December 15, 2021


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-January 6, 2022

Minutes of the Monson School Committee Regular Business Meeting December 15, 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/84900038657 Meeting ID:849 0003 8657, 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 (7:25 p.m.); Vice Chair Emily Graves-Harrison; Secretary Kathryn Peterson and 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; Monson High School Principal William Metzger; Granite Valley School Principal Joe Trivisonno; Granite Valley School Assistant Principal Myriah Hudak; 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. Graves-Harrison called the meeting to order at 7:09 p.m. Ms. Peterson read the Mission & Vision Statements. Announcements/Recognition: Monson High School will host a Holiday Concert and Art Show tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. Dr. Clarke reminded everyone that Winter Break begins with half-day on December 23, 2021 through December 31, 2021. School resumes on January 3, 2022. The Central Business Offices will be closed on December 27 and 31, 2021. Dr. Clarke stated that tonight was Mr. Metzger’s last School Committee meeting adding that he will be missed terribly. She spoke of his time in the district offering many accolades for his work at the high school. Mr. Metzger thanked Dr. Clarke for the opportunity to lead the high school and said that he has the utmost respect for the Administration Leadership Team, how he believed in the work that they do and wished each one well. He continued by acknowledging the love and respect that he has for the high school faculty adding that he will always carry some Monson blue with him wherever he goes. Minutes: Motion by Ms. Morgan to approve the November 17, 2021 and December

School Committee Minutes: Page 1 of 5 Regular Business Meeting-December 15, 2021


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-January 6, 2022

1, 2021 Regular Business Meeting Minutes as presented. (Second by Mr. Watts) No discussion Motion carries 4-0 Student Representative Report: Monson High School: No report Granite Valley School: Grade 6 student Madigan Graves-Harrison and Grade 5 student Mia Hudak spoke about events and gave the following report that they had written. ROCKS stands for Respect, Ownership, Communication, Kindness and Scholarship. “At Granite Valley we have a ROCKS room. In the ROCKS room they added new activities like a foosball table. Mr. Nichols is also filming the morning announcements with the 6th graders, students were chosen after filling out a form stating they wanted to do the announcements or not. Mr. Nichols comes up stairs and takes the kids to film the morning announcements. We usually alternate daily. My favorite thing so far this year was dunking Mr. Trivisonno in the dunk tank. Also, on December 23 we are having a school wide PJ day (everyone's favorite day!) This upcoming Friday, December 17, it is Festive Attire Day school wide.” “In 6th grade we have an Ambassador Program where we apply for the job and then our teacher, Ms. Jovan, picks up to 10-12 students for the activity. In different classes they use different ways to get to the rocks room, The Grade 6 teachers use tallies. Miss Stephens uses Pebble jars. Mrs. Nobbs uses puffball jars. Ms. Darling uses punch cards. The way students in older grades show ROCKS is by going to the younger student’s grades and help by showing them support.” Superintendent’s Update: Dr. Clarke reviewed the Town and School COVID metrics and vaccination percentages. She gave a huge shout-out to Mrs. Fedora and the school’s nursing staff for their tireless efforts in the Test & Stay Program in addition to their daily responsibilities. Mrs. Zippin and Dr. Clarke have also assisted in the testing procedure due to the very high number of tests being requested. Dr. Clarke spoke about opting for a weekly informational letter to families as opposed to case by case saying that there is an overlap due to the increased time it is taking to identify close contacts. There has been a small outbreak in Grade 1. Mrs. Fedora noted that since she spoke to Dr. Clarke earlier in the evening, the case count rose from 117 to 121, of which 37 are related to the schools, 16 new cases in the past 14 days. There was a short discussion on how it is being determined that there is now school spread. Mrs. Fedora offered a few examples. In a recent call from the Commissioner of Education there was no update to the mask mandate that is due to expire on January 15, 2022. If needed, a decision to extend that mandate will be made in early January 2022. The Commissioner also stated that when school is cancelled due to inclement weather, there will be no remote learning on these days. Dr. Clarke spoke about the off-site December 13, 2021 full-day Administrative Leadership Team Retreat held to plan the FY 2023 budget. She added that there was great team collaboration. Ms. Graves-Harrison thanked Mrs. Fedora and staff for their work in addressing the small COVID

