Approved by School Committee 1/12/2012 Arlington School Committee
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Arlington High School
School Committee Room – Sixth Floor
869 Massachusetts Avenue
Arlington, MA 02476
Present: Ms. Cindy Starks, Chair, Dr. Kirsi Allison-Ampe, Vice Chair, Mr. Jeff Thielman, Mr. Joseph Curro, Jr., Ms. Leba Heigham, and Mr. William Hayner.
Dr. Kathleen Bodie, Superintendent, Mr. Robert Spiegel, Human Resource Officer, Ms. Linda Hanson, AEA Representative, Alexis Moisand, Student Representative, and Ms. Karen Fitzgerald, Administrative Assistant
Absent: Mr. Judson Pierce, Secretary, Dr. Wallis Raemer, Interim Assistant Superintendent, Ms. Diane Johnson, Chief Financial Officer, Ms. Kathleen Lockyer, Interim Director of Special Education and AAA Representative.
Ms. Heigham arrived at 8:10 p.m.
Ms. Hanson exited the meeting at 10:04 p.m.
Mr. Curro exited the meeting at 10:08 p.m. and returned 10:15 p.m.
Ms. Starks spoke on the Bishop School student art work which highlighted China.
Ms. Lissa McBurney, Dallin parent discussed her concerns of the draft Redistricting Plan and would like the committee to review the Safe Route to Schools report and the Arlington Transportation Advisory Committee recommendations for the Redistricting goals.
Mr. Stephen Harrington, 40 year resident and parent, asked the School Committee members to endorse a proposed Town Meeting Warrant Article:
Arlington High School Concussion Reduction Program
To see if the Town will vote to appropriate $25,000 to defray the expense of purchasing, leasing, or bonding of capital equipment to reduce the likelihood of traumatic brain injuries in students participating in athletics at the Arlington Public High School for helmets, pads and baseline testing software: or take any action related thereto.
Mr. Tony Ranauro, Dallin parent, said he appreciates the support of the teachers at the Dallin School but spoke of his concerns of the unfortunate breach with Administration of the Redistricting map circulating prior to a meeting, sometime in September. The appearance of the map on the APS website in November with the same Special Education confidential information is a violation, and Mr. Ranauro suggested to the School Committee that they reinforce policies and procedures with the Administration, so the pattern of a major breach of confidentiality does not continue.
Ms. Kimberly Leib, Stratton School parent, former employee, said that her family confidentiality has been violated a few times and reported the issues to administration. Ms. Leib had asked for an exit interview when she left her employment, but was not given one.
Mr. Robert Bartholomew, former APS PE Teacher, and substitute teacher spoke on the conditions of the hardwood floors throughout the district compared with other Middlesex League districts facilities, which Arlington will now compete against, and he suggested that the upkeep and maintenance of all the floors should be attended to now.
Ms. Susan Valenti-Devito, Brackett School parent, presented a map, letter and folder, which included pictures showing high traffic areas for students redistricted from Brackett to Stratton School. Ms. Valenti-Devito said she will continue to work with families to inform the Redistricting Committee, to keep the focus on safety, diversity, well-being of children, data, research, decision-making, and property value before a final decision is made.
Discussion and vote on remote participation in open meetings
Ms. Juliana Rice, Town Counsel, spoke on the Attorney General’s recently issued regulations that allow remote participation in meetings under the Open Meeting Law.
Mr. Curro moved to approve the use of Open Meetings remote participation, as drafted by legal counsel, seconded by Mr. Hayner.
Voted: 5-0, Mr. Hayner, Mr. Curro, Mr. Thielman, Dr. Allison-Ampe and Ms. Starks.
Budgetary needs at OMS and AHS for FY’13
Dr. Bodie said she would present the Administration’s Budget for FY 13 to the School Committee sometime in February. Dr. Bodie said how grateful she was for the override passing in June and for the level funding we have this year. Mr. Tim Ruggere, Ottoson Middle School Principal, and Ms. Mary Villano, Interim Arlington High School Principal, were also grateful for the override and presented reports on the strengths at the middle school and at the high school. After the School Committee members heard the initiatives currently in place for 2011-2012, they asked if Mr. Ruggere and Ms. Villano continue to update the School Committee members on ongoing initiatives with the common assessment and with corrective action plans. A draft school improvement plan for the OMS and AHS was provided to the School
Committee members as well.
AHRC Resolution & appointment
Mr. Curro asked the School Committee chair to recognize Nancy Rhoads, chair of the Arlington Human Rights Commission, and said the Response Coordination Team has been working on a resolution as part of its communications and incident response planning.
Mr. Curro moved to endorse the following Arlington Human Rights Commission Resolution, seconded by Mr. Hayner.
Human Rights Resolution
WHEREAS our nation was founded on the fundamental conviction that all persons are entitled to equal protection, equal opportunity and the enjoyment of civil rights; and
WHEREAS the strength of our nation is derived from the growing diversity of our communities; and
WHEREAS thousands of people of diverse backgrounds live, work, study, and worship in Arlington, visit our Town’s businesses, and enjoy our recreational opportunities; and
WHEREAS all acts of subtle and overt discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity, and sexual orientation substantially undermine our communities, schools, and the promise of equal justice; and
WHEREAS violations of human rights occur in our Town; and
WHEREAS we can begin to solve the problem of hate by taking strategic and specific actions to promote a sense of welcome and inclusion; and
WHEREAS coordinating efforts to combat and respond to such acts of hate and human rights violations continue through the Response Coordination Team comprised of public officials, Arlington Human Rights Commission, Vision 2020 Diversity Task Group, and members of the clergy;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Town of Arlington does endorse the efforts of the aforementioned Response Coordination Team and pledges its support for rapidly addressing violations of human rights in our community; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we, the undersigned elected leadership bodies of the Town of Arlington, will maintain a policy of publicly addressing human rights violations and those who perpetrate them; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we will unite against prejudice and support those who are harassed or have their human rights violated; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we will support Town and community groups in their endeavors to creatively recognize and promote diversity.
