WACHUSETT REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT COMMITTEE

 

HOLDEN ¨ PAXTON ¨ PRINCETON ¨ RUTLAND ¨ STERLING

 

Minutes

 

Regular Meeting #1025, Monday, June 11, 2001

7:00 p.m.

 

Media Center

Wachusett Regional High School

 

 

Committee Members Present:

 

         John Rokicki, Chairman                                David Lowenthal

         Sherry Horeanopoulos, Vice-Chairman            Peter MacDonald

         Ruth Briggs                                               Kelly Maxwell

         Mary Copeland                                          John Nunnari

Carol Esperti                                              Elizabeth Pape

Jeffrey Gibbs                                              Julie Scott

         Jane James                                                Kathleen Singh

         Sarah Jordan                                              Rosemary Warren

         Duncan Leith                                             Jeffrey Wentzell

                                                              

Committee Members Absent:

 

         Kenneth Fensin                                          Kimberly Ferguson

 

Administration Present:

 

         Alfred D. Tutela, Ph.D., Superintendent of Schools

         Paul Soojian, Director of Operations

         Joseph Rappa, Director of Administrative Services

         Philip Campbell, Director of Student/Information Services

         Susan H. Sullivan, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent

 

Others Present:

 

         Linda Lehans, The Landmark

         Richard Halloran, Worcester Telegram & Gazette

         Timothy Ethier, Chairman Holden Selectboard

         James Scola, Municipal Representative

         Douglas Briggs, Rutland Selectboard

         Janis Pancare, Sterling

         David Gibbs, Sterling

         Jeff Rielsun

 

Chairman Rokicki called the meeting to order at 7:14 PM.

 

The Superintendent introduced Joseph Rappa, Ed.D. as the new Director of Administrative Services.  MGL 2001 books were distributed by the Superintendent as well as copies of the Student Handbooks for all the schools (attachment 1).

 

I.       Secretary’s Report

 

A.   Approval of the 1024th Regular Meeting Minutes of the WRSD Committee held on May 16, 2001 – approved by consensus

 

B.    Approval of the 221st Special Meeting Minutes of the WRSD Committee held on May 29, 2001 – approved by consensus

 

II.             Treasurer’s Report

 

A.   Presentation of warrants and payrolls -- warrants were circulated for signature.  Chairman Rokicki reminded the Committee that he had extended the membership on the Business/Finance Subcommittee until he appoints a new subcommittee in order to process warrants.

 

III.           Financial Statements

 

Financial Statements were provided in the previous Superintendent’s Report.  Chairman Rokicki reported that any questions for the Treasurer or the Comptroller should be referred to the Superintendent.

 

IV.           Public Hearing

 

Timothy Ethier, Chairman Holden Selectboard, asked for further consideration in the use of Dawson Elementary School for the recreation program and he read a prepared statement (attachment 2).

 

 

 

V.             Communications

 

Chairman Rokicki indicated that he had received correspondence from the Rutland Selectboard regarding special employee status for Member Ruth Briggs.

 

Member Peter MacDonald reported that he had received correspondence from the Town Clerk from Sterling regarding the food costs for the ballot election.

 

Member Kelly Maxwell asked if the Member Town Funding Inequities Committee could be placed on the agenda for reporting purposes.

 

Member Sarah Jordan asked if the Committee could be supplied with a copy of the complaint filed by Member John Rokicki on behalf of the Committee.  Chairman Rokicki reported that he had provided the Superintendent with a copy this morning for inclusion in the next Superintendent’s Report.

 

VI.           Committee Reports

 

A.   Student Advisory Committee (L. McNally, T. Creedon, N. Leger)

 

No report.

 

B.    Management Subcommittee

 

1.  School Committee Self-Improvement Questionnaire

 

Chairman Rokicki reported that Committee members had received multiple copies of the Self-Improvement Questionnaire.  He asked what the pleasure of the Committee was as to how to proceed.  He indicated that members could submit written comments for the public record.  Each member was assigned an item, as follows:

Item 1          Duncan Leith

Item 1          Jane James

Item 3          Sherry Horeanopoulos

Item 4          Carol Esperti

Item 5          Jeffrey Wentzell

Item 6          David Lowenthal

Item 7          Sarah Jordan

Item 8          Kathleen Singh

Item 9          Kelly Maxwell

Item 10         Julie Scott

Item 11         Elizabeth Pape

Item 12         Rosemary Warren

Item 13         Ruth Briggs

Item 14         John Nunnari

Item 15         Jeffrey Gibbs

Item 16         Peter MacDonald

Item 17         John Rokicki

Item 18         Mary Copeland

Item 19         Sherry Horeanopoulos

 

These are to be forwarded to the Superintendent for inclusion in the next Superintendent’s Report.

