Showing posts with label technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label technology. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Mapped | The U.S. States with the Top Tech Salaries in 2021 💵 MA is #5

Mapped | The U.S. States with the Top Tech Salaries in 2021 💵 MA is #5

The U.S. States with the Top Tech Salaries in 2021

In America, tech jobs pay about 61% more than the average salary.

Here's a look at which states have the highest tech salaries.

Read more
The U.S. States with the Top Tech Salaries in 2021 💵 MA is #5
View the Map
Check out the article ->

Sunday, August 1, 2021

COVID-19 Pandemic updates: guidance on traveling; vaccine proof

Boston Globe: "With COVID on the rise, we asked disease experts how they’re traveling, dining, and gathering"
"After a lull, COVID-19 is on the rise again in Massachusetts, with new — and sometimes conflicting —warnings and guidance emerging each day from state and national authorities. So how should we react? Should we start wearing masks? Should we stop dining indoors? We asked several infectious disease experts if they are changing their behavior while traveling, dining, gathering, shopping, and schooling. All the experts are vaccinated."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

Washington Post: "You’re going to be asked to prove your vaccination status. Here’s how to do it."

"Congratulations, you’ve been vaccinated against the coronavirus. Now you have to prove it, and your smartphone can help.

Across the world, fears about the contagious delta variant are leading more businesses, schools and travel destinations to require vaccination. Like it or not, there’s a real chance that somewhere you want to go will ask to see proof of your shots.

Let’s say you are planning to visit Hawaii — you’ll need to be vaccinated or show a negative coronavirus test if you want to avoid quarantine. You’ll need proof to work in the federal government, at tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Uber, and a growing list of other companies. And in New York and San Francisco, you’ll need it to go inside a bar, get a seat at some restaurants, or take in a show on Broadway."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

What are the best ways to carry your proof of vaccination with you? Here's what we found. (Washington Post illustration; iStock)
What are the best ways to carry your proof of vaccination with you? Here's what we found. (Washington Post illustration; iStock)

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

"Consumer Federation of America cited concerns about unfair pricing, misuse of data, and loss of privacy"

"It is sometimes called “usage-based insurance” and sometimes “insurance telematics.” It’s when you agree to allow your auto insurer to ride along with you — quite literally.

If you agree, a constant stream of data flows from your vehicle to your insurer, via a telecommunication device, including how fast you are going, the time of day you are driving, and when and how hard you are hitting the brakes.

What’s the purpose? Insurers say they want to reward good drivers with lower premiums: for example, those who drive within the speed limit, mainly during daylight hours, and without frequently jamming on the brakes. (For drivers whose reckless driving habits correlate to higher risk for crashes, higher premiums may result, although few bad drivers are expected to opt in for telematics.)"
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Franklin TV: When? (Oh, I do hope it’s soon.)

by Pete Fasciano, Executive Director 04/11/2021


Members of our writer’s group were popping into our Zoom meeting, and that was the first question – right after the HiHowarya.

In the pecking order of that whowhatwhenwherewhy key info, ‘when’ tends to float somewhere in the middle of the pack. But, as the word came down that the Senior Center was starting to set plans in place to reopen, that was the first question on everyone’s lips. When?

Now ‘When’ is the kind of question that can telegraph the questioner’s state of mind. 

State ‘A’:  Enthusiastic anticipation. (I can’t wait!)
State ‘B’:  Nervous apprehension.  (uhh…  I can wait.)

Clearly, they were all about state ‘A’. When?  How soon?  Now?  (Oh, please let it be so.)

Well – we don’t quite know yet.  But, soon. (Fingers crossed.)

It speaks to the notion that getting together – socially engaging IRL (in real life) or ITF (in the flesh) is something that we all deeply dearly miss.

The Senior Center’s reopening raised another question for me. How do we help those who can’t physically attend? I believe that Zoom meetings are not just a service, but a societal game-changer – a social phenomenon wrought by technology.

I foresee Zoom engagement as part of many Senior Center gatherings ongoing, and we at Franklin●TV are researching how best to assist and achieve that end. We have been investigating the best video systems and tools to make this possible and ensure that Senior Center gatherings and events are more easily accessible to all.

Our Senior Center Writer’s Group convenes every week on Wednesdays at 1pm. If you  would  like  to  participate  in  our weekly  gatherings  and scribblings  (and  we would be thrilled to have you), just let us know at:

And – as always –
Thank you for listening to wfpr●fm. 
And, thank you for watching.

