November 3, 2021

Minutes of the Monson School Committee Regular Business Meeting November 3, 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/j/82070185737 Meeting ID:820 7018 5737, 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 Colleen Flynn; Vice Chair Emily Graves-Harrison; Secretary Kathryn Peterson and Committee Member Alison Morgan Absent: Committee Member Jackie Watts Also Present: Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Clarke; Director of Business and Operations Leah Zippin; Director of Student Services/Early Childhood Center Suzanne Tetrault; Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Katherine Watts; Granite Valley School Principal Joe Trivisonno; Granite Valley School Assistant Principal Myriah Hudak; Monson High School Principal William Metzger; Monson High School Assistant Principal Matthew Sullivan; Early Childhood Center Dean of Students/Special Education Coordinator Colette Bidus; and Recording Secretary Karen Methe Note: This meeting was recorded using Zoom technology. Ms. Flynn called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m. Ms. Flynn read the Mission & Vision Statements. Announcements: Mrs. Watts and Mr. Trivisonno will be hosting a Literacy Benchmark Zoom presentation on November 8, 2021 for Grades 1-4. The Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) will meet tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. A reminder that there is no school for staff and students on November 11, 2021 for Veteran’s Day and November 12, 2021, students only, for Professional Development Day. Dr. Clarke congratulated the Girls Varsity Soccer Team for their Western Mass Championship win. The next game, which is the first round of the State Championship, will be at home on Saturday, November 6, 2021, no specific time yet. Dr. Clarke also congratulated Mason Dumas on placing 8th in the State Golf Tournament. The Unified Basketball Team has their last game at the high school this Friday versus Chicopee, and a date for a jamboree will be determined. The football co-op with Palmer has a game this Friday night at 7:00 p.m. at Legion Field against

School Committee Minutes: Page 1 of 5 Regular Business Meeting-November 3, 2021


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-November 17, 2021

Brighton. Dr. Clarke encouraged everyone to attend. Dr. Clarke wished the Cross Country Team good luck as they compete in the Western Mass Meet on Saturday. Monson Public Schools is going to have a co-op for Pathfinder students to participate in Boys and Girls Lacrosse. Dr. Clarke acknowledged and congratulated high school counselor Kristen Sorel on being chosen by Western Mass Counseling Association as Counselor of the Year, adding that it is an honor and pleasure to work with Kristen and she does so much for the students of the district. Ms. Peterson added that the Girls’ Soccer Team will play at 1:00 p.m. this Saturday. Ms. Flynn offered her congratulations to Mrs. Sorel. Minutes: Motion by Ms. Morgan to approve the May 26, 2021, June 9, 2021 (Revised) and October 20, 2021 Regular Business Meeting Minutes as presented. (Second by Ms. Peterson) No discussion Motion carries 4-0 Student Representative Report: The representative for the high school was not in attendance at the meeting. Ms. Flynn asked about representatives for Granite Valley School (GVS) and Mr. Trivisonno will make that happen for the next meeting. Superintendent’s Update: Dr. Clarke provided the town’s metric update and vaccination rates. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is offering free Personal Protective Equipment to districts throughout the state. Dr. Clarke submitted an order and a staff member from the maintenance department will drive to Franklin tomorrow to pick it up. Monson Public Schools (MPS) is partnering with a committee in town from November 1-22, 2021, collecting donations for families in need for the Thanksgiving holiday. Donation boxes will be set up at all the schools to collect non-perishable items. MPS will also be working with the United Way-Hope for the Holidays to provide gifts and help to students and families in the district who may need a little extra help. The Administration Leadership Team (ALT) has been working on the upcoming Professional Day. The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) scores have been studied and Dr. Clarke noted that Mrs. Watts will do a presentation at a subsequent meeting. Math and reading will be the focus of the November 12, 2021 Professional Development Day, in a way that will apply to everyone. Strategies for incorporating both subjects into all subject teaching will be presented and discussed. Dr. Clarke added that some activities are also scheduled as a way to infuse fun back into the district. Public session: Ms. Flynn opened Public Session at 7:12 p.m. Ms. Flynn reminded everyone of the guidelines in speaking during Public Session. Jessica Groleau stated that her husband attended the last meeting but was not able to attend tonight.

