NASHOBA REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETING
November 30, 2006
School Committee in Attendance: Don Adams, Ellen Sturgis, Tricia Kelly, Brian Burke, Monica CampoBasso, David Horne, Mel Govindan, Cathy Giunta, Laura OfNeil
Administration in Attendance: Michael Wood, Superintendent of Schools, George King, Assistant Superintendent for Finance, Tom OfBrien, Athletics Director
CALL TO ORDER
Chair Don Adams called the meeting to order at 6:01 PM. in the Office of the Superintendent.
APPROVAL OF THE WARRANTS OF NOVEMBER 30, 2006
WARRANT NO. DATE DESCRIPTION AMOUNT
2735 [Marker]12/01[Marker]/06 VENDOR $ 203,747.96
2736 12/01/06 BENEFIT $ 54,815.35
2737 12/01/06 PAYROLL $ 1,006,282.84
Cathy Giunta made a motion to approve the warrants as detailed in the memo dated 11/29/06 and noted above. Seconded by Brian Burke. IN FAVOR: Tricia Kelly, Don Adams, Brian Burke, Ellen Sturgis, Monica CampoBasso, David Horne, Mel Govindan, Cathy Giunta VOTED AND PASSED. UNANIMOUS (8-0)
APPROVAL OF THE NOVEMBER 02, 2006 MINUTES
Ellen Sturgis made a motion to approve the minutes of November 16, 2006 as amended. Seconded by Cathy Giunta. IN FAVOR: Tricia Kelly, Cathy Giunta, Don Adams, Brian Burke, Ellen Sturgis, Monica CampoBasso, David Horne, Mel Govindan VOTED AND PASSED. UNANIMOUS (8-0)
Letter from DOR regarding Chapter 70, NRSD excess & deficiency funds available as of July 1, 2006.
Letter/info from Laurie Spear, producer of Hale Middle School play.
Letter from Mr. Wood to organizers of extra curricular groups who have requested funding from School Committee in the past regarding the committeefs decision not to award funding to groups who request it after the budget process.
SUPERINTENDENTfS REPORT (This report is available on the District website at www.nrsd.net)
Drama programs Under Review
Mr. Wood reported to the committee that a review of the districtfs drama program is underway and will include how the District ascertains permission and licensing for productions, music and video taping rights. He said there are laws that govern the requirement of individuals and organizations to properly secure permissions to use copyrighted material. He told the committee that the Districtfs high school plays are sponsored by the Friends of Drama and this group raises the funds for the production materials, the program and to pay for the licenses of the plays or musicals that are chosen. Mr. Wood said the School District has
paid a stipend for a Drama Director and the high school puts on a fall play, conducts class plays and puts on a spring musical. He said Luther Burbank Middle School and Hale Middle School have a history of producing at least one drama event per year. Luther Burbank Middle School hires a director for its play. Halefs play is put on by parents, Hale Parent Support Group, and they also hire a director for their play.
Mr. Wood also reported to the committee that he made several recommendations to prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future. He told the committee that he asked building principals to request copies of the license agreements as part of the approval process of the play or musical content. Secondly, he said the District will undertake conversations with our support groups (Friends of Drama, Friends of Music, etc.) in an effort to write down our partnership guidelines (who does what, who pays for what, etc.). And thirdly, Mr. Wood told
the committee that the District will adapt job descriptions for each stipend position that speaks to steps people may need to take to uphold the law and school policy as it relates copyrighted materials.
Governor Elect Transition Meetings
Mr. Wood reported that there will be two public hearings held Tuesday evening, December 5th at 7:00 PM at Millbury High School. He said the two hearings will be happening simultaneously and the first is on Civic Engagement and the second is on K-12 Education. Mr. Wood said the hearings have been set up by the Governor-Elect Patrickfs transition teams.
Mr. Wood reported that the Districtfs security plan is on schedule. He said the magnetic locks will be installed over the next two weeks at all of our schools. And that this will require an adjustment by parents, students and visitors to our schools. He said patience will be the key word. Mr. Wood said that they have not worked out the details as to how these locks will impact access for after hour events. He said that each building will need to communicate to parents how systems will be work. Additionally, Mr. Wood reported that the video camera project is being worked on and the specifications for the cameras are being
finalized. He said these will be installed in early January.