Get this week's program guide for Franklin TV and Franklin Public Radio ( online  or for archive purposes
Franklin TV: When? (Oh, I do hope it’s soon.)
Franklin TV: When? (Oh, I do hope it’s soon.)

Friday, April 2, 2021

Recap of Capital Budget Subcommittee meeting - Mar 31, 2021

Quick Recap:
  • A question on a technology item requested could not be answered as the Technology Director was not present. It was put aside with all the other school items until it could be. Later in the meeting the other school items were approved holding off on the one item in question.
  • Dean College will be asked for a "pilot" payment in lie of taxes to purchase a vehicle for the Fire Dept. 
  • Some items previously approved for borrowing (municipal building windows for example) are now being proposed to pay from 'free cash' as a may to further save money on financing
  • Neighborhood meeting set for the Machintosh Road section where water main work is underway. The contractor has caused two water main breaks so far as there are limited marking for where the line is, and the line in concrete and can't be located via technology
  • Capital budget items approved (aside from the one Tech item). There will be a follow up meeting on the remaining available free cash for capital requests.The listing of items not funded from each department is long. Concern about how to address this "unless the money gods come in"

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.

Photos captured during the meeting and shared via Twitter can be found in one album:
The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #cbsc0331

  • Real time reporting underway for the Town Council Capital Budget Subcommittee meeting now starting #cbsc0331
  • The agenda and docs released for the meeting can be found on the Town page #cbsc0331
  • OPEB report in April at the Town Council meeting on Apr 14, what is the outstanding requirements will be answered at that time. #cbsc0331
  • Town Administrator reviewing the memo outlining the current requests. An update that the school vans bid came in at $90K (vs $120k) in the doc #cbsc0331 Q on the technology items they are being held until Tech director can participate and explain
  • Apparently the Tech director had missed the meeting last year hence the hold on the tech item. Q follow questions on the school vans and plans for overall replacement. #cbsc0331 M D'Angelo explaining the curtain for HMMS
  • Moving to the facility dept section on the municipal bldg window replacements due to poor or non-existent flashing when building was installed. #cbsc0331
  • The municipal bldg had been approved last year for financing and this year with costs lower determining to use capital and save additional $s. #cbsc0331 BTW, Chair Pellegri leads meeting, Dellorco, Chandler, and Kelly present in Chambers so no roll call votes needed
  • Entire set of school items were put aside pending the Tech Director appearance. #cbsc0331 the building was approved by a 4-0 vote. Now to Fire Dept. Chandler asking if Dean would be willing to buy a vehicle as a 'pilot' payment in lieu of taxes.
  • Motion on fire dept requests, second, passes 4-0. #cbsc0331 Moving to Police dept Top of page 6 in the doc shared earlier.
  • #cbsc0331 surplus vehicles usually auctioned off with funds going to general fund. Vests are reimbursed after submitting purchase proof. State and Federal have grants for these, both haven't been available each year. Need to front the money first
  • Police Station would be a timing issue as to when would we go to the community for a ballot question to replace it. Council would need to discuss further so everyone understands what the options are. A study would answer most questions or at least provide the #s for #cbsc0331
  • Police replacement vehicles are all SUVs. Spare radios are reused when appropriate, i.e. within schools No body cameras in use, police reform commission will provide guidance. The storage for the cameras is really the cost, and then the system manager to view, etc. #cbsc0331
  • Motion on the police dept capital request, second, passes 4-0 #cbsc0331 Going back to schools, TA realized they didn't vote, did vote to approve those School items except the tech items. Passes 4-0
  • Moving to DPW section, beginning bottom of page 6 in doc shared earlier. #cbsc0331 T 5 truck just died and wont pass inspection, just happened last week. This had been prepared for FinComm meeting a couple of weeks ago. Could set up more stabilization accounts 4 a purpose
  • Moving to water enterprise funds, from retained earnings within the fund all funded from the user based fees for water. #cbsc0331 Lincoln Street was done last year during the pandemic, early and under budget. To avoid using bonding to pay for some of these, using the cash
  • Contractor hitting the water main as it is an old pipe, not well marked, can't be found with tech; neighborhood meeting scheduled for next week to help with Communications with the residents. #cbsc0331 did get all funds from Garelic due from the bankruptcy, except 4 penalties
  • Motion on the water fund capital request, approved 4-0. Sewer line items up next, something of a catch up year. Includes a peer review of the Beaver St interceptor project. #cbsc0331 these funds do maintain the $1m balance within the funds
  • Sewer fund request passes 4-0. Motion to adjourn, passes 4-0 That's all for tonight catch you next time!


