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November 9, 2022

Minutes of the

Monson School Committee

Regular Business Meeting

November 9, 2022

Hybrid Model

Members of the public were able to participate virtually in this meeting at Meeting ID: 829 4533 9614

Present (In-person): Chair Colleen Flynn; Vice Chair Alison Morgan; Secretary Emily Graves-Harrison; Committee Member Kathryn Peterson; Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Clarke; Director of Business and Operations Leah Zippin; Director of Special Education Colette Bidus; Director of Curriculum and Instruction Katherine Watts; Granite Valley School Principal Joseph Trivisonno; Monson High School Principal Matthew Sullivan; Granite Valley School Assistant Principal Myriah Hudak and Recording Secretary Karen Methe

Absent: Committee Member Jamie Murphy

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

Ms. Flynn called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

Ms. Peterson read the Mission & Vision Statements.


Tomorrow is an early release day for students and staff will participate in Professional Development activities.

Granite Valley School will host a Veteran’s Day assembly in the auditorium at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow morning. Veteran family members were invited to take part in the celebration to honor their service.

There is no school on November 11, 2022 for the observance of Veteran’s Day.

A special Town Meeting has been scheduled for November 14, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. Everyone was encouraged to attend.

A Tri-Board Meeting will be held on November 16, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. in the large conference room at the Town Office Building.

The Monson Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) will hold a Meet & Greet for parents on November 16, 2022 from 6:30 p.m.- 7:30 p.m. in the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) Room at Quarry Hill Community School (QHCS). No registration is needed and parents are encouraged to attend. There is a Facebook page Monson SEPAC available for more information and additional meeting dates and times. Dr. Clarke recognized Ms. Bidus and Ms. O’Toole for their hard work on restarting this Council.


Dr. Clarke congratulated Central Business Office employee Stephanie Flowers who ran the New York Marathon (26.2 miles) and placed 89th out of 21,000 women runners and 950th out of 48,000 total runners. Committee members offered their congratulations to Ms. Flowers as well.

The Girls’ Varsity Soccer team had another win today in the Massachusetts State Tournament beating Lenox by a score of 7-1. The next game is Saturday, November 12, 2022 against Mt. Greylock or Hull, to be held at a neutral site.


  • Motion by Ms. Flynn to approve the October 12, 2022 Regular Business Meeting Minutes as presented. (Second by Ms. Graves Harrison)

  • No discussion

  • Motion carries 3-0 (Ms. Peterson abstained from the vote.)

Student Representative Report:

Monson High School:

Next week MHS will celebrate college application week. Monday and Friday counselors will be available to help with college applications. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be by appointment. There are 3 colleges coming on Monday for direct admissions meetings. Western New England will be here Monday beginning at 8am, Westfield State beginning at 9am, and Springfield Technical Community College beginning at 11am. These schools will meet with students and hold interviews and do on the spot acceptances. On Friday, we invite all staff and students to sport college wear. Thank you to the counseling department for their hard work with all of this!

There is a dodgeball tournament fundraiser for grades 9-12 being held by the senior class next Thursday, November 17, 2022. All are welcome to come spectate.

The Community Service Club is back up and running and anyone interested can see Mr. Roebuck for more information. The Art Club has also started and meetings are being held on Thursdays.

MoVember is being celebrated at MHS. In the month of November staff and students will participate in growing their mustaches or compete in a fitness challenge to raise money for men’s mental health awareness and cancer screenings. Anyone interested in participating can contact Mr. Mooney in Room 106 to create their own fundraising page for team MHS. If anyone would like to contribute, the MHS team page is on to donate to your favorite “MO” or contact Mr. Mooney with questions. This was a huge success last year and MHS is fortunate to be doing this again.

The Sophomore class will be holding a fundraiser night at the Main Street Tavern on Thursday, December 1, 2022 from 5:00 -9:00 pm. This includes both dine in and take out. The class hopes to see many of you there.

Picture retakes for MHS will take place November 15, 2022.

Granite Valley School:

Elliott Greene reported that Grade 3 students were interviewed and many enjoy their specials classes like Music, Art and Technology.

Mr. Hunter’s class is working on Native American history and is also spending time on independent reading. Grade wide students have been learning about respect. Students appreciate their teachers’ hard work and that the teachers treat them with respect. Grade 3 students enjoy spending their ROCKS tickets on the prize box.

There was a school wide parade on October 31, 2022. Students dressed up in their costumes and paraded outside around the track. Students used their ROCKS tickets to buy in and the rest of the students cheered them on. There was a dance party on the soccer field when the parade ended.

