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August 10, 2022

Minutes of the

Monson School Committee

Regular Business Meeting

August 10, 2022

Hybrid Model

Members of the public who wish to participate virtually in this meeting may do so in the following manner: Meeting ID: 896 80562 0530

Present (In-person): Chair Colleen Flynn; Vice Chair Alison Morgan; Committee Member Kathryn Peterson; Committee Member Jamie Murphy; Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Clarke; Director of Business and Operations Leah Zippin; Director of Student Services Colette Bidus; Monson High School Principal Matthew Sullivan; and Recording Secretary Karen Methe

Present (Remote): Secretary Emily Graves-Harrison; Monson High School Assistant Principal Katie Czarniecki

Note: This meeting was recorded by M-Pact TV and Zoom.

Ms. Flynn called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m.

Ms. Murphy read the Mission & Vision Statements.


The Summer Bus Tour is scheduled for August 22, 2022 with stops at Adams IGA, River Hollow Family Golf and Westview Creamery.

The Bus Transportation Night will be held on August 25, 2022 beginning at 5:00 p.m. the schedule is as follows:

5:00 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. Bus changes/New student information

5:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Kindergarten check-in/Meet the driver

6:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. Kindergarten orientation/Bus ride

The high school will host a new student barbeque with food, games and fun on August 25, 2022 from 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.

Granite Valley tours are scheduled on August 16 and 17, 2022 between 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and August 23 and 25, 2022 from 6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

Pre-K Open House will take place on August 30, and 31, 2022 from 9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

Kindergarten Meet and Greet is available, by appointment only, on August 30 and 31, 2022.

The first day of school is August 30, 2022 for Grades 1-12 and September 1, 2022 for Pre-K and Kindergarten.


  • Motion by Ms. Morgan to approve the March 10, 2022 and July 13, 2022 Regular Business Meeting Minutes as presented. (Second by Ms. Peterson)

  • No discussion

  • Motion carries 5-0

Superintendent’s Update:

Dr. Clarke talked about the many new hires and open job postings for a School Counselor and Math Teacher at the high school. She has and continues to meet with newly hired staff members.

The Extended School Year Program ends tomorrow. Dr. Clarke thanked Ms. Bidus for all her efforts in coordinating a successful program.

The Summer Eats Feeding Program ends this Friday and Dr. Clarke praised Mrs. Blanchard, the cafeteria staff and Mrs. Zippin for all of their hard work.

The district participated in the Town’s National Night Out.

Dr. Clarke met with the current Board of Health (BOH) Chairperson to discuss how to expand collaboration between the school district and BOH and is looking into the possibility of offering community service to students.

Storytime on the Go was held at Quarry Hill Community School this week. Mrs. Brin read to the families and students visited the chickens afterwards.

Dr. Clarke gave an overview of a brief call from the Commissioner of Education on August 8, 2022 citing no statewide testing or mask mandate. She added that the district has both on hand, if necessary.

Dr. Clarke thanked Ms. Flynn for contacting the Journal Register to highlight the Administrative Leadership Team in a recent publication.

New Teacher Induction Day will be held on August 24, 2022.

Dr. Clarke announced that Jennifer Silva is the new president of the Monson Teachers Association welcoming her and adding that she is looking forward to working with Ms. Silva.

August 25, 26 and 29, 2022 are In-Service Days for teachers. Dr. Clarke outlined the numerous offerings for staff.

The Special Education Parent Advisory Council returns this year. Anyone interested in sharing ideas, participating in the planning and development of district programs or supporting other parents of students with disabilities is encouraged to contact Mrs. Bidus at 267-4150, extension 4903 or

Dr. Clarke reported that 19 new School Choice students have enrolled in the district this year bringing the total number to 78 for the 2022-2023 school year.

Public Session:

Ms. Flynn opened Public Session at 7:13 p.m.

No one came forward to address the Committee.

Ms. Flynn closed Public Session at 7:14 p.m.

Subcommittee and Liaison Reports:

Human Resources/Negotiations:

Subcommittee members met yesterday to review and discuss the School Security Officer and Secretary to the School Committee job descriptions.

Ms. Flynn spoke about attending the Massachusetts Association of School Committees’ Summer Conference stating that there were a lot of great ideas and she met several contacts from other districts adding that she looks forward to collaborating with them. She requested that a Working Meeting be scheduled for the entire Committee to talk about School Committee norms.

