School Committee Minutes of May 5, 2009

Posted: July 7, 2009, by Cathy Grant

MAY 5, 2009

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

            Amy Wagner, principal of the Roger Wellington School, was in attendance.


2.1      Call to Order     
The meeting was called to order by Ms. Rittenburg at 6:52 p.m. in the Chenery Middle School Community Room.

At 6:52 p.m. on a motion by Ms. Rittenburg and seconded by Ms. Vose, it was

VOTED:  6 – 0 on a roll call vote to enter executive session for the purposes of discussing contract negotiations, possible impact bargaining, the settlement of possible litigation, and a recent DESE decision regarding student placement.     

1.      EXECUTIVE SESSION                                                                                                     
At 7:35 p.m. on a motion by Ms. Rittenburg and seconded by Ms. Vose, it was

      VOTED:  6 – 0 on a roll call vote to end executive session and return to the open meeting.

2.      OPENING BUSINESS           

2.2      Superintendent's Report

Dr. Aubin provided School Committee members with information on the caseloads of guidance
counselors in neighboring communities and on the impact on guidance counselors’ caseloads in Belmont if there were guidance cuts.
      Dr. Aubin reported that she met with three students who were doing a research project on the school budget for Ms. Zmijewski’s eighth grade social studies class.  Dr. Aubin will share the students’ power point with the School Committee members when she receives it.
      Dr. Aubin introduced Ms. Lindsey Rinder, the newly appointed Director of English for the Belmont Public Schools.  Ms. Rinder expressed her thanks to the committee for the appointment and stated she was very happy to return to Belmont after a two-year stay in Zuni, New Mexico.           

      2.3      Chairman's Report       

      Ms. Rittenburg reminded member of the committee that the Massachusetts Association of School Committees will hold its annual legislative day on the hill on Thursday, May 7.
      Ms. Rittenburg reported that she would be attending the upcoming EDCO Executive Board meeting.
      Ms. Rittenburg reported that the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to put the Wellington debt exclusion on the June 8 ballot.
      Ms. Rittenburg provided the School Committee with a chronological review of this spring’s budget process beginning with the release on April 15 of the House Ways and Means’ proposed budget.
      Ms. Rittenburg asked that the Policy Subcommittee of the School Committee update the whole committee on its work to date and post on the website all revisions to the Crofts policy manual.  Ms. Rittenburg also asked the subcommittee to draft a policy stating that any new policy supersedes old policy on the same topic.  Ms. Rittenburg asked Ms. Silverman to convey this message to the members of the subcommittee.     

      2.4      Citizens' Concerns - None                  


      4.1      Discussion of Relocation Options for Wellington Students                                                     
      Ms. Wagner and Dr. Missal presented information on the space needs of the Wellington students and on the possible relocation options for the Wellington students.  After examining a number of sites and options, school administration recommends the use of modular classrooms.  Dr. Missal estimates that modular classrooms will cost approximately $2.5 million. 
      4.2      Presentation by Directors of After-School Programs     

      Directors of the after school programs at the four elementary schools and the middle school presented their concerns regarding rental fees and the way in which these fees are computed.  The directors would like a multi-year lease so that their costs are more predictable.  Dr. Aubin asked that all directors provide her with more information on their specific programs, their space needs and usage, and fees charged to parents.  School administration will formulate a response.           

      4.3      Third Quarter Budget Report – Exhibit A

      Dr. Missal provided members of the School Committee with a third quarter budget update.     

4.4      Budget Update           

      Dr. Aubin provided information on projected federal stimulus funds.   She discussed budgetary items which could be restored, those which could be restructured, and those which would need to be reduced.
      Dr. Missal reviewed the current budget situation, comparing the FY 09 budget and the FY 10 budget.  He outlined the uses for restricted and unrestricted federal stimulus funds.  Mr. Fitzpatrick discussed two possible initiatives using the stimulus funds to respond to federal and state mandates.
      Dr. Aubin reviewed items necessary to balance the FY 10 budget.  She also outlined a revised fee structure and the activities such fees could support.  Dr. Aubin asked the School Committee for their direction regarding possible restorations and reductions. 
      Ms. Rittenburg stressed that next week’s School Committee budget hearing would focus on a bottom line amount for the FY 10 budget and that the School Committee and school administration would continue to work on specific items within the budget.  Dr. Missal was asked to prepare documents for next week’s budget hearing.                                                                                   
6.      REPORT OF SUBCOMMITTEES           


7.1      Consent Agenda     

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

VOTED:  6 – 0      to accept the consent agenda.           

a.      Bid Awards – Exhibits B-1, 2, 3                                    a.      Art Supplies & Materials – Exhibit B-1
      b.      Physical Education & Athletics Supplies & Materials – Exhibit B-2
      c.      Medical Supplies & Materials – Exhibit B-3
      d.      H.V.A.C. Repair Work – Exhibit B-4
            b.      Request from Belmont Booster Club re: Carnival – Exhibit C                                         
      7.2      Personnel Items - Informational

            a.      Resignations – Exhibit D           
            b.      Teachers on Leave of Absence (Revised) – Exhibit E     
7.2      Business Items – None

7.3      Approval of Minutes     
On a motion by Ms. Vose and seconded by Ms. Parmett, it was

      VOTED:  6 – 0 to accept the minutes of both the organizational and regular meetings of the School Committee.

            a.      April 7, 2009 Organizational Meeting
            b.      April 7, 2009 Regular Meeting


      8.1      Next Meeting Dates:       May 12, 2009
                              7:00 p.m. – Executive Session
                              7:30 p.m. – Regular Meeting
                              CMS Community Room

                              May 19, 2009
                              Together for Wellington Public Forum
                              7:30 p.m.
                              CMS Auditorium

                              May 26, 2009
                              7:00 p.m. – Executive Session
                              7:30 p.m. – Regular Meeting
                              CMS Community Room
                              June 2, 2009
                              Regular Meeting
                              CMS Community Room

                              June 23, 2009 – CMS Community Room
                              Regular Meeting
                              CMS Community Room

      At 11:35 p.m., on a motion offered by Ms. Walker and seconded by Ms. Vose, it was

      VOTED:   6 - 0 to adjourn the meeting.

                        Respectfully submitted by _____________________________________
                                    Leslie Walker