Thursday, October 14, 2004
7:00 Open Session
Hanscom Primary Scbool

Members present: Dennis Picker, Ashton Peery, Julie Dobrow, Sandy Hessler, Jan Nyquist, Laura Koning
Also present: Mickey Brandmeyer, Superintendent; Paul Naso, Assistant Superintendent; and Dave Jack, Business Administrator.
  1. Greetings and Call to Order
    Dennis Picker called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.


  2. Chairperson�s and Members� report
    Mr. Picker stated that the Committee was very happy that the meeting is being held at the Base for the first time in a long time. He complimented everyone for the warm, welcoming environment at the Hanscom schools.

    Mr. Picker also acknowledged the Committee�s appreciation for having Laura Koning as the Hanscom Representative to the Lincoln School Committee. He explained that her contributions to the Committee�s work are valued greatly, and he thanked Laura for her efforts.

    Mr. Picker reminded other Committee members that in tonight�s packet they would find the remaining district work plans. These plans are there for distribution but as previously agreed, not for discussion at this meeting. If members of the Committee have questions, they should direct those questions to the respective authors. If they feel that a work plan warrants discussion at a School Committee meeting, then they should let him know and he will schedule it on a future agenda. He reminded the members that in any case, status against all the district goals will be reviewed at future School Committee meetings.

    Mr. Picker announced that he will not be at the next meeting and that he has asked Mr. Peery to chair that meeting.

    Mr. Picker reminded the Committee that the State of the Town meeting will occur on Saturday, October 16th, and he briefly discussed the plan for his presentation.

    Finally, Mr. Picker announced that the series of MCAS information meetings has begun. The series is an example of efforts to move some substantive topics which require much discussion out of the School Committee meetings to separate events.

  3. Public Comments
    There were no public comments.

  4. Time Scheduled Appointments
    1. Hanscom Facilities Assessment Report
      Mr. Brandmeyer delivered a slide presentation from Baker and Associates, a firm contracted by DDES for the study. Their report provided some background information about the contract, details about the charge they received from DDES, an explanation of how they conducted the study and details about their findings at each school.

      Mr. Brandmeyer also showed a Base map indicating three 3 sites identified by DDES for environmental study for possible future new school construction. He also noted that there are specific and unique design requirements because the schools exist on a military base. These are different than what be might be required for routine school construction.

      Ms. Koning inquired about items identified as �immediate� such as heating system failures and window safety issues. Mr. Brandmeyer explained the challenges of addressing those matters within existing budget. Mr. Picker wondered if it might be necessary to make some program cuts in order to address any issues that cannot wait. He felt that at this point he does not know enough to advocate for that course of action. Mr. Brandmeyer agreed to investigate the matter further and return with a recommendation at a future School Committee meeting.

    2. Hanscom Primary School Improvement Plan
      Mr. Picker introduced the responsibility of the Committee in approving each School Improvement Plan. He explained that the School Committee is required by law to approve School Improvement Plans, and he proposed that the Committee react not necessarily to the specific improvements being proposed, but rather focus on how concrete and workable the plan is. He requested that the principals make brief presentations to allow time for discussion.

      Hanscom Primary School (HPS) Principal Randy Davis introduced the HPS Improvement Plan. She provided an overview of the four main goals. Members of the Committee asked about some of the specific elements.

      Mr. Peery applauded the thoughtfulness of the plan. Ms. Koning said that she knows from experience that the plan represents more than intentions. The ideas are also evident in classrooms.

      Mr. Peery moved that the Committee accept the Hanscom Primary School Improvement Plan. Ms. Hessler seconded the motion. The Committee unanimously approved the motion.

    3. Hanscom Middle School Improvement Plan
      Hanscom Middle School (HMS) Principal Barry Hopping introduced the plan and provided background details about each of the goals.

      Again the Committee inquired about specific elements of the plan. Mr. Picker appreciated that the plan had a concrete and pragmatic focus.

      Mr. Picker moved that the Committee approve the Hanscom Middle School Improvement Plan. Ms. Dobrow seconded the motion. The Committee unanimously approved the motion.

    4. School Committee Work Plans
      Mr. Picker explained that there are two remaining School Committee work plans to review: a work plan on policy review and a work plan regarding School Committee effectiveness.
      1. Policy
        Mr. Peery introduced the Policy plan. He reminded the Committee that during the 2003-2004 school year the Committee defined a list of priority policy review items and managed to address ten policies, roughly half that list. He proposed that given the Committees tremendous work load that for this year the Committee limit this work to a few major policy areas and that it begin to target those new areas sometime in January. The Committee discussed the steps needed to make decisions by January 13th about which policy areas to review.

        Mr. Picker moved that the Committee adopt the work plan and post it on the website. Ms. Dobrow seconded the motion. The Committee unanimously approved the adoption of the Policy work plan.

      2. School Committee Effectiveness
        Mr. Picker introduced the topic. He expressed concern about the scope and extent of work to which the Committee is committed. Ms. Nyquist responded by saying that she shared that concern. The Committee discussed ideas for reducing the work load.

        Mr. Picker observed that there may be a need for a discussion about the organizational structure of the School Committee as well as the work it is pursuing. He suggested that the Committee would benefit from a workshop as soon as possible to address those matters. There was consensus within the Committee on this.

