August 26, 2021


Minutes of the Monson School Committee Regular Business Meeting August 26, 2021 “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 www.monson-ma.gov. For this meeting, members of the public who wish to listen to the meeting may do so in the following manner: https://zoom.us/j/89460743443 Meeting ID:894 6074 3443, 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 Colleen Flynn; Secretary Kathryn Peterson; Committee Members; Jackie Watts and Alison Morgan Also Present: Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Clarke; Director of Business and Operations Leah Zippin; Director of Student Services/Early Childhood Center Suzanne Tetrault; Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Katherine Watts; Granite Valley School Principal Joe Trivisonno; Granite Valley School Assistant Principal Myriah Hudak; Director of Guidance Robert Bardwell; Monson High School Principal William Metzger; Monson High School Assistant Principal Matthew Sullivan; Early Childhood Center Dean of Students/Special Education Coordinator Colette Bidus; and Recording Secretary Karen Methe Note: This meeting was recorded using Zoom technology. Ms. Flynn called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m. Mr. Watts read the Mission & Vision Statements. Announcements: Ms. Flynn advanced to the approval of meeting minutes as Dr. Clarke had not yet joined the meeting. Minutes: Motion by Ms. Flynn to approve the July 2, 2021 and August 4, 2021 Regular Meeting Minutes as presented. (Second by Ms. Peterson) No discussion Motion carries 5-0 Announcements: Dr. Clarke gave a reminder that school starts Monday, August 30, 2021 and she is so excited to welcome everyone back into buildings.

School Committee Minutes: Page 1 of 4 Regular Business Meeting-August 26, 2021


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-September 22, 2021

Students in Pre-K and Kindergarten return on September 1, 2021. There is no school on September 6, 2021 due to the Labor Day holiday. Superintendent’s Update: The Annual Summer Bus Tour was a huge success. Dr. Clarke noted that there was an overwhelming response this year adding an extra hour to the scheduled timeframe. She thanked Deb Pafumi and the bus drivers for their help to make it such a great event. Dr. Clarke reported that the transition activities at Granite Valley have been very successful. The high school hosted a BBQ for students last evening. Dr. Clarke thanked Food Services Director Alan Hogan and his staff for the delicious food they provided. The new teacher orientation went well. Transportation Night for kindergarten families was held last night. Students were able to take a bus ride to help them prepare for their first day of school. Dr. Clarke welcomed staff back on August 25, 2021, adding that she is very happy to see everyone in person. Steve Maguire was the keynote speaker. Today was the first Professional Development Day for teachers. Tomorrow there will be a presentation from Jeff Perrotti, DESE Director of the Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ students and Landon Callahan DESE Safe Schools Presenter, entitled Creating an Inclusive Environment. Ms. Flynn shared the Implementation of Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Mask Requirement dated August 25, 2021 and Dr. Clarke reviewed it. She shared the town COVID statistics and the Department of Public Health (DPH). Dr. Clarke read a letter from the Select Board requesting that a combined meeting be scheduled with them, the Board of Health and the School Committee. After discussion, Dr. Clarke noted that she is happy to facilitate an open forum held collaboratively as requested by the Select Board. Ms. Flynn agreed, adding that the School Committee is interested in dispelling inaccurate information that may be circulating within the community. Ms. Flynn stated that she will explore the possibility of a symposium with the 3 department Chairs. The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) has finally put out their guidance for indoor athletics. Ms. Flynn said that districts can do more than the guidelines recommend but cannot do less. Dr. Clarke reported that there is a new provider, CIC, for the pooled testing. They will be sending their own staff to the district to do the testing. She added that everyone has to re-register and the new procedure won’t be starting for several weeks. Both she and Mrs. Zippin feel apprehensive about the new provider and procedure. Dr. Clarke remarked that the former testing procedure worked perfectly, stating that having the staff members that were hired to do the testing last year who got to know the staff and students, provided a comfort level when it came to doing the test. She explained that the district is still able to test symptomatically and utilize the test and stay procedure. Ms. Flynn requested that the information be sent out to parents. District Nurse Leader, Mrs. Fedora, is working on a procedure for what happens when there has been symptomatic close contact. Public session: Ms. Flynn opened Public Session at 7:29 p.m. Karen O’Toole asked the Committee as a parent of a disabled child if when referring to medical exemptions they would use the word disability instead of behavioral needs. Dr. Clarke said that there is no disrespect meant; that she copies and pastes information from the DESE website and then she

School Committee Minutes: Page 2 of 4 Regular Business Meeting-August 26, 2021


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-September 22, 2021

apologized. Ms. Flynn assured Ms. O’Toole it would be changed and thanked her for bringing this important matter to the Committee’s attention. Ms. Flynn closed Public Session at 7:34 p.m. Subcommittee and Liaison Reports: Facilities and Long-Term Planning: The School Committee took a tour of Quarry Hill Community School earlier this evening to take a look at the new lighting, continued roof work, new carpets and weatherproofing that has been occurring throughout the summer months. Old Business: Dr. Clarke thanked Committee members for their time in completing her evaluation documents, adding that it was a great meeting and she appreciated all the feedback provided. Ms. Flynn thanked Ms. Morgan for collecting the individual evaluations and creating the summative evaluation. The return to in-person meetings was presented. The option for holding remote meetings from Governor Baker has been extended to April 2022. Discussion was held regarding the possibility of a hybrid meeting model but that wouldn’t be possible until the necessary technology was ready. Dr. Clarke told the Committee that a camera has been ordered for the hybrid meeting model but it has not come in yet. Ms. Morgan would like to return to in-person as soon as the hybrid option is available. Ms. Peterson and Mr. Watts agreed. It was the consensus of the Committee to remain with Zoom meetings until the appropriate technology is in place for the hybrid model. Dr. Clarke will keep the Committee updated on the status of the technology. New Business: There is no new business. Action Items: Schedule Policy Subcommittee and Finance Subcommittee Meetings for early October. Send out updated 2021-2022 Subcommittee and Liaisons list. Ms. Flynn thanked the staff and administration for their unwavering dedication to the district. Motion by Ms. Peterson to adjourn the meeting. (Second by Ms. Morgan) No discussion Motion carries 4-0 Open Session closed at 7:47 p.m. Documentation for this meeting: August 26, 2021-Regular Business Meeting Agenda July 21, 2021-Draft Meeting Minutes August 4, 2021-Draft Meeting Minutes Implementation of DESE Mask Requirement-August 25, 2021

School Committee Minutes: Page 3 of 4 Regular Business Meeting-August 26, 2021


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-September 22, 2021

Distributed at meeting: N/A Approved by Committee: ________________________________________ Kathryn Peterson, Secretary


SC Minutes 8-26-21-Regular Business Meeting
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