Note: according to my notes the Capital Budget meeting held in June 2020 had no departmental representation for the discussion. The Budget SubCommittee meeting in Sep 2020 was likely the one referred to as lacking the Technology/Schools representation. Oddly this time (Mar 31, 2021 -School Dept personnel were present to answer question on the school vans purchase request. The item left as an unanswered question was a technology piece covering both School and Town side of the network.)  The meeting archive has all the links for the meeting notes and audio where available

Chair Pellegri opens meeting
Chair Pellegri opens meeting

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Franklin Public Schools, MA: now hiring a Technology Support Technician

Franklin Public Schools, MA (@FranklinPSNews) tweeted on Wed, Mar 31, 2021:

The FPS/TOF Technology Department is seeking qualified candidates for the role of Technology Support Technician.  Learn more about the role, qualifications, and application process on School Spring here

Shared from Twitter:

Franklin Public Schools, MA: now hiring a Technology Support Technician
Franklin Public Schools, MA: now hiring a Technology Support Technician

Monday, March 15, 2021

What gets funded is a question of priorities, but who sets them? “Let’s face it, we don’t have ribbon cuttings when we replace a pipe"

A good interactive article at Washington Post on how we miss the boat in funding the basics.
"In the shadow of its exceptionalism, America fails to invest in the basics. 
Stunning advances in medicine and technology have come
alongside systemic breakdowns in infrastructure and health.


America can put a rover on Mars, but it can’t keep the lights on and water running in the city that birthed the modern space program. It can develop vaccines, in record time, to combat a world-altering illness, but suffers one of the developed world’s highest death rates due to lack of prevention and care. It spins out endless entertainment to keep millions preoccupied during lockdown — and keep tech shares riding high on Wall Street — but leaves kids disconnected from the access they need to do their schoolwork. "

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Info on "Google Meet Difficulties?"

"Have you been noticing that your Google Meet view has not been functioning consistently lately?  You’re not alone! 

As Google develops new features in the Google Meet app, some extensions, such as the popular Grid View Extension, can experience disruptions due to incompatibilities with newer versions of the native Google Meet.  In fact, the developer of the Grid View extension has basically retired the extensions and removed it from the webstore.  He has indicated that it is unlikely that the app will be maintained going forward."

Continue reading the article online

Info on "Google Meet Difficulties?"
Info on "Google Meet Difficulties?"

Thursday, January 28, 2021

New Book Announcement | Boston Made

Announcing Our New Book

Boston Made: From Revolution to Robotics, Innovations That Changed the World

New Book Announcement | Boston Made

I want to share my excitement at finally publishing our book revealing Boston as one of the most prolific innovation centers in the world for more than four centuries. Built on 20 years of research by my co-author, Dr. Bob Krim, along with my insights from writing about the Massachusetts tech scene for many years, you will find this to be a fun and enlightening book that will change how you think about our region! 


Boston Made: From Revolution to Robotics, Innovations that Changed the World


Publication:  February 23, 2021, from Imagine Publishing, an affiliate of Penguin Random House.

Learn more about the book and reserve your copy:


As a friend, family member, or business associate, I hope you will consider purchasing the book or sharing this email with anyone you think might be interested!


Best Regards,

Alan Earls


Below is just one of the Boston innovation stories we cover in the book.

A Boston Made Innovation:
Basketball turns 130 years old

Hoops – the globally popular game of basketball was invented and first played in Massachusetts in 1891. Athletic coach James Naismith was given two weeks by his boss to invent an indoor game where football playing teens wouldn't hit each other – "not rough"- when kept indoors by wintery weather. Naismith did it and basketball was born.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

"systems couldn’t tell when words in a sentence were jumbled up"

From the MIT Technology Review, we find that while Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to make strides, it also contains a significant flaw.

"Many AIs that appear to understand language and that score better than humans on a common set of comprehension tasks don’t notice when the words in a sentence are jumbled up, which shows that they don’t really understand language at all. The problem lies in the way natural-language processing (NLP) systems are trained; it also points to a way to make them better.

