Thursday, December 10, 2020

School Committee meeting Dec 8, 2020 - recap - K-1 planning, winter sports, updates, re-opening remains a challenge

Quick Recap:
  • Sensitivity is high across the community. Parent complained about FHS student representative updates being interpreted by SchComm as reflecting other middle and elementary school students. While trying to be positive, there are issues all around
  • Superintendent's report (not yet posted to FPS page as of 9 AM 12/10/20)
  • Winter sports update as developed by MIAA and task force/subcommittee work summarized and presented by AD Angelo  
  • The two policies up for second reading were initially moved to vote together as no one acknowledged any questions for either policy. As the vote commences, D’Angelo raises questions, the motion is modified to vote the two policies separately, D'Angelo votes for one and against the other
  • Budget update still quite fluid but some savings being seen in this pandemic world. What happens after the COVID/CARES funding expires Dec 31, 2020 remains unclear as there are so many moving parts. Schools will stay within budget as authorized. Preparation for Finance Committee meeting scheduled for Dec 15 in process
  • Bringing the K-1 back to in school full time still requires much work to be done to confirm it is possible and what it would cost. Committee and parents disappointed with lack of specificity in the report given the timing of it
  • Re-opening in hybrid is still a challenge, tech issues, staffing, time on learning all issues being struggled with, patience is required (yet running short)
Photos captured during the remote meeting and shared with Twitter can be found in one album

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  #schcomm1208

Citizens Comment
  • FHS Spanish teacher speaks to the long hours of work required, will be taking sick days periodically to keep up with the work (not to be sick) Oak St teacher complaint about lack of school data around COVID-19 spread when so many in school are affected #schcomm1208
  • Oak St parent acknowledges that the FHS students don't speak for all the students especially for her 3 where there are so many problems. #schcomm1208
FHS Student representatives
  • FHS student representatives, senior class president is only representing his view and that of the upper class, lack of testing for subjects available, more students are not coming in (staying home). Junior class president confirms prior comments, music doing well #schcomm1208
  • Harder for underclassmen at FHS to get involved due to nature of this school year. #schcomm1208 
 Superintendent's Report
  • DESE recognizes logistical challenges with testing, testing postponed to later in school year. Masks being distributed by State and soon available for Franklin. Portable air purifier
  • Units to be distributed to rooms not covered by current plan for UV units. Mention of cyber event (spear phishing) expanding to a cyber position in Technology dept focusing on security. #schcomm1208 tech concerns being reported and addressed, user support on software
  • User support on hardware, remote and hybrid; (in other words they are getting swamped and time spent triaging who should do so delays the response) #schcomm1208 since it was human error for spear phishing event, does school side have dual approval to avoid issue
  • Superintendent acknowledges that her name is being used in some emails asking for things and training is needed to help avoid issues. Where would funding for new person come from? To be part of the discussion for budget. #schcomm1208 staff wellbeing raised
Winter athletic update
  • Moving to winter athletic update. AD Tom Angelo to speak and provide info #schcomm1208 cheer and wrestling moved to later, indoor as well to later. Over 200 students signed up. Hockomock league, all Kelly-Rex competition within the league with exception of girls ice hockey
  • Student athletes who test positive must be quarantined at least 14 days and cleared by medical professional before return including a negative test #schcomm1208 no hand shakes, no hi-fives, masks during games... 12 swimmers in pool at time at Y. Max 25 on larger buses
  • Directly on bus for travel to pool or gym, from bus to pool or gym, no deviation; assigned seating for athletes for the season. Cleaning between Frosh, JV and Varsity games, Franklin TV to live stream varsity games #schcomm1208 rule modifications for each sport
  • Modifications shared previously (will reshare as notes are compiled) most kids designed to eliminate contact between/among participants. #schcomm1208 in rough number more folks and teams in fall season than being set up for now. Thanks for a successful fall season
  • "All the credit goes to the coaches, we have the best, the kids are anxious to begin". #schcomm1208 nothing has changed yet based upon Gov Baker's changes announced today. "If they don't know about the rules to abide by, they will know on Monday. We'll do our best"
 Discussion action items

