October 20, 2021

Minutes of the Monson School Committee Regular Business Meeting October 20, 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/89631608107 Meeting ID:896 3160 8107, 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; Committee Members; Jackie Watts and Alison Morgan 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 (7:16 p.m.); 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. Mr. Watts read the Mission & Vision Statements. Announcements: Dr. Clarke noted that tomorrow is a half-day for students for Parent Teacher Conferences. She added that a Grab & Go lunch will be available prior to dismissal. The Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) sponsored event, Trunk or Treat, will be held on October 23, 2021 in the parking lot of Quarry Hill Elementary School (QHCS). The community is encouraged to participate. The Granite Valley School (GVS) Socktober Fundraiser continues through October 27, 2021. Dr. Clarke congratulated high school students Tennessee Murphy on scoring her 100th point, combination of goals and assists, in soccer and Mason Dumas for qualifying for the State Golf Tournament. Minutes: Ms. Morgan requested a revision to Line 18, adding in her name, and Line 154 to replace Mr. Lord with Ms. Flynn on the June 9, 2021 Regular Business Meeting - draft minutes. Mrs. Methe will make the revisions and resend them to the Committee for a vote at the November 3, 2021

School Committee Minutes: Page 1 of 6 Regular Business Meeting-October 20, 2021


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Regular Business Meeting. Motion by Ms. Graves-Harrison to approve the May 12, 2021 and October 6, 2021 Regular Business Meeting Minutes as presented. (Second by Ms. Morgan) No discussion Motion carries 5-0 Student Representative Report: The high school student representative was not available at this point of the meeting. Ms. Flynn stated that she would continue with the Agenda items and if the student joins the meeting, the report could be given then. Superintendent’s Update: Dr. Clarke reviewed the town and school COVID-19 metric report, giving specific case counts and percentage of positivity. She added the following vaccination statistics: Students ages 12-15 – 39% are fully vaccinated Students ages 16-19 – 54% are fully vaccinated Town – 58% are fully vaccinated Dr. Clarke stated that pooled testing continues. Mrs. Zippin is working with CIC, the new pooled testing company, to secure the in-district pooled testing staff hired last year who will stay on to administer the tests. She noted that there were 33 negative pools and 1 positive pool last week and the appropriate COVID-19 protocols were followed. MHS held their National Honor Society Induction ceremony, outside, on a beautiful weather evening, in front of the building, on October 14, 2021. Dr. Clarke offered her congratulations to all the inductees. Dr. Clarke reported that the state did some re-districting and as a result Monson lost Senator Anne Gobi to another area of the state. She congratulated Senator Gobi and expressed her thanks and gratitude for all the hard work she has done for Monson throughout her time in the district. She added that Senator Ryan Fattman has been assigned to the Monson area. Dr. Clarke noted that there has been a request from the Town Finance Committee to attend their October 25, 2021 meeting. Siemen’s representative Mark Buzzell has been asked to present information in reference to the Energy Service Company’s (ESCO) Dashboard. Dr. Clarke and Mr. DeMaio will attend this meeting. After a brief discussion, it was the consensus of the Committee that Finance Subcommittee members Ms. Graves-Harrison and Ms. Morgan would also attend. Mr. DeMaio provided a facilities update. He stated that the roof at QHCS was 90% complete and the front entrance sidewalk has been replaced and looks beautiful. He added that the last 10% of the roof is the pool, and that the pool had to be shut down for approximately a week. The Committee asked for an update on the shut-down. Mr. DeMaio acknowledged that there was a small crack left open and debris did fall through into the pool. He emphasized that at no time was there any crisis or danger to anyone and the company would provide all of the cleanup necessary to the pool and surrounding area. The new boiler is scheduled to be up and running within the next few days to supply heat to the building and to heat the pool water. A short discussion was held on how to increase the availability of vaccinations. The topic of hosting another vaccination clinic was brought up. Dr. Clarke stated that the last one did not have many

School Committee Minutes: Page 2 of 6 Regular Business Meeting-October 20, 2021


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participants and now that the vaccine was available in so many other places, she wasn’t sure it was necessary though added that she would do whatever the Committee decided. Ms. Graves-Harrison suggested that further vaccine discussion be put on hold pending updated information/update coming out next week from the Department of Secondary and Elementary Education (DESE) regarding this topic. Ms. Morgan asked for clarification on the pooled testing procedure which Dr. Clarke provided. Subcommittee and Liaison Reports: Policy Subcommittee: The meeting scheduled for 6:00 p.m. this evening was cancelled and will be rescheduled. Ms. Flynn reported that Negotiations continue. Meetings have been scheduled into December. She stated that she was hopeful that the Committee is much closer to settling with 2 of the Units. Public session: Ms. Flynn opened Public Session at 7:18 p.m. Ms. Flynn reminded everyone of the guidelines in speaking during Public Session. No one requested to address the Committee. Ms. Flynn closed Public Session at 7:20 p.m. Old Business: An in-depth discussion was held centered around holding large indoor gatherings, both athletic and academic. Ms. Flynn asked Dr. Clarke if the Administrative Leadership Team (ALT) has come up with ideas on the topic. Dr. Clarke stated that with regard to athletic events, games will be held indoors with only a mask mandate and there would be no selling of food or beverage. Concerning school-based indoor events, discussion was held on holding a small, indoor, socially distanced, Family Bingo Night, with only one grade level, at the Early Childhood Center. Dr. Clarke talked about the annual Veteran’s Day assembly held at GVS. She stated that the attendance for this event is always standing room only and didn’t feel the auditorium could safely accommodate the large crowd. She stated that Mr. Trivisonno is working on an alternate format for this valued event. GVS would like to hold a grade level showcase but will defer the event until the spring. Assemblies will be held one grade level at a time, no whole school assemblies will be held. Field trips, with the exception of a small number of high school student representatives attending Student Council and Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) meetings, will be reassessed in the spring as will larger and whole school events. Mrs. Zippin stated that there have been no further modifications for athletic games from MIAA. Ms. Graves-Harrison said that the swim team will follow whatever the Committee decides but she feels that any vote on indoor gatherings should be delayed until the Parks and Recreation Department can be represented at a meeting. Ms. Morgan, Mr. Watts and Ms. Flynn stated that they were in agreement with the ALT team’s recommendations. Ms. Graves-Harrison requested that any vote be tabled this evening. She added that MIAA and the State are always coming in at the last minute and she would like to hear input from other collaboratives. This issue will be put on the next Agenda for further discussion. Mrs. Zippin noted that though winter season games do not begin until the end of November, there

