Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Recap - Oct 13, 2020

Quick Recap:

  • The meeting was broadcast via Verizon and Comcast as well as the live steam via the Franklinma.gov page. All three channels had an audio problem with no sound. The Zoom meeting audio was fine (the Zoom where it happened). Zoom originated the broadcast from the Council Chambers and apparently the audio got lost getting elsewhere
  • Hiring staff is still a concern, bandwidth not an issue (version of Chromebook is), awaiting delivery of new Chromebooks so swaps can be made; teacher and student SEL a concern; communication issues acknowledged (Where was the Community Relations committee?)
  • Three MASC resolutions passed 7-0, one by 4-3 vote as some were fearing that reducing voting age for municipal elections would add student votes to a potential override situation; two other resolutions were already adopted by this committee earlier in 2020
  • District Improvement plan outlined and voted to adopt
  • Superintendent Ahern presented the ‘evidence’ to support her accomplishments versus the goals set out; some discussion on what was the period of evaluation, as 5 of the committee are new and had not participated in the goal setting, although they did partially participate in the period of evaluation
  • Approval to reduce the pay to ride bus fee to account for the hybrid schedule (versus full time in person) which had been anticipated when set
  • The full Davis Thayer and facility report analysis is coming up next meeting, read the report to prepare

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  #schcom1013

  • Getting ready for the next School Committee meeting - have you checked out the agenda? https://franklinps.net/district/meeting-packets/files/agenda-10-13-20 #schcomm1013 it has the connection info for this session
  • The meeting available via Verizon and Comcast local channels as well as via lice stream from the Town of Franklin page #schcomm1013 https://franklinma.gov/home/pages/live-meetings-stream all brought to you by Franklin TV
  • FHS representatives here for first time in school year. Akash Shetty, class president, Katie Garrigan & Nipun Goel also present and intro themselves; also spoke of mixed bag on remote learning, not easy, teachers doing well, reqs independence #schcom1013
  • #schcom1013 now for Superintendent's report. Review of health data metrics and moving to hybrid as announced last week. Trending under 1% positivity rate and steady. Moving forward as scheduled. FHS model changed to 33% (instead of 1/4) A,B,C cohorts
  • #schcom1013 UV upgrade has begun, currently filters and maintenance complete, and dampers open to increase air flow. 2 types of units large and small, Keller-Sullivan being done, FHS contracted, full schedule in report posted Weds
  • Chromebook arrival anticipated, video bandwidth is fine, issue is with browser and unit software. Swaps being prepared once new units arrive. #schcom1013 contracted for remote service for families with unit problems
  • Staffing continues to be a concern Report of no sound via the live stream, Zoom is fine. Verizon/Comcast also with no volume #schcom1013
  • Folks working the sound issue #schcom1013
  • #schcom1013 large size class VLA for K and 2nd grade a priority for additional help, as noted earlier with the staffing issues
  • Could look at schedule as an interim step for lower level grades #schcom1013 wouldn't want to walk back the overall time as it took so long to get to full day K
  • Superintendent is responsible for the health and safety of the students and staff daily, thanks to all for stepping up, the employers are also stepping up. #schcom1013 Moving along to Superintendent eval
  • https://franklinps.net/district/meeting-packets/files/supt-eval-presentation presentation doc for eval. #schcom1013 Rubrics for eval with focus indicators
  • #schcom1013 student goal will need to be revised as it was based upon 3 years of MCAS results and that was skipped last year. "When requested" holds exit interview with departing staff.
  • Portrait of a graduate coming in next couple of meetings #schcom1013 (Zoom participation up to 60+)
  • Seal of biliteracy coming for FHS, #schcom1013 one if the key policy matters is the closing study for Davis Thayer and that is underway. Report coming to meeting 10/27 https://franklinps.net/district/davis
