Wednesday, May 13, 2020

School Committee meeting notes - May 12, 2020

I took my notes using Twitter for the School Committee meeting on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. The full thread should be found tagged as "#schcom0512"

  • Real-time reporting underway for School Committee meeting tonight, tagged as #schcom0512 at start approx 90 attendees
  • Participation hit maximum of 100, if you can't get in try the cable broadcast; Comcast channel 11 and Verizon channel 29 #schcom0512 no limits there. Or go to and check the live stream option
Superintendent's Report
  • Superintendent provides report on remote learning, survey results showing mostly ok, details in report posted to #schcom0512 page on Weds
  • Leap into kindergarten rescheduled to May 20 via remote meeting #schcom0512 connection details available, also streamed via YouTube so recording can be viewed after
  • Multiple students attending some Seniors also part of FHS graduation topic on agenda later, hence no comments at this time, a "thumbs up" from class 2020 president #schcom0512

A. Videos from FHS:
Senior Boys:
Unified Music:

FHS Graduation Planning
Facility Report - part 1
  • Next up, facility report from Kaestle Boos Assoc, tonight only part 1 of the update, lead presenter outside his house being heckled by his young kids, #schcom0512
  • #schcom0512 key slide on assumptions for class room utilization rates
  • KBA likes how Sullivan stands up today, they had helped with design so acknowledged bias, #schcom0512
  • Draft report being prepared for presentation next month, #schcom0512
  • Every school is so well maintained, DT does have issues physically #schcom0512
  • #schcom0512 capacity and utilization rates 67% at elementary and 49% currently, elementary goes up 2, middle goes down 8 per enrollment forecast
  • Q on capability for modeling with the data, yes, esp with social distance and likely only half students in room, so shifting schedule is being looked at #schcom0512
  • Q how has sq ft reqs changed over the last 10-15 years? Yes, a challenge to provide flex space vs. 'old' factory/industrial models #schcom0512 appropriate for kid interruption during his remarks, allows for pause and why we're here
  • Everyone is finding that school capacity is excess, a national issue and demographics related as well #schcom0512
  • Q is ADA considered. Yes, it is not a full requirements report but it is considered #schcom0512 
  • Target for conceptual analysis for draft review in June by Central Office and sometime in the month for school Committee #schcom0512 there are still 4 classrooms at Kennedy that are modular and end of life, not used for general education
  • Some folks would be better off not turning on their camera if they really want to watch; rather than have us (paying attention to the meeting) get distracted by cats on keyboards, or backgrounds circling the globe or other movements about their house ... #schcom0512
Discussion/Action Items
  • Moved on to school choice action item, haven't since 2007-2008 school year; recommended not at this time #schcom0512
  • Motion passed 7-0 via roll call, no school choice for next year #schcom0512
  • Bissanti asks question about comment in prior meeting by Pfeffer, because it was garbled he would like it repeated. Not appropriate at this time, deferred to budget item later in agenda #schcom0512
  • Spring sports, transportation, lunch balances, etc. Recommended for approval. #schcom0512 clarify questions via chat being answered , vote on measure via roll call passed 7-0
  • Moving to policy section, 3 moved to second reading previously now up for approval: #schcom0512 motion to adopt the 3 policies as detailed, passed 7-0 via roll call
  • For first reading 2 policies, one on pest management, one for emergency plans updated - last time was updated 2010 and thereby was due;
  • Motion to move to second reading, passed via roll call 7-0
  • Last up on discussion action, calendar update required for professional day; passed via roll call 7-0 #schcom0512
Discussion Only Items
  • Discussion only on the budget updates, more work to be done in prep for the Finance Committee meeting end of May, 1st week of June. #schcom0512
  • SchComm meeting calendar drafted for next year, no vote needed yet. #schcom0512
  • Refer to Davis Thayer analysis page for updates, presentation doc from tonight to be there soon #schcom0512
New Business
  • Next meeting, continue discussion on budget, usually recognize retirees, DECA students should be here sometime; pledge of allegiance at start of meeting usually done, didn't have flag as background for tonight, #schcom0512 also requested for remote school sessions  
  • Motion to go into executive session passed 7-0 via roll call, not to return to open session #schcom0512

PDF form of the agenda doc

Documents released for this meeting

Superintendent's Report

School Capacity Report

Screen shots of the proceedings and presentations can be viewed here

proposed route through the FHS parking lots for diploma distribution
proposed route through the FHS parking lots for diploma distribution

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