Wednesday, July 15, 2020

School Committee recap: anti-racism taskforce likely to be formed

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 #sc0714

  • Real time reporting underway for the School Committee meeting #sc0714
  • Superintendent's report, MASC conf this week virtually Tuesday/Wednesday. #sc0714 video on demand is up and running, includes meetings as well as the FHS graduation.
  • Conf not the same as being in person but good sessions and good topics #sc0714 three policies up for review and movement to second reading. All on transportation, two revisions, one significantly different wording; clarity around trans of student by teacher/staff
  • Clarification questions on cleaning the buses before after, to be covered in re-opening; and on who acts as the liaison for transportation issues, generally the business office, one part timer reporting to Miriam handles this #sc0714 moved to second reading via roll call 7-0
  • Second policy item for approval Moved to approve with amendment of wording to clarify not to include teacher observation #sc0714 passed 7-0 next up the anti racism resolution
  • Recommendations for changes to the wording from the local Franklin group will be considered in the workshop to be scheduled. This current wording is from MASC. Prior resolution by Town Council did include prior SchComm so no need to duplicate here #sc0714
  • SchComm talking to inclusion of comments in workshop going forward. Would consider creation of something similar to the substance abuse task force for this topic #sc0714 anti-racism is a community issue, not just the schools. Lots of conversation over the past month
  • MASC wording is meant for general state wide acknowledgement, we can set this forward, do the workshop and then work more directly to address and include the community, #sc0714 did not formally org before but did get reporting on it regularly.
  • #sc0714 superintendent goals and accountability should also include this topic. Need to keep effort and focus on it, can't let it fall to the back burner given everything else going on. Bergen recounts the substance abuse task force creation as an example
  • We can't do this alone, we have a budget gap to address, the Town Council could help, the community will need to help as well. This is a pressing issue but we need to be thoughtful of how we do this. #sc0714
  • MASC facilitator to be at the summer retreat (workshop mentioned earlier) to help discuss and decide. Could be under superintendent's office more than SchComm #sc0714 continued discussion around updates vs action item for vote in future
  • #sc0714 Justin commends the SchComm for consideration and action, it is appreciated. We are worried that the budget or COVID could distract this effort. 147 signatures on petition and currently 95 participants in this meeting
  • #sc0714 passes 7-0 via roll call (finally)
  • Next up, school opening update. #sc0714 we are aware of a lot of anxiety and fear among the parents, students, and Community overall. Info may change, still fluid. Health is driving the guidance in MA. DESE updates Jun 25 and Jul 10, more coming mid-summer
  • #sc0714 cautioned to not decide.too early, really one plan with different learning model, in person and remote and hybrid. Template due this week, more details for the 7/28 meeting as it is due to state 7/31. Task force work underway, large and growing, approx 60
  • #sc0714 survey closed yesterday, so too early to provide results. Looking for health concerns, looking at busing i.e. for social distancing. As we can provide more info, we may need to do additional survey to gather info; info needs to be concrete
  • #sc0714 working to open offices and determine process and protocol, offices still closed to the public. Once operationalized likely to be able to open some time via appt. It is a relief to be in the office. Following guidance on PPE, orders being made
  • #sc0714 DESE has looked for a test on physical space for social distancing 6 feet, etc. What's capacity? What else could be used? Hybrid, what is best model, cohort group to split and adjust size, not likely to go am/pm sessions due to cleaning requirements
  • #sc0714 could other Community space be used? Not sure we will be seeking, FHS is a challenge with the 1700 there, likely to be better able to handles the other elem/middle school buildings. Distinction between home school and remote learning. Home schooling exists today
  • #sc0714 home schooling is an independent approach and does require approvals. More clarity to come later. Initial plan for July 28 meeting. Criteria needs to be defined on what would be the decision to go back to remote learning. Online registration available on web page
  • #sc0714 clarification on taskforce members not one from each grade for counseling but from each level, principals and asst principals are also on taskforce. Is there a role for SchComm? Possibly, had been expecting more state direction but there is a local part
  • #sc0714 BICO report shared, no questions. Info matters, Community relations did met, Farmers market to be scheduled, newsletter sent. Facilities analysis, not much to report. Questionnaire still in draft, doing one but first q is for role. No report yet. Central office
  • #sc0714 met last week, principals to be scheduled next week. Concern about timeline and vetting process. Ad hoc superintendent Committee meeting this week. Narrow goals for Sara, then meet in a mini workshop to work through it. on to new business: more about re-opening
  • #sc0714 possible budget update given close out of FY2020 on 7/15, annual report due to town in Sep, so coming later to Committee. Bergen to draft the SchComm version as well. Consent agenda up next, approved 7-0 via roll call
  • #sc0714 motion to move to executive session not to return to public meeting. Passed 7-0 via roll call. This concludes tonight's reporting, catch you all next time!

The School Committee agenda and related documents

School Committee recap: anti-racism taskforce likely to be formed
School Committee recap: anti-racism taskforce likely to be formed 

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