SC Executive Session Minutes of 5/15/2007

Posted: August 17, 2007, by webmaster

MAY 15, 2007

Present: Mr. John Bowe, Chair
Dr. Diane Stafford, Secretary
Mr. Scott Stratford
Ms. Elizabeth Gibson
Ms. Ann Rittenburg
Ms. Leslie Walker
Dr. Peter Holland, Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Patricia Aubin, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction
Dr. Gerald Missal, Director of Finance and Administration
Ms. Julia Silverman, Human Resources Manager (left at 7:05 p.m.)

Also present: Michael McAllister, Director of Social Studies, & Alice Melnikoff, Community Service Coordinator; new Student Advisory Council Members:  Sharon Kelleher, Jang Yoon, Yong Yoon, and returning members Mark Howitt & Amanda Ota; Michael Harvey, BHS Principal, and Sally Smith, Director of Student Services,


On a motion offered by Dr. Stafford and seconded by Mr. Stratford, it was

VOTED: unanimously, at 6:35 p.m., to enter Executive Session to discuss
collective bargaining issues.

On a motion offered by Mr. Stratford and seconded by Ms. Rittenburg, it was

VOTED: unanimously, at 7:01 p.m., to return to Open Session.

2.1 Call to Order

At 7:03 p.m., Mr. Bowe, Chairman of the Committee, called the meeting to order in the Community Room of the Chenery Middle School.

2.2 Superintendent's Report  

a. Presentation of President’s Volunteer Service
Awards to Belmont High School Seniors

Approximately 30 students and their family members were present for these awards.  After comments from Mr. Bowe, Dr. Holland, Mr. McAllister, and Ms. Melnikoff, Mr. Bowe and Dr. Holland distributed the awards.  Miss Danielle Conti, an award recipient, shared her thoughts on the importance of service with the School Committee and audience members.

b. Student Advisory Council Meeting
1.   Introduction of New Council Members
(Sharon Kelleher - ‘09; Jang Yoon - ’10;
Yong Yoon - ’10; & returning members
Amanda Ota - 08; & Mark Howitt - ’08)

2. Report on Goals

After the new members were introduced, students reported their goals for the year including:  space issues, student alcohol abuse and the future of dances at Belmont High School, and the schedule.  Departing seniors told the Committee of their plans for college in the fall.

2.2 Continuation of Superintendent’s Report

Dr. Holland continued his report by detailing the following events:  the completion of the Foundation for Belmont Education’s second cycle Learning Excellence Grants; exercises for Memorial Day; MCAS results for the classes of 2007 and 2008; the lockdown drills at Belmont High School and Chenery Middle School; and he offered a reminder to parents and students about safety considerations.

Dr. Holland announced to the Committee that Arthur Katz, Belmont Citizen Herald reporter, had been presented a community service award from the Town of Lexington.

Dr. Missal updated the Committee on the progress of the Food Service Outsourcing Committee.  Dr.
Aubin reported on student awards.

2.3 Chairman's Report

Mr. Bowe announced the fundraising results of the annual Foundation for Belmont Education (FBE) Dinner.  In addition, he reported on the most recent meeting of the FBE Board and the intent of the FBE to launch a major fundraising initiative to support technology funding.  Mr. Bowe concluded his comments by noting the upcoming Special Education Parent Advisory Council’s Appreciation Awards to be held on May 23, 2007.

2.4 Citizens' Concerns - None



4.1 Approval of BHS Student Handbook - Exhibit  A

Mr. Harvey highlighted proposed changes for the Belmont High School Student Handbook.  He recorded and responded to a number of questions from Committee members.  Committee members will vote to approve the handbook after they have reviewed the final document. 

On a motion offered by Mr. Stratford and seconded by Ms. Gibson, it was

VOTED: unanimously, to approve Open Campus for seniors at Belmont
High School.

4.2 BHS Course Enrollments for 2007-08 - Exhibit  B

Mr. Harvey shared with the Committee the proposed courses, number of sections, and class sizes for the 2007-2008 school year. 

4.3 Special Education Service Delivery Reorganization - Exhibit C 

Dr. Holland outlined the proposed reorganization of special education services at Belmont High School, the Wellington School, and system-wide Occupational Therapy.  The Superintendent recommended the addition of a School Psychologist at Belmont High School to assist with testing.  He further recommended that the Belmont Public Schools replace the Walker Partnership with local staff for the Bridge Program at the Wellington School.  Dr. Holland also recommended that the two Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants be replaced with a full-time licensed Occupational Therapist.  Ms. Smith was available to answer Committee questions and to provide additional information regarding the benefits of the proposed reorganization of services.

On a motion offered by Mr. Stratford and seconded by Dr. Stafford, it was

VOTED: unanimously, to approve the Superintendent’s proposal for the reorganization of special education services.

4.4 Vote on School Choice

On a motion offered by Dr. Stafford and seconded by Ms. Rittenburg, it was

VOTED: unanimously, that as recommended by the Superintendent, that the
Belmont Public Schools not participate in School Choice for the
2007-2008 school year.

