• SC Minutes 12/18/2013



    School Committee Meeting

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

    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, Steven Kaplan, Janet Denzer and members of the community

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

    Note: There was no Executive Session



    There was a correspondence from a parent addressing student arrival issues. T. Farmer will follow-up with the parent.

    Student Advisory Committee Representative

    Recent happenings at SHS:

    • Former Celtics player, Chris Herron, was a guest speaker discussing substance abuse

    • Mix-It-Up” day was a great success

    • Open Mic Night: Dec. 18th in the Library

    • Winter Concert was postponed due to weather. It will be rescheduled in January.

    • Spirit Week is underway

    • Mr. SHS will be selected on Dec. 19th

    • Winter sports are underway


    Consent Agenda

    1. Approve meeting minutes – Open & Executive Session (12/11/13)

    2. Policies: GBK-Staff Complaints & Grievances, IHBA-Special Instructional Programs & Accommodations; IHBEB-Sheltered English Immersion, IMB-Teaching about Controversial Issues/Controversial Speakers; IMBAA-Teaching about Religion, JB-Equal Educational Opportunities, JCA-Assignment of Students to school, JFAAA-New Resident Students, JFAB-Non-Resident Student Policy, JFABA-Student Tuition for temporary Residents, JFBB-School Choice, JI-student Rights & Responsibilities, JICA-student Dress Code, JII-Student Complaints & Grievances, JK-Student Discipline, KA-School/Community Relations Goals, KBBA-Non-Custodial Parents’ Rights

    3. Separate vote: IGA-Curriculum Development, IGD-Curriculum Adoption and KCB-Community Involvement in Decision Making

    4. Approve Hockomock Y Grant to Heights PTO ($900)

    Smith-Lee asked for a motion to approve consent agenda items 1, 2 and 4 as presented and discussed on 12/18/13.

    MOTION: (Currul-Dykeman/Hitter) Moved to approve consent agenda items 1, 2 & 4 as presented on December 18, 2013. Yes vote: Currul-Dykeman, Hitter, Kaplan, Salomons, Smith-Lee, Wiseman

    3. Separate vote: IGA-Curriculum Development, IGD-Curriculum Adoption and KCB-Community Involvement in Decision Making

    L. Salomons provided an overview of the policy subcommittee’s proposed language changes to the above policies. There was a lengthy discussion on the wording and its meaning. Areas covered in the discussion included:

    • The School Committee has the authority to approve or disapprove major changes in curriculum and textbooks.

    • The School Committee approves the final operating budget. Any S.C. can decide not to vote approval of the budget.

    • The community is invited to participate in budget discussions before the S.C. votes on the final operating budget.

    • The S.C. can discuss as an agenda item whether a proposed change by administration is a substantial change to the curriculum. These policies do not interfere with that process.

    • The S.C. does not have the authority to vote on program changes, which are not significant curriculum changes. The S.C. provides feedback to administration on the proposed program changes.

    • The S.C. relies on the expertise of the administration.

    • The voice and expertise of our educators should not be diminished.

    • Curriculum Review Committees always included input from parents and the community. There is already a process in place that is procedural rather than policy. Educators should be allowed to make decisions about the process.

    Following the discussion, it was the consensus of the Committee to return these policies back to the policy subcommittee for further vetting. There will be further discussion on the policies at a meeting in January and/or February.

    No vote was taken on Consent Agenda item #3 at this evening’s meeting.


    In-house Special Education Program – SHS

    S. Kaplan and J. Denzer with the aid of PowerPoint, presented plans for the Sharon Public Schools to run the current SHS CHARMS Program. Areas included in the presentation included:

    • A brief history of the mutual relationship with the CHARMS Program for children on the autism spectrum.

    • Overview of the principles of the Federal and State law.

    • Students receiving special services in the district include students with learning disabilities and mental health issues.

    • By SPS running the program, it enables administration to explore alternative/additional programs.

    • S. Kaplan and J. Denzer will meet with parents,

    • A “working group” of parents and staff will be created. Principals will be included.

    • There will be a maximum of 18 Sharon students in the program.

    • Students that currently have a one-to-one aide required by their IEP would continue to receive those services.

    • Insure that students have access to updated technology.

    • There would be a loss of rental income; however, the operation savings would be significant.

    • Teachers would work with local colleges for establishing a certificate program.

    • The number one priority is to our students and our taxpayers.

    • J. Denzer has a significant background and skill set to work effectively with parents.

    • By moving the program in-house, students would have more options and opportunities.

    • A transitional specialist would be brought on board to insure that the program meets the needs of the current student population.

    • IEP plans would stay in place and continue.

    • CHARMS was informed last year that bringing the program in-house was a possibility.

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

    Preliminary FY 2015 Budget Projections

    G. Brand and S. Owen presented an overview of the preliminary 2015 operating budget projections. Areas in the presentation included:

    • Enrollment projections

    • Staffing: existing staff and its costs and proposed staffing and its cost

    • Supplies & Materials costs for Elementary Science & Mathematics

    • Cost for basic rollover from 2014 to 2015

    • Staffing needs to maintain class size

    Following the presentation, there was a Q&A with the Committee. The Superintendent’s Preliminary Budget will be a discussion item on the January 8th agenda.


    Subcommittee Reports


    Budget Subcommittee will meet on December 18th at 6:00 p.m.


    Priorities Committee will meet on December 16th at 9:00 p.m. at the Town Hall.

    Capital Outlay

    Capital Outlay met November 21st. Presentations were made by the Library, Police and Fire. The tour will be in January.


    Policies Subcommittee will meet on December 17th at 10:30 a.m.


    Other Business

    There being no further business, E. Smith-Lee asked for a motion to adjourn Open Session and enter into Executive Session for the discussion of potential real estate purchase with the intent not to return to Open Session.

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

    Open Session was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.

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

    Back-up Materials for the December 18, 2013 meeting

    • copy of minutes (12/11)

    • copy of correspondence re: pick up & drop off at SMS

    • copy of email re: SHS gift (carved eagle)

    • name of home schooling request

    • copy of CHARMS Program Financial Overview


    • copy of FY 2015 Budget Planning Information

    • copy of grant information (Hockomock to Heights PTO - $900)

    • FYI – copy of letter re: Leuders donation of $50