Schools

APOLOGIES!  The following links were out of date since the switchover to the new district websites during the summer of 2014.  As of Oct 12, 2014, these have been updated:

Looking for links? See: School Website Links:

Westborough School District Home
for the Official District Home Page

School Committee Meeting Minutes
archive on the district site

 

 

 

School Committee Minutes 2009-04-01

School Committee Minutes Written by Webmaster   
Sunday, 31 May 2009 18:46

WESTBOROUGH SCHOOL COMMITTEE

WESTBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS

MINUTES

Wednesday April 1, 2009

The Westborough School Committee meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Chairman, Craig Harris. Committee members present included Mr. Bruce Tretter, Mr. Stephen Doret, Mrs. Ilyse Levine-Kanji and Mrs. Karen Henderson. Administrators present included Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Anne Towle, Assistant Superintendent Mrs. Marianne O’Connor, Director of Finance and Administration, Mr. Daniel Hendricks; Principal, Elaine Halford; Director of Fine Arts, David Jost; Athletic Director, Johanna DiCarlo; Finance Committee liaison, Cliff Watts.

The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

MINUTES

Upon a motion by Mr. Tretter and a second by Mrs. Henderson, the Committee voted 5-0 to approve the minutes of March 25, 2009, as amended.

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT AND HIGHLIGHTS

Dr. Towle announced Abhinav Gupta has been selected as a Boston University Trustee Scholar. The award covers full tuition and fees and is renewable for up to three years. Selection is based upon academic, school and community contributions. The Superintendent also highlighted winners in the Short Story and Poetry contests sponsored by the Federation of Women’s Clubs of Massachusetts. Winners included McCauley Reardon, Scott McCullough, Kathryn O’Hara, and Frank Chang. WHS Sophomore, Evan Cadavieco, will conduct “The Barber of Seville” with the Metrowest Youth Symphony Orchestra on May 3. Dr. Towle congratulated Anthony Healy and Brian Higgins, directors of HONK, performed by the Gibbons Middle School students, on an outstanding production.

The Superintendent congratulated the fifteen students who participated in the MMEA All-State conference held in Boston. Some of these students were selected as soloists as part of the All-State Choir’s performance. The WHS Wind Ensemble performed a new work for band written by Larry Blocher. Mr. Matthew Lefebvre directed. The Gibbons School Wind Ensemble was one of four groups featured as exemplary musical ensembles from the state. Congratulations were extended to Mrs. Forrest for this recognition.

Mr. Jost recently presented two clinics on job interviews and the process for graduating college students and helped organize several sessions pertaining to music education advocacy and curriculum development at the MMEA conference. Mr. Jost is also co-chair of Administrators’ in Music Education and on the executive board of the Massachusetts Association for Jazz Education.

Mrs. O’Connor informed the Committee the Mill Pond Math Olympiad team in competition, placed third out of 153 teams and fifteenth out of 3000 nationwide. Student, Josh Hyde tied for first place. Mill Pond came in first in Worcester County. Kindergarten screening will take place at Fales, April 28, 29, 30; at Armstrong, May 5, 6 and 7; at Hastings, May 27, 28, 29. High school students have registered for 300 AP exams to be administered May 4-20.

The Assistant Superintendent reported five K-6 teachers will be attending a week long math/science workshop at the Boston Museum of Science under the auspices of Genzyme. All costs are covered and their students receive a field trip to the Museum in the fall.

COMMITTEE REQUESTS AND REPORTS

Mr. Tretter announced the Facilities Committee met and reviewed the Health and Safety reports. The Committee will meet again in June. Westborough will be celebrating Earth Day, April 25. Participants will meet at either Friendly’s or Lake Chauncy. Mr. Tretter chaperoned a bus to the Music Festival and reported the student behavior was outstanding.

Mrs. Levine-Kanji congratulated the Gibbons student performers on their wonderful production of HONK. She reviewed some of the offerings of the Community Education summer program and encouraged parents to review the program offerings.

Mrs. Henderson reminded parents that April 10 is a half day of school. The Literacy program presented at the Mill Pond School was excellent. Next week a program on writing will be presented by Sue Bardsley. The Armstrong Family Fun Day was a huge success. Thanks were extended to all who participated.

