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School Committee Natick School Committee December 18, 2023
Updated 3 days ago

Natick School Committee December 18, 2023

Captions
  1. Welcome to the school committee meeting December 18th.

  2. We're gonna start as usual with roll call Ms. Flats. Here.

  3. Ms. Brunell. Here. Mr. Brand Present. Ms. McDonough? Yes.

  4. Ms. Gors? Yes. And Ms. Collins

  5. Here participating remotely.

  6. Great. And I'm here as well.

  7. I'd like to ask everyone now

  8. to stand up for the Pledge of Allegiance.

  9. In a moment of silence,

  10. I pledge alle

    Allegiance to the flag, the flag

  11. of the United States of America,

  12. and to the republic for which it stands

  13. for One Nation under God, indivisible, with the liberty

  14. and justice for all.

  15. Thank you everyone for joining us.

  16. In a moment of silence, we take the moment

  17. to honor those who've sacrificed for our country.

  18. We're gonna do one of the announcements now

  19. and then some others later just

  20. because we have the soccer team, the girls soccer team here.

  21. So I'll turn things to Ms. Wong.

  22. So this is my privilege to recognize our guests

  23. that are here tonight representing the

  24. Natick Girls Soccer team.

  25. So one of the best things about high school is being able

  26. to be on a team, being able to be in a club, being able

  27. to participate in an ensemble is just really some

  28. of the best things that you get to do in high school.

  29. There are very few things

  30. that are better than being on a team and winning the state.

  31. So congratulations to the girls who are here

  32. for the winning, the Massachusetts Division One

  33. State Champions.

  34. Being the state champions, that's such a huge honor

  35. and quite an achievement to, to be able to do that.

  36. I wanna acknowledge the varsity coaches, our varsity coach,

  37. David Wa Wright, and our assistant varsity coaches,

  38. Haley Murphy and Ashley Siba, junior Varsity coach,

  39. Carrie Ann Daley.

  40. And our ninth grade coach, Kim Morrissey.

  41. We have one of our captains here, Kaitlyn LeBron,

  42. the other captain, wasn't able to attend Maya Schwab.

  43. And then Kaitlyn's gonna go ahead

  44. and introduce everyone that's here with her.

  45. So we have Emma,

  46. Sorry, I can use the a microphone.

  47. Okay.

  48. Okay. So all the way on the left is Emma, Ruthie, Lily,

  49. Stella, Kira, and Kendall, a mix of freshmen and juniors.

  50. And they have all been a really important part of this team.

  51. That's great. Congratulations.

  52. And I understand the team,

  53. the soccer team also won state championship in 2021.

  54. Are any of you that were on that team as well? Wow.

  55. Which one of you? Wow, that's pretty, that's pretty amazing.

  56. Anyway, thank you so much for coming.

  57. It's again, I'm privileged to honor you

  58. and I'm so glad we are so proud of you.

  59. Congratulations.

  60. And congratulations on behalf of the school committee.

  61. Wonderful job. How many of you're graduating this year?

  62. Just me. Just you. Well, that's a great way

  63. to end your high school career

  64. and congratulations to you all

  65. and hopefully you'll be able

  66. to win more championships in the next

  67. couple years. No pressure.

  68. No

    Pressure. No pressure. No pressure.

  69. But if you do, you're welcome to come again.

  70. Actually, you can come whenever you want. So I'm,

  71. if it's okay with the committee, I'm going to go ahead

  72. and make a motion to go into executive session.

  73. I know we have several items. I know there's people coming

  74. for at six 30, so we can do that first.

  75. So I'm gonna read the motion.

  76. So I moved to, moved to executive session

  77. to conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations

  78. with non-represented personnel, waste reduction coordinator,

  79. supplementary theater positions, teacher co covering class,

  80. and to comply with or act under the authority of any general

  81. or special law, specifically chapter 30 a, section 21 G one.

  82. The public body or its chair

  83. or designee shall add reasonable intervals.

  84. Review the minutes of executive sessions

  85. to determine if the provisions

  86. of this subsection warrant continued non-disclosure

  87. and to discuss strategy with respect

  88. to collective bargaining.

  89. EAN, unit B, if an open meeting may have a detrimental

  90. effect on the bargaining position

  91. of the public body and the chair.

  92. So declares, which I do,

  93. and to discuss strategy with respect to litigation,

  94. if an open meeting may have

  95. In

    Suspense detrimental effect on the allegation

  96. position of the public body and the chair.

  97. So declares, which I do second.

  98. Thanks.

    And we have to do roll call Ms. Flats. Yes. Ms.

  99. Brunell? Yes. Mr. Brand? Yes. Ms. McDonough? Yes. Ms. Goeth?

  100. Yes. Ms. Collins?

  101. Yes. If assuming I can get the signing information.

  102. Oh, can we? I just, there it is. Okay.

  103. Tim just sent Mr. L just sent it to you.

  104. Yep. I just got it. Thank you.

  105. So with that, we'll go into executive session turning

  106. at 6 35 hopefully.

  107. Okay. Good evening everyone.

  108. We'll restart our open meeting, the school committee meeting

  109. for December 18th.

  110. So prior to us going to executive session, we did roll call,

  111. pledge of Allegiance, a moment of silence.

  112. We're gonna skip around the agenda a little bit today

  113. and we're gonna start with our student representative

  114. providing her update.

  115. So Kendall Hacker, you're the floor is yours.

  116. So there's not a lot of update.

  117. Okay. I don't know if there's not a lot of updates

  118. for student council right now

  119. 'cause we're in a bit of a break before winter break.

  120. But we do have the winter concert this Friday,

  121. which I think a lot of people are looking forward to

  122. and concerts gonna put on a great show.

  123. And yeah, that's about it coming on right now. But yeah.

  124. Great. Thank you. And congrats

  125. for the soccer Thank you Championship.

  126. So let's move on now to announcements.

  127. Do you wanna start yours and then we'll go to Catherine?

  128. Sure. I, you see such a nice note from Chief Hicks

  129. and I thought it'd be nice to read it too.

  130. Oh, thank you again.

  131. I A nice note from Chief Hicks for the police department.

  132. So it says, on behalf of the Natick Service Council

  133. and the Natick Police Department, I would like

  134. to thank the Natick Public Schools

  135. for their continued support of the Marsha Kelly Giving Tree.

  136. The Giving Tree was established in loving memory of Mrs.

  137. Marsha Kelly, a Natick Police Department records clerk

  138. who passed away suddenly a march of 2009.

  139. The Giving Tree provides over 100 Natick families

  140. with their holiday needs.

  141. This endeavor would not be possible without the support

  142. of the Natick Public schools.

  143. In particular, Ms. Becky, Thank you Sni Cloth

  144. of Kennedy Middle School

  145. and her students in their community service club

  146. who made over 600 construction paper ornaments.

  147. Each one of these ornaments represents one

  148. wishlist gift per child.

  149. So you go to the tree and you take an ornament

  150. and then you fulfill that child's wish.

  151. Our goal is to provide six gifts

  152. to each Natick child in need.

  153. Their efforts will truly make an impact on many Natick

  154. children this holiday season.

  155. Thank you for your continued support.

  156. I just thought it was such a nice note to mark the season

  157. and also the community spirit altogether with our students.

  158. Okay, thank you. So we have another announcement,

  159. actually two more announcements that that Ms.

  160. Pernell will make. I just wanted,

  161. before she reads a statement, I just wanted

  162. to provide the context for the statement that Ms.

  163. Pernell is gonna read. In the past,

  164. the school committee has made statements to condemn acts

  165. of hatred in our community, in our broader society.

  166. And unfortunately we felt the need again to do so tonight.

  167. Given the recent acts of antisemitism in our community,

  168. I know that we live in very tense times these days

  169. with events thousands of miles away from us

  170. that affect us in various ways.

  171. However, it is important for us to condemn any act of hatred

  172. that takes place in our community

  173. because those are never justified.

  174. And just also to provide additional context per open meeting

  175. law, just to let the public know neither the committee

  176. as a whole nor a quorum of the committee developed

  177. or deliberate on the statement.

  178. Rather, Ms. Brunell and I, according to the statement,

  179. and it was also reviewed by Ms.

  180. Goeth and Ms. Wong, who's not a member of the commi

  181. of the committee, but all members were

  182. provided were alerted that the statement was coming.

  183. I just wanted to let people know where the committee stands.

  184. And with that, I wanna thank Mr.

  185. Brunell for taking the lead in writing the statement.

  186. And with that, I'll turn things to you.

  187. And thank you Ms. Wong for the juxtaposition

  188. of the Giving True tree.

  189. With this statement, I wanted to also mention

  190. that the North Star program was there delivering the gifts

  191. to the boxes for each one of the children.

  192. So it was really amazing to see the high school

  193. students involved in that as well.

  194. So thank you shy for your work on this

  195. and for Elise the review.

  196. And this is what we'd like to share.

  197. As you're elected officials, we are aware

  198. of and grieve with you.

  199. When hateful incidents occur in our schools,

  200. when any type of hate related incident,

  201. whether it involves racism, anti LGBTQ plus sentiments,

  202. antisemitism, Islamophobia,

  203. or any other type of hate, they impact the most marginalized

  204. among us, which in turn impacts us all.

  205. When one or any student

  206. or staff member is made to feel unsafe, our community

  207. as a whole is diminished.

  208. Hateful actions are beneath us

  209. because we are a community that values each member.

  210. Most recently, our committee is emed.

  211. Our committee is emboldened

  212. by the steadfast convi conviction

  213. of our student superintendent, administrators, teachers,

  214. and staff who respond with compassion

  215. and as educators to any event.

  216. We also applaud the brave student voices

  217. who report hate when they see it.

  218. And we are encouraged by the symbols

  219. of peace created at one school

  220. and the intentional conversations

  221. that were facilitated at another.

  222. All of these actions and many others, are reminders

  223. that hate has no room in our school because of our,

  224. because our faculty and staff

  225. and students serve as both the reason for

  226. and the protectors of the sense of belonging.

  227. That is at the very core of Natick's mission.

  228. For every member of this community, we are a community

  229. that deeply values each and every member.

  230. Our committee wholeheartedly reaffirms the district's

  231. commitment to provide an education

  232. and work environment for our school community members

  233. that is free from all forms of discrimination,

  234. including harassment and retaliation.

  235. And that can be found in our policy ac.

  236. Further, we are committed to providing a safe

  237. and positive, productive educational environment

  238. where students can achieve the highest academic standards

  239. policy, J-I-C-F-B.

  240. As such, we stand strongly against any efforts

  241. to bring hatred into our community,

  242. including denouncing in the strongest terms,

  243. the recent anti-Semitic symbols

  244. that were found in our schools.

  245. We make this statement in gratitude for the work

  246. that is being done and with the belief that

  247. through education, our future is better.

  248. Thank you.

  249. Thank you, Ms. Brunell.

  250. Any other announcements from the administration

  251. or the school committee?

  252. So with that, we'll move to public speak.

  253. I think I know who the people are who wrote,

  254. Yeah, if you don't mind, bring it.

  255. So let me just read the Public Speak policy.

  256. Public speak is scheduled for a period of 15 minutes.

  257. Each speaker will be permitted a maximum thank you maximum

  258. of three minutes during which time they can speak about

  259. topics within the scope

  260. of responsibility of the school committee.

  261. All remarks will be addressed to the school committee chair.

  262. Public speak is not a time for debate

  263. or response to comm comments by the school committee.

  264. With that, we have five people who signed up for school

  265. for public Speak tonight.

  266. Again, you each have three minutes, which I'll,

  267. I'll give you a ten second warning.

  268. When I call your name, please go to the podium,

  269. say your name, where you live, and your remarks.

  270. We'll start with Farrah Rubenstein.

  271. Hi, Farrah Rubenstein Precinct seven.

  272. Thank you everyone for welcoming me

  273. and many fellow members of the Jewish community,

  274. not exclusively, but many of us here tonight.

  275. And I'm here with hopes

  276. that we really are talking about safety for our kids.

  277. I'm wondering if you've ever experienced thousands

  278. of people marching to celebrate sexual violence against you

  279. or chant for your murder

  280. or chant for ending your religion, your culture,

  281. your race, and your ethnicity.

  282. And if you've heard deafening silence from the allies you

  283. thought would defend your right to just exist, I have.

  284. And so of my children here in Natick, when members

  285. of your family speak out about ableism, sexism, homophobia,

  286. racism, they experience

  287. or they trusted, has anyone in your family been told

  288. that their ability, gender, sexuality, religion, race,

  289. ethnicity, culture was acceptable

  290. depending upon the context?

  291. And have they been told this

  292. and has this context been determined by people

  293. who don't even share that identity

  294. and don't have the same lived experience I have.

  295. And so have my kids in 2023 in Natick.

  296. And if you participate in a Sunday school religious

  297. education program, was it canceled

  298. or put on high alert just yesterday

  299. because of targeted threats against your house of worship

  300. as verified by local police, ours in Natick

  301. and in multiple surrounding towns, including Wellesley,

  302. which serves many, many Natick Jewish families.

  303. Those two synagogues were,

  304. but I should note we're not special.

  305. There were 199 threats reported in, verified in 17 states

  306. and DC this weekend, including some arrests

  307. where threats weren't just called in,

  308. but people were standing in front

  309. of synagogues in Washington DC yelling gas the Jews

  310. or my friend's childhood synagogue in Toledo, Ohio,

  311. saying he was a 13-year-old saying he was gonna burn the

  312. place down and shoot it up.

  313. So it hasn't gotten that bad yet her and Natick yet.

  314. And we're still lucky, I guess.

  315. And that's what I tell my kids.

  316. You might've first met me in May of 2003 when you listened

  317. to my wonderful Wilson eighth grader talk about her

  318. leadership in No Place for Hate

  319. or maybe when you remember us when she spoke at the

  320. NPS faculty opening.

  321. Thank you for that Ms. Wong about inclusivity in our schools

  322. and her passion for that,

  323. which I should note comes steeply from

  324. within our Jewish identity.

  325. And you've seen me here at every school committee meeting

  326. since early September advocating for the safety

  327. of my gay sixth grader in school.

  328. And today I am asking you

  329. to help keep my kids safe on another proud identity

  330. access on their Judaism.

  331. I'm begging you School committee leadership

  332. and PS teachers make it clear

  333. that when we say we welcome all kids in Natick,

  334. we mean all marginalized communities.

  335. And right now, that is us.

  336. When we value inclusivity, please tell me.

  337. You mean everyone, even Jews.

  338. The sad truth is how people in organizations speak about

  339. Israel affects Jews in America.

  340. It affects whether our homes are targeted for vandalism

  341. or were physically threatened

  342. or assaulted when out in the world,

  343. or whether our houses of worship are on the receiving end

  344. of graffiti and bomb threats

  345. and where we can admit to being Jewish.

  346. And it directly correlates to increases in hateful speech

  347. and graffiti as we've seen in many of our schools.

  348. We're not safe in this world.

  349. Please tell me that we're safe here.

  350. Thank you Natick Schools for everything you're doing.

  351. Thank you. Next, Joanna Edison.

  352. Hi, I'm Johanna Edelson.

  353. I don't know exactly what pre precinct

  354. I'm in, but I'm a naic.

  355. And of course I had to go after Farah. So forgive me.

  356. For years, my family has talked to me about antisemitism,

  357. but I couldn't relate, at least in this part of the country.

  358. I never felt like anybody hated me for being Jewish.

  359. I was much more comfortable talking about racism.

  360. And since I've spent close

  361. to 30 years educating myself about it, it's very easy for me

  362. to identify in the news,

  363. in people's comments and in things I witness.

  364. However, when Hamas attacked Israel on October 7th,

  365. it took me a couple of weeks to catch up to

  366. what many people in the Jewish community already knew.

  367. Jewish people are in trouble.

  368. The following Friday when there were terror threats,

  369. I was scared to send my son to school

  370. for the first time in my life.

  371. I am also afraid still to put up a,

  372. we stand with Israel sign

  373. because I don't want anything to happen to him, especially

  374. after having been a teacher in Massachusetts for 15 years.

  375. I was shocked by the MTA statement about there being a

  376. genocide in Gaza.

  377. Though the MTA released additional language

  378. that does not change the original decisions of their board

  379. and the earlier motions still stands.

  380. It made me think about the domestic violence

  381. work I used to do.

  382. We worked on reframing the narrative from

  383. why does the victim stay

  384. to why is the perpetrator being abusive?

  385. Why isn't the MTA leadership able to reframe the narrative

  386. to why doesn't Hamas surrender and release the hostages?

  387. So the civilians and Gaza can live

  388. since October 7th to learn more.

  389. I've read books about the history of Israel,

  390. follow different social media accounts

  391. and ask many questions.

  392. And I'm embarrassed to say that even though I'm Jewish,

  393. I didn't recognize certain opinions

  394. or types of speech as antisemitic.

  395. For example, I didn't understand why calling

  396. for a ceasefire only is considered anti-Semitic.

  397. But I learned that much like racism, it's

  398. because Jewish people are being held

  399. to a different standard when it comes

  400. to defending themselves.

  401. Has the leadership of the MTA done this work?

  402. Ask questions, read books, reframe the narrative work

  403. to hold the dichotomies in their brains

  404. that we're facing in the community.

  405. I don't believe they have

  406. and I don't believe they've had the

  407. conversation with their children.

  408. Please, if you see a swastika in school, tell a teacher,

  409. and I'm sure they haven't wondered if upon hearing

  410. that a child found a swastika, would the teacher care

  411. or would they feel that Jewish students deserve it?

  412. As many have been saying about the attacks

  413. by Hamas, 10 seconds.

  414. I read this speech to a Jewish friend and she responded.

  415. The Jewish people don't know who they can trust.

  416. Please say, we can trust the Natick public schools

  417. to keep Jewish children safe.

  418. Thank you. Next we'll go with Rabbi Ra Weis.

  419. Good evening. My name is Rabbi Ra Weiss Precinct nine.

  420. I'm about to deliver a letter written together

  421. by our friends and colleagues, faith leaders in Natick.

  422. We write to you as faith leaders in our town

  423. who support Natick public schools

  424. and their efforts to provide full inclusion affirmation

  425. and celebration of lgbtqia plus children and youth.

  426. We each represent houses of worship

  427. and natick that preach love and acceptance towards all.

  428. As we advocate for our neighbor, we celebrate the identity

  429. and personhood of all people.

  430. And we believe that sexuality

  431. and gender are a part of that celebrated personhood.

  432. The fundamental values that center our work, compassion,

  433. empathy, and understanding are rooted in our belief

  434. that every person is made in the image of God

  435. and blessed by God as good.

  436. All students have the right to be treated

  437. with equality and respect.

  438. It is our moral duty to ensure

  439. that our schools are safe spaces

  440. where every student feels welcome, valued, represented,

  441. and supported, and

  442. where they can learn about one another's identities,

  443. thereby instilling empathy

  444. and understanding the keys

  445. to ending division and finding peace.

  446. We know that love and peace must be taught at home.

  447. And for many people, this means teaching the tenants

  448. of a faith system to their children.

  449. Therefore, we are also celebrating

  450. and supporting parents as they endeavor

  451. to instill in their children hope, faith, love and inquiring

  452. and discerning hearts in the language

  453. and tradition of their own religion.

  454. As faith leaders, we support parents in the work

  455. of bringing up the next generation in love.

  456. And we support the Natick public school system in ensuring

  457. that diversity and inclusion are values that continue

  458. to be centered for future generations.

  459. Sincerely, Reverend Becky Bins Rector St.

  460. Paul Episcopal Church Natick, Reverend Katie Cole,

  461. Hartford Street, Presbyterian Natick,

  462. Reverend Christopher Gilbert, pastor Christ

  463. Lutheran Church Natick.

  464. Sarah Lynn Keller, director of Spiritual Vitality.

  465. First Congregational Church Natick, Reverend D Dr.

  466. Ian ak, common Street Spiritual Center.

  467. Natick, Reverend Alicia Reeves, Freeman Fisk,

  468. United Methodist Natick, rabbi Haan, Ken Richmond,

  469. temple Israel of Natick.

  470. Rabbi Robin s Spar Comb is the place. Natick Reverend Dr.

  471. Adam. Attorney Elliot. Pastor the Elliot Church.

  472. Natick Rabbi Dr. Weiss Temple, Israel of Natick.

  473. Reverend Cindy Worthington Berry Pastor First

  474. Congregational Church Natick.

  475. On a separate note, personal to me as a Rabbi Cora

  476. of Temple Israel of Natick, I want to share in a time

  477. of rising antisemitism

  478. and in light of the MTA statement of December 9th.

  479. And in light of hearing from children in our community

  480. who've reported direct incidents of antisemitism in the NPS,

  481. I want to call on all staff, faculty

  482. and board members of the NPS,

  483. the denounce antisemitism in all of its forms

  484. of discrimination so

  485. that our community will be safe for all children.

  486. And I thank you for all of your advocacy and your help

  487. and support in doing so.

  488. Thank you so much.

  489. Thank you. Next we'll have Rebar Helper Halper.

  490. My name is Dr. Mary Bar Halper in bin.

  491. I'm a clinical psychologist

  492. and a mother of a second grade student at Benham

  493. and soon to be kindergarten in Benham.

  494. First of all, I wanna thank you

  495. for all that you do for our children.

  496. In my opinion, you're have the most important jobs in the

  497. world shaping our kids' mind.

  498. I'm here to share with you my concerns about the

  499. MTA one-sided statement.

  500. It calls for creating a curriculum that'll focus on occupied

  501. Palestine, the MTA stateman used language

  502. that characterized Israel as engaging in genocide.

  503. The double standard of the original statement is another

  504. example of antisemitism in which there is a call for Israel

  505. to cease fire without mentioning the atrocities

  506. of October seven, condemning Hamas calling for the release

  507. of hostages or calling for a ceasefire toward Hamas Israel.

  508. You might say that it's not anti-Semitism,

  509. but I will argue that

  510. unless there is a similar statement about other words such

  511. as Ukraine and Russia or Armenia

  512. and Azer, it is singling out Israel and Jewish people.

  513. My area of expertise, trauma,

  514. and I specifically do work in the field

  515. of trauma informed school.

  516. Being safe and feeling safe is something we all deserve.

  517. No matter who you are

  518. or where you come from, safety is a

  519. requirement to be able to thrive.

