July 8, 2020

Minutes of the Monson School Committee Regular Business Meeting July 8, 2020 “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/93890202227 Meeting ID: 938 9020 2227, 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 Morneau; Granite Valley School Principal Katherine Watts; Monson High School Principal William Metzger; Monson High School Assistant Principal Jill Foulis; Early Childhood Center Dean of Students/Special Education Coordinator Colette Bidus; Massachusetts Teachers’ Association President Leah Zippin and Recording Secretary Karen Methe Note: This meeting was recorded using Zoom technology. Mr. Lord called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Ms. Peterson read the Mission & Vision Statements. Announcements: Dr. Clarke stated that there will be family communication, regarding school planning for the fall, coming out soon. The Commissioner of Education has tasked Superintendents to develop 3 viable re-entry plans as follows; staff and students return to school, a hybrid model of remote and in-person and a totally remote option. The Administrative Leadership Team (ALT) has drafted Plan A-which would allow every student and staff member to return to school 5 days a week. Work will continue for the other plans. Minutes: Motion by Ms. Graves-Harrison to approve the June 17, 2020, Regular Business Meeting/Reorganization minutes as presented. (Second by Mr. Dubois-White) No discussion Roll Call: Mr. Lord Yes Ms. Graves-Harrison Yes Mr. Dubois-White Yes Ms. Flynn Yes Ms. Peterson Yes

School Committee Minutes: Page 1 of 5 Regular Business Meeting-July 8, 2020


DRAFT COPY For distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting- July 22, 2020

Motion carries 5-0 Subcommittee & Liaison Reports: The Chair of the Finance Subcommittee was changed to Ms. Flynn. Mr. Lord encouraged all Subcommittees to schedule meetings as soon as possible. Superintendent’s Report: The annual Town Meeting was successful, showing positive support for the schools. A new playground structure was approved for Quarry Hill Community School (QHCS) and a Lacrosse scoreboard will be installed at the high school. Funding was approved to proceed with the Energy Service Company (ESCO) work and the new roof project at QHCS. A debt exclusion vote will occur on September 1, 2020. The Central Business Office (CBO) and the school’s front office staff have returned to the buildings. Dr. Clarke spoke about creating re-entry plans, as directed by the Commissioner of Education, for staff/students to return to school 5 days a week, a hybrid model of week one and week two and totally remote learning. She added that the Administrative Leadership Team (ALT) has done a tremendous amount of work at their school levels. The ALT team met yesterday to discuss their unanimous support for opening schools in the fall awaiting guidance from the Commissioner of Education. Dr. Clarke added that classrooms were measured and the team walked the buildings to determine appropriate classroom set-up for a maximum of 18 students. She will update the staff tomorrow via Zoom meeting and encourage them to purge any unwanted items to allow the greatest expanse of room for appropriate social distancing. Stating that it is not possible in all classrooms to space student desks at a distance of 6 feet, Dr. Clarke referenced the Department of Elementary and Secondary recommendation of 3-5 feet, adding that our students would be spaced a minimum of 4-5 feet apart. If 6 feet is required it would require exponentially more staff, which has not been budgeted for. A brief discussion was held regarding plans for substitute teachers. Ms. Graves-Harrison stated that she is not comfortable with 18 students in a classroom, at the distances mentioned and it is the School Committee’s job to determine class size and curriculum. Motion by Ms. Graves-Harrison to keep 6 feet between student desks, no more than 15 bodies total per classroom and require Grades K-12 to wear masks to ensure safety. Before seconding the motion a friendly amendment was made for discussion to occur on how additional teachers would be funded and if QHCS had available classrooms to move Grade 1 from Granite Valley. Ms. Flynn added that she feels comfortable with Plan A. Dr. Clarke told the Committee that school could not re-open if additional teachers had to be hired. (Second by Mr. Lord) Further discussion ensued. Roll Call: Mr. Lord Yes Ms. Graves-Harrison Yes Mr. Dubois-White Abstained Ms. Flynn No Ms. Peterson Yes

School Committee Minutes: Page 2 of 5 Regular Business Meeting-July 8, 2020


DRAFT COPY For distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting- July 22, 2020

