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Minutes for the Pelham School Committee Meeting of December 2, 2010
Submitted by kochn on Mon, 01/24/2011 - 4:43pm.
Pelham School Committee
Pelham School Committee Meeting Minutes
December 2, 2010
December 2, 2010
Attendance: Debbie Gould, Nora Maroulis, Kathy Weilerstein, Lisa Desjarlais, Rob Detweiler, Ed Martin, Fred Vanderbeck, Richard Selig
a. Debbie Gould called the meeting to order at 6PM
b. Agenda Review
i. Postpone Quarterly Financial Report to next meeting
ii. Change 5D to Art (not music) discussion
iii. add 6C. for Supt. Search Update
2. Announcements & Public Comment
a. Richard Selig – 7yr resident spoke about his concerns regarding the Charter School funding model. He cited the difference in funds required for a Pelham student going to charter from the elementary level vs the regional level. He spoke of his article in the Gazette and asked folks to attend a Public Forum he is co sponsoring (with Nancy Grossman, Leverett Finance Comm) with Paul Dunphy speaking followed by Q & A. Dec. 13 at 7PM at the Bangs Center in Amherst.
3. Supt update (none – Maria not at meeting). Principal update:
a. School Council going through School Improvement Plan and comparing survey from 2 years ago with one that Lisa developed. Their goal is to send the survey out by the end of January – likely electronically. (Kathy Weilerstein suggested having open hours in the computer lab for parents to have the option to use.)
b. There are three new SpEd paraprofessionals. The funding for these positions was a combination multiple sources: savings from Cathy Neale’s resignation, a reduction in Lennie Ware’s hours, Rural REAP grant, and $ saved from the reduction in Van Pool use). She is making efforts to increase the amount of support going to students in the lower grades – to increase chance of reduction in needs as they mature.
i. Ben Parker – 3rd grade, has teacher certification in visual arts
ii. Carol Wilson – K in morning and 2nd grade in afternoon
iii. Kathleen Colasurdo – 6th grade – lots of experience (10 yrs) in working as a literacy paraprofessional.
c. Paula Russell (nurse) has been acting as SpEd Clerical. It was noted that Lisa needs to document that to be clear on how various tasks are being completed.
d. They are working on addressing particular areas that were cited in the SpEd evaluation
i. Timeline of paperwork being completed
ii. Draft summaries being produced at the end of meetings – they had been doing this but had not been keeping copies
e. Lisa is exploring alternative source for School Psychologist evaluators. Tim Whalen has been doing the evals and all students do not need the neuro component that he offers. She is working with Jo Ann Smith on this.
f. Partnership with UMass: Rebecca developed a survey for faculty regarding teacher collaboration – what it is and how it exists. It will be used to measure growth at end of year. The intern Chris comes to the District Leadership meetings and is working with Lisa and her work with teachers. He is giving her readings and support. The process is going slower than hoped. The AARA funds that support this work end in June – some of the current money goes to writing a new grant.
4. Districts Strategic Planning – Deferred
5. New Business
a. Quarterly Financial Report – postponed to next meeting
b. School Choice Projections & Planning – The committee reviewed the budget numbers and agreed that as they study the budget and look to the future (with the assistance of Rob’s projections) they must find a way to maintain viability. In order to have options for the future they discussed the possibility of not adding school choice students to next year’s kindergarten class – this could open options currently not available. The committee was clear that they are not recommending educational models but asked Lisa to think about this and to begin the conversation with the faculty.
c. Lisa reported that she is on track with teacher observation evaluation reports
d. Discussion about the Art curriculum – Lisa will look for information to share with the committee in the future concerning the art curriculum and integration of art with classroom work.
6. Subcommittee Reports
a. Pelham Visioning – Kathy reported that the group is working well and that we now have a page on the Pelham Elem website. Hard copies of minutes and handouts are also available in the Pelham Elem office and the Pelham Library. Next meeting Dec. 8th
b. Policy subcommittee – postponed till next month
c. Supt Search update – Interviews in January see ARPS website for process updates
7. School Committee Planning
a. Calendar Review
b. Items for upcoming meetings:
i. Preliminary Budget discussions
ii. Choice Models
iii. Student-Teacher spotlight
8. Meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM
Last updated January 24, 2011