School Committee Minutes: Page 3 of 6 Regular Business Meeting-October 20, 2021


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-November 3, 2021

were 2 more Unified Basketball home games coming up. Ms. Graves-Harrison asked who was responsible for mask control at the games. Mrs. Zippin told her that there is a game administrator at every game. Motion by Ms. Flynn to approve spectator attendance at the upcoming Unified Basketball games with mask requirement, between October 20, 2021 and November 3, 2021. (Second by Ms. Peterson) No further discussion Roll Call Ms. Morgan Yes Mr. Watts Yes Ms. Peterson Yes Ms. Graves-Harrison Yes Ms. Flynn Yes Motion carries 5-0 There was a discussion on holding the annual Winter Concert. Ms. Peterson suggested separate grades perform at different times. Ms. Morgan asked Dr. Clarke to supply the numbers of students that would be involved in the concert. Mr. Trivisonno stated that there are 47 students in band and chorus at GVS and they got off to a late start this year. Noting that and the huge crowds that this event draws, he does not feel ready to take that on. It was the consensus of the Committee and the Administration that the Winter Concert be put on hold at this time. Ms. Graves-Harrison asked if there was larger participation with Zoom Parent-Teacher Conferences and other activities. Mr. Trivisonno stated that attendance was down with Open House but they are looking to hold a Spring Showcase, in-person, by grade level, in the spring. Conferences are well attended virtually. Mr. Metzger noted a large numbers of parents participated in conferences for students in Grades 7 and 8 adding that it is harder to hold Grades 9-12 conferences virtually because of contractual time restraints and the students having several teachers with the high school schedule. Mrs. Tetrault said that the ECC conferences are definitely well-attended virtually as are Special Education meetings with parents. Ms. Flynn stated that the ALT team has a good grasp on what is appropriate for students and good insight with the best interest of all students. She noted that school assemblies will be small, by grade level and appropriately socially distanced. Ms. Flynn thanked Dr. Clarke and members of the ALT Team. Mr. Metzger told the Committee that he had a great lunch with Student Council Leadership. It was decided that the parking fee would be cut in half from $45 to $25. Money that is currently in that account would be distributed to the appropriate class. Funds that are in the Student Council Advisory account would be used to benefit the entire student body. New Business: Dr. Clarke explained to the Committee that due to the oversight of the ECC Administrative Assistant, two students, who were not 5 years old as of August 31, were admitted into Kindergarten. One has since turned 5 as of October 8, 2021 and the other will turn 5 on October 23, 2021. Both are very high academically and well-adjusted. The school attorney has suggested that the Committee consider waiving the age requirement for these students or both would have to withdraw immediately. A brief

School Committee Minutes: Page 4 of 6 Regular Business Meeting-October 20, 2021


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-November 3, 2021

question and answer period followed. Motion by Ms. Flynn to waive the Kindergarten Entrance Age Requirement for 2 students and allow them to remain in Kindergarten. (Second by Mr. Watts.) No further discussion Roll Call Ms. Morgan Yes Mr. Watts Yes Ms. Peterson Yes Ms. Graves-Harrison Yes Ms. Flynn Yes Motion carries 5-0 Ms. Flynn acknowledged that 2 meeting participants had their hands raised but she cannot re-open Public Session. She advised them to email the School Committee or address them at the next meeting. Action Items: Notify parents of Kindergarten students of waived entrance age requirement. Put pool testing clarification on website. Notify all stakeholders of details of the Town Finance Committee meeting on October 25, 2021. Schedule the following Regular Business Meetings: November 3 and 17, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. December 1 and 15, 2021 – 7:00 p.m. Motion by Mr. Watts to adjourn to Executive Session under Purpose # 2, to conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with non-union personnel or to conduct collective bargaining sessions or contract negotiations with non-union personnel and Purpose #3, to discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on bargaining or litigating position of the public body and the Chair so declares. (Second by Ms. Peterson) No discussion Motion carries 5-0 Open Session closed at 7:55 p.m. Documentation for this meeting: October 20, 2021-Regular Business Meeting Agenda May 12, 2021 –Regular Meeting Draft Minutes (For Approval) June 9, 2021 –Regular Meeting Draft Minutes (For Approval) October 6, 2021 –Regular Meeting Draft Minutes (For Approval)

School Committee Minutes: Page 5 of 6 Regular Business Meeting-October 20, 2021


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-November 3, 2021

Distributed at meeting: N/A Approved by Committee: ________________________________________ Kathryn Peterson, Secretary


October 20, 2021-Regular Business Meeting
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