Mr. Doret thanked Mr. Jost and Ms. DiCarlo for the information they provided to the Committee regarding their departments. It was precisely what he was looking for and very useful.

Mr. Harris welcomed Mr. Watts, Finance Committee liaison to the meeting.

REPORTS

REVIEW OF BUDGET TO DATE

Mr. Hendricks reported on the changes that have occurred since the first budget review on March 11th. At this time the district is aware it will receive $200,000 in Circuit Breaker funding and $400,000 IDEA funds. The district was asked by the Town to develop a level funded budget and the Town released an additional $500,000 to the school district to help defray energy costs. The total budget figure at this time is $38,259,898, not yet adjusted with the Federal stimulus of $560,000.

The Committee discussed the impact of the federal funds and the duration of those funds. Concern was expressed that there will be future problems when the funding expires, especially in FY10-11 and FY11-12, when the Federal money goes away. It has been reported the IDEA funds and the Stimulus funding will come directly to the school district. However, the legislature has not locked in on the final distribution of funds, and it has been reported it will not be resolved by town meeting time. The House budget is scheduled for release within the next few weeks.

Mr. Doret noted when the Federal stimulus dries up, the district will be short about $3 million dollars and Proposition 2-1/2 will limit the amount the town can raise. He added that the 1.34% increase indicates the school department has done exactly what it was asked to by the town. Mr. Doret stated the town does not deal with what is in the budget, only the bottom line.

Mr. Hendricks reviewed the status of the Revolving Accounts and noted the School Lunch program is always a concern.

Following a discussion of fees last week, Mr. Harris requested a further breakdown of costs. At no time did Mr. Harris intend to pit one activity against another, but only wished to see what was spent on each activity. Mr. Harris feels he still did not get what he requested – a detail of the type of supplies and equipment offered to each participant. His intent is to point out what the district offers and does not offer and what parents are spending.

Mr. Doret felt overall when you add up costs of athletics and music, and you see that there are 2857 participants, and the sum total is 1.3% of the entire budget, you cannot calculate the benefits the students receive in terms of value and maturity. It is part of the curriculum. There is so much benefit from so little money.

Mr. Doret suggested taking the $8400 increase for stipends and dividing that amount into the fee structure. He offered one suggestion that would increase fees from $175 to $186 at the High School and $125 to $134 at the Middle School with a cap. He offered a second suggestion of changing the activity fee to $133 to apply to each participant in the system with no cap. Scholarships would be offered. It takes off the table any subsidy of athletic and music staff. That argument goes away. Mr. Doret added he believes there are other areas that should be looked at for restructuring at a future meeting.

Mr. Tretter requested a spread sheet for the Committee and asked for the administration’s recommendations.

Mr. Jost pointed out when he compiled the information, he was made more aware of the per pupil cost, and felt he should address the matter of bringing more students into the program to make it more cost effective. Ms. DiCarlo also does not wish to see the fees raised.

Mr. Harris’s concern is with parity in equipment families must purchase. He would also like to see what changes can be made in some of the programs. Programs should not lean on the Booster clubs and PTO’s as times get tougher.

At 7:31 p.m. upon a motion by Mrs. Henderson and seconded by Mr. Tretter, the Committee voted unanimously to close the regular meeting.

PUBLIC HEARING

Upon a motion by Mr. Tretter, seconded by Mrs. Levine-Kanji, the Committee voted 5-0 to hold a Public Hearing on the Budget.

Mr. Hendricks spoke to the matter of the stimulus package and the state response to it. He reviewed some of the options for the use of the funds, including transportation, avoiding the funding cliff, strategic investments, and broadband. The Committee discussed the inequities of the Chapter 70 funding distributions and voiced concern about the distribution of the stimulus package.

Mr. Harris inquired whether any member of the audience wished to make a public statement. No one responded.

At 7:45 p.m. upon a motion by Mr. Tretter, seconded by Mrs. Henderson, the Committee voted 5-0 in favor of closing the Public Hearing.

MOTION

A motion was made by Mr. Tretter, seconded by Mrs. Henderson, to reopen the Regular meeting. The Committee voted 5-0 in favor of the motion.

