WACHUSETT REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT

HOLDEN PAXTON PRINCETON RUTLAND STERLING

Minutes

Regular Meeting #1027, Monday, August 13, 2001

7:00 p.m.

Media Center

Wachusett Regional High School

Committee Members Present:

John Rokicki, Chairman                         Peter MacDonald

Sherry Horeanopoulos, Vice-Chairman Kelly Maxwell

Carol Esperti                                         John Nunnari (7:50 PM)

Jeffrey Gibbs                                         Elizabeth Pape

Jane James                                         Julie Scott

Sarah Jordan                                         Jeffrey Wentzell

David Lowenthal

Committee Members Absent:

Mary Copeland                                     Duncan Leith

Kenneth Fensin                                     Kathleen Singh

Kimberly Ferguson                             Rosemary Warren

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

Thomas Pandiscio, Ed.D., Principal Wachusett Regional High School

Others Present:

James Keogh, The Landmark

Richard Halloran, Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Susan Staudaher, Sterling Meetinghouse News

Christine Nelson, Sterling Meetinghouse News

Remo Rossi, Sterling Selectboard

Louis Cornacchioli, Rutland Selectboard

Douglas Briggs, Rutland Selectboard

Stanley Moss, Princeton Advisory Meeting

Joseph Giotta, Holden Finance Committee

Michael Gennert, Rutland

Janis Pancare, Sterling

David Gibbs, Sterling

Donna Dominguez, Sterling

Melinda Johnson, Paxton

Timothy Harrington, Sterling

Peggy Harrington, Sterling

Patricia Young, Sterling

Chairman John Rokicki called the meeting to order at 7:12 PM.

I. Secretary’s Report

    1. Approval of the 1026th Regular Meeting Minutes of the WRSD Committee held on July 9, 2001 – approved by consensus with the correction on page 11 that Member David Lowenthal distributed copies of The Task Force to Study the Educational Implications of Breaking up the District.
    2. Motion: To approve the Executive Session Minutes of the WRSD Committee held on July 9, 2001, to be released to the public immediately upon resolution of the subject of the executive session

(P. MacDonald)

(C. Esperti)

Roll call vote:

In favor:

John Rokicki

Sherry Horeanopoulos

Carol Esperti

Jeffrey Gibbs

Sarah Jordan

David Lowenthal

Peter MacDonald

Julie Scott

Opposed:

None

Abstained:

Jane James

Kelly Maxwell

Elizabeth Pape

Jeffrey Wentzell

(Motion passed 8-0-4)

    1. Treasurer’s Report
    1. Presentation of warrants and payrolls -- warrants were circulated for signature.
    1. Financial Statements
    2. Chairman Rokicki reported that if there were any questions for the Treasurer to refer them to Jeffrey Wentzell, Chairman of the Business/Finance Subcommittee and any questions for the Comptroller should be referred to the Superintendent.

    3. Public Hearing
    4. No one from the general public spoke at the public hearing.

    5. Communications
    6. No other communications were reported to the Committee.

    7. Committee Reports
    1. Student Advisory Committee (L. McNally, T. Creedon, N. Leger)
    2. No report.

    3. Management Subcommittee (J. Rokicki -- Chair, M. Copeland, C. Esperti, S. Horeanopoulos, D. Leith, K. Maxwell, K. Singh, J. Wentzell)
    4. The next Management Subcommittee will be scheduled for Wednesday, September 5, 2001 at 6:30 PM in the Superintendent’s Conference Room at Jefferson School, 1745 Main Street, Jefferson, MA 01522

      1. School Committee Self-Improvement Questionnaire

      A Special Meeting was scheduled for Saturday, September 15, 2001, from 9 AM until noon at a location to be determined by the Chairman to discuss the School Committee Self-Improvement Questionnaire and the School Committee Goals.

    5. Education Subcommittee (M. Copeland – Chair, K. Ferguson, S. Jordan, D. Lowenthal, J. Nunnari, E. Pape, R. Warren)
    6. No report.

    7. Finance/Business Subcommittee (J. Wentzell – Chair, K. Fensin, J. Gibbs, J. James, D. Leith, P. MacDonald, J. Rokicki, J. Scott)
    8. Subcommittee Chairman Jeffrey Wentzell reported that a meeting date will be determined.

    9. Ad Hoc Subcommittee to Review the Regional Agreement (S. Horeanopoulos – Chair, D. Leith, J. Rokicki, K. Singh, J. Wentzell)
    10. Ad-Hoc Subcommittee Chair Sherry Horeanopoulos will contact members and will set a date. Member Carol Esperti asked that she be notified of the meeting date. Chairman Rokicki reminded Committee members that all members receive postings of meetings.

    11. Ad-Hoc Subcommittee to Review the School Committee By-Laws
    12. Ad-Hoc Subcommittee Chairman Elizabeth Pape briefly reviewed the newest recommendations for changes. There was concern expressed by members surrounding the isolation of the Superintendent’s evaluation as the single item requiring majority vote of the membership. Members were asked to notify Chairman Pape of any suggestions. Section 3 reference to "SIMCO" will be changed to "School Councils".

