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May 1, 2024

Minutes of the 

Monson School Committee

Regular Business Meeting

May 1, 2024


Members of the public were able to participate virtually in this meeting at https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81050082135 Meeting ID: 810 5008 52135


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 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. Nothe-Valley read the Mission & Vision Statements.


Announcements:

The district will host the Special Olympics on May 3, 2024.  Dr. Clarke encouraged attendance at the event.

The prom is being held on May 3, 2024 at The Ranch in Southwick and Grades 7 and 8 are having a Spring Fling dance that evening as well. 

May 6, 2024 begins Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week and kicks-off with the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) providing lunch for everyone at all 3 schools.  Donations continue to be accepted.

May 9, 2024 is PTSA Night at Main Street Tavern and a portion of the sales will be donated to the PTSA.

May 11, 2024 is Spring Sports Homecoming Day.

Dr. Clarke stated that the correct date for the Town Meeting is May 13, 2024 and will be held in the auditorium at Granite Valley School.  

May 19, 2024.  

Monson High School will present a Spring Concert on May 21, 2024, 6:00 p.m. at the high school.


Recognition:

Dr. Clarke congratulated Senior Amiya Desilets, who was recognized yesterday at the River East School to Career breakfast, as an outstanding student as part of the Student-Mentor team with Kindergarten teacher Cara Barry.  She also received a $1,000 scholarship.  Dr. Clarke thanked Ms. Rosazza for creating this awesome partnership.

Dr. Clarke congratulated the students that were inducted into the National Honor Society at a ceremony held earlier this evening.

May 3, 2024 is School Lunch Hero Day.  Dr. Clarke recognized the food service staff for always going above and beyond for the students and staff in the district and encouraged everyone to recognize and thank this wonderful staff.

May 6, 2024 begins Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week.  The administration has several ideas to recognize the staff every day following the PTSA lunch being provided that day.


Student Representative Reports:

Monson High School:

Sophia Galarneau provided the following update for the high school:

Earlier this evening was the National Honors’ Society induction ceremony, congratulations to all the students who were inducted. 

This Friday is going to be an exciting day, with Special Olympics, held at Granite Valley School, prom, and the Grade 7&8 Spring Fling dance.

Grade 7 and 8 MCAS testing is this week and next and good luck wishes are going out to all the students.

Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week is May 6-10 and students and families are excited to  celebrate all of our wonderful teachers and staff.  Student Council has fun things planned for the week.

Spring Sports Homecoming Day is happening on May 11, 2024.

The May 19, 2024 Athletic Banquet’s venue has changed to Granite Valley School.

Congratulations to Molly Szado for achieving 350 strikeouts, Nevaeh Chiacchia for 100 goals Ozzy Nieves for 100 saves this season and the boys’ baseball team members for hitting 4 home runs in a recent game.

All teachers are doing good, shout-out to Advanced Placement (AP) teachers Mr. Babbitt-AP Calculus, Mr. Griffing-AP US History and Mrs. Walker-AP Literature for preparing their students for upcoming exams. 


Minutes:

Ms. Graves-Harrison noted that approval of the April 25, 2024 Regular Business Meeting minutes will be tabled until the May 22, 2024 meeting.


Superintendent’s Update:

MCAS testing is happening throughout the district.

Dr. Clarke and Ms. Zippin met with Charlie Christianson and Brian McKenzie from CMD Technology Group, adding that the current technology structure is working really well.  She thanked Kyle Hanley, Haley Ketterman, Brittany Ladue and Brian McKenzie for their work in the department, stating that they work very well together.  Plans going forward for next year are that Brian will stay in place as the in-house consultant and a back-up will be trained as well in case Brain has to be out.  The district is all set with student Chromebooks and ViewSonic Boards.  Teacher desktops, pending approval of capital funding from the Town, will be ordered and installed. The servers are in great shape and a new anti-virus software program is being looked into.  The biggest expenditure will be the new fiber cable between Granite Valley and Quarry Hill Community Schools.  E-rate funding for the project is being explored and the district may apply for emergency funding with Ms. Zippin stating that there is a very good chance that the district will qualify and she is currently checking with the vendor for further information. Dr. Clarke and Ms. Zippin explained the reasoning for the new fiber cable adding that it would need to be completed prior to the installation of the new basketball court at Granite Valley School.  Ms. Zippin further explained how E-Rate funding works.

Dr. Clarke told the Committee that there has been good progress in choosing a new Principal for the high school.  She will keep the Committee updated as the process evolves.


Public Session:

Ms. Graves-Harrison opened Public Session at 7:14 p.m. 

The following town residents addressed the Committee:

Peter Beaupre inquired about the status of interviews for the high school principal position. He read the current job posting and description language.  Mr. Beaupre stated that the Administration needs to think outside the box and would like to see the posting revised and reposted.

Karen O’Toole read a personal statement regarding a Facebook post, and comments, generated from a previous School Committee meeting.  She also questioned why the members of the Committee choose not to respond to questions posed to them during Public Session.  

No one else came forward to address the Committee.

Ms. Graves-Harrison closed Public Session at 7:23 p.m.


Subcommittee and Liaison Reports:

Policy Subcommittee:


Ms. Flynn asked to table the action for Policy BEDH-Public Participation at School Committee Meetings to the next meeting due to a revision that she requested not being present in the Policy being presented.  Ms. Graves-Harrison accepted Ms. Flynn’s request.

Ms. Graves-Harrison reviewed the changes to Policy JICE-Student Publications. Discussion followed.  Approval of the first read of this Policy will be tabled to the next meeting.

The first read of Policy KF- Community Use of School Facilities will be tabled to the next meeting.

A brief discussion of  the format for Subcommittee Meeting minutes followed.


New Business:

None


Action Items:

The Town Meeting is May 13, 2024.

May 16, 2024 is a Policy Subcommittee Meeting.

May 22, 2024 is the next Regular Business Meeting.

A Working Meeting is scheduled for May 29, 2024 at 6:00 p.m.

Negotiations Subcommittee meetings continue.


  • Motion by Ms. Morgan to close Open Session at 7:38 p.m. and move to Executive Session, Reason #2: To conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with nonunion personnel or to conduct collective bargaining sessions or contract negotiations with nonunion personnel, not to return to Open Session.  (Second by Ms. Murphy)

  • 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 7:38 p.m.  

Documentation for this meeting:

May 1, 2024-Regular Business Meeting Agenda


Distributed/Presented at meeting:


Approved by Committee:


_________________________________________________

Jamie Murphy, Secretary


SC-May 1, 2024-Reg Bus Mtg-FINAL
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