OPEN SESSION

 

SHARON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

School Committee Meeting

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Administration Building

One School Street

Sharon, MA 02067

 

Present:  Mr. Glenn Allen, Mr. Mitchell Blaustein, Ms. Linda Callan, Mr. Donald Gilligan, Mr. Sam Liao and Ms. Alison Rutley

 

Also present for the Open Session meeting: Dr. Claire Jackson, Dr. Barbara Dunham, Mr. Jose Libano, High School Principal, Michael Garber, High School student, Mr. John Marcus, Cottage Street School Principal, Ms. Dale Boyle, teacher at Cottage Street School, Mrs. Lisa Lamore, Heights Elementary School Principal, Mr. Richard Cushing, Heights Elementary Assistant Principal and members of the community

 

Mr. Gilligan called the Open Session meeting to order at 6:40 p.m.

 

Mr. Gilligan, on behalf of the Administration and School Committee, introduced and congratulated Tanya Perkins, Mock Trial Advisor as well as the Mock Trial students, who successfully represented the State of Massachusetts at the Mock Trial Finals in Dallas, Texas. Sharon’s Team placed seventh in the nation, an incredible, commendable feat. In order for Sharon to make it to Dallas, they had to successfully compete against 120 teams and defeating Salem High School for the State Championship. Many thanks to Michael Tuteur, Esq., Jack Mikes, Esq., Steve Rosenthal, Esq., and Michael Kuppersmith who unselfishly volunteered their time to help prepare the team for competitions throughout the year.

 

Students who represented Sharon at the Mock Trial Nationals:

Jenna Weinstein

Josh Block

Ethan Richman

Dominique Mann

Rachae Piltch-Loeb

Dana Weinstein

David Tuteur

Faisal Khan

Sam Rittenberg

Josh Bernard

 

Dr. Jackson commended Ms. Perkins, mock team members and community volunteers for the time and effort they have given to the Mock Trial and for being wonderful representatives of Sharon High School and the Sharon community.

 

Executive Session was convened at 6:54 p.m.

Open Session ended at 6:54 p.m. to reopen at close of Executive Session

Open Session was convened at 7:55 p.m.

Mr. Gilligan, on behalf of the School Committee and the Administration, thanked the entire community of Sharon for their support of the override. He acknowledged that the override would not have passed without the hard work of many individuals – parents, staff, and community.

 

CONDUCT REORGANIZATION/ELECTION OF OFFICERS FOR SCHOOL COMMITTEE

 

Introduce New School Committee Members

Mr. Gilligan introduced and congratulated Alison Rutley first time, newly elected School Committee member and Linda Callan, re-elected School Committee member.

 

Nomination and Election of Officers

Mr. Gilligan explained that it is the policy of the School Committee to have a reorganization of officers on the first meeting after Town elections and opened the floor for nominations for Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary.

 

MOTION: (Allen/Blaustein) Moved to nominate Sam Liao for the position of Chair of the School Committee for 2007-2008 school year. Vote was six in the affirmative.

 

Mr. Liao expressed his thanks to the Committee for the privilege of serving as Chair. Mr. Gilligan stepped down as Chair and Mr. Liao assumed the position of Chair for the duration of the meeting.

 

MOTION: (Callan/Gilligan) Moved to nominate Mitch Blaustein for the position of Vice Chair of the School Committee for the 2007-2008 school year. Vote was six in the affirmative.

 

MOTION: (Rutley/Gilligan) Moved to nominate Glenn Allen for the position of Secretary of the School Committee for the 2007-2008 school year. Vote was six in the affirmative.

 

Subcommittee Assignments

Mr. Liao distributed a list of subcommittees and requested members to review and e-mail him as to which subcommittees they would serve on as a representative of the School Committee. Mr. Liao will compile the list and distribute an updated version at the May 30th meeting.

 

MASC Workshop(s)

Mr. Liao will be scheduling a one-day workshop for newly elected members as well as for members who have not attended a MASC workshop, which reviews the responsibilities of administration and members. Members were asked to e-mail Mr. Liao with their date preferences.

