• SC Minutes 03/28/2012


    OPEN SESSION

    SHARON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

    School Committee Meeting

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012

    Sharon Middle School

    75 Mountain Street

    Sharon, MA 02067

    Present: Glenn Allen, Mitchell Blaustein, Jeffrey Cruzan, Jon Hitter, Laura Salomons, Emily Smith-Lee

    Also present: Tim Farmer, Glenn Brand, SHS student representatives, Matthew Ostrow and Michael Dupuis, members of the community and a member of the press

    L. Salomons called the Open Session meeting to order at 7:03 p.m.

    PUBLIC FEEDBACK

    Correspondence

    E. Smith-Lee stated that 2 additional letters were received from a community member and a resident of Stow, MA who has relatives attending school in Sharon, which addressed concerns over proposed staffing changes to the NECC (New England Center for Children) Program at Heights Elementary School. The Stow letter was read verbatim. E. Smith-Lee presented the second letter, which was a template letter sent by many individuals, as an overview.

    A letter was received from a Sharon Public Schools employee, which expressed dismay at the lack of support from the School Committee regarding the drastic changes to health insurance coverage.

    Correspondence was received, which addressed student parking at Sharon High School. Administration will respond to the concerns raised in the letters.

    Student Advisory Representatives

    Student representatives informed the Committee of recent activities at SHS:

    Toyota sponsored a safe driving presentation to students (sponsored by SADD).

    • SHS now has a school store.

    • Spring sports are underway.

    • Term 3 grades close on March 30th.

    • There will be a PTSO sponsored career seminar on March 29th with Mr. Allen as one of the guest speakers entitled, “Careers in Science”.

    • A “Career in Business/Finance” seminar is scheduled for April 5th.

    • SHS students left for China and France as part of the foreign exchange program.

    • Math MCAS testing was administered – English MCAS will be in May.

    • The drama dept. musical in collaboration with the elementary schools will be on May 19th.

    • The next senior extended lunch will be on April 10th.

    • There was a scheduled “lock down” drill last week.

    • There is a multi-cultural cabaret scheduled for March 30th.

    • Student newspaper will be available on March 29th.

    • Spring sports are underway.

    • The new athletic director,William Martin, will be coming to SHS July 1st.

    • SHS National Honor Society is accepting donations for the Food Pantry.

    • Sixty students were inducted into the Foreign Language Honor Society.

    • Lacrosse team is sponsoring a car wash on March 31st.

    DECISION ITEMS

    A. Consent Agenda

    L. Salomons asked for a motion to approve the following consent agenda items:

    1) Open Sessionminutes from the March 14, 2012 meeting

    MOTION: (Allen/Cruzan) Move to approve the Open Session minutes from the March 14, 2012 meeting. Yes vote: Allen, Blaustein, Cruzan, Hitter, Salomons, Smith-Lee.

    B) Approve SHS math graduation requirement (4th yr. requirement)

    T. Farmer recapped his March 8th memorandum to the School Committee, which outlined the proposed four-year SHS mathematics graduation requirement as well as highlighting the discussion from the March 14th meeting.

    Administration is recommending that with the graduating class of 2016 (current eighth grade), the graduation requirement will include a fourth year of mathematics. To accommodate individual student needs, it is recommended that families be provided the option of submitting an exemption request that would require principal approval.

    Prior to the vote, there was a lengthy discussion on the proposed math requirement – particularly how the opt out exemption would be implemented and the role of the guidance department in its implementation. There being no further discussion, L. Salomons asked for a motion.

    MOTION: (Allen/Blaustein) Moved to approve the Sharon High School 4-year math requirement starting with the graduating class of 2016.

    Prior to the second on the motion, J. Cruzan proposed a friendly amendment – “That the building principal consult with the guidance department when approving and implementing the opt out exemption.”

    L. Salomons asked who was in favor of the proposed friendly amendment made by J. Cruzan.

    In favor of the amendment: Cruzan, Smith-Lee. Not in favor of amendment: Allen, Blaustein, Hitter, Salomons

    Following further discussion, G. Allen made a second motion:

    MOTION: (Allen/Blaustein) Moved to approve the Sharon High School 4-year math requirement for graduation beginning with the Class of 2016. Yes vote: Allen, Blaustein, Hitter, Salomons, Smith-Lee. No vote: Cruzan

    C-a) Fee changes for transportation

    G. Brand recapped discussions held from previous S.C. meetings (Feb. 29th and March 14th). As presented at the March 14th meeting, in order to balance the transportation revolving fund, the administration proposes the following: to eliminate one-way rider-ship, eliminate the late bus on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and to increase the full rider-ship fee from $512 to $550.

    Following further discussion on the proposed transportation fee changes, it was the consensus of the committee to move this decision item to the April 11th meeting. J. Hitter stated that he would still like to see a one-way option increase to $375 rather than its elimination.

    C-b) Fee changes for transportation, kindergarten

    G. Brand recapped the discussion from March 14th meeting regarding full-day kindergarten fees. Administration recommends decreasing the tuition for FY 2013 by $300 to $3,585 for full-day kindergarten. It was noted that there would be further discussion at a subsequent meeting on the appropriate amount to be held in contingency.

