School Committee Minutes of September 11, 2007

Posted: January 16, 2008, by Cathy Grant

BELMONT SCHOOL COMMITTEE MINUTES
CHENERY MIDDLE SCHOOL COMMUNITY ROOM
SEPTEMBER 11, 2007

Present: Mr. John Bowe, Chair
  Dr. Diane Stafford, Secretary
  Ms. Leslie Walker
  Mr. Scott Stratford
  Ms. Ann Rittenburg
  Ms. Elizabeth Gibson
  Dr. Peter Holland, Superintendent of Schools
  Dr. Patricia Aubin, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction
  Dr. Gerald Missal, Director of Finance and Administration   
 
1. EXECUTIVE SESSION      
 
2. OPENING BUSINESS
 
 2.1 Call to Order
 
 Mr. Bowe called the meeting to order at 7:32 in the Community Room of the Chenery Middle School.
  
 2.2 Superintendent's Report
 
 Dr. Holland noted the following:
 
 Dr. Missal now has a Massachusetts Certificate as a Public Purchasing Official.
 
 The Warrant Committee will be notified that an unfunded out of district placement will require additional funds for tuition and transportation. 
 
 The second annual Peace March took place on September 11, 2007.
 
 Paul Reveille has been named Chair of the State Board of Education by Governor Patrick.
 MASS/MASC joint conference will be held in Hyannis on November 14-17.  School Committee will need to appoint a delegate.
 
 BHS remains on warning from NEASC because of building deficiencies.
 
 In a note to Dr. Holland, Heli Tomford commended the students who assisted with the Farmer’s Market as part of their community service.
 
 Dr. Holland shared with the Committee the rather lengthy check list for superintendents, designed by the Department of Education.
 
 Dr. Holland was pleased to announce that the Chenery Middle School made AYP in all subgroups for both math and english.
 
 Dr. Missal announced a savings with the current natural gas contract.
 
 Dr. Holland made available to the Committee a summary of the Unit A settlement and the savings on medical insurance as well as information on staff distribution on plan choice.
 
 Dr. Holland announced the retirement of Peg McDonough, former Secretary to the Superintendent, and he noted the untimely death of Val Freeman, former Secretary for the Department of Fine and Performing Arts.
 
 Dr. Holland announced that the December School Committee meeting will be held at the Wellington School.
    
 2.3 Chairman's Report
 
 Mr. Bowe welcomed members to the first meeting of the School Committee for the 2007 - 2008 school year.  He commented on the make up of the new Warrant Committee.  He noted that enrollments are up and reminded the public that concerns about the school system should be shared with the Superintendent.  He reminded the public that by using the services of UPS, the Foundation for Belmont Education can gain donations for each transaction.
    
 2.4 Citizens' Concerns
 
 Three audience members spoke.  Ms. Ann Mahon commented on the composition of the Warrant Committee.  Ms. Amanda Green commented on the positive effects of NCLB on the achievement of Special Education students.  Ms. Lynn Finlay thanked Committee members, Gerry Missal, and Bob Martin for the summer work on the playground at the Wellington School.
 
3. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
 
4. MAJOR BUSINESS
  
 4.1 Report on Opening of School 
    
 a. Enrollments - Exhibit A
 
 Dr. Holland reported on the enrollment figures for the start of the school year.  He pointed out his serious concerns about class size for grade 1 at the Butler School and grade 2 at the Wellington School.  Dr. Holland recommended to the Committee that two new teachers be hired and that additional funding for specialist time and materials for a new classroom be included.  After discussion among Committee members and comments from Amy Wagner and Bruce MacDonald, the Committee decided to vote on the Superintendent’s recommendation.
 
 On a motion offered by Mr. Stratford and seconded by Ms. Rittenburg, it was voted unanimously to approve the recommendation of the Superintendent to fund two new teachers, specialist time, and the cost of materials for a new classroom.
 
 b. Summer Maintenance - Exhibit D
 
 Dr. Missal reported on a number of the maintenance projects completed during the summer and provided the Committee with an update on the time line for some of the capital budget projects.
 
 4.2 Review of Wellington School Construction - Exhibit E
   
 The School Committee discussed possible next steps in the plan to build a new Wellington School.  Dr. Holland will meet with Wellington parents and The Chair of the Wellington Building Committee will be invited to attend a future School Committee meeting.
 
 4.3 Request to Place Solar Panels on Roof of CMS - Exhibit F
   
 Mr. Tim Richardson was present to discuss the possible placement of solar panels on a section of roof at the Chenery Middle School.  Committee members commented on the importance of the trees that would need to be moved if the plan as outlined by Mr. Richardson were to be adopted.  Committee members agreed on the importance of energy conservation and asked Mr. Richardson to consider other school buildings for the installation.
 
