SC Cliff Notes 10/25/17

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

In attendance tonight was SC Members – Marlena Gilbert, Angela Donahue, Jennifer McKenzie, Ryan McLane, Brian LeBlanc and Peter Cronin, Supt. – Dr. Laura Chesson and Director of Business & Finance – Michael Knight.

  • Financial Impact of Audit Recommendations – At the communities request, an outside consultant was contracted to review all District operations in the search for efficiencies. Any cost savings realized through changes will be strategically reallocated back into our District to areas that will Directly impact our students learning.  Some of these changes are listed below and are further outlined in the presentation provided to the SC by the Superintendent. There will be a public forum on November 8, 2017, at the GDRHS Library at 7 PM to allow for community members and leaders to discuss the impacts of these changes with the SC and the Superintendent. 
    • Final Financial Impact of External Operational Review Actionable Items
      • Outsourcing Custodial Services
      • Outsourcing Food Service
      • Combining Bus Routes/Bus Stops
      • Changing HS start time to share bus routes with MS
      • Charge bus fees for students that live within 1.5 miles from school ($200/per student with a family cap TBD) It is important to note that the State does not reimburse for transportation for any student that resides within 1.5 miles of their school and it costs the District roughly $500/per student The majority of SC members voiced concern about charging parents fees in addition to sports fees and club fees that are already being charged. The administration will be researching the ability to establish a scholarship fund that could be available for community members to donate funds to be used for students that would be eligible for financial assistance with bus fees.   
      • Moving Central Office to the MS
  • Science Curriculum Adoption – The Stemscope Curriculum was adopted by the SC which is an online platform. The curriculum matches the MA State Common Core Standards 6-8 Science and is in line with STE Framework and STEM research.  As technology is integrated into our curriculum upgrading our internet infrastructure becomes increasingly more important for our schools. Details on how it was rated by the Curriculum  Committee can be seen here:   RUBRIC – Stemscopes – Google Docs
  • New Generation MCAS – Superintendent presented information on the New Generation MCAS test and explained that this is a baseline year as it can not be compared to prior tests.  A letter was sent home to parents to elaborate further and a more in-depth presentation on our District’s performance will be scheduled in December. Parents will receive an email with an update as to when they will receive their child’s scores.
  • District Capital Stabilization Fund Resolution – The SC discussed and voted to approve a resolution that outlines the commitment and the importance of financial planning required to maintain taxpayers investments they have made in our District buildings and grounds.

SC entered into executive session to discuss contract negotiation at 9:30 PM.