School Committee Minutes of November 18, 2008

Posted: March 30, 2009, by Cathy Grant

NOVEMBER 18, 2008

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


1.      EXECUTIVE SESSION                                                     

      1.1      None                                               


      2.1      Call to Order                             

      At 7:34 p.m. Mr. Bowe called the meeting to order in the Music Room of the Wellington School.  Dr. Aubin welcomed members of the BHS Student Advisory Council (Jang Yoon, Yong Yoon, Jayson Ito-Adler, Sharon Kelleher, and Josh Nelson) as well as Dr. Michael Harvey, Principal of Belmont High School, and Ms. Deb McDevitt, Student Council Advisor.  Students reported on their goals and activities for 2008-2009.

      2.2      Superintendent's Report                         

      Dr. Aubin thanked Amy Wagner, principal of Wellington School, for hosting the meeting.
      Dr. Aubin introduced Mary Jane Weinstein, the newly hired Asst. Director of Student Services.
      Dr. Aubin provided information on the fifth grade environmental camp program at Ferry Beach in May 2009.
      Mr. Fitzpatrick announced two student awards.       
      Dr. Aubin read a letter of appreciation from Sue Weiner, Director of Special Needs Recreation, to Coach Gilday thanking him and the BHS Varsity Football Team for their assistance with the Belmont S.P.O.R.T. Program (Special Program Organized for Recreation Time).
      Dr. Aubin read a letter from Casey Grant regarding the plans of the Brendan Grant Foundation to make further improvements to the BHS ball fields.
      Dr. Aubin provided information from Mr. Jim Davis concerning the hockey team’s participation in the  Portland Hockey Tournament in Saco, Maine, on December 29 and 30..
      Dr. Aubin removed Consent Agenda Item Exhibit D from the evening’s agenda.
      Dr. Aubin asked Dr. Missal to explain the federally mandated improvements which need to be made to the drains in the BHS swimming pool. 

      2.3      Chairman's Report       

      Mr. Bowe provided an update on the new Wellington School project.
      Mr. Bowe announced a Town Meeting on December 1.
      Mr. Bowe invited School Committee members and the public to attend a presentation on November 19 at BHS regarding a joint project of the Foundation for Belmont Education and the BHS PTO to fund a new multi-media foreign language lab at Belmont High School
      Mr. Bowe thanked the Belmont Public Library and Friends of the Library for allowing Belmont teachers to select free books for their classroom libraries prior to the sale of books donated to the library for its annual fundraiser.                 

      2.4      Citizens' Concerns 

      Kirsten Hashemi asked that the out-of-district placement process be bypassed for blended families.  The School Committee will address this concern at its next meeting, December 9.                 



      4.1      Report on Full Day Kindergarten

      Ms. Janet Carey, principal of Winn Brook School, and Mr. Bruce MacDonald, principal of Butler School,      provided the School Committee with an update on this year’s successful implementation of full day kindergarten.                                                                   
      4.2      Report on School Nursing Services

      Ms. Rosemary Peterson provided the School Committee with an overview of the School Nursing program, its services to students, its professional development for staff, its efforts to promote healthy nutritional and lifestyle choices by students, and its goals for this year.

      4.3       Superintendent Search Update

      Mr. Bowe inserted this item to update the School Committee on the Superintendent Search Process.  Mr. Bowe announced that Future Management Systems has developed a leadership profile from the input provided by focus groups and from the online survey.  Mr. Bowe announced the twelve members of the Search/Screening Committee.  Mr. Bowe stated that the Search/Screening Committee will begin its work with a training session on November 19; this committee will recommend candidates for the School Committee to interview.                                                                                       
      4.3      Testing Report for the 2007-2008 School Year – Exhibit A

      Mr. Fitzpatrick presented the 2008 Testing Report, covering student performance on the SAT, ACT, AP, and MCAS testing.      Results were very positive and will be carefully examined by principals, curriculum directors, and teachers to further improve programs.  All schools made AYP.
      4.4      First Quarter Report – Exhibit B

      Dr. Missal presented the first quarter fiscal report showing a positive balance, but he reminded the School Committee that his report does not reflect recent increases in special education out-of-district placement costs.  The next quarterly report in January will reflect those increases.                 

      4.5      Consideration of Additional Revenue for FY09     

      Mr. Bowe asked for a sense of the committee to recommend that the Warrant Committee not spend the recently certified additional revenue for FY09 until the town and the school system have more information in January on state funding.           

      4.6      Budget Discussion

      Dr. Aubin asked the School Committee for direction on its budget priorities as she and the school administration seek to reconcile the budget gap between the BPS FY10 level-service budget and the Warrant Committee’s FY10 available funds revenue projections.             

4.7      Second Reading of School Committee Policy – Exhibit C     

The School Committee postponed a vote on this item and will invite the Policy Subcommittee to the
next School Committee meeting.     



      6.1      Consent Agenda                  

            a.      School Nurse Job Description – Exhibit D  (removed)
            b.      Administration of Prescription and Non-Prescription Medications
                  in the Belmont Public Schools – Exhibit E
      On a motion offered by Ms. Walker and seconded by Ms. Vose, it was

      VOTED:      unanimously to approve the revised consent agenda.

      6.2      Personnel Items - Informational

            a.      Instructional Assignments – Exhibit F      
            b.      Leave of Absences – Exhibit G       
            c.      Instructional Change of Assignments – Exhibit H      
      6.3      Business Items - None

      6.4      Approval of Minutes - None                              


      7.1      Next Meeting Dates:      December 9, 2008 - 7:30 p.m.
                              Regular School Committee Meeting
                              CMS Community Room


      8.1      October 2008 edition of The Beacon (electronic)                             
      8.2      November 2008      CMS Upper School Newsletter (electronic)
      8.3      November, 2008 BHS Newsletter (electronic)
      8.4      November 6, 2008 edition of Words from Winn Brook (electronic)
      8.5      October/November, 2008 edition of The Highpoint (electronic)
      8.6      November 13, 2008 edition of Lower School News (electronic)
      8.7      Superintendent Search Information from BPS Webpage
      8.8      November 3, 2008 Enrollment
      8.9      November 7, 2008 letter from Casey Grant
        8.10      Notice of New Federal Pool Requirements
      8.11      2008-2009 BPS Directory

      At 10:34 p.m., on a motion offered by Ms. Graham and seconded by Ms. Gibson, it was

      VOTED:  unanimously to adjourn the meeting.
                        Respectfully submitted by _____________________________________
                                    Ann Rittenburg