4.5 Diploma Distribution Requests

Dr. Holland asked that School Committee members interested in presenting diplomas on a limited basis at Graduation to please contact Mrs. Carolyn Bunyon at Belmont High School.

4.6 FY 2007 Budget Report, Third Quarter - Exhibit  D

Dr. Missal presented a brief summary of the Third Quarter Budget Report and responded to questions from the Committee.

4.7 Continued FY 2008 Budget Discussions - Exhibit  E

Dr. Missal stated that the proposed FY 2008 budget now included a .5 position for an Assistant Network Administrator and a .5 position for a School Resource Officer.  He noted that Dr. Holland had recommended for the School Committee’s consideration an increase in the activity fee at Belmont High School from $220 to $250 in order to cover the cost of reinstating the Ski Team. 

Dr. Missal suggested that at its Public Hearing on June 5, 2008, the School Committee present a budget of $37,350,025 which is a 7.8% increase.  After some discussion, the Committee directed Dr. Missal to use this amount in the preparation of budget documents for the Public Hearing, the Warrant Committee, and the Budget Newsletter.

On a motion by Mr. Stratford and seconded by Ms. Rittenburg, it was

VOTED: unanimously, to approve the Superintendent’s recommendation to increase
the High School student activity fee from $220 to $250 (family maximum from
$440 to $500).

4.8 Vote on Revised Statement of Interest for BHS - Exhibit  F

On a motion offered by Dr. Stafford and seconded by Ms. Walker, it was

VOTED: Having convened in an open meeting on May 15, 2007, the School Committee of Belmont, in accordance with its charter, bylaws, and ordinances, hereby votes unanimously to authorize and direct the Superintendent to submit to the Massachusetts School Building Authority the Statement of Interest dated as of May 15, 2007 for Belmont High School located at 221 Concord Avenue which describes and explains the following deficiencies and the priority category(s) for which an application may be submitted to the Massachusetts School Building Authority at some time in the future, priority 3 - prevention of the loss of accreditation, priority 5 - replacement of the heating system in a schoolhouse     to increase energy conservation and decrease energy  related costs, priority 7 - replacement, renovation or addition to an obsolete building in order to provide for a full range of programs consistent with     state and approved local requirements, and hereby further specifically acknowledges that submitting this Statement of Interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority in no way guarantees the acceptance or the approval of an application, the awarding of a grant or any other funding commitment from the Massachusetts School Building Authority, or commits the Belmont School District to filing an application for funding with the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

4.9 Appointment of Interim Director of Student Services

On a motion offered by Ms. Gibson and seconded by Dr. Stafford, it was

VOTED:   unanimously, to approve the Superintendent’s recommendation to appoint Mr. Kenneth L.. Kramer as the interim Director of Student Services.


(Wellington Building Committee; ESCO; Communications & Community Relations; Crofts Policy Revision; Technology Assessment & Funding; Advisory Council for the Future Needs of Belmont High School; Capital
Budget Committee; Community Education; Council on Aging; EDCO Board; ESCO Energy Study; Foundation for Belmont Education; Health Advisory Committee; ITAC; Vision 21; Warrant Committee; Youth Commission) 

Dr. Stafford reported on the items approved by the Capital Budget for funding.

Mr. Bowe reported that the Warrant Committee is in the process of discussing the use of free cash.


6.1 Consent Agenda
a. Approval of School Committee Certificate Awards
   for High Achievement - Seniors & Undergraduates -
   Confidential Exhibits  G-1 & G-2  
b. Approval of Resolutions - Exhibit  H
c. Bid Awards - Exhibit  I
d. French Exchange Program - Exhibit  J
e. Approval of Job Descriptions - Exhibit  K
f. Transportation Fee Schedule Change - Exhibit  L

On a motion offered by Dr. Stafford and seconded by Mr. Stratford, it was

VOTED: unanimously, to approve the Consent Agenda as presented.

6.2 Personnel Items - Informational

The following items were presented for the School Committee’s information:

a. Instructional Assignments - Exhibit  M
b. Instructional Change of Assignments - Exhibit  N
c. Retirements - Exhibit  O
d. Resignations - Exhibit  P
e. Career Leaves of Absence - Exhibit  Q
f. Extended Parenthood Leaves - Exhibit  R

6.3 Business Items - None

6.4 Approval of Minutes

On a motion offered by Mr. Stratford and seconded by Ms. Walker, it was

VOTED: unanimously, to approve the following Minutes:  
a. April 10, 2007 - Organization Meeting, as submitted
b. April 10, 2007 - Regular Meeting, as submitted
c. April 24, 2007 - Executive Session, as submitted


On a motion offered by Dr. Stafford and seconded by Ms. Rittenburg, it was

VOTED: unanimously, at 10:00 p.m., to adjourn the meeting.

Respectfully submitted by
Diane Stafford, Secretary


EXECUTIVE SESSION: May 15, 2007 6:35 p.m. to 7:01 p.m.

RE: Collective Bargaining

The Committee discussed  collective bargaining issues with Unit A.  No actions or votes were taken.  The Committee indicated its readiness to return to Open Session at 7:01 p.m..