Thursday, November 12, 2020

Franklin (MA) School Committee - meeting recap - Nov 10, 2020

Quick Recap:

  • Organization meeting to start with; Bergen re-elected as Chair, Spencer elected as Vice-Chair
  • Portrait of a Graduate finally introduced with four drafts of graphical representations to convey the concept. The textual work had been carefully reviewed with a variety of stakeholder groups over the course of several months who are not getting a formal opportunity to provide input on the graphical representation which was first revealed this evening
  • New report format for review and update of the re-opening of schools. K-8 in hybrid, high school opening hybrid next week after delay due to the party. Athletics and theater students were tested to enable participation this week. Testing paid for by some savings within the school budget as well as some sports Alumni contributions.
  • Multiple parents expressed that for K and first graders, remote is not working, the students are not prepared to conduct themselves and require parent or guardian assistance. The process is not sustainable, the students are being left behind.
  • Feasibility report was conducted during the summer and while the District will look at options for K-1, there are space limitations and or staffing limitations to bringing all the K-1 back. (Yes, look at the building report to see how each of the elementary schools differ in class size and set up) The feasibility report referred to is currently a District internal doc (at least it is not found anywhere on the FPS pages).
  • Budget workshop scheduled for next week

Photos captured during the meeting and shared via Twitter can be found online in one folder

