School Committee Minutes of April 7, 2009

Posted: July 7, 2009, by Cathy Grant

APRIL 7, 2009

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

            Dr. Michael Harvey, principal of Belmont High School, and Ms. Martha Reagan, BHS librarian, were also in attendance.

1.      EXECUTIVE SESSION                                                     

      1.1      None     


      2.1      Call to Order                                   

      At 7:41 p.m. Ms. Rittenburg called the meeting to order in the Community Room of the Chenery Middle School.

2.2      Superintendent's Report

      Dr. Aubin asked Dr. Missal to provide an update on the plans to repave the BHS driveway.  Dr. Missal reported that the request is part of the school department’s proposal to the Capital Building Committee.  He will have more information once the town adopts its 2009-2010 budget.

      Dr. Aubin reported on a very successful Kindergarten Information Night held at Wellington School on Thursday, March 26.  Dr. Aubin also reported kindergarten enrollment figures for next year.

      Dr. Aubin stated she expects to shortly make final decisions on the new Butler principal and the Director of English.  Dr. Aubin will bring the successful candidates to an upcoming school committee meeting.

      Mr. Fitzpatrick reported that the BHS math team placed third in the large school division at the Massachusetts Association of Mathematics League state meet on Friday, April 3.  BHS senior Sergei Bernstein was the highest scorer at this state wide contest.

      Dr. Aubin reported on the Foundation for Belmont Education’s recent successful gala.  She also reported that the FBE board approved $25,000 in learning excellence grants at its meeting on Monday, April 6.  Dr. Aubin expressed her gratitude to the FBE for its outstanding support of Belmont Public Schools.                       
      2.3      Chairman's Report       

      Ms. Rittenburg thanked her colleagues for electing her as Chair of the School Committee.     

      Ms. Rittenburg stated her goals for the coming year, including making a smooth transition as the district welcomes a new superintendent, working on team building with the School Committee, and building positive and productive relationships with the town government and the community.           

      Ms. Rittenburg provided an update on the Wellington building project.  The Board of Selectmen has chosen June 8 as the date for a town wide debt exclusion vote as well as a possible override.

      Ms. Rittenburg indicated that the School Committee will consider Wellington relocation plans at its next meeting, April 14.

      Ms. Rittenburg provided an update on the School Committee’s recent joint budget meeting with the Warrant Committee and the Board of Selectmen.  All three groups will reconvene on April 15.

      Ms. Rittenburg reminded committee members of the upcoming Massachusetts Association of School Committees’ lobbying day with legislators on Beacon Hill, May 7.

      2.4      Citizens' Concerns 

      Nancy Sorreno expressed interest in assistance with having an exchange student from Germany live with her family next year.

      Dan Scharfman complimented BHS and CMS music students on their very successful participation and performances at last weekend’s Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association State Concert Festival.

      Jackson Pate, member of Troop 66, asked several questions regarding the budget process and the costs associated with building a new Wellington School.                             


4.1      Overview of BHS Library Services

      Ms. Reagan and Dr. Harvey provided an overview of the BHS library program and the implications of the available funds budget on library services.                        
      4.2      Approval of Last Day of School

      On a motion offered by Ms. Vose and seconded by Ms. Walker, it was

      VOTED:      unanimously (6-0) to approve Tuesday, June 23, 2009, as the last day of this school
      4.3      School Choice:  Vote for 2009-2010                                                                 
      On a motion offered by Ms. Graham and seconded by Ms. Walker, it was

      VOTED:      unanimously (6-0) to opt out of the School Choice program for the 2009-2010 school

      4.4      Welcome to New Members – Overview of District Documents     

      Ms. Rittenburg welcomed newly elected School Committee members, Karen Parmet and Paul Roberts.  Ms. Rittenburg also welcomed Becky Vose to a new three-year term on the committee.

      Ms. Rittenburg provided Ms. Parmet and Mr. Roberts with a binder containing a number of important planning and information documents.  These documents will also be posted on line for the public.

      Ms. Rittenburg reminded Mr. Roberts and Ms. Parmet of the mandated training required of new school committee members.

      4.5      Update of Budget Book for FY 2010

      Dr. Aubin informed the School Committee that Dr. Missal has distributed an updated FY 10 budget book reflecting the reductions necessary to meet an available funds budget.  Ms. Rittenburg asked that this information be put on line for the public.  Ms. Rittenburg distributed copies of the FTE Staff Reductions necessitated by the available funds budget; she asked that this information also be posted on line.

      Ms. Rittenburg outlined a number of issues that the School Committee will need to reexamine now that it has adopted an available funds budget.  These issues will be part of the agenda for the next School Committee meeting on April 14.

      Dr. Aubin provided an overview of the goals and funds included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).  Dr. Aubin stressed that, except for possible IDEA funds, the district has little concrete information about the fiscal implications of the Federal stimulus package on the state and school budgets.

      Dr. Aubin stated her intention to bring the School Committee additional information on the revenue picture for the upcoming school year.
6.      REPORT OF SUBCOMMITTEES                 


7.1      Consent Agenda      
      On a motion offered by Ms. Vose and seconded by Ms. Parmet, it was

      VOTED:      unanimously (6-0) to accept the consent agenda.

            a.      Award of Bids – Exhibit A

            1)      Boiler/Burner Repair     
            2)      Door Repair
            3)      Driver Education Program
            4)      Electrical Repair
            5)      Elevator Repair
            6)      Fresh Pizza
            7)      Glass Repair
            8)      H.V.A.C. Repair
            9)      Lock Repair
               10)      Plumbing
            11)      Window Repair     

      7.2      Personnel Items - Informational

            a.      Instructional Assignments – Exhibit B                             
            b.      Change of Instructional Assignments – Exhibit C
            c.      Retirements – Exhibit D
            d.      Resignations – Exhibit E      
            e.      Non-Instructional 6 Month Probation Period Complete – Exhibit F
            f.      Teachers on Leave of Absence – Exhibit G
      7.3      Business Items - None

      7.4      Approval of Minutes – None


      8.1      Next Meeting Dates:       April 14, 2009 – 7:30 p.m.  (newly scheduled)
                              Regular Meeting
                              CMS Community Room

                              May 5, 2009 – 7:30 p.m..
                              Regular Meeting
                              CMS Community Room                                                     

      9.1      March 25, 2009 issue of Words from Winn Brook (electronic)           
      9.2      March 25, 2009 letter from Katherine Craven, MSBA re: Wellington Elementary School     
      9.3      Schedule for May 22, 2009 Memorial Day Exercises     
      9.4      April 1, 2009 Enrollment
      9.5      Retirement Letter from Dr. Patricia Aubin

      At 10:00 p.m., on a motion offered by Ms. Graham and seconded by Ms. Vose, it was

      VOTED:  unanimously to adjourn the meeting.

                        Respectfully submitted by _____________________________________
                                    Leslie Walker