  520. Even if you're Jewish, you cannot expect Jewish students

  521. to listen to their teacher talking about the conflict using

  522. words such as genocide, colonize, and Hyde.

  523. The three big ones that I've been hearing misused

  524. recently and feel safe.

  525. You cannot expect them to study math

  526. or English while worrying if their

  527. classmates will start bullying them.

  528. Not to mention that some of these students have families in

  529. Israel, some were kidnapped,

  530. some were raped, some were murdered.

  531. Some were in immediate harm due to the war

  532. since October 7th.

  533. As a Jewish person, I had to choose

  534. between hiding my identity and my family's safety.

  535. I had to tell Son not to speak Hebrew in public.

  536. I had to stop wearing my star of David Necklace.

  537. And I had to explain to people why there's nothing political

  538. about celebrating Hanukkah.

  539. This is 2023 in America and it's not okay.

  540. Now, some of you might think I'm overreacting,

  541. but I was personally the victim of this type of harassment.

  542. Just because I'm Jewish, I've seen

  543. a hateful action for this.

  544. Words can lead to. I have patient in my clinic

  545. who suffer from secondary trauma, anxiety,

  546. and panic attacks due

  547. to being single out at schools for being Jewish.

  548. Words matter. I'm an immigrant in this country.

  549. I'm a minority just like the rest

  550. of the Jewish people, by the way.

  551. And it's your job to make sure my kids are protected at

  552. school while I do my best to protect them outside of school.

  553. When teaching about history, I expect schools

  554. to be unbiased and well-informed.

  555. I'm horrified by the call for action to create a curriculum

  556. that will teach about occupied Palestine as the MDA Ask.

  557. Teaching about the Middle East conflict is important,

  558. but should be done in a manner

  559. that is sensitive for both sides.

  560. There is more nuanced than birth versus good,

  561. and any teacher is talking about the conflict should be

  562. mindful of doing so in an unbiased and caring way.

  563. History taught us that if we stand aside

  564. and do nothing, it will repeat itself.

  565. Your voice matters.

  566. Your voice matters to the

  567. Jewish students and their families.

  568. Your voice matters to me.

  569. Your voice matters to my son, Noam, and to my daughter.

  570. Aria. Thank you.

  571. Thank you. And lastly, Dr. Donna Mackenzie.

  572. Donna Mackenzie, precinct eight.

  573. I just wanna preface what I'm going to say,

  574. which is a different topic that my heart breaks listening

  575. to all of these comments that some

  576. of my Jewish classmates from Nat High are afraid

  577. to be Jewish and afraid to post on social media

  578. because the climate in this country is so bad

  579. and the antisemitism is so high.

  580. So the statement was beautiful that Ms.

  581. Brunell read, and I implore all of you to keep working

  582. to put that into practice.

  583. I wanted to point out that last night was the 10th opioid

  584. vigil and it was beautiful.

  585. I don't know if any of you are able to be there. I was.

  586. I in the past two weeks have buried

  587. and eulogized a family member who died from addiction,

  588. from alcoholism.

  589. Brilliant. We buried him too early.

  590. But I wanna say that my heart was so moved in so full

  591. when I heard Josepha blocker, the principal

  592. of our high school speak during the 15 minute open speak

  593. the way she said it was so important for us

  594. to be able to reach out, to speak, to

  595. connect so that those who are

  596. on the brink of trouble, that we can help them, right?

  597. That we're a community, that we can help them.

  598. It was everything

  599. that you would want in an educational leader

  600. and everything that you would want in a principal.

  601. If you've seen Barbie, and I don't mean to be trite,

  602. but you know, there's that scene

  603. where the artificial fake Barbie says

  604. to the woman on the bench, you're beautiful.

  605. And the woman on the bench says, I know.

  606. And I still think that if we could deal

  607. with helping our kids know that they are in fact beautiful,

  608. whether they're Jewish

  609. or whatever their faith is,

  610. whatever their background is, that's so important.

  611. And maybe we could begin to erode some

  612. of the horribleness of addiction.

  613. I think of my cousin and I just wish he had had the

  614. self-esteem and could have, could have recognized

  615. that he was a beautiful, brilliant human being.

  616. So I, I just hope that we can do a little bit better

  617. because so many kids in this town right now need us

  618. and depend on the schools.

  619. Thanks.

  620. Thank you. That

  621. concludes our public speak

  622. 'cause we're out of time for public speak.

  623. So thank you for those who spoke.

  624. And we'll now move to, to the rest

  625. of the agenda, starting with the teacher representative.

  626. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

  627. When an issue arises that broadly concerns our profession

  628. or offers an inaccurate view of our conduct,

  629. we are compelled to speak on behalf of the teachers

  630. and the school staff in Natick.

  631. Otherwise, we respect the rights of our individual members

  632. to have their own opinions

  633. and to express them appropriately.

  634. Recently, some members of the community have requested an

  635. action or statement from our teacher's union, the EAN.

  636. There are those in our union who feel

  637. that a response is warranted as well as those who feel

  638. that actions or statements by our union on certain issues.

  639. However, well-intentioned are inappropriate.

  640. Earlier this month, as you have heard, the MTA board

  641. of directors passed a motion to support a petition sponsored

  642. by a number of labor organizations calling on President

  643. Biden to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

  644. The wording, the announcements, the awarding

  645. of the announcement raised concerns in our community.

  646. And we do not take these concerns lightly.

  647. I do wanna make it clear that while the Massachusetts

  648. Teachers organization is the governing union

  649. that the EAN is a part of it in no way dictates our actions,

  650. our statements, or our views use.

  651. However, the executive board of the EAN has not yet met

  652. to discuss these concerns

  653. or the broader issues raised by the MTAs motion.

  654. And I feel that at this time it would be inappropriate

  655. for me as an individual in my role

  656. as a teacher representative to speak on the behalf of behalf

  657. of a union that I have yet to speak to at this time.

  658. However, I can say unequivocally that we condemn acts

  659. of hate and that we work daily to create a safe

  660. and supportive environment for our students in our

  661. schools and our classrooms.

  662. I also wanna state clearly that regardless

  663. of the MTA statement or the response of the EAN,

  664. that I believe our Jewish students are

  665. safe in the Natick schools.

  666. And that I am committed to make sure that they will be

  667. and continue to feel that way.

  668. And I would hope that any parent with specific concerns

  669. for their own child feels empowered to speak

  670. with their child's teacher.

  671. A point that I have made before in other contexts.

  672. Thank you.

  673. Thank you Mr. Wood.

  674. We've already heard from our student

  675. representative earlier tonight.

  676. So with that, we're gonna move to the consent agenda

  677. and I'll take any motions

  678. regarding the consent agenda at this

  679. time. Yeah, I would like,

  680. I would like to pull out the field trips

  681. that are not out of state of the consent agenda,

  682. which would include the trip to

  683. town hall and metco Kennedy Institute.

  684. Boston College and Boston College.

  685. Does that require No.

  686. Okay. No, I think I just pull 'em out.

  687. Just pull 'em and then I'll make a motion

  688. to approve the consent agenda. Then I can

  689. Sure. Any

  690. I I motion to approve the consent agenda.

  691. Second.

  692. Any discussion? No. Nope.

  693. So, because Ms. Collins is on line, we have to do roll call.

  694. So Ms. flas? Yes. Ms. Brunell? Yes. Mr. Brand? Yes. Ms.

  695. McDonough? Yes. Ms. Go. Yes. Ms. Collins? Yes.

  696. And I'm a yes. So that,

  697. that we approve the consent agenda. We can,

  698. Yes.

  699. So then I have a question about the ones I pulled out. Sure.

  700. I don't actually have a question about the field trip.

  701. I just have a question that, so thinking about the budget

  702. for next year, we did fund field trips at the

  703. elementary and middle school.

  704. We allotted money and I, we did not allot money

  705. to the high school for field trips.

  706. It looked like the METCO

  707. and Natick Town Hall is paid for by a grant.

  708. But I just want to understand either

  709. how those are being paid for

  710. or if you don't have the answer to that.

  711. Given that we are seeing field trips now at the high school,

  712. do we want to build into our budget for FY 25 monies to go

  713. to the high school to fund those field trips?

  714. I don't know the answer about how they're paying

  715. for the field trips at middle and high school.

  716. Sorry. Okay. But we can, we can answer that.

  717. But I did, I just wanted

  718. to make sure while those field trips were pulled out, oh,

  719. they consent agenda.

  720. It doesn't mean they're not approved.

  721. It just meant that they needed, didn't need

  722. to be approved by the school committee.

  723. Right. Sorry, I didn't So if anybody clear Didn't make that

  724. Clear. Yes. They're just,

  725. Yeah.

  726. They just didn't need to be approved in

  727. this, in this process.

  728. Right. Only out of state field trips need

  729. to be approved by the school committee.

  730. So, but I I,

  731. it would be helpful if we could get an answer on that,

  732. the cost of those field trips, how it's being funded,

  733. and if the school committee needs to consider

  734. allocating funds to the high school next year in addition

  735. to the middle and elementary schools.

  736. Thank you.

  737. Anything else before we move on

  738. related to the consent agenda?

  739. No. So the next item is deployment

  740. of school committee member or designee

  741. to net zero committee.

  742. Just to provide some background, there used

  743. to be a sustainability committee in town

  744. where there was a school committee representative.

  745. That committee has been disbanded.

  746. I'm not sure when, but it was disbanded

  747. and a new committee has now been formed

  748. called the net zero committee.

  749. This is a committee being led by our sy,

  750. the NA sustainability director.

  751. There are going to be six members of voting members

  752. of the committee, including one person

  753. who will be either a school committee representative

  754. or designate designee from the school committee.

  755. The other five are appointed by the select board

  756. and there's also a non-voting student representative.

  757. The other six members,

  758. including the student, have already been selected.

  759. So now it is our opportunity to do so.

  760. We can either do so tonight to actually vote on someone,

  761. or we can begin the, the deliberation tonight.

  762. If we want more time, we can vote on it at a different time.

  763. And, and I did discuss that with Ms. Wilson Martin.

  764. So you know she's okay with us waiting till January if the

  765. committee decides to do that.

  766. So with that, I'll just open the floor. Yeah.

  767. Oh, so I had a question. Are these like public meetings

  768. where a quorum has to be present or is it

  769. I believe so.

  770. It is a committee of the select board. 'cause the, okay.

  771. So I believe just like our committees need

  772. to be open meeting or

  773. by open meeting laws,

  774. I believe this one will as well. Okay.

  775. And you said there were five members appointed

  776. by the select board and one,

  777. one member of the school committee?

  778. Yep. And then Ms. Wilson, Martin is coordinating,

  779. is she chairing the committee?

  780. I don't see her listed as a member.

  781. So I think she's the staff person for it. Okay.

  782. And I should say the composition, if I understand correctly,

  783. the composition of this committee is, was informed partially

  784. by a grant that the town is going to apply for.

  785. They it requires,

  786. and one of the requirements is having that select

  787. that school committee representation, which is why, well,

  788. one of the reasons why they invite us.

  789. Do you know how often it's gonna meet?

  790. Document says no less than 10 times a year.

  791. Yeah, there they are.

    Once a month.

  792. Once a month is, yeah.

  793. Who did we have as a representative on

  794. the sustainability committee?

  795. China?

    Me.

  796. Oh, I meant, sorry.

  797. Oh, Ms. Collins was there

  798. for the original sustainability committee.

  799. When we discussed the goals for the committee,

  800. we had appointed people, different people, different, those

  801. of us on different goals.

  802. And Ms. Flats

  803. and I were the ones assigned to the sustainability goal.

  804. So just to clarify that. Right.

  805. But the committee, the sustainability committee

  806. has not met in some kind.

  807. And that was before we established goals.

  808. Yeah. Yeah. So, and

  809. that committee has been disbanded with that.

  810. I'll take any nominations

  811. or any discussion about, we can't, we,

  812. it can be a school committee member

  813. or it can be anyone from the community that we assign.

  814. I would say I'm happy to do it

  815. because we said we were, we signed up

  816. For that goal.

  817. And you may have a lot, you may have a lot on your plate.

  818. The idea of it being another member

  819. of the community is an interesting one.

  820. 'cause I am enthusiastic,

  821. but I'm probably not the most educated on

  822. the sustainability goals.

  823. But I am happy to do it.

  824. But I don't know if there's other interest,

  825. Any other interests, including whether you wanna do it

  826. or have someone else in the committee do it,

  827. or a member of the community.

  828. Would you like a nomination?

  829. Would you take a formal nomination?

  830. Sure.

    I nominate Ms.

  831. flas to represent the school committee on the net

  832. zero committee. That's fine. Committee.

  833. I mean, we may wanna, I I, it is interesting to,

  834. I don't know what they're getting,

  835. what they wanna get out of it.

  836. The idea of it being a member of the community.

  837. Who do we say the rest of the composition is?

  838. So it's five members of the community

  839. who are appointed by the select board.

  840. So, and probably our other in the agenda, there's a link

  841. to the website in case you want to know

  842. more about the committee or who, including who the member,

  843. who the current members are,

  844. who the select board appointees are.

  845. Hmm.

    Second.

  846. So you second nomination. So there's a nomination for Ms.

  847. flas and it was seconded. No objections from Ms. flas?

  848. No, we said we wanted to make, make progress on this.

  849. And we,

    And I said to Wilson Martin that I felt bad

  850. that this fall has been very busy

  851. and we've made insufficient progress.

  852. So this is, you know, forced progress.

  853. This is, so this is the perfect opportunity.

  854. So with that roll call on the Yeah, Kathy has her hand.

  855. Oh yeah. Ms. Ms. Collins.

  856. Yeah. One of the reasons that, that I enthusiastically

  857. nominated Kate, is that I think it's important,

  858. at least at this point, that the person representing the

  859. schools has some understanding of the school budget

  860. and some of our limitations

  861. or some of our areas that we can expand in.

  862. And since most of the others are community members, I think,

  863. I think it's important

  864. that a school committee member serve on this.

  865. So thank you Kate for stepping up.

  866. Okay. Any other items of discussion before we vote?

  867. So with that, Ms. Flats, Ms. Collins, Ms. Pronounced, sorry.

  868. Yes. Mr. Brand? Yes. Ms. McDonna? Yes. Ms. Goeth? Yes.

  869. Ms. Collins? Yes. And I a Yes. Thank you Ms.

  870. flas. Next is the superintendent search update

  871. on, and I'll hand the floor to MR.

  872. Brand.

  873. Okay. So we had our first superintendent

  874. screening committee meeting last Thursday.

  875. One of the best meetings I had all week.

  876. It was our first meeting. It was great

  877. to meet everybody in person.

  878. We, one of the things that was announced in the public part

  879. of that meeting, so I can say it here, is that we had 32

  880. candidates apply, which according to nss,

  881. EQ is above average.

  882. The average number of applications is usually somewhere

  883. between 20 and 25.

  884. So we got 32, which is great.

  885. We are now in the process

  886. and we have our second meeting tomorrow.

  887. We are now in the process of all of the committee members

  888. of reading resumes

  889. and trying to figure out who we are going

  890. to interview for the next phase.

  891. And so we will probably get to the bottom of that tomorrow.

  892. The schedule as an update on the schedule is, is as follows.

  893. Once we know who the preliminary interviews are going to be,

  894. and let's just say it's probably somewhere between eight

  895. to 12, but somewhere around there.

  896. But it's flexible. We will figure out when those

  897. interviews are happening.

  898. We are motivated to do them as early as possible in January.

  899. If, and it depends on the committee schedule

  900. and it depends on the candidate schedules.

  901. If we can get them done in the first week in January, which

  902. is aggressive, but not out of the realm of possibility,

  903. we just have to figure out who those who,

  904. you know, all the different variables.

  905. If that can happen, then we can in theory

  906. deliberate on who the finalists would be shortly thereafter

  907. and present them very, you know, if we're very optimistic

  908. and, and all this get all the stars align, it's possible

  909. that by January 8th we could present,

  910. but probably not likely we could potentially present

  911. to the full school committee on the eighth.

  912. What's more likely to happen if I just have to,

  913. if I was guessing, is that on the,

  914. as we stated at the last meeting on the 22nd of January,

  915. that's the more likely scenario we would present the

  916. finalists to the full school committee at that point.

  917. Probably that week is when we would have site visits.

  918. Probably not the week

  919. before, which I think is when midterms in the finals

  920. are at the high school.

  921. So pro con conservatively, probably the week

  922. of January 22nd is when those visits would happen.

  923. Once we knew all of those dates, we will schedule

  924. the public interviews, which again, based on

  925. what we said at the last meeting,

  926. might end up being like the 29th of January conservatively.

  927. Now this is all, we are motivated and, and Ms.

  928. Brunell and I have talked about this

  929. and we actually talked about it at the meeting last week.

  930. Everybody is interested in doing it as early as possible.

  931. There's just a lot of variables.

  932. Let's just to, to throw a number out.

  933. Let's say, well eight to 12 people that we interview, all

  934. of their schedules would have to line up

  935. with the times that we're all available.

  936. It's, there's a lot of moving parts.

  937. So we are still on schedule.

  938. Everything is going the way it should thus far.

  939. We'll keep you updated as we know,

  940. more information, but so far so good.

  941. Did I miss anything?

  942. No, I would just say though that potentially

  943. that the public interviews could, are,

  944. would very likely take place the week of the 22nd.

  945. I think it's, it'll we'll be on a condensed schedule if we

  946. can get them to happen the week of the eighth.

  947. But it's more likely

  948. that we would announce on the 22nd of January

  949. and then have the visits and the public interviews that week

  950. because we are, there's other school committees

  951. that are interviewing candidates

  952. and so the faster we can finish the process. So

  953. Yeah, and part of that is, I mean, again,

  954. to the same it part of that is, let's say we're aiming

  955. for let's say three to five finalists.

  956. If it's three finalists, that's fewer site visits,

  957. shorter interview public.

  958. And so there's more room in that week.

  959. It all sort of depends.

  960. Again, we are all motivated to get that,

  961. get this all done as quickly as possible.

  962. But we just have to sort of be nimble and,

  963. and do the best that we can to make the schedules line up.

  964. But if it was going to happen the week of the 22nd,

  965. which would be great, we have our normal school committee

  966. meeting on the 22nd.

  967. The site visits would happen presumably within the

  968. next couple of days.

  969. So it's possible I don't, you know,

  970. those two weeks are gonna be pretty busy weeks, let's put it

  971. that way, one way or another.

  972. So, so far so good.

  973. And as the committee, as the screen committee

  974. identifies those dates, you'll let us know.

  975. Obviously we'll make it public.

  976. We'll let the public know the specifics, especially the open

  977. parts of the interviews.

  978. Yeah, yeah, we will.

  979. And I would assume that in the Engage newsletter there'll be

  980. updates even though as a committee we are

  981. not meeting again until the eighth.

  982. Right. So there'll be updates between now and then.

  983. We should frankly have a much better sense of all

  984. of this within by the end of this week.

  985. Hopefully.

  986. Ms. Ano, you're on the committee too.

  987. I dunno if there's anything else you want to add

  988. before we go to questions from the committee.

  989. I think just to piggyback off what Mr.

  990. Brand said and what Ms.

  991. Brunell said, the biggest issue right now is identifying

  992. how many people of the 32 we're going to bring in

  993. for initial screening interviews

  994. because that will determine how quickly we can get it done

  995. and how condensed we can be.

  996. Great. But everyone on the committee was motivated

  997. for the first week of January, including the Friday, so

  998. that we could get in as many as possible. Great.

  999. Some saw Ms. Goeth

  1000. and then Ms. Collins has a question as well.

  1001. Yes, I had two questions.

  1002. Are you, will the screening interviews be done in

  1003. person or by zoom?

  1004. The, the screening interviews will happen in person. It'll

  1005. Happen in person.

  1006. Okay. And then the second question was,

  1007. But not publicly. Sorry, not

  1008. Publicly.

  1009. Not publicly, right. But, but face-to-face.

  1010. Yes, that's what I meant. Yeah. Okay. Thank you.

  1011. And then the second question was for that potential week

  1012. of January 22nd, where you would

  1013. announce the candidates at the school committee meeting,

  1014. presumably you would've already had to schedule them

  1015. for their visits that week.

  1016. Is it possible that some

  1017. of them would have site visits on the 22nd

  1018. before you were able to announce them to us? No,

  1019. Probably not, because they won't be.

  1020. So while they would likely, they'll know as soon

  1021. as we deliberate as a screening committee,

  1022. there'll be some sort of outreach to those folks.

  1023. Presumably they will want to tell whomever is appropriate

  1024. that they are finalists.

  1025. But it won't be announced publicly until the,

  1026. whenever the next public school committee meeting is. Okay,

  1027. Thank

    You.

  1028. My understanding is that the school committee also has

  1029. to accept the nominations that come

  1030. to the school committee at the meeting.

  1031. So in first, you know, that's uncommon,

  1032. but for some reason if you weren't to accept one

  1033. of the finalists or you know,

  1034. or the group of finalists,

  1035. we wouldn't have meetings scheduled.

  1036. Do you know what I mean? That's, that's another reason why

  1037. it can't happen on the 22nd.

  1038. Okay. Thank you Ms. Collins.

  1039. Yeah, I've been thinking about the public part of this,

  1040. the, the open interviews

  1041. and day by day I become more convinced

  1042. that we should do them on a full slate on Saturday,

  1043. whatever, Saturday that is where we know the information.

  1044. Speaking for myself, one of the things that I wanna be sure

  1045. of is that the individuals that we're considering

  1046. can deal in a little bit of pressure

  1047. because as evidenced by the number

  1048. of people we've had at public speak in the last six months,

  1049. there's always some pressure going on.

  1050. And I think that spreading them out,

  1051. however well intentioned we are does a disservice

  1052. to both us and to them.

  1053. So I would like to consider

  1054. and have the committee consider doing a full date

  1055. of full slate of a Saturday, whether that's the 20th

  1056. because we find out on the eighth only

  1057. 'cause the 13th is part of a holiday weekend or the 27th

  1058. because we find out on the 22nd.

  1059. I just, I think it will give us a better

  1060. peak into the individuals.

  1061. Ms. Brunell,

    Just so I'm understanding Kathy,

  1062. you're thinking that on a Saturday

  1063. the candidate would be able to meet

  1064. with more people than were it to happen on a school day?

  1065. I think that the, in the interview part, if I may, Mr.

  1066. Chair yeah, the interview part, they,

  1067. there may be more people in the audience, there may not, but

  1068. otherwise we're gonna be tying up at least two,

  1069. probably three nights besides the 22nd in that week.