 

C.    Education Subcommittee

 

No report.

 

D.    Finance/Business Subcommittee

 

Member Leith reminded members of the Subcommittee that final warrants will need to be signed before the end of the year.

 

E.     Ad Hoc Subcommittee to Review the Regional Agreement

 

No report.  The Subcommittee will not meet until Committee assignments are made.

 

F.     Ad-Hoc Subcommittee to Review the School Committee By-Laws

 

Ad-Hoc Subcommittee Chairman Elizabeth Pape distributed the recommendation for changes to Article 3 of the School Committee By-Laws (attachment 3).  Chairman Rokicki reminded members that due to the requirement of fourteen-day notice before action can be taken on the changes, the discussion took place for information purposes only.  Ad-Hoc Subcommittee Chair Elizabeth Pape will provide the Superintendent the final recommendations of the Ad-Hoc Subcommittee for distribution to the School Committee.

 

Chairman Rokicki moved the following agenda item forward:

 

         VII.    Recommendations and Reports of the Superintendent

 

D.  Motion:  To enter into executive session, for the purpose of discussing collective bargaining strategies, to return to public session.

                                             (S. Jordan)

                                             (R. Warren)

 

Roll call vote:

In favor:

                           John Rokicki

                           Sherry Horeanopoulos

                           Ruth Briggs

                           Mary Copeland

                           Carol Esperti

                           Jeffrey Gibbs

                           Jane James

                           Sarah Jordan

                           Duncan Leith

                           David Lowenthal

                           Peter MacDonald

                           Kelly Maxwell

                           John Nunnari

                           Elizabeth Pape

                           Julie Scott

                           Kathleen Singh

                           Rosemary Warren

                           Jeffrey Wentzell

 

Opposed:

                           None

 

(Motion passed unanimously)

 

The Committee entered executive session at 8:20 PM.

 

Member Ruth Briggs did not participate in the executive session.

 

Chairman Rokicki reconvened the regular meeting at 8:59 PM.

 

Chairman Rokicki returned to the regular agenda:

 

Ad-Hoc Subcommittee to Review the School Committee By- Laws

 

1.  Motion:  To Amend School Committee By-Laws, Article 2, Section 4, 1st Paragraph, by replacing the first two sentences with the following: “The Chair SHALL appoint standing subcommittees, such as Education, Administrative Services, Finance, and Management.  No member of the Committee SHALL be appointed to more than two standing subcommittees.  EACH STANDING SUBCOMMITTEE SHALL BE COMPRISED OF ONE HALF OF THE COMMITTEE’S TOTAL MEMBERSHIP.”

                                                 (C. Esperti)

                                                 (K. Singh)

 

    Motion:  To Amend the motion by deleting the last sentence.

                                                 (C. Esperti)

                                                 (S. Horeanopoulos)

 

    Vote on the Amendment:

In favor:

                                    John Rokicki

                                    Sherry Horeanopoulos

                                    Ruth Briggs

                                    Mary Copeland

                                    Carol Esperti

                                    Jeffrey Gibbs

                                    Jane James

                                    Duncan Leith

                                    David Lowenthal

                                    Peter MacDonald

                                    Kelly Maxwell

                                    John Nunnari

                                    Elizabeth Pape

                                    Julie Scott

                                    Kathleen Singh

                                    Rosemary Warren

                                    Jeffrey Wentzell

 

    Opposed:

             Sarah Jordan

 

    (Motion passed 17-1)

 

Roll call vote on the main motion as amended to read:“To Amend School Committee By-Laws, Article 2, Section 4, 1st Paragraph, by replacing the first two sentences with the following: “The Chair SHALL appoint standing subcommittees, such as Education, Administrative Services, Finance, and Management.  No member of the Committee SHALL be appointed to more than two standing subcommittees”:

 

In favor:

                                    John Rokicki

                                    Sherry Horeanopoulos

                                    Ruth Briggs

                                    Mary Copeland

                                    Carol Esperti

                                    Jeffrey Gibbs

                                    Jane James

                                    Sarah Jordan

                                    Duncan Leith

                                    David Lowenthal

                                    Peter MacDonald

                                    Kelly Maxwell

                                    John Nunnari

                                    Elizabeth Pape

                                    Julie Scott

                                    Kathleen Singh

                                    Rosemary Warren

                                    Jeffrey Wentzell

 

