School Committee Minutes 3-10-14

HINGHAM SCHOOL COMMITTEE

March 10, 2014

MINUTES

1.    Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Ray Estes at 7:35 p.m.

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

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

Visitors Present:  Alec Porter, James Rossano, Laura Marwill, Catherine Rein, Jim Taylor, Michael Mulry, Helaine Silva, Paula Girouard McCann, Susan Keyes

2.    Approval of Minutes

2.1    On a motion by Carol Falvey and seconded by Paul Gannon,

It was
Voted:    To approve the Minutes of the School Committee Meeting held on February 24, 2014.

3.    Student Communications.
James Rossano reported on MASC Leadership Council Workshops – HHS won a bronze medal, Dance Team won “Slash the Trash,” Talent Expo will feature the Beatles, Drama Festival play, a sports update, Tennoji High School (Japan) baseball team visit to Hingham High School, Best Buddies event, and “Race to Nowhere” film.

4.    Communications.
Dr. Galo noted a letter commending Kara Roth and Karen Beatty, chaperones, and the students who participated in a recent trip to Ireland and Scotland.  Liza O’Reilly noted that Swim Coach Kaitlyn McDonough was recognized as Coach of the Year.

John Ferris announced that Patrick Cunningham will be the next Transportation Supervisor.

5.    Questions and Comments.  None

6.    Superintendent’s Report.
Shared an article and chart on the redesign of the SATs.

Briefly reviewed an article summarizing the research showing the positive impact of Responsive Classroom on academic results.

Provided a sample Grade 4 PARCC math question.

X2 letter was sent to parents – 270 students will participate in PARCC field tests at East School, Hingham Middle School and Hingham High School.

7.    Unfinished Business.
Andy Shafter reviewed the proposed amendment to the Policy Manual to incorporate new bullying law provisions previously presented on 2/24/14.

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

It was
Voted:    To approve amended Policy 2.3 Employee Conduct  to include the prohibition of bullying students by staff  with procedures 2.3B.

8.    New Business.

8.1    The Committee heard a report from Senator Bob Hedlund and Representatives Garrett Bradley and James Murphy including Chapter 70 Local Aid, other “Local Aid” accounts – downward trend in some appropriations, recent good news for Hingham – School Safety Grant ($288,000), Sustainable Materials Recovery Program ($15,500), Legislative Milestones/Achievements, Department of Public Health Opioid Abuse Strategy Proposal, Special Education funding – local option bill – reserve account, DESE technical support for PARCC online assessment.

School Committee Questions and Comments:  Proposed legislation from Special Education Working Group, thanks for hosting Grade 4 classes from East School, increases funding/source of funding, support for Hingham Middle School Building Project.

8.2    The Committee heard a Program Review from Sue Keyes, Director of Foreign Languages.  Ms. Keyes provided an overview PowerPoint presentation of her report, including departmental philosophy, departmental goals and objectives, benefits of second language study, instructional strategies, changes since 2009 review, elementary school program, middle school program, high school program, strengths, concerns, future initiatives, and photographs and videos of classes and language labs.

School Committee Questions and Comments: Increased use of language lab assistant – additional hours in budget, valuable information on staff included in report, interdisciplinary work with the Global Citizenship Program, possibility of block scheduling for specialist area – two months on each subject versus once in a six day cycle, include link to Foreign Language Program Review on website.  Committee members complimented and thanked Ms. Keyes for her report.

8.3    The Committee discussed recent Board of Selectmen and Advisory Committee actions on the FY’15 School Budget.  Ray Estes reviewed the votes and a FY15 Budget Breakdown.  Dr. Galo reviewed the original proposed new FTEs, proposed administrative reductions, School Committee budget vote on  2/24/14 for $43,640,723, Board of Selectmen and Advisory Committee adoption of budget on 3/6/14  in the amount of $43,490,722.

School Committee Questions and Comments:  Support for previously voted budget adding 2.0 FTE Adjustment Counselors, level services should include 4.0 Adjustment Counselors, use of funds available in Town Forecast, use of meals tax and unexpended funds from the tax levy for tax relief.

There was a  a motion by Carol Falvey and seconded by Dennis Friedman:
To re-vote the previous School Committee FY’15 budget approval of $43,640,723 and request the Administration provide recommendations to the School Committee in May regarding how to allocate these funds.

An amendment was offered by Liza O’Reilly and seconded by Andy Shafter:
That the School Committee vote separate FY’15 budget amounts for “Payroll” and “Expenses”.

The amendment would require voting the budget in the 2 categories appearing in the Town Warrant. Discussion of the amendment revolved around the need to reflect comments of the Advisory Committee and Board of Selectmen and the way other Town departments state their budget requests  in categories versus concerns that such an approach might constrain the flexibility of the School Committee, and perhaps even undermine it’s statutory prerogatives.  Other questions and comments:  Never done this separation in past budget votes, transparency issues, various events impact the budget throughout the year with the numbers changing frequently, have the ability to come back in May to explain revised budget allocations.

It was
Voted:    To defeat the proposed amendment.  Liza O’Reilly and Andy Shafter voted in favor; Paul Gannon, Dennis Friedman, Carol Falvey and Ray Estes voted in opposition.

It was
Voted:    To re-vote the previous School Committee approved FY’15 budget of $43,640,723, reducing the approved amount to $43,490,722, and request that the Administration provide recommendations to the School Committee in May regarding how to appropriately allocate these funds.

8.4    The Committee reviewed a request for a waiver of a policy restricting Sunday use of school property for an annual Ultimate Frisbee Tournament on August 2 and 3, 2014.

On a motion by Carol Falvey and seconded by Paul Gannon,

It was
Voted:      To approve policy waiver for the Ultimate Frisbee Tournament on August 2 and 3, 2014

8.5    The Committee received notification of the appointment of Jenna McCarter as a Paraeducator at Hingham Middle School, effective February 26, 2014.

8.6    The Committee received notification of the resignation of Kristen Stuart as an East School teacher, effective at the end of her leave.

8.7    The Committee received notification of the resignation of Andrew Hoey as a High School Social Studies teacher.

8.8    The Committee received notification of the resignation for reason of retirement of Robert Regan as a High School Custodian, effective August 4, 2014.

8.9    The Committee received notification of the following advancement on the salary scale effective February 1, 2014: Cynthia McKeon, M15, Step 14.

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

10.    Subcommittee Reports.
Policy – Andy Shafter will schedule a meeting to review KIA and Pre-K fees and “Unfinished Business”.

Community Outreach – Carol Falvey visited the Hingham High School PTO and will visit Plymouth River School PTO meeting, Ed Schreier will visit East School and South School PTOs and Liza O’Reilly will visit Hingham Middle School and Foster School PTOs.

Carol Falvey noted that the Hingham Education Foundation sponsored Fete event scheduled for 4/4/14 has been sold out.

Long Range Planning – Dennis Friedman spoke about scheduling a meeting in the spring to begin discussing how we will handle Planning Meeting(s) for the upcoming fiscal year.

11.    Executive Session.  None

12.    Adjournment

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

It was
Voted:    To adjourn at 10:22 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted by:
Dennis Friedman, Secretary
/pk