        The Committee agreed to table this work plan until after the workshop occurs. Ms. Nyquist also requested input from the administration about the effect their work plan approach has had on administrative work load.

  5. Superintendent�s Report
    Mr. Brandmeyer thanked the DeCordova Museum for their provision of scholarships for Hanscom students to attend summer programs at the Museum. The Committee agreed that a letter would be sent to the Museum to thank them.

    Mr. Brandmeyer also reminded the Committee that two overnight field trips approved by them several months ago were happening or would soon happen. The Lincoln School grade 7 trip to Sargent Camp in New Hampshire was currently under way. The combined (Lincoln School and HMS) grade 6 field trip to Ferry Beach Ecology Camp in Maine would occur the week of October 25th.

  6. Curriculum
    Mr. Naso reminded members of the school Committee of upcoming MCAS information meetings on October 21st at Hanscom and on October 26th at Lincoln.

  7. Policy
    No policy matters were addressed.

  8. Budget and Financial
    1. FY05 Budget: Quarterly Review
      Mr. Jack introduced the quarterly report He reported that at this time he does not see any problems or complications in the 05 budget.

      The Committee agreed that Mr. Picker would join Mr. Peery on the Finance Subcommittee, replacing Jan Nyquist.

    2. Financial Report and Enrollment Review for:
      1. Athletics
        Mr. Jack reported on the athletics budget. He mentioned that 6 full scholarships had been budgeted for fall, and all cases of financial aid requests have been addressed. He also reported that everyone who wanted to join a team was accommodated. With fall actuals, the finances of this program are on track. Actual enrollment was quite close to what had been projected.

      2. Instrumental Music (LASMP)
        Mr. Jack reported on enrollment and financial matters concerning LASMP. Again, with fall actuals, the finances of this program are on track.

    3. Warrant Approval
      Ms. Nyquist moved that the Committee approve a warrant in the amount of $1,814,016.32. Mr. Peery seconded the motion. The Committee unanimously approved the motion.

  9. Old Business
    1. Report from Capital Planning Subcommittee
      Mr. Picker reported that the likely key elements of the submission to the Capital Planning Committee will be approximately $50,000 for maintenance of exiting technology needs, $45,000 for classroom rehabilitation, $18,000 for a van, and TBD for a design of a replacement to the existing town-wide telephone system. These items were reviewed with the Town�s Capital Planning Committee at its October 7th meeting. He does not anticipate this request to be problematic based on feedback at the October 7th meeting. He acknowledged that a bigger task is to determine an approach for addressing the needs outlined in the Lincoln campus facilities study. A task force to deal with analyzing and recommending facilities projects is envisioned to be kicked off in January or February of 2005, after the budget crunch has subsided a bit. He summarized what he understood to be the four threads that a task force would need to pursue: determination of maintenance needs; enrollment projections and consequent space needs; determination of program needs with respect to facilities; and exploration of community use of school facilities.

    2. Communications Subcommittee
      Members of the Communications Subcommittee reported on their efforts. Ms. Koning discussed attempts to designate bulletin board space at the base as well as make it possible to televise School Committee meetings to homes at the base.

      Ms. Dobrow explained efforts to set up bulletin boards at various spaces in Lincoln, including the Town Hall and the Lincoln library.

      Ms. Doborw requested Committee permission to send information to parents at three preschools to announce the email distribution list option. The Committee agreed with this request.

      Ms. Hessler discussed a proposed set of guidelines to govern the distribution of information on the bulletin boards and via the SCNews email list. After clarifying discussion occurred, Mr. Picker moved that the Committee approve the guidelines as written. Mr. Peery seconded the motion. The Committee unanimously approved the motion.

      The Committee discussed a draft of a letter to the community about the upcoming budget development process and the timetable of public meetings and agreed to send it out via postal mail to Lincoln, Boston and Hanscom households.

      Mr. Picker reminded the Committee that the long-term agenda has updates stemming from the work plans approved at the last meeting. He asked the Committee to agree to post the updated long term agenda on the web site. The Committee agreed to this.

  10. New Business
    Mr. Peery discussed the agenda setting meetings that the Chair and Vice Chair have with the Superintendent. He suggested changing the process so that either the Chair or Vice Chair and one other Committee member on a rotating basis would represent the Committee at those meetings. The Committee agreed.
    1. Discuss School Committee Legal Representation
      Mr. Brandmeyer reminded the Committee that last spring they approved issuing a �request for proposals� (RFP) to provide legal services. Multiple responses to that RFP have now been received. The Committee discussed a mechanism by which they will select legal representation. Mr. Brandmeyer urged the Committee to get that process in place before the beginning of the year despite the many priorities. Ms. Dobrow agreed to work with Superintendent Brandmeyer to draft a process for evaluating the RFPs. That draft process would be brought before the School Committee.

  11. Approval of Minutes
    There were no minutes to approve.

  12. Information Enclosures

  13. Adjournment
    Mr. Picker moved that the Committee adjourn for purposes of entering executive session for the purposes of discussing contract negotiations. Ms. Dobrow seconded the motion. The motion was approved by the following roll call:
    Mr. Picker - yes
    Ms. Dobrow � yes
    Ms. Hessler � yes
    Mr. Peery � yes
    Ms. Koning � concur
    The Committee entered Executive Session at 9:40 p.m.
  14. Executive Session