                           Opposed:

                                    None

 

                           (Motion passed unanimously)

 

2.  Motion: To Amend School Committee By-Laws, Article 2, Section 4, 4th Paragraph: To insert the word “Ad-Hoc” between “Bargaining” and “Subcommittee”

                                                                        (D. Leith)

                                                                        (K. Maxwell)

 

Motion to amend: by adding the word “Ad-Hoc” before “Collective Bargaining Subcommittee”

                                                                                 (C. Esperti)

                                                                                 (D. Leith)

 

                           Vote on amendment:

In favor:

                                    John Rokicki

                                    Sherry Horeanopoulos

                                    Ruth Briggs

                                    Mary Copeland

                                    Carol Esperti

                                    Jeffrey Gibbs

                                    Jane James

                                    Sarah Jordan

                                    Duncan Leith

                                    David Lowenthal

                                    Peter MacDonald

                                    Kelly Maxwell

                                    John Nunnari

                                    Elizabeth Pape

                                    Julie Scott

                                    Kathleen Singh

                                    Rosemary Warren

                                    Jeffrey Wentzell

 

                           Opposed:

                                    None

 

                           (Motion passed unanimously)

 

                           Roll call vote on main motion:

In favor:

                                    John Rokicki

                                    Sherry Horeanopoulos

                                    Ruth Briggs

                                    Mary Copeland

                                    Carol Esperti

                                    Jeffrey Gibbs

                                    Jane James

                                    Sarah Jordan

                                    Duncan Leith

                                    David Lowenthal

                                    Peter MacDonald

                                    Kelly Maxwell

                                    John Nunnari

                                    Elizabeth Pape

                                    Julie Scott

                                    Kathleen Singh

                                    Rosemary Warren

                                    Jeffrey Wentzell

 

                           Opposed:

                                    None

 

                           (Motion passed unanimously)

 

G.    School Building Committees

 

1.     Holden – (K. Maxwell)

 

Member Kelly Maxwell asked if there was still an odor problem at Dawson.  The Superintendent reported that it was still there, although only on cool days.

There is still a water problem at Mayo and a problem with the gym floor at Davis Hill.

The WRSD Holden Building Committee believes that the snow is not coming in at Mountview.

 

2.  Paxton – (C. Ely)

 

    No report.

 

3.  Rutland – (J. Rokicki)

 

No report.

 

4.              Sterling – (S. Jordan)

 

No report.

 

5.     High School Building Committee

 

No report.

 

H.    School Council Representatives: Central Tree Middle School Chocksett; Davis Hill; Dawson; Houghton; Mayo; Mountview; Naquag; Paxton; Thomas Prince; Wachusett Regional High School

 

Member Rosemary Warren reported that there was concern expressed by some parents regarding safety and access to the school.  She requested that parents come before the Business/Finance Subcommittee meeting concerning the School Committee policy regarding access to the building.

This was referred to Business/Finance Subcommittee.

 

Member Mary Copeland reported that Davis Hill held a workshop on Community Culture and it was very well received.

 

                  I.   Member Town Funding Inequities Committee

 

Member Kelly Maxwell reported that the committee meeting could not convene for lack of quorum.

 

Member Sherry Horeanopoulos gave an overview of the happenings of the Ad-Hoc Subcommittee.  The Subcommittee members feel that the “Per Capita Light” method was the favored method.  There is concern that Rutland needs to buy in to the recommendation.

 

The Superintendent reported that he had had a conversation with Holden Town Manager Brian Bullock about the possibility of having a meeting with other Districts and towns affected by the inequities in funding.  Town Manager Bullock was to get back to the Superintendent regarding the possibility of planning such a meeting.

 

VII.         Recommendations and Reports of the Superintendent

 

A.  Motion:  To reappropriate FY01 District Funds as contained in the Superintendent’s Report:

 

1.  To reappropriate $245,500 from Special Education Tuition and $117,317 from Salaries and reappropriate as follows:

 

·      Increase Fixed Charges by $45,500;

·      Increase District Administration by $125,000;

·      Increase Buildings and Grounds by $182,317

 

2.  To reappropriate all remaining balances to the Instructional Support categories

(D. Leith)

(J. Wentzell)

Members Carol Esperti and Jeffrey Wentzell left the meeting at 9:58 PM.

