September 23, 2020

Minutes of the Monson School Committee Regular Business Meeting September 23, 2020 “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/91271317578 Meeting ID: 912 7131 7578, 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 Jeffrey Lord; Vice Chair Emily-Graves-Harrison; Secretary Andy Dubois-White; Committee Members; Colleen Flynn and Kathryn Peterson Also Present: Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Clarke; Director of Student Services/Early Childhood Center Suzanne Morneau; Business and Finance Officer Michelle Loglisci; Director of Food Services Melody Gustafson; Granite Valley School Principal Katherine Watts; Granite Valley School Assistant Principal Joe Trivisonno; Director of Guidance Robert Bardwell; Monson High School Principal William Metzger; Monson High School Assistant Principal Jill Foulis; Early Childhood Center Dean of Students/Special Education Coordinator Colette Bidus; and Recording Secretary Karen Methe Note: This meeting was recorded using Zoom technology. Mr. Lord called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. Mr. Lord read the Mission & Vision Statements. Announcements: The Technology Help Desk will continue to be staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Mondays. Dr. Clarke noted that there has been no information yet as to whether the town continues to be a designated COVID-19 Red Zone. She is monitoring the website closely for an update. Mr. Lord added that due to the Agenda items being dependent on this information a portion of the meeting may have to be postponed. Minutes: Motion by Ms. Flynn to approve the September 9, 2020 Regular Business Meeting minutes as presented. (Second by Ms. Graves-Harrison) No discussion Motion carries 5-0 Subcommittee & Liaison Reports: Policy Subcommittee: Subcommittee members met earlier this evening and reviewed Policy ACAB -

School Committee Minutes: Page 1 of 5 Regular Business Meeting-September 23, 2020


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-October 7, 2020

Anti-Discrimination/Anti-Harassment Policy and Grievance Procedure language provided by school counsel. Ms. Peterson stated that this Policy needs to be in place for the district. Motion by Ms. Peterson to accept the first read of Policy ACAB - Anti-Discrimination/Anti-Harassment Policy and Grievance Procedure and move to a second read. (Second by Ms. Flynn) No discussion Roll Call: Ms. Peterson Yes Ms. Flynn Yes Mr. Dubois-White Yes Ms. Graves-Harrison Yes Mr. Lord Yes Motion carries 5-0 Mr. Dubois-White stated that the Special Education Advisory Council (SEPAC) meetings will be held weekly on Tuesday. Superintendent’s Report: Dr. Clarke reported that issues surrounding remote learning have improved. Granite Valley School (GVS) hosted Parent Information Zoom meetings. Recordings of those meetings can be found on the district website. Quarry Hill/Early Childhood Center and the high school will schedule similar meetings in the near future. The fiber cable has been set in place and the process for adding additional bandwidth to the district will now proceed with next steps. Internet speed should be enhanced by 40-50 times the current speed next week. Dr. Clarke noted that she and the Alternative Leadership Team (ALT) continue to work on prioritizing the return to the school buildings for high needs students. Ms. Graves-Harrison said that she participated in the GVS Zoom parent meetings and added that they were very positive, wonderful and informative. Mr. Lord agreed. Old Business: Agenda item 6a will be postponed at this time, hoping to return to it if Dr. Clarke receives the COVID-19 zone designation information. Mrs. Zippin informed Committee members that she spoke to the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) after reviewing several return to athletics scenarios. She received information that if the town’s Public Health Official determines that teams can practice and play safely, MIAA and the state will allow it. The timeframe, to come out of the COVID-19 Red Zone in order to begin athletics, has been extended. Mrs. Zippin stated that if the district is not designated a Red Zone this week, practice is scheduled to start tomorrow. Coaches have been notified and COVID-19 safety protocols have been reviewed and she is hoping that the Committee will allow practices to begin. Mr. Lord stated that he is not in favor of this request. Motion by Ms. Flynn to allow athletes to begin practice tomorrow if the district is not a designated COVID-19 Red Zone (Second by Ms. Peterson) Discussion followed

School Committee Minutes: Page 2 of 5 Regular Business Meeting-September 23, 2020