Alexis Moisand, student representative asked if the School Committee could have the AHRC include language to protect all genders.
Mr. Curro moved the recommendation to include language “and all classes protected by applicable federal, state and local law” after sexual orientation to the Human Rights Resolution, seconded by Mr. Hayner.
Mr. Curro moved to refer the process of recommendations of appointments to the AHRC by the Arlington School Committee to the Community Relations Subcommittee and instructed the chair to send a thank you letter to Suzie Taludar for her service on the AHRC, seconded by Mr. Thielman.
Kindergarten cost analysis & Capital improvement report
Mr. Curro moved to table Kindergarten cost analysis & Capital improvement report to the next meeting, December 22, 2011, seconded by Ms. Heigham.
Mr. Hayner asked Dr. Bodie to have the Chief Financial Officer provide a response to the tuition resolution and specify the remedy of this and forward the report to the School Committee members.
Special Education position changes
Mr. Rob Spiegel spoke that he had meet with AAA and AEA Unions on the AAA position of Family Outreach Coordinator and to have the position moved into the AEA Unit C, Clerical Union.
Mr. Curro moved to approve the Special Education Senior Clerk job description, seconded by Mr. Hayner.
Dr. Bodie apologized and took full responsibility for the posting of the Redistricting map to the media, which included confidential information where special education students lived in each school district. Dr. Bodie said the map was created as part of the MSBA recommendation to have additional students attend the new Thompson School. Dr. Bodie said the Redistricting Committee will be meeting again on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 7:00 in the School Committee Room and said they are in the beginning stages of developing a map and plan and said that all documents are working documents and nothing is final. Dr. Bodie assured the community that they would be heard through their school representative, public forums at each school on Redistricting Committee plans and that the Community Relations Subcommittee with work the
Redistricting Committee to bring forward recommendations and a timeline to the full School Committee members.
After the committee heard from Dr. Bodie, Mr. Hayner recommended to Dr. Bodie she provide the School Committee members assurance of protocols are being followed so another incident of a breach of confidentiality would not happen again. Mr. Curro suggested to Dr. Bodie she provide regular communication to school districts the progress of all Redistricting meetings and publish dates, forum dates and the timeline and publish the representatives names on our website.
Mr. Hayner moved to have the Superintendent share with the committee a report on protocols when there is a failure of confidentiality and a protocol for notification and response with follow up procedures, by date certain, no later than second meeting in January, January 26, 2012, seconded by Mr. Curro.
Dr. Bodie congratulated METCO Director, Steve Pereira for Co-Chairing the METCO conference and said the performance by Arlington Madrigal singers at the conference was outstanding. Dr. Bodie informed the School Committee, Staff and the Arlington Community of two searches for the Arlington High School Principal and Director of Special Education. The screening committee will begin in January and all interested members should apply to Mr. Rob Spiegel, Human Resource Department, Arlington High School, 6th Floor, 869 Mass Avenue, Arlington, MA. Dr. Bodie said the Thompson School demolition date is either December 16 or December 19th.
Mr. Curro moved the 10 o’clock rule to 10:30 p.m. seconded by Mr. Hayner.
Subcommittee & Liaison Reports
- Budget - Kirsi Alison-Ampe
Dr. Allison-Ampe said the Budget Subcommittee is speaking with legal on the discussion of a motion around Circuit Breaker money and will bring motion to School Committee then to Town Meeting to stabilize next year Circuit Breaker.
- Community Relations - Leba Heigham
Ms. Heigham said the Community Relations would meet next week.
- DA/CIA - Jeff Thielman none
- Document Requests
Mr. Hayner moved to refer Warrant Article on “Arlington High School Concussion Reduction Program” to Policies and Procedures for further discussion, seconded by Mr. Thielman.
- Approval of Warrant: 12065 dated 11/10/2011 Total Warrant Amount $490,870.39
- Approval of Warrant: 12071 dated 11/17/2011 Total Warrant Amount $ 252,066.20
Mr. Thielman moved to approve the Consent Agenda, seconded by Ms. Heigham.
Mr. Thielman moved to table the Secretary’s Report until the next meeting, seconded by Mr. Hayner.
Ms. Heigham moved to enter Executive Session at 10:10 pm. to conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with union and/or nonunion personnel or contract negotiations with union and/or nonunion in which if held in an open meeting may have a detrimental effect. To conduct strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation, in which if held in an open meeting may have a detrimental effect, Collective bargaining may also be conducted. To comply with or act under the authority of the provisions of any general or special law requirements, and to only exit for adjournment, seconded by Mr. Hayner.
Roll Call: Mr. Hayner, Ms. Heigham, and Mr. Thielman, Dr. Allison-Ampe, Ms. Starks all voting Yes. Mr. Curro had exited the room.
Mr. Curro moved to exit out of Executive Session and to adjourn at 10:30 p.m., seconded by Ms. Heigham.
Roll Call: Mr. Hayner, Ms. Heigham, Mr. Curro, Mr. Thielman, Dr. Allison-Ampe, and Ms. Starks all voting Yes
Karen M. Fitzgerald
Arlington School Committee/jp/jc