January 20, 2022



Minutes of the Monson School Committee Regular Business Meeting January 20, 2022 Hybrid Model “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/86278455470 Meeting ID:862 7845 5470, 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 (In-person): Chair Colleen Flynn; Vice Chair Emily Graves-Harrison; Secretary Kathryn Peterson and Committee Members Jackie Watts, Alison Morgan, Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Clarke; Director of Business and Operations Leah Zippin; ; Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Katherine Watts and Recording Secretary Karen Methe Also Present (Virtual): Director of Student Services/Early Childhood Center Suzanne Tetrault; Director of Facilities Paul DeMaio; Monson High School Interim Principal Matthew Sullivan; Granite Valley School Assistant Principal Myriah Hudak; Monson High School Interim Assistant Principal Kate Czarniecki; Early Childhood Center Dean of Students/Special Education Coordinator Colette Bidus; Note: This meeting was recorded using Zoom technology. Ms. Flynn called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Ms. Graves-Harrison read the Mission & Vision Statements. Announcements/Recognition: Tomorrow is an early release day for students for staff work in transitioning to the second semester at the high school and the next quarter at Granite Valley. Whatever It Takes (WIT), Band/Chorus and the Art Club after-school programs will restart on February 2, 2022 at Granite Valley School (GVS). Mr. Sullivan outlined the Winter Carnival activities that have been scheduled at the high school the week of February 14-18, 2022, adding that the week will feature many of the things that were held in the past. Dr. Clarke gave her thanks to Brice Henriques from M-Pact, Paul DeMaio and the Maintenance Department, Mrs. Zippin, Todd Schubach and the Technology Department for all of their hard work on creating a great new School Committee Room. Minutes: Motion by Ms. Morgan to approve the January 6, 2022 Regular Business

School Committee Minutes: Page 1 of 3 Regular Business Meeting-January 20, 2022


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-February 17, 2022

Meeting Minutes as presented. (Second by Ms. Graves-Harrison) No discussion Motion carries 5-0 Student Representative Report: Granite Valley School: Student representatives Madigan Graves-Harrison and Mia Hudak highlighted several things happening at GVS including Stop Drop and Jiji (the ST Math penguin mascot), school-wide Hat Day tomorrow, Grade 6 Game Day, adding that today and tomorrow are half-days for students. Additional information was provided on the Jiji challenge and an upcoming visit to grades 1-3 for a dance party. Superintendent’s Update: Dr. Clarke reviewed the COVID-19 Town Metrics, including case count, average daily incidence rate and percent positivity for the past 5 weeks. She provided the vaccination rates for the district and town and an overview of Pool Testing data. Dr. Clarke presented a PowerPoint with specific information on the new COVID-19 Testing Program Option for K-12 Schools, noting that specifically, districts and schools participating in symptomatic and/or pooled testing may choose to continue those testing strategies and discontinue contact tracing and Test and Stay. As an additional resource, districts and schools that elect to make this change will be provided with rapid antigen at-home tests for all participating staff and students that can be used on a weekly basis. Ms. Graves-Harrison reiterated that the testing is optional. Dr. Clarke noted that increased testing was key and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education ((DESE) and the Department of Public Health (DPH) recommends that districts and schools select this new option and if it is implemented, the local Board of Health (BOH) must be notified. She noted that this new option is only available to districts and schools that continue symptomatic and /or pooled testing. The updated options remain in place from January 31-April 22, 2022. Dr. Clarke proceeded to review the implementation details and the next steps to be taken. Dr. Clarke stated that those districts selecting the new testing program will discontinue individualized contact tracing. There will no longer be the expectation that close contacts will be identified and any potential close contacts do not need to quarantine. The focus will be on monitoring symptomatic individuals. A brief discussion followed. Next, Dr. Clarke presented the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan timeline. An update to the district Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate (A.L.I.C.E.) training was given. Dr. Clarke stated that all staff participated in part one of the training and part two will take place within the next couple of weeks. She will hold two parent information evenings and a meeting with administration and counselors. Dr. Clarke presented scheduled specific student training. The FY 2023 budget timeline was presented. Dr. Clarke notified the Committee that a meeting with the Town Administrator/Select Board, Town Finance Committee and full-board School Committee representation has been requested on February 10, 2022. Time and location to be determined. Public session: Ms. Flynn opened Public Session at 7:49 p.m. Ms. Flynn reminded everyone of the guidelines in speaking during Public Session. Town resident Gennie Bailey spoke about her concern about the lack of information when implementing a student’s return to school post COVID-19. She stated that a big discrepancy may

School Committee Minutes: Page 2 of 3 Regular Business Meeting-January 20, 2022


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-February 17, 2022

occur when focusing on symptoms and leaving it open to individual interpretation that could result in some difficulty of consistency for students and also for staff in decision making. Town resident Scott Harris asked if the town vaccination rate that Dr. Clarke presented took into account the booster shot. Ms. Flynn closed Public Session at 7:54 p.m. Subcommittee and Liaison Reports: No reports Old Business: After a brief discussion, there was consensus of the Committee to remove In-person/Hybrid Meetings as a standing Agenda item. Action Items: Schedule February 3, 2022 for Policy Subcommittee Meeting via Zoom Schedule February 10, 2022 for Joint Committee Meeting Schedule a Finance Subcommittee Meeting for February 17, 2022 Schedule Regular Business Meetings as follows: February 17, 2022 March 10, 2022 March 24, 2022 Motion by Ms. Graves-Harrison to adjourn Open Session. (Second by Ms. Morgan) No discussion Motion carries 5-0 Open Session closed at 8:04 p.m. Documentation for this meeting: January 20, 2022-Regular Business Meeting Agenda January 6, 2022-Regular Business Meeting-Draft Minutes for Approval Presented at meeting: Superintendent’s PowerPoint Update-January 20, 2022 Approved by Committee: ________________________________________ Kathryn Peterson, Secretary


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