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March 27, 2024

Minutes of the 

Monson School Committee

Regular Business Meeting

March 27, 2024


Members of the public were able to participate virtually in this meeting at https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81164034115  Meeting ID: 811 6403 4115


Present: Chair Emily Graves-Harrison; Vice Chair Alison Morgan; Secretary Jamie Murphy; Committee Member Colleen Flynn; Committee Member; Karen Nothe-Valley; Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Clarke; Director of Business and Operations Leah Zippin; Director of Student Services Colette Bidus; Director of Curriculum and Instruction Katherine Watts (Remote); Early Childhood Center/Granite Valley School Principal Joseph Trivisonno and Recording Secretary Karen Methe


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


Ms. Graves-Harrison called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. 


The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


Ms. Flynn read the Mission & Vision Statements.


Announcements/Recognitions:

Tomorrow is Grade 3 P.E. Fun Night hosted by Mr. Pagliaro.

April 2, 2024 is “Soup with the Supe” at Quarry Hill Community School at 6:00 p.m. Parents are invited to join Dr. Clarke for some delicious and a budget presentation followed by a question and answer period.

There is a Parent Teacher Student Association meeting in April 3, 2024 in the Quarry Hill Community School Library.

Monson Night Out, the opportunity to dine at Beth’s Family Dining or the Main Street Tavern with a percentage of the proceeds going to help fund the district’s Special Olympics event.


Minutes:

  • Motion by Ms. Morgan to approve the March 20, 2024 Regular Business Meeting Minutes as presented.  (Second by Ms. Nothe-Valley)                                            

  • No discussion

  • Motion carries 5-0


Superintendent’s Update:

Parent teacher conferences were held last week.  Dr. Clarke noted that time slots for many grades, particularly grades 7 and 8, were completely booked.

Teacher and Staff In-Service Day was held on March 22, 2024.  Dr. Clarke began the day with an update on the district and a presentation of the budget to ensure everyone knows what is happening.  Following that teachers worked on Curriculum Mapping, the special education department did PowerSchool training on the new Individualized Educational Plans.  Mrs. Hudak and Mrs. Brin worked on multi-level tiers of support and high-level practices.  Dr. Clarke thanked everyone involved, adding that it was a great day.

Grade 10 MCAS testing began today.  Dr. Clarke stated that students worked hard and took the testing seriously.

Granite Valley School will begin testing on April 1, 2024 with Grade 5 English Language Arts.

Dr. Clarke stated that she accepted the resignations of high school Principal Mr. Murphy and Assistant Principal Ms. Czarniecki today.  She wished them well and thanked them for their service to the district.


Public Session:

Ms. Graves-Harrison opened Public Session at 7:04 p.m. 

No one came forward to address the Committee

Ms. Graves-Harrison closed Public Session at 7:05 p.m.


Subcommittee and Liaison Reports:

Ms. Morgan attended the first 20 minutes of the Athletic Boosters meeting due to the Tri-Board budget meeting.  She will give a report as soon as she receives the full notes from the Boosters.


Old Business:

There was some discussion/concern on the FY25 budget.  

Ms. Morgan asked about the elimination of the ESSER funded interventionist position.  She noted that Dr. Clarke had mentioned there would still be needed support by finagling some schedules. Ms. Morgan inquired in terms of the current scores in reading and math, understanding that a special education teacher is being added, they do not provide tired intervention and wanted to know if the district can support students that are not special education but still require that support.  Mr. Trivisonno noted that it will definitely be a creative undertaking and explained that process, in detail, to the Committee.


  • Motion by Ms. Flynn to accept the FY25 Draft operating and transportation budgets as presented.  (Second by Ms. Murphy)

  • Discussion

  • Ms. Nothe-Valley questioned if there was any recourse on the budget that the Committee could do.  She is concerned about the number of staff changes. Brief discussion followed.

  • There was discussion about the ESSER funds no longer available.  That funding was only available for specific items relating to the pandemic.  

  • No further discussion.

  • Roll Call Vote:

  • Ms. Nothe-Valley Yes

  • Ms. Flynn Yes

  • Ms. Murphy Yes

  • Ms. Morgan Yes

  • Ms. Graves-Harrison Yes

  • Motion carries 5-0


New Business:

Dr. Clarke requested that Agenda item 9b, Approval of School Opportunity Act (Ms. Watts), be tabled until the next meeting.  There was Committee consensus.

Dr. Clarke distributed and reviewed the Proposed School Choice Openings for the 2024-2025 school year.  


  • Motion by Ms. Nothe-Valley to accept the Proposed School Choice Openings for the 2024-2025 school year as presented and discussed.  (Second by Ms. Flynn)

  • Discussion followed

  • Roll Call Vote:

  • Ms. Nothe-Valley Yes

  • Ms. Flynn Yes

  • Ms. Murphy Yes

  • Ms. Morgan Yes

  • Ms. Graves-Harrison Yes

  • Motion carries 5-0


Dr. Clarke spoke about the upcoming solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.  She noted that the peak timeframe was during dismissal.  Dr. Clarke stated that there is concern for the bus drivers operating the bus and trying to monitor students from not looking up at the sun.  She suggested the purchase of protective glasses needed to view the eclipse. She noted that Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) was using extreme caution on practices and games scheduled.  The Committee recommends that the Athletic Director makes the choice reschedule the softball game that day.


Action Items:

Human Resources/Negotiations meetings to be scheduled on April 11 and April 24, 2024 for Units A and C.

Schedule a Curriculum Subcommittee for April 24, 2024 at 4:30 p.m.

Schedule Policy Subcommittee Meetings for April 25, 2024 and May 8, 2024 at 5:30 p.m.

Schedule Regular Business Meetings for April 25, May 1, May 22, 2024 at 7:00 p.m.

Schedule a Working Meeting for Superintendent goals on May 29, 2024 at 6:00 p.m.

Schedule a Reorganization/Regular Business Meeting on June 12, 2024 at 7:00 p.m.



  • Motion by Ms. Morgan to adjourn Open Session and move to Executive Session, Reason #3: To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining or litigating position of the public body and the chair so declares; not to return to Open Session.  (Second by Ms. Nothe-Valley)

  • No discussion    

  • Roll Call Vote:  

  • Ms. Nothe-Valley Yes

  • Ms. Flynn Yes

  • Ms. Murphy Yes

  • Ms. Morgan Yes

  • Ms. Graves-Harrison Yes

  • Motion carries 5-0

Open Session closed at                                         p.m.  


Documentation for this meeting:

March 27, 2024-Regular Business Meeting Agenda

March 20, 2024-Draft-Regular Business Meeting Minutes (For Approval)


Distributed/Presented at meeting:

Proposed School Choice Openings for the 2024-2025 School Year


Approved by Committee:


_________________________________________________

Jamie Murphy, Secretary


SC-March 27, 2024-Reg Bus Mtg-FINAL
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