Researchers at Auburn University in Alabama and Adobe Research discovered the flaw when they tried to get an NLP system to generate explanations for its behavior, such as why it claimed different sentences meant the same thing. When they tested their approach, they realized that shuffling words in a sentence made no difference to the explanations. “This is a general problem to all NLP models,” says Anh Nguyen at Auburn University, who led the work."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)


From the MIT Technology Review, we find that Artificial Intelligence (AI) contains a significant flaw
From the MIT Technology Review, we find that Artificial Intelligence (AI) contains a significant flaw

Sunday, January 3, 2021

"It’s come a long, long way from days of old"

Interesting read on the technology coming to the NHL this year embedded in new pucks to confirm if a goal was scored along with a host of other data produced during a game.

The hockey puck as it’s been known forever, that humble 6-ounce chunk of hard rubber patented decades ago by Bruins general manager/coach Art Ross, has left the building.

There’s a new kid in NHL rinks, and this is fitted with a tiny embedded battery, a circuit board roughly the size of a half-dollar, and 6-inch-long tubes that emit infrared light at 60 pulses per second — fast, yet still two beats behind Connor McDavid on a breakaway.

“Crazy, isn’t it?” said the NHL’s Dave Lehanski, an executive vice president who has helped steer the puck’s development the last 7-8 years. “It almost has a life of its own.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The NHL logo can be seen here on a puck during a 2008 game during the Rangers and Islanders.BRUCE BENNETT/PHOTOGRAPHER: BRUCE BENNETT/GETT
The NHL logo can be seen here on a puck during a 2008 game during the Rangers and Islanders.BRUCE BENNETT/PHOTOGRAPHER: BRUCE BENNETT/GETT

Thursday, December 17, 2020

FPS Digital Learning: "Maintaining Connections during Hybrid and Remote Learning"

The FPS Digital Learning Integrationists have a new web page to help share information on what they do to support the teachers and students in the classroom environment with technology.

"In a typical school year, 8th grade ELA teacher Lauren Berolini can be found meeting one-on-one with students for writers' conferences. Ms. Berolini uses this format to provide specific, authentic feedback in a private and personal setting and values the opportunity it provides to make personal connections with students. 

In an effort to maintain these personal connections as students develop their writing skills in this hybrid and remote setting, Ms. Berolini requested help from the Digital Learning Integrationists to identify digital tools for providing feedback to students. Together they explored Mote, a google extension that enables voice note feedback within Google Classroom, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides."

Continue reading the article

Direct video link = 

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

"Survey-based measurement of news consumption is not without its own problems"

From the Pew Research Center comes a study on measuring news consumption:

"Given the increasing complexity and interconnectedness of this news landscape and concerns around overreporting of news consumption, Pew Research Center wanted to explore how best to measure news consumption: Where do currently used survey practices still work and where might changes be in order?

This report is the culmination of this effort and is organized into three sections: Chapter 1 looks at the U.S. public’s familiarity with newer concepts related to news; Chapter 2 examines possible ways to improve survey-based measures of news consumption; and Chapter 3 compares survey results to the use of passive data that comes straight from tracking software news consumers downloaded to their digital devices.

Americans are largely familiar with new technologies but often don’t think of them as news sources."

"Survey-based measurement of news consumption is not without its own problems"
"Survey-based measurement of news consumption is not without its own problems" (Pew Research photo)

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Cold Chain Technologies in the news


"Cold Chain Technologies ("CCT"), a leading global provider of reusable and single-use passive thermal packaging solutions for the shipment of temperature-sensitive products for the life sciences industry, has announced the opening of a new facility in Lebanon, Tennessee, a critical site to support the needs for COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

As part of this nationwide expansion to meet the growing demands of global vaccine distribution, the new 255,000+ square feet cold chain facility, complete with Koolit refrigerant manufacturing and work cells for CCT's KoolTemp EcoFlex (CCT's market-leading reusable thermal packaging solution), is fully equipped to support the temperature-sensitive supply chain requirements of the COVID-19 vaccine with the industry's broadest portfolio of single-use and reusable systems for parcel and pallet shipments scalable to vaccine temperature needs."

"Cold Chain Technologies ("CCT" or the "Company"), a leading global provider of advanced reusable and single-use passive thermal packaging solutions for the shipment of temperature-sensitive products for the life sciences industry, announced today that Anthony (TJ) Rizzo has been promoted to Chief Commercial Officer, and Amardeep (Amar) Chahal has joined the Company as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Development.