  1070. Assuming it's the 22nd.

  1071. I think when you interview, having done a lot

  1072. of interviewing in my life,

  1073. when you don't have a fresh remembrance of the individual,

  1074. I think it makes it that much harder.

  1075. I think we get to see where they don't have any idea

  1076. what we're gonna go to them with

  1077. and how they respond is important for me to know, know,

  1078. And just to clarify, so there's,

  1079. 'cause you mentioned site visits.

  1080. So there's is the order first you announce the,

  1081. in January 22nd, who the finalists are

  1082. and we're talking about only three to five finalists.

  1083. We vote on that as you just mentioned on January 22nd is,

  1084. is the site visits next and then the final interviews?

  1085. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, I don't know how that changes.

  1086. One of the things, just one of the things

  1087. that we talked about in the meeting last week,

  1088. and we've talked about the sort

  1089. of doing things as early as possible.

  1090. We did also discuss condensing those final interviews

  1091. and as close, you know, proximity to each other as possible

  1092. for exactly what Ms. Collins was saying.

  1093. So we, we had that discussion.

  1094. I am sure we'll have more of

  1095. that discussion tomorrow night once we have a better sense

  1096. of who the people are that we're dealing with

  1097. and what their schedules are gonna be.

  1098. So I would, I guess I would say to Ms. Collins,

  1099. like noted it has been part of the conversation.

  1100. We will, we are all invested in having the interviews not

  1101. only happen as quickly as possible,

  1102. but as close to each other as possible for, you know, so

  1103. that everybody has everybody fresh in their minds

  1104. and we can do it as efficiently as we can

  1105. Before I go to the public.

  1106. Any other questions or comments from the committee?

  1107. So I would, I would not support doing it on the weekend

  1108. just because I think that it's a little disrespectful

  1109. to either pick a Saturday

  1110. or a Sunday where you're asking people, you know,

  1111. for a full day it would be a full day of interviewing,

  1112. which would conflict with religious services on both days.

  1113. So I just think that that seems kind of disrespectful

  1114. and that we should stick to a weekday. That's my thought.

  1115. Ms. Brunell, just

  1116. To follow up on that, I think we can thread the needle

  1117. here and get both things done.

  1118. I've, I've quickly become a scholar of a lot of these

  1119. processes across the state

  1120. and what I see most often is three people interviewed at

  1121. night and then the school committee meets

  1122. either the next night or a few nights

  1123. after that so that all of the interviews happen,

  1124. you know, on the same evening.

  1125. And some committees even coordinate if there's less than if

  1126. there's three or fewer, they even coordinate the site visit

  1127. to happen on that same day too.

  1128. So there's, I think the, the goal that Ms. Collins has

  1129. to really give them a full experience of natick, all sides

  1130. of natick is I think we can achieve that by not

  1131. meeting on the weekend,

  1132. Ms. Collins,

    With all due

  1133. respect, it can be Friday.

  1134. I just want it all on one day.

  1135. And if you go beyond three people then you can't do four

  1136. and five interviews in one evening

  1137. and have a substantive interview.

  1138. I, I just don't believe that.

  1139. So I don't care what day of the week it is,

  1140. I just want them all on a single

  1141. Day.

  1142. Okay. Any other questions

  1143. or comments from the committee, Dr.

  1144. Mackenzie?

  1145. I think it's great to have 'em all together,

  1146. but I just wanna be mindful

  1147. that having it on Saturday morning, the Jewish Sabbath,

  1148. we've just had this conversation about antisemitism,

  1149. it's not a good thing to do.

  1150. It would be less objectionable to do it on Sunday.

  1151. 'cause some religious services are,

  1152. you know, Saturday or Sunday.

  1153. But I get the point of wanting to do it altogether.

  1154. But I think Ms.

  1155. Goeth rightly pointed out

  1156. and wisely that we do need to be sensitive

  1157. to people's religious traditions.

  1158. Town meeting would never meet on a Saturday

  1159. morning, for example.

  1160. Okay, thank you. Any other comments

  1161. or questions about the search process?

  1162. So with that, we can move

  1163. to the superintendent's report and I'll move things.

  1164. I'll hand the floor to Ms. Wong. Okay,

  1165. Great.

  1166. So at this point we welcome Erin Miller, who is our director

  1167. of student services and she has a presentation

  1168. to you on special education.

  1169. And the slides have been shared with you previously.

  1170. This is just really, pardon? Do I need to move?

  1171. You can,

    Oh, do you want me to project

  1172. Or they have them You don't know for projecting

  1173. We can get it, I'll get it on the screen

  1174. through Pegasus here in just two

  1175. Seconds.

  1176. Okay. Okay. Thanks Tim.

  1177. And this is a overview, again

  1178. of special education services, so not all

  1179. of student services, but special education.

  1180. We have a little everything, a little everything

  1181. but just a quick, a quick update on, on,

  1182. on all aspects of student services.

  1183. So hi everybody. Thank you for having me.

  1184. I'm Erin Miller, I'm the director of student services.

  1185. So I was asked to kind of do an overview

  1186. of everything from our continuum of services to our,

  1187. our data, how we look right now with our in, in the areas

  1188. of the student services.

  1189. And it's also kind of a little of a kickoff

  1190. to maybe some budget conversations down the road.

  1191. So student services is made up of special education,

  1192. English language learners, health services,

  1193. 5 0 4 accommodations and our McKinney-Vento students.

  1194. So we're a busy office,

  1195. but you'll see here there's a lot of great people who,

  1196. who do this work alongside me.

  1197. So I wanna give,

  1198. make sure people got credit for the work they did.

  1199. So you'll see some highlights of some folks as we go on.

  1200. So first, rather than go into the naac student services,

  1201. the special education continuum of services,

  1202. I'm gonna do a couple highlights of that in a couple slides.

  1203. We had an opportunity a couple weeks ago with cpac, one

  1204. of our shared evening presentations we shared with a,

  1205. a group of of of people came

  1206. and we talked about our continuum services from pre-K

  1207. to 22 years old.

  1208. So you will see

  1209. that slideshow in there if

  1210. anybody's interested in looking at that.

  1211. But I will highlight a couple things as we go.

  1212. So here's our special education leadership team.

  1213. I dunno if you can see it. These are all of our coordinators

  1214. and evaluation team leaders.

  1215. And then the next slide just has a breakdown of

  1216. who these folks are and,

  1217. and how we kind of are represented across

  1218. the district at different buildings.

  1219. So we're fortunate

  1220. to have coordin special education coordinators

  1221. who are ultimately the special education administrators at

  1222. every building and oversee special ed process

  1223. and procedure at every, at each building.

  1224. So we're very fortunate to have that at the middle school,

  1225. at the pre-K to, we have a pre-K to elementary,

  1226. someone who's working as a evaluation team leader

  1227. to support that transition.

  1228. And we also have ETLs excuse evaluation team leaders.

  1229. We have evaluation team leaders that are supporting

  1230. the IEP process, IEP facilitation at the middle schools,

  1231. the high school in a shared position between eighth

  1232. and ninth grade, which has been really nice as well.

  1233. So we have that transition of one person who's able

  1234. to transition students

  1235. and families from middle school to high school.

  1236. So a couple quick highlights just to share with you.

  1237. So we now have

  1238. specialized programming at all of our schools except

  1239. for one memorial.

  1240. And if Memorial folks were sitting here right now,

  1241. they'd say to you, we want a program

  1242. and we're working on that.

  1243. They too wanna have specialized programming

  1244. so their neighborhood students can stay

  1245. in their, their neighborhood.

  1246. We're working on that. We, we gotta work on space and staff

  1247. and all those things, but it's definitely something

  1248. that we have on our horizons.

  1249. So, but over the last year we did build,

  1250. previously we had had specialized special ed programs at

  1251. the, at the elementary level in particular where it was kind

  1252. of, you know, we had a, a benham program,

  1253. we had a a brown program, we had a LILJA program.

  1254. What we said was, let's redefine these programs a little bit

  1255. so that we can meet the needs

  1256. of all the students in their home school.

  1257. So now what's happening is we're seeing more students

  1258. who are still getting the same level

  1259. of service in the programs with the same level of, of,

  1260. of teaching and,

  1261. and specialized instruction that they might need.

  1262. But they're also getting it now in their neighborhood school

  1263. so they're able to stay with their siblings

  1264. and neighbors and so forth.

  1265. So that's been really nice to see that.

  1266. We also have some tiered programs like for example, lilja.

  1267. So LILJA has our sub-separate programs,

  1268. but it also has a tiered approach so that students

  1269. who are are more complex students rather

  1270. than going out of district.

  1271. We have a tiered program that is more complex

  1272. to meet the more complex needs in a

  1273. more restrictive environment.

  1274. So if we do have a student from BEHE

  1275. who needs a more restrictive environment,

  1276. they can still stay in the district

  1277. before we have to look at that out of district option.

  1278. Our therapeutic learning programs.

  1279. So at the middle school

  1280. and high school level, we call those our compass programs

  1281. and our elementary schools, we still call 'em our TLC

  1282. Therapeutic Learning Centers.

  1283. We're working on that, that naming those a little bit.

  1284. So we are really working on aligning those programs.

  1285. We now have a program at both middle schools, so

  1286. that's exciting where we, where our students

  1287. and we also also have an access program,

  1288. which is our substantially separate programming for students

  1289. with intellectual disabilities

  1290. or more significant autism at Kennedy and Wilson as well.

  1291. So we are, we are now at a place

  1292. where kids can stay in their home schools

  1293. and then go in that trajectory

  1294. in their home schools as well.

  1295. We also have, like I said, the Compass programs

  1296. and then that feeds into our high school programs

  1297. where we have a tiered approach as well,

  1298. where we have everything from a Compass program,

  1299. which is more of an inclusion program

  1300. to our sub-separate North Star program for our students

  1301. with social emotional needs at the high school.

  1302. And middle school models. We have a robust

  1303. co-teaching model.

  1304. So I think that's really where a lot

  1305. of our students are educated

  1306. with their specialized instruction.

  1307. I often say, I think now as we've been doing co-teaching,

  1308. I think this is maybe our sixth year

  1309. that we've been doing it with Fidelity.

  1310. I think when we started this,

  1311. we had two co-taught classes at Natick High School.

  1312. We are now upwards somewhere

  1313. of 36 co-taught sections at Natick High School.

  1314. So that's pretty exceptional.

  1315. And we are at the elementary and middle schools.

  1316. We have, I'm proud to say all of our elementary

  1317. and middle school staff are either trained in Wilson

  1318. or Orton-Gillingham are teachers engaged in a program

  1319. this summer that people

  1320. that got really great reviews on Orton-Gillingham,

  1321. and people are using it,

  1322. and our literacy specialists as well.

  1323. So that's some, some great work happening there.

  1324. And so, but one thing I will say, we are continuing

  1325. to look at our language-based needs.

  1326. We're continuing to look at building social emotional

  1327. programs, maybe at another elementary school.

  1328. So there's some, this, this representation in both kind

  1329. of sides of town that filter into Wilson and Kennedy.

  1330. So those are things that we're looking at.

  1331. So this slide is a little, you know, it,

  1332. it's a little alarming to look at it to see

  1333. what our enrollment, our special

  1334. education enrollment looks like.

  1335. I wanna give a little context to this slide, though.

  1336. So if you look at every year up to FY 23,

  1337. this is our October one report.

  1338. So this is what we report at the beginning

  1339. of the year to the state.

  1340. That is our number that, that, that goes

  1341. for our special ed reporting this year.

  1342. This number reflects today. Okay?

  1343. So we're gonna, I'm gonna get into some slides

  1344. and talk about our initial evaluation numbers,

  1345. special education, you're gonna find all

  1346. of our student services numbers

  1347. are on the increase right now.

  1348. There's no other way to say it.

  1349. The reality is that we are, we have a lot

  1350. of rigorous RTI work happening, which is also

  1351. years ago there was questions about,

  1352. are we letting kids fall through the cracks?

  1353. I don't think that's happening anymore.

  1354. We're evaluating them,

  1355. but we are also identifying

  1356. more students with special needs.

  1357. So you'll see this number,

  1358. this number 1024 is, is indicative of today.

  1359. Now keep in mind, this number will continue

  1360. to rise this year, but it also will have our, our students

  1361. who are graduating at the end of the year.

  1362. So that number will level out AER a little bit,

  1363. but that our numbers are increasing.

  1364. So I just wanna put that into context. Student placement.

  1365. So every year I kind of talk about 87%

  1366. of our students are in some sort of inclusion environment.

  1367. 7% of our students are in a sub-separate environment,

  1368. meaning they get predominantly special

  1369. education services throughout their day.

  1370. And 6% of our students are out of district.

  1371. That has stayed pretty commensurate over the years

  1372. special ed population, just to give you a snapshot of kind

  1373. of how our, our special education popula population is

  1374. represented across the district.

  1375. Obviously NHS is our, our biggest number.

  1376. But you'll see Wilson and Kennedy.

  1377. Years ago you saw Wilson was the higher population.

  1378. By far, you're seeing Kennedy now has a larger

  1379. population also.

  1380. They also have a LAR larger student population.

  1381. So just a snapshot disability types.

  1382. So you'll see, you'll, the trend right now is the con,

  1383. the most common disability types

  1384. and initial evaluation,

  1385. suspected disability types we are seeing right now

  1386. are under the categories of emotional disabilities health,

  1387. which encompasses A DHD predominantly

  1388. and specific learning disabilities.

  1389. So this is, I'm gonna do a little comparison of last year

  1390. to this year, so you get an understanding

  1391. of where we are right now.

  1392. So last year we had 315 initial evaluations.

  1393. That is a large number out of those

  1394. 164 kids qualified.

  1395. So we are at about, we are at about a 50% rate of students

  1396. who are evaluated or qualifying.

  1397. So I just, and this is a trend that we're,

  1398. we continue to see happen.

  1399. This is just the breakdown of the schools.

  1400. Obviously preschool is higher, it's always higher

  1401. with our early intervention referrals, so that's normal.

  1402. So to see a number like that.

  1403. But I just, just to give a sense of where we are kind

  1404. of right now with our numbers.

  1405. We are, well, I'll get to that in a second.

  1406. So, just a snapshot.

  1407. So what I did here was I took our total

  1408. number of students last year.

  1409. I subtracted the students who were on already on IEPs,

  1410. and I looked at that when that means we are evaluating 7.1

  1411. of our, of our native public schools population.

  1412. That's a big number. So I just wanna put that out there.

  1413. That, that's, that's the, the level of evaluation

  1414. that's happening in the district right now that,

  1415. that we are, and, and the numbers continue to rise.

  1416. Our population was, we added 3.7% population last year.

  1417. This is this year. So to date, as of today,

  1418. we have 155 evaluations, initial evaluations to date,

  1419. we are on track just as we were last year.

  1420. You'll see, just, again,

  1421. you can ask me any questions if you want about that.

  1422. But what I did, what the, what the data was just for people

  1423. who, if anyone's watching,

  1424. the blue is the total initial referrals.

  1425. The red is from a parent referral.

  1426. So the parent requests an evaluation. Yellow is the school.

  1427. Someone in the school requested an evaluation.

  1428. Green is the, excuse me, the total evaluations and

  1429. or how, excuse me, how many students had an RTI gap plan?

  1430. So that question is how many students engaged in some sort

  1431. of tiered intervention prior to

  1432. receiving an evaluation?

  1433. And then the orange is the number of students who qualified.

  1434. So as of to date, 24% of our students

  1435. who have already been evaluated have qualified.

  1436. Again, the information is still the same.

  1437. We're still seeing emotional health

  1438. and specific learning disability as our major categories

  1439. for initial evaluation.

  1440. So as of today, we have evaluated 3.5 of our student

  1441. population and 24% of our students evaluated to have

  1442. to date, have been have qualified.

  1443. Now I have the numbers here, just it's important

  1444. to keep in mind that 106

  1445. of those students are still in process.

  1446. So we haven't even met on them.

  1447. So 37 have qualified, 12 have not qualified,

  1448. and six were referred for a 5 0 4

  1449. or some sort of a other intervention plan.

  1450. 106 students are still in process.

  1451. So that number could, is, is going to change rapidly.

  1452. Those were at the timeframe when those evaluations are

  1453. all starting to happen right now.

  1454. And those meetings are happening.

  1455. This is just a snapshot of our teaching staff to see

  1456. what our numbers look like.

  1457. So, you know, when we get to questions,

  1458. I'll welcome any questions you have about that,

  1459. but that might have a,

  1460. some conversations about budget in the future.

  1461. You know, and I just wanna kind of put

  1462. that out there about the,

  1463. when you're looking at these numbers, it's important

  1464. to understand complexity

  1465. of special education caseloads per grade and per level.

  1466. So for example, if you have an elementary school teacher,

  1467. they're doing far more pullout services

  1468. where they're doing one-to-one or small group services

  1469. and have doing far more direct instruction with students,

  1470. whether it's reading or math

  1471. or executive function, whatever it might be.

  1472. Middle school, you're starting to see teachers shift

  1473. to a little bit of everything.

  1474. Teachers are doing a lot of specialized reading instruction,

  1475. but they're also co-teaching.

  1476. They're teaching small group academic classes

  1477. where it might be a history or, or a math

  1478. or an English class where it's all the students all are,

  1479. are are students on IEPs in that classroom.

  1480. And they're also, you know, they're,

  1481. and they're providing the individual instruction as well.

  1482. So the middle school role is a little bit different.

  1483. And then the high school role, it really depends on

  1484. what your teaching load looks like,

  1485. but it could be anywhere from,

  1486. there are some teachers at the high school

  1487. who have five co-teaching blocks, blocks to

  1488. a couple co-teaching.

  1489. And then they have some small groups

  1490. and some do some skills development.

  1491. So the complexities of the roles are very different.

  1492. So it's hard to kind of compare them.

  1493. When we look at the caseloads to apples

  1494. and orange, they are apples and oranges.

  1495. So when we get to that, I'm happy

  1496. to explain that a little bit more.

  1497. Special ed takeaways. So you'll see the numbers here.

  1498. 1920, we had 179 initial evals all year,

  1499. 20 21, 2 54, 21, 22, 2 77, 22, 23, 3 15.

  1500. And I anticipate we'll have well over 300 this year.

  1501. Significantly more parent referrals than school referrals.

  1502. So, you know, and,

  1503. and we understand that coming out of COD, there's a,

  1504. there's a difference in what school

  1505. readiness skills look like.

  1506. And I fully understand from a parent perspective

  1507. that parents are worried

  1508. and they wanna see what type of things are available.

  1509. Supports are out there for them

  1510. and see, look at what their child's learning needs might be.

  1511. And they have every right to do that.

  1512. Historically, what we find is that the eligibility rate

  1513. for parent referrals are about 40%,

  1514. whereas the eligibility rate for school referrals is 76%

  1515. elig finding eligibility for special needs.

  1516. So again, on average in the last couple years,

  1517. about 150 students, we're adding about 150 students

  1518. to our caseload, to our overall number every year.

  1519. Okay. And we also have significant move-ins every year.

  1520. I think we have, in the last three years,

  1521. we've had an on average about 40

  1522. special ed move-ins per year.

  1523. So just wanna give the full picture of

  1524. what that, that all looks like.

  1525. Alright, so move on to English language learners.

  1526. So here are English language learners.

  1527. This is Caitlin O'Neill, Jamie Mussey, and Lauren Adams.

  1528. So quick snapshots, happy to answer more,

  1529. more detailed questions.

  1530. But basically what I have here is that,

  1531. so you'll see active EL students in 2 22 23.

  1532. We had 210 active students,

  1533. and I can go over what the different

  1534. numbers look like for that.

  1535. But you'll see most of our students in the elementary,

  1536. were attending Brown.

  1537. Most of our, Kennedy is our only school

  1538. that services students with,

  1539. with EL students at this time is our only middle school.

  1540. And Kent Brown Lilja and Ben Ham service EL students

  1541. and Kennedy in the high school.

  1542. So you'll, that's why the discrepancy in the numbers

  1543. compared to this year, where as of to date,

  1544. we're already at 259 active students.

  1545. Now, the active number includes our, our newcomer students

  1546. and our transitional students.

  1547. So our newcomers are our, our our, our one through

  1548. one through 2.5

  1549. and our new, our transitional, our on the WIDA levels.

  1550. They take, we, we have an assessment every year.

  1551. Students who are, who, who are new to our district, who

  1552. identify that they speak a second,

  1553. second language automatically get flagged

  1554. to do our WIDA screening at the start of the school year.

  1555. And then all students, except our, our FLE students who are,

  1556. who are students that we monitor for el who have been,

  1557. who have transitioned out of EL

  1558. or tested out, they are not retested.

  1559. But all of our students who are active ELs either,

  1560. like I said, newcomers

  1561. or transitional, are, they're,

  1562. we are gonna begin our access

  1563. testing in the next couple weeks.

  1564. We're engaging in our access testing.

  1565. So they will be, that's like a summative almost,

  1566. it's like a formative to, to determine what their now,

  1567. their new WIDA level might be.

  1568. So when I say active students, that's who I'm talking about.

  1569. It is not our formally English language learner students.

  1570. They, they're still monitored,

  1571. but they are not counted in this number.

  1572. So that is another number, number,

  1573. another significant number in there.

  1574. And then we have opt-outs as well.

  1575. So our EL population is significantly rising.

  1576. And I talked to our EL coordinator today

  1577. and I asked her a little bit about, tell me what, tell me

  1578. what the kind of the, the story is.

  1579. Tell me the, the what's happening.

  1580. She said, oh, the,

  1581. what they're seeing is they're seeing a lot

  1582. of students come from other countries,

  1583. and it's not isolated countries.

  1584. It's, you know, we're getting students from Egypt,

  1585. we're getting students from everywhere.

  1586. And she said that those students typically come with, with,

  1587. with no English.

  1588. They, they're speaking no English, little to no English,

  1589. which makes sense, right?

  1590. The kids who are coming from other towns are typically our

  1591. transitional students who are,

  1592. who have better language acquisition.

  1593. So, so right now

  1594. we have grown in one year, 23% in our, in our EL population.

  1595. So our takeaways that we already,

  1596. last year we had talked about expanding our EL program

  1597. to the Wilson, to Wilson Middle School.

