School Committee Minutes of April 14, 2009

Posted: July 7, 2009, by Cathy Grant

April 14, 2009

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

            Dr. Michael Harvey, Mrs. Debbie Alexander, and Mr. Jim Davis were also in attendance.


      1.1      None                                                                                                     

2.1      Call to Order           
      At 7:34 p.m. Ms. Rittenburg called the meeting to order in the Community Room of the Chenery Middle School.

      2.2      Superintendent's Report 

      Dr. Aubin presented Mr. Michael McAllister, the newly appointed principal of the Daniel Butler School, to the School Committee. 
      Dr. Aubin reported on the following items:
•      The recent FBE gala which raised $70,000 for the schools and at which that donors pledged to purchase three additional SMARTBoards as part of the FBE’s T3 initiative.
•      A collaborative initiative between EDCO and LABBB regarding special education transportation and asking for a sense of the committee on this idea.  The committee instructed Dr. Missal to pursue Belmont’s participation in this potentially cost saving collaboration.
•      Information on school policy regarding the admission of foreign non-residents.  Dr. Aubin will forward this information to a concerned citizen.
      Dr. Aubin announced that Christine Francis, principal of the Mary Lee Burbank School, has completed her doctorate in education at Boston University.
      Mr. Fitzpatrick announced the 10 gold medals and one silver medal awarded to Belmont’s middle school and high school choral and instrumental ensembles at the recent Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association State Concert Festival.

2.2      Chairman's Report       

      Ms. Rittenburg reported that she and Mr. Steve Mazzola, Director of Technology, met to discuss creating a single location on the district’s web site for appropriate planning documents, curriculum mandates and standards, district policies and contracts, financial information, and links to the district’s collaborative and programs.
      Ms. Rittenburg discussed scheduling team building meetings with the committee as well as time to review the district’s Strategic Improvement Plan and the report of the Task Force on Communicating the Challenges to the Belmont Public Schools.
      Ms. Rittenburg reminded committee members to update their biographies for the web site.  New members will need to submit a biography for the web site.
      Ms. Rittenburg reminded the committee members of the Warrant Committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday, April 15.                       

2.4      Citizens' Concerns - None

      4.1      Appointment of Members to ITAC

      On a motion by Ms. Vose, seconded by Ms. Parmet, it was

      VOTED:  unanimously (6-0) to reappoint Philip Lawrence and Jonathan Green to new three-year terms as members of ITAC.  Dr. Aubin will send a letter to these appointees.                                                                 
      4.2      Update of Available Funds Budget and Consideration of Possible Resources     

      Dr. Aubin distributed a list of fiscal resources, program needs, and potential initiatives for FY 10.
      Dr. Aubin asked Dr. Harvey, BHS principal, to respond to questions brought up at the last School Committee meeting about the impact of staffing cuts at Belmont High School. 

      Dr. Aubin asked Mrs. Debbie Alexander, CMS principal, to address School Committee concerns about staffing cuts at Chenery. 

      Dr. Aubin spoke of initiatives to be undertaken using federal stimulus money, including an elementary RtI program, a special education team meeting chair, and an IT data management collaborative involving the LABBB districts.                 
      4.3      Report on the Revised List of Needs for Student Activities and Athletics     

      Dr. Aubin distributed a list of student activities and athletics that are of highest priority to Mr. Davis, Mrs. Alexander, and Dr. Harvey.  Mr. Davis spoke of his interest in restoring freshmen sports.  Discussion on this report was tabled to allow time for the Task Force report below.

4.4      Report from Parent Group on Fee Structures
      Mr. Dan Scharfman presented a power point report on the Task Force on After School Athletics and Activities.  Mr. Scharfman’s presentation included research on the fees charged by other towns across the state as well as a number of fee structure models for consideration by the School Committee.  This report will be posted on the district’s web site.

      4.5      Discussion of Initial Steps for Proposed Relocation of Wellington Students during construction of a new Roger Wellington School     

      At Ms. Rittenburg’s request, Dr. Missal gave background information on the relocation process and investigations to date.  A more formal report will be made to the School Committee on May 5.
      4.2  (Continued)       Update of Available Funds Budget and Consideration of Possible Resources

      Ms. Rittenburg distributed a sheet of additional questions regarding the FY 10 available funds budget.  Ms. Walker asked for an updated version of the reduction tiers incorporating all new information on revenues and savings.  Ms. Rittenburg asked questions regarding the elementary library aides.  Ms. Parmett recommended working with the library science program at Simmons College.     
5.      REPORT OF SUBCOMMITTEES/LIAISONS - None                 

6.1      Consent Agenda – Rejecting HVAC Repair Bid – Exhibit A     

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

      VOTED: unanimously (6-0) to reject the HVAC repair bid.

      6.2      Personnel Items – Informational                       

            a. Instructional Assignments – Exhibit B     
      6.3      Business Items - None

      6.4      Approval of Minutes – None                       


      7.1      Next Meeting Dates:

            April 15, 2009 – 7:30 p.m.
            Joint Meeting with WC and BOS
            CMS Community Room

            May 5, 2009 – 7:30 p.m.
            Regular School Committee Meeting
            CMS Community Room                                   


      8.1      Summary of Follow-up Discussions for Available Funds Budget     
      8.2      Last Day of School 2008-2009
      8.3      Letter from Attorney – (CONFIDENTIAL)           

At 11:00 p.m., on a motion offered by Ms. Vose and seconded by Ms. Parmett, it was

      VOTED:  unanimously to adjourn the meeting.

                        Respectfully submitted by _____________________________________
                                    Leslie Walker