|TSC Permanent Minutes November 3, 2011
TOPSFIELD SCHOOL COMMITTEE (TSC)
PROCTOR SCHOOL LIBRARY
November 3, 2011
Members Present: Susan Archer, Jeanine Cunniff, Rosemarie
Lucey, Joe Quigley and Gordon Spater
Others Present: Dr. Bernard Creeden (Tri-Town Union (TTU)
Superintendent), Steve Greenberg (TTU Director of Finance
and Human Resources), Christine Elliot (TTU Director of
Curriculum), Michelle Costa (Principal, Steward School),
Sarah O’Leary (Principal, Proctor School), Melanie Sandman
& Lindsay Lanz (Teachers), Sharon Lyons (TTU SPED Director),
Katie Lyons (Steward Preschool), Colleen Ferrarini, Nancy
Rudder, Beth Matthews and Sandy Zargaj (Steward), Missy
McSweeney and Jennifer Hunt (Co-Presidents, TESPTO), George
Hall (Topsfield Renewable Energy and Green Communities
Committee), Suzanne Snell (Tri-Town Transcript), Dan Shugrue
and Kathryn Hartmann (FinCom), Ryan Burbank (Eagle Scout)
and Cindy Burbank (parent), Kathy Curran (Video) and Ellen
Gaskell (Recording Secretary)
1. Call to Order: Chairperson Jeannine Cunniff called the
meeting to order at 7:32 p.m.
2. Remarks from the Public: None
1. Reports from Other Committees:
a. Topsfield Elementary School PTO (TESPTO)
i. Jennifer Hunt reported. She introduced Co-President Missy
McSweeney and then spoke of what TESPTO funds, which was
also stated on a handout distributed at the meeting. The
handout also listed the TESPTO fundraisers for the year; the
list of fundraisers is also on the TESPTO section of the
school website. Missy McSweeney spoke of the “I Give”
website; using this websites funnel proceeds to the school.
The website is linked to the school website. J. Hunt also
said the Stop and Shop and Target stores also have programs
that can channel funds to the PTO. The PTO is investigating
linking a rewards program with Crosby’s Market also. The
co-presidents also spoke of the BoxTops program, which
channels funds to the schools through the purchase of
certain grocery items. The PTO won’t have a major
fundraiser this school year so that other organizations can
run their big fundraisers without competition. J. Cunniff
praised the PTO and thanked them for their efforts.
b. Topsfield Renewable Energy and Green Communities
i. G. Hall reported. The green community application was
successful. A grant application was submitted at the end of
Aug. The amount of the grant was to be $132K. The grant
hasn’t been announced yet by the Dept. of Energy and
Resources. Topsfield is one of 14 communities in the running
for the use of an energy-management company, who would
perform an energy audit of all the town buildings. G. Hall
requested that a TSC member be a liaison to the Renewable
Energy and Green Communities Committee; J. Cunniff and S.
Archer volunteered to share this responsibility. G. Hall
said that lighting upgrades are the “low hanging fruit”
of grant projects. Of all the town buildings, the schools
are the largest energy consumers in the town. Next meeting
for this committee is 11/19/11. G. Hall spoke of
energy-savings companies (ESCOs); if an ESCO is wrong about
the energy savings of a capital project, they will make up
the difference, so they take away some of the risk of an
energy-saving capital project. However, the ESCO will take
some of the funds saved through reduced energy consumption
as a fee, so the town won’t see the full energy savings.
The TSC thanked G. Hall for his work.
c. Tri-Town Union Committee
i. J. Cunniff reported. G. Spater reported. SPED Director S.
Lyons gave an update about her department. C. Elliot spoke
of curriculum enhancements. There was discussion about the
school calendars and the Central Office apportionment.
d. K-12 Joint School Committees
i. On 10/19. J. Quigley and Dr. Creeden reported. There were
updates from these school committees: Boxford, Middleton and
Masco. Various school committees exchanged email addresses.
Masco asked if they could send their newsletter to
elementary school families to inform them about Masco
happenings. There was not a determined response to this.
There was discussion about technology and the need for
updated social media and Internet use policies in the
2. Reports of the Building Principals: included in the
a. Michelle Costa, Steward School
i. The 5 Day Kindergarten survey was discussed; M. Costa
would like comments from the TSC about the survey before it
goes out to the parents. Dr. Creeden said that the majority
of Kindergarteners in the state are enrolled in five full
day programs. S. Archer asked Dr. Creeden about the cost of
providing free Five Day Kindergarten; he said that the first
year would benefit from the previous year’s fees and would
be fully built into the budget after that. S. Greenberg gave
a rough cost of 3 sections of Kindergarten. M. McSweeney
asked why the children go to school MWThurs or TWThurs. She
wondered if the children who go to school MWThurs have
trouble with consistency since they have Tuesdays off. M.
Costa said that she would investigate why it is done this
b. Sarah O’Leary, Proctor School:
i. Ryan Burbank, a Boxford Eagle Scout candidate, made a
presentation. R. Burbank would like to renovate the
courtyard and used a poster to illustrate the current
condition of that area. A project description was
distributed at the meeting. R. Burbank said that he was
responsible for the project funding; he expected the project
to cost about $800. Dr. Creeden suggested that Ryan go
before the Rotary Club to request funding and suggested that
he go to their next meeting. The TSC thanked R. Burbank.
