WAKEFIELD SCHOOL COMMITTEE Wakefield, Ma Wednesday, January 28, 2015 7:00 P.M. – WCAT Studio Present: Chairman Callanan, Vice-Chairman Morgan, Ms. Cook, Ms. Danehy, Mr. Liakos, Mr. Kenney, Mr. Markham, Supt. Zrike, Business Admin. Pfifferling, Clerk Majeski
1. Call to Order – Chairman Callanan called the meeting to order. 2. Reading of the Mission Statement: Chairman Callanan read the Mission Statement
3. Public Comment/Student Advisory Council a. Public Comment 1. Paul Buckley – Mr. Buckley, speaking as the Co-President of the Wakefield Warrior Club, presented a detailed request that the Wakefield School Committee delay adopting any policy or guidelines so the issues they have expressed in a hand-delivered letter to the committee can be explored further. He went on to talked about the October 27th forum where discussion took place and concerns raised, and that there would be a subsequent meeting. We received a document from the Supt. today, and told it would be voted this evening. More communication and debate would result in better public policy and buy-in. Mr. Buckley and audience were informed that the committee will only be voting on the policy and not the proposed guidelines this evening. 2. James Joly reinforced what Mr. Buckley stated. There are many booster organizations that are looking for the same opportunity and hopes the committee will consider them. He wanted clarification on the two points indicated on the agenda. Mr. Callanan noted that the policy earmarked for approval this evening has been on the table for two weeks. The School Committee will discuss the Superintendent’s proposed guidelines. 3. Richard Berecz, agreed with Mr. Buckley and Mr. Joly and make sure all are informed. 4. Penny Perkins, Warrior Club member, commenting on guidelines which stated they would be presented to the SC this evening. Mr. Callanan noted the committee will discuss and endorse or send it back. There is a definite separation between policy and guidelines, Guidelines can be easily changed by the superintendent, policy changes come back to the full committee for a vote. Dr. Zrike noted that the meeting is a public way of getting input. Normally the committee does not engage the public into the process, but felt it important to get the School Committee’s feedback and send out to the booster organizations. At some point there needs to be clear and definitive guidelines. Mr. Callanan remarked that the committee can endorse the guidelines or send them back to the Superintendent to be reworked.
4. Chairman’s Remarks, Reports, Recommendations a. Chairman’s Remarks – Mr. Callanan noted that the committee met last Saturday in a workshop format which proved to be a very productive meeting. At that workshop the committee made some changes to the format of their meeting; one being a start time of 7:30 p.m. instead of 7:00 p.m. This will allow some of the members who have to travel,
enough time to get to the meeting on time. b. GMS request to approve student activity, Galvin Buddies: Ms. Morgan moved that the School Committee approve the Galvin Middle School’s request to create a Galvin Buddies Student Activity Account, seconded by Mr. Liakos. Mr. Pfifferling advised the committee
how the activity accounts work. Mr. Markham noted that the Galvin Buddies is not affiliated with the national organization Best Buddies. Voted Unan. 5. Student Spotlight – Gr. 3 @ Dolbeare Class – Suzanne Hall’s Class (next meeting) 6. Superintendent’s Remarks, Reports, Recommendations a. Superintendent’s Comments . weather alert over past few days . concerned about student safety tomorrow, sidewalks will not be plowed for a few days. Buildings will be open early for parent drop off. . thanks to custodial staff who have worked around the clock and café workers who served food to police and fire at the Galvin. . students who were reading today, a successful blitz – Mr. Goselin over 60 photos were sent in. Winner will be selected. . Teacher Berdick representing Wakefield in a few week – Teacher Leadership Network and asked to represent the State of Massachusetts state of Ms. Ms. Berdick gr. 1 at Woodville. b. Parent Recognition – (next meeting) c. PTO Presentations – Dr. Zrike thanked the PTO Presidents for coming to the meeting this evening. Galvin is not appearing this evening. Doyle was presented at the last meeting. 1. Walton PTO President Kerry Melanson thanked the administration for hiring a media specialist, lunch monitor. The PTO is actively involved in Kids Coat Drive, Food Pantry, Holiday Stroll Hat Parade, Art Show, Science Fair, Enrichment Programs, WEF Grant, Bussing of field trips. Working on improving their communications with families. In the future looking for additional services for students, curtains for the cafe/gym, music and technology support. 2. Woodville President Amy Lynch noted that the school is very happy with the new staff and principal. Awaiting 501C rating which will help with fundraising. Woodville is looking for more volunteers, help with art program, and literacy. Hosting Trivia Night Fundraiser 3. Dolbeare Co-President Pam Roberts spoke about their mission which centers on enrichment and communication. Have launched Authorfest, holding social on March 13 to fund the Authorfest. Dolbeare has 95 registered volunteers. They sponsor field trips, events and socials. The PTO is very happy that Dr. Zrike is meeting with the PTO’s and they have learned a lot about the system. 4. Greenwood Co-President Jen Moon reported they have $37,000 going into this year which helps with supplies for teachers and students, books, cultural arts program and he PTO gives a percentage back to WEF. They will be putting more money into the
