January 20, 2021

Minutes of the Monson School Committee Regular Business Meeting January 20, 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/95611796625 Meeting ID: 956 1179 6625, 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 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. Mr. Lord called the meeting to order at 7:00p.m. Mr. Lord read the Mission & Vision Statements. Announcements: Dr. Clarke announced that the Department of Public Health (DPH) has lifted the flu vaccine requirement for students returning to school, though they still recommend receiving the flu vaccine. The Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) held their yearly Reflections Program. Madigan Graves-Harrsion, Grade 5 student won for the poem she submitted and Grade 9 student, Alyssa Grinnnel won for her drawing. They will move on to the state level. She congratulated both students. Dr. Clarke thanked Denise Newland for coordinating this wonderful program. Mr. Lord acknowledged the passing of long-time Monson High School educator Richard Renaud. Mr. Renaud was a well-respected English teacher and many former students and staff have expressed their sympathy to the family. Minutes: Motion by Mr. Dubois-White to approve the December 16, 2020 Regular Meeting Minutes as presented. (Second by Ms. Flynn)

School Committee Minutes: Page 1 of 4 Regular Business Meeting-January 20, 2021


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-February 10, 2021

No discussion Motion carries 5-0 Superintendent’s Report: Dr. Clarke stated that the bid to outsource Transportation has opened. There have been 3 interested companies. Dr. Clarke welcomed the high needs students and staff back to the buildings. Semester 2 plans are moving along and will be ready when the return to in-person learning begins. The Energy Service Company (ESCO) work continues. The lights at Quarry Hill Community School (QHCS) are being programmed now. The Desert Air System (formerly known as the Dectron) remains on schedule for a February delivery. The roof project at QHCS will be done over the summer. Dr. Clarke spoke about the Student Opportunity Act. The application focuses on Tools of the Mind and refers to the district Strategic Plan. She stated that though this is unfunded right now due to COVID, the Commissioner requested districts to file as a placeholder if/when funds do become available. Motion by Ms. Graves- Harrison to approve the Student Opportunity Act application as presented by Dr. Clarke in her correspondence from Monday. (Second by Ms. Peterson) No discussion Motion carries 5-0 Public session: Mr. Lord opened Public Session at 7:11 p.m. The following town residents addressed the Committee: Scott Harris questioned the metric that was voted on last week. Dr. Clarke clarified that for him. Mr. Lord closed Public Session at 7:13 p.m. Old Business: Mrs. Fedora updated the Committee on her 2-week process to complete the MAVEN training for which is followed by an exam. She gave the case count information to the Committee. Currently there are 5 students, 4 staff members and approximately 14 households testing positive for COVID. She noted that 3 staff members have received a first vaccine dose. Mrs. Fedora is looking at partnering with Palmer at a site that will be opening after February 1, 2021 at Converse Middle School. A procedure will follow. She is also hoping to provide some education to those concerned about getting the shot. As people become eligible more information will be provided. New Business: Dr. Clarke informed the Committee that she completed an application to hold a place for the district for pooled testing to be performed once a week. If a person tests positive they must quarantine for 14 days. There is a Webinar on Friday for next steps. She & Mrs. Fedora would like more information on cost to the district. Mr. Metzger shared the results of the School Council survey for the high school, adding that 20% of families have responded. He is hoping to hear from more and will be contacting families this week to confirm their preferred learning model. Mr. Metzger explained that parents were asked to rate

School Committee Minutes: Page 2 of 4 Regular Business Meeting-January 20, 2021


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-February 10, 2021

their experience across 5 indicators: technology, counseling, teacher responses, plus portals and Google classrooms. He stated that the high school received high marks overall and presented specific data on each indicator. He thanked those involved in developing the survey. A brief question and answer period followed. Mr. Trivisonno reviewed the Granite Valley School Council survey results, thanking everyone that was part of its creation. There were 248 students (roughly 60%) accounted for in their survey. He explained each slide on his presentation and added that overall they are doing well. Mr. Trivisonno noted that he and Mrs. Watts set goals for themselves, as administrators, for this year and said that teachers have very much followed their lead. The first goal of parent satisfaction was set exceptionally high, (100%). He presented specific data via PowerPoint slides. Goals 2 & 3 also mirror what the staff is working on which is the academic side as well as the social/emotional component of school and reviewed the responses. Mr. Trivisonno credited the counseling staff for information gathering. He went over the responses to the survey’s technology questions and recognized Mr. Schubach and his team for all the work they’ve done to support and resolve technology issues, handling 452 tickets with relatively quick turnaround. Mr. Trivisonno then spoke about the effectiveness of communication from teachers and administration and said that given the numerous platforms available be believes the communication have been very effective, adding there is always room to improve. There was a short discussion that followed. Mrs. Tetrault thanked the Quarry Hill Community School (QHCS) School Council for their collaboration and she thanked parents for completing the survey. Mrs. Bidus presented the responses from 57% of their families on the topics of their child’s comfort level/success navigation remote learning, overall satisfaction with remote learning. Taken as a whole, the responses were favorable. Ms. Bidus the spoke about the support needs that were mentioned in the survey, explaining how they would be met. A brief question and answer period followed. Mr. Lord commended each school on a great job. Mr. Bardwell was asked to provide an update on the Safe & Supportive Schools Grant. He explained that in the 2019-2020 school year Monson Public Schools was awarded a grant from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for planning. Representatives from all 3 schools were involved in the Steering Committee. A needs assessment was created and an action plan was developed at the end of the year outlining 4 major topics to be worked on in the second year: professional development, family engagement, implementing universal design and data. There were modifications made to those topics due to the pandemic. Some of the funds were used to hire Karen Gross, author and trauma specialist, to do a training with the staff to help in preparing for the students to return. She continued the training with follow-up at staff meetings. Participation in the grant was allowed again this year and there is a 15 person Steering Committee that continues to meet on goals and implementation of staff climate and culture, diversity, equity and inclusion and additional professional development for staff. Mr. Bardwell stated that thanks to Ms. Foulis, Aseem Rastogi was hired to do a training in diversity. Mr. Rastogi is scheduled to meet with the Administrative Leadership Team and continue his work with staff, current and former students of the district as funds from the grant allow. Staff have also had the opportunity to participate in diversity trainings provided by DESE. Next steps will be addressed after April 2021. A brief question and answer/discussion followed. Action Items: The following Regular Business Meetings were scheduled: February 10 & 24, 2021

School Committee Minutes: Page 3 of 4 Regular Business Meeting-January 20, 2021


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-February 10, 2021

March 10 & 24, 2021 April 14 & 28, 2021 May 12 & 26, 2021 Motion by Ms. Graves-Harrison to adjourn to Executive Session under M.G.L. Chapter 30A, 21a, Purpose #3, to discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining and litigation, not to return to Open Session. (Second by Mr. Dubois-White) No discussion Roll Call: Ms. Peterson Yes Ms. Flynn Yes Mr. Dubois-White Yes Ms. Graves-Harrison Yes Mr. Lord Yes Motion carries 5-0 Open Session closed at 8:31 p.m. Documentation for this meeting: January 20, 2021-Regular Business Meeting Agenda December 16, 2020-Regular Business Meeting Minutes-DRAFT Safe and Supportive Schools Grant (SASS) Grant Update-PowerPoint Distributed at meeting: N/A Approved by Committee: ________________________________________ Jeffrey Lord, Chair

SC Minutes January 20, 2021 - FINAL
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