New Business:

Dr. Clarke reviewed the substantive changes to the 2022-2023 Monson Public Schools Handbook for Students and Families. There was lengthy discussion about the overall use of they/them pronouns but the consensus of the Committee was to keep that wording intact. Mr. Sullivan explained the revised discipline Policies and a question and answer period followed. There were additional minimal requested changes to other portions of the handbook. Dr. Clarke will make the revisions and send the handbook out to Committee members prior to the next Regular Business Meeting, for approval at that meeting.

Director of Business and Operations Update:

Mrs. Zippin noted that J.M. McCarthy Transportation will be onsite in the QHCS gymnasium for Transportation Night on August 25, 2022.

Summer Eats Program will end on August 12, 2022. She stated that since August 5, 2022 when the program began, 1,309 breakfasts and 2,156 lunches had been served at no cost. She thanked Mrs. Blanchard and the Food Service staff for providing such great meals to students in need.

The Monson High School new students’ barbeque scheduled for August 25, 2022, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. will feature traditional barbeque foods including fresh, locally grown corn on the cob and homemade desserts.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has approved free breakfast and lunch for all students during the 2022-2023 school year. Mrs. Zippin added that the district will continue to ask parents to complete the free and reduced meal application which will provide extra funds for the district and provides other opportunities for reduced athletic fees and will help get approval for another summer of free meals.

New this year will be fresh salad bars for staff at each school at the cost of $4.00. High school students will be able to make a salad at no extra cost. The salad bars will also enhance the dining experience and be used for baked potato, nacho and taco bars, in addition to smoothie stations. She thanked Mrs. Blanchard and her husband and Mr. DeMaio for traveling to Rhode Island and Billerica, MA, respectively, to pick up the equipment.

The district has 4 new ViewSonic boards making all classrooms in the district complete with one now.

New Chromebooks are being provided to students in Grades 9-12.

The district has moved to PowerSchool, from Rediker, for its’ student information system. Schoology will be the new learning management system.

Software specializing in schools to support and streamline essential business functions of the district is being considered to eliminate the need for paper timecards, personal day forms and other forms used throughout the schools. She noted that Frontline is being looked at for budgeting and financial management which is now a state requirement.

Mrs. Zippin reviewed the Chapter 70 aid funding for January and July 2022 stating that the final numbers issued in July 2022 showed that district is receiving an additional $25,560 though that amount does not change the FY23 operating budget of 10,770,000 but does go towards indirect costs for the town. A question and answer period and discussion followed.

Old Business:

Dr. Clarke reviewed the proposal and job description for the School Security Officer.

  • Motion by Ms. Flynn to approve the School Security Officer job description and position. (Second by Ms. Peterson)

  • Brief discussion

  • Roll Call Vote:

Ms. Murphy Yes

Ms. Peterson Yes

Ms. Graves-Harrison Yes

Ms. Morgan Yes

Ms. Flynn Yes

  • Motion carries 5-0

Dr. Clarke introduced Douglas Beachell as the candidate for the position and he provided details of his background, experience and qualifications.

Committee members welcomed him to the new position.


  • Motion by Ms. Flynn to approve the Secretary to School Committee description and position. (Second by Ms. Graves-Harrison)

  • No discussion

  • Roll Call Vote:

Ms. Murphy Yes

Ms. Peterson Yes

Ms. Graves-Harrison Yes

Ms. Morgan Yes

Ms. Flynn Yes

  • Motion carries 5-0

Action Items:

Schedule Regular Business Meetings as follows:

August 24, 2022

September 7 and 21, 2022

October 5 and 19, 2022

Schedule Policy Subcommittee for August 24, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.

Schedule Working Meeting for September 21, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.

  • Motion by Ms. Morgan to adjourn Open Session. (Second by Ms. Murphy)

  • No discussion

  • Motion carries 5-0

Open Session closed at 8:29 p.m.

Documentation for this meeting:

August 10, 2022-Regular Business Meeting Agenda

March 10, 2022-Regular Business Meeting Minutes-DRAFT

July 13, 2022-Regular Business Meeting Minutes-DRAFT

2022-2023 Monson Public Schools Handbook for Students and Families

School Security Officer Job Description

Secretary to School Committee Job Description

Distributed/Presented at meeting:

Approved by Committee:


Ms. Graves-Harrison, Secretary

SC-August 10, 2022-Reg Bus Mtg Minutes-FINAL
Download PDF • 328KB

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