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-October 7, 2020

Mrs. Zippin stated that she was told that Board of Health Agent Lorri McCool could make the decision to allow athletics to begin. Mrs. Fedora disagreed with that statement, adding that Ms. McCool is a paid agent for the Board of Health (BOH) and is not authorized to make the decision. That decision would have to be made by the entire BOH. Mr. Lord would agree to change the current motion if there was a joint meeting with the BOH. Ms. Graves- Harrison stated that the decision lies with the School Committee. Mrs. Fedora referenced the MIAA frequently asked questions and read the guidelines that applied to the current motion. Dr. Clarke said that she and Mrs. Zippin have been speaking with Ms. McCool on a consistent basis regarding the start of athletics, if guidelines and safety protocols are followed. Ms. McCool indicated that both the School Committee and Board of Health together should make the decision based on all the information. A COVID-19 designation of yellow for the town was just received. Mr. Lord asked Ms. McCool about the current motion to allow practices to begin tomorrow. She said that she supports it, though she will contact her BOH members for their approval. She would also like to consult with the public health nurse to determine the age group of the positive cases in town. Mr. Lord asked for a friendly amendment to make the decision, in reference to the motion on the table, based on BOH guidance. Ms. Flynn did not agree with the request. Mrs. Fedora posed several questions regarding the preparedness of coaches on COVID-19 safety protocols. Dr. Clarke stated that she feels Mrs. Zippin is more than prepared to begin practices and has worked tirelessly to educate all coaches. Mr. Lord withdrew his request for a friendly amendment. The consensus of the Committee was to honor the initial motion, passed at a previous meeting, that would allow athletics to begin if the town was not designated a COVID-19 Red Zone. A vote was not taken on the current motion. Dr. Clarke asked that if the town remains in the current COVID-19 Yellow Zone designation next week, can the district plan to bring staff and students back into the buildings. She proposed that all staff would return on October 5, 2020, and have the option to teach remotely from the classroom. If the COVID-19 Yellow Zone remains the week of October 7, 2020, which would make 5 weeks of data, she would like the high needs and special education students to return on October 13, 2020. Families that chose the hybrid model would begin with Group A on October 19, 2020. Different scenarios, for the return to in-person learning, were suggested. Ms. Peterson recommended a staggered approach to returning. Motion by Ms. Graves-Harrison to accept staff return date of October 5, 2020, high needs and Pre-K students on October 13, 2020, grades K-3 and 7-12 on October 19, 2020 and grades 4-6 on October 26, 2020. (Second by Mr. Dubois-White) In-depth discussion followed Ms. Flynn requested a friendly amendment to the current motion that allows

School Committee Minutes: Page 3 of 5 Regular Business Meeting-September 23, 2020


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-October 7, 2020

grades K-12 to return to school on October 19, 2020. Pre-K and special education students to return to school on October 13, 2020, contingent on the town staying out of a COVID-19 Red Zone designation. Ms. Peterson requested a friendly amendment to have Pre-K and special needs students return to school on October 5, 2020 contingent on next week’s COVID-19 Zone designation. Discussion continued A roll call vote was taken to approve Pre-K and special needs students return to school on October 5, 2020. Staff who teach and/or support students in substantially separate programs to return on October 1 & 2, 2020 and all hybrid students, beginning with Group A, to return on October 19, 2020, contingent on next week’s COVID-19 Zone designation. Ms. Peterson Yes Ms. Flynn Yes Mr. Dubois-White Yes Ms. Graves-Harrison Yes Mr. Lord No Motion carries 4-1 Clarification was made that Special Education students in substantially separate classrooms are high needs and will return first. Public session: Mr. Lord opened Public Session at 8:36 p.m. Mr. Lord turned the meeting over to Ms. Graves-Harrison. Ms. Graves-Harrison asked if there was anyone from the public that would like to address the Committee. The following Town Residents addressed the Committee: Erin Binette – looking for a copy of the Mask Policy, was told it was on the school’s website. Mary Hull – thanked Dr. Clarke for all her hard work. Holly Lynch – thanked the Administration and Committee members for prioritizing the high needs students. Kate Czarniecki – gave her thanks to the Committee members and offered a reminder to the entire community to help keep everyone safe. Kristen Priest – “Thank you from the bottom of my heart on behalf of all the high needs families in the district.” Mr. Aliengena thanked everyone for their hard work. Karen Nothe-Valley- expressed many thanks to Administration and the Committee members adding that she is a proponent of a phased-in approach. Mr. Graves-Harrison closed Public Session at 8:46 p.m. Ms. Graves-Harrison asked for a review of the current Grab & Go Program. Director of Food Services, Mrs. Gustafson provided information about the program and encouraged sign-ups through Googledocs. The meeting was turned back to Mr. Lord.

School Committee Minutes: Page 4 of 5 Regular Business Meeting-September 23, 2020


DRAFT COPY for distribution/approval at the Regular Business Meeting-October 7, 2020

Review of Action Items: Move Policy ACAB to a third and final read. Dr. Clarke will send an email to all staff outlining the proposed timetable for return to in-person learning. Dr. Clarke noted that there was not a need for Executive Session this evening. Motion by Mr. Dubois-White to adjourn Open Session. (Second by Mr. Lord) No discussion Roll Call: Ms. Peterson Yes Ms. Flynn Yes Mr. Dubois-White Yes Ms. Graves-Harrison Yes Mr. Lord Yes Motion carries 5-0 Open Session closed at 8:52 p.m. Documentation for this meeting: September 23, 2020-Regular Business Meeting Agenda September 16, 2020-Regular Business Meeting Minutes - Draft Distributed at meeting: N/A Approved by Committee: ________________________________________ Mr. Dubois-White, Secretary


September 23, 2020
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