  1598. That is the plan. We are going to be adding EL support,

  1599. teaching support to Wilson Middle School so that students,

  1600. again can stay in their own neighborhood schools.

  1601. And we can now have students

  1602. attending both Wilson and Kennedy.

  1603. We are looking at some additional leadership positions.

  1604. So right now, currently we have a K to eight director,

  1605. coordinator, excuse me.

  1606. And she's fantastic.

  1607. But it's, it's, we need some, and,

  1608. and our high school has a department head.

  1609. We are looking at now having some more middle school

  1610. administrative support around our English language learners.

  1611. I'm excited to say that we have just kind of kicked off.

  1612. We know that we need to work on our family engagement in

  1613. this area, our translation services.

  1614. We need to have some more, some more clear process

  1615. and everything from registration

  1616. to athletics to health forms.

  1617. We know that and we're working on that.

  1618. And it's a very much a goal of ours this year.

  1619. I'm excited to say that Thur, this past Thursday night, we,

  1620. Caitlin O'Neill, our coordinator, kicked off the,

  1621. the first LPAC conversation.

  1622. We had 16 parents attend, which I think is great.

  1623. And we have two parents who are already hoping

  1624. to be on the board for that work.

  1625. So we're, we're making some big strides already.

  1626. So Caitlyn's done wonderful work with that.

  1627. Health services. So this is our fantastic nursing staff.

  1628. Again, quick snapshot.

  1629. So you'll see the numbers, you know, from the, the, the,

  1630. the, the health, the health services staff,

  1631. they facilitate all

  1632. of the medical five oh fours in this office.

  1633. So already last year they had a total

  1634. of 47 medical five oh fours already this

  1635. year they're up to 54.

  1636. They have 24 initials this year.

  1637. I don't have the data for last year

  1638. they have 62 individual healthcare plans.

  1639. That's down a little bit.

  1640. And then their average visits per month is 415.

  1641. But I think, you know, that's just been, you know, I think

  1642. that's actually a good number to see that those visits are,

  1643. are slowing down a little bit.

  1644. They're not seeing the, the volume of kids coming

  1645. to the health service office on a regular basis.

  1646. 5 0 4 plans.

  1647. So again, this number is, just to give you a comparison,

  1648. last year we had 285 students on 5 0 4 plans total,

  1649. excuse me, 200 did I say 285.

  1650. And this year we're already at 281.

  1651. So, and last year we had

  1652. 63 initials

  1653. and already we're at 32 initial evaluation requests

  1654. for 5 0 4 plans.

  1655. So I anticipate we'll be somewhere in

  1656. that 60 range again by the end of the year.

  1657. And lastly, our McKinney-Vento, this is Natalia Dimi,

  1658. Dimitrova Toof, I, I always say just Natalia,

  1659. so I never say her last name that much,

  1660. but, so Natalia's our district social worker.

  1661. She works with our students

  1662. who McKinney-Vento is our students

  1663. who fall under the category of homeless

  1664. or our, our students who are engaged

  1665. with DCF or foster care.

  1666. So you can just see the numbers already.

  1667. So looking four years ago,

  1668. we had 41 students that she oversaw.

  1669. She's already at 65 to date.

  1670. So this includes our Brandon students

  1671. that we typically have at least 10, 10, 12 students per year

  1672. who are, who are coming from our Brandon schools

  1673. that we are, that, that, that are participating in our,

  1674. in our school district.

  1675. You know, and we're just, and,

  1676. and we're just seeing needs are really increasing.

  1677. So just something to, to notice there. Alright.

  1678. And lastly, I just wanna tell you a couple exciting things

  1679. that are happening in the off in the office right now.

  1680. So we are, you know, last year we heard a lot about

  1681. making sure that we are including when we talk about equity,

  1682. that we are making sure

  1683. that we include our special education population as well.

  1684. We have a neurodiversity committee right now

  1685. that has been underway

  1686. and is working on some great presentations that we are,

  1687. and then some resources for our staff.

  1688. We're gonna be meeting with every school,

  1689. we're gonna be going into every school

  1690. and meeting with staff to talk about our NEURODIVERSE

  1691. learners, and that's our students with autism,

  1692. A DHD and dyslexia.

  1693. And then we are also going

  1694. to be doing some shared CPAC events

  1695. where we're gonna have some presentations

  1696. and we're gonna have a panel of, of families, of, of parents

  1697. with neuro with who either are,

  1698. or people who are neurodiverse

  1699. or parents of students who are neurodiverse

  1700. or students who are neurodiverse.

  1701. And we're gonna be doing a parent evening on that.

  1702. We are, well, we are, we would love to come back

  1703. and share our presentation

  1704. with you in the spring if you'd like to have us.

  1705. You know, it's really a fantastic group

  1706. and we're, we're partnering

  1707. with our instructional learning coaches right now

  1708. and it's just, it's really pairing so well with our,

  1709. our work on universal design.

  1710. And it's just our project-based learning.

  1711. It's just some real incredible work

  1712. we're really excited to see happen.

  1713. We're working with, Dr. Ferguson

  1714. and I are working with a group of clinicians

  1715. to look at our crisis management plans that we have,

  1716. that we across the district.

  1717. So those are aligned and what

  1718. that looks like when a student is in a, in a need

  1719. of emergency and how do we,

  1720. what do those processes look like

  1721. and what are those procedures?

  1722. So we're all consistent in working with our town partners,

  1723. the Natick Fire, Natick police as well.

  1724. The new IEP is coming along.

  1725. So we've been engaging in pro in, in training on the new IEP

  1726. that is set to be fully implemented.

  1727. Districts are fully implementing come September of 2024.

  1728. We have a small group of people

  1729. who have been doing some ongoing

  1730. training this coming January.

  1731. We're training our entire student services staff

  1732. and then we're hoping to get going on writing on,

  1733. on starting, everyone's starting to, to practice that

  1734. and start to begin writing some IEPs on the new IEP form

  1735. creation of the el I already talked about that a little bit,

  1736. some program reviews.

  1737. So we've had some programs in the district who have,

  1738. who have identified that they would like to have some

  1739. almost do like an internal program review

  1740. or an audit of their program

  1741. and get some expertise to come in and support them.

  1742. So for example, our our RA program was, was said, you know,

  1743. we'd really love to come someone to come in from one

  1744. of our out out of district programs who we've,

  1745. we've partnered with to come in

  1746. and say, help us out a little bit in how we're going

  1747. to support our, you know,

  1748. our most complex learners in elementary level

  1749. and we need some help on just structuring our

  1750. day and creating our program.

  1751. And that was all driven by them

  1752. identifying some needs that they wanted to look at.

  1753. And so we've done a program review with them

  1754. and then the behem Therapeutic Learning Center program is

  1755. also gonna be engaging in a program review.

  1756. We're, we're talking to a few consultants right now,

  1757. but they are, everyone's really excited about that work too.

  1758. And having someone come in with that fresh set of eyes

  1759. to really help kind of guide and look at our practices

  1760. and just improve upon what we're already doing really well.

  1761. And then we have, last year, like I said, we had a lot

  1762. of staff who engaged in the,

  1763. or Orton-Gillingham training people have asked for more.

  1764. So we have people who are doing some initial,

  1765. some initial trainings,

  1766. but also some people who are looking to do the next phase of

  1767. that training that we are do this year as well.

  1768. And we're looking at our language-based

  1769. programming and how we do that.

  1770. Does that look, you know, is that going

  1771. to be a program per se

  1772. or is it going to be us engaging

  1773. with consultancies like a landmark school

  1774. or someone to come in and help us and engage in that work?

  1775. But we're looking at all those different things as well.

  1776. So that's it. Let me know what questions you have. Great.

  1777. Okay. Thank you for that presentation. Yeah, Ms. Won,

  1778. I just, I can just provide a little bit of umbrella.

  1779. So, so Erin Miller, she talks really fast

  1780. and so I'm just, so, I just, I'm just like,

  1781. I'm getting, I'm used to her.

  1782. I don't know how used to that you are,

  1783. but for every bit that she says it, she actually knows

  1784. so much more that she says.

  1785. And so I, I just wanna say how impressed I am Erin,

  1786. in her second year, in the middle of her second year, right?

  1787. Yeah, yeah. Second year as your director

  1788. of student services, it's probably one

  1789. of the most challenging administrative

  1790. positions that are out there.

  1791. And it's probably one of the most challenging to fill

  1792. with someone who's highly qualified

  1793. because they're required to really understand all kinds

  1794. of learners at, at quite an intense level.

  1795. And so there's, there's all this breadth and depth,

  1796. and they also happen

  1797. to be our most vulnerable learners in the district.

  1798. So it's quite a responsibility when you look at anything

  1799. that is an intervention beyond general education qualifies

  1800. as being under the umbrella of student services.

  1801. Special education means that you have a learning disability

  1802. and it's impeding your progress.

  1803. And so, but every, all these other services, ELL

  1804. and counseling, which will be another presentation

  1805. with Art Ferguson McKinney-Vento on, and,

  1806. and just listening to her, describe the breadth

  1807. that's happening at across the elementary schools, preschool

  1808. and middle school and the high school.

  1809. I think we are gearing up for tiered invention.

  1810. Tiered intervention supports another one.

  1811. I I think you're gearing up for it. Yes.

  1812. Another presentation.

    No, no, I think you're,

  1813. you're gearing up to be reviewed by Desi. Oh,

  1814. Desi. Oh, yes, yes,

  1815. Yes.

  1816. So that's actually a major, major piece that's coming. And

  1817. The English Lang language learners were, were due for our,

  1818. our inter our tiered intervention for that.

  1819. Right. So, so that actually requires a lot of prep. Yeah.

  1820. The other is, Erin mentioned a letter,

  1821. Orton-Gillingham and Wilson training.

  1822. When is the year that we're mandated to monitor, to

  1823. evaluate for dyslexia?

  1824. When

    Does that come into,

  1825. are we doing it now? Where are I

  1826. Thought it was Yeah, we're,

  1827. I thought the mandate was in another year, but maybe,

  1828. So the requirements are that we have screening protocols

  1829. in place for our kids, especially at the lower grade levels.

  1830. And we have those, so we've been in place

  1831. with those at screening levels.

  1832. Okay. Actually, so the Orton-Gillingham refers

  1833. to a way of teaching.

  1834. It's a, it's a, it's a systematic reading

  1835. instructional program.

  1836. So the broad training that's,

  1837. that's happening cross staff is relevant

  1838. to, to this mandate.

  1839. But it's also really important

  1840. because the more we learn about learners, the more

  1841. everything under what Aaron oversees required

  1842. for training and implementation.

  1843. So it's sort of like every,

  1844. it actually gets more complicated and not less complicated,

  1845. but it's actually more fruitful in the long run

  1846. as the more we understand how everyone learns

  1847. and what we can do to support that.

  1848. Erin exudes this positivity

  1849. that I think is reflected across all the staff in across the

  1850. schools, this positivity in terms of

  1851. what they do in working with our students.

  1852. So I just feel like Erin's a great ambassador for that,

  1853. but also when going into the schools,

  1854. how dedicated staff are, who are working

  1855. to provide student services on,

  1856. on behalf of all the students.

  1857. So I just wanted to thank you to share that

  1858. and quite remarkable thank you in your second year

  1859. to be able to do all that you're doing and overseeing.

  1860. The other part of Erin's title is equity,

  1861. and as she was talking, sort of embedded

  1862. in everything she says is this eye to inclusivity,

  1863. which she didn't say,

  1864. but everything she does is really an eye to inclusivity

  1865. and just the work on the, on just working

  1866. with neurodiversity, she

  1867. is impressively really on the cutting edge of everything.

  1868. So she's definitely staying up to date, make sure

  1869. that she organizes a lot of training for all the staff.

  1870. And so I just just wanted to highlight

  1871. that you have a very strong director here

  1872. and then, and so

  1873. Thank you Ms. Wong.

  1874. I agree with everything Ms.

  1875. Swg said I'll take questions, my luck.

  1876. Any questions from the committee?

  1877. Yeah, Ms. Perell,

  1878. Thank you for this.

  1879. And this is less of a question,

  1880. but maybe I'll get to a question.

  1881. I'm not sure. But the two things

  1882. that I was interested in this presentation, most

  1883. two specific things I was interested in are our EL numbers

  1884. definitely increasing

  1885. and it's, it's great to see

  1886. that there's gonna be supports hopefully at Wilson

  1887. because obviously students are gonna need

  1888. that support all the way through.

  1889. So I just really appreciate that you have an eye to that.

  1890. I've always wanted to have

  1891. at the school committee level some sort of understanding of

  1892. how, how our EL learners move from the levels that you spoke

  1893. of, how frequently that that movement happens.

  1894. I obviously, we don't have to do it tonight,

  1895. but just in general, I think that that would be beneficial

  1896. to us in a budget ask when we are showing like

  1897. how successful our EL educators are

  1898. and how we are able to move students across levels.

  1899. So that's just one comment about the EL population.

  1900. I'm also always curious about, you know,

  1901. you said they're not all coming from one co country.

  1902. I do think from a family engagement process,

  1903. it would be helpful to know what are our largest languages

  1904. where we really need to be supporting families.

  1905. Although I know that there's great services like Ms.

  1906. Balone found for the superintendent search

  1907. where you could translate it into

  1908. hundreds of different languages.

  1909. So I appreciate that you have that in your, in your scope

  1910. of influence or, you know.

  1911. Sure. And then,

  1912. and feel free to comment on any of this. Yeah,

  1913. I will tell you, I do have some information on that.

  1914. Our, our top languages in, in order of, of, you know, one

  1915. through five is Spanish, first Portuguese, Russian,

  1916. Japanese, Korean, and then close by we have Arabic

  1917. and then Hindi, Tamil,

  1918. and I gotta, I can't read my writing.

  1919. Te telegu telegu, am I saying that right? Yes, yes, yes.

  1920. So that, those are our, those are also,

  1921. those are emerging very much in the, into the top five.

  1922. But those are our top five languages right now.

  1923. And then my second comment is just

  1924. about the Orton-Gillingham.

  1925. I, that is like music to my ears.

  1926. I under my understanding is that

  1927. like a 40 hour a a training could be 40 hours over the

  1928. summer and it, it's, it's roughly

  1929. around $2,000 for an educator.

  1930. So if we had educators in the district that wanted that

  1931. to happen and we potentially had outside partners

  1932. that would, I, I don't know,

  1933. I'm always concerned about educators giving up summertime,

  1934. but I know how serious our,

  1935. especially our elementary teachers are about reading.

  1936. I'm just curious, like if, if a teacher wanted to do that,

  1937. would they be able to do that over the summer

  1938. with professional developed money?

  1939. Or is that something that would have to be funded?

  1940. So, so I will say that last year we were able to

  1941. just a little teaser, you might see something in my budget

  1942. for that again this year.

  1943. Last year we did, we did budget

  1944. for Orton-Gillingham training.

  1945. We were able to send 2022

  1946. educators, including a, a couple literacy specialists

  1947. to a week long course, just like you're describing.

  1948. We we're, we're going through an institute called the,

  1949. it's the Multisensory Language Institute.

  1950. It's actually a Dessi approved.

  1951. A couple of our teachers did it from a free course

  1952. that Dessi was offering.

  1953. They came back, they were like,

  1954. this is the best thing in the world.

  1955. It's a week long virtual course.

  1956. They send you all the materials

  1957. and you do the, you do the training with them

  1958. and they get certified from it and people are coming back.

  1959. So a lot of people did the first phonology piece,

  1960. now they're all saying, we want the morphology

  1961. one, we want this one.

  1962. So next year Sue

  1963. and I have already collaborated to make sure that we are,

  1964. we are planning to send another 20 pe we have another 20,

  1965. it's a voucher system where people get vouchers.

  1966. So we're, we're thinking about 20 more vouchers next year,

  1967. Roughly.

  1968. Like what's the percentage

  1969. of our reading teachers then our if 20 can go a year.

  1970. So we're really focused on our special educators

  1971. and our literacy specialists

  1972. and then our literacy specialists as they get more training.

  1973. So they're going into level two, they'll be able to coach

  1974. because they, their role is to be a coach.

  1975. They'll be able to coach into the classroom

  1976. to support those educators.

  1977. But like Ms. Miller said, we do a voucher system

  1978. and we get a discount for every 10.

  1979. So we're going to do 20

  1980. and open it up to educators to participate.

  1981. So obviously we really think about our K one two first

  1982. as well as our special educators so we can

  1983. move the needle on, on those students.

  1984. Okay, that's great. I pedagogically, I,

  1985. my understanding is that even

  1986. before we, we go down the, the place

  1987. of picking a new reading, reading curriculum, for example,

  1988. in the next couple of years, if we have a foundation of all

  1989. of our classroom teachers, special ed teachers

  1990. that have this found this like foundation in phonics

  1991. that they nec not necessarily we're taught in their

  1992. teachers' colleges, that that would make a smooth transition

  1993. to any curriculum easier.

  1994. Is is that the philosophy?

  1995. Yes. And I would say we also have, you know,

  1996. at the middle school level in particular,

  1997. we have reading specialists who are

  1998. actually special educators

  1999. who are providing specialized reading instruction per IEPs.

  2000. But they're also working

  2001. with their general education colleagues and going in

  2002. and talking about how can you use a, a, a, a Latin root word

  2003. to help students un understand, understand the meaning

  2004. of a word or to understand the morph, the morphology

  2005. of words like they're going in

  2006. and tell, helping their general ed peers work on some

  2007. of those reading strategies that they might just see

  2008. as like a general ed tiered one support when they're helping

  2009. students with through through reading materials.

  2010. Okay. And some general ed teachers may have

  2011. that opportunity, not just the coaching.

  2012. 'cause that's, that's what I would be advocating for

  2013. that like all of our kindergarten

  2014. and first grade teachers, at least at the,

  2015. at a minimum would have that kind of training.

  2016. But thank you for having that on your radar.

  2017. And any other questions? Yeah, Ms. McDonough?

  2018. So I had a question on slide 14 where you have

  2019. a chart of the number of like the total of

  2020. IEPs at the school

  2021. and then the total number of students per the number

  2022. of teachers.

  2023. And so what I wanted to understand from this chart is,

  2024. are those ratios, like some numbers are bolded

  2025. and so I was trying to understand,

  2026. are those good ratios, are they bad?

  2027. Are you looking for more support?

  2028. So I think the bolded

  2029. or the higher, the higher of the numbers.

  2030. So this number, this chart is really helping us look at

  2031. if we need new staff in in the future, what would that,

  2032. how would we allocate that staff?

  2033. And again, though, I just wanna make sure I put out there

  2034. that caseloads aren't always the indicative number.

  2035. We look at a lot of different factors.

  2036. So for example, at the high school level, it is common

  2037. for teachers to have upwards a case caseload

  2038. of maybe 20 students.

  2039. What they're the IEP facilitator for that, that student,

  2040. they're the case manager

  2041. because high school teachers aren't providing specialized

  2042. reading instruction per se,

  2043. or pulling a student out for a math, for math instruction.

  2044. Whereas at the elementary level

  2045. and in the middle school a little bit more, you're,

  2046. you're seeing that, so the, the caseload number, so

  2047. for example, a student, a, a teacher at the high school,

  2048. they might actually work with, they could work

  2049. with 50 special education students

  2050. between the different classes they teach

  2051. and the skills development.

  2052. But they might only be the case manager,

  2053. which means they run the annual review, they write the IEP,

  2054. they contact parents on progress, they do progress reports.

  2055. That's very different than an elementary school case manager

  2056. who is actually the person who's delivering the

  2057. majority of the instruction.

  2058. So I just wanted to put this out there as a snapshot of kind

  2059. of to understand

  2060. what our program teachers caseloads look like.

  2061. For example, our program teachers might only have four

  2062. or five kids on their caseload,

  2063. but they're students with much more complex needs, right?

  2064. So this chart we continually update.

  2065. So that, and what we did this year was we actually asked

  2066. special ed teachers, actually all of our service providers,

  2067. our student services staff, we did a caseload analysis

  2068. and we said, we wanna look at your numbers.

  2069. Tell us about how many evals do you do a year,

  2070. how many meetings do you attend?

  2071. And that's where we're trying to figure out,

  2072. we're looking at all that information to say if

  2073. and when we need new special education staff or,

  2074. or clinicians or OTs

  2075. and PTs, whatever it might be, how are we going

  2076. to allocate those people?

  2077. It's very fluid, I have to say.

  2078. It's not like today's gonna, we're gonna be able to say

  2079. where, where, where people are gonna go.

  2080. Because like I said, we have 106 evaluations still in the

  2081. queue that we have to, that that could really ch vary

  2082. how, how our numbers look.

  2083. Okay, thank you.

  2084. And then my other comment is with regard

  2085. to EL instruction

  2086. and really communication with families, I just wanted

  2087. to urge the district to consider

  2088. a new tool that's called Parents Square.

  2089. I don't know if you've heard of it,

  2090. but it is, it is a, it is a tool, a communication tool

  2091. that takes, I know we use school messenger

  2092. and we use some more and we use Lingo at,

  2093. and we use probably use Talking Points.

  2094. And so it takes all of that and it puts it into one.

  2095. And the most amazing feature about Parents Square is

  2096. that any teacher, any staff member, any administrator can

  2097. write something in English

  2098. and the family will receive it in their home language.

  2099. And so this will,

  2100. and it can be in a text message, it can be in an email,

  2101. it can be in a phone message.

  2102. It it, I, I believe it to be like transformational

  2103. for our translation services so that families,

  2104. even if they ate their student moves out of our EL program,

  2105. that their family may still prefer to receive information in

  2106. that home language that they can.

  2107. And it makes it very easy for staff to do that.

  2108. So I just wanted to say

  2109. that many districts in Massachusetts are moving to this tool

  2110. and there may be other tools like it,

  2111. but it really, I think will make a huge

  2112. difference in access.

  2113. So I just wanted to put that on the radar as something

  2114. to consider for the budget either next

  2115. year or the following year.

  2116. But it's so important for people to under, you know,

  2117. families to understand rather than us trying

  2118. to constantly translate everything into the

  2119. language that you describe.

  2120. And so, yeah, that's my comment. I

  2121. Was just gonna add a little things to that.

  2122. No, we've, we've been talking about Parents Square, Erin

  2123. and I sit on an accessibility committee,

  2124. so we're reviewing all of these things.

  2125. So we meet monthly to talk about

  2126. what are the options out there.

