MINUTES OF THE HINGHAM SCHOOL COMMITTEE

June 17, 2013

Regular Session

The meeting was called to order by Ray Estes at 7:34 p.m. in the School Department Conference Room.

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

Central Office Present:     Dot Galo, Ellen Keane, John Ferris

Visitors Present:    Jim Kirkcaldy, Susan Keyes, Becky Case, Jim Watson, Laura Marwill, Tom Pyles, Carol Meyer of the Journal.

2.  Minutes.

On a motion by Ed Schreier and seconded by Liza O’Reilly,

It was
Voted:    To approve the Minutes of the Regular Session of June 3, 2013.

4.  Communications.

Dot Galo introduced Becky Case, the new Assistant Principal of East School.  She also noted an email expressing appreciation for the recent “Flash Mob” tribute to Roger Boddie, the retiring HMS Principal.  Liza thanked Hingham Cable for their work on the video.  Carol M. Falvey read an email from Jane McGrath thanking the community for their support of the HEF and announcing this year’s 42 HEF grant recipients for over $100,000.  Carol thanked HEF.

6.  Old Business.

6.1  John Ferris reviewed the proposed Student Activities Accounts policy and procedures.  School Committee questions/made comments:  possible increase for $15,000 at HMS.  Ray suggested several edits.

On a motion by Andy Shafter and seconded by Dennis Friedman,
It was
Voted:    To approve the proposed Student Activities Accounts policy, as recommended by the Policy subcommittee.

7.    New Business

7.1    The Committee heard a report from the Social Studies Department.  Jim Kirkcaldy, Director, presented an overview of the report, including goals and objectives, elementary curriculum and scope and sequence, role of elementary teacher, role of directors and principals, secondary curriculum at middle and high school levels, major changes since the last review, program strengths; class sizes at HMS and HHS, authentic assessments and essential questions, writing across the social studies curriculum, A.P. course enrollments and scores 2004-2012, SAT II World History scores, program concerns; sufficient staffing, costs of texts and materials, and state assessments, directions for the future; “Portfolio” assessments, interdisciplinary curriculum, HMS and HHS electives, Mass. Frameworks for Literacy, and educator evaluation SMART goals. School Committee asked questions/made comments: focus on Hingham history, interdisciplinary writing consistent terminology and processes with ELA, Mr. Kirkcaldy’s teaching impact on prior students, high Hingham history AP scores, putting Social Studies Program Review on website, possibility of staffing International Affairs course next year.  Audience questions/comments:  Jim Watson – use of music in Social Studies, especially folk music.

School Committee thanked Jim for his report and presentation.

7.2    Andy Shafter, Chair of the Policy Subcommittee, reviewed recommendation to raise athletic fees.

On a motion by Andy Shafter and seconded by Dennis Friedman,
It was
Voted:    To approve the increase in 2013-2014 HHS athletic fee, as recommended by the Policy Subcommittee, from $300 to $325 with a family cap of $625.

School Committee asked questions/made comments:  data to support increased fee, impact on HMS activity fee, previous plan to do comprehensive review of fees, suggestion that Policy Subcommittee re-look at the recommendation, timing of increased athletic fee, need for Athletic Director and Director of Business to be involved in discussion, Boston Globe athletic fee survey data, advantages of regular small increases in fees, need for benchmarking data, low athletic fees in Hingham compared to other towns, better to have small increases reflecting increased athletics costs.  Carol, Ed, Andy, Liza and Dennis voted “Yes”, Ray voted “No” and Paul abstained.

7.3    The Committee heard a third quarter financial update.  John Ferris reviewed the overall positive variance primarily due to lower Special Education tuitions and transportation costs, VoTech expenses, and lower salary budget variance. (Paul Gannon left the meeting at 9:10 p.m.)  Ray reviewed possible concerns from Advisory Committee members about using unexpended funds for end-of-the-year projects, and the School Committee’s authority to allocate its budget.  School Committee asked questions/made comments:  Capital Budget variance of +$41,585 will be returned to the Town, budget variance of ($23,406) in “Contracts and Transportation” results from funding smaller repair and capital projects.  Audience questions/comments:  Tom Piles, Advisory Committee, stated that all capital items should be vetted by Capital Outlay, and raised the possibility of encumbering unused Capital funds.  Laura Marwill, Advisory Committee, expressed concern about the School Committee’s use of Operating Budget for year-end projects when other departments do not have that authority.  Approximately $560,000 will be returned to the Town and planned year-end projects will be accomplished.

