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February 8, 2023

Minutes of the

Monson School Committee

Regular Business Meeting

February 8, 2023

Hybrid Model

Members of the public were able to participate virtually in this meeting at Meeting ID: 857884 6914 6027

Present (In-person): Chair Colleen Flynn; Vice Chair Alison Morgan; Secretary Emily Graves-Harrison; Committee Member Kathryn Peterson; Committee Member Jamie Murphy (via Zoom); Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Clarke; Director of Business and Operations Leah Zippin; Director of Special Education Colette Bidus; Director of Curriculum and Instruction Katherine Watts; Director of Facilities Paul DeMaio; Granite Valley School Principal Joseph Trivisonno; Granite Valley School Assistant Principal Myriah Hudak (via Zoom); Monson High School Principal Matthew Sullivan and Recording Secretary Karen Methe

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

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

Ms. Peterson read the Mission & Vision Statements.


Tomorrow is an Early Release Day for students for Professional Development. All staff, district wide will be working on curriculum and the Learning Management System which will be rolled out soon. Ms. Watts will present to the School Committee at a subsequent meeting.

February 15, 2023 is the Reflections Ceremony at Granite Valley School honoring the students that participated in the Parent Teacher Student Association’s Reflection Contest.

No school the week of February 20-24, 2023 for February break.


Dr. Clarke congratulated Olivia Chrzan on scoring her 1000th point as a sophomore playing on the Girls Varsity Basketball team. The entire School Committee gave their congratulations to Olivia on her amazing accomplishment.

Dr. Clarke thanked the Boosters for the recent Coaches versus Cancer fundraising event. She attended the event and noted that it was full of school spirit.

Student Representative Report/Work:

Granite Valley School:

Mia Hudak gave the following report:

Grade 6 is learning about lots of different things. In history class students are learning about ancient Egyptian pharaohs. In math students are starting a ratio unit. In science students are learning about magnets and how batteries and copper coils can make electromagnets. In English students are reading a novel called The Watsons Go to Birmingham. In Technology class students are learning about robots and are able to program them to do different things.

Last PBIS earned students time spent with their buddy grades. This means that grade 1 participates with grade 4, grade 2 participates with grade 5 and grade 3 and 6 participate together. We got to enjoy a choice of basketball, yoga, flashlight reading or LEGOs. They were all a big hit. Next Friday we will be having our February earn, a drive-in movie in the gym.

We are collecting non-perishable food for our Super Bowl week for people in need. We are working with the Monson Food Bank and developing a Backpack program for those in our community who have food insecurity. The food drive will last until February 10th, so please bring your food items to Granite Valley or ECC. We will also wear our favorite football gear on February 10th.

This week WIT started at Granite Valley. WIT stands for Whatever it Takes. There are 61 students staying after school with 13 staff members. They are working on building ELA and math skills. Students have a snack and transportation is provided. Teachers are excited about the opportunity to work with these students and see them continue to grow as learners.

Finally, this week is National School Counselors week. Granite Valley School is lucky to have Mrs. Barnes, Ms. Lachance and Ms. Clifford who work with us each day. They run social groups, give strategies for self-control and dealing with peer conflicts and teach advisory lessons. We really appreciate all they do each day for Granite Valley!

Grade 4 students Hayley Strom, Simon Harrowfield, Liam Geiger, Aleksa Mengel, and Fiona Mengel presented to the School Committee on their book club, 100th day math activity, dodecahedron fraction activity including prop display.


  • Motion by Ms. Flynn to approve the January 11, 2023 Regular Business Meeting Minutes as presented. (Second by Ms. Morgan)

  • 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

Superintendent’s Update:

Dr. Clarke spoke briefly on the Whatever it Takes (WIT) afterschool program at Granite Valley School.

Ms. Watts has been extremely busy with all kinds of professional development curriculum work. Math learning lab, the Early Grades Literacy Grant and virtually every subject matter and content area is undergoing some very robust Professional Development that she will present at a future meeting. Dr. Clarke noted that a Curriculum Subcommittee Meeting will be scheduled prior to Ms. Watts presentation to the School Committee.

Planning for a full day of Professional Development on March 10, 2023 continues. There will be trainings for all staff, tailored to the role that they serve in the district, and a mid-day surprise.

Dr. Clarke stated that there have been numerous meetings held to finalize the FY24 budget, which will be presented later on in this evening’s meeting. She thanked Ms. Zippin for all her hard work on the budget adding that she has so much confidence that everything is on point, correct and managed so well by Ms. Zippin.

Dr. Clarke provided an update on the Technology Department noting that CMD, the company that the district contracts with for support, came into the schools for a tour.

Ms. Zippin will be filing the E-Rate application which provides cost offset for technology infrastructure.

High school principal Mr. Sullivan came to the podium to provide information about all the Winter Carnival events planned. He noted that to start an additional 20 minutes of the Student Advisory Program (SAP) will be provided. There will be class versus class volleyball games, a school-wide scavenger hunt, a Braun and Brain challenge and inter-class events/competitions. He added that this year will be more inclusive for Grade 7 and 8 students with a mini carnival planned.

Public Session:

Ms. Flynn opened Public Session at 7:18 p.m.

No one from the public came forward to address the Committee.

Ms. Flynn closed Public Session at 7:19 p.m.

Subcommittee and Liaison Reports:

Policy Subcommittee:

Dr. Clarke read the requested revision to the Monson Flag and Banner Policy followed by a brief discussion.

  • Motion by Ms. Flynn to accept the third and final read of the Monson Flag and Banner Policy and incorporate into the Policy Manual. (Second by Ms. Morgan)

  • No further discussion

  • Roll Call Vote:

Ms. Murphy Yes

Ms. Peterson Yes

Ms. Graves-Harrison Yes

Ms. Morgan Yes

Ms. Flynn Yes

  • Motion carries 5-0

New Business:

Dr. Clarke informed the Committee that she is now a member, no longer a guest, of the Monson Substance Use Community Partnership and has attended 2 meetings. She added that the partnership was established in 2017 and has the support of the Town Administrator and Select Board. Currently the Quaboag Valley Alliance is working with Dr. Clarke and the partnership to write a Drug-Free Communities Grant which would provide $125,000 of funding, per year, for 5 years. The funds would provide for a school employee to work with students on substance use, schedule community events and teach classes. The funds will also be utilized to assist in Narcan training for all staff. Dr. Clarke noted that the Director of the Senior Center attended a recent meeting to speak about substance among the town’s senior population. She added that many groups and town residents provide support to the Substance Use Community Partnership. Dr. Clarke will keep the Committee updated as needed.

To begin the FY24 budget presentation, Dr. Clarke reviewed the Strategic Plan for 2022-2025 that included the Mission and Vision Statements, Theory of Action, Strategic Objectives and Strategic Initiatives. She presented a PowerPoint that outlined the budget impacts to departments and buildings. Dr. Clarke stated information regarding the Central Business Office, Ms. Bidus outlined the Special Education specifics. Principals Mr. Trivisonno and Mr. Sullivan reviewed the impacts to their respective schools, Ms. Watts spoke about curriculum, Ms. Zippin provided business office/technology material and Mr. DeMaio presented specifics for the operation and maintenance of the district. Dr. Clarke provided the revenue changes for General Education citing an overall decrease of $173,162 (largely attributable to loss of ESSER II funding). Projected number of School Choice students for FY24 is 75 equaling $375,000 in funds for the district, ($200,000 offset, $175,00 for technology and circular resources). An ESSER III funds summary which includes staff positions, curriculum and professional development and student support was defined. Dr. Clarke stated that the FY24 requested budget amount is $10,831,185. She reviewed the next steps to be taken as follows:

  • Create budget presentation for Town and send to School Committee for review

  • Tri-Board Meeting on February 13, 2023

  • Second budget presentation to the Town Finance Committee on March 20, 2023

  • Tri-Board Meeting originally scheduled for March 31, 2023 has been canceled.

A question and answer period followed.

Old Business:


Action Items:

Post for Tri-Board Meeting on February 13, 2023 at 7:00 p.m.

There was brief discussion of Zoom meetings ending in March 2023 though there hasn’t been any directive from the new administration.

Schedule Working Meeting for March 15, 2023 at 5:30 p.m.

Schedule Regular Business Meeting for March 15, 2023 at 7:00 p.m.

Schedule Policy Subcommittee Meeting for March 8, 2023 at 5:00 p.m.

Schedule Policy Subcommittee Meeting for April 5, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.

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

  • No discussion

  • Motion carries 5-0

Open Session closed at 8:35 p.m.

Documentation for this meeting:

February 8, 2023-Regular Business Meeting Agenda

January 11, 2023- Regular Meeting Minutes-DRAFT

FY24 Budget

Distributed/Presented at meeting:

Monson Public School 2023-2024 Budget Presentation PowerPoint

Approved by Committee:


Emily Graves-Harrison, Secretary

SC-February 8, 2023-Reg Bus Mtg-FINAL
Download PDF • 338KB

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