m February 17, 2011

Minutes - Wayland School Committee
Regular Session  February 17, 2011  

A Regular Session of the Wayland School Committee was held on Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 7:00 P.M. in the School Committee Room of the Wayland Town Building.

Present were:
Dr. Louis Jurist, Chair
Mrs. Barb Fletcher, Vice Chair
Dr. Malcolm Astley
Ms. Beth Butler
Dr. Shawn Kinney (by phone; not part of the quorum and will not vote on any action items)

Also:
Dr. Gary A. Burton
Superintendent of Schools

Mr. Geoffrey S. MacDonald
Business Administrator

Chair Louis Jurist convened the regular meeting at 7:10 P.M.

1. Comments and Written Statements from the Public:
None

2. Discussion re: Open Meeting Law Ruling:
The Committee discussed the February 9, 2011 findings of the Attorney General regarding Mr. George Harris’s OML complaint of May 26, 2010. Dr. Jurist reviewed the history of this complaint and acknowledged that the first two violations of the OML have been addressed and corrected. The recommendation of the Attorney General involves amending the minutes of the 25 meetings in question accurately to reflect the manner in which the School Committee went into Executive Session at each of these meetings.

A discussion ensued as to how this would occur, and it was agreed that copies of the minutes would be distributed in sets of five, one set to each member for editing purposes. These minutes will be available at the February 28 School Committee meeting. As the minutes of these 25 meetings are amended, they will be presented to the entire Committee for proper action and reassurance. This corrective action will take place over the next month.

3. Discussion re: Public Information Requests:
Dr. Jurist led a discussion of how the Committee and administrators will respond to requests for public information. It was noted that requests come in a variety of forms, some for readily available records or documents, others as questions that involve research. The Committee is sensitive to the staff’s time needed to respond and agreed that if the questions are relatively easy to answer, the administrators should answer them directly. However, if they are not relatively easy to answer or if in totality they will consume a lot of time, then the requests should come back before the Committee.

As for the pending questions before the Committee, it was agreed that Dr. Burton and Mr. MacDonald would answer each verbally at the meeting, if possible, and Mr. MacDonald would follow up with written answers as agreed upon by the Committee. The Committee proceeded to go through eight specific questions raised by Donna Bouchard. They then addressed two sets of questions raised by Kim Cook.

There was a free exchange of information between the administration and the Committee as they progressed through the written questions before them. A discussion ensued as to whether all questions and answers should be posted online for all citizens to see. It was agreed that this would be considered later and after the Committee has seen the written responses generated from tonight’s discussion.

4. Discussion re: Article 8: Restatement of FY11 School Department Budget:
The Committee discussed the proposed Article 8, but there was a lack of understanding as to what was intended by the petitioner. The petitioner will meet with the FinCom next week and Ms. Butler will attend on behalf of the School Committee.

5. Discussion re: Budget Book Preparation:
Dr. Burton presented the dates and plans to have this year’s budget book posted online by February 25. Postcards will be sent to all residents in place of budget books also on that date. Copies of the budget book in paper form may be requested through the Superintendent’s office.

6. Follow-up and Future Agenda Items:
(a) WayCAM Broadcasts:
Dr. Jurist informed the School Committee that WayCAM would like to live wire the School Committee Conference Room as part of their efforts to upgrade and improve their ability to cover and report on community events and programs. The School Committee agreed with this upgrade.

(b) Request from Dr. Burton:
Dr. Burton requested approval to send administrative representatives to a dinner sponsored by The Human Relations Services, Inc. honoring Mrs. Lea Anderson as the Chair of the High School Building Committee. This is a distinct honor for Mrs. Anderson. The cost of each ticket is $250 and funds will be drawn from administrative conference and travel accounts.

(c) New Soccer Fields at Middle School:
Dr. Burton informed the School Committee of the DPW and Recreation Department’s plans to construct two new soccer fields on the Middle School grounds this coming summer. After discussion, it was agreed that representatives from these two departments would be invited to attend the February 28 meeting to discuss these plans.

(d) Rental of Loker:
Dr. Burton informed the Committee that he had been approached by a pre-school bilingual program to rent the Loker facility either on a short-term or long-term basis. It was thought that it would generate less than $5,000. There was no support on the part of the School Committee to pursue such rental opportunity.

(e) Modular Classrooms at High School:
Dr. Burton informed the Committee that the two modular classrooms located at the High School will be relocated elsewhere in the district sometime next year. Planning for this is just underway, and a presentation of this topic will be scheduled for a future meeting.

10. Approval of Accounts Payable & Payroll Warrants:
Upon a motion duly made by Mrs. Fletcher, seconded by Ms. Butler, the School Committee voted unanimously (4-0) to approve payment of the following:
• School Department Accounts Payable warrant, dated 2/22/2011, in the amount of $2,413,117.61 (High School Project)

11. Superintendent’s Employment Contract:
Dr. Jurist led a discussion of the proposed Superintendent’s employment contract. Attorney Gini Tate returned an edited copy late on Thursday and not all members had reviewed it. Upon Attorney Tate’s advice, the Committee should (1) approve the contract; (2) authorize Dr. Jurist to sign it; and (3) appoint Paul Stein as the next superintendent.

12. Executive Session:
At 9:37 P.M., Ms. Butler requested that the School Committee enter into Executive Session to discuss Superintendent contract negotiations.

Dr. Jurist informed the audience that he would allow public comment at this time, as it was uncertain whether the Committee would reconvene in Regular Session following the Executive Session.

13. Comments from the Public:
Mr. John Flaherty asked a question about the history of the principals’ discretionary accounts, which was answered by Mr. MacDonald and Dr. Jurist.

14. Executive Session:
Upon a motion duly made by Mrs. Fletcher, seconded by Dr. Astley, the School Committee voted unanimously (4-0) to convene in Executive Session at 9:39 P.M. to discuss matters pertaining to Superintendent contract negotiations, as set forth in Section 23B of G.L. Ch. 39. The School Committee agreed that discussion regarding Superintendent negotiations would be in Executive Session, as conducting these discussions in open session will have a detrimental effect on the School Committee’s negotiating position.

A roll call vote was taken as follows:

Roll Call

Dr. Louis M. Jurist, Chair

Mrs. Barb Fletcher, Vice Chair

Dr. Malcolm Astley

Ms. Beth Butler

Yes

X

X

X

X

No

Dr. Burton and Mr. MacDonald, including observers, left the meeting.

15. Adjournment:
Upon a motion duly made by Mrs. Fletcher, seconded by Ms. Butler, the School Committee voted unanimously
(4-0) to adjourn Regular Session at 10:15 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary A. Burton, Clerk
Wayland School Committee

Observers:
John Flaherty, Wayland
Alexia Obar, 18 Dean Road
Ellen Greco, 90 Old Connecticut Path

Corresponding Documentation:
1. Letter dated February 9, 2011 from Attorney General re: Open Meeting Law Complaint of May 26, 2010
2. Warrant Article 8