Discussion only items

budget update

  • Next K-1 some scenarios for bringing students back to in person. Do agree to do so for educational benefits but need to do so when health and safety is feasible. (Link was not available on Sunday albeit dated 12/3/20) #schcomm1208
  • Class sizes and cohorts would vary by school, could consider alternative locations with schools but that would have a ripple effect. Transportation consideration, lunch consideration (shifts possible). #schcomm1208 3 alternatives offered for review/discussion
  • Staff hiring is already an issue, may not be likely to get enough to cover the required cohorts. #schcomm1208 scenario 3 explores half day option for the cohorts, would be coverage for students with existing staff, would have to look at special requirements. Cost for buses
  • As well as cleaning during the day between session. More work to do, still working on details incorporating bast practices to provide help with instruction and schedule. #schcomm1208 if there are additional switches, could add another VLA section in grade K,1
  • #schcomm1208 Parent survey important data point, how many would move (or not), would like to see survey sooner than later, disappointed on details at building level. Compared to Mr Angelo and how well he presented data on the athletes and sports and still waiting here
  • Concern about getting good info from survey. When are we talking about when this could happen? Superintendent doesn't have a date to share #schcomm1208 can it be done? Depends upon the survey # I believe in the instructional quality, don't want to give up, staffing real challenge
  • When would the help be available? Too many young kids in tears, developing a dislike for school. We have been problem solving within each building, shifting to more collaboration across the schools. Break time? #schcomm1208 expectations set, may vary by teacher
  • k time on learning is different (not required grade per state) 1st grade and other grades are required. Would love to see more info on break time and schedule. It is hard, it is unprecedented, we're hearing from parents kids aren't learning, it is not ok #schcomm1208 out shortly
  • Likely within next week to get info before the winter break #schcomm1208 Gov Baker is reducing folks in buildings, and yet we're trying to go the other way. have not yet surveyed staff on this anecdotal but not quantified. What about other implications
  • There is concern about different size space standards within the schools. More staffing would be required if there is a 6 foot requirement. Inequity is a big issue. Moving students to another building, how does this work with specials #schcomm1208 would mean reassignment
  • There may be a family implication with a K-1 student at one building and other family members elsewhere, would require 2 pickups? Would strive to maintain student with teacher, there could be changes. #schcomm1208 understand complexity, staffing a huge issue
  • Can we get an updated personnel status, what's open, etc changes from the last time and bring to date. #schcomm1208 (BTW there were about 80 at meeting start, up to over 170 now) 
  • DESE counting excludes student positives if they were not "in the building"
  • Contact tracing is taking time, other districts have hired in this area, changing guidance from CDC we have not switched to the new guidance DESE also looking at stay tuned. Looking at staff testing for baseline in Jan 2021. #schcomm1208 add building base to district, and %
  • Yes they are concerned about pivoting to remote to provide coverage where staff are out in quarantine #schcomm1208 books and library access for VLA vs. hybrid maybe an equity issue? not a lot of books are used in elementary, will see variability there
  • Library books not going home over issue of how to sanitize when they come back, #schcomm1208 clarification on 1st graders who can't read (not k students). Parent expressing bristle when "all the kids" is used when the kids vary in response, claiming risk isn't the same
  • Parent with 4 kids, came here from Quincy because of the schools, two youngest are struggling a lot. #schcomm1208 teacher reading specialist confirms youngest struggles as they can't do it themselves, reading at 1st grade is not always age appropriate.
  • Teacher also chides the SchComm for lack of a comprehensive plan, sports plan was done for them. My kid is getting library books, don't want to get someone in trouble #schcomm1208 the "asynchronous learning time is 100% parent support required" touch screen better than mousepad
  • Parent also a teacher with k student the teacher for that student is great, can't image how much time it takes to prepare, multiple invoice recordings on each slide, kid is responding well to it. #schcomm1208 middle school students talking about behavior that isn't good
  • Hence another source of stress for teachers, with hybrid model has lost touch with some students, can't always get to those students fully remote. #schcomm1208 survey staff first before going to family members, stress growing daily, over 10 staff quarantined at Oak
  • "Remember safety first, we do want to be with kids, that's what we signed up for". #schcomm1208 how are we monitoring staff wellness and wellbeing? Not seeing it. Folks should be mute when not talking (esp SchComm members sneezing)
  • Switch from hybrid to VLA may not be easy in case of student with special services, would loose access to regular teachers and support, would need to be part of decision and not sure how that would be covered in survey #schcomm1208 the community is ready to help!
  • We have to come together. We are still photo copying packets and packets of info as we don't use a book. #schcomm1208 disappointed with lack of details on the K-1 options; teachers are doing well with what they have, they are available. Pitting parents and teachers against
  • Each other. YouTube videos queue up and auto play, concerned about where they could end up without monitoring. #schcomm1208 even the best teacher in the world would be challenged with K in a hybrid environment, echo asynchronous requires parents assistance
  • Daughter eager to go to school in Sept and in the last two months has turned and now doesn't want to go. Parent volunteers to do survey, busing shouldn't take prominence in survey, we would drop them off to get them more time in school #schcomm1208
  • Parent left her job to stay home with 1 and 2 graders, and the time is required. How would half day work? Put yourself in the kids shoes. #schcomm1208 willing to volunteer; 
presentation planInformation matters
  • Budget workshop last week (recording shared) information being gathered to share, budget timeline. Meeting with FinComm next Tuesday Dec 15 Comm relations picking a date to meet; policy meeting Thursday the 17th. DTFA meeting 12/9. #schcomm1208
  • New ad-hoc Committee for Superintendent's eval, Tim, Elise, Ann. #schcomm1208 Joint PCC meeting Dec 22, SWAC meeting Dec 15
  • #schcomm1208 ECDC update next week, music and art performance updates next week. Student opportunity Act plan due (even though money not forthcoming). 
Consent agenda
  • Consent agenda - motion to approve, second, passes via roll call 7-0
  • Motion to enter executive session, not to return to open meeting, second, passes 7-0 via roll call #schcomm1208 that's all for tonight, catch you next time!
MIAA statement and sports modifications for Winter
FPS COVID-19 Dashboard (updated weekly)
Winter sports update summarized by Athletic Director Tom Angelo
Winter sports update summarized by Athletic Director Tom Angelo

No comments:

Post a Comment