Friday, June 12, 2020

School Committee - Recap - June 9, 2020

As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session.

The Twitter hashtag can be found online #schcom0609

  • Real time reporting underway, National anthem performance via video was connected and superb #schcom0609 over 300 participants via this virtual meeting tonight!!!
  • Role call and meeting protocol laid out by Chair Bergen. Superintendent report tonight : congratulations to class of 2020, the events did come off well, facilities, Franklin TV, police, fire all coming together to make it happen #schcom0609
  • The 10 students who were missed in the first video had their individual video played during the meeting, the full video is re-edited to include them and will be made available later #schcom0609
  • The DESE guidance released on PPE supplies was meant to facilitate the order process not to give info on what school is meant to look like. More guidance coming in midJune. Re-opening Committee has 50 or so folks participating locally to figure out what's needed #schcom0609
  • Next up: FHS DECA Students and Advisor Mr. Carmo - 140 students participated this year, business focused, platform to make a project and express yourself creatively. 1 in 15 part of DECA. Teacher adviser are key to success, grown by 100 in 3 years #schcom0609
  • Rohit lead group project using a shoelace, over 5,000 ideas submitted, this one was the winner. The mask made from shoelaces was a dual purpose pollution and cold weather. The video idea was shared here earlier #schcom0609
  • Several of the DECA students on the winning project presented. Another bunch of students using goats to mow public lawns that won a national trip (unfortunately they didn't get to go). Movable fences would herd the goats to cut the grass "goats, goats, goats" #schcom0609
  • Next DECA project created a business plan for Middlesex Savings Bank to improve their online banking presence, addressed diversity through online portal #schcom0609 another one addresses JP Morgan; MA DECA first state officer from FHS Anish #schcom0609
Discussion/Action items
  • Moving on to discussion/Action items #schcom0609 1- motion to approve Ahern as BICO rep, passed via roll call 7-0; 2 - motion to approve Ahern to Accept collaborative, passes 6-0-1 (Stokes abstained) ; 3- motion on SOA funding, motion to table for future analysis 7-0
  • Next up; budget update, no vote scheduled for tonight, #schcom0609 will discuss tonight, after SchComm then public will have time for input, it is a challenge (an understatement) this budget year. Reluctant recommendations. Town won't support what had been previously voted
Budget update
  • $3.4m shortfall is what we are working on, Sen Spilka said last week not to use the Gov's numbers, which is what had been the basis for the planning for Franklin FY21 budget. Circuit breaker and transportation had been hoped for but not likely #schcom0609
  • Reluctant recommendations not a complete list, did want to get something for discussion, #schcom0609 mitigation efforts go back several years, looking to keep goals, vision, etc. Looked at data and enrollment, looked at pandemic in lieu of other guidance
  • Good to see that the 'watch list' for 2020 published in Jan has been partially achieved with over 380 folks participating tonight's meeting #schcom0609 one time funds create structural deficits
  • While acknowledging that use of one time funds creates structural deficits, failed to mention that this use of such funds balanced the last three budgets helping to create (actually worsen) the problem faced now #schcom0609
  • Notifications went to the non-professional staff, they are within the three year cycle, more flexible option is notify many and then bring back those to fill in as the details are further defined over the next couple of months ##schcom0609 (notification never good!)
  • Acknowledged reaching out of Community around chorus, given pandemic not likely to be allowed right away, can be added later as allowed and additional funding permits, scaling back, not cutting music, need to revisit. #schcom0609
  • Reluctant recommendations not a complete list, did want to get something for discussion, #schcom0609 mitigation efforts go back several years, looking to keep goals, vision, etc. Looked at data and enrollment, looked at pandemic in lieu of other guidance
  • Not elimination of middle school clubs and activities, but scaling back, some not with good volume #schcom0609 looking for less clubs but more engagement with those (within guidelines), temp move to combine position of fine arts coordination, not long term solution
  • FHS expecting decreasing enrollment in FY22 and there after as it moves to 'normal' capacity of the building (1600; currently over 1700) #schcom0609 CHA = Community host agreement (i.e. cannabis company mitigations with Franklin)
  • Opening for SchComm member questions: Spencer - difficult funding, not adequate for what we need. #schcom0609 Pfeffer - time to think outside the box, luxury items, instructional coaches, cut to 1 per elementary school, each school has 1 principal and an assistant
  • Pfeffer we don't need assistant principals, that would save classroom teachers. Bergen - would these go to budget subcomm for review? Yes, there are other conversations that we had which did not make this reluctant list, we can take it back to bring the data/argument #schcom0609
  • Lisa Fries speaking for a part of a cares act feature that helped Providence close a $2m gap there. #schcom0609 Bergen apparently not aware of the participants list where they raise their hand (oops)
  • For some music is something, for some music is everything. There seems to be a clear bias towards music being cut #schcom0609
  • None of us know what bussing looks like for next year, awaiting guidance, there is no notice from DESE yet, no one has missed anything; may need to spend a lot more on bussing #schcom0609