TRANSPORTATION

Mr. Hendricks reported the bus routes have been reviewed for any possible changes. The district has 18 buses at a cost of $45,000 per bus with each bus making three trips on each route. Three noon kindergarten trips will be reduced next year. The state requires transportation be provided for students living more than 2 miles away from a school. If Westborough followed the directive, students would be required to walk across route 9.

Mr. Doret noted the district is free to do whatever it wants with the bus program, since it is not following the state mandates of two miles. Dr. Towle suggested holding public hearings on the matter before the next contract to discuss possible changes. The district now spends $1.2 million dollars on transportation.

The Superintendent reviewed the positions that the administration recommends restoring to the budget due to the additional funding the district is scheduled to receive.

Mrs. Levine-Kanji expressed concern with the staffing for the number of PDD students at the Mill Pond School next year. The numbers will go from 98 this year to 110 next year with a reduction of one teacher. Mrs. Levine-Kanji and the Superintendent had an in-depth discussion regarding the staffing issue which resulted in a difference of opinion on the issue. Dr. Towle feels the staffing is satisfactory for the program.

Mr. Harris asked the Committee for items it wished to have for next week’s budget meeting. Votes will be cast at the April 8 meeting. The Committee requested a copy of class sizes after the proposed staff reductions. It also requested information on the numbers at the High School in the math, science and social studies classes that had a reduction.

School Committee Meeting 4.

April 1, 2009

Mr. Tretter requested the staff reductions be placed in priority order with a rationale as to why a position has been put in or why it has been reduced. Mrs. Henderson asked for the number of staff that will be laid off. Mr. Harris suggested a further reduction in a nurse position be considered which will save the district $48,000, and restore a para position.

MOTION

Mr. Tretter made a motion at 8:30 p.m. to enter Executive Session under Chapter 39, Section 3B, sub paragraph (3) for the purpose of discussing negotiations. Mrs. Levine-Kanji seconded the motion and the Committee voted unanimously in favor by roll call vote.

At 8:52 p.m. the Committee returned to Open Session.

The Committee signed bills. Upon a motion by Mr. Doret, seconded by Mrs. Henderson, at 8:53 p.m. the Committee voted unanimously to adjourn.

Respectfully submitted

Karen Henderson

Secretary

These minutes are as recorded by the secretary to the school committee and do not become an official part of the record until so noted in a subsequent record.

Add a comment
 
   

School notice regarding additional H1N1 "swine flu" information

School Notices Written by Webmaster   
Thursday, 28 May 2009 19:56

[The following message received 28-May-2009.  The information referred to has been reproduced on Westborough.com and is available at the link below. - Webmaster]

WESTBOROUGH PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Message sent - 5/28/2009
DPH

Good Evening. This is Dr. Anne Towle, Superintendent of Westborough Public Schools.

We have been asked by John Auerbach, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Health, to alert you to additional information about the HINI [sic] flu. Although we have no reported cases of children in our school district, please check the Westborough School's website for important information for parents about the flu that has recently been published by the Department of Public Health. Your awareness of the symptoms will help us prevent the spread of the flu among students and staff.

Thank you for your assistance.

 

Add a comment
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 May 2009 21:37
 
   

Update on H1N1 "swine flu" symptoms from Mass DPH

School Notices Written by Webmaster   
Thursday, 28 May 2009 19:43

[This is the letter from the main school website referred to in Dr. Towle's recent message.  The following contents fetched 28 May 2009 8:48 PM from http://westborough.ma.schoolwebpages.com/education/components/docmgr/download.php?sectiondetailid=3327&fileitem=9190&catfilter=146, ]

May 22, 2009

Dear Parents and Guardians:

As you probably know, there are different strains of flu affecting Massachusetts, including the new H1N1 strain (“swine flu”). So far, the symptoms of the new H1N1 flu are similar to those of seasonal flu. But any flu virus can cause serious illness, so we are working very closely with local and state school officials to try to prevent the spread of the flu among students and staff.

Although virtually all schools are still open, a number of schools have been closed for 7 days because of very high rates of absence. We hope that these temporary closures will help prevent new infections and avoid unnecessary illness. Even if your child’s school hasn’t closed, think about how you would manage child care issues if closure were necessary. If your school does close, it is very important that you do not let your children get together with friends, relatives or other people — whether in the community or at home.

