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February 18, 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 For this meeting, members of the public who wish to listen to the meeting may do so in the following manner: Meeting ID: 984 4820 7876, 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: Vice Chair Emily-Graves-Harrison; Committee Members; Colleen Flynn; Kathryn Peterson and Jackie Watts Also Present: Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Clarke; Director of Student Services/Early Childhood Center Suzanne Tetrault; Granite Valley School Principal Katherine Watts; Granite Valley School Assistant Principal Joe Trivisonno; Director of Guidance Robert Bardwell; Director of Food Services Melody Gustafson; Monson High School Principal William Metzger; Monson High School Assistant Principal Jill Foulis; 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 7:01 p.m. Ms. Peterson read the Mission & Vision Statements. Review of School Opening: Dr. Clarke presented a PowerPoint that included information from the Department of Public Health (DPH). She added that the metrics in place from the School Committee have been met for 2 consecutive weeks in a row and the number of positive cases is trending downward. Dr. Clarke reviewed the updated Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines of the essential elements for a safe K-12 return to school and in-person instruction. She went through the necessary staffing positions, and the status thereof. Dr. Clarke outlined the progress of the transportation and food service departments, in preparation for the return. She noted that the district will be adhering to the former Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) guidelines. Mr. DeMaio informed the Committee that all buildings have been cleaned, classrooms are set-up, disinfecting supplies are restocked and the maintenance department is fully staffed with day and evening custodians. He added that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is on hand for the nurses and staff. The high school is clean, dry and safe for staff and students to return. Carpets have been cleaned, ceiling tiles replaced, walls sheet-rocked and the technology has been

School Committee Minutes: Page 1 of 3 Regular Business Meeting-February 18, 2021

DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-March 24, 2021

replaced. Painting and student murals still need to be completed. Dr. Clarke noted that Mrs. Zippin has been working very hard on the pooled testing. She outlined all that has been accomplished so far including consent forms and the links to them, which will be sent out tomorrow. Two, part-time, temporary, Pooled Testing Associates have been hired and are completing the training process. Test carts and locations will be set up. There is an informational video on the website. Testing will begin the week of March 1, 2021. A cost analysis, of Plexiglas, was done per the request of Committee Vice-Chair, Ms. Graves-Harrison. Mr. DeMaio noted that there are a total of 1,097 desks, districtwide, and reviewed the options researched. Option #1, Verkpleys, was a cost of $24,200, with delivery in 3-4 weeks. Option #2, Demco Economy Foldable Barriers would cost the district $35,500. He outlined the additional costs to consider for each option and continued with the breakdown of the total cost of each option, which would be $64,080 and $75,380, respectively. Other, non-monetary, considerations were presented. The scheduled return date for Quarry Hill Community School/Early Childhood Center and Granite Valley School is February 22, 2021. The high school will return on February 23, 2021. Ms. Graves-Harrison asked the other Committee members for their opinion on the information presented. Mr. Watts stated that he was ok without Plexiglas. Ms. Graves-Harrison noted that she is most concerned with the lunchroom. Ms. Flynn added that she feels safe with the 6 feet distance guideline, and thanked Mr. DeMaio for the research. Ms. Graves-Harrison stated that the 6 feet guideline has to be adhered to in every space. Mr. Metzger thanked Mr. DeMaio and his staff for the amazing work done to get the high school back in shape for the return to school. It was reiterated that remote learning is always an option for families. Public Session: Ms. Graves-Harrison opened Public Session at 7:23 p.m. The following town residents addressed the Committee: Shannon Chaffee stated she is very excited for her children to return to in-person learning; but questioned how families that vacationed over February break would be handled. Dr. Clarke stated that family travel advisories were sent out. Mary Watson thanked everyone for the hard work that has gone into the return adding that her son was excited to return. She asked if hand sanitizer would be available upon entering a new classroom. Shawna Pignone inquired about a plan to cover staff that may be out after their second vaccine if many are vaccinated on the same day. Stacey Beaudoin asked if it was 4 or 5 days of in-person learning. Chris Houghton stated that if the need to go remote again should occur, due to increased positive cases, only close for a deep-cleaning and then return. Ms. Graves-Harrison closed Public Session at 7:31 p.m. Motion by Ms. Flynn to adjourn Open Session. (Second by Mr.

School Committee Minutes: Page 2 of 3 Regular Business Meeting-February 18, 2021

DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-March 24, 2021

Watts) No discussion Roll Call: Ms. Peterson Yes Ms. Flynn Yes Mr. Watts Yes Ms. Graves-Harrison Ye Motion carries 4-0 Open Session closed at 7:34 p.m. Documentation for this meeting: February 18, 2021-Regular Business Meeting Agenda A Return to In-Person Learning-PowerPoint Distributed at meeting: N/A Approved by Committee: ________________________________________ Kathryn Peterson, Secretary

SC Minutes-2-18-21-Regular Business Meeting
Download PDF • 209KB

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