 

School Committee & Superintendent Goals for 2007-2008

Mr. Liao asked the Committee to review the 2006-2007 document and note was goals needs to be modified, added, deleted, etc. The meeting/workshop to formulate the 2007-2008 goals document will be in June. The final, approved goals will be distributed to staff at the beginning of the school year.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE/REGULAR ITEMS

 

Correspondence

Mr. Allen highlighted a letter received from parents of an Alternative School kindergarten student expressing their desire to have Alternative School kindergarten students remain in its current configuration.

 

Approve Minutes

MOTION: (Gilligan/Blaustein) Moved to approve the Executive and Open Session minutes from the May 2, 2007 meeting as drafted and submitted. Vote was four in the affirmative. Sam Liao and Alison. Rutley abstained.

 

Student Representative

Lior Haas, Student Representative, was not present. Jose Libano, High School Principal, updated the Committee on the happenings at the High School:

• Students attended a Community Service Learning Conference at Holy Cross College

• Students attended a Model UN Conference at Northeastern University

• Representatives from the Anti-Defamation League presented 4 assemblies on April 25th to the entire student body

• Prom and graduation activities are progressing

• Students are taking ĀP exams

• Students are taking MCAS exams

• Sports are half way through their season

 

Announcements

Dr. Jackson expressed her gratitude to the Sharon community for their support of the override. Dr. Jackson congratulated Jennifer Levye and Aria Anavi for being selected as winners of a National Merit Scholarship.

 

SUPERINTENDENT’S ITEMS        

 

Discuss End-of-Year Net School Spending/Audit

This item was deferred until the May 30th meeting.

 

High School Graduation – Ceremony and Invitations

Graduation will be held on June 3rd at 4:00 p.m. present School Committee members, former School Committee members as well as members of the Board of Selectmen have been invited.

 

Present/Discuss High School Student Handbook for 2007-2008

Mr. Libano reviewed/highlighted the proposed Parent/Student Handbook for the 2007-2008 school year. The document has been fully vetted by the faculty, students and parents. Dr. Jackson stated that the recommendation from the Coordinated Program Review to change language referencing harassment to  “harassment and/or discrimination”, which this document reflects. Dr. Jackson asked the Committee to vote approval of the handbook as presented by Mr. Libano and Michael Garber, School Council student representative. There was a Q&A between the members and Mr. Libano. As some members had not fully reviewed the proposed handbook, the vote was postponed until a subsequent meeting.

 

DECISION ITEMS

 

School Improvement Plans: Cottage Street Elementary School

Mr. John Marcus, Cottage Street Principal and Dale Boyle, SPED teacher and member of the School Council, presented/highlighted the Cottage Street School Improvement Pan for 2007-2008 and reviewed the accomplishments/goals from 2006-2007. Much information for last year and projections for next year were obtained from a student/parent survey. The goal for 2007-2008 is to increase the number of respondents to the survey.

 

Dr. Jackson commended Mr. Marcus for developing the template and sharing it with his colleagues so that the School Committee goal of uniform, succinct and quantifiable results has been met. Dr. Jackson recommended that the Committee approve the Cottage Street School Improvement Plan as submitted by Mr. Marcus and Ms. Boyle

 

MOTION: (Blaustein/Callan) Moved to approve the School Improvement Plan for the Cottage Street School to the extent that it does not require an appropriation from the Committee and what is set forth does not have a binding effect on the operating budget. Vote was six in the affirmative.

 

School Improvement Plans: Heights Elementary School

Lisa Lamore, Heights Elementary Principal and Richard Cushing, Assistant Principal, presented the Heights Elementary School Improvement Plan and Goals for 2007-2008. Highlighted benchmarks/goals included: ELA writing consultant who worked with staff to improve student writing samples; mural development beautification through the building; plans for additional playground equipment that will benefit the school as well as the Sharon community. Following the presentation, there was a Q&A with the Committee.

Dr. Jackson recommended that the Committee approve the Heights Elementary School Improvement Plan as submitted by Mrs. Lamore and Mr. Cushing.

 

MOTION: (Blaustein/Rutley) Moved to approve the School Improvement Plan for the Heights Elementary School to the extent that it does not require an appropriation from the Committee and what is set forth does not have a binding effect on the operating budget. Vote was six in the affirmative.

