SC/B&F Meeting September 6, 2017

This blog post is my interpretation and summary of discussions from meetings that I attend and are not official minutes.

This posting includes the agenda items of the B&F meeting at 5:30 pm and the regular school committee meeting at 7 pm.   In attendance for the B&F meeting was Supt. Laura Chesson, Business & Finance Director – Michael Knight, Asst. Supt. Katie Novak, SC Members – Marlena Gilbert, Angela Donahue, Jennifer McKenzie and Jeff Kubick.  All SC Members joined the meeting at 7 pm for our SC meeting.

  • 8th Grade Washington DC Trip – SC approved a one-day extension for this annual trip. Due to the transportation restrictions of the number of hours, a bus driver can drive in a day and how rushed the current trip has been it was in the best interest of the students to extend the trip an additional day.  A sample itinerary can be seen here:   DC Trip Itinerary
  • Boutwell HVAC – The bids for the HVAC (heating and cooling) came back approximately $6000 higher than anticipated. This was slated to be done before this winter. The options are going back out to bid which will delay the project and may not provide a lower bid, or utilize a portion of the District contingency funds to cover the difference.  If the HVAC was to fail prior to being replaced and heat was needed, temporary heaters can be provided but would be more costly than the difference in the bid.  Subcommittee consensus was not to gamble with it and get the work done.
  • Subcommittee/Liason Updates
    • BoS Liason Update – The SC was updated as to an agenda item being on the BoS agenda for their 9/11/17 meeting.  This agenda item would discussion the Selectmen authority relative to inclusion of GDRSD Articles on Town Meeting Warrant. The GDRSD Wire Infrastructure warrant article is being sponsored by Barry Pease for Fall Town Meeting, however, the SC Chair wishes to clarify for future town meetings.  The SC will be discussing putting forth a warrant article for the remainder of the FY19 Capital Expenses at Spring Town Meeting instead of included in them in the GDRSD Operations budget.
    • Groton COA Liason Update – SC discussed supporting the Groton COA Warrant article at Fall Town Meeting for design plans for a renovation or a rebuild/expansion of existing building. Committee asked for a copy of the warrant and to confirm from legal counsel if there are any legal restrictions in doing so.  This will be brought back on September 20, 2017, for discussion and vote.
    • Programmatic Review/Audit Update – Abrahams will provide a draft on September 15, 2017, and a meeting will be established to discuss the preliminary findings.  October 15, 2017, will be the final report presented by Abrahams to the committee.  DM Group will provide a draft mid-December with the final report December/January.
  • Enrollment Report – The superintendent will be providing monthly updates on enrollment to the SC and community.  This year we had 77 new students enroll at GD, after withdrawals, we show a net increase of 32 additional students in the district as of August 31, 2017
  • Assistant to the Director of Community Ed Position – Superintendent requested the SC to approve a new position in the district.  This position would help research, establish and organize additional offerings to students for after school programs.  SC approved this position, as it was a much-needed position in our District and the funding comes from the revenues generated from the programs.  You can see the job description here: Job Description – Assistant to the Director of Community Education
  • Friends of Prescott Lease – SC approved the lease between the GDRSD and Friends of Prescott
  • FY19 Budget Priorities & Guidance to  Superintendent – SC continues to discuss the guidance and is slated to finalize and vote at the September 20th meeting.  Guidance discussions included…
    • Reviewing recommendations & conduct feasibility studies on any recommendations provided in final reports of Programmatic Review/Audits.
    • Maintaining & improve services to all students.
    • Preserve the communities capital investments.
    • Decrease athletic fees
    • Ensure adequate funding for supplies such as hand sanitizer, paper towels, tissues etc.
    • Maintain Class Sizes:  The exceptions of the class sizes set below are a chorus and physical education. Additional exceptions to this standard are allowed if appropriate justification is made to the school committee about the exception’s education efficacy.
      • K-4        15 to 22 students per class
      • 5-12      15 to 25 students per class
  • Dunstable Fall Town Meeting GDRSD Warrant Articles – Additional discussions were had for Dunstable Fall Town Meeting in regards to GDRSD Wire Infrastructure warrant article.  These discussions will continue as Dunstable peer boards continue preparing their future year’s financial projections for the SC to consider when discussing warrant articles.