Motion carries 3-1 (Mr. Dubois- White abstained from vote.) New Business: Ms. Graves-Harrison read the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) Anti-Racism Resolution as follows: SCHOOL COMMITTEE ANTI-RACISM RESOLUTION: WHEREAS, as schools have the responsibility to equip students with their civil right of obtaining a free and appropriate public education, it is the responsibility of each school to ensure we create a welcoming community for ALL students; and WHEREAS, it is the responsibility that every district provide to all district staff, including School Committee members annual professional development on diversity, equity and inclusion; and WHEREAS, every district will commit to recruiting and retaining a diverse and culturally responsive teaching workforce; and WHEREAS, every district will examine their policies for institutional and systemic racialized practices and implement change with sustainable policies that are evidence based; and WHEREAS, every district will incorporate into their curriculum the history of racial oppression and works by black authors and works from diverse perspectives; and WHEREAS, we as school district leaders can no longer remain silent to the issues of racism and hate that continue to plague our public and private institutions; RESOLVED: that [District] and all the school districts in the Commonwealth must guarantee that racist practices are eradicated, and diversity, equity and inclusion is embedded and practiced for our students, families, faculty and staff.  We must ensure our own school culture and that of every district in the Commonwealth is anti-racist, that acknowledges that all lives cannot matter until black lives matter.  Motion by Ms. Graves-Harrison to endorse and adopt the MASC Anti-Racism Resolution as read. (Second by Ms. Flynn) Discussion followed Mr. Lord will sign on behalf of the Committee, per member consensus. Roll Call: Mr. Lord Yes Ms. Graves-Harrison Yes Mr. Dubois-White Yes Ms. Flynn Yes Ms. Peterson Yes Motion carries 5-0 Mrs. Methe will send the signed resolution to the all those designated by MASC.

School Committee Minutes: Page 3 of 5 Regular Business Meeting-July 8, 2020


DRAFT COPY For distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting- July 22, 2020

Ms. Graves-Harrison spoke about the need for a Minority Hiring Policy and an Affirmative Action Plan citing examples from other districts. After a deep discussion surrounding racism and the Black Lives Matter movement, Ms. Flynn charged the Policy Subcommittee to gather pertinent information to bring forward to the full Committee for discussion and subsequently the required Policy reads before adoption. Mr. Lord asked that the Policy Subcommittee take action in creating an Affirmative Action Plan to include a Minority Hiring Policy for presentation at the September 23, 2020 Regular Business Meeting. Dr. Clarke added that she is open to suggestions on recruitment to hire minorities. Ms. Graves-Harrsion requested that a Curriculum Subcommittee be scheduled immediately to begin discussion on adding additional black history instruction. Ms. Watts, former Director of Curriculum, explained in detail the Department of Elementary and Secondary Educations 5 year curriculum cycle adding that History and Social Studies is now due to be reviewed. It was decided that a meeting would get scheduled in August. Dr. Clarke read a letter from Ms. Denault, a member of the Board of Trustees at Old Sturbridge Academy asking for the district’s assistance in expanding their program to include grades 6-12. The consensus of the Committee was to table this request indefinitely and respectfully decline the invitation. Public session: Mr. Lord opened Public Session at 8:23 p.m. Anastasia Flores, a graduate of Monson High School, detailed her thoughts on the district being more inclusive and creating a more diverse culture throughout all the schools. Jackie Watts, town resident, voiced his disappointment to the Committee regarding all the thought, and planning that the ALT Team invested into the draft of Plan A for a safe return of staff and students to school in the fall, only to have it voted down. Mr. Lord closed Public Session at 8:32 p.m. Review of Action Items: Schedule a Finance Subcommittee Meeting. Schedule a Curriculum Subcommittee Meeting for August. Mrs. Methe will distribute the signed copy of the MASC Anti-Racism Resolution to the appropriate parties. Ms. Graves-Harrison will send the MASC’s Charting the Course program information, offered to new Committee members, to Ms. Peterson to register. Motion by Ms. Graves-Harrison to adjourn Open Session. (Second by Ms. Flynn ) No discussion Motion carries 5-0 Open Session closed at 8:39 p.m. Documentation for this meeting: July 8, 2020-Regular Business Meeting Agenda June 17, 2020 – Regular Business/Reorganization Meeting Draft Minutes for Approval MASC Anti-Racism Resolution

School Committee Minutes: Page 4 of 5 Regular Business Meeting-July 8, 2020


DRAFT COPY For distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting- July 22, 2020

File GBAA – Minority Hiring Policy from Arlington Public Schools File GBA-1 – Affirmative Action Plan from Barnstable Public Schools Distributed at meeting: N/A Approved by Committee: ________________________________________ Mr. Dubois-White, Secretary


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