School Committee Minutes of March 3, 2009

Posted: March 31, 2009, by Cathy Grant

MARCH 3, 2009

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

      Mr. Bruce MacDonald, principal of Butler School, and Bill Lynch, member of the Education Subcommittee of the Warrant Committee, were also in attendance.




2.1      Call to Order     
      At 7:35 p.m. Mr. Bowe called the meeting to order in the Community Room of the Chenery Middle School. 

      2.2      Superintendent's Report 

      Dr. Aubin reminded School Committee members of the educational forum being hosted by Rep. Will Brownsberger on Thursday evening, March 5, at BHS.  Dr. Aubin provided members of the committee with a list of issues being shared with invited guest, DESE Commissioner Mitchell Chester.  Dr. Aubin announced that Tom Scott, Executive Director of MASS, and Glenn Koocher, Executive Director of MASC, have also been invited to attend.

      Mr. Fitzpatrick announced that BHS freshman wrestler Sami Baghdady won the 103 pound MIAA Division 2 State Championship, finished third at All State, and will compete in the New England Championships in New Haven on March 6 and 7.  Mr. Fitzpatrick also announced that the boys’ basketball team will compete on Thursday in the MIAA Division 2 North semi-finals against Marblehead.
      2.3      Chairman's Report 

      Mr. Bowe reminded School Committee members of the Foundation for Belmont Education’s tenth anniversary reception and live auction on Saturday, April 4.  Mr. Bowe complimented organizers on the Together for Wellington fund raiser which was held on Saturday, February 28, at Belmont Hill School.  Mr. Bowe announced that the Superintendent of Minuteman Regional Vocational School will attend the upcoming Warrant Committee meeting.  Mr. Bowe indicated that he will be asked to inform the Warrant Committee of the School Committee’s plans to cover the additional budget cut of $600,000 to the FY 10 school budget.  Mr. Bowe said that the Board of Selectmen will meet with the Warrant Committee to determine dates to vote on budgets this spring                             

      2.4      Citizens' Concerns                         





      4.1      Continued discussion of FY 10 Budget

      School committee members discussed the revised reduction list for FY10 budget distributed by Dr. Aubin; this list reflected additional State aid cuts and an increased legal services retainer cost.  Members discussed budget issues and ideas outlined by Dr. Aubin, Ms. Walker, and Ms. Rittenburg.  Dr. Aubin will invite Mike Harvey, BHS principal, and Debbie Alexander, CMS principal, to the March 10 school committee meeting to address budget questions related to programs at both schools.

      Dr. Aubin asked Ellen Sullivan, a parent, to speak about a parent-based fund-raising initiative related to athletics and after school activities.  Dr. Aubin asked Ms. Sullivan to schedule a meeting with school administrators to discuss this initiative.

      School committee members Ann Rittenburg and Becky Vose reported on their meetings with PTO members at Burbank and Wellington regarding a possible reconfiguration and realignment of classes at these two schools.  Parents in the audience were invited to speak to the issue.      

      On a motion offered by Ms. Gibson and seconded by Ms. Rittenburg, it was

      VOTED:      4 – 2 to remove the possible reconfiguration and realignment of classes at Burbank and Wellington from consideration.

4.2      Discussion of various options for revenue enhancement     
      Mr. Bowe asked for a sense of the school committee to allow Ellen Sullivan and those working with her to develop fund raising models to present to the school committee.  School committee members encouraged Ms. Sullivan to report back at the next meeting and thereafter.
      4.3      Review of consolidation options

      Dr. Aubin informed the School Committee that a service level agreement for a Consolidated Network has been penned by Steve Mazzola and agreed to by various town department heads, including Dave Petto, IT Manager for the town, and Tim Richardson, Head of the Belmont Municipal Light Department.  Additional information on this agreement and other consolidation issues will be on the agenda for the next School Committee meeting, March 10, 2009.     

      Mr. Bowe indicated that he would inform the Warrant Committee of the School Committee’s plans to cover the additional budget cut of $600,000 to the FY 10 school budget through athletics and staffing. 

      Mr. Bowe distributed a one-page data sheet comparing Arlington and Belmont school systems related to the topic of consolidation.



      6.1      Consent Agenda - None                             
      On a motion offered by Ms. Rittenburg and seconded by Ms. Vose, it was

      VOTED:      unanimously to accept the revisions to the Crofts Policy 8000 Series  ( Exhibit A)
      6.2      Personnel Items – Informational

            a.      Extra-compensatory Assignments – Exhibit B            
      6.3      Business Items - None

      6.4      Approval of Minutes – None                             


7.1      Determining March Meeting Dates

Mr. Bowe scheduled a School Committee meeting for Tuesday, March 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Room at Wellington School.  Additional meetings are scheduled for March 17 and March 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Chenery Middle School Community Room.                 

      8.1      Letter to Michael Harvey re:  2009 Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement
      8.2      February/March 2009 BHS Newsletter (electronic)
      8.3      February 2009 CMS Upper School Newsletter (electronic)
      8.4      February 2009 CMS Newsletter (electronic)

      At 10:53 p.m., on a motion offered by Ms. Walker and seconded by Mr. Bowe, it was

      VOTED:  unanimously to adjourn the meeting.

                        Respectfully submitted by _____________________________________
                                    Ann Rittenburg