Regardless of whether or not a school has students with the flu, there are steps every parent can take to lower their children’s chances of getting sick. Teach them to wash their hands often with soap and water. Children don’t always have easy access to a sink, so you might consider giving them a small bottle of hand sanitizer for their backpack. They can use it throughout the day, and before snack time and lunch.

In addition, there are things each of us can do to prevent the spread of flu. First, teach your children to cough into their inner elbow or into a tissue, instead of their hands. This will help prevent the spread of germs, including the flu virus. Second, make sure that your child does not have signs of the flu (a fever with any of the following- cough, sore throat, or runny nose) before you send them to school each morning. And third, if your child has signs of the flu, please keep them at home for 7 days after their symptoms start, or 24 hours after their symptoms go away — whichever is longer.

When your child is well again, and has stayed home according to the guidance above, they do not need to be tested for the flu before returning to school.

Most people who get the flu do not need to seek medical care and do not need to be tested for H1N1 flu. However, certain people may be at increased risk for complications from the flu. If they have been in contact with someone with the flu, the following individuals, or their guardians, should talk with a doctor. They include:

 

  • People over 65 or under 2 years of age
  • People with chronic lung, heart, kidney, liver or blood disorders
  • People with immune systems that are compromised (either due to illness or medicines)
  • Pregnant women
  • Children less than 18 years old who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy who might be at risk for experiencing Reye’s syndrome after influenza virus infection

 

Additionally, for those parents concerned about the possible impact of the H1N1 outbreak on your child’s educational requirements, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recently issued guidelines that address the possible delay of MCAS testing due to illness or school closures.

We appreciate your continued cooperation and support as we work together to reduce the spread of the flu in our communities.

Sincerely,

John Auerbach

Commissioner

Add a comment
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 May 2009 19:58
 
   

Swine Flu Informational from School Superintendent Anne Towle

School Notices Written by Webmaster   
Wednesday, 29 April 2009 17:47
WESTBOROUGH PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Message sent - 4/29/2009
Swine Flu
 
Good Evening, this is Westborough Public Schools Superintendent Anne Towle. The purpose of this message is to provide you with information about the Swine Flu. 
 
Today we posted on our district website information that includes a Public Health Fact Sheet from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and DESE guidance for schools. 
 
Staff and children will all be asked to follow these steps that prevent the transmission of infections such as influenza: 
  • Cover your coughs and sneeze into a tissue or the inside of your elbow, not into your hands. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. 
  • Wash hands frequently, especially after coughing or sneezing. 
  • Stay home if you're sick, especially with a fever. 
Donations from parents of hand sanitizers for classroom use would be greatly appreciated. 
 
Regardless of travel history, school participants with a temperature and/or respiratory symptoms will be sent home with instructions to stay at home for least 7 days or for 24 hours after the symptoms resolve, whichever is longer. We recommend that you seek medical care. At this time, exclusion is not recommended for school or childcare participants who have recently traveled to an area where swine flu cases have been confirmed, and who do not have symptoms. 
 
Add a comment
Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 April 2009 18:45
 
   

School Committee Minutes 2009-03-25

School Committee Minutes Written by Webmaster   
Wednesday, 22 April 2009 18:03

[Accessed 22-Apr-2009 from the District Web Site link, with minor formatting changes.]

WESTBOROUGH SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

WESTBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS

MINUTES

Wednesday March 25, 2009

The Westborough School Committee meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Chairman, Craig Harris.  Committee members present included Mr. Bruce Tretter, Mr. Stephen Doret, Mrs. Ilyse Levine-Kanji and Mrs. Karen Henderson.  Administrators present included Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Anne Towle, Assistant Superintendent Mrs. Marianne O’Connor, Director of Finance and Administration, Mr. Daniel Hendricks; Student Representative, Katherine McManus; Director of Pupil Personnel Services, Ms. Maureen Ferguson;  Principals Dr. David Fredette, Mr. John Smith; Assistant Principals, Mr. Jack Foley, Mr. Chris Fournier Mr. Brian Callaghan,  Director of  Fine Arts, David Jost; Athletic Director, Johanna DiCarlo; Finance Committee liaison, Cliff Watts.

