top of page

August 26, 2020

Minutes of the Monson School Committee Regular Business Meeting August 26, 2020 “Pursuant to Governor Baker’s March 12, 2020 Order Suspending Certain Provisions of the Open Meeting Law, G.L. c. 30A, §18, and the Governor’s March 15, 2020 Order imposing strict limitation on the number of people that may gather in one place, this meeting of the Town of Monson School Committee will be conducted via remote participation to the greatest extent possible. Specific information and the general guidelines for remote participation by members of the public and/or parties with a right and/or requirement to attend this meeting can be found on the Town of Monson website, at For this meeting, members of the public who wish to listen to the meeting may do so in the following manner: Meeting ID: 952 1029 24684, no in-person attendance of members of the public will be permitted, but every effort will be made to ensure that the public can adequately access the proceedings in real time, via technological means. In the event that we are unable to do so, despite best efforts, we will post on the Town of Monson’s website an audio or video recording, transcript, or other comprehensive record of proceedings as soon as possible after the meeting. Present: Chair Jeffrey Lord; Vice Chair Emily-Graves-Harrison; Secretary Andy Dubois-White; Committee Members; Colleen Flynn and Kathryn Peterson Also Present: Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Clarke; Director of Student Services/Early Childhood Center Suzanne Morneau; Granite Valley School Principal Katherine Watts; Granite Valley School Assistant Principal Joe Trivisonno; Monson High School Principal William Metzger; Monson High School Assistant Principal Jill Foulis; Early Childhood Center Dean of Students/Special Education Coordinator Colette Bidus; Monson Teachers’ Association President Lynn Hope and Recording Secretary Karen Methe Note: This meeting was recorded using Zoom technology. Mr. Lord called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m. Ms. Peterson read the Mission & Vision Statements. Announcements: Dr. Clarke congratulated Mrs. Watts and Ms. Novak, Art Teacher at Granite Valley School, on the publication of their children’s book, The Goodness Garden, adding that each student will receive a copy upon their return to school. Minutes: Motion by Ms. Graves-Harrison to approve the July 29, 2020 Regular Business Meeting minutes as presented. (Second by Ms. Flynn) No discussion Motion carries 5-0 Motion by Mr. Dubois-White to approve the August 7, 2020, Regular Business Meeting minutes as presented. (Second by Ms. Graves-Harrison) No discussion Motion carries 5-0

School Committee Minutes: Page 1 of 4 Regular Business Meeting-August 26, 2020

DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the September 16, 2020-Regular Business Meeting

Subcommittee & Liaison Reports: Policy Subcommittee: The Subcommittee met to focus solely on a mask Policy and what qualifies as a mask. A draft Policy will be submitted to the entire Committee for acceptance into the Monson Public Schools Policy Manual. The Massachusetts Association of School Committees sent several recommendations regarding the language for this Policy which was taken into consideration in the creation of the draft copy. Ms. Flynn added that Ms. Peterson is a great addition to the Subcommittee. Dr. Clarke requested that a Facilities and Long-Term Planning Subcommittee meeting be posted for September 3, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. Superintendent’s Report: New teacher orientation was held on August 25, 2020. Dr. Clarke thanked Ms. Czarniecki and Mrs. Zippin for planning the event. All staff were welcomed back on August 25, 2020 via a Zoom Meeting held by Dr. Clarke. Staff also participated in a union meeting, staff meetings at each building and had time to work in their classrooms. Dr. Clarke and Mr. DeMaio met with representatives from Siemens. The heating, ventilation and air-conditioning work is on schedule. Staff have been equipped with double screens, cameras and the remote learning platform. The first COVID-19 training was held today. Dr. Clarke reviewed the open job positions stating that the hope is to get them filled soon. There was additional guidance about the flu vaccine from the Commissioner. Technology is in good shape. The district has contracted with CMD Technology and additional bandwidth will be added within the next few weeks. Ms. Morneau spoke about the Early Childhood Center transition activities as part of the registration process. Pre-K and Kindergarten was by appointment only. Students will receive a dedicated IPAD mini. Mrs. Watts stated that Granite Valley students will be invited into the building September 1, 2 and 3, 2020 for hour long sessions to meet with teachers, get supplies and tour the building. Remote students will have an online interactive session with their teacher. Mr. Metzger conveyed that high school students will come into school on September 2 and 3, 2020, 3 grades per day to meet with their faculty advisor, get a brief tour of the building and a question and answer session with him. He stated that, if not previously done, textbooks need to be returned as new ones cannot be issued until that is done. A remote Zoom meeting for parents will be held on September 3, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. Email information with specifics will be sent out. Dr. Clarke and Mrs. Fedora reviewed the assessment protocol for the medical waiting rooms at each building. Dr. Clarke stated that a Health and Safety Ambassador will be hired for the Early Childhood Center and a Licensed Practical Nurse will be hired for Granite Valley and the high school. Ms. Graves-Harrison asked if those who are staffing the medical waiting rooms will be separate from the school nurses. Discussion followed. Mrs. Zippin provided a brief overview of a 24 member COVID-19 task force for athletics. The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) unanimously approved to have athletics this year. Golf, soccer and cross country will have modified seasons. Four season athletics with shortened seasons will be held. There will be more of a local schedule of games/meets and no State Tournament will be held. Mrs. Zippin added that by September 1, 2020 information for the return to sports will be provided. If a town goes into the Red Zone, a district may no longer participate in