  • Q what was the criteria for clubs/activities at high school vs. elem and middle cuts. Very few elementary clubs, middle school has more and declining enrollment, FHS has clubs with volunteer teachers, hence no stipend and then nothing to cut. #schcom0609
  • Chorus runs separate from other specials in elementary, used for common planning time among teachers, because of the schedule mostly. #schcom0609 D'Angelo - now looking at new data? Why now? K number enrollment down, bump anticipated not yet seen.
  • Do have an elementary position they were trying to keep two separate classes for SEL reasons, but due to budget need to get to one; not in a budget situation for nice to have, in a need to have #schcom0609 folks don't understand the 25, 50 and then the 103 where it came from
  • Part of it timing, non-professional need to be notified by June 15; budget will continue to be developed over the summer, did so with heavy hearts to bring in talented folks, mentor, train, etc. Takes time for the 25 or 50 positions to be determined #schcom0609
  • 3 out of every 4 districts spend more than Franklin. 70% on security, 75% on instructional materials and devices, 60% more for teachers, this is not a sustainable level. What I hope (Keenan) is we get community agreement on more funding, how do we get more #schcom0609
  • Bergen raising the Davis Thayer question for discussion. #schcom0609 fiscal crisis coming for last several years. Have Held Legislative forums, coffee hours, etc to help share info. Facility meeting scheduled for 6/11
  • Much harder to maintain the excellence we have achieved, need to correct the misconception that we have enough funding (we don't) #schcom0609 Bergen relates the history. ECDC is vulnerable not so much on the expense side but on revenue with families not comfortable to return
  • Bergen understands DT is an issue, not for discussion tonight just wanted added to what's on the table. D'Angelo it is irresponsible to bring up now and to the subcomm. Pfeffer it is premature. #schcom0609 Stokes - subcomm summary later will bring update
  • Student voices for chorus making multiple points (aside from incorrect tax rate understanding but that is missunderstood by many adults too) #schcom0609
  • Andrew Falanga eloquently speaking and making multiple points #schcom0609 Nancy Schoen speaking for music, the students spoke more eloquently on this. Important to have all the way thru the years
  • Donna Grady, FEA President, not a protest, just trying to call attention to what that # looks like. The teachers spread from Beaver St to Stop n Shop. On the resolution, they both say the same thing. One written by teachers, one by sch admin #schcom0609
  • Evaluation process is cumbersome at best, was developed by Franklin with DESE for the other communities. Not a priority for teachers but willing to talk about it #schcom0609
  • Abigail George eloquently speaking to self improvement available from choir, coming together in vulnerability and teaching strength #schcom0609 studying to be a rights advocate (and will be a good one!)
  • Shannon - Some of these teachers would be so hard to replace. #schcom0609 Denise asked where we were with budget as some town Councilors were asking (note some Councilors want to do more than they are permitted on schcom)
  • 1 of 10 FHS seniors are going to continue in arts #schcom0609
  • Parent quotes "it takes a village" (does she know Chair Bergen has Franklin TV show with that title?) #schcom0609 Franklin strong, we need to find a way to come up with a solution, that's why we live here.
  • Delaney finally gets her connection and says her piece. Carly Fisher didn't go to school for academics, shop has been priceless. It makes me nauseous to see the district stripped, how can we help? We can't do more with less. #schcom0609
  • "It is not a coincidence that music and high performing students go together" it is a sad day that you don't listen to music. #schcom0609 music is not only for musicians
  • Couple of points music is an equalizer, diversity, inclusion, unity, these are the values we need #schcom0609
  • Steve Heldt moved here in 2017, what has produced to give the students the voices they shared tonight, don't lose that. This needs to be a community decision. #schcom0609 we are the bottom quarter in per pupil spending, we need to fix the hole in the boat
  • Betsy wants to know why we are not talking about raising taxes with an override #schcom0609 vera Cooper, music does build a lasting bond, shameless plug filmed a movie "the clockmaker"
  • Kate Roberts, parents are willing to help, let us know what to do. #schcom0609 Virginia, her HMMS student in reach program and connects with her peers thru music, chorus is where she can shine
  • Amy Danahy, we really need to think about an override. What about early retirement? #schcom0609 Stacy why are we focusing on music if COVID, why not football which is more expensive.
Subcommittee updates
  • Facility update, they are in no rush to make a decision on DT, final report due this week, won't rush to compromise results. All info gathered so far on facility page, no recommendation at this time, next meeting Thursday #schcom0609
  • First SchComm newsletter came out today, wants subcom chairs to send info to be included in next one #schcom0609 joint PCC met yesterday. Policy were to meet 6/17 reschedule to 6/24
  • How does the district address diversity race, etc.? For a future update to schcom (new members don't know) #schcom0609
Consent Agenda - Closing
  • Motion to approve consent agenda, passes 7-0 via roll call
  • Payment of bills in order. Going into executive session not to return to public forum. Passed 7-0 via roll. #schcom0609
  • This concludes the real time reporting for tonight, catch you next time #schcom0609

Audio file for this 4 hour meeting

School Committee meeting packet folder (doc for meeting)

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