Wednesday, August 26, 2020

School Committee recap: sports authorized, digital tech position created, re-opening updates

The Franklin, MA School Committee met on Tuesday August 25 and the recap is as follows:
  • voted to approve participation in schools sports. The vote was required as the district is starting remote. "If nothing had been voted on, and they moved to hybrid, would a vote have been required?" was a question raised but not answered. The vote was 5-1-1 (5 for, 1 no, 1 absent)
  • voted to create a new position which had long been desired but had not previously made the budget. Now due to the remote and hybrid learning requirements, the digital learning integration specialist, was approved and three positions were authorized. Funding for the first half of the school year is available from the CARES Act. Funding for the second half and beyond needs to be identified. The vote was 4-2-1 (4 for, 2 no, 1 absent)
  • voted to move interim policy changes to operate under the emergency order issued by the Governor for this COVID-19 period to a second reading. Policy changes always take two readings to become final.
  • In the Superintendents Report the re-opening progress was noted and while answers remain to be provided much more info is forthcoming before school starts. Class and teacher assignments, bus schedules, chromebook pickup, etc. Stay tuned, the taskforce has been busy working and getting to finalize many details over the next couple of weeks.
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 #schcom0825
  • Real time reporting underway for #schcom0825
  • Superintendent's report will include a re-opening update. Also addressing prior meeting item of surplus in this case old and unusable books #schcom0825 second item is longer, i.e. re-opening and first 10 days of PD for teachers
  • Teachers come back Monday 8/22 #schcom0825 multiple items on agenda for welcoming back and getting started. New teacher orientation today and next 2 days. Bus transportation in review, request via form coming Weds. Wait to make payment later
  • Working on remote only model in prep 250+ k-5 another 100+ middle school. Considering options to provide via a learning academy with FPS teachers who are choosing remote #schcom0825 last resort seats in a learning mgt system. Moves possible at marking break
  • Transition to hybrid for FHS still being worked, value in staging (gradual) move rather than all at once. Cohort won't be by grade due to class assignments with mixed grades. #schcom0825 FHS schedule being revised
  • New guidance from DESE last week re: students of teachers to come to the district, still evaluation underway. Class size being looked at may not be able to handle. #schcom0825 we are being flexible re staff assignments to accommodate where possible
  • Lifelong Learning to do daycare for teachers children, limited availability, priced for cost recovery. #schcom0825 flu vaccine requirements discussed, more info to come on date due for compliance; exception for religion and medical reasons, docs required
  • Q on whether considering later daytime start for FHS. Would be easier if remote rather than hybrid or in person. Not definite at this time. Q on daycare. At a premium, there was good interest, but only 5 enrolled currently and can't exceed 30 #schcom0825
  • Q handbook? On agenda for Sep 8 meeting. Q assignments? Being worked and should be out next week. Q on schedule? More info coming over the next couple of weeks. Q raised on mask removal circumstances? An older section that has been changing as info #schcom0825
  • FYI up to 90+ via the Zoom bridge for this meeting, another 11 on live stream via page #schcom0825
  • Q on interruption in teachers environment and the resulting impact on learning. Related to another comment on DESEs recommendation for teachers in rooms #schcom0825 Q more comment on cost of childcare is raising stress for teachers
  • We are trying to apply the funding in prudent ways, there is not a great answer, need to look at cost benefits.#schcom0825 Q school based teams meeting as needed for building level fine tuning. Things are fluid and evolving
  • Mention of YMCA efforts on childcare, the link to additional info can be found on Franklin Matters #schcom0825
  • Next up Athletics update! #schcom0825. SchCom needs to vote as they already approved plan for starting remote. AD Tom Angelo and FHS principal Hanna to provide update