The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

MINUTES

Upon a motion by Mr. Tretter and a second by Mrs. Levine-Kanji, the Committee voted 5-0 to approve the minutes of March 18, 2009.

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT AND HIGHLIGHTS

The Gold Award, the Girls Scouts of America’s equivalent of the Eagle Award, has been awarded to student representative, Katherine McManus.  Katherine’s project was student voter registration. Over 100 students at the high school were registered.  Dr. Towle presented Katherine with a Certificate of Achievement.

Mrs. O’Connor attended the Corridor 9 Chamber of Commerce Breakfast with students Mathew Spring and Nicole Arsenis.  She also reported the Doubletree Hotel has partnered with the Fales School and will also be partnering with the Hastings and Mill Pond Schools.  The hotel will conduct a bottle and can drive to provide funds for the summer camp program.

The Armstrong School Family Fun Day will be held March 28 from noon to 4:00 p.m.

Mr. Hendricks stated he is meeting with representatives from National Grid and NStar to discuss the consumption and energy savings at the Mill Pond, Gibbons and High Schools. 

COMMITTEE REQUESTS AND REPORTS

Katherine reported the All State Music Festival will be held this weekend in Boston.  The Wind Ensemble will be playing March 27.

Mr. Tretter noted Earth Day will be celebrated in Westborough April 25 with a town wide cleanup sponsored for the eleventh year by the Westborough Land Trust.  Sites are being solicited for cleanup projects. 

Mrs. Levine-Kanji highlighted the following events:  Mr. Tretter was the subject of a featured article in the Boston Globe which detailed his “Eat, Can’t Cook” project.  Further information is on his website. A Parent Literacy Workshop will be held March 31 at the Mill Pond School at 6:30 p.m.  Sue Bardsley is the facilitator of “All About Comprehension” for K-3 parents.  An Ice Cream Social is being held March 27 at the High School to raise funds for Darfur.  The Newcomer’s Art Auction will be held April 4 at Indian Meadows, and the Community Education Summer Brochure is now available. 

Mrs. Henderson reported “Honk” will be presented this weekend by the students at the Gibbons School.  Recreation Department summer sign ups are now being held.

Mr. Harris added Senior Citizen passes for all athletic and musical events are available free of charge in the Superintendent’s office. 

REPORTS

Superintendent Towle announced details are unfolding regarding the Federal Stimulus Package, and the Administration will recommend some of the proposed reductions be restored.

SPECIAL EDUCATION BUDGET

Director of Pupil Personnel Services, Maureen Ferguson, reviewed the results of the February Coordinated Review of the Elementary and Secondary Special Education program by two auditors.  The auditors verbally stated the district has the best SEPAC it has ever seen, the survey return was outstanding, great curriculum integration, excellent professional development, and the program is one of the best in the state. The ELL program far surpasses most in the state.  It was recommended more translation for parents be made available, and the movement of some classrooms was suggested.  A written report will be sent to the Superintendent in the summer. 

Mr. Doret and Mr. Tretter felt the recommendations should be addressed in writing and strongly state why the district does not agree with the classroom movement.  If the district is a role model for the state, and a pilot program, it should provide the reasons for disagreement. 

Ms. Ferguson reviewed the Extended School Year programs to be held at the Mill Pond School from July 13 through August 13 for those Special Education students who need to receive reinforced study.  Vocational skills will be addressed at the High School and the district will continue with the Assabet Collaborative in conjunction with other towns for expanded programs.  The Out of District program has scheduled 33 students for FY09-10, versus 40 that were in placements this year.  The “move in” law provides that anyone moving into a district prior to April 1 will be funded by that district; otherwise, the sending district is responsible for the cost.  The Special Education program serves 13% of the total school population. 

Mr. Hendricks reported the district will receive $94,142 in Circuit Breaker funding; $400,000 in IDEA funds; $600,000 in new funds.  Further details will be made available next week at a meeting at Assabet. 

