School Committee Minutes of January 6, 2009

Posted: March 30, 2009, by Cathy Grant

JANUARY 6, 2009

Present:      Mr. John Bowe, Chair
            Ms. Ann Rittenburg, Secretary
Ms. Elizabeth Gibson
            Ms. Leslie Walker
            Ms. Laurie Graham
Ms. Becky Vose
            Dr. Patricia Aubin, Superintendent of Schools
            Mr. Denis Fitzpatrick, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction
            Dr. Gerry Missal, Director of Finance and Administration

1.      EXECUTIVE SESSION                                               

      No Executive Session                                                                                                                                

      Call to Order     
      At 7:34 p.m. Mr. Bowe called the meeting to order in the Community Room of the Chenery Middle School.                                 
      2.2      Superintendent's Report 

      Dr. Aubin wished a happy new year to the School Committee and to the Belmont Public School community.
      Dr. Aubin extended sympathy to Mark and Libby Firenze on the passing of their son, M.J. whom she characterized as a light in the lives of everyone he encountered.                 

      2.3      Chairman's Report 

      Mr. Bowe reminded the School Committee members of a number of meetings this month, including weekly School Committee meetings, a joint meeting with the Warrant Committee and Board of Selectman on January 14, and a public budget forum on January 24.  Mr. Bowe announced that the Foundation for Belmont Education will hold its annual spelling bee on February 7.                             

      2.4      Citizens' Concerns 



      4.1      Report from Screening Committee for Superintendent Search

      Mr. Fitzpatrick, chair of the committee, reviewed the work of the Screening Committee for the Superintendent Search and thanked the twelve school and community members who served on this committee.  Mr. Fitzpatrick announced that the committee recommends to the School Committee the following  finalists:
o      Marie Doyle, Superintendent of Carlisle Public Schools, Carlisle, MA
o      Dr. George Entwistle, 3rd, Superintendent of Falmouth Public School District, Falmouth, ME
o      Dr. Richard Hoffman, Superintendent of Ashland Public Schools, Ashland, MA
o      Dr. James Kelleher, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, and Staff Development, Scituate Public School, Scituate, MA                             

      4.2      Update on Technology     

      Mr. Steve Mazzola, Director of Technology, used a power  point presentation to outline the mission of the technology department and the current administrative and academic uses of technology.  Mr. Mazzola then focused on future initiatives including energy management, disaster recovery, data management for instructional decision making, the new foreign language laboratory, assistive technology for students, increased use of electronic forms, and technology benchmarks for students.  Mr. Mazzola had high praise for the work of his staff in maintaining and expanding the network so efficiently and ably.                                                                  
      4.3      Discussion of Administrative Roles and Responsibilities            

      Mr. Fitzpatrick used a power point presentation to outline the roles and responsibilities of the district’s curriculum directors.  Mr. Fitzpatrick focused on areas of curriculum and assessment, personnel and professional development, accountability, and communication and outreach.  Mr. Fitzpatrick stressed the importance of the curriculum directors to maintaining and improving teaching and learning throughout the school system K-12.           

      4.4      Discussion of Fundraising Activities

      Mr. Bowe began a discussion about the issues of private fundraising in light budget shortfalls and the School Committee’s interest in examining its policy regarding accepting private funds to support the operating budget.  He outlined a number of issues to which School Committee members responded.  Ideas for creating a district development office were discussed as well as the need for a Proposition 2 ½ override.  Concerns were expressed about sustaining fundraising efforts over time, about the complex issue of deciding where to direct funds once they are raised, and about supporting parents and children who cannot afford increased fees.  There were no motions offered or votes taken during this discussion.     


      6.1      Consent Agenda                        
a.      School Committee Policy on English as the Language of Instruction

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

      VOTED:      unanimously to approve the consent agenda
      6.2      Personnel Items - Informational

            a.      Appointment to Extra-compensatory Position – Exhibit A                    
            b.      Instructional Assignments – Exhibit B                   
            c.      Instructional Change of Assignments – Exhibit C                 
            d.      Leave of Absence – Exhibit D           
            e.      Resignations – Exhibit E           
      6.3      Business Items - None

      6.4      Approval of Minutes – None                                                                                         

      7.1      Next Meeting Dates:      January 13, 2009 - 7:30 p.m.
                              Regular School Committee Meeting
                              Chenery Middle School Community Room                       




      8.1      December 2008 Edition of The Beacon (electronic)                             
      8.2      CheetahZine (electronic)                                   
      8.3      December 2008/January 2009 BHS Newsletter (electronic)                 
      8.4      January 5, 2009 Enrollment                                               

      At 10:15 p.m., on a motion offered by Mr. Bowe and seconded by Ms. Vose, it was

      VOTED:  unanimously to adjourn the meeting.

                        Respectfully submitted by _____________________________________
                                    Ann Rittenburg