School Committee Minutes: Page 2 of 5 Regular Business Meeting-November 3, 2021


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-November 17, 2021

She stated that a new Agenda item was brought up at the end of that meeting regarding holding only Zoom Parent Teacher Conferences. Ms. Groleau said that he wanted it to be known that he is not in favor of this platform and parents should have the opportunity to speak to a teacher in person, tour the classroom and have a one to one connection. She would like to know why public comment cannot be made after Public Session closes, if new items are presented. Ms. Flynn explained the format for New Business items adding that that particular item was a broad discussion that was not reasonably anticipated in the 48 hour timeframe of posting the Agenda. She added that no decision was made regarding Zoom only Parent Teacher Conferences and this topic will be reassessed in the spring of 2022. Ms. Flynn waited several minutes to allow anyone else that wanted to address the Committee to come forward. There were no other participants. Ms. Flynn closed Public Session at 7:20 p.m. Subcommittee and Liaison Reports: Curriculum Subcommittee: Ms. Morgan reported that the Subcommittee met prior to this evening’s meeting to discuss the possibility of changing the current 4 block schedule to a 5 or 6 block one. A sample of the change is currently being created to present to parents and families. She stated that no subjects will be removed and more electives will be offered each semester and there would be more opportunity for Advanced Placement (AP) classes. If accepted, the rollout for this schedule would be for the 2022-2023 academic year. Although a formal vote is not necessary for this request, the Subcommittee wanted to keep the entire Committee informed on the process. Human Resources and Negotiations Subcommittee: Unit negotiation meetings continue. Ms. Flynn added that the PTSA’s Truck or Treat was a fantastic event and she thanked everyone who participated and attended. Old Business: The discussion of large indoor gatherings, in reference to holding athletic events, continued. Dr. Clarke stated that the Parks and Recreation Department was holding their full basketball program beginning November 22, 2021, at GVS and that she was unaware of it until she saw it on Facebook. Use of the building had not been sent to her for approval. Ms. Graves-Harrison supports the current guidelines in place from MIAA and feels people are respectful of those guidelines. She feels a hybrid method should be in place for large indoor academic gatherings. Dr. Clarke, when questioned by Ms. Flynn, stated there have been no issues with attendance at the Unified Basketball games. Ms. Morgan is in favor of players having their fans attend games and following the MIAA guidelines. Ms. Peterson asked if athletes will be required to wear a mask while playing. Mrs. Zippin stated that Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) hasn’t yet issued their winter guidelines regarding mask wearing for athletes, but expects those guidelines to follow suit with the fall indoor guidelines which requires masks for everyone. She said she feels that MIAA guidelines will be

School Committee Minutes: Page 3 of 5 Regular Business Meeting-November 3, 2021


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-November 17, 2021

forthcoming though she has heard that the only mandate will be the requirement of masks, but not guaranteed. Ms. Flynn requested that MIAA Winter Guidelines be added to the next meeting Agenda. She added that when the Committee has discussed large indoor gatherings it has been left to the discretion of the Administration and she is comfortable with that. Dr. Clarke added that the recommendations have not changed. Jessica Allen, to ensure everyone was on the same page, informed Mrs. Zippin that Parks and Recreation athletics do not fall under the MIAA purview. They are governed by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and wanted to be sure that when decisions are being made for Parks & Recreation the School Committee is doing so under the correct organization. Mrs. Zippin stated that MIAA applies only to high school sports. Ms. Morgan asked if the School Committee had any say or oversight over the different governing bodies of athletics. Dr. Clarke stated that all programs and events being held within the school buildings should be in alignment with the school rules. She clarified that they have no oversight over the players. New Business: Ms. Peterson asked if, due to decline in enrollment, there has been any recent discussion about regionalizing with another district. She feels it should begin because she has had parents approach her on the subject. Dr. Clarke would defer to the Committee’s guidance going forward. Ms. Graves-Harrison noted that she had heard from members of the community the need for more in-person foreign languages. Ms. Flynn said that the 18 month pandemic overview that Dr. Clarke created, upon her request, was sent to the Select Board. Ms. Flynn asked that the information be posted on the Town website. Ms. Morgan mentioned that the Policy Subcommittee needs to schedule a meeting to begin the discussion on a flag policy. Ms. Morgan stated that she also attended the recent Town Finance Committee’s recent meeting where the representative, for the Energy Savings Company (ESCO) Siemen’s, provided a review on energy savings and tracking and questions were answered regarding the School Department’s recent purchase of a lawn mower. Action Items: Include MIAA winter guidelines on the next meeting Agenda. There is no need for Executive Session per Dr. Clarke. Motion by Ms. Graves-Harrison to adjourn the meeting. (Second by Ms. Morgan) No discussion Motion carries 4-0 Open Session closed at 8:52 p.m.

School Committee Minutes: Page 4 of 5 Regular Business Meeting-November 3, 2021


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-November 17, 2021

Documentation for this meeting: November 3, 2021-Regular Business Meeting Agenda May 26, 2021 –Regular Meeting Draft Minutes (For Approval) June 9, 2021 – Revised-Regular Meeting Draft Minutes (For Approval) October 20, 2021 –Regular Meeting Draft Minutes (For Approval) Distributed at meeting: N/A Approved by Committee: ________________________________________ Kathryn Peterson, Secretary


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