School Committee Minutes 2-24-14

HINGHAM SCHOOL COMMITTEE

February 24, 2014

MINUTES

1.    Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Ray Estes at 7:40 p.m.

Members Present: Ray Estes, Carol Falvey, Dennis Friedman, Paul Gannon, Liza O’Reilly, Ed Schreier and Andy Shafter

Central Office Present:    Dorothy Galo, Ellen Keane, Elizabeth Flynn, and John Ferris

Visitors Present:  Pat Velie, Alec Porter, James Rossano, Laura Marwill, Kathy Jordan, Linda Port, Catherine Rein, Linda Kutsch, Jim Taylor, Irma Lauter

2.    Approval of Minutes
2.1    On a motion by Ed Schreier and seconded by Dennis Friedman,

It was
Voted:    To approve the Minutes of the Joint School Committee/ Board of Selectmen Meeting held on February 6, 2014

2.2    On a motion by Carol Falvey and seconded by Dennis Friedman,

It was
Voted:    To approve the Minutes of the School Committee Meeting held on February 10, 2014.

3.    Student Communications.
James Rossano reported on the Teens for Jeans fundraiser, the MASC Student Council Conference, Festival play and a sports update.

4.    Communications.  None

5.    Questions and Comments.  None

6.    Superintendent’s Report.  None

7.    Unfinished Business.  None

8.    New Business.

8.1    The Committee heard a report on the revised language (as proposed by Town Counsel) for the Special Education Funding Working Group’s proposed warrant article to establish a trust/reserve fund for extraordinary special education costs.  Linda Port, Chairman of the Special Education Working Group, reviewed the proposed language.

School Committee Questions and Comments:  Timing of transferring funds at end of fiscal year, reasons for Special Education reserve fund, concerns about setting up another fund in the town, Home Rule Petitions, proposed legislation, SC approval of use of special education reserve funds.

On a motion by Paul Gannon and seconded by Ed Schreier,

It was
Voted:    To support the proposed Hingham Home Rule Petition, as follows: Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary and in accordance with Article LXXXIX, Article II, Section 8 (M.G.L.A.Const. Amend. Art. 2, Section 8) of the Articles of Amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth, that the Town of Hingham authorize but not require its Board of Selectmen to petition the General Court of Massachusetts for a special act to allow the Town of Hingham School Committee to establish a reserve fund to be utilized in the current or upcoming fiscal year or years by the Town of Hingham School Committee to pay, without further appropriation, for unanticipated, unbudgeted and/or extraordinary costs of special education out-of-district tuitions and/or transportation.  Further, that the Town of Hingham School Committee may appropriate or transfer in the current or upcoming fiscal year or years from the school department budget in order to fund said reserve fund. Further, that the Board of Selectmen may appropriate or transfer in the current or upcoming fiscal year or years from the town budget in order to fund said reserve fund.  Said appropriations or transfers shall be in addition to any appropriation or transfer which may be approved by Town Meeting from time to time to said reserve fund.  In any event, the balance in said reserve fund shall not exceed 2% of annual net school spending as defined by Chapter 70 in the Massachusetts General Laws for the prior fiscal year.

Ray Estes, Carol Falvey, Dennis Friedman, Ed Schreier, Paul Gannon, and Liza O’Reilly voted in favor, Andy Shafter voted in opposition.

Ray Estes thanked Linda Port.

8.2    John Ferris reviewed the bid process for the South School Energy Management System award.

On a motion by Andy Shafter and seconded by Dennis Friedman,

It was
Voted:  To approve the award of the bid as recommended by John Ferris (Huntington Controls – $128,690) with the total expenditure not to exceed $136,000.

8.3    The Committee heard a recommendation by John Ferris to declare as surplus a list of obsolete and/or unneeded equipment items.

On a motion by Andy Shafter and seconded by Carol Falvey,

It was
Voted:     To declare as surplus the list of obsolete and/or unneeded equipment items as presented.

8.4    Ray Estes and John Ferris provided an update on the disposition of the middle school modular units.  Boston and Weymouth have expressed an interest in the units.  It was requested that we ask Vanguard about sharing revenue received on the modulars if they remove them at no charge.

On a motion by Ray Estes and seconded by Carol Falvey,

It was
Voted:  To declare the middle school modular unit surplus to the needs of the school district in anticipation of an RFP or other process to dispose of them.