FINE ARTS BUDGET

Director of Fine Arts, David Jost, reported fifteen students will be participating in the All State Festival, the greatest number of students from a school the size of Westborough.  The “Swing Into Spring” dinner dance, held Friday at the Senior Center was a tremendous success.  Mr. Jost informed the Committee the District Arts Display will take place next week in the Forbes Building.  Each school will host one night.  The All State Conference takes place this weekend in Boston.  The Wind Ensemble will perform a new piece on Friday.  Gibbons School will be represented, having been chosen to perform after submitting a blind audition tape.  The musical, “Honk” will be performed this weekend at the Gibbons School.

Mr. Jost noted since 1999 Fine Arts have been part of the core curriculum in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Recommendations for graduation include 1 credit of the arts.  The Visual Arts line items have been level funded, as have K-6 Fine Arts. and all music accounts have been reduced by 10%.  The Gibbons and High Schools activity accounts associated with curricular ensembles will not meet the fees and will need to be shared by families, parent groups and fundraising.  Mr. Jost recommended level funding of the maintenance and textbook accounts. 

Mr. Jost included the following recommendations for staff reductions: .7 High School, Gibbons and Mill Pond music teacher (5 sections of classroom music electives will be lost); elementary music and art staff in proportion to classroom reductions K-6.  The reductions result in $105,554, or 6% reduction in the department.  All curricular and co-curricular programs remain in place.

Mr. Doret complimented the administrators for the very professional effort it has made to get the district to where it is going. 

Committee members discussed the account distribution of collected gate receipts and the costs associated with participating in the state and district festivals and concerts. Mr. Jost also reviewed the distribution of WABA contributions.

Mr. Harris inquired about the advantages and disadvantages of the third grade string program moving to an after school program. Also, what does the program do to scheduling in the schools.  Mr. Hendricks responded the cost is approximately $30,000 for supplies and staff, not including student transportation.

GIBBONS SCHOOL BUDGET

Dr. Fredette stated he is projecting 593 students for FY09-10, an increase of 22 students. Mr. Fournier noted the figure includes the anticipated move-ins over the summer. The Special Education population will account for 16% of the total enrollment.  Dr. Fredette included the reduction of a .5 School Psychologist, the .5 reduction of a School Adjustment Counselor and one evening custodian.  The remaining three custodians will increase their work load by 10,000 sq. ft. 

Mr. Harris noted the adjustment counselor deals with students at risk.  A similar discussion took place last year about this same position. 


Mr. Tretter again felt the Committee should look at a graphic of priorities based on philosophy. Identify where the money is spent. 
 Classroom instruction would be the most important, and then support services.  The Committee could then preserve what is most important.  Committee members discussed the information they feel is necessary to make a final determination on reductions.  Mrs. Henderson pointed out the DOE has resources and the per pupil expenditure which could be important.  The Westborough administrative costs and numbers are low, indicating the finances are going to instruction. 

HIGH SCHOOL BUDGET

Principal Smith introduced Assistant Principals, Jack Foley who oversees the 9 and 10th grades and Brian Callaghan, in charge of 11th and 12th grade students; Johanna DiCarlo is the Athletic Director.  Westborough High School has 1100 students, 140 employees and over 800 course offerings.  The proposed high school budget is level funded and includes a reduction of eight positions. Westborough is a comprehensive high school, and its students have an opportunity to explore and consider different options of instruction.  Each guidance counselor now has a case load of 183 students; with the proposed reduction that will change to 220 students per counselor. 

The proposed reductions include a .6 science teacher, .8 math, .4 social studies, 1.5 Special Education (justified based on number of students), .3 physical education, .4 tech ed, .4 music, 1 guidance counselor, .8 of a nurse’s position and one custodian. The budget shows an increase in the Social Studies textbook due to the need to purchase text for a second year U.S. History course to align with MCAS Frameworks. Supplies and textbooks show a 10% reduction.  There is some program reduction without eliminating the entire program, and it includes both teaching and support positions.

Mr. Smith noted if there are substantial changes, he is required to report them to NEASC, the accreditation agency.

