Welcome to our Masconomet School Committee Blog

  • This blog is a vehicle through which we foster awareness of MSC topics, information, progress and resources for deeper learning. After each school committee meeting, we post meeting highlights and summary notes. We also post district highlights, updates, and community events.

    We intend to continuously connect our actions with the district vision. The school committee's focus is on vision, mission, policy, budget, superintendent oversight, and advocacy. We balance the needs of our many stakeholders, and monitor progress toward goals.

    To stay updated, follow us on the Masco App or follow us on Facebook.  Many thanks for your support!

    If you have questions please contact our Committee Chair.

School Committee Blog

  • PSA - Holiday Concert for Tri-Town Seniors

    Posted by MSC on 12/2/2022

    Attention Senior Citizens of Boxford, Middleton, and Topsfield! 

    Please come to Masco on December 19th to enjoy a Holiday Concert performed by the talented Masco Band and Chorus!  

    Contact your local Council On Aging (COA) to register for lunch and inquire about transportation!

    COA holiday concert flier

    Credit: flier created by Masco Student Council


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  • PSA

    Posted by Zillie Bhuju on 11/28/2022

    NOTE that there will be an opportunity for community discussion to reflect on the topic of turf fields. This will take place on Wed., December 7th at 6:30pm in the HS library, after having heard the update which is on the Nov. 30th regular School Committee agenda. Please join us!


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  • PSA - Masco's Strategic Planning Updates

    Posted by MSC on 11/20/2022

    Please take part in Masconomet’s Strategic Planning Initiative!

    We invite you to sign up for updates on Masco’s Strategic Planning Process and for upcoming community conversations - Please register HERE today!  


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  • SUMMARY NOTES - Wednesday November 09, 2022 - Regular MRSD School Committee Meeting 

    Posted by MSC on 11/11/2022


    1. Call to Order


    1. Remarks from the Chair – T. Cooper

    Maura Healey’s historic win as the first LGBTQ woman governor in the nation was recognized; Congratulations to athletes competing in the postseason!


    1. Comments from the Audience

    A parent shared concerns about school lunches this year, asked why we are on the government funded program and what’s being done to improve things, and said parents can suggest ideas too.


    1. SAB Report – Olivia Richards (Junior)

    Everyone is settling in, people like the M block; some find it difficult to have the same two classes rotating in the mornings. Lunch concerns - not just the food, but the order of food-service; Principal suggested they collaborate to help identify better traffic patterns to improve lunch service.


    1. HS Principal Report – M. Carabatsos

    Sophomore Aniqa Zahra presented a new club initiative: Fashion club, which upcycles clothing and other textiles into new clothing based on a theme for each month, to culminate in an end-of-year fashion show.  Meeting weekly with 22 members so far (with no advertising). Using donated sewing machines and materials they’ve collected here at Masco. Advisor is Ms. Smith.


    Please view the slide deck for overview of Principal Report; Much of the content is also featured in the HS principal’s weekly memos available here.

    Some additional notes: 

    Have been collecting feedback from students to bring to the schedule committee. M-Block continues to be very helpful for a range of uses. Clubs have been active, Homecoming dance was more successful than anticipated; things like the Musical, sports, trips being planned, and other various activities for school spirit - these are all helping make school “feel good!” Aster is the Topsfield police dept.’s therapy dog, and accompanies the Topsfield SRO Brendan Cahagan when it is his shift at Masco, which brings joy!  ⅓ of PD time is being used for curriculum work, content, skills, and looking at what assessments look like and why. Based on research about student learning, assessments, and future performance, there will be no interruption of learning for a midterm exam schedule again this year, but will assess learning in other ways. Open House for prospective Masco families will feature some of the opportunities that make Masco unique. Hoping to introduce a new initiative for a unified inclusive sports program this winter with “Special Olympics Unified Champions.” Seeking applicants for School Site Council - community members can apply using QR code on the last slide.

    1. Superintendent’s Report - Please read the full report at this link. In this edition:


    • Strategic Planning Update

      • Please note:  For updates on the Strategic Planning Process and for upcoming community conversations, please register HERE today

    • Middle and High School Pilot Schedule Review Update

    • COVID Test Kit Distribution

    • Fall Athletics in Tournament Play

    • Upcoming School Events




    1. District Enrollment Report – M. Harvey
      a. Masco October Enrollment Summary by Town and Grade

    This is the data that is used to determine assessments to the towns above foundation budget.  The FY23 % assessment to towns is now using a three-year average to help alleviate the “dips and bumps” among the three towns. Some discussion suggested that Middleton enrollment had the biggest changes.


    1. MASC Conference Report


    Mike, Tasha, Carolyn and Zillie attended the conference. One overall takeaway about the conference, which had a DEI theme, was that DEI is not a checklist but an overlay or lens to look at everything through, and not a sprint but a marathon process that can take ten years to implement. Met a Safe-schools consultant who shared an ESPN story about Masconomet’s Corey Johnson, his journey when he came out as gay in 1999 as football captain, and a recent follow-up story about him 20 years later - the clip he shared can be viewed here. Also  following up on some resources from a workshop with the Mass. Consortium for Innovative Education Assessment (MCIEA).  