 4.4 Superintendent and School Committee Goals for 2007 - 2008 - Exhibit  G
   
 Dr. Holland presented for School Committee review the goals for their review and comment.
       
 4.5 FY 2007 End of Year Finance Report - Exhibit  H
 
 Dr. Missal presented the End of Year Financial Report for School Committee review and comment.
 
 4.6 Approval of Education Improvement Plan - Exhibit I
 
 Dr. Aubin shared highlights for the 2007 - 2008 Education Improvement Plan.  Committee members will vote on the Plan at the next School Committee meeting.
 
 4.7 Review Memo of Understanding Between Belmont Public Schools and
  Belmont Police Department - Exhibit J
 
 Dr. Holland and School Committee members discussed the proposed Memo of Understanding between Belmont Public Schools and the Belmont Police Department.  Committee members raised a number of concerns with the document, requested that Dr. Holland speak again with School Counsel Fraser, and that he compare this Memorandum of Agreement with the existing Memorandum of Agreement.
 
 4.8 Overview of Staff Development Programs - Exhibit K
 
 Dr. Aubin provided highlights from the 2007 - 2008 Staff Development Handbook.
  
5. REPORT OF SUBCOMMITTEES/LIAISONS
 (Advisory Council/Future Needs of BHS; Capital Budget Committee; Communications & Community Relations; Community Education; Crofts Revision Subcommittee; Council on Aging; EDCO Board; ESCO Energy Study; Foundation for Belmont Education; Health Advisory Committee; ITAC; Task Force/Supt. Advisory Council; Warrant Committee; Wellington Building Committee; Vision 21; and Youth Commission)
 
 Committee members discussed the need for sub committees as well as the status of liaison positions with other Town groups.
 
 Mr. Stratford announced the first event for the Youth Center.
 
6. OTHER BUSINESS
 
 6.1 Consent Agenda    
 
  a. Reappointment of Myron Kassaraba to Belmont Media Center Board of Directors
  b. Memorandum from Michael Harvey re: Changes to French Exchange for 2007 - 2008
   (Request for School Committee approval of the French Exchange was withdrawn)
  c. Memorandum from William Pappazisis re: Band/Orchestra Trip April 2008
 
 On a motion offered by Mr. Stratford and seconded by Dr. Stafford, it was
 
 VOTED:   unanimously, to approve the consent agenda.
 
 6.2 Personnel Items - Informational
 
 The following items were presented for the School Committee’s information:
 
  a. Teachers on Leave of Absence - Exhibit  L   
  b. New Non-Instructional Assignment - Exhibit  M   
  c. Professional Classroom Aides & Classroom Assistants - Exhibit  N  
  d. Change of Instructional Assignments - Exhibit  O   
  e. Non-Instructional Change of Assignement - Exhibit P  
  f. Resignations - Exhibit  Q 
         
 6.3 Business Items - None       
 6.4 Approval of Minutes
 
 On a motion offered by Mr. Stratford and seconded by Dr. Stafford, it was
 
 VOTED: unanimously, to approve the following Minutes:                            
    a. June 5, 2007, as amended
 
 On a motion offered by Mr. Stratford and seconded by Dr. Stafford, it was
 
 VOTED: unanimously, to approve the following Minutes:
    b. June 26, 2007, as amended
 
 On a motion offered by Mr. Stratford and seconded by Ms. Rittenburg, it was
 
 VOTED: unanimously to approve the following Minutes:
 
    c. June 29, 2007
 
7. FUTURE BUSINESS
 
 7.1 Next Meeting Dates:   October 9, 2007
     CMS Community Room
     6:30 p.m. - Reception for Professional Status Teachers
     7:00 p.m. - Recognition of Professional Status Teachers
     7:30 p.m. - Regular Meeting
 
     October 16, 2007
     Location TBD
     7:00 p.m. - Meeting with METCO Parents in Boston
 
     November 6, 2007
     CMS Community Room
     6:30 p.m. - Reception for Volunteers
     7:00 p.m. - Recognition of Volunteers
     7:30 p.m. - Regular Meeting
 
     December 4, 2007
     Wellington Music Room
     7:30 p.m. - Meeting with Student Advisory Council
     7:45 p.m. - Regular Meeting          
 
9. ADJOURNMENT
 
 On a motion offered by Mr. Stratford and seconded by Ms. Rittenburg, it was
 
 VOTED: unanimously, at 10:16 p.m., to adjourn the meeting.
     Respectfully submitted by     
      Diane Stafford, Secretary