School Committee Minutes of December 11, 2007

Posted: February 6, 2008, by Cathy Grant

DECEMBER 11, 2007

Present:      Mr. John Bowe, Chair
            Ms. Leslie Walker
            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                     


      2.1      Call to Order
      Mr. Bowe called to order a meeting of the Belmont School Committee at 7:35 p.m. in the cafeteria of the Roger Wellington School.                                   

      2.2      Superintendent's Report                         

      Dr. Holland provided comment on a number of topics, including:

      A thank you to the Madrigal Singers for performing prior to the start of the School Committee meeting.

      A recent Boston Globe article on student and parent contracts prior to attending a school dance in which Belmont High School was featured.

      A Wall Street Journal article noting the effect of school on student admission to elite colleges in which Belmont High School was included.

      A US News and World report article on the top 100 high schools in the country in which Belmont High School was included.

      An update on lock down drills at Chenery Middle School and Belmont High School

      Congratulations to the 91 Belmont High School students recently inducted into the National Honor Society

      An announcement from Massachusetts School Building Authority decision to include Belmont in the feasibility study phase for funding of the Wellington building project.

      The most recent grant awards from the Foundation for Belmont Education

      Data on school attendance for private and public schools.

      Dr. Aubin announced a number of student awards

      Dr. Missal commented on the possible increase of bus fees and building rental fees; the breakdown of the Wellington boiler; and a report to come on the outsourcing of food services.

      Dr. Holland concluded his comments with an outline of activities regarding a bomb threat at the Chenery Middle School on Monday, December 10, 2007.

      2.3      Chairman's Report                               

      Mr. Bowe thanked Ms. Wagner, principal of the Wellington School for hosting the School Committee meeting.  Mr. Bowe announced that the Foundation for Belmont Education spring fundraiser will be held on April 5, 2008.  He noted that History Day organizers are looking for judges.  He congratulated Katie Rausch, a member of the Belmont High School varsity girls soccer team, who was selected again by both the Boston Globe and Boston Herald as a member of the All Scholastic Girls Soccer Team.

      Mr. Bowe concluded his comments by noting the absence of Mr. Stratford, who was traveling in India, and Dr. Stafford, who had a work commitment, from the School Committee meeting.

      2.4      Citizens' Concerns - None                         


      4.1      Report on Special Education - Exhibit  A                       

      Mr. Ken Kramer and Ms. Bernadette Conroy were present to share with the School Committee information on a number of special education programs for the Belmont Public Schools.  In addition, Mr. Kramer provided an update on the status of the Corrective Action Plan in response to the Department of Education Coordinated Program Review.

      The school administration will return to the Committee in December with a new Wellness Policy for its consideration.

      4.2      Kindergarten Task Force Report - Exhibit  B
      Mr. Bruce MacDonald, principal of the Daniel Butler School, and Mrs. Janet Carey, principal of the Winn Brook School, provided a report from the Superintendent’s Task Force on Full Day Kindergarten.  Mr. MacDonald and Mrs. Carey served as co-chairs of the Task Force which included teachers, parents, and School Committee members.

      The Task Force recommended that the Belmont Public Schools implement a full day kindergarten program for the 2008-2009 school year.  Discussion followed the formal presentation with many parents in the audience sharing their views on the recommendation.

      4.3      FY2008 Budget, First Quarter Report – Exhibit C

      Dr.  Missal provided the School Committee with a financial report for the first quarter of the school year and responded to questions from the School Committee.
5.      REPORT OF SUBCOMMITTEES/LIAISONS                                               
      Mr. Bowe noted that the Warrant Committee will not meet again until January.  He also reported that the ITAC discussed capital requests needed for the network infrastructure. 

      Ms. Rittenburg reported on a recent EDCO meeting including information from the new director of EDCO on the work of EDCO as well as future directions.  She noted that a legislative forum will take place again this year and the topic is yet to be decided.  She reminded Committee members of the School Committee Leadership Round Tables that EDCO offers.

      6.1      Consent Agenda

            a.      Bid Award:  Translucent Panels at BHS - Exhibit  E

          At 10:10 p.m. on a motion offered by Ms. Walker and seconded by Ms. Gibson, it was

      VOTED:      to approve the consent agenda.  The vote was 4-0 with two members absent.

      6.2      Personnel Items - Informational

      The following items were presented for the information of the School Committee:

            a.      Resignations - Exhibit  F     
            b.      Retirement - Exhibit  G
            c.      Maternity Leave - Exhibit  H
            d.      Instructional Assignments - Exhibit  I
            e.      Instructional Change of Assignments – Exhibit J
            f.      Non-Instructional Change of Assignments – Exhibit K
            g.      Appointment to Extra-compensatory Position – Exhibit L     
      6.3      Business Items - None

      6.4      Approval of Minutes                              

      At 10:10 p.m. on a motion offered by Ms. Gibson and seconded by Ms. Walker, it was                              
            VOTED:      to approve the minutes of the October, 9, 2007, October 16, 2007, and the November 6, 2007 meetings of the School Committee.  The vote was 4-0 with two members absent.


      1.2      Cancelled


      7.1      Next Meeting Dates:      January 15, 2007 – 7:30 p.m.
                              Regular School Committee Meeting
                              CMS Community Room

      At 10:11 p.m. on a motion offered by Mr. Bowe and seconded by Ms. Rittenburg, it was

            VOTED:      to adjourn the meeting.  The vote was 4-0 with two members absent 

                        Respectfully submitted:                               
                        Dr. Diane Stafford, Secretary