Westwood School Committee
May 17, 2012
Brian T Kelly, Chairperson
John J O’Brien, Jr., Vice Chairperson
Ellen Mason, Clerk
Carol Lewis, Committee Member
Delaney Russell, Student Representative
John Antonucci, Superintendent
Emily Parks, Assistant Superintendent
Abby Hanscom, Director of Student Services
Meeting Called to Order at: 7:30 p.m.
Mr. Kelly announced that this meeting is being recorded.
Pledge of Allegiance
Election of School Committee Officers
Ms. Jowdy nominated Mr. O’Brien for the position of Chairperson. Ms. Mason seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.
Ms. Jowdy nominated Ms. Mason for the position of Vice Chairperson. Mr. Kelly seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.
Ms. Mason nominated Ms. Lewis for the position of Clerk. Ms. Jowdy seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.
Ms. Jowdy thanked Mr. Kelly for his service as chairman. Mr. O’Brien announced that Mr. Antonucci has received his doctorate degree. The Committee congratulated Mr. Antonucci.
Mr. Antonucci reported that this would be Peggy Scott’s last School Committee meeting prior to her retirement from the position of Martha Jones Principal. He acknowledged her thirteen years of service, noting that she did a tremendous job and was a friend to all. Ms. Scott thanked the Committee and said it was a privilege to work in a community where each person can make a difference.
Elementary Math Meet Winners
Mr. Antonucci announced the winners of the Fourth Annual Elementary Math Meet which was held on April 11, 2012. He noted that the students work very hard all year in preparation for this meet and that it has grown each year to 165 entrants from all five elementary schools.
The members of the winning teams are: Deerfield School Third Grade: Laurel Barnett, Ethan Blonder, Ashlyn Driscoll, Nora Driscoll, Lincoln Edwards, Will Homiller, Andrew Klaff, Katie Knox and Tessa Scolaro. Martha Jones Fourth Grade: Olvia Bloukos, Zachary Broderick, Elizabeth Bunker, Jimmy Clancy, Lillian Farah, Sydney Jud, Ashley Kutzer, Audrey Lassen, Andrew Ma, Tyler Markovsky, Hanna Matthews, Rea Nassif, Evan Plecinoga, Michael Pond, Patrick Reilly, Justin Ryan, Lindsay Schissel, Joey Thomton, Adam Traister, Matthew Warshay, Jessica Wen, Anthony Wickett, Sam Zonderman. Martha Jones Fifth Grade: Michelle Bernard, Katie Bosco, Madison Brady, Sofia Conte, Taylor Fleming, Kira Hobson, Kathryn Lendrum, Jonathan Marvel-Zuccola, Catherine McCusker, George Nassif, Enahm Oscar-Phoenix, Susanth Rajanla, Hannah Shaby, Noah Stone, Ashley Szeto, Larry Tseng.
The individual written competition winners are: Noah Stone, Kira Hobson, Sofia Conte, Susanth Rajanala, Alvin Tan.
New Student Representative to the School Committee
Mr. Antonucci introduced Julia Bugeau-Heartt as next the School Committee Student Representative. Current Student Representative, Delaney Russell’s last meeting will be June.
Policy IJNDB Acceptable Use Policy – Second Reading
Mr. Antonucci announced the second reading of this policy. There are no changes from the first reading. The third reading will be at the June meeting and it is anticipated that a vote will be taken at that time.
Fuel Efficient Vehicle Policy First Reading
Mr. Antonucci announced the first reading of this policy. A representative from the town’s Environmental Action Committee explained that this policy is part of the town’s process to attain a designation as a “Green Community”. He explained that this policy would require that new vehicles purchased would need to meet certain mileage standards. There are different mileage standards for different categories of vehicles. Currently the School Department has one pickup truck that falls under this policy. Several Committee members raised questions and concerns. Mr. Antonucci will get more detailed information for the Committee prior to the second reading scheduled for next month.
Middle School Consumer Education/Culinary Arts Curriculum
Ms. Mathur gave a detailed overview of the course she teaches that was developed from state standards. The objective is to teach students how to use food to meet their nutritional needs, become savvy consumers and to apply what they learn to make positive changes in their lifestyles. They learn cooking skills, nutrition and consumer education.
Middle School Developmental Guidance Curriculum
Ms. Lashway described to the Committee the Guidance Curriculum being used in the Middle School. She noted that the sixth grade students have one class per every eight day cycle. She noted the changing the role of school counselor to be more proactive and to reach out to all kids
Downey School Social Skills Program
Deb Gallagher/ Claire Spadoni
Ms. Gallagher and Ms. Spadoni reported on the “Helping Hands at Downey School” program. The program is led by staff trained in social thinking curriculum. Each session has a clear objective. The students learn in a safe place and practice what they are learning. Helping hands was an initiative that allowed students to “earn” a hand for demonstrating one of the core values. The hands would then be displayed on the walls of the school. The program has had a good response.
High School Course Review: The Economics of Personal Finance: Management and Marketing
Ms. Furber reported on this elective class that she teaches. There are currently 40 students taking this class and next year the number is expected to increase to 50 students. The class teaches students about the roles of being a citizen, consumer and worker in the economy. Topics covered include the economic cycle, supply and demand, and opportunity cost. Also covered are marco economics and global economies, the EU, Greece, world trade organizations. The class also plays a stock market investing game.
Approval of Minutes: April 12, 2012
The minutes of the April 12, 2012 School Committee Meeting were brought up for approval. Ms. Jowdy made a motion to accept the minutes. Ms. Mason seconded the motion.
The motion was unanimously approved.
Vote on School Choice
Mr. Antonucci recommended that the Committee vote to not be a school choice community.
Whereas the Education Reform Act of 1993 requires that the enrollment of non-resident students under the School choice provision unless the Committee votes by June 1 not to participate.
Whereas the School Committee provision takes away money from the sending district and awards it to the receiving district, and
Whereas Westwood’s per pupil expenditure is greater than the maximum allowable reimbursement, which means Westwood would subsidize each choice student, and
Whereas there is no provision for selecting students who might better fit Westwood’s educational system, and
Whereas once Westwood accepts a pupil it must keep the pupil through graduation even though Westwood’s demographic situation might change considerably, and
Whereas it is likely that a number of students will return to their sending districts or otherwise leave Westwood, thus creating a potential income loss, now hereby be it
Resolved that the Westwood School Committee respectfully declines to participate in the School Choice Program with the provision that should surrounding school districts subsequently and prior to June 1 decide to accept the provisions of School Choice, the Westwood School Committee reserves the right to do likewise in order to protect its fiduciary interests in this matter.
Ms. Jowdy moved to vote on the above resolution. Ms. Mason seconded.
Roll call of Ms. Jowdy: yea; Mr. Kelly: yea; Mrs. Lewis: yea; Mrs. Mason yea; Mr. O’Brien yea.
Appointment of School Committee Member to the TEC Board of Directors
Mr. Antonucci announced that a new state law requires only one representative per district to the TEC collaborative. Currently there are two. Ms. Mason made a motion to elect Mr. Antonucci to the TEC Board of Directors. Ms. Lewis seconded the motion. All in favor.
A parent commented on the high number of homes for sale and asked if the district monitors “move ins”. Mr. Antonucci replied that new student numbers are reviewed in June, July and August.
Mr. Kelly asked the Committee to make a motion to adjourn.
Ms. Jowdy made a motion to adjourn at 9:20 p.m. Ms. Mason seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.