library next year. They are thankful for the media specialist and it is very important that it is integrated into the library program. Would like the library to be looked at as more of a resources area. Expressed concern about the “allergy policy” which is very limiting and difficult to monitor. Meeting with the Superintendent has been very import Chairman Callanan, on behalf of the committee, thanked the PTO for their many hours they volunteer to their schools. The feedback from the PTOs to the Superintendent finds its way back to the School Committee. Dr. Zrike noted that the PTO Presidents are very open and honest, and they are the heart of the School Department. Mr. Liakos the PTO’s that the budget process and hearing is coming up and invited all to attend and participate. 8.f. Policy Subcommittee Report (Out of Order) Mr. Liakos moved that Agenda #6e Booster Guidelines and #8b2 Policy 1108Relataions with Booster Organizations be taken out of order. Ms. Morgan seconded and voted unanimously. Mr. Liakos noted that the idea was that Policy #1108-Relations with Booster Organizations would be very general and offer the superintendent the authority to create guidelines with the booster organizations. Dr. Zrike reviewed the proposed guidelines which were established with input from Mike Boyages, Tom Bankert, Richard Metropolis, Mike Pfifferling, Dr. Smith and Tom Mullen. The issue has been discussed over the last year and one-half. The Policy Subcommittee held a forum on October 27th with the booster organizations. Atty. Mullen was present at one of the meetings and asked that he submit guidelines for guidance. It was decided that procedures would be brought forward to the committee for discussion publicly. The guidelines do not restrict the ability of booster organizations. There was concern around compensation for hiring additional staff, and donations. We feel strongly about the proposed guidelines. The proposed guidelines do no restrict the boosters from doing what they have been doing. Ms. Danehy stated that the administration and committee have been talking about it for over a year, and the guidelines are a great starting document. Ms. Danehy moved, that the committee not endorse the guidelines and bring back to the committee in two weeks, seconded by Mr. Markham. Mr. Kenney thanked those that spoke about the guidelines and agreed that the organizations should have an opportunity to review the proposed guidelines and comment. Mr. Markham asked if conversation can continue thru the subcommittee, what constitutes a policy and what constitutes the guidelines. Ms. Morgan moved, seconded by Mr. Liakos for discussion that the School Committee take off the table and approve Policy 1108. Mr. Liakos amended the motion to include that the committee make a commitment
to set the next policy subcommittee meeting date and that the meeting focus on the guidelines and that the booster organizations be invited to weigh in on the policy and guidelines and then the committee will bring back to the full committee in two weeks, seconded by Mr. Kenney. Mr. Markham was concerned that we will be voting a policy and guidelines in two weeks and did not feel I could be accomplished, without being rushed. Mr. Callanan noted the discussion has been going on for two years; we need to make a decision. We want something in place for the spring sports. Mr. Liakos concurred with Mr. Callanan feeling that both parties are very close. Ms. Danehy requested that any suggest changes to guidelines from the booster organizations be sent out in a timely manner. Legal guideline around the hiring of staff is most important. Dr. Zrike noted the legal issues around the hiring of staff. He felt that it can open the system up to serious liability. Vote on amendment unanimous. Mr. Markham suggested that the guidelines rise to the level of being a policy. Guidelines can easily be changed, whereas policies must be reviewed by the committee and voted. The School Committee should own it. Mr. Liakos noted that the Policy Subcommittee did discuss why the guidelines should not be part of the policy. We try to distinguish between policy direction and administrative responsibility. In this case the delineation was in the carrying out of administrative relations between the system and the boosters. Vote on Amended Motion – Unanimous. The committee thanked the booster organizations and will schedule a meeting within the next two weeks. Mr. Markham noted that he will articulate in writing to Mr. Liakos his thoughts about the guidelines. Mr. Kenney noted the committee has no authority over the booster organizations. Re. our legal guidance the committee will have to stick to the correct wording. It is important that the guidelines not be inflexible, where policy could be. c. WHS Out-of-State Field Trip Request – Ms. Morgan moved that the School Committee approves a one day out of state Field Trip for 50 drama students to attend theater production in New York City, Saturday, March 28,2015, seconded by Mr. Liakos. Voted Unan. d. 2015-2016 School Year Starting Date – Ms. Morgan moved that the School Committee approves the Superintendent’s recommendation that the first day of school for students be Tuesday, September 8, 2015, seconded by Mr. Markham and voted unanimously.
f. METCO 45th Anniversary International Night Celebration – (next meeting) 7. Consent Agenda a. Approval of January 13 Minutes – Ms. Morgan moved that the School Committee approves the January 13, 2015 minutes as presented, seconded by Mr. Markham. Vote: In favor Ms. Morgan, Mr. Callanan, Mr. Markham, Ms. Cook, Mr. Kenney and Mr. Markham
8. Subcommittee/Liaison Reports a. Budget Subcommittee – Tom Markham reported the subcommittee has met twice over the past two weeks. Topics discussed transparent document showing year to date reflecting is deficit. While facing a deficit, the administration is understanding where we actually are and things we need to do to address that. Also began discussing year 2016. Biggest things we are looking at have to do with cost of utilities, universal K and cost of meeting obligations to collective bargaining employees. We will be meeting twice a month up to Town Meeting. b. Policy Subcommittee – Greg Liakos 1. Approval of Policy #704-R Family & Medical Leave – Ms. Morgan moved, seconded by Mr. Liakos, that the School Committee take off the table and approve Policy #704-R Family & Medical Leave. Voted Unan.
c. Labor Relations Subcommittee – Kate Morgan trying to set a meeting date d Communications Subcommittee – Ann Danehy reported they will be meeting within the next two weeks February 11th. 11. School Committee Comments Mr. Kenney asked that response to public comments be added to agenda. 12. Adjournment - Ms. Morgan moved, seconded by Mr. Kenney, that the committee adjourns their meeting. Voted Unan.