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					APPROVED 1/8/04

                      NORTHAMPTON SCHOOL COMMITTEE
                                            MINUTES
                                         December 11, 2003

    THE REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING OF THE NORTHAMPTON SCHOOL
    COMMITTEE WAS HELD IN THE MARK E. WARNER COMMUNITY ROOM AT J.F.K.
    MIDDLE SCHOOL.

    Meeting was called to order at 7:15 following an executive session. Present were Mayor Higgins,
    Chairperson, and Members Courtney, Gilson, Hartry, Hunter, Kotz, Miller, Minnick, Montgomery,
    Pick, and Ms. Sadowski Representative of the Student Advisory Committee. Also present were Mr.
    Misterka, and Superintendent Cosgriff.

1) PUBLIC SESSION

•   Mr. Brett Jacobus and Mr. Michael Diemand presented a Certificate of Appreciation to staff member,
    Mr. Michael Sweeney, for his dedication and hard work while acting as head custodian at
    Northampton High School.

2) ANNOUNCEMENTS

•   Ms. Hunter reminded Committee members as well as the public about the upcoming 350th birthday
    events who will be taking place in town. She handed out a list of activities that will be taking place
    throughout the fall and winter. (See Handouts)

•   Ms. Minnick – Vice Chair of the School Committee took a moment to acknowledge two Committee
    members that are concluding their term of service. Dr. Ann Courtney and Joanne Montgomery will
    both be leaving in January, making this their last official Full Board Meeting. Each was presented
    with a plaque thanking them for their years of service to the Committee and Students in Northampton.
    (See attached statement)

3) RECOMMENDED ACTIONS:

•   School Committee Meeting Minutes were unanimously approved for Meetings Held

        •   October 9, 2003

        •   November 24, 2003 (pending changes)

        •   Curriculum Sub-Committee Meeting November 18, 2003

4) REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    1. VOTE: Acceptance of Gifts
    • Rick Feldman from Northampton Education Foundation and Support our Schools (NEF/ SOS)
       presented a check for $18,818 to The School Committee. (See attached outline of distribution)
       Ms. Minnick moved to accept the gifts, seconded by Ms. Pick. The School Committee
       unanimously accepted the gift. Several Committee members spoke about the great work that
       NEF/SOS has done and also thanked the community for generous donations that were collected.
       Mr. Feldman explained that this money was collected / donated from the tax rebate/credit checks
       that went out in the fall.

    •   The distribution was divided based on enrollment numbers for each school
           a. High School                   32%            $6,021.76
APPROVED 1/8/04
          b.   JFK Middle                  25%               4,704.50
          c.   Bridge Street               10%               1,881.80
          d.   RK Finn Ryan Road           10%               1,881.80
          e.   Jackson Street              10%               1,881.80
          f.   Leeds                       10%               1,881.80
          g.   Smith Vocational             3%                 564.54
                                                            $18, 818.00

  •   Mr. Cosgriff presented the Committee with a letter that was sent by Mr. Dornbush to Wal-Mart
      thanking them for donated computers. These computers, which were returned to the store and
      donated to the schools, are in need of minor repairs but perfectly functioning. Mr. Dornbush will
      handle distribution between the schools.

  2. REPORT: Update on Food Service Department
  • At the November 24, 2003 meeting the Committee asked for a report from the Food Service
     Department on the status of irradiated meat being delivered to the schools through the USDA
     Food Programs. Massachusetts has denied acceptance of any of the meat in question.
     Northampton did not have to specifically make a request on this issue since the state has already
     made a recommendation not to use irradiated meat in schools. Also raised was the topic of
     genetically altered food. Ms. DiMauro’s report noted that most commonly altered foods are corn,
     soybeans and canola oil. Persons most likely to have a high exposure to these items are those that
     follow a vegetarian diet.