  2127. And now that we have Corey on board,

  2128. we're having those convers, she joins us for those meetings.

  2129. And so we're talking about accessibility

  2130. for all within the district, whether it's students,

  2131. families, whatever our, our staff

  2132. and making sure that we're meeting

  2133. the accessibility needs of all of those.

  2134. So we are discussing Parent Square

  2135. and looking at all of those options.

  2136. Great. Thank you. Thank you.

  2137. Sure. Ms. Collins, thank you.

  2138. By way of apology, I wrote an email

  2139. with some quick questions

  2140. but I forgot to send it

  2141. so I wonder if I could just go over them quickly now.

  2142. Sure. Aaron, could you go back to the bar chart for 24

  2143. For special education?

  2144. Yes. That one. Yep.

  2145. This one here. Pie chart in 23.

  2146. If no, not the pie chart, the bar chart. Oh, that one.

  2147. It's slide 1224 though.

  2148. That one in 23, the red

  2149. and the yellow lines add up to the blue line.

  2150. But that's not the case in 23, 24.

  2151. And I don't know what I'm missing

  2152. 'cause we're not done with

    The valuation.

  2153. Yeah, we're we're still in the process of evaluation, so,

  2154. or it just might have been, let me Well, 23, 22 23.

  2155. You say it does in 2324. It does not,

  2156. Yes.

  2157. I'll have to look into it a little bit more

  2158. and see if, where I can find a discrepancy.

  2159. There might be a few numbers off here or there just

  2160. because we're, this is data

  2161. that we're just continually gathering

  2162. and that people were, is ever changing.

  2163. So the other thing is that I did ask our coordinators

  2164. to update the data dashboard

  2165. where I get these charts from in the lag the last week.

  2166. They could have added more to it since then.

  2167. So I'm not sure Ms. Collins, if it's a huge discrepancy or,

  2168. Well, like in the preschool we've got 58

  2169. total initial referrals.

  2170. Preschool, 30 of them were from parents, 12

  2171. of them were from school.

  2172. That's only 42.

  2173. There could be many from early intervention.

  2174. Those might come. So I might've,

  2175. we might've just broken it down by that. There's

  2176. Just, okay.

  2177. I just didn't know if I was missing the obvious,

  2178. which is entirely possible.

  2179. Right. The other question I had is,

  2180. I understand why,

  2181. I guess it's not the case, it's the parent referrals

  2182. that are below the green line.

  2183. Okay. So the next question then is on ELL,

  2184. but you don't need the chart for it.

  2185. Are we seeing, we're seeing an increase, is it an increase

  2186. solely in the number of students

  2187. or are we seeing a huge increase in the number

  2188. of languages as well?

  2189. Both. I'd say both. Both,

  2190. Okay.

  2191. So that, I mean that to me that makes it a little trickier

  2192. if you've got, you know, 40 kids

  2193. with one language is different than, you know, five kids

  2194. with each of eight languages.

  2195. So I just wanna make sure when we're looking at resources

  2196. that we keep that in mind.

  2197. Right. And we do have the data on,

  2198. on the languages spoken from when we, when we do,

  2199. when we ask, when we, when people register

  2200. or when we do that every year, we do have all the data.

  2201. I just don't have that put into a chart.

  2202. Right. That's fine. But yes, fine.

  2203. I didn't expect you to have it. I just wanted

  2204. to know is I consider budgets that come to us

  2205. and the last one is McKinney bento.

  2206. And this isn't really a question for you so much

  2207. as a question to the administration.

  2208. So in 21, 22

  2209. I can look at the budget book

  2210. and see how much we actually spent in 2223,

  2211. we show the budgeted amount,

  2212. which was higher.

  2213. And then in 2324, we zero that.

  2214. I mean, we didn't zero that budget. We, we flat funded it.

  2215. So it's the same for 24 as it is for FY 23.

  2216. But there's a huge increase in students.

  2217. So when we look at that piece in the transportation budget,

  2218. I'd just like to get a better idea, especially with the rate

  2219. of homelessness going up

  2220. and the state's inability to kind of land on a solution

  2221. to, because it's really important to me that

  2222. we get these kids to possibly the only support they have,

  2223. which is their former school and

  2224. or they're allowed to fit into our schools.

  2225. Either way it provides huge re support for them

  2226. and I just wanna make sure that we're funding it so

  2227. that we can do that, but not putting too much away in there

  2228. to the detriment of other budgets.

  2229. So it, again, that's sort of a preview of

  2230. where I'm gonna be going in the transportation budget.

  2231. I would just say, Kathy, that I know Matt has been doing a

  2232. deep dive and, and he's allocating appropriate

  2233. transportation amounts in the, in the projected budget

  2234. that you'll see shortly, including McKinney Vito.

  2235. Okay. It's always been a, a tough one to gauge though,

  2236. because you don't know who's gonna become homeless

  2237. and you don't know where they're gonna come from.

  2238. So I understand there's, it's not as exact

  2239. as we sold this many bus passes

  2240. and it's this much per student.

  2241. So thank you.

  2242. Any other questions for Ms. Miller?

  2243. I, I have a couple. Okay. I just wanted to wait

  2244. to see if anyone else did.

  2245. So the first one is on the special ed increase.

  2246. And it seems to me like it the increases both in the number

  2247. of kids who qualify for special ed,

  2248. but also the number of students who are referred and

  2249. therefore evaluated.

  2250. That's all increasing in a way just

  2251. because of my own experience.

  2252. That might be actually a good thing in that I remember one

  2253. of my first CPAC meetings, we went around the room, a bunch

  2254. of us parents talking about

  2255. what has been our biggest challenge as parents.

  2256. And it was getting our children, the services, you know,

  2257. like going to schools and saying my child has an issue

  2258. and feeling like there's no one there to listen

  2259. or that it took forever to get screened.

  2260. So this might be a good news that we're referring much more

  2261. and we're not, sorry, not referring more

  2262. that we're valuing more the more of these kids that parent,

  2263. you know, there's an increase in parent referral.

  2264. The reason I'm bringing this up, just

  2265. to provide context too, is I'm curious about

  2266. what are the implications of this for the budget.

  2267. If it is that, if the reason why this is increasing is

  2268. because we are identifying more students

  2269. that might have implications for special ed staffing.

  2270. You know, like if we're, if we're evaluating more students,

  2271. we're gonna find more students and

  2272. therefore the the the need is gonna be greater,

  2273. which requires more staff, which is again, all a good thing.

  2274. 'cause that means more students are getting what they need.

  2275. Is that,

  2276. That's an accurate statement. Okay.

  2277. And so that is something to be thinking for us

  2278. to be thinking about is the special ed

  2279. staffing will have to be,

  2280. And I will say it's, it's not only just the,

  2281. it's obviously the services

  2282. that these students are gonna need.

  2283. That's the most important thing.

  2284. But the evaluations alone, you know, we, we,

  2285. it that's a major part of, especially our service providers,

  2286. you know, where we've been fortunate to add some evaluators

  2287. who do our, who are, who do our, our achievement testing

  2288. that so allows our special educators

  2289. to be more in the classroom and take

  2290. and give them more time to be with kids.

  2291. And we have people who are evaluating at the

  2292. elementary, middle, and high school level.

  2293. So that's been fantastic.

  2294. But our OTs and PTs

  2295. and BCBAs, they're the ones who still,

  2296. they're the only people who can do those evaluations.

  2297. Our psychologists. So,

  2298. and our psychologist, our our our clinicians are

  2299. doing upwards of 50 to 60 evaluations per year per person.

  2300. And they're servicing, they have IEP,

  2301. they're doing IP services,

  2302. they're doing crisis management calls all day long.

  2303. They're working with families.

  2304. So, you know, these jobs are really complex

  2305. and there's just, so I will be asking to see if,

  2306. I will be looking to see if there's a support

  2307. for additional student services staff.

  2308. And that's something good for us to know

  2309. as school committee members as we interact

  2310. with our colleagues in in town.

  2311. Just to explain that the reason why special ed

  2312. services are increasing is

  2313. because we're doing a better job identifying kids,

  2314. which is was a huge need, has always been a need to,

  2315. to make sure that we're identifying kids.

  2316. The other question that I had is the nurses visits

  2317. slide 22.

  2318. So because it's a per month, so first I was thinking,

  2319. well the reason why there's so many more in 22, 2 3 is

  2320. because we're only halfway through the year,

  2321. but that's a per month average.

  2322. Average, which means there's a huge decline.

  2323. I just put out a hypothesis

  2324. that I don't know if has any merit,

  2325. but one of the things I've learned from working

  2326. with districts on mental health issues is that kids

  2327. with mental health issues are not gonna come

  2328. and tell you I have a mental health issue.

  2329. They, they, they're gonna act up in other ways.

  2330. And one of the common ways that a, an anxious student,

  2331. a depressed student might address

  2332. that is going to nurse's office.

  2333. And I'm wondering is,

  2334. is this potentially also demonstrating like, well first

  2335. of all in general, what is any explanations for why

  2336. we are seeing such a huge decline?

  2337. And is that possibly

  2338. because last year post pandemic,

  2339. we were having a very difficult year, a lot of kids wanting

  2340. to go to the nurse's office, not

  2341. because of a physical health issue, but

  2342. because of a behavioral mental health issue.

  2343. And are we seeing a decline in that?

  2344. I think we're seeing, I think that number is, you know,

  2345. obviously when we, in the, I think in the,

  2346. we will see some increases in the winter months, right.

  2347. When students are, are when, you know, tend to have, be,

  2348. have the sick visits.

  2349. Right. That's something I'll have to ask Ms.

  2350. Maritz is that I'm wondering

  2351. 'cause it's interesting when you I that question about

  2352. what do those visits pertain?

  2353. Like, so I do think that

  2354. every health office in our schools will say they

  2355. have frequent flyers.

  2356. 'cause a lot of our nursing staff have really good

  2357. relationships with kids.

  2358. They're their trusted adult, they're their person. Right.

  2359. So it will be interesting to see though, how often

  2360. we're actually coding the quick visit to use the bathroom

  2361. or just stop in just to, I just needed a break.

  2362. Right. Versus I needed to get, you know, I have a medical,

  2363. I don't feel well or I, or I don't,

  2364. or I'm not, I'm social emotionally not feeling well.

  2365. The, I mean, so that's a good distinction.

  2366. I I will get clarification on

  2367. that 'cause it is a lower number.

  2368. But I will say I, they are dealing

  2369. with more acute health needs though that is something

  2370. that I do here that between our students

  2371. who have health plans for diabetes

  2372. or other, the, the regular students who are coming

  2373. to receive medications

  2374. or monitoring throughout their day,

  2375. they are very busy that way.

  2376. You know, I think like,

  2377. but I also think that, like I said,

  2378. I think our health services offices are a, a, a place

  2379. of refuge for kids sometimes throughout the day.

  2380. But on the other flip side of that,

  2381. we also have some really great programming

  2382. and our mental health clinic clinical staff

  2383. where kids are now finding more supports

  2384. and readily going to folks throughout their day to, to go

  2385. and just have a quick check-in.

  2386. And it's, and maybe it's not the nurse's office like

  2387. we saw a couple years ago.

  2388. We have these, you know, we have social workers

  2389. and school counselors throughout the district.

  2390. When Dr. Fer, Dr. Ferguson

  2391. and I work together, we kind of share the,

  2392. the clinical staff together.

  2393. So when he presents, we can certainly dig into

  2394. that a little bit more, but I think that's what might be

  2395. what you, we might be seeing.

  2396. So the other additional mental health programs might be,

  2397. I think they're, they're taking

  2398. Indication of, right? Yeah.

  2399. Also, Dr. Ferguson Art is scheduled to come one eight,

  2400. so he'll be at your next meeting.

  2401. And so he'll talk about social emotional learning

  2402. and mental health supports.

  2403. Great.

  2404. Well thank you. Those were the two questions I had. Okay.

  2405. Anything else for Ms. Miller?

  2406. Well, thank you for coming

  2407. and everything Ms. Wong said about you before.

  2408. I know it to be true too from our, from our experience.

  2409. So we really appreciate all your work

  2410. and your team's work, so thank you so much. Thank

  2411. You.

  2412. Just a couple quick things.

  2413. So January for CPAC nights we're having,

  2414. we're doing our transition nights, so every, so pre-K to K,

  2415. four to five, eight to nine,

  2416. we'll have our transition evenings

  2417. that we'll invite families to come

  2418. and talk about the transition from, from school to school.

  2419. And we also have, this year we have a new transition, a 14

  2420. to 22-year-old transition night with our Achieve program

  2421. on January 23rd that's gonna be at the church.

  2422. I'm pointing the wrong way at the church,

  2423. the first con congregational church.

  2424. And that is going to be a night just to talk about like,

  2425. what does transition services look like for kids?

  2426. What, what are some supports that are out there for students

  2427. and families as students get older

  2428. and start to enter that,

  2429. that time when they're thinking about

  2430. adult planning and so forth.

  2431. And then after that event, I'm really excited

  2432. to say we're really working on building some community

  2433. for our families of our, even like our preschool learners

  2434. who have students who might need some supplemental services.

  2435. Like that development department

  2436. of developmental services offers children's services

  2437. that many people never know about.

  2438. Right. And I,

  2439. and we always say that a lot

  2440. of families don't learn about the supports

  2441. that are out there for having students with special needs

  2442. until they get to like sometimes high school

  2443. and then all of a sudden they hear all, it's overwhelming

  2444. that you hear about guardianship and social security and,

  2445. and adult programming and it's a lot.

  2446. Right? And pe So we're really working with families.

  2447. We wanna start talking to our families early

  2448. and often about what supports are out there

  2449. for them and their children.

  2450. And so Katie Brown,

  2451. our transition coordinator is gonna lead that work with us.

  2452. So we'll we starting to have some series on that

  2453. and to really build a community for people to, to get

  2454. to know each other and we're thinking about parent mentors

  2455. and mentees and things like that for the,

  2456. for the special needs community.

  2457. So more to come on that, but,

  2458. So if Erin would stay, if I, if, if I could,

  2459. could I could just change the order, go directly

  2460. to the FY 25 budget preliminary update.

  2461. So skipping over two and three for now.

  2462. So I always feel traditionally it's important when

  2463. anticipating when you're gonna have the budget presentation

  2464. that you have a pretty thorough

  2465. presentation on student services.

  2466. How many students, percent wise do you think in the district

  2467. are receiving some sort of student service could be close

  2468. to 50%?

  2469. Well, it depends on, I mean our, our, our students

  2470. who identify with, with special education status through

  2471. EEPs three, I mean everything. Oh yeah,

  2472. Yeah.

  2473. I would say if, if they're getting any type

  2474. of tiered intervention.

  2475. And so when you look at the budget in terms of special,

  2476. how that's represented, it's a big part of your budget.

  2477. And so it's really important for you

  2478. to feel comfortable about the aspects

  2479. and everything that's being offered.

  2480. So for Natick, I would say that you are offering strands

  2481. of support from moderate to intensive

  2482. for all the major strands for behavioral, social,

  2483. emotional disabilities, for autism,

  2484. for non nonverbal language disabilities.

  2485. And then of course students with moderate needs.

  2486. So all, all the strands are being

  2487. offered at different levels across your schools,

  2488. middle and high school.

  2489. So what's being represented by Erin

  2490. who oversees all of that is, is important to understand

  2491. and how many students are actually receiving some sort

  2492. of service in the district.

  2493. And the other is some of, some of the,

  2494. I think referrals are related to post pandemic.

  2495. And so the, the district is also committed

  2496. to tiered tiered learning supports,

  2497. but some of the referrals are coming from that as well.

  2498. And so not everyone who's referred will end up

  2499. with being on a plan of some sort,

  2500. but it's all also related to, to pandemic.

  2501. The other two is this,

  2502. while Erin's describing all these programs

  2503. and the interventionists,

  2504. that helps you understand when people talk

  2505. about space needs.

  2506. So you might think like, well I don't understand it,

  2507. the enrollment isn't like jumping,

  2508. but why does it feel like more crowded?

  2509. Because it's the need to find places for, for,

  2510. for people to work and collaborate,

  2511. but also a place for students to receive intervention.

  2512. And so that helps understand that.

  2513. So as, as we build up toward understanding the parts

  2514. of the budget, Aaron is here today

  2515. for student services other than counseling.

  2516. And so art will come in January

  2517. and you'll hear counseling services, mental health support,

  2518. social emotional learning in January

  2519. you heard Matt present on enrollment,

  2520. that's the other driver.

  2521. And so I also want to let you know

  2522. that we don't anticipate putting a large budget presentation

  2523. to you until probably that 1, 2, 2 meeting in January.

  2524. We, one of the expenses that we're looking

  2525. to resolve is the transportation bid

  2526. and that is going out to bid

  2527. and we won't be able to open that bid until January 10th.

  2528. And so we have been communicating with our representatives

  2529. for the town administrator's office

  2530. and the town finance officers.

  2531. And so everyone is a little delayed in their timelines

  2532. and building toward the budget

  2533. because the town administrator has been

  2534. out for the last month.

  2535. And so just that we're all working toward that.

  2536. But just so you know that you'll have a budget presentation

  2537. of a large numbers on 1, 2 2

  2538. and then you will hear from art on the eighth sort

  2539. of building toward the understanding where a lot of

  2540. the expenses on the budget go to.

  2541. Yeah.

  2542. Anything else for the budget?

  2543. Not for the budget. And so I don't know if you have

  2544. questions about it, otherwise you can go back to the agenda.

  2545. Yeah. Any questions for the, about the budget update?

  2546. Just a quick Yes please.

    Oh, oh, sorry Ms. Collins.

  2547. Oh, I didn't mean to cut somebody off.

  2548. It's okay.

    Is it possible as we

  2549. get some, I don't wanna say finality

  2550. because the budget's seldom final, some better ideas

  2551. that we can get some general ideas of numbers as we go

  2552. through some of these presentations?

  2553. Or would you prefer to leave it all, not leave it,

  2554. but put it together as a, as

  2555. a holistic view on the 22nd?

  2556. So we'll put out a holistic view,

  2557. but as Aaron intimated, you know, at this point we,

  2558. we have a, we have a number that we're working on

  2559. that's way, way high, which is probably not atypical

  2560. for this stage of budget development even so there

  2561. we're also anticipating some improvements to program

  2562. that we'll try to fit in.

  2563. And so Aaron kind of intimated some places

  2564. where you'll see some, maybe not full FTE increases,

  2565. but partial FTE increases to reflect some of what

  2566. she was describing and meeting that need.

  2567. Okay. Thank you.

  2568. Yeah, and I agree about not trying to

  2569. get too far ahead on the transportation,

  2570. if we're getting bids in early January anyway,

  2571. we'd may wish well go with more confirmed numbers.

  2572. Ms. McDonough, just

  2573. Quickly in the past we've also had

  2574. presentations on from technology and curriculum.

  2575. Do you anticipate that same sort of thing

  2576. or just build it into the larger budget discussion and

  2577. Presentation?

  2578. I think most, we were gonna build it into the larger budget.

  2579. There'll be some specialized presentations on some

  2580. of the initiatives that for this year,

  2581. like on digital learning, personalized coaches,

  2582. and also the math initiative.

  2583. So we're gonna also make sure

  2584. that you have presentations on the progress made on,

  2585. on the priorities

  2586. that were identified at the start of the year.

  2587. Wait,

    Gee, how you should Go ahead.

  2588. Yeah.

    So any more questions about the

  2589. budget before we move on?

  2590. So we're gonna take a quick break from the superintendent's

  2591. report since we have here our friends from the Rotary Club

  2592. to present on their annual donation of dictionaries.

  2593. Thank you for taking me out of order or taking us so fast.

  2594. My name is Andrew Meyer. I'm with the Rotary Club of Natick.

  2595. And with me is Dan Sha, who was last year's president

  2596. of the Rotary Club, and he is the executive director

  2597. of the Natick Service Council.

  2598. And we wanted to update you tonight on some of the things

  2599. that we're doing to help the, the school children of Natick.

  2600. And I'll talk a little bit about our dictionaries

  2601. and Dan will update you on a few other things

  2602. that we've got going on to support the kids in our district.

  2603. I'm not a big fan of remembering

  2604. how long things have been going on

  2605. because as you get a little older, you don't really care

  2606. to remember how long, but I looked it up.

  2607. This is our 17th year

  2608. of giving out these wonderful little books

  2609. to third graders in, in Natick.

  2610. And not only to let you folks know,

  2611. but also the people at home

  2612. who are curious about either books

  2613. that they may have seen arrive home on Thursday,

  2614. some more will be delivered tomorrow,

  2615. or just in general sense of, of what we're doing

  2616. for our third graders.

  2617. This is a wonderful little book

  2618. that I'm happy to pass around.

  2619. You'll, first of all, notice that on the

  2620. inside cover there's a sticker.

  2621. Each kid will have their name in the book with their school.

  2622. Third graders I have found don't typically have a lot

  2623. of things with their names on them.

  2624. Maybe a jacket or something like that.

  2625. But a book with their name in it,

  2626. we think imparts a certain level of ownership and power.

  2627. The first two thirds of the book are a, a dictionary.

  2628. The last third is really an, an almanac

  2629. with wonderful facts.

  2630. The kids just absolutely tear through.

  2631. Included in there is the world's longest word,

  2632. which is I think is 1900 letters long.

  2633. There's a a section that teaches you how

  2634. to spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

  2635. All the presidents, the constitution, sign language.

  2636. It's, it's a, it's a, it's a wonderful book.

  2637. It's a wonderful resource.

  2638. And as long as kids are still looking at physical books

  2639. with paper in them, we will distribute them.

  2640. I hope the day never comes where we don't need them anymore.

  2641. So when we go in

  2642. and talk to the kids,

  2643. we tell them a little bit about the Rotary Club is,

  2644. it's a service organization

  2645. that's been around for a hundred years.

  2646. The motto of our club is called Service Above Self.

  2647. And we do probably the most, well-known thing that we do,

  2648. or maybe a couple things, is that we provide scholarships

  2649. to kids in the springtime.

  2650. In the high school, there's a $10,000 name scholarship,

  2651. which is divided up over four years.

  2652. It's one of the larger scholarships

  2653. that's awarded that night.

  2654. And we achieve that

  2655. through fundraising efforts like the Tourna Bike Ride,

  2656. which takes place on Father's Day

  2657. and in, in Our Town Common

  2658. that has been going on longer

  2659. than we've been giving the books out.