  • 8 of 12 hock teams don't have access to gym for volleyball hence move to flex season #schcom0825 AD have met, principals to meet Thursday on plan. Sports would be outside, in smaller #s, and with changes to game to improve safety (soccer, no heading of ball)
  • Q soccer changed in risk level apparently due to heavy lobbying effort, soccer is a high contact sport both boys and girls. Are there other rule changes coming? How are the refs going to monitor this? #schcom0825 there are additional rule changes to the nature of this game
  • The SEL aspects are driving the efforts to make it work albeit different. The coaches will follow the rules to the T. #schcom0825 cost and availability of busses for away games may be an issue, considering family transportation as an option to be worked out (legal?) liability?
  • Q has BoH been involved yet? No but will be. Q concern about the nature of the rule changes, can they be followed? #schcom0825 athletic fees don't cover cost of season, only about 30% of budget covered; may be an increase
  • A vote only required because we are starting remote first? Once we go hybrid, that would be an automatic yes? #schcom0825 we'll all be watching if the guidelines are to be followed, same comments are for school settings too. Can people follow the guidelines?
  • Community comments; first up an FHS junior Will Tracey  #schcom0825 ; former SchComm member Gigi Zub
  • Next up Declan Walmsey, and Sidney Hawkins #schcom0825 and Denise Lewandowski all to encourage the SchCom to vote for proposal
  • Next up Virna O'Brien, #schcom0825 advocate for the class of 2021, the class of 2020 lost a lot, but not much has been said about this class of 2021
  • Motion to approve participation in sports, seconded, passed 5-1 (1 absent) MJ voted no with apologies to every athlete #schcom0825
  • Next up interim policy for COVID-19 related items, 2nd policy on face covering, all policy docs can be found in this doc, policy in effect during emergency for COVID-19 …. #schcom0825
  • Motion to move to second reading as discussed (no questions raised) second, vote via roll call 6-0 (1 absent D'angelo) #schcom0825
  • Next up calendar revision, … most half days to Weds (from Friday) due to cleaning process in hybrid model. #schcom0825 motion to approve, seconded, request to change name of Columbus day, will change per other work, not tonight; vote 6-0
  • Creation of new position, i.e. digital learning integration to support in remote or hybrid. #schcom0825 info in link here, funded 1H via COVID funding, will need to look at 2H of year for funding … motion to approve, second, now Qs
  • Q how many teachers were laid off. Approx 19.5 in last budget. Request to read job description, being read by Supt Ahern (Link shared previously contains this) #schcom0825 looking into hire within where possible $70-80K/year; concern about funding for 2H
  • Budget Subcommittee had reviewed these positions and approved of them albeit there are funding challenges, #schcom0825 vote (finally) via roll call 4-2 (MJ no, risky; Judy no, shouldn't need) (1  absent)
  • Discussion only items possible presentation schedule for future meetings … #schcom0825 out for discussion, subject to change
  • Budget Subcommittee met last Fri, #schcom0825 Community relations, facility on hold. Policy has been busy, expecting to see student handbooks. Nothing definite on chromebook delivery. Supt review, social and racial justice task force met last week, Anne representing
  • For next meeting, annual report review, new hires, COVID addendum, handbooks; what about the hiring process? What about ECDC? What will it look like? Support for the staff. Enjoy the last week of summer! #schcom0825 new chromebooks may not be here before school starts
  • Q on the books from last time, they were disposed of. We did to seek to donate where possible but standards do change, many were damaged and not in good shape. Pfeffer not pleased. Supt Ahern would not assume that these books would be used anywhere. #schcom0825
  • Consent agenda, motion to approve, second, vote via roll call 6-0 (1 absent) #schcom0825 
  • Motion to enter executive session not to return to public meeting; second vote via roll call 6-0
  • That's all for tonight, catch you next time!
The agenda doc, including connection info

The meeting packet with all docs released for this meeting

Photos used in the Twitter thread can be found in the album

School Committee recap: sports authorized, digital tech position created, re-opening updates
School Committee recap: sports authorized, digital tech position created, re-opening updates

No comments:

Post a Comment