    13. Ad-Hoc Subcommittee -- Member Town Funding Inequities (S. Horeanopoulos, K. Maxwell, J. Rokicki, K. Singh, J. Wentzell)

There was discussion among School Committee members, as well as other members of the Ad-Hoc Subcommittee surrounding the "DRAFT" Bridging Agreement, provided in the Superintendent’s Report.

Concern was expressed by members as to the appropriateness of reviewing the draft agreement with District Counsel. The Superintendent reminded members that it is his responsibility to advise members and that it was critical to gain the advice of District counsel.

Remo Rossi, Sterling Selectboard Member and Chairman of the Ad-Hoc Subcommittee -- Member Town Funding Inequities, clarified the Ad-Hoc Subcommittee’s request for continued support from the School Committee.

Douglas Briggs, Rutland Selectboard member and member of Ad-Hoc Subcommittee -- Member Town Funding Inequities, clarified his request to make sure that the School Committee is on board before continuing.

Stanley Moss, Princeton Advisory Board Chairman and member of Ad-Hoc Subcommittee -- Member Town Funding Inequities, informed the School Committee that the impact on the District’s budget would probably be only 1%.

Louis Cornacchioli, Rutland Selectboard member, asked what the plan would be if the state is not willing to be a participant.

Douglas Briggs, Rutland Selectboard member and Ad-Hoc Subcommittee -- Member Town Funding Inequities, clarified to the Committee that he definitely was not in favor of this agreement but was still willing to talk to try to resolve the issue.

Members asked for the support of the Committee for the Bridging Agreement.

Chairman Rokicki asked Committee Members for consensus of the Committee for the District’s financial support.

Discussion occurred on whether consideration could be given to compromise by combining the one new high school with this funding inequity as Rutland voters were strong supporters of the one new high school.

Concern was expressed that a change is not needed to the Regional Agreement as the funding of the District is clearly in the Regional Agreement. The Superintendent read Chapter 70, Section 6 "Notwithstanding the provisions of any regional school district agreement, each member municipality shall increase its contribution to the regional district each fiscal year by the amount indicated in that district’s share of the municipality’s minimum regional contribution in that fiscal year." The Superintendent emphasized that the language of the Education Reform Act of 1993 had a provision that over-rode the language of any regional agreement, including Wachusett’s.

Following further discussion, Chairman Rokicki requested that the Committee’s and the Superintendent’s concerns be brought back to the Ad-Hoc Subcommittee -- Member Town Funding Inequities:

The next meeting of the Ad-Hoc Subcommittee will take place on Tuesday, August 21, 2001.

    1. School Building Committees
    1. Holden – (J. Scott)

Member Julie Scott reported that work was to be complete at Davis Hill last Friday and all work at Dawson is to be completed by August 23rd.

2. Paxton – (J. Wentzell)

No report.

3. Rutland – (J. Rokicki)

Member John Rokicki reported that the building committee will be meeting this month.

    1. Sterling – (S. Jordan)
    2. Member Sarah Jordan reported that the building committee is focusing on the playground. The parking lot expansion will not be completed before school starts.

    3. High School Building Committee

No report.

    1. School Council Representatives: Central Tree Middle School – John Nunnari, Chocksett; Davis Hill – M. Copeland; Dawson; Houghton; Mayo; Mountview – J. James; Naquag – J. Rokicki; Paxton – R. Warren; Thomas Prince; Wachusett Regional High School – E. Pape

The following members agreed to serve as representatives to school councils:

J. Scott – Dawson Elementary School

C. Esperti – Mayo Elementary School

S. Jordan – Houghton Elementary School

P. MacDonald – Chocksett Middle School

S. Horeanopoulos – Thomas Prince School

Members asked that principals be notified of the representatives and their addresses for notification of meeting times.

Member Jeffrey Gibbs left the meeting at 8:40 PM

    1. Recommendations and Reports of the Superintendent

A. Motion: To adopt the following September/October School Committee Meeting Dates

      1. September 10, 2001 – 7:00 PM – Media Center -- WRHS
      2. October 9, 2001 (Tuesday) 7:00 PM (immediately following Employee Recognition Dinner) – Mayo School

(J. Wentzell)

(J. Nunnari)

Member Julie Scott left the meeting at 8:50 PM.

Member Jeffrey Gibbs returned to the meeting at 8:50 PM.

Vote:

In favor:

John Rokicki

Sherry Horeanopoulos

Jane James

Sarah Jordan

David Lowenthal

Peter MacDonald

Kelly Maxwell

John Nunnari

Elizabeth Pape

Jeffrey Wentzell

Opposed:

Carol Esperti

Abstained:

Jeffrey Gibbs

(Motion passed 10-1-1)

Member Julie Scott returned to the meeting at 8:55 PM.