While serving in several roles of increasing responsibility, most recently as Senior Vice President, TJ has made significant contributions to the growth of CCT over the last 15 years—both in the United States and through international expansion in Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. He has been instrumental in leading the development and deployment of CCT's global reusable and sustainable strategy as well as an active collaborator with our channel partners to deliver the cold chain capabilities needed to safely and efficiently deploy the COVID-19 vaccine. As a founding member, and current Chairman, of the ISTA Pharma Committee, TJ is well respected in the cold chain industry and is extensively involved in industry collaboration and the best practice development groups PDA, ISTA, and others. "

Read more of the press release

They were also named one of the Manufacturing Award winners for 2020 by Senator Becca Rausch. The full listing of companies can be found in the commemorative magazine.

Contollo Mass Manufacturing, also based in Franklin, was one of the recipients as well.

Cold Chain Technologies in the news
one of the Manufacturing Award winners for 2020 by Senator Becca Rausch

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Franklin Police Awarded Technology Grant

Franklin Police Awarded Technology Grant

Chief of Police Thomas J. Lynch is pleased to announce that the Franklin Police Department is the recipient of funding from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant managed by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security's Office of Grants and Research (OGR).

The monetary award of $37,500 will be used to purchase technology to help officers investigate and bring to justice offenders who undermine the safety and security of our community.

Some of this technology includes equipment that will allow for officers to have access to the Franklin Police Records Management System remotely, access to criminal offender history and Registry of Motor Vehicle information.

About Officer Byrne:

Edward R. Byrne was destined for a life in law enforcement, having a father who was an officer with the New York City Police Department. Born on February 21, 1966, Eddie-as he was known by family and friends-was an outgoing and friendly person who had a strong calling to public service and wanted to make his city, New York City, a safer place. In 1986, Eddie became a New York City Transit Police Officer, to help ensure the safety of New York City's subway commuters. In 1987, Officer Byrne joined the New York City Police Department's finest, assigned to the 103rd Precinct. Well liked by his brothers and sisters in blue, Eddie was passionate about his job and loved the opportunities it offered him to interact with the people he had sworn to protect. 

In the early morning hours of February 26, 1988, Officer Byrne was on detail protecting a witness who had agreed to testify in court against local drug dealers. Officer Byrne was in his patrol car outside the witness' home around 3:30 a.m. when two armed gunmen crept up to his car from both sides. One of the men knocked on the passenger-side window to distract Officer Byrne just as a second perpetrator ran up to the driver's side window and, without uttering a sound, opened fire. Officer Byrne was shot five times in the head. Both gunmen, along with two other perpetrators who served as lookouts, fled the scene. Officer Byrne was rushed to Mary Immaculate Hospital where he died of his wounds. He was only 22 years old. 

The four assailants were captured six days after the murder and were eventually sentenced to 25 years to life. They were members of a gang who had been instructed by a jailed drug kingpin to kill a police officer. 

NYPD lost one of its finest that day, and Eddie's family lost a loved and cherished son and brother. Leaving behind his parents and three brothers, Eddie's brothers have continued the family tradition of law enforcement and justice by dedicating their careers to the field. 

In honor of Police Officer Byrne, a major U.S. Department of Justice initiative was titled the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. The Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) administers this program, which allows states and local governments to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime and to improve the justice system. It has been nearly 20 years since state and local law enforcement first began applying for the program named after this young fallen hero. BJA is honored to administer "Byrne" funding to communities nationwide in memory of Officer Byrne.

Franklin Police Awarded Technology Grant
Franklin Police Awarded Technology Grant

Saturday, September 26, 2020

FM #353 Rich Frongillo - Growing Businesses in Franklin - 9/17/20 (audio)

FM #353 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 353 in the series.

This session shares my conversation with Rich Frongillo. Rich is the owner of Tinetrix, founder of the Franklin Soccer School, Inc., and most recently Downtown Sports. Our conversation was conducted via conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

Rich and I had a great winding conversation covering a bunch of topics including advice from his mother that he still lives by these days in the development and management of his technology services company, and that informed the founding of the Franklin Soccer School and the expansion of Downtown Sports.

As our conversation meandered, COVID-19 and life during the pandemic comes in frequently along the way; from dealing with uncertainty, to developing services to meet current requirements (like the Smart Hoops Program and the Monitored Virtual-Learning Program), and to the forthcoming Franklin business listening sessions.