  2660. So it's a couple, couple well honed traditions.

  2661. I think the neatest thing about it is

  2662. that when we deliver these live to the kids,

  2663. we usually ask if they have questions

  2664. and the questions are unbelievable.

  2665. Just they're, they're, they're so polite

  2666. and they're so respectful.

  2667. It just makes you get the feeling something very right is

  2668. happening in the, in the,

  2669. in the third grade in elementary classrooms that we visit.

  2670. So thank you for all that.

  2671. I will tell you that if you're interested,

  2672. we have two more presentations tomorrow, Lilja at 10:00 AM

  2673. and Memorial at two 30.

  2674. If any school committee members have any interest in joining

  2675. us and seeing the joy of passing out these books

  2676. and having them open them and flip through them

  2677. and all that stuff, it's really something we, we usually try

  2678. to get the timing right to extend an invitation if

  2679. anybody cares to join us.

  2680. But those are be our last two schools tomorrow

  2681. and we will have completed another year.

  2682. So thank you for your support

  2683. and we'll let Dan update you on a few things as well.

  2684. Thank you very much Andy. And hello all of you tonight.

  2685. I don't know if any of you are familiar

  2686. with the Make a Difference program,

  2687. but it's actually funded through Rotary

  2688. and the Natick Service Council.

  2689. And it's really to offer afterschool activities to kids who,

  2690. for financial reasons can't afford it.

  2691. It was actually started a number of years ago.

  2692. Andy actually tells the story a little better than me,

  2693. but it was started

  2694. because a Rotarian was a basketball coach

  2695. in the, the Natick system.

  2696. And this, this child kept showing up late

  2697. for practice every day.

  2698. So, you know, one day the coach approached him

  2699. and said, Hey listen, you know, you gotta get here on time.

  2700. And the kid said, I would, but my dad

  2701. and I share sneakers so I have to wait

  2702. for him to get home at night.

  2703. And we said, we're never gonna do that again.

  2704. So we've actually worked

  2705. with all the counselors at the schools.

  2706. I've met with all of them, either in person

  2707. or via Zoom, just to say, if you have a student

  2708. who has a need, then send it to us.

  2709. Whether the service gets, you can send it

  2710. to the service council or the Rotary.

  2711. 'cause we work together on these things.

  2712. I think we, we funded 17 different kids

  2713. to different activities last year.

  2714. So we do it

  2715. because the school system is so good to

  2716. everyone in our community.

  2717. And because we can, because the Rotary Club is, is service

  2718. above self from a Natick service council perspective,

  2719. I just want to thank everyone in the school system.

  2720. The Wilson School just did their healthy harvest,

  2721. which delivered over 2000 pounds of food to us

  2722. that we're obviously gonna distribute in the community.

  2723. But I think every single one

  2724. of the schools does a food drive sometime during the year.

  2725. So I can't thank you enough for just supporting

  2726. that and supporting us.

  2727. So great job.

  2728. Thank you

    Mr. Chair.

  2729. Did you take a motion to accept

  2730. To what?

  2731. Accept to accept

  2732. Move to accept the donation of dictionaries

  2733. to the native public schools from the rotary

  2734. Second.

  2735. So now we'll vote. Ms. flas? Yes. Ms. Brune? Yes. Mr.

  2736. Brand? Yes. Ms. McDonough? Yes. Ms. Corset? Yes.

  2737. Ms. Collins. Yes. And Emma, I, yes. We accept your donation.

  2738. Thank you so much. It's almost all. Almost. Yeah.

  2739. And thank you so much for everything

  2740. that you do on in our community and for our schools.

  2741. It's are so appreciated. Dr. McKenzie. Did

  2742. I just wanna thank both of you

  2743. and I wanna say as a member of the public,

  2744. I still have my dictionary

  2745. and I think you did it for more than 17 years.

  2746. And I was so excited

  2747. because I didn't own a dictionary until I receive that.

  2748. And you're right, it's really special when you have a book

  2749. with your name in it.

  2750. And I also have two aunts that shared shoes growing up.

  2751. It was kind of problematic when they were going out on dates

  2752. and such, but that really is the situation

  2753. and we forget that there are people living

  2754. on the edge right.

  2755. In our community. So thank you for all your work.

  2756. Thank you. And with

  2757. that, okay.

  2758. But we'll go back to the superintendent's report.

  2759. So thank you again.

  2760. And I'm sorry it was, I was rudely on my phone.

  2761. I should have probably just mentioned

  2762. that memorial was without power today.

  2763. And so running on generator.

  2764. And so Bill Spratt was communicating with me

  2765. 'cause I had asked if they got their power back.

  2766. So we might have to do some, some alternate lunch planning.

  2767. I think we can open school as long as

  2768. other things are running anyway, so I apologize.

  2769. No, no, no worries. That's what I was

  2770. Saying. Sounds important.

  2771. Yeah. So anyway, Tim, Tim has

  2772. offered to review the draft calendars.

  2773. So there are two versions

  2774. and then he'll describe why there are two versions

  2775. and then typically it's presented at one meeting.

  2776. You do not vote at this meeting so that they're out there

  2777. for public input

  2778. and that you can maybe vote at the next one. Yep.

  2779. Yeah. Alright. Thank you Ms. Wong. Thank you Mr. Chair.

  2780. So as Ms. Wong said, there are two options here

  2781. for you to review tonight.

  2782. A couple things to note, Nils

  2783. for next year will actually fall on election day.

  2784. Typically Nils, our Natick Innovation

  2785. and Learning summit falls the day, the,

  2786. the Monday after Thanksgiving.

  2787. So we can have, 'cause we know kids don't necessarily like

  2788. to come back in that day 'cause parents like to travel.

  2789. So we try to do it then

  2790. however that will be on

  2791. as it is every four years on election day, simply

  2792. because the precincts vote within our schools,

  2793. a few of our schools and since the national election

  2794. for the presidential race, we will be closed on that day.

  2795. We did try to honor many of the conversations

  2796. that were had last year, both

  2797. with this policy subcommittee and this committee.

  2798. This is not perfect. There's still more work to do.

  2799. Obviously I know there's a, a feel from committee members

  2800. that they want to have more of a conversation about

  2801. what constitutes religious holidays

  2802. and how we decide on no school.

  2803. But what this calendar does is it honors

  2804. the religious observances that we discussed.

  2805. So in the kind of the purplish areas on the calendar,

  2806. you will see that there are those major religious

  2807. observances that we have, which means that teachers

  2808. will not be assigning any major assignments,

  2809. nor will any tests be giving during those timeframes.

  2810. That is something that we did decide

  2811. on last year in our policy.

  2812. There are also many school closures On major holidays

  2813. you'll see days such as Diwali, like on November 1st,

  2814. Rosh Hashanah on October 3rd, you will see

  2815. Eid, I believe on

  2816. Eider on March 31st.

  2817. Easter, let's see, good Friday is closed.

  2818. April 18th, Memorial Day eat Ada observed on

  2819. June 6th through seventh.

  2820. And again, because it's a sundown holiday

  2821. and the celebration's on the seventh, which is a Saturday,

  2822. we're not closed, but we are observed

  2823. for those, those particular days.

  2824. So the, the days where there are observances

  2825. for the major holidays on a school week,

  2826. we did have closures here.

  2827. The calendar itself, there is one change from

  2828. what was put in your agenda.

  2829. The agenda that you had seen had question marks for

  2830. February, let's see, for January 15th

  2831. or January 29th was a question mark

  2832. for the early release.

  2833. We did meet this morning as a administrative team

  2834. and determine that we would have it on the 15th.

  2835. And there was also a question mark between February 5th

  2836. and the 26th for early release.

  2837. And we decided to put that on February 5th just

  2838. to break things apart as much as we could

  2839. for those early release days.

  2840. The major things that you wanna look at

  2841. between these two calendars is really the week of

  2842. December break, the 25th,

  2843. the Christmas holiday falls directly on a Wednesday,

  2844. which it's not normally the way that it goes here.

  2845. So there are two options in calendar.

  2846. One, option one, you'll see

  2847. that the school is open on Monday

  2848. and has a a early release day on the 24th Christmas Eve.

  2849. And on option two you'll see

  2850. that we closed on the 23 and the 24th.

  2851. What that does in option one,

  2852. it allows our last day if we don't have any snow days

  2853. to be the 16th of June.

  2854. And if we do have the full set

  2855. of five snow days on the 24th of June,

  2856. obviously closing the 23rd

  2857. and the 24th, such

  2858. as in the option two calendar provides you with a later

  2859. end date, July, June 18th being the last day of school

  2860. with no snow days and the 26th being the last day of school

  2861. with the full five snow days.

  2862. We have spoken to the teacher representation.

  2863. I don't think anyone's extremely happy with the late

  2864. end days here, but the, the preference I believe, and

  2865. and Jefferson can speak to this as well, is

  2866. that the option two, where you have a a full week of closure

  2867. and 'cause trying to get kids in and staff in

  2868. and having an early release on

  2869. Christmas Eve is difficult for them.

  2870. But those are the two options.

  2871. Before we each today I'll take any questions.

  2872. Obviously you don't have to decide today,

  2873. we will want community feedback.

  2874. So

  2875. Any questions or comments?

  2876. Yeah, Ms. Corset,

  2877. So thank you for this.

  2878. This is very helpful. I it, would it be possible

  2879. before we have to vote on the calendar to get a report on

  2880. what the days of low attendance were

  2881. for this past ca like school year

  2882. for both teachers and for students?

  2883. We can do that.

  2884. We will tell you as we went as the, as the,

  2885. the administration last year along with members

  2886. of the committee did get feedback for the,

  2887. the major holidays

  2888. and there were low attendance

  2889. for those days when we did not do for DW Al example.

  2890. And we did not do e those were

  2891. days of low attendance in the past.

  2892. But certainly we can get something along those lines.

  2893. Just a reminder, some of the holidays didn't,

  2894. they didn't fall on school days last year.

  2895. I thought, oh, for this, okay.

  2896. Last year was the first year that we had some

  2897. of the other major religious holidays that were in here.

  2898. Typically we had Rosh Hashanah, we had obviously the,

  2899. the Good Friday we had Yom Kippur,

  2900. but we did not observe holidays

  2901. that we probably should have been observing in terms of

  2902. the more cross section of our, of our town and constituents.

  2903. I just think that that the, it might be a little spotty on

  2904. what days that we'll have low attendance records for

  2905. Even if we could see, 'cause I don't recall,

  2906. I recall having the discussion when we discussed it

  2907. with the calendar, but I don't actually recall seeing

  2908. a report that had like, what the attendance was on the days

  2909. of low attendance were. If that makes sense.

  2910. I did see that last year. So we can find that.

  2911. I dunno if we presented it to the school committee.

  2912. It may have been a policy. I'm not really sure.

  2913. But I, I feel like I did see that for some

  2914. of those other major virtual

  2915. Okay.

  2916. 'cause maybe the data's already there

  2917. and if I could just look at it, that'd be great.

  2918. Thank you.

  2919. Ms. Collins. Oh, sorry. Oh, Ms. Mr.

  2920. Wi I'll come back to you. Ms. Collins.

  2921. Sorry. Thank you Mr. Chair.

  2922. I just wanted to comment briefly speaking anecdotally,

  2923. I'm not sure the attendance records would tell the whole

  2924. stories 'cause I do know at the elementary level it's,

  2925. it's a relatively common practice for parents

  2926. to pull their child out

  2927. before the end of the school day so

  2928. that they can get started on a trip or something.

  2929. So I, I'm not sure the attendance records alone will tell

  2930. the complete story of the absences right

  2931. before a, a major holiday.

  2932. That's all. Thank you

  2933. Ms. Collins.

  2934. Yeah. I wonder if we could ask Ms.

  2935. McDonough how her committee is, is

  2936. proceeding to continue this conversation.

  2937. So there's three of us, but do you wanna

  2938. Yeah, I'd like to understand why it's called Ms.

  2939. McDonough's committee. Okay,

  2940. Thank you very much.

  2941. So I actually wasn't here at the meeting where you presented

  2942. as part of the school committee goals,

  2943. but we, when Catherine and Shai

  2944. and I had talked about what our plan was was to

  2945. following the superintendent search

  2946. where there would be community engagement

  2947. that we would do a process in

  2948. and maybe we had learned something through that,

  2949. that we would do a process in the spring where we would

  2950. do more in depth community outreach

  2951. and engagement on the calendar and the holidays

  2952. and the decisions that we had made.

  2953. Is that follow? Yeah. Yeah.

  2954. And I think you had written a memo, Catherine,

  2955. that documented that, correct.

  2956. Yeah. Just because we knew that we would need a lot

  2957. of engagement in the fall for the superintendent search.

  2958. Yeah. So the conversations would be,

  2959. and if I recall correctly, correct me if I'm wrong,

  2960. but the conversations this spring would be

  2961. to inform future calendars knowing that we have to vote

  2962. for this one for this year.

  2963. So we will have, so we,

  2964. we still wanna vote on these two calendars, or not two,

  2965. but one of them for this coming year, sorry, for next year.

  2966. And we, the, the, our committee will still,

  2967. our subcommittee will still engage in those conversations

  2968. and bring back recommendations for future years.

  2969. Is that kind of what we agreed to?

  2970. Yeah, because I think for as, as late as this one may end,

  2971. future calendars could,

  2972. could end even later if we continue down the path for going

  2973. and if, if lunar new Year

  2974. is accepted by the federal government.

  2975. Hmm.

    And Kathy, you, you hand still up?

  2976. Did you have a follow up question? Yeah,

  2977. Yeah.

  2978. I have a different date for Lunar New Year in 2024.

  2979. I have February 2nd.

  2980. So if we could just check that

  2981. between now and when we vote on this.

  2982. Well this is, this is February, 2025.

  2983. I know you're, I was just

  2984. Wondering too.

  2985. Ah, okay. All right.

  2986. I just wanted make sure we were That's right.

  2987. Recognizing the right dates. Thank you. Sorry about that.

  2988. That's right. Share

  2989. One more, one more thing.

  2990. There is one more piece

  2991. of the calendar I wanna bring your attention to.

  2992. That is the early release day on November 20th as well

  2993. as the early release day on December 11th.

  2994. You see a question mark on November 20th

  2995. regarding the middle schools.

  2996. We are in the middle of negotiating with the EAN

  2997. regarding conferences.

  2998. We had agreed that we would meet this January

  2999. to determination to make a determination on both middle

  3000. school and high school conferences.

  3001. So those would be the two days should we proceed

  3002. with conferences that we would have them, we actually have

  3003. to have that, that conversation

  3004. and negotiation with the EAN prior to making that decision.

  3005. Okay.

    Any other questions or comments? Yeah.

  3006. Okay.

  3007. Okay. That answers my first question

  3008. 'cause I was wondering about the middle school conferences

  3009. and so I, I know that we have to,

  3010. so we should probably get started on that piece.

  3011. I don't know. I haven't heard about that yet.

  3012. Then my only comments are, I know

  3013. that Nils was moved to election day,

  3014. but I just would point out that

  3015. students are in school in November next year for 13 days,

  3016. like 13 full days.

  3017. So that's a little, it's a little,

  3018. it's just the way the calendar has worked.

  3019. So then you look at that, I'm just speaking November,

  3020. the November 1st, like I can see everyone taking a long,

  3021. like a long vacation there

  3022. and just pulling their kids out for November 4th,

  3023. which is discouraging

  3024. and I'm sure that would be pretty discouraging

  3025. for teachers and staff.

  3026. So I also am worried about,

  3027. we typically don't go to school on Christmas Eve

  3028. and I don't know if that's how that typically it's just

  3029. because the holiday falls.

  3030. So in the option two we would take Christmas Eve off

  3031. and then we would also have the 23rd off.

  3032. So it feels like a little bit like we're giving more weight

  3033. to Christmas, which I guess always happens in general

  3034. because it's federal holiday.

  3035. But adding those two days does push us to

  3036. June 26th if we have five snow days.

  3037. So I, I am worried about, I don't know when

  3038. camps t typically start.

  3039. I mean that's, that's almost right up against the July 4th

  3040. holiday and maybe they adjust

  3041. based on when schools typically get out.

  3042. So one of my ideas was given that we're given more weight

  3043. to, and maybe we can't do this

  3044. until we have our community engagement piece in the spring,

  3045. but one of the ideas, which is not ideal for next year,

  3046. but in April of 25, you could make in

  3047. to gain a half day back there, you could make Good Friday

  3048. an early release day, which it doesn't usually fall

  3049. and push up against April vacation, it happens

  3050. to in April 25.

  3051. But that was one of the ideas I had

  3052. because we'd be giving more weight to the

  3053. Christmas holiday in December.

  3054. So I know that was one of the things

  3055. that the calendar working group explored

  3056. just might be something to consider for next year

  3057. given the way the calendar is falling throughout.

  3058. So those were my thoughts on option two.

  3059. That's it for now.

  3060. So your recommendation is

  3061. to make the April 18th half day instead of a holiday? No,

  3062. It's not my recommendation.

  3063. I just kind of wanted to bring it up for discussion

  3064. because of the adding of the day and a half

  3065. before Christmas, which makes sense.

  3066. I, I agree that it might be a low attendance,

  3067. especially on Christmas Eve, which we typically have off.

  3068. So, but I, I don't know if that's intentional

  3069. or just how the days fall,

  3070. but it would be then giving Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

  3071. And so then I just thought

  3072. what maybe we should look at Good Friday for next year.

  3073. 'cause that was one of the ones

  3074. where we've talked about having

  3075. that be an early release day, given the nature of

  3076. that religious observance.

  3077. So I just thought I'd bring it up for discussion.

  3078. You raising your hand, Matt? Oh sorry you did this.

  3079. I'm very observant. Any, any other questions?

  3080. Yeah, Ms. Brunell. Well,

  3081. So to follow up on that discussion, were we

  3082. to approve this calendar in, typically it's a,

  3083. is it January, February?

  3084. When do we approve a calendar for the next school year?

  3085. It's usually around January. Yeah.

  3086. People are, I'm sorry

  3087. Because people are making vacation plans

  3088. so they usually like to know. Yeah,

  3089. And and you would like us to vote in January 8th, right?

  3090. Our next meeting? I think if

  3091. They could, I think people,

  3092. I think families would appreciate that.

  3093. And would it be uncommon

  3094. to change a half day later?

  3095. Like would, would that be a, would that be a small shift

  3096. or would that be not recommended

  3097. after January to change a full day to a half day?

  3098. Yes. Or to take a, that mention of April 18th to change

  3099. that from a no school day to a half day?

  3100. That would probably,

  3101. I I think you could, I think the reason parents

  3102. and families like to know is

  3103. so they can schedule their vacation time

  3104. or whatever it is with their kids.

  3105. So those families who obviously scheduled a a holiday

  3106. vacation time for Good Friday

  3107. obviously might be upset about it no doubt.

  3108. But if it's a, you know, if it's an observance,

  3109. we're not gonna penalize the kids if they're not here

  3110. because they're observing kid a good Friday either,

  3111. even if they're not here for the half day.

  3112. So I think we have in,

  3113. in times changed the calendar based on too many snow days

  3114. for example, we've added days, we've done different things.

  3115. So there have been times where you do change things

  3116. for circumstances that, that are out there.

  3117. And that might be because it's, you know, we have too long

  3118. of a, of a June for example.

  3119. But that could also come with community input.

  3120. Before you do that,

  3121. Oh sorry,

    One more worst snow to actually ever happen.

  3122. I'm, I was very sad today, I have to tell you

  3123. is the difference between June 25th

  3124. and June 26th significant?

  3125. Does anyone have an opinion on that?

  3126. Not from administration other than the fact

  3127. that people are starting to schedule their summer

  3128. plans and all that.

  3129. Okay, thank you

    Ms. Cos, is your hand still up?

  3130. Yeah, I would, I would, to answer Ms Bruno's question,

  3131. I would say it's only significant

  3132. if we don't make a decision.

  3133. I don't think in terms of planning, once people know

  3134. what it is, I don't think it's material.

  3135. But until we tell them which dates we're looking at,

  3136. I think that's what makes it significant right now.

  3137. Any other Yeah,

  3138. Sorry.

  3139. Smoke that ice, right? I meant to say one thing is

  3140. that I don't know if when we get to negotiations again,

  3141. because I know that we have to do Nils,

  3142. but we had a long discussion last negotiations about Nils.

  3143. And given that we've now at, if we,

  3144. after our community engagement piece in the spring,

  3145. if we decide to keep all these holidays, I don't,

  3146. I I'm wondering how we fit in this full day

  3147. of professional development.

  3148. Like is is it before school, is it different?

  3149. Is it, do we break it up differently?

  3150. Is it, 'cause we had a long discussion about

  3151. what is the purpose and what do we need it

  3152. and that type of thing.

  3153. But you see what it does

  3154. to November when it has typically been held.

  3155. And, and we heard very loud

  3156. and clear last spring from parents about their worries about

  3157. childcare and I'm, I've often been concerned that the Monday

  3158. after Thanksgiving is not great for families

  3159. and it's probably not great for teachers and staff either,

  3160. because families sometimes can't find childcare on that day

  3161. and they're expected to be back at work.

  3162. So I just wonder if we need to look at Nils

  3163. and what that full day

  3164. is or maybe should not be given the other

  3165. days off that we've added

  3166. For this coming year or you mean,

  3167. I mean, I don't in the future don't think we,

  3168. it's in the contract, right?

  3169. So we couldn't change it, but I think we need

  3170. to look at it given that we've added more days off

  3171. to the calendar and that doesn't count as a, it's great

  3172. for professional development,

  3173. but maybe it needs to be broken up in a different way

  3174. based on feedback from teachers and,

  3175. and the way the calendar sits with trying to fit in 180 days

  3176. before the end of June.

  3177. So I have Thank you. I have two quick questions.

  3178. So one Mr. Wood, if you don't mind.

  3179. So just to clarify, so from the E'S perspective,

  3180. option two is the preferred one for teachers.

  3181. So having, did I hear that right? Well,

  3182. To be entirely transparent,

  3183. we we're having an executive board meeting tomorrow.

  3184. So that's not something that we've

  3185. discussed at the executive level.

  3186. Anecdotally speaking, I would say that's preferable based on

  3187. what has historically happened as far as absences.