Motion by S. Archer to accept R. Burbank’s courtyard
renovation project, seconded by J. Quigley. Motion passed
ii. J. Larussa of the enrichment program CLIC has started an
Environmental Club at Proctor; the club wishes to help
maintain the school grounds. The club would like to purchase
iii. The town trustees will help fund the project as long as
it is confirmed that it isn’t in the budget. J. Cunniff
agreed to write a letter confirming this.
G. Spater moved to let J. Cunniff write a letter to the
town trustees, stating that the aforementioned composter is
not in the budget, seconded by R. Lucey. Motion passed
3. Report of the Superintendent: included in the packet.
a. 2012-2013 School Calendar Discussion
b. Personnel Update
i. Part-time custodian David Paige has submitted his letter
of resignation. A search for his replacement is underway
ii. There is a Veteran’s Day Program this Saturday.
iii. There was a school calendar discussion. Different
versions of next year’s school calendar were distributed
at the meeting. Middleton and Boxford elementary schools
will have days off next school year because they are used as
polling places for elections. Masco wanted to know if
Middleton and Boxford were going to close on the
Presidential Election Day (Nov. 6, 2012) and if so, Masco
would also close. Topsfield would have to decide if they
would be open on this day. The cost of the school buses is
not a factor in Topsfield’s decision to remain open or
close on this particular day. Dr. Creeden spoke of
alternative places to hold elections other than the schools.
Per the teachers’ contracts in the 3 towns, the teachers
get to have input on the school calendar. J. Cunniff said
that she got a lot of negative feedback for the early
release day on Halloween and wondered if it should be done
next school year. G. Spater said that Topsfield should have
school on Nov. 6, 2012 and wanted to preserve complete weeks
of school in Nov.; the rest of the TSC agreed with him.
There was discussion about having parent conferences in Oct.
and issuing reports cards in Dec. M. McSweeney was asked to
give an opinion and said she didn’t have a strong feeling
to change to this scheduling.
1. MCAS 2011 Results Analysis Part 2: PowerPoint
presentation by C. Elliot. A copy of the presentation was
included in the packet. S. O’Leary and M. Costa also
contributed to the presentation. Refer to the Department of
Education website for further information. M. Costa said
that there would be a family coffee for 3rd Grade parents in
which an introduction to MCAS would be presented and there
would be a question and answer period. All are welcome to
2. No Child Left Behind (NCLB) School and District Report: A
copy of the report was included in the packet. Families will
get this report electronically and it will be on the school
website. Paper copies will also be available, if needed. Dr.
Creeden noted that a large percentage of MA schools are not
in compliance with NCLB and in response, the state has asked
the DOE for a NCLB waiver to work on deficiencies.
a. The results of a national achievement test for elementary
school students, the NAPE, was discussed – 4th and 8th
graders in MA finished 1st in the country.
3. School Committee Planning:
a. FY 2011 Annual Report: A copy was included in the packet.
J. Cunniff asked the TSC to review it and send her any
b. District Goals 2011-2012: A copy was included in the
packet. S. Archer asked the TSC to review the draft and send
her any comments. Technology is the main focus of these
goals. There are pieces needed for infrastructure that need
to be in place before additional technology is purchased.
c. The Annual Report and District Goals Reports need to
voted on by 12/1.
d. The FinCom will be voting their budget guidelines at
their next meeting in Nov.
e. S. Archer hoped that the funds for technology would be
available this year.
f. More research is needed regarding the technology
g. The next Technology Committee meeting will be Nov. 17.
h. Dr. Creeden said that it may make more sense to hire a
consulting firm versus a technology coordinator.
i. Technology Capital Planning: See above.
i. Ginna Wilder has distributed Capital Improvement forms,
which are due the day after the next FinCom meeting. Dr.
Creeden said that the math curriculum program should be
written up on one of these forms.
j. FY 2013 Budget Preliminary Discussion: See above.
4. Correspondence: None
5. Other: None
1. Meeting Minutes of Previous Meetings: Copies of which
were included in the packet.
i. Page 1
1. Call to Order, correct the spelling Jeanine Cunniff.
2. Routines, Remarks from the Public, 11th line, omit the
ii. Page 2
1. Reports of the Building Principals, Michelle Costa,
Steward School, School Opening, #1, 3rd line, change RTA to
RTI and change Daily to Developmental.6th line, insert the
verb ‘is’ between there and lots.
2. Reports of the Building Principals, Sarah O’Leary,
Proctor School, #1, 1st line, change development to
developmental. 3rd line, omit the period after computations
and put School after Cole. 4th line change looking at to
comparing and replace umbrella with schools with. 5th line,
omit Rick Wormelli. 6th line, omit the clause how to
understand common core standards will be covered. 19th line,
insert of behavior tracking at the end of the sentence.