School Committee Minutes: Page 2 of 5 Regular Business Meeting-December 15, 2021


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-January 6, 2022

outbreak in Grade 1 and asked if the situation had been brought to the attention on the Town Board of Health or the state. Mrs. Fedora gave her response. Mrs. Peterson acknowledged that Dr. Clarke had hired an extra nurse but asked if Mrs. Fedora was being compensated for working around the clock. Mrs. Fedora noted that she is making due with the nursing staff. Ms. Graves-Harrison would like Dr. Clarke to look into a vaccination day held in district. Dr. Clarke agreed and added that attendance was very low at the last one. Ms. Graves-Harrison noted that the people she has spoken to would like to see it offered to the public and not just the staff and students. Dr. Clarke confirmed that it was initially presented that way. Mrs. Fedora continued the discussion on all COVID protocol. Ms. Morgan inquired as to whether accommodations can be made for parents that may need to bring their child before the designated Test & Stay morning timeframe. Dr. Clarke noted that Mrs. Zippin has been honoring specific requests and Mrs. Galarneau, Coordinator for the Extend Program, has been trained to administer the testing as well. Public session: Ms. Graves-Harrison opened Public Session at 7:41 p.m. Ms. Graves-Harrison reminded everyone of the guidelines in speaking during Public Session. Mrs. Kustra stated that the National Honor Society is holding a fundraiser, to benefit the Gray House, at Main Street Tavern tomorrow, dine-in or take-out from 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Ten percent of all sales will be donated to the Gray House; in addition to proceeds from 2 baskets that will be raffled. Ms. Graves-Harrison closed Public Session at 7:44 p.m. Subcommittee and Liaison Reports: Human Resources and Negotiations Subcommittee: Unit negotiation meetings have concluded. Old Business: The hybrid model of in-person/Zoom School Committee meetings are scheduled to begin on January 6, 2022. Another reminder was given that School Committee Meetings will be moving to Thursdays in 2022. As cases are rising, and will most likely continue to trend upward after the holiday break, Mrs. Fedora highly recommended that no in-person meetings be held upon the return to school. Dr. Clarke reviewed all school functions that will remain remote. Many accommodations are being made to try and hold as many events as possible, even though remote. Mrs. Zippin read and reviewed the COVID protocols from the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA). She reiterated that all players, coaches, officials and fans must be masked and added that she would like to continue allowing spectators to attend athletic events. Motion by Ms. Flynn to accept and abide by the MIAA masking protocol and continue to allow spectators at athletic events but continue to not allow food and beverages to be sold at concessions. (Second by Mr. Watts) Discussion followed Ms. Morgan expressed concern that selling food and beverage was the

School Committee Minutes: Page 3 of 5 Regular Business Meeting-December 15, 2021


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-January 6, 2022

Athletic Boosters Association main fundraiser. Mrs. Zippin noted that they have the option to sell merchandise at the events. School Committee liaisons to the Athletic Boosters Association, Ms. Graves-Harrison and/or Mr. Watts, will reach out to offer assistance in any way the School Committee is able. No further discussion Roll Call Vote: Ms. Morgan Yes Mr. Watts Yes Ms. Peterson Yes Ms. Graves-Harrison Yes Ms. Flynn Yes Motion carries 5-0 Ms. Flynn requested to circle back to the discussion of in-person meetings. Ms. Morgan stated that the rest of the Town committees are meeting in-person and she feels the School Committee should be too, but closely monitoring the situation. Ms. Graves-Harrison noted that she had mixed emotions and questioned if the overflow space had been determined and set-up. She wants a concrete plan in place before moving forward with the hybrid model. Dr. Clarke agreed to create the plan over winter break. Ms. Flynn questioned pushing off the hybrid model to the January 20, 2022 Regular Business Meeting. Mr. Watts, Ms. Morgan, Ms. Peterson and Ms. Flynn are all on track with beginning in-person meetings on January 6, 2022. Ms. Graves-Harrison does not feel she can make a decision until all the logistics are finalized. Dr. Clarke will send a preliminary overflow plan out to Committee members over winter break. The Zoom link will be added to the Town website. New Business: Dr. Clarke provided a brief recap of the goals and the additional focus indicators that were assigned to her at the Working Meeting held earlier this evening. Action Items: Look into scheduling Charting the Course for Committee members in early 2022. Dr. Clarke will create a draft for the alternate meeting location and send to Committee members over winter break. Ms. Flynn asked members to complete the Conflict of Interest Training if they had not yet done so. Motion by Ms. Flynn to close Open Session at 8:22 p.m. and move to Executive Session to return to Open Session. (Second by Mr. Watts) No discussion Motion carries 5-0

School Committee Minutes: Page 4 of 5 Regular Business Meeting-December 15, 2021


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-January 6, 2022

Executive Session closed at 8:27 p.m. and immediately returned to Open Session. Motion by Ms. Flynn to ratify the Unit E Settlement Agreement as presented in Executive Session. (Second by Ms. Graves-Harrison ) No discussion Roll Call Vote: Ms. Morgan Yes Mr. Watts Yes Ms. Peterson Yes Ms. Graves-Harrison Yes Ms. Flynn Yes Motion carries 5-0 Ms. Flynn thanked everyone involved in Unit E negotiations. Motion by Ms. Graves-Harrison to adjourn Open Session not to return. (Second by Mr. Watts) No discussion Motion carries 5-0 Open Session closed at 8:29 p.m. Documentation for this meeting: December 15, 2021-Regular Business Meeting Agenda November 17, 2021-Regular Business Meeting-Draft Minutes for Approval December 1, 2021-Regular Business Meeting-Draft Minutes for Approval Distributed at meeting: N/A Approved by Committee: ________________________________________ Kathryn Peterson, Secretary


December 15, 2021-SC Minutes-Final
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