|TSC Permanent Minutes January 5, 2012
TOPSFIELD SCHOOL COMMITTEE (TSC)
PROCTOR SCHOOL LIBRARY
January 5, 2012
Members Present: Susan Archer, Jeanine Cunniff, Rosemarie
Lucey and Gordie Spater
Members Absent: Joe Quigley
Others Present: Dr. Bernard Creeden (Tri-Town Union (TTU)
Superintendent), Michelle Costa (Principal, Steward School),
Sarah O’Leary (Principal, Proctor School), Jen Hunt
(Parent), Dan Shugrue (Finance Committee/Parent), Ken Vogel,
Dick Gandt and Laura Powers (Board of Selectmen), Heather
Ramsay (Parent), Jeannie Meehan and Kevin Zajas (Proctor),
Bill Whiting (Cable TV), Kathy Hartmann (FinCom), Kathy
Curran (Proctor/Steward Teacher) and Ellen Gaskell
1. Call to Order: Chairperson Jeanine Cunniff called the
meeting to order at 7:32 p.m.
2. Remarks from the Public: H. Ramsay asked the TSC to
support a free Five Day Kindergarten. She cited the benefits
of a 5-Day program vs. a 3-Day program. She has triplets and
wants them in separate Kindergarten classrooms and with the
current status of only one 5-Day classroom, two of her
children will have to enroll in a 3-Day classroom. The TSC
thanked her for her comments.
1. Reports from Other Committees:
a. Topsfield Renewable Energy and Green Communities
i. J. Cunniff reported. The Renewable Energy Committee has
committed to a 20% reduction in energy consumption in town
buildings and vehicles; they are looking at lighting right
now. National Grid is coming in to do an audit. There is a
possible indoor and outdoor lighting retrofit. The Green
Communities Committee is looking where to best spend grant
dollars. This committee will hear soon about the Energy
Saving Company (ESCO) contribution.
b. Math Curriculum Review Committee Update
i. S. O’Leary reported. Pilot program of both Math in
Focus and Math Expressions programs are ongoing. On
12/15/11, this committee met to discuss the pros & cons of
both programs. The next meeting is 1/10. There will be a
recommend on the math program by the end of January. R.
Lucey said that Topsfield must improve its technology to
maximize the benefits of the new math program. J. Cunniff
expressed concerns that Topsfield’s technology deficit may
hamper implementing the new math program.
2. Reports of the Building Principals: See the reports
included in the packet.
a. Michelle Costa, Steward School
i. The registration Period for Preschool is happening now. A
document about the revenues in the different Preschool
proposals was distributed at the meeting. Kindergarten
registration is also ongoing; last night there was an
information session. New Music Teacher Dina Reilly debuted
at the holiday concert; she and Kristen Galardi did a
spectacular job on the holiday concerts. The teachers of the
Fundations Program, Ms. Monbleau and Ms. Minaar are also
doing a great job implementing that program. M. Costa said
that she was proud of the student council members; she meets
1 Friday a month with them. The student council went to
Little Brook Village to spread holiday cheer. The 3rd
graders requested changes to the morning announcements,
which have been implemented.
b. Sarah O’Leary, Proctor School:
i. The 2nd universal screening for reading and math is
ongoing. The holiday performances were great; K. Zajas did a
wonderful job at the Holiday Walk with the Advanced Band, as
did Dina Reilly with the chorus. The new Proctor School
After School Chorus is being led by Kristen Galardi. The
1/23 Professional Development Day will have peers presenting
to peers. Thank you to the custodians for their hard work
over winter break. A representative from Competitive Edge
met with S. O’Leary recently. The Technology Needs
Assessment has been completed. How to fund technology is
being studied – private and public sources will be
considered. J. Cunniff said that the needs assessment is a
crucial document. S. O’ Leary said that infrastructure
must be considered. S. Archer said that there is a need for
a technology point person; S. Greenberg agreed that there is
a need for a leader that can integrate technology and
curriculum in a cost- effective manner.
3. Report of the Superintendent: included in the packet.
a. Dr. Creeden spoke of the TSC meeting calendar; he won’t
be able to attend the 2/2 meeting and this meeting may be
rescheduled. He then addressed the agenda items for the 1/12
b. The Educational Collaboratives Reform Bill was discussed;
a related memo was included in the packet. The bill will
soon be voted on in the State Senate.
1. School Calendar 2012-2013 Draft #2: Dr. Creeden reported.
The calendar was included in the packet.