    1. Motion: To authorize the amendment to the FY02 Staffing Authorization as contained in the Superintendent’s Report
    2. (S. Jordan)

      (J. Nunnari)

      Vote:

      In favor:

      John Rokicki

      Sherry Horeanopoulos

      Carol Esperti

      Jeffrey Gibbs

      Jane James

      Sarah Jordan

      David Lowenthal

      Peter MacDonald

      Kelly Maxwell

      John Nunnari

      Elizabeth Pape

      Julie Scott

      Jeffrey Wentzell

      (Motion passed unanimously)

    3. Motion: To approve the reappropriation of District FY02 funds as contained in the Superintendent’s Report

(J. Nunnari)

(J. Wentzell)

Member Carol Esperti left the meeting at 9:00 Pm

Roll call vote:

In favor:

John Rokicki

Sherry Horeanopoulos

Jeffrey Gibbs

Jane James

Sarah Jordan

David Lowenthal

Peter MacDonald

Kelly Maxwell

John Nunnari

Elizabeth Pape

Julie Scott

Jeffrey Wentzell

Opposed;

None

(Motion passed unanimously)

D. Short and long term Direction of High School

The Superintendent distributed Educational Specifications Wachusett Regional High School Freshman Academy (attachment 1).

Member Carol Esperti returned to the meeting at 9:04 PM.

Chairman Rokicki distributed Changing from Red to Green (attachment 2). He asked the Committee to consider his proposal.

Motion: To adopt the Educational Specifications -- Wachusett Regional High School Freshman Academy, as presented by the Superintendent

(J. Nunnari)

(J. Gibbs)

At the request of the Superintendent, Principal Thomas Pandiscio joined the School Committee for discussion of the educational specifications.

The Superintendent reminded the Committee that this is not a permanent solution designed to meet all the findings of NEASC but will address the enrollment concern. The Superintendent also advised the Committee of the administrative team’s expressed concern that the community may think that this is a permanent solution.

Motion: To move the question.

(J. Wentzell)

(J. Gibbs)

Roll call vote:

In favor:

John Rokicki

Jeffrey Gibbs

Jane James

Peter MacDonald

John Nunnari

Elizabeth Pape

Julie Scott

Jeffrey Wentzell

Opposed:

Sherry Horeanopoulos

Carol Esperti

Sarah Jordan

David Lowenthal

Kelly Maxwell

(Motion failed 8-5 two-thirds needed for passage)

Roll call vote on main motion to adopt the Educational Specifications -- Wachusett Regional High School Freshman Academy, as presented by the Superintendent:

In favor:

John Rokicki

Sherry Horeanopoulos

Carol Esperti

Jeffrey Gibbs

Jane James

Sarah Jordan

David Lowenthal

Peter MacDonald

Kelly Maxwell

John Nunnari

Elizabeth Pape

Julie Scott

Jeffrey Wentzell

Opposed:

(Motion passed unanimously)

E. Motion: To endorse the Agreement between Worcester State College and Wachusett Regional School District for the preparation of District staff as teachers that would create a job-sharing provision for staff and authorize the Superintendent to increase staffing concomitant with the number of participants

(C. Esperti)

(J. Wentzell)

Vote:

In favor:

John Rokicki

Sherry Horeanopoulos

Carol Esperti

Jeffrey Gibbs

Jane James

Sarah Jordan

David Lowenthal

Peter MacDonald

Kelly Maxwell

John Nunnari

Elizabeth Pape

Julie Scott

Jeffrey Wentzell

Opposed:

None

(Motion passed unanimously)

    1. Unfinished Business
    2. Public Hearing
    3. Donna Dominguez, Sterling, reminded the Committee that the students are coming, but we must not ignore them. The School Committee must sell to the towns, as a unified body.

    4. New Business

Member Sherry Horeanopoulos reminded Committee members of the "Sunshine Fund".

The Superintendent reminded members of the upcoming MASC/MASS Conference. Early registration will save the District considerably. The following members expressed interest in attending:

Carol Esperti

Peter MacDonald

John Nunnari

Jeffrey Wentzell

Michael Gennert (school committee designee from Rutland)

Chairman Rokicki introduced Michael Gennert, who will most likely will be appointed as the new Rutland School Committee Member. The Rutland Selectboard is scheduled to meet next week.

XI. Adjournment

Motion: To adjourn.

(C. Esperti)

(P. MacDonald)

Vote:

In favor:

John Rokicki

Sherry Horeanopoulos

Carol Esperti

Jeffrey Gibbs

Jane James

Sarah Jordan

David Lowenthal

Peter MacDonald

Kelly Maxwell

John Nunnari

Elizabeth Pape

Julie Scott

Jeffrey Wentzell

Opposed:

(Motion passed unanimously)

The meeting was adjourned at 10:25 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Alfred D. Tutela, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools

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