Friday, February 26, 2021

School Committee meeting 2/23/2021 - recap - Kennedy School, vaccine status update, ventilation updates

Quick Recap:
  • From the Superintendent's Report - info on Davis Thayer coming this week, concerned about DESE status and getting students back to in person schooling, working details; lunches and transportation biggest hurdles to work out
  • Kennedy Elementary School made their presentation
  • Vaccine update provided by Town Administrator Jamie Hellen, Cathy Liberty and Fire Chief McLaughlin; we are ready to deliver but are awaiting supply from the State
  • There was an extensive update on the installation of UVGI filters and other room filters and how effective they are 
Photos captured during the meeting and shared via 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  #schcom0223

  • Franklin (MA) SchComm meeting coming up at 7. I am getting ready for it, are you? Agenda and connection info in doc. #schcom0223
  • Updates on vaccinations from Health Dept and Town Administrator on tap along with Kennedy Elem presentation and the other 'usual updates'. #schcom0223
  • Meeting opens with standard statement on open meeting during executive order #schcom0223
  • Keenan and D'Angelo not yet present for opening, up to 55 via Zoom, another 8 via Livestream and unknown # via Comcast/Verizon #schcom0223
Citizens Comment
  • Citizens comments open #schcom0223 parent advocating for FHS reduction in cohorts, and more in person education, and reduce distance from 6' to 3' ... Next parent (with poor connection) matter is urgent to be addressed, mental health of kids. Pool testing shd not be in classroom
  • FHS representative providing updates on electives, a new podcasting class, AP classes thinking about AP exams, virtual game night Thursday; model congress underway also #schcom0223 Diversity club posting on Black History month
Superintendent's report
  • #schcom0223 Superintendent's report - back from vacation, kudos for snow removal to DPW and Facilities appreciate the communication and work. Parent survey closed yesterday on the social distancing comfort and safety. Parents would still have option for kids remote this year
  • #schcom0223 FYI up to 100 via Zoom, emails coming in from parents for remote option as well as advocating to get in person. Franklin can chart its own path. Supt Ahern acknowledges on a personal note she is concerned for the students she has a senior at home, aware of the issues
  • Many logistics to work through, esp with lunch periods and bus transportation, both take time to work through, but we'll get there. #schcom0223 Davis Thayer notification coming this week, group forming on transition, volunteers looked for. MCAS schedule has be adjusted ...
  • ... while #schcom0223 did pass memo in fall to advocate for delay of MCAS but it is a Federal and State requirement. Member frustrated with push to 'in person' when teachers are not prioritized for vaccine. MCAS draft calendar not yet finalized. Tied to cohort question ...
Kennedy Elementary School Highlights
  • John F. Kennedy Elementary School Highlights - Dr. Linda Ashley, Principal; Dr. Sarravy Connolly, Assistant Principal presenting #schcom0223 photos
  • #schcom0223 photos
  • #schcom0223 video clip plays
  • #schcom0223 (BTW Keenan and D'Angelo did arrive in time to comment on Supt report) highlight on morning report
  • #schcom0223 who thought of this hybrid model? Teaching kids at home and in person at the same time? 2 way Communication is critical. Esp with parents. Lots of back and forth. 1st grade teacher speaks via video embedded
  • #schcom0223 2 sets of materials for each student, one for home, one for in school (required duplication!); Partner program at Kennedy; another video from a teacher, special ed this time
  • Core values are not just a poster on the wall, they are used and lived daily #schcom0223 (down to 98 via Zoom now, was as high as 107) staff wellness is a concern, teachers do need to get vaccinated, it will remove a level of stress. Hybrid can be isolating as so much is reqd
  • #schcom0223 had to keep the award quiet until the announcement was official in Dec 2020
  • Testing scores and closing the achievement gap were key to winning the award. #schcom0223 (video clip playing but embedded in presentation too small to see) last slide
  • #schcom0223 partner program initially funded with an earmark from Sen President Spills and now funded within budget for Franklin students within the district and served at Parmenter and Kennedy. Does also save vs what it would cost for sending out of district.
 Vaccine and pandemic updates