  3. FY’ 04

      a) Business Manager Position - Mr. Cosgriff asked the Committee to approve a salary range
         of $66,000 - $79,000 for the Business Manager position. The funding for this position will
         come from moneys freed from Mr. Misterka’s salary while he is working on the audits of
         J.F.K. Middle School as well as the High School. There are also funds available from the
         Grants Manager position, which has been vacant since the beginning of the year. Motion
         unanimously approved.

      b) User Support Specialist - Mr. Cosgriff disseminated a job description for the User Support
         Specialist. This position will be housed in MIS, and dispatched by MIS but will work
         primarily for the School Department. Mr. Cosgriff answered questions from the Committee
         about the organization of the MIS / IT department within the schools and how this position
         fit. This position will be funded through removing the cost of out-sourcing the work
         previously done by consultants. Moved for approval by Ms. Minnick, seconded by Ms.
         Montgomery, motion carried unanimously.

      c) School Choice Funds – Mr. Cosgriff presented an updated spreadsheet outlining the division
         and utilization of FY’03 School Choice funds. (See Attached) While there was some concern
         of the timeliness of the spreadsheet, the information was the same as what was voted on at the
         Budget and Property Sub Committee meeting on September 30, 2003. The only differences
         were the inclusion of new votes, which have taken place since that meeting. Specifically the
         amount of 10,000 was inserted under the line items for school furniture, 4 elementary PE
         Teachers, which were voted on at the October 9 meeting, and full time High School teacher
         for the second semester. Instruction. Mr. Misterka also highlighted that there is still a reserve
         fund of approximately 250,000, the amount may fluctuate slightly depending on actual end
         amounts paid to other line items. It was moved by Dr. Kotz and seconded by Ms. Hartry to
         approve the use of School Choice funds. Motion passed, with Ms. Hunter and Dr. Courtney
         voting in the negative.

  4. Superintendent’s Report
APPROVED 1/8/04
        a) Personnel Report - Mr. Cosgriff presented the Personnel Report with an addendum to
           outline the vacant positions in each school as well as district wide vacancies. (See Attached).
        b) Student Representative, Katherine Sadowski, reported on activities and happenings related to
           the student body of Northampton High School.
               o Rescheduled from December 6, at 12:30 in Worcester, the Northampton High School
                    Football Team will be competing in the Division I Superbowl on Saturday, December
                    13, 2003. There will be a fan bus leaving from the High School for those who want
                    to support the team.
               o There will be a blood drive taking place at the High School on Friday, December 12.
                    If you meet the basic height and weight requirements you are encouraged to take part.
               o The first ever battle of the bands is scheduled to take place on January 16th.

        c) Update - The Grant Coordinator position has been offered and accepted and the new hire
           should be complete by January.

5) TRANSPORTATION POLICY
     a) Mr. Misterka presented the Transportation Policy with the changes that have been mandated
        by the state. Mr. Misterka pointed out that the changes center around the reduced fee paid by
        students who qualify for reduced school meals. According to the stated relief package for FY
        ’04, students who qualify for free or reduced school meals should not be paying a
        transportation fee. Ms. Hunter made the original motion which was seconded by Ms.
        Minnick then withdrawn after discussion. The Committee reviewed the policy and decided to
        accept it as it is presented consistent with state law. This policy may need to be revisited next
        year, however, the way it is currently written it is lawful. The members asked that future
        policy changes show what language is being changed, as well as allowing them more time to
        read and review the policy before a vote. Ms. Minnick moved to accept the policy as written,
        Mr. Gilson seconded it. The Committee unanimously approved it.

        b) Dr. Kotz moved to ask the Superintendent and the Transportation Supervisor to determine the
           financial feasibility and desirability of allowing internal School Choice students to ride a bus
           from a pre-determined existing drop off and pick up point. His motion is to request a report
           on the issue. Ms. Montgomery seconded the motion for purpose of discussion. Ms. Minnick
           made a motion to commit and refer the issue to the Rules and Policy Committee where it can
           be discussed and debated and returned to the Full Board if and when a possible change in the
           Transportation Policy is needed. This type of motion takes precedence over the previous
           motion made. This motion was seconded by Ms. Hunter, and approved with Ms. Miller
           abstaining.

6) VOTE: Contract Awards
   • Mr. Misterka presented one contract to the Committee for approval. Hampshire Regional School
     District in the amount of $8,630.00 for participation in the development and implementation of
     the Early Childhood Mental Health Project. Ms. Miller moved to approve, seconded by Ms.
     Minnick. Motion carried.

    VOTE: Financial Transfers - There were no financial transfers to be voted on.

7) NEW BUSINESS - There were no new business items presented.

        On the motion of Dr. Courtney, the meeting was adjourned at 9:05 P.M.



_____________________________
Mr. Michael A. Cosgriff, Secretary1

				
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