Saturday, November 28, 2020

School Committee meeting recap - Nov 24, 2020

Quick Recap:

  • School committee votes to approve the Portrait of a Graduate as proposed along with a graphical representation of the skills and descriptions
  • The evaluation of Superintendent Sara Ahern was read word by word and then approved by unanimous vote.
  • Re-opening status updated with new report summary including COVID-19 metrics.
  • As school district was closed Wednesday, no additional docs were posted to the meeting packet folder after the meeting. We’ll need to wait until Monday for those.
Photos captured during the meeting and shared via Twitter can be found online


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  #schcomm1124

  • Getting ready for the school Committee meeting at 7; agenda doc with connection info here #schcom1124
  • Waiting #schcomm1124 and called to order at 7:03 PM
  • New trend? #schcomm1124 member speaking during citizens comments touting the success of the FHS field hockey team. Maybe such comments will get on to the agenda formally some day…
  • Superintendent's report, first on the budget status: state house release of cherry sheet confirms the FY 2020 levels with small increase of cost of living for FY 2021.  Student opportunity act no where to be seen at this time. #schcomm1124 state budget now in conf committee
  • Fall capital is on hold (per update at FinCom last week). Invited to attend  FinCom at Dec 15 meeting. #schcomm1124 registration for winter sports opens Weds through Dec 4. Modifications still be worked. Low or moderate risk only others moved to later in winter or spring
  • Photos of ECDC #schcomm1124
  • FEF funding passed through from Dell $3500 for robotics program, music performance of Cabaret last weekend, very entertaining! #schcomm1124 some photos from recent visit to FHS
  • Moving to discussion action items, new policy items for review. Crowd funding campaign addressed by first  #schcomm1124 telework concept is covered by second policy (same link)
  • Odd conversation for discussion now with so much remote and hybrid working underway. #schcomm1124 motion to move to second reading, second, passes 7-0 via roll call
  • Portrait of a graduate up for approval (skills and description) first for this, second, passes 7-0  
  • Second vote would be on the graphic itself with two options (4 shown prior meeting) motion to approve a graphic #3, moved, seconded, 4-3 so graphic 3 is the one #schcomm1124
  • Next up, Superintendent evaluation. No doc released before hand so no indication of what's coming. #schcomm1124
  • Acknowledged doc wasn't shared among Committee before now, so if a typo or wording needs to be changed. Evaluation will be read word by word. #schcomm1124
  • Won't attempt to report on this section, stay tuned for audio version and doc when ready to be shared #schcomm1124 ranked as "proficient"
  • (#justsaying there must be a better way) still listening to the reading of a doc we can't see #schcomm1124 Chair pauses to take a drink of water and continue reading
  • "Franklin is fortunate to have Sara as Superintendent" #schcomm1124 the summative commentary is instructive and something to work with going forward. "Thanks for all the work by the Committee members, it is a team effort and I am proud of the collective effort"
  • Motion to approve evaluation as detailed, second, passes 7-0 via roll call #schcomm1124 
  • Moving to discussion only items, re-opening of schools, includes data from past weeks COVID counts. Quarantine requirements and impact on hybrid instruction, staff of 30 also tagged, rising#
  • Report referenced #schcomm1124 acknowledged a disconnect between data locally reported and DESE data (slick accounting! by DESE)
  • Bandwidth reported to be mostly ok, aside from a couple of specific times, and recognition of personnel using multiple devices to teach, will be updating bandwidth, new laptops being issued to help address. #schcomm1124 hybrid model is challenging to teach
  • Adhere to guidance please if traveling, concern about post break and able to maintain operations. Did not pursue pilot test process for district, questioning application of it, only for use in school setting. #schcomm1124 making transfers from VLA to hybrid
  • Concerned over lack of update on K-1 situation, more coming Dec 8th, no timeline yet, constraints to be understood and worked out #schcomm1124 chasing supply on HVAC upgrades, several changes since the initial discussion in August.  Also bumping up to spending deadline 12/31/20
  • Generally timeline being pushed out for devices, carbon levels 2-600 and goal is to be under 800... #schcomm1124 still looking for substitutes, letter to college students coming home did generate interest, among student teachers
  • FHS teacher glad to be back, it is a lot of work to deal with both students in person and remote #schcomm1124 budget workshop Dec 1. Community relations TBD, policy mtg scheduled, DTFA podcast  coming, meeting coming in Dec. Substance abuse task force finalize goals
  • #schcomm1124 SWAC released nutrition info, meeting Dec 15. Physical activity challenge for all students, staff, families coming to give 2020 the boot! Budget work Dec 1; next meeting topics; goals for consideration, K-1 options
  • Consent agenda, motion to approve, seconded, passed 7-0 via roll call items found on packet page #schcomm1124 thanks to FEF for their help and donation
  • Motion to adjourn, second, passed 7-0 via roll call
  • That's all for tonight. Happy Thanksgiving!

image on right was chosen by a 4-3 vote of the committee
image on right was chosen by a 4-3 vote of the committee

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