Lincoln School Committee
Minutes of April 3, 2003
Hartwell Building, Lincoln MA

  1. Greetings and Call to Order
    The meeting was called to order by Ashton Peery, Vice Chair; at 7:09 p.m.
    Members present included: Ashton Peery, Vice Chair; Anne Doyle; Jan Nyquist; Mark Masterson; Mark Smith, Hanscom Representative; and Sherice Horton, METCO Representative; (arrived at 7:30 p.m.).
    Also present were Michael Brandmeyer, Superintendent; Dr. Jeanne Whitten, Assistant Superintendent; and Dave Jack, School Business Administrator.
    Members absent: Sue Hollingsworth, Chair; Michelle Gardner-Ince and Ron Deak, Hanscom Representatives.

  2. Elect Chair; Appoint Vice Chair
    Ashton Peery stated that the Town of Lincoln preferred not to swear in newly elected officials until after the Town has conducted all its business at the scheduled Town Meeting on April 5th. The School Committee will reorganize at its next meeting April 14th.

  3. Public Comments
    No Discussion

  4. Chairpersons and Members Report
    Ashton Peery thanked all members of the community who voted in support of the override, and particularly thanked the School Committee members, administration and faculty who worked on the budget. Ashton also acknowledged Jurrien Timmer who will be replacing the seat on the School Committee vacated by Anne Doyle.

    Mr. Peery also thanked Anne Doyle for her time served and her leadership on the School Committee. He stated that he learned how to be a kind but critical overseer of the budget from her. Mr. Peery thanked Mark Smith, Hanscom Representative for attending the meeting tonight despite Hanscom�s focus on the war effort and also thanked all the military personnel that are currently stationed overseas at this time.

    The April 17th School Committee meeting falls on Passover so a decision was made to reschedule it for Monday, April 14, 2003 at 7:00 p.m.

  5. Superintendent�s Report
    Mr. Brandmeyer thanked the PTA and the community for their support in helping pass the override ballot. He complimented Becky Eston, a Lincoln kindergarten teacher, on her recently published book titled �Show and Tell.�

    The Superintendent also announced the upcoming production, Iolanthe, a Gilbert and Sullivan play, on April 10th and 11th, performed by the middle school students under the direction of Pip Moss at the Lincoln School.

    Mr. Brandmeyer shared that Dr. Pedro Noguera from Harvard University met with parents on April 2nd and discussed the achievement gap with them.

    Last but not least, the Superintendent visited Mr. Joseph�s Grade 5 Science Fair at the Lincoln School and thoroughly enjoyed the very interesting display of chairs, vehicles, and other inventions that the children designed.

  6. Time Scheduled Appointments
    1. Accept Gift in the amount of $3,000
      A Lincoln resident donated $3,000 designated to support the pilot Instrumental Music program at the Lincoln School.

      Mark Masterson moved that the School Committee accept this gift. Jan Nyquist seconded. Approved 4-0. Mark Smith, Hanscom Representative; and Sherice Horton, METCO Representative; concurred.

    2. Update from Kindergarten Readiness Committee
      Randy Davis and Becky Eston reported to the School Committee that the Kindergarten Readiness Committee, a cross campus initiative, has met twice to date. Members of the group found the experience to be very productive and positive. One important issue that has been discussed is the kindergarten entry cut off date, currently October 1st. The group felt that September 1st might be a better date to avoid children that are too young, and that other communities are now using it. Another topic of discussion for the group was the screening process. The state mandates that all incoming kindergarteners will be screened but currently there is no mandate on what screening tool should be used.

    3. Discussion of Lincoln and Hanscom Middle Schools� Washington D.C. Field Trips
      Judy Glassman and Barry Hopping discussed the history of the Washington D.C. field trip and indicated that under the current world circumstances teachers and administration felt the responsibility of taking children out of state was too great. Mark Masterson asked if the recommendation is to cancel the trip. Mr. Brandmeyer said that at the Regional Superintendents� meetings he�s recently attended they have had discussions about overnight trips and that safety is a major concern for all, and that all out of state trips of which he is aware have been cancelled. He recommends cancellation.

      Ashton Peery asked if parents were voicing concerns and Mr. Hopping answered that they were. Mr. Peery asked about the families that may be out money if the trip was cancelled and Mr. Hopping spoke to the issue of cancellation insurance, and that all but one Hanscom family purchased it. Mr. Brandmeyer stated that he will look at the financial hardships to families.

      Mr. Brandmeyer proposed the School Committee create a Field Trip policy for over night trips to help guide future decisions.

      Anne Doyle suggested that when a policy is put in place about field trips such as the Washington D.C. trip, that language about the cancellation insurance be included. Mark Masterson proposed that the school not accept financial responsibility for the cancellations as all families were fully informed about trip insurance for this trip.

      Mr. Masterson moved to cancel the Washington D.C. trip for this year. Anne Doyle seconded. Approved 4-0. Hanscom and METCO Representatives concurred.

  7. Curriculum
    1. Report on DeCordova Grant
      Dr. Jeanne Whitten, Assistant Superintendent and Claire Loughheed, Director of Education, DeCordova Museum presented a report on the DeCordova Grant. The DeCordova Museum received funding from the Codman Trust Foundation for a second year to enhance literacy education through the arts. This year�s program is entitled Vision to Creation featuring the sculpture of Pat Keck a local artist.

      The DeCordova recently received the very prestigious Commonwealth Award from the Mass Cultural Arts Council. At the suggestion of Mr. Brandmeyer this year�s program will include a meaningful linkage to the classroom curriculum at all levels including professional development opportunities for teachers. Mr. Brandmeyer thanked all who are working so hard to create such an ambitious program.

    2. Report on SPED Summer Program
      This report is rescheduled for a future School Committee meeting.

  8. Policy
    No Discussion.

  9. Budget and Financial
    1. Warrant Approval
      Ashton Peery moved to approve the warrants totaling $637,936.74.
      Mark Masterson seconded. Approved 4-0. Hanscom and METCO Representatives concurred.

  10. Old Business
    No Discussion

  11. New Business
    Ashton Peery asked to briefly discuss planning for the upcoming School Committee forums and to be sure they are included on the next School Committee agenda for planning purposes. He expressed his desire to put the METCO topic first on the agenda given the attention it has been given.

    Mark Masterson suggested that the first conversation might be around the class size issue as this has an impact on the METCO discussion.

    Mr. Brandmeyer stated that a sub-committee is currently working on the METCO Forum. Mark Masterson mentioned that the Maynard School Committee hired a consultant who was very helpful in setting up ground rules and defining the role of the School Committee when a forum is held.

    Jan Nyquist expressed a desire for the Committee to look at their long term strategy and ask themselves how they would define success.

    Members of the audience said they want to see the class size policy discussion happen first. Ashton thanked members of the Committee and the audience for their input.

  12. Approval of Minutes
    Mark Masterson moved to approve the minutes of the School Committee on March 20th.
    Anne Doyle seconded with corrections. Approved 3-0. Hanscom and METCO Representatives concurred. Ashton Peery abstained.

  13. Information Enclosures

  14. Adjournment
    Ashton Peery moved to adjourn the open meeting to convene in Executive Session for the purpose of Collective Bargaining negotiations and not to reconvene in open meeting. Anne Doyle seconded.
    Approved on a roll call vote: Ashton Peery, Yes, Anne Doyle, Yes, Jan Nyquist, Yes, Mark Masterson, Yes.
    The open meeting adjourned at 8:17 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by
Stephanie Brown