Grades 5 and 6 had a Halloween Dance. Snacks were available for purchase as a fundraiser and $750 was raised. Students really had fun dancing to the music and being with their friends. Elliott added that the dance was a hit.

This month Grade 6 students have taken over the morning announcements. Daily information is available on the GVS page of the website. There is a mini-filming studio set up and students enjoy seeing who will be on the announcements.

A Veterans Day assembly will be held tomorrow. This assembly has been an important tradition at GVS. Staff and students are looking forward to its return. There will be over 70 veterans attending in addition to State Representative Brian Ashe, the Town Administrator, members of the Select Board and the School Committee.

Superintendent’s Update:

FY2024 budget discussions are beginning. Dr. Clarke distributed the FY2024 budget timeline with Committee members. Updates will be provided as necessary.

The district is providing paper report cards this semester for Grades 1-12. Parents received a packet of information, including a letter from the administration, report card information and emergency forms to be filled out in paper form and returned to the appropriate school.

Nalox boxes, emergency opioid response boxes have been mounted next to the AED boxes in each building, per Sgt. Gasperini of the Monson Police Department. Training will be provided to everyone.

Dr. Clarke thanked the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) for planning the Thunderbirds Hockey Night fundraiser. She added that the PTSA would like to reach a goal of 25 members adding that currently there are 20. Membership is encouraged.

Public Session:

Ms. Flynn opened Public Session at 7:12 p.m.

No one came forward to address the Committee.

Ms. Flynn closed Public Session at 7:13 p.m.

Subcommittee and Liaison Reports:

Finance Subcommittee:

Subcommittee members reviewed information for the upcoming Tri-Board meeting regarding

FY2024 budget and budget development.

Policy Subcommittee:

Subcommittee members worked on several Policies that will be sent to the entire Committee for a first read.

Curriculum Subcommittee:

Subcommittee members discussed programs that are being used in the district.

There was discussion regarding the AVMR grant and training for math.

Information was provided about students in Grades 6 and 8 using Project Lead the Way modules.

There was discussion regarding Professional Learning Community opportunities.

New Business:

Food Services:

Food Services:

Ms. Zippin reported that the participation rate has been great in the Food Services Department with the cafeteria staff serving 94% of the average daily attendance for September and October; 798 students out of 848 eat lunch daily.

Breakfast participation has also increased, now serving 233 student breakfasts daily. Ms. Zippin noted that hot chocolate has been a big hit adding that the hot chocolate machines were received through a pre-Covid grant and the staff is happy to utilize them again.

There will be a Smoothie Day at GVS and MHS in December.

Ms. Zippin stated that there are still some supply chain and delivery issues.


There are signs posted outside the building looking for Class 7D drivers.

Two vans have been retired and are being returned to the town where they will be deemed surplus and sold. The money will go back into the towns’ general fund.


Ms. Zippin reports that significant progress has been made with the new student information system.

An electronic field trip approval form has been rolled out.

Administration continues to hope that more parents will access the PowerSchool portal and reminder information will be going home with student report cards.


The FY2024 budget work has started and Ms. Zippin distributed the FY2024 Budget Timeline calendar to Committee members.

Dr. Clarke spoke about the new student discipline requirement to Massachusetts General Law 37H ¾[b] that has revisions for various positive interventions prior to suspensions. The Administration will review the revisions with their staff. She noted that the district’s legal counsel has advised not revising the Student Handbook yet. She will continue to update the Committee as necessary.

Old Business:


Action Items:

Ms. Flynn reminded Committee members to attend the November 16, 2022 Tri-Board Meeting if possible.

  • Motion by Ms. Flynn to adjourn to Executive Session under

Purpose #1 - To discuss the reputation, character, physical condition or mental health, rather than professional competence, of an individual, or to discuss the discipline or dismissal of, or complaints or charges brought against, a public officer, employee, staff member or individual, not to return to regular session. (Second by Ms. Graves-Harrison)

  • No discussion

  • Motion carries 4-0

Open Session closed at 7:29 p.m.

Documentation for this meeting:

November 9, 2022-Regular Business Meeting Agenda

October 12, 2022-Regular Business Meeting Minutes-DRAFT

Distributed/Presented at meeting:

Monson Special Education Parent Advisory Council Informational Hand-out

FY 2024 Budget Timeline

Approved by Committee:


Emily Graves-Harrison, Secretary

SC-November 9, 2022-Working Meeting Minutes
Download PDF • 100KB

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