SC Workshop (GDRSD Audit Review) 9/27/17

In attendance was Business & Finance Director – Michael Knight, Supt. Dr. Laura Chesson and SC Members – Marlena Gilbert, Jen McKenzie, Brian LeBlanc, Ryan McLane, Angela Donahue, Pete Cronin and Jeff Kubick.

  • Boutwell HVAC – The initial bids for specs provided came in higher. With further review the replacement can be done with standard equipment versus custom specs.  The recommendation was to go back out to bid as the process would still allow time to get the replacement done before winter and at lower costs that present bids – SC voted to go out ot bid.
  • Email Disclosed to SC Members – Marlena Gilbert informed fellow members that after processing the town budget guidance provided to the Groton Town Manager from Groton Fin Com, she had emailed members the Groton BoS and Groton Fin Com as a taxpayer and individual SC Member with feedback and shared information with them. I wanted to clarify that I was not speaking on behalf of the entire school committee and read the email into meeting minutes out of respect to my board. The email and attachments to that email are below.
  • Programmatic Audit Review – The Supt. put together a summary of actionable items that were comprised from the recommendations of the Abrahams Group.  The SC still has two remaining sections to review at a future meeting- Information Technology and the Budget & Financial Analysis in addition to the DMG draft report due in December, 2017.  All action items will be researched by the Superintendent. All recommendations will be brought forth to the SC. The community will have the opportunity to discuss these changes at future public forums in the late Fall. Some of the actionable items may include significant changes that include but are not limited to bus fees to parents with students residing within 1.5 miles from school, shared kitchens & or outsourcing food service, moving central office to Boutwell, outsourcing and or restructuring facilities maintenance staff.   

These changes are being considered in order to decrease the growth rate of our operating budget, however, some of these changes may be considered significant cultural changes and directly impact  taxpayers. It is up to YOU the Groton & Dunstable taxpayers to provide feedback to both School and Municipal Leaders so that we all know where you want your tax dollars spent. We need to know what changes are you willing to accept, what concessions do you find acceptable for cost savings?  

School Committee Contacts:

Groton BoS Contacts:

Groton Fin Com Contacts:

Dunstable BoS:,

Advisory Contacts: