Lincoln School Committee
Minutes of February 6, 2003
Hartwell Building, Lincoln MA

  1. Greetings and Call to Order
    The meeting was called to order by Sue Hollingsworth, Chair, at 7:06 p.m.
    Members present included: Sue Hollingsworth, Chair, Ashton Peery, Vice Chair, Jan Nyquist, Anne Doyle, Ron Deak, Hanscom Representative, and Sherice Horton, METCO Representative.
    Also present were Michael Brandmeyer, Superintendent, Jeanne Whitten, Assistant Superintendent, and Dave Jack, School Business Administrator.
    Members absent: Mark Masterson, Michelle Gardner-Ince and Mark Smith, Hanscom Representatives.

  2. Public Comments
    Patty Mostue requested the Superintendent speak to the Math Department at Lincoln Sudbury High School and study the data in order to inform himself and the community about the need for a Math Curriculum Specialist at the K-8 level.

  3. Chairperson’s and Members’ Report
    Sue Hollingsworth introduced Col. Ron Deak as the Hanscom Representative who will be taking Michelle Gardner-Ince’s place as she is relocating soon. Sue also attended the girls’ B team basketball game between Lincoln and Hanscom at Lincoln that day and complimented the Hanscom players, saying the girls have great teams.

    Jan Nyquist attended the PTA meeting and spoke to the discussion about the Public Forum on METCO on March 22, 2003, that the PTA voted to co-sponsor with the School Committee on March 22, 2003. Other topics of discussion at PTA were questions about the budget process, instructional aides and class size. Jan reports that the PTA finds it useful to have the School Committee keep the PTA informed on a monthly basis.

    Anne Doyle sent kudos to the Recreation Department for the recent scavenger hunt they organized for Winter Carnival. She said it was great fun for all parties involved.

  4. Superintendent’s Report
    Mr. Brandmeyer reported that the School District received three allocation grants for the 2002-2003 school year.

    Two were written by Dr. Jeanne Whitten, the first: an Early Childhood Grant to study Mental Health Issues, for $4,000, and the second: a Title V Grant for $2,900 focused on science instruction.

    Steve Kaplan and Teresa Watts wrote and received an Early Childhood Grant to study IEP’s and Curriculum, for $3,000.

    Mr. Brandmeyer recently attended a workshop for superintendents by the Department of Education on the topic of school and district report cards, a new requirement of the Federal NCLB Act. He will work with the administrative teams to develop prototypes.

    Mr. Brandmeyer expressed his concern over the inaccurate reporting in the METCO article written in the Lincoln Journal this week by Mr. Hagan

  5. Time Scheduled Appointments
    1. Update on School Department Emergency Response Plan
      Dr. Jeanne Whitten along with Jerry Schultz, Gail Eddy and Officer Jon Wentworth gave a report on the draft of the Emergency Response Plan they developed for the Lincoln Public Schools. This team worked collaboratively with individuals from the Town and the Carroll School for feedback and inclusion.

      The most critical concern faced by the team was coming up with a plan for emergency vehicle access to the campus if Ballfield Road became un-passable.

      Ron Deak suggested that the team look further at multiple avenues for egress. Jon Wentworth replied that the team is working with the Conservation Department to find the most suitable egress routes.

      Ashton Peery asked about the Hanscom Campus Emergency Response Plan. Mr. Brandmeyer stated that the Hanscom Primary and Middle Schools are still in the development stages with their plan in cooperation with the Hanscom Base Operations and will report to the School Committee when they’ve completed their work.

    2. Hearing and Vote on School Choice
      Mr. Brandmeyer reviewed the School Choice Law with the School Committee that states the district is automatically enrolled in the program unless the School Committee votes not to participate. The Superintendent recommended that the members vote to withdraw from the Massachusetts School Choice program for the 2003-2004 school year for the following reasons:
      1. Potential financial loss because of the discrepancy between the reimbursement figure and or actual per pupil cost in Lincoln.
      2. Potential special education costs to the district
      3. Potential negative impact on surrounding districts
      4. Lack of space and the commitment to maintain small class size.

      Ashton Peery moved that the School Committee withdraw from the Massachusetts School Choice program for the 2003-2004 school year. Anne Doyle seconded. Approved 4-0. Hanscom and Metco Representatives concurred.

    3. Vote Calendar for School Year 2003-2004
      Mr. Brandmeyer presented the proposed calendar for 2003-2004. The LTA has endorsed this calendar which the School Committee reviewed at its January 30th meeting.

      Jan Nyquist moved to accept the 2003-2004 school calendar. Anne Doyle seconded. Approved 4-0. Hanscom and Metco Representatives concurred.

    4. Task Force Report: A Continuing Discussion, METCO Forum
      Mr. Brandmeyer recommended to the School Committee that a long- term study on METCO take place with a larger study group (including outside speakers) so that all voices are heard in a fair way.

      Cindy Sweetser, a member of the community, has put forth a Warrant Article in regards to the METCO program to be discussed at the upcoming Town Meeting and has also proposed a ballot question. Mr. Timmer, a member of the Task Force, expressed his concern that the terms of the warrant put forward are too specific.

      The PTA, The League of Women Voters and the School Committee agreed to co-sponsor a Forum on March 22 to give the community a chance to participate in a discussion about diversity, not specifically the METCO program.

      Mr. Brandmeyer feels it is the responsibility of the School Committee to listen to the community not necessarily lead the discussions at the scheduled forum. He reminded them that they are responsible for following through on the Task Force suggestions, and recommends that the Committee set clear goals and actively participate in study groups preparing for FY05.

      Penny Billings, Selectman, was in attendance and asked the School Committee for some indication as to their support of the ballot initiative prior to the Selectmen’s meeting on February 10th.

      Audience members asked clarifying questions about the Warrant Article and Ballot question because the topic of diversity and the METCO program were being discussed simultaneously.

      Ashton Peery moved that the School Committee not support setting a date for the Forum before the Town Meeting, but to co-sponsor the Forum after Town Meeting. No one seconded. Mr. Peery withdrew the motion.

      Christina Horner, Metco Director, asked for clarity on the topic and purpose of the Forum. Sandy Storer clarified the PTA vote and indicated they would co-sponsor a series of discussions about diversity, one of which may be held before the town meeting.

      Sue Hollingsworth asked Ms. Sweetser if she could change the language in the warrant article to be less specific and more in line with the ballot question. Ms. Sweetser stated she was willing to work on the language of the warrant article.

      Sue Hollingsworth moved that the School Committee co-sponsor the Forum tentatively for the March 22nd date, with one or more active member of the School Committee sitting on the steering committee, and that they be responsible for the agenda and presentations.

      Ashton Peery amended Sue’s motion and added that the School Committee recommend to the cosponsoring members of the Forum to give careful consideration to the Forum and allow an appropriate amount of time for adequate and careful planning.

      Jan Nyquist seconded. Approved 4-0. Hanscom and Metco Representatives concurred.

      Ashton Peery suggested that the School Committee meet on Monday, February 10th, prior to the Selectmen’s meeting to discuss and decide where they stand on the ballot initiative. Mr. Brandmeyer will post a special School Committee Meeting for Monday, February 10th at 7:00 p.m. at Town Hall.

  6. Curriculum
    No Discussion

  7. Policy
    1. Enrollment of Non-Resident Students: Vote
      Rescheduled for future meeting.

  8. Budget and Financial
    1. Second Quarter Budget Report: FY2003
      Jan Nyquist and Ashton Peery reviewed the second quarter report containing financial data through December 31, 2002. Jan Nyquist stated the budget and financials are in good shape.

      Anne Doyle thanked Jan and Ashton for their time in reviewing this report. Anne also asked if the Food Service budget deficit could be placed on a future agenda and be discussed.

      Mr. Jack stated that the third quarter report will reflect our position with respect to utilities’ costs and the retirement incentives.

    2. Establish Revolving Accounts/Gift Accounts
      Anne Doyle moved to establish two gift accounts for the gifts accepted at the January 30, 2003 School Committee meeting.

      Jan Nyquist seconded. Approved 4-0. Hanscom and Metco Representatives concurred.

    3. Warrant Approval
      Ashton Peery moved to approve the warrants totaling $ 545,496.72.
      This consists of one Payroll and one Accounts Payable.
      Sue Hollingsworth seconded. Approved 4-0. Hanscom and Metco Representatives concurred.

  9. Old Business
    No discussion

  10. New Business
    No discussion

  11. Approval of Minutes
    No minutes available

  12. Information Enclosures
    No discussion

  13. Adjournment
    Sue Hollingsworth moved to adjourn the meeting.
    Anne Doyle seconded. Approved 4-0. Hanscom and Metco Representatives concurred.
    The meeting adjourned at 10:33 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by
Stephanie Brown