SC Minutes of March 4, 2008

Posted: September 10, 2008, by Cathy Grant

MARCH 4, 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


      2.1      Call to Order                                   

      At 7:33 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 commented on the following:

      March 7, 2008 is the closing date for submitting proposals to the Foundation for Belmont Education for funding.  March 11, 2008 is a highlight of the Belmont Unplugged activities with no meetings and/or homework scheduled.  On March 12, 2008, Belmont High School will host a Health Fair and on March 14, 2008, BHS will host a Junior Career Breakfast.  March 14 and 15, 2008 are the dates for Hello Dolly and Kindergarten Information Night will be held on March 27, 2008 at the Wellington School.  April 4, 2008 is the date for the EDCO Legislative Forum and April 5, 2008 is the date for the FBE Spring Reception and Live Auction.

      2.3      Chairman's Report
      Mr. Bowe reminded the public that all of the administrative presentations on the budget will culminate in the Public Hearing on March 25, 2008.  He announced that the School Committee met with the Board of Selectmen on Saturday, March 1, 2008.

      Mr. Bowe noted that those who could not attend the FBE Spring Reception could still support the FBE by purchasing raffle tickets.  Finally, Mr. Bowe announced that April 29, 2008 is the MASC Day on the Hill.

      2.4      Citizens’ Concerns

      Ms. Amanda Green, representing the Belmont Special Education Advisory Committee, presented a letter in which she outlined parental concern with the practice of not allowing taping at review meetings for Individual Educational Plans.  Dr. Holland will respond at the next meeting

      4.1      Proposal for Full Day Kindergarten – Exhibit B                 

      Members of the School Committee discussed the proposal for full day kindergarten as outlined by the Administration.  The proposal included a funding proposal that relied on grant funds and parent tuition payments.

      A good deal of discussion focused on parent tuition and the need for assurances that no child would be excluded from the program because of the inability to pay tuition.

      Both Mr. Stratford and Ms. Walker proposed motions to approve the implementation of a full day kindergarten program.  However, Ms. Rittenburg had concerns about tuition and the effect this would have on public policy.  Dr. Stafford asked for additional information regarding the proposal and suggested that a vote be postponed for two weeks until the Committee had the opportunity to review this information.

      4.2      Discussion of FY 2009 Budget – Exhibit A

      The discussion of the FY 2009 budget continued with a presentation of possible reductions as well as potential increases in fees.  School Committee members discussed the implications of the proposed reductions.  They spoke about the impact on athletic participation that an increase in fees might have.

      Committee members agreed that more discussion was needed prior to the School Committee’s presentation of the budget at the public hearing scheduled for March 25, 2008.

      As part of this discussion, Mr. Stratford presented a “Proposal for Sequencing of Three Ballot Questions affecting Property Taxes”.  Mr. Stratford proposed that a Proposition 2 ½  override for $4.5 million in operating funds be placed on the ballot for consideration in June of this year. These funds would be expended in the operating budget, but also allow increased funding for the Capital Budget backlog over the next few years. This would then be followed by a Debt Exclusion override for the Wellington School in November 2008 and a $2.5 million override to establish a Roads Stabilization fund in 2009. After discussion, the School Committee expressed the unanimous desire to forward this proposal to the Board of Selectmen for consideration.     
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) 

      Dr. Stafford announced that the Capital Budget Committee will meet on March 13, 2008.  Ms. Rittenburg announced that the EDCO Board will meet on March 6, 2008.


      6.1      Consent Agenda
      6.2      Personnel Items - Informational

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

a.      Resignations – Exhibit C
b.      Instructional Assignments – Exhibit D
c.      Non-Instructional Assignments – Exhibit E
d.      Non-Instructional (6 month probation period complete) – Exhibit F
e.      Appointment to Extra-compensatory Positions – Exhibit G     
      6.3      Business Items - none
      6.4      Approval of Minutes
a.      January 15, 2008
b.      January 22, 2008
      At 10:09 p.m. on a motion offered by Ms. Rittenburg and seconded by Mr. Stratford, it was:

      VOTED            unanimously to approve the minutes of the January 15, 2008 and January 22, 2008 School Committee meetings.



      7.1      Next Meeting Dates:      March 18, 2008 – 7:30 p.m.
                              CMS Community Room

                              March 25, 2008 – 7:30 p.m.
                              Public Hearing: School Budget
                              CMS Community Room


1.1      Collective Bargaining

At 10:20 p.m. on a motion offered by Mr. Stratford and seconded by Ms. Rittenburg, it was:

VOTED            unanimously to enter Executive Session and not to return to Open Session.


                              Respectfully submitted by                              
                                                                          Elizabeth Gibson, Secretary Pro Tem