Online Parent Teacher Conference Schedules
Mr. Wood told the committee that High School parents can now access the new online system for scheduling December 7th and 8th parent teacher conferences. He said parents will now be able to schedule conferences online at any time using a software program called pickAtime.com.
Ex-0fficio Report by Ms. OfNeil
Ms. OfNeil reported the following:
Last week, students from each grade were out in full force trying to rack up points for Class Competitions, but the seniors won after dominating in 4 out of 5 of the main events, including a joint win in the Powder-puff game with the sophomores against the Junior-Freshmen team. Unfortunately, the hallway decorating competition was not able to be counted because the junior hallway was destroyed overnight. On a brighter note, however, the Penny Wars raised about $840 for Doctors without Borders, an organization that sends doctors to third world country to perform surgeries that would otherwise be unaffordable. The money will pay for supplies, medication, and other necessities the doctors will provide.
Thanksgiving turned out to be disappointing for the football team, which suffered a 39-0 loss against North Middlesex Regional High School. The team, playing with injuries, finished the season with a 5-6 overall record.
The boys cross country teamfs season ended with their 16th place finish at the State meet in Northfield on November 18th. The team finished with a record of 10-2.
The Sports in Society Senior English classes (approximately 75 students) had a special visit from Boston Herald sports columnist Tony Massorotti, who also co-wrote A Tale of Two Cities: The 2004 Yankees-Red Sox Rivalry and the War for the Pennant. He shared information about a career in journalism, stories from his 15 year coverage of the Red Sox and Major League Baseball, and the importance of writing skills in any career.
National Honor Society is busy with various service projects: the Fall Rake-Up for Stowfs Council on Aging, the Holiday Mitten Tree (students and teachers have the opportunity to buy holiday gifts for those less fortunate), and the Winter Ball, which will be held at the school next Saturday, December 9, 2006.
This week marked the beginning of the Class Play Competition, with auditions held on Monday and Tuesday evenings. The performances will be held in January. This week also marks the beginning of the winter sports season.
The Yearbook Club is working very hard organizing and designing the yearbook. During school today, all of the club and organization pictures were taken.
The Fall Jazz Concert will be held tomorrow night (12/1) at 7:30 in the auditorium.
The Model United Nations team will participate in a conference held at Harvard University on December 9.
The Holiday Food Drive, run by Student Council, will start on Monday, December 4th, and end on Tuesday, December 19th. The council is collecting nonperishable goods for families in need throughout the Nashoba Community.
Facilities Subcommittee, by Ms. Kelly
Nothing to report.
Finance Subcommittee, by Ms. Giunta
Nothing to report.
Personnel Subcommittee, by Mr. Adams
Nothing to report.
Policy Subcommittee, by Ms. Kelly
Nothing to report.
SPED PAC, by Mr. Burke
Mr. Burke told the committee that SPED PAC will not meet this month.
Fall sports Update
Tom OfBrien, NRSD Athletic director, gave an overview of the Districtfs athletic program. Mr. OfBrien told the committee that he is planning to institute a student athlete academic award to promote academics in athletics. He is also looking at publicly recognizing the athletic team with the overall highest GPA. Mr. OfBrien said he is working on communication with parents and will be enhancing the website with more information for parents and student athletes. Mr. OfBrien also reported that he will be implementing an exit
survey which seniors will complete. He said this will provide valuable information regarding coaches, the athl etic director, and administration. Discussion ensued. Ms. Kelly asked if there would be a possibility of adding Fall volleyball to the district athletic program. Mr. OfBrien responded that it could be assessed and looked at if there was enough interest. Discussion took place regarding scheduling conflicts with student who would like to be in band or a club and also on an athletic team. Mr. Adams said his experience has been that if there was a conflict with academics and athletics then athletics always won. Ms. CampoBasso told the committee that an important distinction is that band is a class and not a club.