ATHLETIC BUDGET

Ms. DiCarlo reported there are 1200 participants in the athletic programs, with 475 of them in spring sports. The proposed budget request is $458,939.  $7500 ($15 per hour) is requested to fund three people to keep the Fitness Center open from 2:30 to 5:00 p.m.  The Health Grant that was originally used for this purpose has expired.  Ms. DiCarlo noted the number of some sub varsity team competitions have been reduced by two.  If additional adjustments need to be made in the budget, away scrimmages and reduction of contests would be considered at the varsity level.  There are MIAA requirements on the number of contests. 

The Committee was presented with a copy of User Fees for the Midland/Wachusett League. It included per sport figures and maximum family costs.  Gate receipts were also reviewed.  WHS students are not charged admission to games.  The MIAA does charge more for its contests. 

Mr. Doret asked for the dollar value of a program divided by the number of participants per sport.  He wished to determine the cost of a program and then look at the impact of the $175 activity fee.  He questioned whether the family cap should be more than $175. 

Mr. Harris was informed the cost of attending a musical performance is $10.  He also pointed out there is no parity between sports.  Hockey parents pay up to $1000 for equipment.  Football players are outfitted.  Should there be a level playing field.  It was noted some are spectator sports and contribute gate receipts.  Mr. Harris feels the fees are another tax on parents.

Mr. Doret asked to see the disparities, the cost per activity, and the cost to bring everything onto a level playing field, with the exception of hockey, per roster, per team.  The request was also made of the Fine Arts department, co-curricular.  Mr. Jost noted the instruments are purchased by the parents in the fifth grade and usually are used through high school.  The greatest cost is lessons.

The Superintendent stated she did not think the Committee was interested in bus fees.  The administration has been looking at changing routes.  She will bring forward bus information for the next meeting. 

ADMINISTRATION RECOMMENDATIONS

Dr. Towle stated the administration has given the Committee $200,000 more in reductions than anticipated to allow for choices.  The Budget is now $777,000 above the level funded goal.  The district will receive $557,000 from the Stimulus package, $500,000 from the town, $200,000 Circuit Breaker, $406,000 IDEA, and $15,000 Early Childhood. 

The administration recommends restoring at Armstrong:  Grade 3 teacher, guidance counselor, and tech para. 

Fales: grade 3 teacher, .5 resource room, guidance counselor, and tech para. 

Hastings grade 1 and grade 3 teachers, guidance counselor, and tech para.

Mill Pond:  reading para, grade 4 teacher, tech para.

Gibbons:  2 paras, 1 custodian, Special Education. 

High School:  guidance counselor, math teacher, .5 nurse, .6 science teacher, .4 social studies teacher, .5 music, .5 physical education. 

A public hearing is scheduled for April 1. The Committee will determine what will remain in the budget and what will be reduced. 

At this time the Kindergarten numbers are:  Armstrong:  93 – 68 full day; 25 half-day; Fales: 73 – 63 full day; 9 half-day; Hastings 93 – 64 full day; 29 half-day.  It is possible the nine half-day registrants at the Fales School may attend the Armstrong half-day program.  Armstrong and Hastings children have made similar moves in the past.  A final decision on the Fales students will be made in two weeks. 

Further discussion ensued regarding the individual cost of an athlete in each sport.  Ms. DiCarlo responded there is no negative feeling about fees among the parents and public. Parents are not upset about activity fees to keep  teachers in the classrooms.   Things are working.  It would not be prudent to pit one sport against another. WABA supports the entire athletic program, and not individual sports.

MOTION

Mr. Harris made a motion to request the type of equipment offered in each particular sport.  He received no second.

Mr. Doret made a motion to request the cost of each sport and music program in town.  Mrs. Henderson seconded the motion and the Committee voted 3-2 in favor with Mr. Tretter and Mrs. Levine-Kanji voting in the negative. 

The Committee signed bills.  Upon a motion by Mr. Tretter, seconded by Mrs. Henderson, at 9:45 p.m. the Committee voted unanimously to adjourn.

 

                                                                                                Respectfully submitted

 

                                                                                                Karen Henderson

                                                                                                Secretary

These minutes are as recorded by the secretary to the school committee and do not become an official part of the record until so noted in a subsequent record.

Add a comment
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 April 2009 18:47
 
   

Page 6 of 8

<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next > End >>

Dates to Remember

Important Notices & Latest Articles

Advertisement

Advertise with us
Your educational products & Services Ad could be HERE.