The show notes contain links to the Rich’s businesses.

Our conversation runs just about 52 minutes, so let’s listen to Rich and I talk about business development and life here in Franklin, MA.

Audio file:


Rich’s LinkedIn profile =
Tinetrix, Inc. =
Franklin Soccer School, Inc. =
Downtown Sports =
Smart Hoops =

We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial.

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.
How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors
  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.
For additional information, please visit
If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!

You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

FM #353 Rich Frongillo - Growing Businesses in Franklin - 9/17/20 (audio)
FM #353 Rich Frongillo - Growing Businesses in Franklin - 9/17/20 (audio)

Saturday, September 5, 2020

FTC Consumer Alert: How can you spot a tech support scam

Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission

by Traci Armani, Consumer Education Specialist, Division of Consumer & Business Education

Are you getting pop-up warning messages on your computer screen? Or maybe a phone call that your computer has a virus? 

That may well be a tech support scam. But how do you know? And what do you do?

Read more >

This is a free service provided by the Federal Trade Commission.


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

School Committee recap: sports authorized, digital tech position created, re-opening updates

The Franklin, MA School Committee met on Tuesday August 25 and the recap is as follows:
  • voted to approve participation in schools sports. The vote was required as the district is starting remote. "If nothing had been voted on, and they moved to hybrid, would a vote have been required?" was a question raised but not answered. The vote was 5-1-1 (5 for, 1 no, 1 absent)
  • voted to create a new position which had long been desired but had not previously made the budget. Now due to the remote and hybrid learning requirements, the digital learning integration specialist, was approved and three positions were authorized. Funding for the first half of the school year is available from the CARES Act. Funding for the second half and beyond needs to be identified. The vote was 4-2-1 (4 for, 2 no, 1 absent)
  • voted to move interim policy changes to operate under the emergency order issued by the Governor for this COVID-19 period to a second reading. Policy changes always take two readings to become final.
  • In the Superintendents Report the re-opening progress was noted and while answers remain to be provided much more info is forthcoming before school starts. Class and teacher assignments, bus schedules, chromebook pickup, etc. Stay tuned, the taskforce has been busy working and getting to finalize many details over the next couple of weeks.
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 #schcom0825
  • Real time reporting underway for #schcom0825
  • Superintendent's report will include a re-opening update. Also addressing prior meeting item of surplus in this case old and unusable books #schcom0825 second item is longer, i.e. re-opening and first 10 days of PD for teachers
  • Teachers come back Monday 8/22 #schcom0825 multiple items on agenda for welcoming back and getting started. New teacher orientation today and next 2 days. Bus transportation in review, request via form coming Weds. Wait to make payment later
  • Working on remote only model in prep 250+ k-5 another 100+ middle school. Considering options to provide via a learning academy with FPS teachers who are choosing remote #schcom0825 last resort seats in a learning mgt system. Moves possible at marking break
  • Transition to hybrid for FHS still being worked, value in staging (gradual) move rather than all at once. Cohort won't be by grade due to class assignments with mixed grades. #schcom0825 FHS schedule being revised
  • New guidance from DESE last week re: students of teachers to come to the district, still evaluation underway. Class size being looked at may not be able to handle. #schcom0825 we are being flexible re staff assignments to accommodate where possible
  • Lifelong Learning to do daycare for teachers children, limited availability, priced for cost recovery. #schcom0825 flu vaccine requirements discussed, more info to come on date due for compliance; exception for religion and medical reasons, docs required
  • Q on whether considering later daytime start for FHS. Would be easier if remote rather than hybrid or in person. Not definite at this time. Q on daycare. At a premium, there was good interest, but only 5 enrolled currently and can't exceed 30 #schcom0825
  • Q handbook? On agenda for Sep 8 meeting. Q assignments? Being worked and should be out next week. Q on schedule? More info coming over the next couple of weeks. Q raised on mask removal circumstances? An older section that has been changing as info #schcom0825
  • FYI up to 90+ via the Zoom bridge for this meeting, another 11 on live stream via page #schcom0825
  • Q on interruption in teachers environment and the resulting impact on learning. Related to another comment on DESEs recommendation for teachers in rooms #schcom0825 Q more comment on cost of childcare is raising stress for teachers