 

Vote Out-of-State Trip: Roger Williams Zoo

Dr. Jackson recommended that the Committee vote approval for two field trips to Roger Williams Zoo in Rhode Island:

1) For the Middle School students in order to study endangered species

2) For East Elementary School students for a Grade 1 science project

 

MOTION: (Blaustein/Allen) Moved that the Committee approve the out-of-state field trips to the Roger Williams Zoo in Rhode Island as recommended by Dr. Jackson. Vote was six in the affirmative.

 

Vote Out-of-State Trips: France, Spain, and Italy

Dr. Jackson outlined the proposed trips to France, Spain and Italy. The trips to France and Italy would be in conjunction with a Boston-based student ravel company that provides superior educational experiences. Patricia Mulcahy, Foreign Language Coordinator, organized the trip to Spain. The trips would take place over the April vacation, 2008. Dr. Jackson explained that a vote by the Committee allows the plans to go forward and can be reconsidered, if needed, at a future date. Should the world climate change and the School Department felt it would be too dangerous for students to travel, the trips would be cancelled. Dr. Jackson recommended the Committee vote approval of the proposed trips as presented.

 

MOTION: (Gilligan/Rutley) Moved to approve the trips to France, Spain and Italy as outlined/presented by Dr. Jackson. Vote was five in the affirmative. Mr. Blaustein opposed.

 

Vote Cell Phone Policy

Vote on the policy was deferred to a subsequent meeting in order for updated language to be incorporated into the policy.

 

Vote 70/30 Health Plan for New Employees

Dr. Dunham reviewed her May 11, 2007 memo regarding non-affiliated personnel and health insurance and requested the Committee to vote on language referencing the change in health insurance eligibility.

 

MOTION: (Blaustein/Allen) Moved that all non-affiliated employees, newly employed by the Sharon Public schools (or the Town of Sharon) who are eligible for health insurance or who become eligible for health insurance, will be eligible for the new 7030-10 HMO health plan which is paid for at a 70% rate by the Town of Sharon and 30% by the employee. For these new employees, the 80%/20% HMO rate is no longer available. Vote was six in the affirmative.

 

Discuss/Vote School Committee Budget FY 08

Dr. Dunham said that the Town Meeting voted approval of an operational budget in the amount $32,420,581.00. The Committee will formally vote the budget at a subsequent meeting in the amount reflected at Town Meeting.

 

DISCUSSION ITEMS

 

TBD as Other Business items that may arise

 

 

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

Mr. Liao informed the Committee that the School Department would be submitting to the Board of Selectmen the Statement of Interest for the Sharon Middle School for a vote. When the Board of Selectmen takes a vote, Mr. Liao will proceed with filing a Statement of Interest to the School Building Authority.

 

Mr. Blaustein requested that the time to enter into Executive Session be changed to 6:40 p.m., thus allowing members traveling from Boston to be on time for the start of the meetings. His suggestion was taken under advisement.

 

Mr. Blaustein asked the Committee to consider revision of a School Committee Policy regarding procedure for dedicating names to buildings.

 

Dr. Jackson asked that all correspondence for the School Committee be submitted by Friday, thus allowing the inclusion of the correspondence in the School Committee packets that are delivered to members on the Friday afternoon preceding the meeting.

 

Dr. Jackson requested the Committee to take a pro-formal vote on the policy for homeless students.

 

MOTION: (Gilligan/Liao) Moved that the School Committee adopt (File JFABD) the Homeless Students Rights and Policy as presented by Dr. Dunham. Vote was six in the affirmative.

 

Dr. Dunham presented a brief over-view of the METCO bid process and bid outcome. One bid was submitted though bids were mailed to five companies. Dr. Dunham has verified the bid specifications and requested that the Committee vote approval of the METCO bid to Michael J. Connolly & Sons, Inc.

 

MOTION: (Gilligan/Blaustein) Moved to approve the three-year METCO bus contract to Michael J. Connolly & Sons. as recommended by Dr. Dunham.

Vote was six in the affirmative.

 

Mr. Blaustein asked if there was a member of the Sharon Advocate present. There was no member of the press present.

 

The next meeting will be May 30th.

 

There being no further business to come before the Committee, the Chair asked for a motion to adjourn.

 

MOTION: (Gilligan/Callan) Moved to adjourn Open Session. Vote was six in the affirmative.

 

Open Session was adjourned at 10:15 p.m.

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