School Committee Minutes of March 17, 2009

Posted: July 7, 2009, by Cathy Grant

MARCH 17, 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


      1.1      At 7:00 p.m., on a motion offered by Mr. Bowe and seconded by Ms. Gibson, it was

      VOTED:  unanimously on a roll call vote (6-0) to enter executive session for the purpose of discussing personnel issues.

2.1      Call to Order     

      At 7:35 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 shared a letter from Michael F. Brandmeyer, Superintendent of the Lincoln Public Schools, and the Lincoln Public Schools’ School Committee requesting Governor Deval Patrick to consider reinstating funds to the FY 10 METCO budget.  The School Committee instructed Dr. Aubin to send a similar letter to Governor Patrick, DESE Commissioner Mitchell Chester, and House Speaker Robert DeLeo.

      2.3      Chairman's Report       

      Mr. Bowe encouraged everyone to attend the Foundation for Belmont Education’s April 4 gala reception and auction.
      Mr. Bowe stated that the Board of Selectmen have scheduled June 1 as the town meeting date and June 8 as the date for a Proposition 2 ½ override vote.           

      2.4      Citizens' Concerns                   

      Marcia Knoll, parent of a BHS senior, spoke in support of restoring the .2 FTE theatre position.

      A Butler parent expressed concern about the search for a new Butler principal.


      4.1      FY09 Second Quarter Plus Budget Report – Exhibit A     

      Dr. Missal provided the members of the School Committee with a revised second quarter report with recent information on salary projections, special education costs, utility expenses, and fringe benefit data.  He also discussed the systemwide freeze of discretionary non-salary accounts.                                                           
      4.2      Award Contract for Custodial Cleaning – Exhibit B

      Dr. Missal provided the School Committee with a review of the bidding process, the vendors’ bids, and an analysis of the bids and reference checks of the three lowest bidders, the only bids within our FY 10 budget.

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

      VOTED:      unanimously to award the contract for custodial cleaning at Belmont High School and the Chenery Middle School for July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2012 as specified to MP Building Services of Methuen, MA, at their three-year bid price of $1,019,000 and to direct the Director of Finance, Administration and Capital Planning to enter a contract with MP Building Services on behalf of the Belmont School Committee.
      4.3      Update from Fund Raising Task Force

      Mr. Bowe asked Mr. Dan Scharfman to update the School Committee on the work of the parent task force examining the costs, fees, and fund raising potential for after school activities and athletics.  Ms. Rittenburg provided the fiscal context for this effort.  Mr. Scharfman used a power point presentation to outline the work of the task force to date, stressing that the task force is not making any recommendations at this time.  The task force expects to return to the School Committee with additional information and several models for supporting after school activities and athletics.  Dr. Aubin will have Mr. Scharfman’s power point posted on the district’s web site.                 

      4.4      Continued Discussion of Budget

      Mr. Bowe began the discussion      by stating that the Warrant Committee is awaiting the School Committee’s available funds budget, including the cuts necessary to reach that figure.

      Ms. Vose asked about ways to cover the remaining budget gap within the Superintendent’s recommended budget.  Dr. Aubin indicated that a likely one-time dividend from the LABBB Collaborative could be used to close this gap and arrive at the available funds budget requested by the Warrant Committee.

      School Committee members and parents in the audience discussed teacher cuts, particularly those at the elementary level, as well as issues related to sports and after school activities.

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

      VOTED:       5 -1 to approve the Superintendent’s Recommended FY 10 Available Revenue Budget tiers, reserving the right to revisit items on the tiers and informing the Warrant Committee that the recommended cuts are unacceptable.

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

      VOTED:      6 – 0 to request the Warrant Committee to examine the negative impact of the budget tiers on the school system and to give consideration to redistributing the allocation between the town and the school department.

5.      REPORT OF SUBCOMMITTEES/LIAISONS                       

      6.1      Consent Agenda - None                       
      6.2      Personnel Items - Informational

            a.      Appointment to Extra-compensatory Position – Exhibit C                                                                              
      6.3      Business Items - None

      6.4      Approval of Minutes – None     

      7.1      Next Meeting Dates:

            March 24, 2009 – 7:30 p.m.
            Regular School Committee Meeting
            CMS Community Room                                   


      8.1      March 10, 2009 memo from Jim Davis re: Varsity Baseball Trip to Cooperstown, NY
      8.2      LABBB Collaborative Programs Brochure

9.         ADJOURNMENT

      At 10:54 p.m., on a motion offered by Ms. Vose and seconded by Mr. Bowe, it was

      VOTED:  unanimously to adjourn the meeting.

                        Respectfully submitted by _____________________________________
                                    Ann Rittenburg