% (Priorities allocation) is $38,669,268; total necessary reductions - $620,311. G. Brand presented the proposed budget reductions:


    realignment of elementary music program ($40,000)

    elimination of permanent substitutes ($36,000)

    reduction of school assistants’ clerical duties ($11,200)

    elimination of the foreign language expansion funds ($60,000)

    savings from retirements ($14,979)


    elimination of an additional grade 6 teacher ($58,362)

    High School

    elimination of school assistant ($6,144)

    elimination of cafeteria duty stipends ($5,027)

    elimination of budgeted graduation week expenses ($10,000)

    elimination of summer guidance time ($6,480)

    review of departments for modest reduction of teaching time across departments ($30,000)

    Central Office

    elimination of office support position ($42,588)

    Special Education

    reduction of Special Education out-of-district tuition contingency ($100,000)


    elimination of half-time custodial support position ($19,531)

    Total savings from proposal ($440,311) Note: The CHARMS reconfiguration would realize a savings of $180,000 with a total budget reduction of $620,311

    Next steps: The public budget form is scheduled for January 22nd. School Committee vote on the preliminary budget is scheduled for February 5th.

    Following the presentation, there was discussion among the Committee and the audience regarding administration’s proposed budget reductions. Topics included in the discussion:

    • Savings realized by the SPS bringing the CHARMS program in-house for ten Sharon students.

    • Gr. 6 foreign language expansion should be put on the list for possible budget reductions.

    The request from parents to hold off on a decision to eliminate the multi-age classroom at Cottage School. S.C. requested more information

    Concerns from parents regarding increased elementary class size

    Concerns from staff regarding the impact on students and teachers of the proposed reorganization of the elementary music program.

    • Query: Decisions being made are they budget driven or program driven?

    Develop plan on how expenses would be used from the contingency savings.

    Following the discussion, it was the consensus of the Committee that administration should proceed with preparing a preliminary budget with a 2.38% increase for presentation at the open forum on January 22nd.

    School Calendar

    Due to the lateness of the hour, this agenda item was held over for discussion at a subsequent meeting.


    Due to the lateness of the hour, this agenda item was held over for discussion at a subsequent meeting.


    Autism Spectrum Disorder, Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle & High Schools

    T. Farmer presented an update on the autism spectrum program. Administration is recommending:

    • To continue the elementary association with NECC for the 2014-2015 school year.

    • That SPS run an in-house program to replace the CHARMS Program at Sharon High School.

    • To continue to work with the STA to create a year-round teaching position for the Early Childhood Autism Spectrum Program.

    Following Mr. Farmer’s update, there was a Q&A with the Committee and members in the audience.

    SUPERINTENDENT’S ITEMS (none at this time)

    Other Business

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

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

    Open Session was adjourned at 10:45 p.m.

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

    Back-up Materials for the January 10, 2014 meeting


    • copy of minutes (12/18)

    • copy of SHS ultimate disc field trips (5/3- 5/4; 5/10-5/11)

    • copy of donation from Exxon Mobil Corp. for SHS ($500)

    • copy of donation for Chinese New Year ($500)


    • copy of PowerPoint presentation re: Superintendent’s Preliminary FY 2015 Budget

    • copy of Policies: JIE-Pregnant Students; JJ-Co-Curricular Activities; JJA-Student Organizations; JJB-Student Social Events; JJC-Student Performances; JJF-Student Activity Accounts; JJIB-Interscholastic Athletics; JKD-Student Suspension Policy; JL-Student Welfare; JLC-Student Health Services & Requirements; JLCA-Physical Examinations of Students; JLCB-Immunizations of Students; JLCC-Communicable Diseases; JLCDA-Condom Policy; JLCDA-E-Sample Parent Letter; JLCDA-Policy for Students Requiring Medication on Field Trips; JRA-Student Records; KDB-Public’s Right to Know; KDD-News Media Relations/News Releases


    • copy of $50 donation (Lueders Environmental, Inc.)

    • copy of letter from IREX re: Global Education Symposium

    • copy of SHS PTSO Newsletter

    • copy of SMS Wellnews Newsletter