  3188. And, and then as a, as a teacher, when you have

  3189. a relatively significant number of your students out,

  3190. then there's the, there's a a tendency to not want to be, to

  3191. not to do something that is too significant as far as

  3192. lessons go because you know that you have to make it up

  3193. with a number of students who we

  3194. coming back after the break.

  3195. So for a lot of parents it becomes somewhat

  3196. of a self-fulfilling prophecy if they decide

  3197. that not much happens before a large break, long break

  3198. and they don't need to have their child there the whole day.

  3199. So, but,

  3200. but yes, I, I think that anecdotally speaking,

  3201. we will probably have a preference

  3202. among most staff for option two.

  3203. Thanks. And I'll just add a, a common,

  3204. my own thought about that too is it travel,

  3205. the holiday travel for, I think families will

  3206. wanna travel if they're traveling way earlier like the

  3207. weekend or before the weekend.

  3208. So that's another reason why I personally think

  3209. it doesn't make sense to have school on the 23rd and 24th.

  3210. But that, that's my own thought.

  3211. But in addition to hearing from Mr. Wood.

  3212. And then the second question I had is, Ms. Wong,

  3213. I think we talked about this, but just remind me the,

  3214. so there's obviously the presidential election

  3215. and in November there's also gonna be the

  3216. primaries in September and those

  3217. because they're less popular, we decided

  3218. to have regular school. Is that right

  3219. On the primary?

  3220. Also the primary day comes the Tuesday after Labor Day.

  3221. Yeah, I

    Remember that. So it's just,

  3222. I think we're gonna just call it

  3223. and have school on that day.

  3224. Those are amazing days for the PTOs to raise money too, so.

  3225. Oh,

    PTOs usually

  3226. Primaries because

    A lot of

  3227. Yeah, parents come to vote.

  3228. So election days in general. Yeah.

  3229. Yeah.

    And there generally hasn't been a real

  3230. interruption during the primary election day.

  3231. Yeah, that's really the big one. Yeah.

  3232. Great. So, so we'll put a pause on this

  3233. and revisit it January 8th

  3234. for anyone watching us in the public, this is an opportunity

  3235. for people to comment between now and January 8th.

  3236. So if you have any thoughts

  3237. or comments on the calendar on the two options,

  3238. please do email us at school committee at natick pss org

  3239. and we'll revisit that on January 8th.

  3240. Great. So moving on. Yeah, move on. Yep, sorry.

  3241. So the next item on the agenda is the Johnson Elementary

  3242. about Johnson Elementary School.

  3243. So the school committee has voted

  3244. that Johnson will close formally at the end of this year.

  3245. And so Tim reached out to our legal counsel on,

  3246. on what the procedure was for that

  3247. and we learned that we actually need a six month notice.

  3248. And so Tim will talk a little bit about that detail.

  3249. I also just wanna acknowledge that people are wondering,

  3250. well what will happen to the school after?

  3251. And so actually there's no, there's no plans

  3252. right now to be able to share.

  3253. And I know that Ashley, once this vote is taken

  3254. and it's clear that there will be a turnback, it

  3255. actually may facilitate the town's efforts in terms of

  3256. being able to engage broader.

  3257. 'cause right now there's some thoughts, but they're,

  3258. but it's not, they're not feeling like they can broadly

  3259. engage the community until the this decision is made.

  3260. Okay, thank you Ms. Wong. Yep.

  3261. So obviously with the decision

  3262. to close John Smith at the end of this year,

  3263. we did reach out to, to attorney WA who informed us

  3264. of a process where you will have to vote to turn the,

  3265. the building back to the town.

  3266. The town would, we would then notify the

  3267. select board of that decision.

  3268. They would then work to put a warrant on a town meeting,

  3269. an article in town meeting, which would require two thirds

  3270. of both from town meeting to actually

  3271. finalize that territory.

  3272. So that takes time. At the same time, we are required

  3273. to report to the state that we are closing the school and,

  3274. and giving it back to the town.

  3275. We'll be providing a report with data supporting

  3276. how we would support the Johnson students.

  3277. In the meantime, I will bring you back.

  3278. Many of you were here and many of you were part

  3279. of the process where we had a a 2021

  3280. fall planning, long range space

  3281. and facilities kind of planning report that we did

  3282. that actually referred to our NSEC enrollment reports.

  3283. Our TBA architect reports the town

  3284. administrative advisory committee

  3285. talking about cohorting and how that worked.

  3286. And then how we would actually bring our class sizes at

  3287. Johnson down, integrate those students into different

  3288. schools, which we have been doing in a closure closed phase

  3289. for the last two years now.

  3290. So that would have to be sent to the state as well in terms

  3291. of how we're gonna accommodate the Johnson students.

  3292. So at the same time as we send the notice

  3293. to the select board, we would also send notice

  3294. to the desk saying here's what we're doing,

  3295. how we're gonna accommodate the kids over time.

  3296. But again, it has to happen six months prior to closure.

  3297. So tonight you have a vote in front of you to

  3298. essentially from what attorney WA asked us to do was to vote

  3299. to declare that Johnson Elementary School is no longer

  3300. needed for educational purposes,

  3301. effective midnight June 30th, 2024

  3302. in preliminary conversations with the town.

  3303. They have said that once they have the that vote,

  3304. they can then really start discussing

  3305. what to do with the building.

  3306. I will tell you that we have been in conversations with,

  3307. you know, the, the YMCA, for example,

  3308. considering different options, but those

  3309. options can't be considered.

  3310. Nothing can be considered until we go through this process.

  3311. But those conversations are ongoing

  3312. because the town also knows that we have 400 students

  3313. that require afterschool care

  3314. that we're trying to figure out.

  3315. So even if it's not Johnson, they want

  3316. to be looking at other buildings in in town

  3317. that can support that, that need.

  3318. So I'll take any questions that you have.

  3319. Any questions?

    What ha Yeah,

  3320. what happens if you don't have the six month deadline?

  3321. Like what happens if the vote was not taken?

  3322. I think it just, it won't, it won't be a,

  3323. it won't be in effect for six months.

  3324. So if you take it later,

  3325. it just rolls over into another fiscal year, which kind

  3326. of complicates I think just liability

  3327. responsibility for the building.

  3328. We really can't speak to

  3329. what it would do fiscally going during the fiscal year.

  3330. Obviously it would affect the impact on when town meeting

  3331. could vote on it, when that process can happen,

  3332. what the town could actually do

  3333. with it once we do turn it over.

  3334. So if it's ends up being July for example, or

  3335. or September for example,

  3336. it might perhaps not give enough time for the town

  3337. to figure out what they would do with the building

  3338. and what we could do with the programs that are there.

  3339. Given the, you know, the ongoing conversation

  3340. of a DA compliance,

  3341. is there anything the town could actually use the building

  3342. for next year with a change of use?

  3343. That is gonna be a question for the building inspector.

  3344. Once they get it, what I will tell you once we give it back,

  3345. it will be a change of use.

  3346. Right now it's a K to 12 educational use,

  3347. primary purpose K to 12.

  3348. So once anything else goes in there,

  3349. whether it's a rec program

  3350. or whether it's a, you know, an out of our town run

  3351. or should say a private run preschool,

  3352. that would change the use.

  3353. And likely, very likely, as you've heard

  3354. before, the a DA requirements would go into play.

  3355. It could, they could do different things

  3356. by sectioning off different parts of the building

  3357. to accommodate some of those needs.

  3358. They really don't know until they can start going down

  3359. that road and, and figuring that out.

  3360. Ms. Collins,

  3361. Sorry, I suspect that if we don't give DESI six months

  3362. that ends in this fiscal year, it likely could compromise

  3363. any MSBA filing that we have to do in April

  3364. in terms of what's our available,

  3365. because we won't have students in it.

  3366. We've already decided that.

  3367. So I would encourage the committee to vote this so

  3368. that we get it all done in the 24th fiscal year.

  3369. Because otherwise, I think in terms of liability, in terms

  3370. of insurance cost premiums, all of those things will

  3371. otherwise crossover fiscal years

  3372. and make life very difficult.

  3373. Mr. Bruell,

    I am

  3374. confused about or would like

  3375. to hear more about the MSBA process

  3376. because the way

  3377. that a former colleague just mentioned it,

  3378. it seemed like it would benefit the MSBA process

  3379. and I'm, I'm not sure that this vote is gonna benefit us

  3380. for the MSBA PRO process.

  3381. I, I, I don't know that it would,

  3382. I do not know the answer to that

  3383. Question.

  3384. Yeah, I don't, I I don't think so.

  3385. But then, but maybe MS Co Yeah,

  3386. it's not something I think it would affect

  3387. your future MSBA application

  3388. Unless they looked at the building still being open

  3389. and considered its space.

  3390. Right. And said, well, they have more

  3391. space so they don't need to.

  3392. Maybe I, I'm not really sure,

  3393. but they've considered, we considered it

  3394. before with both schools,

  3395. So

    Can't answer that question.

  3396. Yeah, Ms. McDonough. So

  3397. If we didn't vote to turn it over, would we still be able

  3398. to run the Y program next year?

  3399. Oh, we cannot run any program. Oh.

  3400. Without the primary use occurring. Oh, okay.

  3401. At the same time. Okay. So the Y is right now a

  3402. supplementary use to our primary educational use.

  3403. So once the education is gone Okay,

  3404. then we would not be able to run the Y as a, as a secondary.

  3405. Oh that is confirmed by the building inspector

  3406. Or Y he didn't considered a change of use.

  3407. 'cause it was ancillary to the primary program.

  3408. Yeah, Ms. Brunell.

    And so just to clarify further then,

  3409. the town couldn't also use it as the YMCA

  3410. because that would be a change of use.

  3411. Is that right? Or was there some confusion about that?

  3412. I mean, I don't want to answer for the town.

  3413. I see, okay.

    Right. But

  3414. what I will say is if you have a primary use in there,

  3415. whether it's K through 12

  3416. or recreation, public recreation

  3417. or administrative offices, the ancillary use,

  3418. the why would not be able to be the primary use.

  3419. It would've to be an ancillary use to that.

  3420. I see. Okay. Thank you for that clarification.

  3421. Any other questions or comments?

  3422. I have comments. Are we sure comments

  3423. now or just doing questions?

  3424. We, we can have

  3425. Comments.

  3426. So I have several comments.

  3427. I'm concerned this in several ways.

  3428. I am concerned from an enrollment perspective.

  3429. A case was made for the closure of Johnson two

  3430. and a half years ago around a narrative

  3431. of declining enrollment, which is not materialized.

  3432. Two meetings ago we voted that we're going

  3433. to do an enrollment study, which was not done at that point

  3434. because Matthew has brought forward indications

  3435. and data to suggest

  3436. that declining enrollment is not

  3437. gonna happen in the near term.

  3438. And when I look back on, you know,

  3439. after the Johnson closure, we went into the MSBA cycles,

  3440. and I look back at some of the quotes about Memorial

  3441. that come there and some of our other schools

  3442. quotes from administration documentation when justifying

  3443. MSBA, you know, our findings concluded that each

  3444. of the schools included in a study are at RC

  3445. seed enrollment capacity.

  3446. And that the space and efficiencies

  3447. and deficiencies have an educational impact, which has led

  3448. to the increased number of students per class

  3449. and limited ability to provide and expand basic

  3450. and enrichment programs.

  3451. I understand that we have enough classroom spaces

  3452. to keep our classroom sizes,

  3453. but it also says space is originally designed

  3454. to encourage hands-on and collaborative learning.

  3455. A fundamental component

  3456. of the 21st century learning model have been repurposed

  3457. as general classrooms, offices and special education spaces.

  3458. When I raised this, I was also told,

  3459. well, we'll look at modulars.

  3460. That will only make the prog the worse.

  3461. We'll add more classrooms to have less common spaces

  3462. for collaboration and for broader school engagement.

  3463. I've heard anecdotal

  3464. that's the data has come out from the administration.

  3465. I've heard anecdotally from multiple parents

  3466. that the playground situations are not good

  3467. with the overcrowding, that the cafeteria

  3468. situations are not good.

  3469. All of that is totally reasonable

  3470. and understandable for a period of time.

  3471. But we were not accepted by the MSBA.

  3472. We will not see a new school for 7, 8, 9 years come online

  3473. as we also don't see enrollment

  3474. decreases on the heels of that.

  3475. In the last meeting we talked about the E school,

  3476. how we're gonna be throwing money at a playground at the E

  3477. school where we don't expect to lead

  3478. and we have no control over the building.

  3479. During the Johnson closure process,

  3480. we also heard range estimates from $2 million

  3481. to $15 million to make Johnson 80 a compliant.

  3482. Well if it's at the 2 million

  3483. and we're looking for, we're looking at an extended period

  3484. of not having these common spaces, you know,

  3485. are we gonna end up in these situations again,

  3486. like there is no plan

  3487. and we are making a decision to hand it back to the town.

  3488. I can understand financial and liability concerns,

  3489. but we are one town natick

  3490. and we are turning our responsibility to the kids in our

  3491. not decreasing enrollment to limit our options

  3492. for the next seven to 10 years.

  3493. And I I find that extremely troubling

  3494. and extremely concerning

  3495. because I don't know if you've walked through these schools,

  3496. you've talked to elementary parents, but I mean,

  3497. and I also don't think special ed kids should be d doing

  3498. pullout services in hallways.

  3499. Like those aren't acceptable answers.

  3500. And Johnson is a space, not to reverse it, not to say,

  3501. but it is an auxiliary space when we're looking at

  3502. overcrowding and I actually,

  3503. it might be the very right decision to hand it back,

  3504. but again, it feels like a knee jerk reaction

  3505. from the beginning and getting on here.

  3506. I ask that, you know, when we are coming up

  3507. to an important vote, we have the information laid out in

  3508. one meeting, the public has the ability to understand

  3509. and then we, and then we take a vote at the next meeting.

  3510. Here we are yet again, this is the first time in the agenda.

  3511. We took the vote two and a half years ago.

  3512. Why are we only finding out at the last possible meeting

  3513. that we can take a vote that we have to take the vote today

  3514. to turn it back otherwise there's doom

  3515. and gloom catastrophizing over, you know,

  3516. what happens when we get past the end of the year.

  3517. That feels really unfair to me when

  3518. this should have been known.

  3519. Like we should have been talking about this a year ago,

  3520. that there was a timeline for closure

  3521. that included some legal responsibilities.

  3522. Those are my comments. Thank you.

  3523. Any other comments? Sorry? Any other comments?

  3524. Mr. Chair?

    Sorry.

  3525. Be before the Do you want anything else from the

  3526. committee? So go ahead

  3527. Oh, Kathy, I'm sorry.

  3528. Thank you. We wouldn't have had

  3529. to do this if we were keeping Johnson open

  3530. until 2025.

  3531. We wouldn't have had to do this now.

  3532. But the fact is there's only one combined two,

  3533. three class there now,

  3534. which would be a three four class there next year.

  3535. The enrollment, we had sufficient seats for all

  3536. of our students two and a half years ago.

  3537. The prob the, the reference to space

  3538. and overcrowding is

  3539. because of the MSBA a's calculation on how much,

  3540. how big room sizes should be,

  3541. not whether we have seats.

  3542. So I I firmly disagree

  3543. that this should be delayed at all.

  3544. Thank you. Did you have Mr. Brandon?

  3545. Unless you want a motion,

    Did you

  3546. wanna speak? Yeah, Mr. Vickers

  3547. Did.

  3548. Thank you. Brinley Vickers Precinct eight.

  3549. Thank you for allowing me to have a minute. I get it.

  3550. I get all the pressures, I get all the timing,

  3551. I get all of everything.

  3552. A lot of what I wanted to say, Ms.

  3553. Lathers actually just said,

  3554. but the biggest thing I wanna point out is that

  3555. there is a community in town

  3556. who feels very abused by

  3557. administration and school committee.

  3558. And once again, we listen to everyone say

  3559. we need public input, we need to do this

  3560. and then allow for the next meeting to have public in input.

  3561. We just had it once again with the calendar where we need

  3562. to allow for public input for the calendar.

  3563. And we even asked the public to have input for the calendar.

  3564. And now here we are and I'm paying very close attention

  3565. and I have so many things

  3566. and there was no community outreach about this whatsoever.

  3567. So no understanding of the plan

  3568. and no respect for the community

  3569. because here we are, it was put on the agenda.

  3570. There was no public outreach.

  3571. And now here you are voting on it.

  3572. I just wanna say I think

  3573. that's pretty uncool moving forward.

  3574. I know it's just one little community,

  3575. but it is a community.

  3576. It is a village. I think

  3577. that the village deserves the same respect.

  3578. We should have been given time,

  3579. we should have been asked for community input.

  3580. We, I'm sure that probably your minds are already made up.

  3581. That seems to have been

  3582. modus operandi for this whole process.

  3583. But I think it's very discouraging

  3584. for trusting administration

  3585. and school committee when everything always,

  3586. we are working towards full dis full transparency.

  3587. Everything gets it's notice here, it's vote the next time.

  3588. Thanks.

  3589. Thank you Ms. McDonough.

  3590. So I was wondering, is there like,

  3591. because I feel like we did hear a lot when we, when we voted

  3592. to close the school, that there was a lot of concern about

  3593. what would happen to the building.

  3594. So, And I I, so I'm just wondering, is there time

  3595. to do like some sort of like memorandum of understanding

  3596. with the town or do do we,

  3597. do we just rely on the good relationships that we have?

  3598. Because, so one, I think like what if we need it again

  3599. because I, you know, I look at the numbers

  3600. and look what Matt provided with us like a month ago

  3601. and like what, what if we have some sort of

  3602. problem that we can't fit them and,

  3603. or maybe we just add modulars.

  3604. So I'm just thinking about that

  3605. and then I'm thinking, you know, I I do feel like

  3606. the community was promised some sort of input into

  3607. what would happen to the building

  3608. and what would happen to the, the grounds.

  3609. And I, I'm trying to find a way to fulfill

  3610. that promise in this vote.

  3611. Knowing that we can't dictate what the town would do,

  3612. but do we have any way to control that to,

  3613. to fulfill that promise

  3614. that I felt like we made when we voted

  3615. that there would be this public input

  3616. around what would happen.

  3617. Do we have any control

  3618. or once we release it, we just release it.

  3619. I just wanna respond

  3620. because I feel that administration's been called to task.

  3621. My understanding when I came here is that the decision

  3622. to close Johnson had been made.

  3623. So I'm a little confused.

  3624. I thought the decision had been made

  3625. that it would be no later than not than,

  3626. than the end of next year.

  3627. And arriving here, I was fully committed actually

  3628. to see that through.

  3629. But in there were fewer classrooms present this year

  3630. than they, than had expected.

  3631. So when that was said, that timeline, it was that thought

  3632. that there would be six classrooms this year

  3633. and then four next year.

  3634. But in fact there were three classrooms this year and,

  3635. and I, I understand how difficult

  3636. that process was

  3637. and how it impacted this community, the decision

  3638. to close the school.

  3639. And it was that in mind that, that it was

  3640. that I approached first the staff and then,

  3641. and then to the parent community.

  3642. But it was all understanding,

  3643. I thought the decision had been made there would be no

  3644. earlier than than or no later than next year.

  3645. So, so I think moving forward,

  3646. if I have tried to be sensitive to the community, how

  3647. that feels and,

  3648. and taking those steps in this vote

  3649. was understood that in the fall of this year when

  3650. it was agreed that we would close Johnson at the end

  3651. of this year and not the next year,

  3652. then inevitably it did mean that there would have

  3653. to be a vote to turn back the school

  3654. I in, in talking to the town administrator.

  3655. And in this next step of the process,

  3656. we've been very open about the importance

  3657. of engaging the community.

  3658. You're right, it's, it's, once it's turned back to the town,

  3659. we, we, we don't have,

  3660. basically it's, it's, it's the goodwill of, of

  3661. the leadership of the town to follow through on all the,

  3662. on all of that in terms of being, making sure there

  3663. that the community, there's outreach about

  3664. what possible uses for the property.

  3665. There might be when meeting

  3666. at the building, when we knew

  3667. that we were facing this turnback,

  3668. everyone in the building except for I guess Tim, Matt

  3669. and myself, everyone else was a town representative

  3670. representing facilities, representing Council of Aging,

  3671. representing the rec department, the building inspector,

  3672. the town administrator.

  3673. So I felt there was a lot

  3674. of goodwill

  3675. and good intention in terms of what could be done to,

  3676. to have a meaningful reuse of the building.

  3677. I will say the, the requirement

  3678. for a DA compliance is just a really daunting challenge.

  3679. And there was a lot of brainstorming about

  3680. what could be done so

  3681. that they could maintain some minimal programming there.

  3682. Whether it's under the auspices of the rec department

  3683. or Council of Aging.

  3684. There's just a lot of thought that was going on.

  3685. Everyone was really actively engaged.

  3686. We have not had our town administrator

  3687. in service for a month.

  3688. And so there are a lot of things that kind of stalled,

  3689. but I don't think that goodwill and that

  3690. and the intention of, of working on, on what,

  3691. what else is possible for Johnson won't carry forward.

  3692. I I mean everybody that was there, there were 10, 10 of us

  3693. that were there thinking about what could be done.

  3694. So I can't say it's all, it's written somewhere,

  3695. but I I I felt a lot of goodwill and good intention

  3696. Just,

    Does that help answer your question?

  3697. Okay, Ms. Garcia,

  3698. So I have a question.

  3699. So you said that the primary use is K to 12.

  3700. So when a preschool is located at a, at an elementary school

  3701. or the high school, that's an ancillary use.

  3702. Again, not the building inspector,

  3703. but he used language K to 12 educational use.

  3704. So if it's a preschool or a,

  3705. or daycare, I don't know the difference.

  3706. So he talked a lot about the YMCA.

  3707. How did he, how did he phrase it?

  3708. It wasn't an educational use, it was an outside. Hmm.

  3709. I I believe the words he used were

  3710. Recreational use.

  3711. So there's different standards in the building department

  3712. for recreational use and educational use.

  3713. So then I have a question about the eSchool.

  3714. What's the primary use?

  3715. I know that's not a school building, it's a town building.

  3716. What's the primary use of the eSchool

  3717. that houses our many preschool classrooms?

  3718. The primary school that was, so when

  3719. that came back into working function,

  3720. achieve went there first, if you remember correctly.

  3721. So Achieve went in

  3722. and went into educational use, preschool came in,

  3723. some ASAP programs came in as ancillary

  3724. and the Y came in also as ancillary.