  • Moving to vaccine and pandemic updates on multiple topics Town Administrator Jamie Hellen leads, followed by Cathy Liberty and Fire Chief McLaughlin on virus status. "We all want it, supply is the biggest problem" less than 6% of MA has received both doses #schcom0223
  • Currently approx 30K per day, so we are far away from making real headway. #schcom0223 decentralized approach is preferred by Jamie. Will need to take a more local distribution network, esp if there are multiple updates along the way
  • #schcom0223 Health Director Cathleen Liberty updates on the clinic for first responders held at FHS, did also assist Milford Reg Hosp with their prep. Folks at Magnolia Hgts almost fell thru cracks, spun to recover. Housing authority on deck
  • #schcom0223 DPH not accepting allocations requests as of March 1. Chief McLaughlin updates on the clinic held here. Able willing and ready to deliver locally. Have 30 vaccinators certified and ready to deliver, did 200/day at clinic; can do more but need the supply
  • #schcom0223 used the same gym footprint for election so folks would be familiar with it. We are frustrated too cause we could do more but we are not enabled to. It could change, if it does, we are ready.
  • #schcom0223 we fought hard to get the FHS gym set up, it was designed for such and as a disaster site. We got everything but the vaccines themselves. Our legislative team is also working on our behalf. We have lists via Senior Center, we have worked on transportation for them
  • #schcom0223 Q still working network to obtain vaccines but supply remains the issue. Q do we know how we are doing with Franklin specific population? Pieces of numbers but not a complete picture. Q what about where the teachers are? (The math says with 1 M before ...
  • ... teachers; with vaccine supply at 100k/week it will take time like 8-10 weeks, unless supplies increase). #schcom0223 so assuming supply does increase, it may still be Apr/May
  • #schcom0223 MA vaccination sites are getting the priority (Gillette, Fenway, et al), even those other communities getting the 100 allocation they are serving anyone not just their locals.
  • #schcom0223 where is the J&J vaccine in the pipeline? Hasn't been submitted for approval yet. It will help once approved. Senior Center is reaching out and helping particularly the over 75. Legislative oversight hearing on Thursday, more info likely at the Forum March 2
Ventilation updates
  • #schcom0223 Jamie and Mike D'angelo to talk about the ventilation and updates at the facilities. UVGI is not a standard but it is quite helpful. It is an anxious time, not just in the pandemic but due to the overall uncertainty.
  • Kickoff meeting in Apr 2020 for FHS system and just completed last week. Large store of disinfectant to clean our buildings daily #schcom0223
  • UVGI is not new, used in the 40' to fight tuberculosis. #schcom0223 see the slide for the K factor
  • #schcom0223 delayed by capturing photos of the slides on the ventilation and filter work either completed or underway. Will share the folder collection of the photos as Twitter limits only a couple per tweet.
  • filters have life expectancy of about a year, would be part of the summer work to be replaced with school out. Moving to new topic: refund on lunch balances for FHS seniors, motion seconded, passes 7-0 via roll call #schcom0223
  • Reopening update #schcom0223 Learning time data submit to state still meeting requirements, pool testing continues to evolve, begin at Oak/Horace Mann before going elsewhere, FAQs coming
  • #schcom0223 transportation guidance updated before vacation, distancing reqs changed. DESE info shared here before
  • #schcom0223 bus open windows recommended, data in report released by DESE, evaluation of CDC guidance also just released as an update.
Public Comment through to closing/Executive Session
  • Public comment period, if nothing prior mentioned, please pass. #schcom0223 Q could Cold Chain be capitalized to bring vaccine quicker to teachers. Info matters: budget meeting Mar 3; get involved in budget hearings as they are scheduled. Forum 3/2 at 6:30 PM
  • Policy meeting Thurs, #schcom0223 Substance abuse task force to be sharing info resources available for mental health issues, take the stigma away. Touting Safe Coalition as a resource locally. SWAC meeting Mar 13 SchComm next meeting first pass at budget consent agenda...
  • Motion, second passes via roll call 7-0 for consent agenda Motion to adjourn to executive session not to return to open meeting #schcom0223 so that's all for tonight, catch you next time!
  • So the photo folder of the slides shared tonight as promised ... enjoy! #schcom0223


UVGI is not new
UVGI is not new

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