  • Portrait of a graduate (PoG) unites us all together. For Superintendents one of the most important work is to hire principals #schcom1013 to share background material on PoG, should also incorporate pandemic related items as they weren't planned for
  • #schcom1013 how to address pandemic as it straddles 2 school years, last year is part of this eval. Next eval will cover this year and the summer prep etc. Including meetings via Zoom as business changed. Didn't want to go back
  • Judy objects to use of 'evidence' results would be better, otherwise sounds like their picking apart the work. #schcom1013 Q on timing of eval period vs. SchCom term what they could see/observe. Q on staff wellbeing
  • Superintendent eval publicly on Nov 10 #schcom1013 https://franklinps.net/district/meeting-packets/files/dip-goals-presentation doc contains the updated goals for approval, school goals cascade down from these
  • Essential skills for portrait of a graduate (PoG) shown in these 5 areas #schcom1013 part of the overall district plan, more to come on the PoG as it comes forward as mentioned
  • Key quote #schcom1013 work being done by Community group to be synched with the schools work in this area
  • Still no sound on livestream (only Zoom) #schcom1013 I'll make sure to turn my audio recording around quickly so you can listen to this while Franklin TV queues the replay for cable
  • What is the meaning of 'homework' when all school work is done at home? #schcom1013 use of digital tools for safety and privacy for users.
  • PoG creates a structure for building on the skills across the grades to prepare for walking out the door as an adult #schcom1013 difference between school values and skill competency
  • Q on goals vs this year what is it going to bring? Are we taking on too much? What is the rationale? #schcom1013 anything new is tailored narrowly to this environment, assessment is strategic, could allow us to assess less could do both remote and hybrid, adaptive as well
  • Someone unmutted went full screen to yawn. Thanks, needed that. You know it's contagious #schcom1013 no new curriculum lifts this year, explanation helped to settle what was new vs New
  • Recommend adoption of district goals https://franklinps.net/district/meeting-packets/files/disc-action-dip #schcom1013 motion seconded, passed 7-0 via roll call
  • Motion on policy approval https://franklinps.net/district/meeting-packets/files/disc-action-b-policy #schcom1013 motion seconded, passed 7-0 via roll call
  • Motion on bus ride pay fee reduction seconded https://franklinps.net/district/meeting-packets/files/disc-action-c-ptr #schcom1013 seconded passed 7-0 via roll call for this school year only due to pandemic.
  • MASC resolutions up for approval https://franklinps.net/district/meeting-packets/files/disc-action-d-masc-resolutions 4 resolutions chosen, 2 already acted upon previously. #schcom1013 motion and second amended to hear a summary of the resolution passed 7-0 via roll call
  • Res 1 calls for moratorium for testing for 2020-2021 sch year, motion seconded passes 7-0 via roll call Res 4 lowers voting age for municipal election via empower act, motion and seconded, passes 4-3 via roll call
  • Res 5 advocates for progressive tax regulations, motion seconded passes 7-0 #schcom1013 Res 6 allocation of medicade funding motion seconded passes 6-1 (what % actually goes to schools) Judy no
  • #schcom1013 recap of res 2 and 3 Info matters Budget met last week, scheduled future session; comm relations Tues at 3, newsletter items needed chap 70 presentation last week, FEF fund raiser well attended (approx 40) Policy meeting coming
  • Facilities report reviewed 9/30, coming up 10/27 for full discussion https://franklinps.net/district/davis-thayer-facilities-analysis/pages/comprehensive-facilities-assessment-report #schcom1013 Joint PCC met, updates confirming what Supt said, concerned about fund raising this year due to pandemic
  • "Caste" by isabel Wilkerson, currently #1 recommended by Rev Eric Cherry #schcom1013 Facilities report next meeting Consent agenda motion to approve, second, passes 7-0 via roll call Judy obtains on minutes for meeting she missed
  • Motion to adjourn regular session, go to executive session to discuss strategy, will reconvene to return Motion to go, second, passes 7-0 #schcom1013
  • While they will return, that is all for me tonight, catch you next time #schcom1013


Franklin, MA: School Committee - Recap - Oct 13, 2020
Franklin, MA: School Committee - Recap - Oct 13, 2020


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