  3725. So that is currently an educational use.

  3726. I'm gonna assume that they were able to do that

  3727. because they didn't have the aada a compliance issues.

  3728. So they wouldn't have been able to do that.

  3729. Even if they did change use at east,

  3730. there wasn't an a DA issue as to, to her point. Yeah,

  3731. Well there, there was one,

  3732. but there was money put in to fix it as I recall.

  3733. Which one was that? At the E school there were,

  3734. there were repairs made at the E school

  3735. to make it a DA compliant. There

  3736. Was quite a bit of fixing that the town did

  3737. of the E school, but I'm not,

  3738. I don't know which a DA pieces you're referring to.

  3739. It was in that report on the building uses the,

  3740. the one that looked at all of the town buildings.

  3741. Okay. Whatever year that was. Yeah.

  3742. So then, okay, so then it's possible that the town

  3743. could decide to do anything with it.

  3744. They could decide to use it for educational purposes.

  3745. They could decide to support putting afterschool programming

  3746. there or recreational programming.

  3747. It's nothing is precluded as a possibility.

  3748. I mean, I know that we're not here

  3749. to make that decision, but

  3750. From my understanding, in order

  3751. to keep K 12 educational use the way it is now,

  3752. we would have to continue to have a program

  3753. that was the primary use of the building there to do that.

  3754. There was a conversation that the, the what about achieve?

  3755. He said, well we have the same issues

  3756. with the Aada A pieces.

  3757. That's why we're, that's why we chose to

  3758. to close in the first place, right, was the issues

  3759. with the a DA compliance.

  3760. So sending some of our, our adult students who have some,

  3761. some different physical conditions wouldn't be the most

  3762. appropriate thing to do in that case.

  3763. So, but there were conversations about how could we keep it

  3764. as a K through 12 educational use

  3765. and keep the y there, keep other ancillary programs there

  3766. and we just, we, we are not able to come up with that.

  3767. We talked about ASAP after school.

  3768. But then again, then you have the YMCA

  3769. and, and that doesn't work either.

  3770. So if we're, if we made the decision

  3771. because of a DA purposes

  3772. and I know the decision was, was discussed and decided on,

  3773. and not everyone likes it.

  3774. I'm a Johnson parent. I love the school. Right.

  3775. I never voiced an opinion, a personal one about

  3776. that, and I won't.

  3777. But what I will say is the conversations occurred incredibly

  3778. to figure out what ways we could keep it a K

  3779. through 12 primary use.

  3780. And we had a hard time finding something that would work

  3781. for the building inspector and for the schools.

  3782. Thank you. Yeah. Ms.

  3783. Fathers, I do, we keep coming back

  3784. To the closure and I, I am coming back to

  3785. real realities in the enrollment numbers

  3786. that look pretty horrifying

  3787. to me when I think about the public, the common spaces.

  3788. So this is not, the decision was made

  3789. to close based on numbers that said we should be able

  3790. to comfortably fit our, you know, K through four kids.

  3791. But, you know, we've gotten numbers from Matthew, we got,

  3792. you know, plan B is that we would put a brown classroom in

  3793. into Kennedy as a plan B at some point was discussed.

  3794. We have the desire to have more special ed services down in

  3795. Memorial, which will take more spaces.

  3796. I just, we don't have a plan for buildings

  3797. for elementary education that we can feel confident supports

  3798. our kids and we're making it,

  3799. we're making a decision today without even enough numbers

  3800. about what, you know, would cost

  3801. to keep this on the books next year

  3802. is an immediate change of use.

  3803. Like it, I mean, it's just not been a lot of conversation

  3804. and I'm really concerned about the four other schools

  3805. and what we're already seeing there.

  3806. But again, that's just my view of imperfect.

  3807. There's never perfect information.

  3808. But the information that's come out around enrollment

  3809. is show is saying to me that the vote was taken

  3810. with really imperfect information

  3811. because the, the information does not change

  3812. that fast over that time.

  3813. And I remember at the time a lot of people voicing

  3814. that concern that why aren't we doing an enrollment numbers?

  3815. Why aren't, you know, a real enrollment report?

  3816. I Jefferson said, he said,

  3817. I think that we're gonna regret this.

  3818. 'cause I'm looking at the numbers, like those were not the

  3819. right numbers that were used

  3820. and now we're catastrophizing again.

  3821. Thank you

  3822. Ms.

  3823. Brunel. Then Ms. Uhor, just one question.

  3824. If, if we weren't revisiting,

  3825. and I know we aren't the Johnson decision about the school.

  3826. If we, if we dropped into a different town,

  3827. and this was a building that a school committee

  3828. was looking at whether or not to turn back to their town

  3829. or not, that did not have the emotional piece

  3830. of the Johnson closure,

  3831. would there ever, would there ever be a reason

  3832. for a school committee to keep a school empty

  3833. because we weren't sure if we were gonna need it in a

  3834. year or two or three?

  3835. If the MSBA process goes on longer,

  3836. and I know this is a lot of ifs,

  3837. but I'm just trying to, I'm trying to like pull out some

  3838. of the emotion from this, which is difficult for me to do,

  3839. but I'm trying to just look at this from a bird's eye view

  3840. as a school committee member.

  3841. And I'm wondering just to,

  3842. I, I feel like

  3843. for me to speak about this part,

  3844. I feel like I, I'm, I can't, I'm not qualified

  3845. to, like I have some thoughts about it,

  3846. but it just be my thoughts.

  3847. And so we really need like build to weigh in and turn.

  3848. So like it, like it said, if you mothball a building,

  3849. I don't know what it is about mothballing a building,

  3850. they deteriorate just sitting there mothballed.

  3851. So if you really wanna a building to be around to use,

  3852. you kind of have to find a use for it.

  3853. And that's the dilemma.

  3854. We are, we're in this circular place where

  3855. I think they really, the people that were in the building

  3856. that day, we're trying to figure out how to, how

  3857. to keep using the building.

  3858. But we run up, we keep running into the a DA compliance.

  3859. I, I felt like we just, every corner of the building

  3860. we were up against the same things

  3861. that have come up in the past, the same dilemmas.

  3862. It's it, you can't even use just the first floor

  3863. because even getting just to the first floor,

  3864. there are stairs pretty much

  3865. on all the, all the sides.

  3866. And the ramps would have to make it work, would have

  3867. to, they extend so far into the body of the building

  3868. East when I enter there, it's all this, it's all one level.

  3869. And, but yeah, John Johnson, it

  3870. you, there's just, it's not,

  3871. it's not one level in that first floor.

  3872. And so, you know it, you know what I'm talking about.

  3873. So then it's, you can't even fit chair lifts.

  3874. It's so narrow.

  3875. This corset.

    Yeah.

  3876. Just so, just because I guess I, I'm not absorbing this,

  3877. but if we, now that we've voted to close the school once,

  3878. we no longer have students in the school at the end

  3879. of this year, does that mean that it's no longer in use

  3880. as a K to 12 school?

  3881. Like have we done the change of use just

  3882. by closing the school

  3883. Once there isn't a primary program operating under K 12?

  3884. Anything that went in there would require a change of use.

  3885. We'd have to have a K

  3886. through 12 primary program in there. Okay.

  3887. I think, I think she's, I think we have to, they have

  3888. to vote the term back, otherwise it's just there.

  3889. But nothing's there.

  3890. And, and,

  3891. and as I said, if you have nothing there, it,

  3892. It just wouldn't be used.

  3893. Yeah. And the building would just, just deteriorate.

  3894. Yeah. No, I'm just trying

  3895. to understand when the change of use happens.

  3896. So it's, the primary use is there

  3897. until somebody does something different.

  3898. Until something comes, yes.

  3899. So whether we turn it back to the town

  3900. or whether we mothball, which I agree.

  3901. I don't think that's a great idea

  3902. to just have a building sitting there.

  3903. It would still be K to 12

  3904. until somebody does something different

  3905. with it. Is that correct?

  3906. I, again, not the building inspector.

  3907. If there's different regulations for

  3908. what it is sitting there.

  3909. If there's a kind of a dormant use,

  3910. I, I don't, I don't know.

  3911. I don't know. Okay.

  3912. Alright. Yeah. But

    I don't,

  3913. I don't think, hold on.

  3914. I have a sec. A question. Oh, go ahead.

  3915. So here's a question I have.

  3916. 'cause we, we are hearing this,

  3917. I just heard the word catastrophizing about enrollment next

  3918. year and special education taking place in the hallways.

  3919. Is that where data is showing?

  3920. Like, are we in a catastrophe situation with enrollment If,

  3921. because we already decided to close Johnson.

  3922. So this vote isn't really,

  3923. unless we bring all the Johnson kids back,

  3924. which I don't think any families wanna go through

  3925. that again, but, but anyway, but I'm just curious.

  3926. Are we dealing with a enrollment

  3927. crisis at elementary school?

  3928. I don't feel that there's an enrollment crisis in the,

  3929. in the elementary schools

  3930. and you see the snapshots, the enrollment

  3931. actually across the schools are, is quite good.

  3932. I'm sorry. And then,

  3933. but there are more specialized services

  3934. that are being offered.

  3935. So, so I feel like it is cor crowded in terms

  3936. of collaborative space.

  3937. But right now I don't feel it.

  3938. Just look at the class sizes across the, the, the size,

  3939. the class size sections are good,

  3940. but people are, but I would say we could use more

  3941. collaborative space in, in some of the schools.

  3942. So I know you weren't here for this,

  3943. but when we discussed closing Johnson two

  3944. and a half years ago, there were those who said,

  3945. we're not gonna have space.

  3946. We're gonna regret this decision.

  3947. We're gonna need more space. Is that happening next year?

  3948. It's not happening next year. No.

  3949. And Matt had his hand up

  3950. and he did The projections not happening this year.

  3951. I think, if anything the concern was the high school.

  3952. Yes. Was the high school.

  3953. Okay.

    Yeah.

  3954. Mr. Burnell, did you have a question?

  3955. No, I, I don't.

    Okay.

  3956. SLAs? I just wonder. I I am the catastrophizing was not

  3957. with regard to our enrollment that I think we just need

  3958. to look at really carefully and have

  3959. options to plan carefully.

  3960. Like whether it's moving preschools back into individual

  3961. elementary schools to get outta the high school.

  3962. Like that's the kind of long term planning.

  3963. When I mentioned catastrophizing, it was more

  3964. that here we are in a situation again where there's a lot

  3965. of questions that people have that no one is really able

  3966. to answer and

  3967. yet we're still gonna have to take a vote today.

  3968. And that, that was the piece

  3969. where it feels like I feel backed into

  3970. a corner by the process.

  3971. Any other questions or comments?

  3972. Does anyone wanna make a motion? Oh, sorry. Ms. Vickers.

  3973. Brinley Vickers. I just wanted to say,

  3974. I'm sorry if I came across

  3975. as personally attacking any one individual.

  3976. I wasn't trying, I know that you've just gotten here,

  3977. so I was not attacking you.

  3978. I was trying to make the point

  3979. that a community is not two classes

  3980. of parents in a building.

  3981. A community is a community. It is the entire neighborhood.

  3982. I no longer have students in Johnson,

  3983. but it is still my neighborhood.

  3984. I have lots of neighbors who've moved in with young children

  3985. who had no idea the school was closing when they

  3986. were sold and bought the house.

  3987. They thought their kids were going to go to Johnson.

  3988. They learned afterwards,

  3989. after the decision had already been made.

  3990. 'cause there hadn't been community outreach.

  3991. I think that this is the point I was trying to make in terms

  3992. of we were promised community

  3993. input, for instance, tonight.

  3994. I hadn't planned on being here

  3995. because there is a community input meeting

  3996. for the Route 1 35 West Corridor that I really wanted to go

  3997. to that i, I have had on my schedule for almost four weeks.

  3998. I was expecting as I think many of our

  3999. neighbors were a community input meeting

  4000. that involved the actual community, the people

  4001. who live in the community about

  4002. what would happen with that property.

  4003. And being able to ask these same questions

  4004. that aren't necessarily being answered today,

  4005. but are somewhat being answered.

  4006. And so that is what I meant by process.

  4007. It's been stated already, but I wanted to be clear.

  4008. I'm sorry. If the emotion has come across as an attack

  4009. to any individual, it is an attack on the process

  4010. because it feels extremely, once again, shortsighted

  4011. and disrespectful in timing.

  4012. That's what I meant by that. Thank

  4013. You.

  4014. Thank you Mr. Leff. And, and Ms. Collins.

  4015. Just maybe a recommendation on to Ms.

  4016. McDonough's point about the vote itself.

  4017. I mean certainly we can't give answers about

  4018. what the town will or won't be able to do with it

  4019. until we actually turn it over.

  4020. And we, we know that, and that's part of the issue tonight.

  4021. We can't answer all the questions in full that,

  4022. that you have, but perhaps you could add something

  4023. to the vote requesting that the town

  4024. seek input from the Johnson neighborhood community as well

  4025. as other members of the community for the future use.

  4026. It'll be too late by then.

    Ms. Collins,

  4027. I was gonna give you a motion if

  4028. you wanted it, Mr. Chair.

  4029. Sure.

    Move that.

  4030. This native school committee declared the Johnson Elementary

  4031. School is no longer needed for educational purposes

  4032. after 11:59 PM on June 30th, 2024.

  4033. Subject to vote of town meeting

  4034. Second.

  4035. Does anyone wanna make an amendment

  4036. to add something along along?

  4037. Can I just say why I didn't?

    Sure.

  4038. Because the select board will have a process

  4039. to decide what to do with it.

  4040. They'll probably have a study committee

  4041. to decide what to do with it.

  4042. This isn't the end of the road for when people can,

  4043. you know, voice their concerns.

  4044. It's just a different venue

  4045. that they would be voicing them in.

  4046. Okay. Any discussion on the motion?

  4047. Yeah, I was, I was trying to think two things.

  4048. I I do think I, I hear Kate's point, it,

  4049. it would've been nicer if we had had the time to just,

  4050. it seems like this is kind of like a perfu, I don't know if

  4051. that's the right word, but like, we have to take this vote

  4052. 'cause we have to turn the building over.

  4053. So we already made the decision to close Johnson

  4054. and we can't like, revisit that.

  4055. I, I do think it would've been nice to have a mo a meeting

  4056. to think, just ask the questions and talk about it

  4057. and then at the next meeting vote.

  4058. But I also know that we've had unforeseen circumstances

  4059. and of people being out

  4060. and so I think, I do think that would be nice.

  4061. I'm, I like the idea of re of asking for input.

  4062. But if I really think about it,

  4063. every process I've seen in town has a huge amount of a,

  4064. a big process and input to anything

  4065. that happens in the community.

  4066. So I think after the discussion, I'm, I'm comfortable that,

  4067. that any change of use of

  4068. that property would involve, like Ms.

  4069. Vickers said there was a, there's a,

  4070. there's a meeting about the West Natick corridor tonight

  4071. and I was also interested in that.

  4072. So I, I'm, I think I'm comfortable that,

  4073. that there would be outreach.

  4074. But I under, I hear Kate's concerns

  4075. so I I'm not gonna make an amendment to that. Okay.

  4076. Thanks. esp Brune,

  4077. I, I hope this is okay,

  4078. but I guess I wanna say to the committee

  4079. that while this vote is will end the,

  4080. well I'm not sure how the vote will turn out,

  4081. but the proposal is

  4082. to end the school committee's relationship with Johnson.

  4083. The, we as a committee need to make a commitment

  4084. that we are not ending our relationship with that community

  4085. because that community is split up into pieces

  4086. and we'll continue to be until we eventually redistrict.

  4087. There are three buses that go down High Street

  4088. to three different elementary schools.

  4089. There are three buses that go down Pond Street.

  4090. It's actually ridiculous in the mornings.

  4091. And that is one of the pieces

  4092. that will never sit well with me.

  4093. That, that neighbors that are like next to neighbors.

  4094. And I've raised this issue since,

  4095. since the committee took the vote to close.

  4096. I am asking this committee really to like,

  4097. I don't know if I'm asking for a formal agenda item shy,

  4098. but we have to look at the way that committee

  4099. or that that community is divided.

  4100. Because if we're saying that we are acknowledging

  4101. that there are pieces of this process

  4102. where we did not do right by that community,

  4103. there is one final piece where we could do right by it.

  4104. And I hope that this committee will take it seriously.

  4105. Any other comments before we vote?

  4106. Okay. Ms. Fathers?

  4107. No.

    Mr. Brunell? Yes. Mr. Brand? Yes.

  4108. Ms. McDonough? Yes. Ms. Goeth? Yes. Ms. Collins? Yes.

  4109. And I may, yes. The motion passes.

  4110. The last item on the agenda is the,

  4111. It's really the last agenda item is informational.

  4112. So when we talked about the consolidation

  4113. of services under a common town director for technology,

  4114. you had asked for an organizational chart.

  4115. And so there are two new positions that are in here,

  4116. which you approved as part of the non rep pay scale, the

  4117. data manager and the budget

  4118. and procurement analyst, those positions.

  4119. So as you see on the chart, you have town it, school, it,

  4120. and then potential shared resources in the middle.

  4121. And so these positions are foreseen

  4122. to do some work for schools and some work for for town.

  4123. And the two new positions were reviewed by town

  4124. and school legal counsel to make sure that they were okay.

  4125. Didn't by like the conflict of interest rules

  4126. that we had looked at

  4127. before with respect to consolidating services

  4128. for technology and they approve them.

  4129. So now we can share with you an organizational chart.

  4130. So this is to meet that request that was made earlier.

  4131. So is informational.

  4132. And now that you voted the pay scale, they can be posted

  4133. the positions and they can be filled.

  4134. So that's

  4135. Good.

  4136. Just to clarify, that was a vote

  4137. as part of the consent agenda.

  4138. We didn't Yeah. Exclusively talk about it.

  4139. 'cause it was part of the consent agenda. Yeah, MS course.

  4140. So looking at this org chart,

  4141. it looks like the two new positions

  4142. fall under the shared resources.

  4143. There's potential shared resources.

  4144. The job descriptions say that they are

  4145. primarily school really,

  4146. but they can serve, they can provide service to towns

  4147. and it makes sense for some of the things

  4148. that we're looking at.

  4149. Systems, maybe finances, things like that.

  4150. They just wanna make sure when the person is hired,

  4151. they understand they might be

  4152. working on both systems

  4153. And who will sort of monitor what percentage

  4154. of their time is actually spent on like school

  4155. needs versus town needs.

  4156. So everything report, everything reports to the town.

  4157. Director FI or the chief finance?

  4158. I have the chief technology officer I think is

  4159. the formal title.

  4160. And then the see the CTO,

  4161. that person is, so a lot of people are directly reporting

  4162. to the CTO and then that or is that the chief technical?

  4163. Sorry, that's Dennis. So

  4164. He's evolution reporting.

  4165. He expanded one.

  4166. I thought it was, he expanded one role where a lot

  4167. of people were reporting to that person,

  4168. but he will be overseeing all of it.

  4169. Also in, in the agreement that was executed

  4170. by, by the school committee.

  4171. It's a 60 40 ratio.

  4172. 60% schools, 40% town.

  4173. Thank you.

    You are welcome.

  4174. Any other questions? Yeah, Mr.

  4175. Brand, just for clarification, for the, like for the budget

  4176. and procurement analyst, just

  4177. because I may have missed this at some point, I know

  4178. for the CTO that 60 40 applies,

  4179. but for other, for potentially other shared resources,

  4180. are they also 60 40?

  4181. I

    Would or are we paying for them and just sharing?

  4182. My understanding is that they're probably,

  4183. I'm gonna say like 90 10.

  4184. They're primarily school.

  4185. These are mostly school.

  4186. We have the bigger systems infrastructure

  4187. that handles Right.

  4188. Okay. I guess it was just like if we're

  4189. sharing, we should be sharing

  4190. We're oversharing. Yeah,

  4191. That's a good way to put it.

  4192. And I think Dennis has, you know, he has

  4193. given both departments, now he has a good feel for

  4194. what needs to be where and where to prioritize.

  4195. So we don't wanna say exactly 60 40.

  4196. We wanna say, Dennis, use your priority,

  4197. use your right expert knowledge to say this is

  4198. what school needs, this is what town needs.

  4199. I thought, I thought the intention

  4200. of the job description was to allow flexibility,

  4201. but their primarily school,

  4202. I and I am

  4203. and as somebody who works in this industry, I don't mind

  4204. the idea of occasionally helping out other departments.

  4205. But this proposed staff, this makes it look like

  4206. they're shared and on like a consistent basis,

  4207. It does look like that big square.

  4208. But I, but I think his intention is

  4209. that they're primarily school

  4210. but allows for flexibility, which

  4211. Is totally fine.

  4212. I like, I I read this

  4213. and thought, oh cool, we're sharing the cost of 1, 2, 3, 4,

  4214. like all these different people.

  4215. But that, that's just a, the way I interpret the picture.

  4216. But pictures are not my strong suit.

  4217. I'll let 'em know that it gave that impression. Yeah.

  4218. So maybe, yeah, maybe we shouldn't present it this way.

  4219. Does give that impression more function versus

  4220. like, they're fun.

  4221. It's total. I get it. It's fine.

  4222. We don't have to, it's 9 46. It's fine. I'm good.

  4223. I do agree though. If it's primarily a school position,

  4224. it would be nice to have it in the school box.

  4225. Even if you put one of those like dotted lines over to the

  4226. Shared part, maybe they should have all been in blue

  4227. and they got asterisk. Okay.

  4228. However you wanna do anything. It's okay.

  4229. I, I appreciate that. So I can let 'em know

  4230. that it lent itself to a different impression.

  4231. Any other questions? This is just

  4232. for our information at this point, right?

  4233. Yeah, it's just informational

  4234. and to give you the organizational chart

  4235. that you asked when you first executed the agreement.

  4236. Any other questions?

    Motion

  4237. To adjourn.

  4238. That was our last item. I'll take a motion to adjourn.

  4239. Second. We still have to do roll call. Ms. flas. Yes. Ms.

  4240. Brunell? Yes. Mr. Brand? Yes. Ms. McDonna? Yes. Ms. Goeth?

  4241. Yes. And Ms. Collins? Yes. And now my Yes.

  4242. Thank you everyone. Good night and happy holidays. Yes. Oh

  4243. Right. See you next year.

  4244. See you next year.

School Committee (32 Videos)
Updated 3 days ago