MINUTES OF THE HINGHAM SCHOOL COMMITTEE
October 9, 2012
The meeting was called to order by Caryl Falvey at 7:32 p.m. at East School.
Members Present: Caryl Falvey, Ray Estes, Carol M. Falvey, Dennis Friedman (7:45), Paul Gannon, Edward Schreier, Andy Shafter.
Central Office Present: Dot Galo, John Ferris.
Visitors Present: Tony Keady, Melissa Smith, Alec Porter, Ted Alexiades, Cynthia Barrett, Mary Norton, Laura Marwill, Tom Pyles, Mary Power, Deb Sullivan, Dick Innis, Tim Shoyer, Warren Pelissier, Tom Hoffman, Susan Murphy, Maryann Shafter, Jim Watson, Carol Meyer of the Hingham Journal and James Walsh of HCAM
On a motion by Ed Schreier and seconded by Paul Gannon,
Voted: To approve the Minutes of the Regular Session of October 9, 2012.
The Committee heard a report from Tony Keady, Principal, East School. Tony introduced Melissa Smith, Assistant Principal, and did an update of the previous year’s School Improvement Plan. He noted the Gr. 1-3 “6-Traits” & Gr. 4 “Empowering Writing” Programs, Lexia Reading (K-2), “Positive Behavior” support, use of DIBELS (Dynamic Indication of Basic Early Literacy Skills) and “RAZ Kids” (alternative to “Headsprout” reading software). He also noted a math improvement goal and student progress in that area and commented on the positive school environment goals, All School meeting, “Steps to Respect” and “Second Step” lessons. Goal 4 was on school-family communications, and Tony noted several new initiatives to enhance that goal.
Ted Alexiades, Town Administrator, distributed and discussed the initial 10/1/12 Forecast document. The Five-Year forecast shows $553,597 projected deficit for FY ’14 which he noted was the lowest deficit the Town has seen at this budgeting stage for several years. Ted walked the Committee through the document and explained revenue estimates and projections (new growth, State aid, local receipts, etc.). As well, he discussed projected uses (budget detail) of available revenues. Ted noted the hiring of a new Town Actuary and described “excluded” and “non-excluded” debt, including that projected for the MS project. He commented that current borrowing rates for the MS project are projected to be half of what was presented at the TM vote. He responded to School Committee questions or topics such as local receipts, format of Article 6 detail and meals tax.
There was a discussion of the HS Fields Project permitting process. As background, Ray Estes shared the process under which the MS Project was permitted: a Planning Board Site Plan Review was conducted under the applicable law known as the Dover Amendment. There are eight criteria that can be “reasonably regulated” in the site plan review process. Conservation Commission and Board of Health of permitting will follow the typical process for areas under their respective jurisdictions. Special Counsel for the Town (Susan Murphy) attended the meeting to describe the proposed Planning Board permitting process. Susan read a prepared statement after clarifying her role (representing the Town, in advising the School Committee regarding the applicable laws and Town By-laws, but not speaking for or against the
specific project. She explained the Dover Amendment (Chapter 40A, Section 3) and noted the eight criteria. She summarized relevant case law that compels town boards to make decisions under the statute. Ms. Murphy described the Planning Board Site Plan review process as an “appropriate” one for permitting the HS Fields Project and noted that it was under this process that the MS and South Shore Baptist Church projects proceeded.
Caryl Falvey noted submission of a CPC grant application for partial funding of the project. The Committee received a copy of the Title IX Compliance Review No. 01-10-5003 Resolution Agreement. Dot explained the changes from the several drafts and noted work on the required student interest survey, the impact of the proposed HS fields project on compliance, and an upcoming meeting for Booster leaders.
The FY 2014 Budget Calendar was revised by adding a January 14th budget hearing date so that the Joint (Selectmen &AdCom) meeting presentation could be moved to January 31st. The Feb. 7th date has been deleted. The votes by Selectmen and AdCom are tentatively scheduled for February 28th.
On a motion by Ray Estes and seconded by Carol Falvey,
Voted: To revise the FY ’14 Budget Calendar.
The Committee then began the Superintendent evaluation, a process explained at the prior meeting. Each member shared personal comments relative to individual experiences with and impressions of Dot’s performance over the past year, particularly with regard to her ability to successfully manage the many new initiatives of the 2011-2012. Members were asked to reduce their comments to writing and send to Caryl who will prepare a written summary based upon the comments. Dot thanked the group for their positive feedback.
No member plans to attend the MASC/MASS Joint Conference (November 2012); hence a vote was not needed on an “official voting delegate.”
The Committee received notification of the resignation for the purpose of retirement of Lynne Kostka, a business education teacher at Hingham High School, effective January 23, 2013.
The Committee received notification of the appointment of Jennifer Booras as a para educator at East School, effective September 4, 2012.
Ray Estes noted two pending amendments to the Middle School Project Funding Agreement. They will be considered at the 10/11/12 Selectmen’s meeting. He commented on a professional and productive MS construction process to date.
Carol Falvey reported that Policy Subcommittee met on 9/28/12 and is formulating a usage policy for sound amplification for the proposed multi-purpose field. It will be brought to the full School Committee subsequent to the noise study scheduled for October 20, 2012.
Andy Shafter reported that Long Range Planning Subcommittee will meet on 10/10/12 at 5:00 p.m.
Communications: Dot reviewed a letter sent to Selectmen regarding parent safety concerns on North Street (near the Square) and an e-mail from an East School parent asking about videotaping on school buses.
Enrollment: Update (10/1/12) was reviewed.
Other: Dot shared a letter regarding the March 2013 Coordinated Program Review that announced the name of the Chair and noted a planning meeting scheduled for late November.
On a motion by Ed Schreier and seconded by Dennis Friedman,
Voted: To adjourn the School Committee meeting at 9:40 p.m.
Carol M. Falvey