 

Roll call vote:

In favor:

                                    John Rokicki

                                    Sherry Horeanopoulos

                                    Ruth Briggs

                                    Mary Copeland

                                    Jeffrey Gibbs

                                    Jane James

                                    Sarah Jordan

                                    Duncan Leith

                                    David Lowenthal

                                    Peter MacDonald

                                    Kelly Maxwell

                                    John Nunnari

                                    Elizabeth Pape

                                    Julie Scott

                                    Kathleen Singh

                                    Rosemary Warren

                                   

                           Opposed:

                                    None

 

                           (Motion passed 16-0)

 

B.    Motion:  To authorize the Wachusett Regional School District Treasurer, acting under the provisions of Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 71, § 16(g) as amended by Chapter 134 of the Acts of 1972, and with the approval of the Chairman of the School District Committee, to borrow money from time to time in anticipation of revenue, for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2001 and to issue a note or notes therefore, payable within one year, and to renew any note or notes as may be given for a period of less than one year, in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 44, § 17.

(S. Jordan)

(R. Warren)

 

Members Esperti and Wentzell returned to the meeting at 10:01 PM.

 

Roll call vote:

In favor:

John Rokicki

                           Sherry Horeanopoulos

                           Ruth Briggs

                           Mary Copeland

                           Carol Esperti

                           Jeffrey Gibbs

                           Jane James

                           Sarah Jordan

                           Duncan Leith

                           David Lowenthal

                           Peter MacDonald

                           Kelly Maxwell

                           John Nunnari

                           Elizabeth Pape

                           Julie Scott

                           Kathleen Singh

                           Rosemary Warren

                          

Opposed:

                           None

 

Abstained

                           Jeffrey Wentzell

 

(Motion passed 17-0-1)

 

C.    Motion: To approve the following School Improvement Plans:

 

Central Tree Middle School

Chocksett Middle School

Davis Hill Elementary School

Dawson Elementary School

Dr. Leroy E. Mayo Elementary School

Houghton Elementary School

Mountview Middle School

Naquag Elementary School

Paxton Center School

Thomas Prince School

Wachusett Regional High School

                                                                        (S. Horeanopoulos)

                                                                        (S. Jordan)

 

Vote:

In favor:

                           John Rokicki

                           Sherry Horeanopoulos

                           Ruth Briggs

                           Mary Copeland

                           Carol Esperti

                           Jeffrey Gibbs

                           Jane James

                           Sarah Jordan

                           Duncan Leith

                           David Lowenthal

                           Peter MacDonald

                           Kelly Maxwell

                           John Nunnari

                           Elizabeth Pape

                           Julie Scott

                           Kathleen Singh

                           Rosemary Warren

                           Jeffrey Wentzell

 

Opposed:

                           None

 

(Motion passed unanimously)

 

VIII.       Unfinished Business

 

A.  Motion:  That in the spirit of openness and cooperation, the School Committee directs the Chair to form an Ad-Hoc Committee to be called the Citizens High School Advisory Group, said committee to be comprised of the following members from each of the towns:

a.     School Committee member from each town

b.    Three (3) appointees from each town made by the Selectboard, only one may be a Selectboard member and citizen representing stakeholders in the town.

 

The purpose of this committee shall be to insure that the voices of all citizens in the District are heard.  Further, this committee shall be empowered to make recommendation to the committee regarding the sizing, siting, and plan formulation for the high school

 

Motion:  To release the following executive session minutes to the public

                                                                        (J. Wentzell)

                                                                        (J. James)

 

B.    Release of Executive Session Minutes of the WRSD Committee held on May 8, 2001, as approved on May 16, 2001

 

C.    Release of Executive Session Minutes of the WRSD Committee held on April 9, 2001, as approved on May 16, 2001

 

D.   Release of Executive Session Minutes of the WRSD Committee held on March 22, 2001, as approved on April 9, 2001

 

E.    Release of Executive Session minutes of the WRSD Committee held on March 12, 2001, as approved on April 9, 2001

 

F.    Release of Executive Session Minutes of the WRSD Committee held on February 20, 2001, as approved on March 12, 2001

 

E.  Release of Executive Session minutes of the WRSD Committee held on February 15, 2001, as approved on March 12, 2001

 

F.                                Release of Executive Session Minutes of the WRSD Committee held on February 12, 2001, as approved on March 12, 2001

 