8.5    Ray Estes reviewed the “Needs Based” budget process, the limitations of using a “level services” approach for Hingham Public Schools versus other Town departments, and the strong academic, athletic and extracurricular programs and post graduate successes.  The Committee heard an update on the proposed FY’15 Operating Budget, with reductions as recommended by the administration.  Dot Galo reviewed a PowerPoint presentation of the “HPS February 24, 2014 Revised Operating Budget Proposals from the Administration for the School Committee’s Review and Consideration” including Categories of Budget Reductions, Factors Considered in Making Recommendations for a Reduced Bottom Line, Recent Personnel Changes – Savings, Recommended Reductions from “Needs-Based” Proposals, and Recommended Reductions from original Needs-Based Budget leading to a bottom-line of $43,528.509.

School Committee Questions and Comments:  Pro-active services from additional 2.0 FTEs Adjustment Counselors, increased emotional and social needs of students and families, support for  including 2.0 FTEs Adjustment Counselors in budget, increase in home sales since 2009 and the impact on enrollment, the possibility of including 1.0 FTE Adjustment Counselor, increased use of revolving account funds, right time to fully staff additional 2.0 FTEs Adjustment Counselors, add back 2.0 Adjustment Counselor FTEs (+.26%).  The consensus of the Committee was to add the two Adjustment Counselor positions back into the budget.  Advisory Committee Education Subcommittee Chair, Laura Marwill, spoke about the Advisory Committee’s perspective regarding the use of additional funds due to personnel changes after the budget is approved.

On a motion by Carol Falvey and seconded by Dennis Friedman,

It was
Voted:    To approve a FY’15 Operating Budget of $43,640,723 (reduced by $253,864 from the original Administration recommendation).

8.6    The Committee heard an update on the recommended FY’15 Capital Budget proposed by the Capital Outlay Committee of $689,674, which includes $50,000 for fire alarm monitoring equipment.

School Committee Questions and Comments:  Possible restoration of Foster School play shed project given postponement of the need to replace alarm monitoring service.

8.7    The Committee heard a proposed change to the HPS bullying policy that reflects recent MA legislation.  This “first reading” will lead to a vote at a future meeting.

8.8    The Committee heard a report from the Policy Subcommittee on a proposed pilot of fees for spring 2014 use of school facilities by Hingham youth sport groups.  Andy Shafter, Chair of the Policy Subcommittee, reviewed the proposed pilot fees for Spring 2014 ($6 per participant for Hingham youth organizations plus any applicable custodial charges).   This change responds to concerns voiced by youth sports organizations that they were being priced out of the upgraded school facilities, and will also enable greater usage of the new synthetic turf multipurpose field.

On a motion by Andy Shafter and seconded by Dennis Friedman,

It was
Voted:    To suspend the current Multipurpose Playing Field usages fees for Hingham youth sports organizations for the Spring season, and replace them with a pilot fee structure of $6 per participant plus any applicable custodial charges.

8.9    The Committee reviewed a draft of a proposed SC Annual Report for the 2013 Town Report.  The consensus of the Committee was to include suggested edits and changes in the orders of the paragraphs.  It was also recommended that we review the template used for this report in the Fall of 2014.

8.10    The Committee received notification of the appointment of Karin LeBlanc as a long term substitute Grade 3 teacher at PRS.

8.11    The Committee received notification of the appointment of Julie Dale as a Tutor and Special Education Inclusion Paraeducator at PRS.

8.12    The Committee received notification of the temporary appointment of Ashley Trudeau as a Kids in Action teacher.

8.13    The Committee received notification of the following advancement on the salary scale effective February 1, 2014: Audrie Knight, M60, Step 13.

8.14    The Committee received information regarding a field trip of the high school Quiz Bowl Team to Washington, DC National History Bowl and Bee Competition on April 25 – 27, 2014.

9.    Other items as may not reasonably be known 48 hours in advance of the meeting.  None

10.    Subcommittee Reports.
Community Outreach – Carol Falvey noted that meetings were scheduled with PTOs, and discussions were continuing in regard to a fields dedication event.
Salaries and Negotiations – Ray Estes noted an HEA negotiation meeting scheduled for February 26, 2014.
Fields — Some lingering issues are being addressed in completion of the Concession Building.

On a motion by Ray Estes and seconded by Carol Falvey,

It was
Voted:     To approve the following invoices for payment:
Cavanaugh Tocci Associates    $2.742.15
PARE Corp    $2,727.58

11.    Executive Session.  None

12.    Adjournment

On a motion by Paul Gannon and seconded by Ed Schreier,

It was
Voted:    To adjourn at 10:30 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted by:
Dennis Friedman, Secretary
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