School Committee Minutes: Page 2 of 4 Regular Business Meeting-August 26, 2020

DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the September 16, 2020-Regular Business Meeting

sports but the length of the timeframe has yet to be determined. Mrs. Zippin strongly recommends that the district allow playing of sports for all students, remote learning students included. She is confident that this could be done safely. It was the consensus of the Committee to support families that choose to have their students participate in sports. Mrs. Zippin noted that the transportation department is ready to transport the athletes. A question was posed regarding the ventilation in the pool areas for swimmers. Mr. DeMaio said that the Dectron is part of the next phase of the ESCO project, but he is looking to fast track it. A discussion was held on athletic fees, which will remain the same. The fees had been lowered last year. Mrs. Zippin mentioned that payment plans are available for anyone in need. All athletes will provide their own masks and extras will be available if needed. She emphasized that social distancing will be required and enforced in addition to mask wearing. Motion by Mr. Lord to allow the 3 sports for the first season to go on as presented by Mrs. Zippin following guidelines set forth by MIAA and other agencies, for all students, including remote. (Second by Ms. Graves-Harrison) There was a brief discussion on expectations of everyone involved. No further discussion Motion carries 5-0 New Business: The approval of Monson Public Schools’ (MPS) Handbook has been postponed. Dr. Clarke requested a quick meeting next week to approve it. Public session: Mr. Lord opened Public Session at 8:00 p.m. Town resident Tracy Murphy asked why the district-wide ½ day of remote learning was not on Wednesday to allow for deep cleaning and sanitizing between cohorts. Dr. Clarke explained the reasoning behind the decision to make it Friday. Mr. Lord closed Public Session at 8:02 p.m. Review of Action Items: Mrs. Methe will post a Facilities and Long-Term Subcommittee meeting to tour the buildings on September 3, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. Mr. Lord will contact the Town Clerk for guidance on the Agenda posting. A brief meeting will be scheduled to approve the MPS Handbook. Mrs. Methe will schedule a Policy Subcommittee meeting. Motion by Mr. Dubois-White to adjourn Open Session. (Second by Ms. Flynn) No discussion Motion carries 5-0 Open Session closed at 8:08 p.m. Documentation for this meeting:

School Committee Minutes: Page 3 of 4 Regular Business Meeting-August 26, 2020

DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the September 16, 2020-Regular Business Meeting

August 26, 2020-Regular Business Meeting Agenda July 29, 2020 – Regular Business Meeting Draft Minutes for Approval August 7, 2020 – Regular Business Meeting Draft Minutes for Approval Distributed at meeting: N/A Approved by Committee: ________________________________________ Mr. Dubois-White, Secretary

August 26, 2020
Download • 281KB

Recent Posts

See All

Minutes of the Monson School Committee Re-Organization/Regular Business Meeting Quarry Hill Community School – School Committee Meeting Room June 14, 2023 Members of the public who wish to particip

DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-June 14, 2023 Minutes of the Monson School Committee Regular Business Meeting May 24, 2023 Hybrid Model Members of the public we

Minutes of the Monson School Committee Regular Business Meeting April 12, 2023 Hybrid Model Members of the public were able to participate virtually in this meeting at

bottom of page