9/10/15 Regular School Committee Meeting Minutes

sealGeorgetown School Committee

Thursday, September 10, 2015 7:00PM

Town Hall 3rd Floor Meeting Room

Regular Session Minutes


Barbie Linares, Chairman

Pamela Lundquist, Vice Chairman

 Michael Hinchliffe, Clerk

Laurene Polignone

Suzanne MacDonald


In Attendance:

Barbie Linares             Superintendent Jacobs                        Donna Straight            Peter Lucia                  Julie DeRoche

Michael Hinchliffe      Margaret Maher                      Joan Liporto                Mike Murphy              Wes Vaughan

Pamela Lundquist       Cindy Mackenzie                    Barry Belanger            Betty Langlais

Suzanne MacDonald


Chairman Linares called the meeting to order at 7:01PM.  All recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Consent Agenda

Chairman Linares read the items included in the Consent Agenda for September 10, 2015, which were Regular Session Minutes of 8/27/15, Public Relations Minutes of 7/20/15, Acceptance of Warrants #07V16, #09V165, #06P15, #08P15 and Communications.

MOTION: Pam Lundquist (S. MacDonald second) to approve the consent agenda as presented.  So voted (4-0).  Motion carried.

Documents Referenced:  Regular Session Minutes of 8/27/15 & Public Relations Minutes of 7/20/15.

Administrative Reports

Superintendent’s Report

Opening of School Report-Penn Brook

Superintendent Jacobs reported about the great opening of Penn Brook School especially that took place inside the new facility.  There were some glitches with the climate control systems which were fixed the next day.  The schedule worked out well as well as the point of sale system launch in the cafeteria.  One challenge has been the traffic flow.  The design by the architect does work on paper, but the amount of cars coupled with the inaccessibility of one of the parking spots did make this a little more difficult.  We are watching this closely with the potential of reduction in the amount of cars after the first weeks of school.  Additional signage will be installed.  The sidewalks are now ADA compliant which impacts the width of the road now.  Staff will be stationed at the top and bottom of the hill to stop one direction of traffic to allow buses out.   This will take place for approximately 10 minutes.

Each day this issue improved due to drivers being more familiar with the queue as well as the decrease in the amount of cars day after day.  The entire dismissal process was complete by 3:05PM.  The construction company is really trying to work with us to open the parking lot.  After 2PM the lot can be used.  The downside of not having the sidewalk is an issue, but walkers are now using the access road.  There have been a lot of accommodations made to help this process along and the community was thanked for their patience.

Opening of School-Perley Preschool

The classrooms were really hot and we bought five air conditioners to alleviate that issue.  The summer programs will be run at Perley and they will be able to utilize them as well.  Amanda Harding is the director and the new secretary, Laureen, has been hired.  There are still openings for preschool that we continue to advertise.

Opening of School Report- GMHS

Superintendent Jacobs reported that the delayed opening went smoothly.  Mike’s group and the cleaning crew did a great job getting the school ready for opening day.  Supt. Jacobs and Principal Lucia have been attending the trailer meeting since there are still some electrical issues.  Our OPM has been contacted to ensure that this crew continues to show up on our job, as it is unacceptable to wait while they work on another job.  The rug replacement in the library may begin as early as next week.  For the hallway carpets, Mike will write a plan to outline his options that she will share with the committee once it is complete.  The issue of paying for this fix was discussed with the School Building Committee.  There is a lot less congestion with the movement of the 6th grade to Penn Brook.

GMHS Renovation Update

All teachers were asked to check each outlet in their classrooms.  This is not a safety issue, but there are some new rooms that aren’t working properly.  Not all of the intercoms are working.  The intercom and the phone systems are separate from each other.  There are some other issues on the punch list to be addressed such as painting.  The parking has been a challenge due to the construction company blocking off some of the spaces near the turnaround at the building.  Tomorrow there will be a lottery for the students.  There are approximately 25 spaces lost due to this and 7 lost due to the installation of the turf field.  This could be an issue during night time events.  Use of the park and ride is an issue because it is a public lot, but it does negatively affect local business.

Transportation Issues

Superintendent Jacobs addressed the bus issues that have come up this year.  She referred to a resolution analysis done by Mr. Belanger where it showed the majority of the issues being new families to town and not knowing the entire process.  She thanked Barry, Cindy and Betty for being available to answer questions this evening.  Superintendent Jacobs reviewed the process by which parents can have issues resolved while implementing School Committee policy.  She referred to her blog which addressed the major questions that families have yearly.  The law only requires transportation for grades K-6, not grades 7-12 and for 2.0 miles only.  Our district transports all grades with the exception of preschool and also uses a limit for 1.5 miles rather than 2.0.

The issue seems to be that that policy doesn’t state that if you are beyond 1.5 miles, you must walk to school.  This issue, while it may not change, definitely requires additional conversation.  The option of perhaps allowing families to pay to ride the bus if you are 1.5 miles-2.0 miles out can be discussed.  The funding of another bus from the school choice revolving account can also be discussed.  Clarification of keeping a seat open for a child that suddenly now has the need and qualifies must be granted.  Exceptions can be made, but once you make an exception, it becomes difficult to start saying no.