Early Childhood Education & Care Tuitions and Fees
Mr. King distributed a memo to the committee which included the cost of NRSD tuition based programs and provided the committee of an overview of this information, which included his recommendations for the FY08 tuition rates for Preschool, Full day Kindergarten and Extended Day. Mr. Kinges recommendation were as follows:
1. Full Day Kindergarten: increased $100 or 3.7% to $2800 a year to meet projected costs expected to be $2811 per pupil.
2. Extended Day rates to remain the same in Fy08 as in FY07.
3. Preschool tuition rates for the 5 day program to be raised to $600 per month to cover the projected costs of that program.
Discussion took place. Ms. Sturgis said she would like to see the full day kindergarten program increased to $2820 per year to ensure it is fully covered as she was concerned the recommended amount may be on the low side of the projected costs. Ms. Giunta agreed with Ms. Sturgis and said she would even suggest going to $2825. Mr. Burke said he would like to take some time to review the information.
Motion to table moved by Brian Burke. Not Seconded. MOTION FAILED
Motion moved by Ellen Sturgis to approve the Early Childhood Education & Care Tuition rates for FY07 as Full Day Kindergarten tuition to increase to $2820 per year per student, Extended Day to remain the same as in FY07, and Preschool to increase the tuition of the 5 day program to $600 a month. Seconded by Monica CampoBasso. IN FAVOR: Tricia Kelly, Cathy Giunta, Don Adams, Ellen Sturgis, Monica CampoBasso , David Horne, Mel Govindan OPPOSED: 0 ABSTAINED: Brian Burke VOTED AND PASSED. (7-0-1)
Private Schools Approval
Mr. Wood called the committeefs attention to a memo from Sally Sullivan, Director of Teaching and Learning, recommending the approval of the following private schools:
1. Steppingstones School, Inc
2. Dr. Franklin Perkins School
3. Trivium School
4. New River Academy
Motion moved by Cathy Giunta to approve the private schools as recommended in a memo by Sally Sullivan, Steppingstones School, Inc., Dr. Franklin Perkins School, Trivium School, and New River Academy. Seconded by Monica CampoBasso. IN FAVOR: Tricia Kelly, Cathy G iunta, Don Adams, Brian Burke, Ellen Sturgis, Monica CampoBasso, David Horne, Mel Govindan VOTED AND PASSED. UNANIMOUS (8-0)
Mr. Wood asked the committee for ideas they had regarding the upcoming budget process. Ms. Kelly asked if they could be provided with hard copies of the Executive summary. Mr. Wood said that could be done. He said that they will be using laptops with flash drives again this year as that worked well for last years budget process. He also said that there will again be a one day Saturday budget meeting, currently scheduled for January 27. Ms. Kelly asked if department heads were going to be asked to rank budget line items and said that last year some did and some did not. Mr. Wood said they would be asked to do this. Ms. Kelly asked
if there was any way they could be provided information on how discretionary funding was spent. She said it would be helpful to look at what has been spent so far. Mr. Horne asked is there would be a possibility of a sharing tool that could be used by the committee for the budget process, and SharePoint was discussed. Mr. Wood said he would investigate this option, but that there may be some network issues. Ms. CampoBasso asked if they would be getting information on how enrollment numbers would be handled with regards to classrooms. Mr. Wood said the committee would receive this information.
David Lindsey of Bolton asked if there were plans to add Advanced Placement Honors courses at the high school. Mr. Wood said that there are some offerings presently and that do plan to increase that offering. He said that Chemistry and Biology are courses they need to pay particular attention to and are planning to add section in these areas.
Motion moved by Ellen Sturgis to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing a legal matter and to include the superintendent, assistant superintendent, and school committee secretary, for the purpose of discussing a pending legal matter. Seconded by Monica CampoBasso. IN FAVOR: Tricia Kelly, Cathy Giunta, Don Adams, Brian Burke, Ellen Sturgis, Monica CampoBasso, David Horne, Mel Govindan VOTED AND PASSED. UNANIMOUS (8-0)
RETURN FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION
The regular meeting of the school committee resumed at 8:57 p.m.
Motion moved by Ellen Sturgis to adjourn. Seconded by Monica CampoBasso. IN FAVOR: Tricia Kelly, Cathy Giunta, Don Adams, Brian Burke, Ellen Sturgis, Monica CampoBasso, David Horne, Mel Govindan VOTED AND PASSED. UNANIMOUS (8-0)
The meeting adjourned at 8:58 p.m.