The Hingham School Committee is pleased to introduce this new School Committee page of the Hingham Public Schools website. Like just about everything these days, this page is a work in progress, so please check back frequently for updated information.
On August 6th, the School Committee voted to endorse the District Reopening Plan 2020-2021 recommended by Superintendent Dr. Austin. The District will follow the Reopening Plan, subject to changing health metrics, guidance, and best practices, and will work with the Hingham Education Association toward the ultimate goal of getting all students back into the classrooms as soon as is safely possible.
Superintendent Dr. Austin, working with the Hingham Board of Health, will weigh many metrics on a daily basis. He will make data-driven decisions to ensure the safety of students and staff, and to continue to deliver high quality education to Hingham students. The Committee is grateful for our HPS community during these challenging times. The teachers are eager to teach. The students are ready to learn. The parents are finding creative ways to support the District. And the School Committee is committed to supporting everyone, as we work together to facilitate a smooth reopening.
We understand the impact of this global pandemic on families, students, and staff, and encourage feedback as we work through this together.
What is the best way to communicate with the school committee?
Persons interested in communicating with the School Committee may:
Send a letter to the School Committee Chair or an individual member, c/o the School Department at 220 Central Street. Letters marked Confidential will be forwarded unopened to the individual. Please note that according to School Committee Policy 3.7.5, anonymous communications will be disregarded.
Telephone the School Department at 781-741-1500. Choose 1 on the menu to speak with Julie O’Halloran, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent and School Committee.
Contact the Committee members directly at the following email addresses:
The School Committee conducts its business in open public meetings, the goal and objectives which include, but are not limited to: (i) establishing and periodically reviewing policies, (ii) assuring that the Superintendent uses competent and conscientious personnel and evaluates their performance in implementing School Committee policies, (iii) adopting budgets which will provide sufficient funds to operate the school system economically and effectively to the extent possible given fiscal constraints, (iv) monitoring the school administration’s execution of established policies and (v) establishing and evaluating annual School Committee & Superintendent performance objectives.
The Committee generally meets every other Monday night and establishes an annual meeting schedule during the month of August. In January, extra meetings are generally held on Thursday nights for budget discussions. Meeting schedules, agendas and minutes are posted online.
What is the school committee’s role in subcommittees?
Each member is given one or more subcommittee assignments by the School Committee chairperson annually. Each of the six school councils is also assigned a school committee member liaison.
What are the school committee’s duties, authority, and memberships?
The authority of the School Committee is derived from the Massachusetts General Laws (MGL). The School Committee maintains authority when its members serve as a legal body. Individual members of the School Committee have no authority over school affairs when acting as individuals. School Committee members are considered elected, special municipal employees.
Powers and Duties
The School Committee shall:
Have the power to select, evaluate, and terminate the Superintendent, and appoint, upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, the Assistant/Associate/Deputy Superintendent(s), School Business Administrator, Special Education Administrator, School Physician, School Nurses and Supervisor of Attendance. Such positions shall not report directly to the School Committee.
Review, approve and monitor the school budget.
Establish and review educational goals and policies consistent with the requirements of the law and statewide goals, regulations and standards established by the MA Board of Education and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), and also reflective of the priorities of the Town.
Conduct collective bargaining with all school department bargaining units. See Procedures 3.3A for role of Salary & Negotiating Subcommittee.
Employ legal counsel for collective bargaining and other general purposes.
Support the development and promotion of the vision, mission, goals and strategies of the school system, including submitting an Annual Town Report on the state of the schools.
The School Committee shall have such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by the Bylaws of the Town of Hingham or by other vote at Town Meeting.
The School Committee consists of seven members chosen by ballot from the registered voters of Hingham to staggered terms. Each term is three years and expires at the annual town election; there is no limit on reelection. Members serve without any compensation.