G.  Release of Executive Session Minutes of the WRSD Committee held on January 29, 2001, as approved on February 12, 2001

 

H. Release of Executive Session Minutes of the WRSD Committee held on January 8, 2001, as approved on February 12, 2001

 

I.   Release of Executive Session Minutes of the WRSD Committee held on August 21, 2000, as approved on September 11, 2000

 

J.   Release of Executive Session Minutes of the WRSD Committee held on June 12, 2000, as approved on July 10, 2000

 

K.  Release of balance of Executive Session Minutes of the WRSD Committee held on December 14, 1999, as approved on December 22, 1999 and partially released on December 22, 1999

 

L.  Release of Executive Session Minutes of the WRSD Committee held on August 23, 1999, as approved on October 18, 1999

 

Vote:

In favor:

         John Rokicki

         Sherry Horeanopoulos

         Mary Copeland

         Jeffrey Gibbs

         Jane James

         David Lowenthal

         Kelly Maxwell

         John Nunnari

         Elizabeth Pape

         Kathleen Singh

         Rosemary Warren

         Jeffrey Wentzell

 

Opposed:

         None

 

Abstained:

         Ruth Briggs

         Carol Esperti

         Sarah Jordan

         Duncan Leith

         Peter MacDonald

         Julie Scott

 

(Motion passed 12-0-6)

 

IX.          Public Hearing

 

No member from the public wished to speak.

 

 

 

X.            New Business

 

Member Carol Esperti asked the Superintendent if it was possible to address Holden Selectboard Chairman Timothy Ethier’s request regarding Dawson School.  Chairman Rokicki asked the Superintendent to respond to Chairman Ethier.

 

The Superintendent reviewed the response to the request made by Member David Lowenthal at a previous meeting regarding addressing NEASC concerns.  The Superintendent included extensive information in the Superintendent’s Report.

 

Motion:  To request all five member town selectboards designate School Committee Members as “Special Municipal Employees”

                                             (R. Warren)

                                             (D. Leith)

 

Vote:

                  In favor:

                           John Rokicki

                           Ruth Briggs

                           Mary Copeland

                           Jeffrey Gibbs

                           Jane James

                           Duncan Leith

                           John Nunnari

                           Rosemary Warren

                           Jeffrey Wentzell

 

                  Opposed:

                           Carol Esperti

                           Sherry Horeanopoulos

                           Sarah Jordan

                           David Lowenthal

                           Peter MacDonald

                           Kelly Maxwell

                           Julie Scott

                           Kathleen Singh

 

                  Abstained:

                           Elizabeth Pape

 

(Motion passed 9-8-1)

 

Member David Lowenthal asked that the high school discussion brought up previously by Holden Selectboard Chairman Timothy Ethier be discussed.  He asked the Chairman to schedule a special meeting to discuss the issue.

 

XI.     Adjournment

 

                  Member Rosemary Warren left the meeting at 10:45 PM.

 

                  Motion:  To adjourn.

                                                               (J. Wentzell)

                                                               (J. Gibbs)

 

                  Vote:  Check this

                  In favor:

                                    Ruth Briggs

                           Mary Copeland

                           Jeffrey Gibbs

                           Jane James

                           Duncan Leith

                           John Nunnari

                           Elizabeth Pape

                           Jeffrey Wentzell

 

                  Opposed:

                           John Rokicki

                           Sherry Horeanopoulos

                           Carol Esperti

                           Sarah Jordan

                           David Lowenthal

                           Peter MacDonald

                           Kelly Maxwell

                           Julie Scott

                           Kathleen Singh

 

                  (Motion failed 8-9)

 

                  Motion:  To adjourn.

                                                               (C. Esperti)

                                                               (S. Jordan)

 

 

                  Vote:

                  In favor:

                           John Rokicki

                           Sherry Horeanopoulos

                           Ruth Briggs

                           Mary Copeland

                           Carol Esperti

                           Jeffrey Gibbs

                           Jane James

                           Sarah Jordan

                           Duncan Leith

                           David Lowenthal

                           Peter MacDonald

                           Kelly Maxwell

                           John Nunnari

                           Elizabeth Pape

                           Julie Scott

                           Kathleen Singh

                           Jeffrey Wentzell

 

                  Opposed:

                           None

 

                  (Motion passed unanimously)

 

The meeting was adjourned at 10:50 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Alfred D. Tutela

Superintendent of Schools

 

ADT:ss/School Committee/Minutes