Margaret Raymond Driscoll is a nine-year Melrose School Committee member who is passionate about excellent teaching and learning for all public school students, and considers it a privilege to collaborate with others who share that passion. You can also follow her on Twitter at @MargaretDrisc. Just to be clear - opinions expressed here do not represent those of the Melrose Public Schools, the Melrose School Committee, or the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials - they are hers alone.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

School Committee Meeting Notes of September 11th, 2012

Another beautiful fall day – great for anything outdoors! Hope your busy schedules allow for a quick walk at lunch or a stop at the playground with your little ones. Remember – my opinion only here, and documents in red can be found on the melroseschools web site……

Report of the Student Representatives
MHS Freshman Orientation was held at the beginning of the day on August 28th, with a separate, newly added “Welcome to Melrose High School” breakfast for new students and teachers. MHS is hosting the NESBA band competition on Saturday, September 29th at the MHS football field – 5:00 start with MHS going off at 7ish – come cheer them on!

Announcements of the Superintendent
Interviews were completed for a new Business Manager with the expectation of a recommendation on 9/27. * Supt. Taymore provided training on September 14th to teachers on SMART goals, with the deadline for this process on November 1st (MOA Timelines).

Announcements of the Chair
Ms. Thorp indicated that the School Committee booth at the Victorian Fair was a success and that written comments gathered there had been forwarded to Supt. Taymore. Citywide Open Meeting Law Training is scheduled for September 24th and our next meeting is on September 27th.

Consent Agenda
We ultimately approved the School Committee Minutes of August 28, 2012; the Personnel Report (Personnel Report FY13-September); the Monthly Budget Summary (FY2013 Monthly Update-August); second vote on Amendment to Policy 4201 - Professional Staff Positions; second vote on new Policy 4202 - Professional Staff Hiring/Posting of Positions; second vote on repeal of Policy 2114 – Interview Search Committee for Central Office Administrators; second vote on repeal of Policy 2201 – Business Manager; second vote on repeal of Policy 2202 – Special Education and Pupil Services Director; second vote on repeal of Policy 2301 – Interview Search Committee for Principals;  second vote on repeal of Policy 4202.02 – Posting of Vacancies; and approval of Warrants (Warrants 8-30-12).

Educational Programs and Personnel
Supt. Taymore explained that she has been working with Bridge Director Emily Rubenstein regarding assembling a group of library experts to define an ELMS job description for today’s educational needs and offer other counsel. She also indicated that school library volunteers would not experience any change to the library program compared with past years, and that one of the volunteers had graciously arranged for library software training that would include the coordinators as well as some teachers. * In anticipation of the next meeting’s presentation of MCAS results, Supt. Taymore offered a presentation on No Child Left Behind (NCLB) accountability changes (NCLB Accountability Changes). * The MHS presentation originally scheduled was moved to the next meeting as the Guidance Dept. has been focused on working with students at the beginning of the school year.

Policy and Planning
Mr. Lehman offered a recommended update to our By-Laws (By Laws Amendment – DBL – 20120 from 9/13).

Finance and Facilities
Supt. Taymore announced that she is contracting with a local accounting firm to review the district’s system of internal controls (Systemic Review of Internal Controls). She indicated that she did not believe there was any malfeasance, but that particularly at this time (with her entry into the district and the change-over of Business Managers), it would be very useful for us as a school community to examine our financial practice and make any updates that are deemed appropriate. An article in this morning’s Globe North speaks to this decision: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2012/09/26/melrose-school-audit-will-look-financial-human-resource-practices/9w1drOdV5ffounwizRPuJI/story.html.

I’ll work on getting back to my (temporarily disrupted!) routine of publishing updates shortly after meetings. As always, your kindnesses to students are so very much appreciated and help our district more than you know!