SC Executive Session Minutes of 3/20/2007

Posted: August 17, 2007, by webmaster

MARCH 20, 2007

Present: Ms, Elizabeth Gibson, Chair
Mr. John Bowe, Secretary
Ms. Kathy Miller
Mr. Scott Stratford (absent due to illness)
Dr. Diane Stafford
Ms. Ann Rittenburg
Dr. Peter Holland, Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Patricia Aubin, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction
Dr. Gerald Missal, Director of Finance and Administration
Ms. Julia Silverman, Human Resources Manager (left at 7:30 p.m.)
Ms. Annie Warner, Student Senate Representative

Also Present: Jenny Fallon, member of BHS Building Committee; Larry Weathers, Director of Science;


1.1 Collective Bargaining

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

VOTED: at 7:04 p.m., to enter Executive Session for discussion of collective bargaining issues.

The School Committee called a recess to the Executive Session at 7:30 p.m. with the intention of returning to Executive Session at the close of open session.


2.1 Call to Order

At 7:35 p.m., Chairman Gibson called the meeting to order in the Chenery Middle School Community Room.

2.2 Superintendent's Report
a. Appointment of Michael McAllister as Curriculum Director of Social Studies

Dr. Holland asked Mr. Michael McAllister to join the School Committee at the table.  He announced to the Committee that he had appointed Mr. McAllister as the Director of the Social Studies Program for the Belmont Public Schools after the completion of a search process.  The Committee welcomed Mr. McAllister and congratulated him on his new position.

Dr. Holland continued his report with an update on MCAS retests for the class of 2007.  He reported that Mr. Younger asked for a meeting with the School Committee in Executive Session to hear a report from the Town Security Committee.  The Superintendent said that on March 19 there had been a meeting of the Capital Projects Overview Committee at which both the Wellington School and Belmont High School projects were discussed.  He referred the Committee to an enclosed article by Shelley Berman and Perry Davis on the topic of special education mandates and costs.  Dr. Holland reminded the Committee about the Foundation for Belmont Education Dinner and directed their attention to the FBE brochure in their packets.  Dr. Aubin announced two student awards.

2.3 Chairman's Report 

Ms. Gibson explained Mr. Stratford’s absence due to illness.  She told Committee members of a call she had received from a library trustee who asked for the School Committee’s support regarding the proposal for a new library.  Committee members agreed that such a statement of support was not within the Committee’s purview and charge as a Committee.

Mrs. Gibson announced that at the March 26, 2007 Selectmen’s Meeting, the Selectmen were to take up the subject of the budget and possible use of free cash.

2.4 Citizens' Concerns - None  



4.1 Continued FY 2008 Budget Discussions - Exhibit  A

Dr. Holland called the Committee’s attention to Exhibit A, the latest information on the FY2008 budget as provided by Dr. Missal.
Ms. Rittenburg asked for input on prioritization of three proposed budget items, not considered a part of the level surface budget, because of the focus on a level service budget that she noted at the Warrant Committee table.

Dr. Stafford noted her concern about staffing needs should new students arrive at the schools during the summer months.

Ms. Miller said that the school system needs funding of the entire budget plus a little bit more.

Ms. Rittenburg asked for information about technology, particularly in terms of what the capital budget will not fund.

Ms. Miller asked to hear more about the Director of Guidance position.

Committee members asked to have the elementary principals prepare a proposed schedule for the full-day Kindergarten program.

Mr. Bowe asked what the impact on class sizes at Grades K, 1, and 2 would be if the $300,000 full-day Kindergarten program were diverted to new staff?

Ms. Rittenburg spoke of the need for proficiency for all and stated that one prong of this effort to get us where we need to be is the full-day Kindergarten program.

Ms. Rittenburg also requested that the Committee hear more from Lee McCanne about what technology was missing.

Mr. Bowe asked if the Committee should consider raising fees.

Dr. Missal asked the Committee to review the 9.4% budget and the 8.9% budget and determine how they wanted the final budget request to appear.

4.2 Discussion of Public Hearing for School Committee Budget

Committee members agreed to postpone the public hearing on the budget previously scheduled for March 27, 2007.

4.3 Harassment Training for Staff

Ms. Miller provided an overview of the program she and her colleagues had offered to all staff of the Belmont Public Schools on the topic of harassment.  Ms. Miller’s program was very well received by the staff.

4.4 Belmont High School Project Update - Exhibit  B

Dr. Missal and Ms. Fallon provided for the School Committee an update on the Belmont High School Project.

4.5 Discussion of Outsourcing Food Services

School Committee members asked that information on the viability of outsourcing food services be provided at its April meeting.  Dr. Stafford noted her particular interest in maintaining an emphasis on healthy foods for children regardless of the provider.

(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) 

Ms. Gibson provided a brief update on the work of the Town’s restructuring committee and the interest in consolidation of technology services.

Mr. Bowe reported that the Capital Budget Committee is in the process of item review.


6.1 Consent Agenda

On a motion offered by Ms. Miller and seconded by Mr. Bowe, it was

VOTED: to approved the following Consent Agenda Item:

a. Evaluation Instrument for Guidance Counselor, School
Adjustment Counselor, School Psychologist, or School
Social Worker - Exhibit  C

6.2 Personnel Items - Informational

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

a. Extended Parenthood Leaves - Exhibit  D
b. Resignations - Exhibit  E
6.3 Business Items - None

6.4 Approval of Minutes - None

The Committee adjourned its meeting at 9:27 p.m. and Ms. Gibson announced that the School Committee would return to Executive Session and would not return to Open Session.  

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

VOTED: unanimously, at 9:27 p.m., to adjourn the meeting.
Respectfully submitted by John Bowe, Secretary


EXECUTIVE SESSION: March 20, 2007 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

RE: Collective Bargaining

The School Committee discussed collective bargaining issues with Unit A.  No actions or votes were taken. At 7:30 p.m., the Committee agreed to recess Executive Session, to return to Open Session for its regular meeting, and to return to Executive Session at the conclusion of the meeting.

EXECUTIVE SESSION: March 20, 2007                    9:27 p.m. to 10:08 p.m.

RE: Collective Bargaining

The School Committee continued its discussion of collective bargaining issues.  No actions or votes were taken.  At 10:08 p.m., the Committee indicated its readiness to conclude these discussions.