  • We are trying to apply the funding in prudent ways, there is not a great answer, need to look at cost benefits.#schcom0825 Q school based teams meeting as needed for building level fine tuning. Things are fluid and evolving
  • Mention of YMCA efforts on childcare, the link to additional info can be found on Franklin Matters #schcom0825
  • Next up Athletics update! #schcom0825. SchCom needs to vote as they already approved plan for starting remote. AD Tom Angelo and FHS principal Hanna to provide update
  • 8 of 12 hock teams don't have access to gym for volleyball hence move to flex season #schcom0825 AD have met, principals to meet Thursday on plan. Sports would be outside, in smaller #s, and with changes to game to improve safety (soccer, no heading of ball)
  • Q soccer changed in risk level apparently due to heavy lobbying effort, soccer is a high contact sport both boys and girls. Are there other rule changes coming? How are the refs going to monitor this? #schcom0825 there are additional rule changes to the nature of this game
  • The SEL aspects are driving the efforts to make it work albeit different. The coaches will follow the rules to the T. #schcom0825 cost and availability of busses for away games may be an issue, considering family transportation as an option to be worked out (legal?) liability?
  • Q has BoH been involved yet? No but will be. Q concern about the nature of the rule changes, can they be followed? #schcom0825 athletic fees don't cover cost of season, only about 30% of budget covered; may be an increase
  • A vote only required because we are starting remote first? Once we go hybrid, that would be an automatic yes? #schcom0825 we'll all be watching if the guidelines are to be followed, same comments are for school settings too. Can people follow the guidelines?
  • Community comments; first up an FHS junior Will Tracey  #schcom0825 ; former SchComm member Gigi Zub
  • Next up Declan Walmsey, and Sidney Hawkins #schcom0825 and Denise Lewandowski all to encourage the SchCom to vote for proposal
  • Next up Virna O'Brien, #schcom0825 advocate for the class of 2021, the class of 2020 lost a lot, but not much has been said about this class of 2021
  • Motion to approve participation in sports, seconded, passed 5-1 (1 absent) MJ voted no with apologies to every athlete #schcom0825
  • Next up interim policy for COVID-19 related items, 2nd policy on face covering, all policy docs can be found in this doc, policy in effect during emergency for COVID-19 …. #schcom0825
  • Motion to move to second reading as discussed (no questions raised) second, vote via roll call 6-0 (1 absent D'angelo) #schcom0825
  • Next up calendar revision, … most half days to Weds (from Friday) due to cleaning process in hybrid model. #schcom0825 motion to approve, seconded, request to change name of Columbus day, will change per other work, not tonight; vote 6-0
  • Creation of new position, i.e. digital learning integration to support in remote or hybrid. #schcom0825 info in link here, funded 1H via COVID funding, will need to look at 2H of year for funding … motion to approve, second, now Qs
  • Q how many teachers were laid off. Approx 19.5 in last budget. Request to read job description, being read by Supt Ahern (Link shared previously contains this) #schcom0825 looking into hire within where possible $70-80K/year; concern about funding for 2H
  • Budget Subcommittee had reviewed these positions and approved of them albeit there are funding challenges, #schcom0825 vote (finally) via roll call 4-2 (MJ no, risky; Judy no, shouldn't need) (1  absent)
  • Discussion only items possible presentation schedule for future meetings … #schcom0825 out for discussion, subject to change
  • Budget Subcommittee met last Fri, #schcom0825 Community relations, facility on hold. Policy has been busy, expecting to see student handbooks. Nothing definite on chromebook delivery. Supt review, social and racial justice task force met last week, Anne representing
  • For next meeting, annual report review, new hires, COVID addendum, handbooks; what about the hiring process? What about ECDC? What will it look like? Support for the staff. Enjoy the last week of summer! #schcom0825 new chromebooks may not be here before school starts
  • Q on the books from last time, they were disposed of. We did to seek to donate where possible but standards do change, many were damaged and not in good shape. Pfeffer not pleased. Supt Ahern would not assume that these books would be used anywhere. #schcom0825
  • Consent agenda, motion to approve, second, vote via roll call 6-0 (1 absent) #schcom0825 
  • Motion to enter executive session not to return to public meeting; second vote via roll call 6-0
  • That's all for tonight, catch you next time!
The agenda doc, including connection info

The meeting packet with all docs released for this meeting

Photos used in the Twitter thread can be found in the album

School Committee recap: sports authorized, digital tech position created, re-opening updates
School Committee recap: sports authorized, digital tech position created, re-opening updates