SC Executive Session Minutes of March 18, 2008

Posted: June 30, 2008, by Cathy Grant

MARCH 18, 2008

Present:      Mr. John Bowe, Chair
            Dr. Diane Stafford, Secretary
            Mr. Scott Stratford
            Ms. Elizabeth Gibson
            Ms. Ann Rittenburg
            Ms. Leslie Walker
            Dr. Peter Holland, Superintendent of Schools
            Dr. Patricia Aubin, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction
            Dr. Gerald Missal, Director of Finance and Administration
      1.1      Superintendent’s Contract

      At 7:05 p.m. on a motion offered by Mr. Stratford and seconded by Dr. Stafford, it was:
      VOTED:      unanimously to enter Executive Session for the purpose of discussing the Superintendent’s contract

      At 7:35 p.m. on a motion offered by Mr. Bowe and seconded by Dr. Stafford, it was:

      VOTED:      unanimously to leave Executive Session and enter Open Session.


      2.1      Call to Order                                   

      At 7:40 p.m. Mr. Bowe called to order a meeting of the Belmont School Committee in the Community Room of the Chenery Middle School.

      2.2      Superintendent's Report                         

      Dr. Holland announced that the Walk for Hunger is scheduled for the first Sunday in May.  He noted that the BHS Newsletter outlined changes for the Junior Senior Prom, scheduled for May 9, 2008.  Dr. Holland noted that parents of Belmont High School alumni will meet on April 12, 2008.  He commented on the success of the Career Breakfast for juniors at BHS. Dr. Holland referenced a program on School Committee Leadership, sponsored by EDCO.  He called attention to the new Emergency Response Manual for the Belmont Public Schools.  Dr. Aubin announced student and faculty awards.  Dr. Holland commented on his meeting with students at BHS and concluded by welcoming back Mr. Arthur Katz, reporter for the Belmont Citizen Herald.

      2.3      Chairman's Report
      Mr. Bowe reminded all of the Foundation for Belmont Education Spring Reception on April 5, 2008.  He thanked the public for their input via e-mail.  He noted for the public the next steps in the budget process and announced that a mandated public hearing on the budget was scheduled for March 25, 2008.

      2.4      Citizens’ Concerns



      4.1      Approval of Full Day Kindergarten – Exhibit A                 

      A robust discussion of the administration’s proposal for a universal full-day kindergarten program supported by DOE grant funds and parent tuition payments took place.  Ms. Rittenburg provided a compromise proposal to establish a separate half-day program in addition to the fee-based full-day program proposed.  Ms. Rittenburg stated her support for a full-day kindergarten, but was not supportive of a program that made the full kindergarten curriculum available only through the payment of tuition.  Discussion both at the School Committee table and with audience members continued at length.

      At 9:40 p.m. Ms. Walker moved to adopt the School Department’s recommendation for a full day kindergarten program.  Ms. Gibson seconded the motion. 

      Mr. Stratford amended the motion to include the adoption of a full day kindergarten program without cost to the operating budget unless a future override vote provide funding for the program.

      Discussion on the amendment continued.  Mr. Bowe called for a vote on the amendment.  The amendment was defeated by a 3-2 vote.

      Committee members voted on Ms. Walker’s motion.  The motion was approved by a 5-1 vote.  Ms. Rittenburg cast the opposing vote.

      4.2      Discussion of FY 2009 Budget – Exhibit B

      Committee members participated in a discussion of the recent budget adjustments and corresponding budget restorations that have allowed the School Department to get very close to what we consider to be a level-service budget.  Committee members commented on the implications of the Town opting to close the FY09 budget gap with one-time sources and postponing an operating override until next year.

      At 10:44 p.m. on a motion offered by Mr. Stratford and seconded by Ms. Rittenburg, it was

      VOTED:      unanimously to recommend to the Warrant Committee that they consider moving $150,000 from the OPEB account to the operating budget to address Town and School needs.

      4.3      Vote on School Choice

      On a motion offered by Mr. Stratford and seconded by Dr. Stafford, it was:

      VOTED            unanimously that the Belmont Public Schools not enter the School Choice Program for the 2008-2009 school year.

      4.4      Appointment of Superintendent for 2008 – 2009 School Year

      At 10:50 p.m. on a motion offered by Dr. Stafford and seconded by Ms. Walker, it was:

      VOTED            unanimously to appoint Dr. Patricia Aubin as the interim superintendent for the
 2008 – 2009 school year.

      4.5      First Reading of the School Committee Policy – Exhibit C

      Ms. Gibson asked Committee members to review the submitted School Committee policies on administration.  She suggested that questions might be posed at the next meeting.  The Sub-Committee on School Committee Policies requested a vote of approval.

5.      REPORT OF SUBCOMMITTEES/LIAISONS                       
      (Wellington Building Committee; ESCO; Communications & Community
      Relations; Crofts Policy Revision; Technology Assessment & Funding;
      Advisory Council for the Future Needs of Belmont High School; Capital
      Budget Committee; Community Education; Council on Aging; EDCO Board;
      ESCO Energy Study; Foundation for Belmont Education; Health Advisory
      Committee; ITAC; Vision 21; Warrant Committee; Youth Commission) 

      Mr. Bowe represented the School Committee at the most recent meeting of the Capital Budget Committee when items for the School Department were presented.

      Ms. Walker commented on the BSEAC’s  recent on-line survey of parents regarding special education services.  The survey had a 40% return rate.

      The Warrant Committee Sub-Committee on Education will meet with school administrators and available School Committee members on March 20, 2008 at 7:00 a.m.

      6.1      Consent Agenda

a.      Job Description for BHS Advanced Placement Coordinator – Exhibit D
b.      Bid List for BHS HVAC System – Exhibit E
c.      March 10, 2008 letter from Dan MacAuley re: Fiesta Carnival
d.      Approval of AFSCME Contract – Exhibit F
e.      January 25, 2008 letter re: BHS All Night Party

At 11:02 p.m. on a motion offered by Mr. Stratford and seconded by Ms. Rittenburg, it was:

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

      The following items were presented for the Committee’s information:

            a.      Instructional Assignments – Exhibit G     
            b.      Resignations – Exhibit H
            c.      Maternity Leave – Exhibit I
            d.      Retirements – Exhibit J
            e.      Appointments to Extra-compensatory Position – Exhibit K
      6.3      Business Items
      6.4      Approval of Minutes

      7.1      Next Meeting Dates:      March 25, 2008 – 7:30 p.m..
                              CMS Community Room
                              Public Hearing: School Budget
                              April 15,  2008 – 7:30 p.m.
                              CMS Community Room
                              Organizational Meeting


      At 11:02 p.m. on a motion offered by Dr. Stafford and seconded by Mr. Bowe, it was:

      VOTED:      unanimously to adjourn the meeting.



                              Respectfully submitted by                              
                                    Dr. Diane Stafford, Secretary