7.4    The Committee heard updates on Fields Project fundraising.  John Ferris reviewed June 17, 2013 Fields Project Budget Planning Model which shows a project funding balance of ($126, 655) based upon a carried amount of $550,000 for concession building.  The contract with RAD has been signed and work will start this week.

7.5    The Committee heard an update on the concession building redesign.  Ray reported on June 6th meeting with Gale to reduce costs of the concession building.  Re-bid process will put this building about 2 months behind the rest of the fields project.  School Committee asked questions/made comments:  possibility of saving money by running wires but not hooking them up, major savings making it a seasonal building.  Ray reviewed a change order proposal from Gale for the redesign, bid and construction period services for the concession building.

On a motion by Ed Schreier and seconded by Carol M. Falvey,
It was
Voted:    To approve $13,050 for the Gale change order for redesign, bid and construction period services for HHS fields concession building.

On a motion by Carol M. Falvey and seconded by Dennis Friedman,
It was
Voted:    To authorize John Ferris, Director of Business & Support Services, to approve up to an additional $10,000 on a single change order and authorize the School Committee Fields Oversight Committee to coordinate oversight of construction and approve up to a total of $100,000 from available budget contingency for change orders for the fields project in the absence of a timely School Committee meeting to vote on such requests.

7.6    The consensus of the Committee was to schedule summer School Committee meeting dates on July 22 and August 22 starting at 7:00 p.m. and to schedule a School Committee training meeting with Glenn Koocher on July 16 from 5:00-8:00 p.m.

7.7    The Committee heard an enrollment projection update for 2013-2014.  Dot Galo reviewed the increase of ten students at the elementary level – 2027 to 2037 and six additional Metco students.

7.8    The Committee received notification of the appointment of Jessica Briody as a grade 5 teacher at East School, effective August 26, 2013.

7.9    The Committee received notification of the appointment of Jacqueline Cross as a grade 4 teacher at South School, effective August 26, 2013.

7.10    The Committee received notification of the appointment of Katelyn Sassorossi as a mathematics teacher at Hingham High School, effective August 26, 2013.

7.11    The Committee received notification of the appointment of Michelle Welch as a science teacher at Hingham Middle School, effective August 26, 2013.

8.  Other Items.
John Ferris reported on the bid opening for the HHS Greenhouse project.  There were 3 bids that ranged from $30,072 – 37,409

On a motion by Ray Estes and seconded by Carol M. Falvey,
It was
Voted:    To award the HHS Greenhouse Kit Project to the low bidder Ludy Greenhouse, in the amount of  $30,072 to be delivered by July 2nd.

9.  Building Committee Report.
Ray Estes reported on a recent meeting – HMS construction 45% complete, finalized signage package, and we continue to run on or below budget and on time.

10.  Subcommittee Reports.
Liza O’Reilly reported on SEPAC meeting that she and Ed Schreier attended including a long range planning training session attended by Liz Flynn and SEPAC members.

Ed Schreier reported on public hearings for special education bills at the State House that he, Laura Burns and Linda Port attended in conjunction with the SPED Working Group project.

Dot Galo reported on public hearing scheduled at the State House regarding educational mandates on June 27th from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

11.    Superintendent’s Report.

1)    Recycling grant was submitted with letter of support from Ted Alexiades.
2)    Letter from DESE Office for Nutrition, Health & Safety regarding additional 6 cents per lunch reimbursement.
3)    Request to consider a donated hydration station for the new fields/concession building.

Dot Galo suggested that School Committee members read the proposed red lined Educator Administration Evaluation template that is being negotiated with HEA Unit A and the Administrator’s Association.  School Committee members should contact Dot if they want copies emailed to them.

12. Executive Session. None.

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

It was
Voted:    To adjourn at 10:40 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted by:
Dennis Friedman, Secretary

/ns