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  #schcomm1109

  • Getting ready for the SchComm meeting at 7 PM - To watch or listen:  Via Comcast (Channel 11) or Verizon (Channel 29)  Or  Call-In Phone Number:Call 1-929-205-6099 & enter Meeting ID # 811 6905 2702--Then press #  #schcomm1109
  • To watch or listen:  Via live stream…  #schcomm1109 
  • For active participation:  #schcomm1109  Via Zoom:
  • Franklin TV is also getting ready to broadcast this meeting #schcomm1109
  • Brief audio interruption during roll call, needed to redo part of it. Hopefully it won't reoccur. #schcomm1109 pledge and moment of silence before reorganizing the committee, Supt Ahern opens meeting nomination of Bergen, second, 6-0 (D'Angelo connection difficulty) Note D’Angelo did rejoin the meeting and appeared to have no audio issues for the reminder of the meeting.
  • Bergen open nominations for vice chair Spencer, seconded, via roll call 6-0 (D'Angelo still difficulty) #schcomm1109
  • Comment on parent impact for 1st grade student, coming back later as this is on the agenda in the re-opening update #schcomm1109 FHS getting used to remote learning, testing hard, found online learning personally easy to adapt to
  • Parent raises problem with chromebooks issue and insurance req'd after the fact. #schcomm1109
  • COVID-19 testing modifications changes as of Friday, were yellow now green with new map. In person, if feasible, desired by DESE. Feasibility study done during summer
  • In hybrid K-8 and moving to that for FHS, full in person would be a challenge to maintain distance as well as staffing positions difficult. #schcomm1109 health concerns, buses at 1/3 capacity, other matters on re-opening plan would be factors. In person is valued
  • Feasibility is the real issue, Superintendent association put out message on this in the afternoon, continue to monitor were 7+ now 4+ so we're doing better, we'll continue to look at to see what it would take. #schcomm1109 lots of work being done in hybrid model
  • Wants to emphasize a few key points on FHS remote, so many emails the joint message was best way to handle volume, welcome to FHS students to building in hybrid model, decision had been made due to police action on this party, needed to respond #schcomm1109
  • We do have masks, practices etc. in place but FHS has not had as much practice with it as the other schools. Stress and screen time is important to look at. Would look at facts of situation for next decision. #schcomm1109 did screen varsity athletes and drama as a test
  • Would have liked to do more testing but it wasn't available at the time and scale needed (600 not likely a yes) 60-80 was a yes and successful. #schcomm1109 shout out to Fire Chief McLaughlin for helping to make this happen along with school personnel and Central Office
  • Middle school visiting author coming to schools via remote next week. FEF grant helps to fund this. Attempting to show a musical showcase, audio difficulty, link will be in Superintendent report #schcomm1109
  • Suggestion to leverage the remote author visit and translate nor make available for ELL and others #schcomm1109 "when we don't follow the guidelines the kids end up suffering" the testing was not free, some savings from budget as well as alumni donors made that happen
  • Portrait of a graduate presentation being shared, doc will be on schools page Weds have captured screen grabs in the meantime #schcomm1109
  • Getting along the way for PoG #schcomm1109
  • More pages of PoG presentation #schcomm1109
  • More pages of the design itself #schcomm1109
  • Main design #schcomm1109
  • Design #2 #schcomm1109
  • Design #3 #schcomm1109
  • Design #4 #schcomm1109
  • And instead not me putting the 4 together, they thought of it #schcomm1109
  • Will take feedback and bring back two graphic choices for the 11/24 meeting #schcomm1109
  • Send feedback to SchComm as they will be making the choices, survey had gotten feedback on the text previously (but not on the graphics which was seen for the first time here) #schcomm1109
  • Getting to the chromebook insurance question raised earlier ( property of school district, akin to books, athletic equipment, musical instruments, etc.) #schcomm1109 would encourage insurance for coverage of accidental damage
  • Motion to adopt policy as proposed, second, passed 7-0 via roll call. #schcomm1109 Re-opening schools is a new item as a regular part of the meeting agenda; transfer requests are a big item for folks moving to remote or to hybrid, checking volume of switches
  • Are looking at K and Grade 1 in regards to instruction, exploring in person, could at 3' but not 6'; may be space or staffing or both. Great deal of variables among the 6 elementary schools with current size of classrooms #schcomm1109
  • Still working on and the dominos are multiple (transportation, contact tracing, etc.) Staffing still an issue, trouble filling substitutes, more staff are being requested to stay home due to change in family status i.e. COVID or otherwise #schcomm1109
  • New report format for reopening status and discussion  #schcomm1109 (and yes just realized should have tagged these as  1110, oh well)
  • Hearing of excess screen time for FHS, likely to reduce as move to hybrid, but will keep looking at #schcomm1109 teachers may be taking sick time to catch up on work (some might have also done so before COVID-19) measures of coordination at a level we are not there yet
  • High class size a concern for K, 2 in particular, for virtual learning academy VLA, are looking to provide additional support where possible, many moving parts, deadline of Friday for change request, to be made in Dec (Dec 11) #schcomm1109
  • Busing an implication, may not have enough for a mid-day run if trying to bring all K, 1 back in split sessions, would also be an expense item as it would increase cost #schcomm1109
  • Parent telling story of 1st grader who needs one of the parents to assist with the instruction, both parents work and can't participate. #schcomm1109 options aren't great, 2 older kids are making it work, the 1st grader is getting left behind when parents can't help
  • It is a slide deck that the first grader can't read, without either parent help, kid can't function to learn. Disappointed that it is Nov and we still don't have options #schcomm1109 not something they will make up in 6 months
  • 3rd parent with K and 1, it is not sustainable, they do ok in school but can't work well remote, teacher teaches both cohorts, increasing days would not increase risk #schcomm1109 it is failing the youngest learner's
  • Parent kept spreadsheet to summarize an average every 13 mins need to click something to open or close, that the first grader couldn't. #schcomm1109 Q can Supt Ahern bring options to SchComm for discussion?
  • Budget workshop for #SchComm1109 next Tuesday, what info do we want to get out and be aware. Community relations, no meeting on calendar. Res 10 of MASC didn't pass, other 9 did. Policy meeting Thursday, DTFA met and then met with Community for info session
  • DTFA had about 30 participants, survey out for input closing Dec 2, possible appearance with Franklin Matters podcast. (Yes, I am ready awaiting date/time from participants) #schcomm1109
  • Next meeting PoG adoption, reset presentation schedule going forward Consent agenda proposed for approval, seconded, passes 7-0 via roll call. #schcomm1109
  • Motion to adjourn, seconded, passes  7-0 via roll call 


4 design choices for the Portrait of a Graduate
4 design choices for the Portrait of a Graduate


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