1. Teachers have a copy of the draft calendar and are giving
feedback to Dr. Creeden. One of the changes in this draft
is that there is now 1 Early Release day in May; there were
2. TTU Curriculum Director C. Elliot will speak at the
upcoming TTU meeting, stating the need next year for more
professional development days because of the new math
2. FY 2013 Budget Development: Dr. Creeden presented the
Superintendent’s Proposed Budget. There was a copy of the
PowerPoint presentation in the packet; it will be on the
school website tomorrow; see the PowerPoint presentation for
1. S. Greenberg said that there is a proposal to reconfigure
the technology department: the top 3 Tech positions will be
split among the Tri-Town; the Technology Instructional
Specialist and the Technology Aide will be split between
Steward and Proctor. S. Greenberg made the point that the
best hardware in the world would be ineffective without the
proper technology staff to show the teaching staff how to
fully utilize it.
2. Meeting Calendar
3. Enrollment Projection for 2012-2013: NESDEC projections
and the historical enrollment for Topsfield and Boxford and
Middleton were included in packet.
4. Revenue from Grants and Revolving Funds
5. Impact of Existing Contractual Agreements
6. Impact of Technology Staffing and Hardware: See above.
7. Impact of Mathematics Program Adoption
8. Impact of Kindergarten Models
9. J. Cunniff thanked Dr. Creeden for his presentation and
said that it would provide valuable information when the TSC
builds the elementary schools’ budget. She noted that Dr.
Creeden’s presentation does not meet the FinCom’s 2%
increase over last FY guideline. G. Spater said that there
should be several versions of the budget: 1 that meets the
guideline and 1 that is more optimal but over the guideline
10. S. Greenberg spoke of the capital budget. He said that
he told the FinCom that the Math Curriculum is a priority
and the $400K proposed for technology upgrades needs more
discussion. He noted that there is only $250K in capital
spending available. J. Cunniff said that putting the Math
Curriculum on a warrant article is a way to keep a major
expense out of the base budget and protecting it from being
cut from the base budget. J. Cunniff noted that the Special
Education Department (SPED) has to be increased to 1.1 FTE
even though enrollment is declining; S. Greenberg said that
SPED outsourcing would be even more expensive. S. Archer
said that she doesn’t want to see technology pushed aside
again. J. Cunniff said that just contractual obligations
will be $75K over the 2% budget increase proposed by the
FinCom. J. Cunniff said that although (free) 5DK was worthy
of discussion, at this point it is not fiscally possible.
The TSC further discussed 5DK. Next the TSC discussed the
proposed technology staffing changes. J. Cunniff clarified
with Dr. Creeden that the 1 FTE of technology staffing at
present will be replaced with 0.84 FTE. S. Greenberg said
that job descriptions for the new technology positions
haven’t been drafted yet. The subject will be discussed at
the TTU meeting next week. Because he can’t be at the
upcoming TTU meeting, J. Cunniff asked G. Spater to
prioritize the proposed technology personnel hiring; G.
Spater said that if he had to choose, he thought that the
Tri-Town technology positions should be filled first and the
instructional specialist and aide should be filled later. J.
Cunniff said the FinCom’s budget guidelines ask for no new
government and no new programs, so the TSC will need to
advocate for the need to hire the new technology personnel
when meeting with the FinCom.
3. School Committee Annual Report FY 2011 Draft #3: Copy of
which was included in the packet. The only outstanding item
of the Annual Report is to populate some charts with
numbers; the Central Office will provide them.
G. Spater moved to approve the School Committee Annual
Report FY 2011, seconded by S. Archer; motion passed
4. Correspondence: J. Cunniff got magazines.
5. Other: Preschool Director Katie Lyons ran the revenue
projections for various Preschool models; a handout was
distributed at the meeting.
S. Archer motioned to approve the proposals for Steward
Preschool as presented, seconded by R. Lucey; motion passed
1. Meeting Minutes of Previous Meetings: Copies of which
were included in the packet.
a. 6/1/11 Regular Meeting
i. Page 1, Reports, 1c., Section i., #2, after the word
building add a comma and omit the name Spater.
ii. Page 2, Reports, 1c., Section i., #14, omit the 3rd
iii. Page 2, rewrite the motion to read: G. Spater motioned
that that TSC provide a statement of interest in
participating in a Request for Purchase for an Energy Saving
Company (ESCO), seconded by R. Lucey. Motion passed
iv. Page 3
1. Reports, 3a., Section iii., correct the spelling of the
2. New Business, 1c. , 2nd sentence should read: The price
of the lunches is about $0.50 than the cost.