There are some districts that stagger the mileage based on the grade.  The addition of another bus would not alleviate this issue as it was discussed in the past that seven buses were needed.  One frustration is that if a parent can see a bus stop with a half empty bus that they can’t ride on because they aren’t eligible.  The recommendation is to have a subcommittee meeting and invite people to come and help the district understand what the issues are.    Bus five will be starting 10 minutes earlier on Friday.  It’s important not to react to something, but to discuss to help come to a resolution.

School Report

Staffing Update

There are more names filled in, with only one last position to be filled.  Mr. Lucia is still reviewing applicants for a middle school science teacher.  There are new teachers as well as one very experienced teacher in the applicant pool under consideration.  The current substitute will be in place until the permanent replacement is hired.

Financial Report

Turf Field Invoice Approval

Joan Liporto reported that there is one invoice in relation to the turf field project that requires approval for payment.

MOTION:  Pam Lundquist (M. Hinchliffe second) to approve payment of Scoreboard Enterprises, Inc. Invoice #29583 dated 6/3/15 in the amount of $13,715.00 as presented.  So voted (4-0).  Motion carried.

Document Referenced:  Scoreboard Enterprises, Inc. Invoice #29583 dated 6/3/15 in the amount of $13,715.00.


Joan Liporto reported this evening that for the Perley Roof Architects Invoice # dated in the amount of as presented.  So voted (4-0).  Motion carried.

MOTION: Pam Lundquist (S. MacDonald second) to approve payment of CBI Consulting, Inc. Invoice #23703 dated 7/31/15 in the amount of $3,015.00 as presented.  So voted (4-0).  Motion carried.

Document Referenced:  CBI Consulting Inc., Invoice #23703 dated 7/31/15 in the amount of $3,015.00.

Subcommittee Reports

Chairman Linares reported that the Budget/Finance Subcommittee has not met recently and will schedule another meeting.

Vice Chairman Lundquist reported that the Governance Subcommittee will meet on 9/23/15.

Vice Chairman Lundquist reported that the Public Relations Subcommittee will meet on 9/15/15.

The Safety Subcommittee meeting normally meets on the second Thursday of the month will meet on 7/24/15.

Vice Chairman Lundquist reported that the School Building Committee met on the Penn Brook and the total budget is $46,169,400 at this time.  The contingency is at $307,952, the owner’s contingency is $426,170, the bid under run 1,683,806.  The final coating of paving will be completed on Columbus Day Weekend.  Loam is being installed on the fields seeded by 11/1/15.  There is an issue going from17K cubic yards of soil/rock to be disposed of on the property to 26K cubic yards at this time.  Sites for storing this soil/rock will be toured.  On 9/16/15 the OPM will put out the bid for the shed which will be approximately $90,000.  GMHS renovation project shows phases 1 and 2 that are they are substantially complete and into the punch list stage.  We have the occupancy permit in hand otherwise we would not have been able to open the school.  Phase three is beginning and should be completed by November first most of the construction being done during off hours.  The next issue is the bleachers where the architects have come up with multiple solutions.  Further research is being done on this issue.

The President of the SEPAC will come to the November 19th meeting to give an update of the goings on.  A letter was submitted to all parents of the council which included the schedule for the year.

Vice Chairman Lundquist gave an update on the CREST Collaborative with respect to the charge of a membership fee because we do not have a student attending this year.  We do use their services of professional development home training, both home and away, transitional evaluations and as a third party contractor.

Old Business

Home School Family Approval

Yearly the School Committee votes to approve the submissions from families who chose to home school their children.  The current updated list was reviewed and recommended by Dr. Straight.

MOTION:  Pam Lundquist (S. MacDonald second) to approve the updated list of home school families dated 9/4/15 as presented by Donna Straight.  So voted (4-0).  Motion carried.Document Referenced:  Home School Families Spreadsheet dated 9/4/15.

2015-2016 School Calendar Change Approval

Due to the delayed opening of GMHS, the school calendar has been adjusted using professional development days in order to make up for the 3 lost days at the beginning of the school year.  The second option and the most favorable for staff would be to find a way to have all schools end on the same day.  In order to accomplish this would be to shift the professional development days to no school for elementary students and half days for GMHS students so that the day counts as a full day to meet time on learning requirements.  It seems to be a reasonable alternative, but the union will be polled.

Discussion took place about the May professional development day being an election day.  The possibility of moving the polling place at Perley will be discussed with the town.

Document Referenced:  Updated 2015-2016 school calendar.

MOTION:  Barbie Linares (P. Lundquist second) to go into Executive Session under M.G.L. Chapter 30A, Section 21, to discuss a union personnel not to return to open session at 9:00PM.  So voted via roll call vote (4-0).  Motion carried.

Respectfully Submitted,


 Laura Markarian, School Committee Secretary