Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Our IA's have been SAVED

Unanimous House vote!


Unanimous vote in the Senate to override Governor Baker's veto as well!


Thanks to all of those of you who joined me in advocacy, and thanks to our delegation who all voted for this! Advocacy works! 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Perkins funding

O'Connell notes that it's a well prepared grant
Biancheria notes that we were informed by a letter from the Governor, which is not what usually happens...yes, the new administration is sending out letters on DESE grants directly...
vote to accept

MutualLink grant not given to WPD

Biancheria asking for an update on what has happened since then
Boone: received a forwarded copy of an email
WPD was not invited into the grant process

What this means, of course, is we can now review this in light of the larger questions around security, and, if it's found we need it, consider all the other options available, neither of which was done earlier this spring. 

Community eligibility for lunch

O'Connell asks for information about applying for grants as part of discussion
Boone: why we haven't applied as yet, state has now addressed
sent to F&O

Nelson Place groundbreaking (round II?)

O'Connell: we've had a long term tradition to have a special ceremony when we have a groundbreaking of schools
people well notified in advance
groundbreaking that didn't reach out in advance, technology issue
invite those who were unable to join us
ceremony directly tailored to that group
Petty: work with DPW for celebration of next phase of progress

Strategic planning

Ramirez: unlike other School Committees that drive some policy direction, we don't have that
structure in place
sometimes we're chasing items, rather than setting the tone for the district
"really have a conversation"
look to this body as a governance body
improve the structure of meetings: create a consent agenda, leave some time for items that are more importance year have MASC trainings every year, regardless of who is on the committee
look at strategic planning and where the committee should go
not get distracted on where the district could go
working the superintendent: principal PD and mentoring
parent engagement and structure
lay out some of the research on this nationally
lessing the items and then look for involvement of the community
hope that we can take this and maybe discuss it again
Petty: suggests it going to Governance
Monfredo: something we could discuss
Petty: have meeting soon, bring it back to the full  committee
O'Connell: at the time we do meet in September, could ask superintendent for her goals
have some alignment with her goals
Biancheria: keeping in mind as we move forward with this
items that are placed on the agenda are from the public
"this is what we do as a School Committee"
"we are elected officials...issues of concern that arise...that need to be on the agenda"
Novick: professional development of MASC, as raised here, makes it clear that there parts that are our job, and parts that are not
"There are items that do not need to be on an agenda"
one real contrast with other committees in their levels of effectiveness across the state is the focus on what is our job, under state law
O'Connell: our meetings are quite brief, comparison
chance to watch us
"important that we don't get ourselves caught up in what is the Superintendent's job and our job"
"the more information we can share to the public"
Ramirez: agree that we do that quite effective on the budget "we have a great budget"
agenda is "very very dense with request for information without knowing where we're going"
division between informative and micromanagement
referred to Governance

South High pool

O'Connell introduces Palmieri
Councilor Palmieri speaks of community need for pool
"will work cooperatively and do any and everything that I can" to make this happen
Biancheria: thank for interest
hope that conversations of past can be packaged for use of building committee
Petty: difference of opinion around timeline (with Palmieri)
if we don't get invited to continue forward with building, we can talk about other funding for fixing current pool
Novick: is it the intent that we would raise this as part of a major rebuild? or is the intent to fix the current pool?
if it is to fix the current pool, it remains on top of the school's electrical plant. That is not possible, responsibly.
If the intent is to bring it forward as part of a major renovation or rebuild, we should be aware of the history of Newton North, the "Taj Mahal" of high schools, which caused a restructuring of how schools are funded in Massachusetts
Boone: the story of the South pool is the story of the South pool
"water and electricity just don't mix"
very valuable asset we are unable to use
in intial conversations with the state have indicated that we'd like to continue with this asset
"I cannot recommend the repair of the pool" as moving the plant would cost $200,000 plus fixing the pool
if the community is interested in that, we will have to discuss how to pay for it
Petty: send to F&O; if MSBA work fails to move, will look for private funding