3. New Business, omit 1g.
4. New Business, 3a., #1 should read: S. O’Leary said that
there were fewer long-term, at-home projects at Proctor.
These are now accomplished in class.
v. Page 4
1. New Business, 3a.
a. #6, change the verb thought to proposed.
b. #7, change the verb thought to suggested.
c. #10 change the name Crosson to Carlson.
d. #11, omit the phrase the principals should from the 1st
A motion was made by R. Lucey to accept the amended 6/01/11
TSC Regular Meeting minutes, seconded by G. Spater. Motion
passed 3-0-1, with S. Archer abstaining due to absence.
b. 12/1/11 Regular Meeting
i. Page 2, 1., Section ii., after the 9th sentence, insert
this passage: R. Lucey said that the new initiatives have
to fit the 3-day model, and she reminded staff that several
years ago, when the 5-day program was implemented, the TSC
and parents were told by the Kindergarten teachers that the
curriculum would be equitable to the 3-day program, meaning
the 5-day class would maintain the same curriculum but use
the additional time to stretch out the content and slow the
pace of the day, and offer more developmentally appropriate
activities, such as free choice time, whole class story
c. 3/1/11 Executive Session: No changes needed.
d. 6/1/11 Executive Session: Page 1, omit paragraphs 6 and
e. 12/1/11 Executive Session: No changes needed.
A motion was made by R. Lucey to accept the amended 12/01/11
TSC Regular Meeting minutes, seconded by G. Spater. Motion
A motion was made by G. Spater to accept the 3/03/11 TSC
Executive Session minutes, seconded by S. Archer. Motion
A motion was made by G. Spater to accept the amended 6/01/11
TSC Regular Meeting minutes, seconded by R. Lucey. Motion
A motion was made by S. Archer to accept the 12/01/11 TSC
Executive Session minutes, seconded by G. Spater. Motion
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#12-42 12/21/11 $400.00
2. BW#12-43 12/21/11 $41,261.10
3. BW#12-44 1/04/12 $4.12
4. BW#12-45 1/04/12 $16,305.16
5. BW#12-46 1/04/12 $14,578.37
6. BW#12-47 1/04/12 $9,378.38
7. Budget Adj. #12-07 12/31/11 $0
8. Budget Adj. #12-08 12/31/11 $0
9. Payroll #14&11&9 1/12/12 $203,866.16
10. Total $285,793.29
ii. Bill Warrants and Payrolls – Vote to Accept Only:
1. BW# FY12-41 12/7/11 $22,203.45
2. Payroll #12 & 9 & 7 12/15/11 $231,055.57
3. Payroll #13&10&8 12/29/11 $214,605.33
4. Total $467,864.35
5. Grand Total $753,657.64
Motion made by S. Archer to pay the Bill Warrants and
Payrolls as read by J. Cunniff, seconded by G. Spater.
Motion passed unanimously.
1. Gifts: Copies of the gift checks were distributed at the
G. Spater moved to accept two gifts from the Topsfield
Educational Foundation to the Topsfield Elementary Schools:
one for $ 325 to the Beginning Band and one for $ 1,300 for
the Science Coordinator for FY12, seconded by S. Archer;
motion passed unanimously.
At 10:15 pm, G. Spater moved to adjourn, seconded by R.
Lucey. 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 – 6/01/11 Regular Meeting
3. Preliminary TSC Minutes – 12/01/11 Regular Meeting
4. Preliminary TSC Minutes – 3/03/11 Executive Session
5. Preliminary TSC Minutes – 6/01/11 Executive Session
6. Preliminary TSC Minutes – 12/01/11 Executive Session
7. Superintendent’s Report
8. Bill Warrant and Payroll Sheet
9. Principals’ Reports
10. Topsfield Elementary Schools 2012-2013 School Year
Calendar – Draft
11. NESDEC 2011-2012 Enrollment Projections
12. NESDEC Historical Enrollment – Boxford, Topsfield and
13. Memo from Sen. Bruce Tarr re: Educational Collaboratives
14. Superintendent’s FY13 Operating Budget Request –
Copy of PowerPoint presentation
15. Report of the Elementary School Committee
16. Steward School Preschool Proposals 2012-13