3. Report of the Superintendent, b., put 2011 after June.
iii. Page 3
1. Report of the Superintendent (continued), 1st line,
change Annual to Adequate. 6th line, change ESE to DESE.
2. Report of the Director of Finance, b., 2nd line, change
the phrase At a 9/29 meeting to At a 9/29/11 meeting.
3. New Business, School Committee Planning, d., omit 2nd
A motion was made by R. Lucey to accept the amended 9/20/11
TSC Regular Meeting minutes, seconded by S. Archer. Motion
i. Page 1
1. Members Present, change Richard Spater to Gordie
2. Others Present, change Topsfield Education Council to
Topsfield Educational Foundation and Kathy Craven to Kathy
3. Reports from Other Committees, Topsfield Educational
Foundation, 4th line, change Instructional Band to
Instructional Music Program.
ii. Page 2
1. Report of the Building Principals, 2nd paragraph, 1st
line, correct the spelling of Olweus on the 1st line (and
throughout the minutes). 4th paragraph, the phrase should
read, …to help to better understand the students and
community of learners.
iii. Page 3
1. Report of the Superintendent, K-12 Meeting, 2nd
paragraph, 3rd sentence should read: People taking a tour of
Howe Manning will be able to see new technology. Omit next 2
2. Report of the Director of Finance, 2nd paragraph, 2nd
sentence should read: Rowley Bridge Road is out of
commission because of the bridge project. 3rd sentence
should read: Howlett Street has been opened after the
3. New Business, MCAS 2011 Results Analysis Part I, 2nd
paragraph, 1st sentence should read, Dr. Creeden reviewed
and explained the MCAS Report and how the Composite
Performance Index (CPI) is calculated. Omit the 2nd
4. New Business, School Committee Planning, FY 2013 Capital
Plan, 10th line, 1st sentence should read: Hardware must
last seven years due to our 7-year replacement cycle, so we
have to build in lots of capacity and a 3-5 year warranty.
Line 12, sentence should read: M. Costa stated that
researching the hardware is a huge undertaking. Line 13,
change Committee to Technology Committee.
iv. Page 4
1. Delete 1st paragraph.
2. 3rd paragraph , 1st sentence, the phrase should read,
…that a Library automation system is not in the plan.
3. School Committee Planning, FY 2011 Annual Report, correct
the spelling of Jeanine and Gordie.
4. Policy Development, Homework Policy, 4th line, the phrase
should read, …as a sub-group of the school committee.
Policy Development, Gifts to Schools and Staff Members, 3rd
line, change to to from.
Motions were made by R. Lucey to approve each of the 2
aforementioned amended minutes, seconded by S. Archer. Both
motions passed unanimously.
2. Bill Warrants and Payrolls (as read by J. Cunniff;
handout distributed at the meeting):
i. Bill Warrants and Payrolls – Sign and Vote to
1. BW#12-29 10/27/11 $30,503.91
2. BW#12-30 10/27/11 $4,450.00
3. BW#12-31 10/27/11 $440.00
4. BW#12-32 11/02/11 $500.00
5. BW#12-33 11/02/11 $5,323.28
6. BW#12-34 11/02/11 $7,064.24
7. Total $48,281.43
ii. Bill Warrants and Payrolls – Vote to Accept Only:
1. BW#12-27 10/19/11 $10,481.86
2. BW#12-28 10/19/11 $514.60
3. Corrected BW#12-23 10/06/11 $6,492.08
4. Payroll #7,4&2 10/06/11 $211,259.81
5. Payroll #9,6&4 11/03/11 $208,705.16
6. Total $437,453.51
7. Grand Total $485,734.94
Motion made by R. Lucey to pay the Bill Warrants and
Payrolls as read by J. Cunniff, seconded by J. Quigley.
Motion passed unanimously.
3. Declaration of Surplus Equipment:
S. Archer motioned to accept the aforementioned Surplus
Equipment Lists, seconded by R. Lucey. Motion passed
At 10:51 pm, R. Lucey made a motion to discuss strategy
with respect to negotiations with non-union personnel where
an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the
bargaining as declared by the Chair of the School Committee
and comply with actions under the authority of any general
or specific law or authority of any federal grant-in-aid
requirement, seconded by S. Archer. Motion passed
unanimously by roll call vote (in favor: Susan Archer,
Jeanine Cunniff, Rosemarie Lucey, Joe Quigley and Gordie
At midnight, R. Lucey moved to adjourn, seconded by S.
Archer. Motion passed unanimously.
Per the new Open Meeting Law, here is a list of the
documents that were either distributed to the TSC before the
meeting in a packet, or at the meeting:
2. Preliminary TSC Minutes – 9/30/11 & 10/06/11
3. Superintendent’s Report
4. Bill Warrant and Payroll Sheet
5. Principals’ Reports
6. Surplus Equipment Schedule
7. TSC District Goals 2009-2012 and Action Plan 2011-2012
8. Capital Improvement Program – Emergency Building
Repairs Request Form
9. Capital Improvement Program – Technology Request
10. Capital Improvement Program – Equipment Request
11. 2011 NCLB Report Card
12. MCAS Improvement Plan and Next Steps 11/03/11
13. TESPTO flyer