    C-c) Fee changes for food services

    The proposed change to the food service program is to increase the deli bar by 25 cents and the salad bar by 25 cents.

    There being no further discussion, L. Salomons asked for a motion to approve the proposed full-day kindergarten fee and the proposed food service program fees.

    MOTION: (Cruzan/Allen) Moved to approve the full-day kindergarten fee of $3,585 for FY 2013. Yes vote: Allen, Blaustein, Cruzan, Hitter, Salomons. Not vote: Smith-Lee.

    E. Smith-Lee stated that her no vote was because she would like Sharon Public Schools to have a more fair, sustainable kindergarten system.

    MOTION: (Allen/Cruzan) Moved to approve the proposed changes to the food service program as outlined in the March 24, 2012 memorandum – 25 cent increase to the deli bar and 25 cent increase to the salad bar. Yes vote: Allen, Blaustein, Cruzan, Hitter, Salomons, Smith-Lee

    DISCUSSION ITEMS

    Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent Entry Plan Report

    T. Farmer and G. Brand, with the aid of PowerPoint, presented an update on the Sharon Public Schools Entry Plan. Areas covered in the presentation included: Reasons for conducting an entry plan, the process (conversations, SWOT and additional data for analysis, visits, data collection), findings – what is working well, what information is needed in order to be successful, where is there room for growth in order to meet future needs, what is needed to lead the system forward, the composition, vision and mission statement of strategic planning, overarching goals and potential outcome areas, and next steps. The timeline is for presentation and approval of the strategic plan in May.

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

    The Committee commended Mr. Farmer for the many hours of hard work in conducting the entry plan and organizing the strategic planning.

    Revised Section D Policies

    J. Cruzan presented an update on the policies that were discussed and vetted at the policy subcommittee meeting. Section D, Fiscal Management was discussed at this evening’s subcommittee meeting (6:00 p.m. prior to S.C. mtg.). Categories in Section D: fiscal management goals, annual budget, encumbrances, budget transfer authority, funding proposals and applications, authorized signatures, fiscal accounting and reporting, student activity accounts, audits, purchasing, vendor relations, payment procedures, expense reimbursements, disposal of surplus property. The policies, including the language revisions, will be an April 11th decision item.

    School Choice

    T. Farmer stated that MA General Laws require School Committees to vote annually (no later than June 1st) on their school district’s participation in school choice.

    Prior to a vote being taken, there was a discussion on the impact participation in school choice would have on the Sharon Public Schools. Vote on school choice will be on the April 11th agenda.

    Suburban Coalition

    M. Blaustein presented an overview of the Suburban Coalition lobbying service. There is a $250 membership fee. A summary of 2010/2011 legislative priorities included: health insurance, Special Education, local revenue, education funding reform, capital spending, state revenue, issues and priorities for state aid to local communities. Members were asked to review the Suburban Coalition documents for a vote on Sharon’s participation on the Suburban Coalition scheduled for April 11th.

    Part-time Maintenance & Operations Evening Supervisor

    T. Farmer presented an overview of K. Wertz’s proposal for hiring a part-time maintenance & operations evening supervisor. The position would be approximately 15 hours a week, Monday-Friday, hours will be between 2:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Hourly wage for the position to be determined. Funding for the position would come from the rental revolving fund.

    There was a discussion on the need for the position, cost of the position and impact on the budget. A vote for approval of this proposed position is scheduled for April 11th.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS & UPDATES

    Town Committee Updates

    Recreation Committee

    M. Blaustein updated the Committee on the recent meeting. Areas of discussion included the condition of the girls’ softball field was discussed and fee structure for field lights use.

    M. Blaustein stated that he attended a recent MIAA meeting where C.O.R.I. checks for referees and umpires were discussed.

    Other Business

    There being no further business to come before the Committee at this time, L. Salomons asked for a motion to adjourn.

    MOTION: (Allen/Cruzan) Moved to adjourn Open Session.

    Yes vote: Allen, Blaustein, Cruzan, Hitter, Salomons, Smith-Lee

    Open Session was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

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

    Back-up Materials for the March 28, 2012 meeting

    PUBLIC FEEDBACK

    Correspondence

    • Copies of letters from NECC parents and community members

    DECISION ITEMS

    • copy of Open Session minutes from the 3/14 mtg.

    • information re: the proposed SHS 4-yr. math graduation requirement

    • information re: proposed fee changes

    DISCUSSION ITEMS

    • copy of PowerPoint presentation re: Entry Plan & Strategic Planning

    • copy of D policies – fiscal management

    • information re: School Choice

    • documents re: Suburban Coalition

    • information re: proposal for hiring a Maintenance & Operations Evening Supervisor

    FYI

    • copy of 3/14 memorandum re: PARCC Technology Readiness Tool

    • copy of SHS PTSo Newsletter

    • copy of T. Farmer’s 3/23 information update