    1. Policy Second Readings

      1. Consent Agenda:  Policies JA-JHD

    Approved with the exception of JB, which T.Currier requested to pull from the consent agenda. M.Ogden explained that JB is a policy that is required by law and has been approved by council. T.Currier proposed an amendment to add “political affiliation” to the list. That proposal was tabled in order to allow time for the Policy Subcommittee to review and consult with counsel about it. T.Currier also asked to look at the third paragraph in the policy regarding access to athletic activities to see what impact gender-identity protection has on girls’ sports and female athletes. M.Ogden stated that these protections are in place for the sake of our most vulnerable students and do not pose any threat to girls’ sports. T. Cooper noted that the policy is aligned with state and federal law, DESE, and MIAA guidelines and therefore those protections are not debatable at the school committee level. 


    1. Policy First Readings

      1. Consent Agenda: Policies JI-JIE

    M.Ogden reviewed these with explanations of any changes; many are simply reducing repetition, combining things, or removing things that are procedural and belong in a handbook as opposed to policy. 


    1. Subcommittee Reports

      1. Community Relations – will meet Thursday, 11/10 at 6:30pm in HS library

      2. Budget – 

      3. Anti-Racism – W. Hodges - met and heard about resources from MASC conference and talked about how solutions are not in schools alone but in community; reached out to some community organizations with positive response; still needs to have a place in the school to support the administration. Will work on a plan for community engagement and proposed goals as well as possible change to the name of the committee. 

      4. Policy – M. Ogden - will meet Dec. 2

      5. Turf Field Task Force – Tasha Cooper - will meet with TurfUp next week and plan to present to full SC on Nov. 30

      6. Liaison Updates - Topsfield reps listening sessions at town library set up monthly, next one will be Sat. Nov 19, 10am-11:30am


    1. Consent Agenda

    1. Approval of October 26th Meeting Minutes 

    2. Warrants $1,148,864.24 (09) signed since October 26, 2022



    1. Enter into Executive Session to conduct strategy relative to bargaining with non-union personnel (Superintendent Harvey) (Executive Session Purpose #2). 


    Upcoming Meetings:

    Please refer to the “Public Meetings” page on the Masconomet Website for a list of upcoming meetings and agendas.

    NB: School Committee meeting minutes are not intended to be a transcription of the meeting. All meetings are video recorded and the complete videos are posted on-line at: https://www.masconomet.org/domain/41        

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  • Community Relations Subcommittee - to be rescheduled

    Posted by MSC on 11/1/2022

    Due to a family emergency of a school committee member, we regret to inform you that the Community Relations Subcommittee meeting scheduled for 11/2/22 has been rescheduled for 11/16/22. Thank you for your understanding. 

    UPDATED: This meeting was again rescheduled to 11/10/22 due to scheduling challenges. 

    The next meeting will be on Wed. Dec. 7, 2022. 

    Comments (-1)
  • SUMMARY NOTES - Wednesday October 26, 2022 –  Regular School Committee Meeting

    Posted by MSC on 11/1/2022
    1. Call to Order


    1. Executive Session to conduct strategy relative to collective bargaining with the Masconomet Association of Support Staff (Executive Session Purpose #3).  


    1. Remarks from Chair - Welcome, happy fall


    1. Comments from Audience - There were none


    1. Welcome Christine Bolzan as a Boxford School Committee Representative 


    1. SAB Report - Senior Stella Nagle reported that student council elections took place, and they had their first official meeting; focus is on promoting community; school spirit has been high - excited to keep it going; spirit week; hall decorating; pep rally; senior halloween dance.


    1. Approval of Co-op Wrestling Program with Essex-North Shore Agricultural and Technical School (ENSAT)– J. Daileanes – Masco has been the guest school in this co-op for the past two years; it expired last June and all parties would like to renew; ENSAT submitted the co-op form, which was approved by MIAA.  SC voted to approve.


    1. Middle School Principal’s Report – P. McManus

    Please review the attached slide deck for a summary of this report.  

    Gotcha Tickets are given for actions of kindness to be entered into a raffle

    Project 351 (one for each town in the state) for 8th graders

    Class Meetings - Culture of Kindness, Expectations for middle school

    Student Council involvement with Thanksgiving Food Drive

    Discussion about how is the schedule being received; Survey being distributed (details in superintendent’s report), but anecdotally, students like the dropped class and short Wednesdays, but the quick switch between classes and the long block are hard to get used to; M-block has had positive feedback from both staff and students. Survey will gather direct feedback from staff and students.  

    Discussion about excels:  all the programs offered are filled and running; if there is more interest than space, it can be expanded to meet demand; these are often tailored to what students want.


    1. Superintendent Report  - Please visit this link to the October 26, 2022 edition of the Masconomet Superintendent's Report to the School Committee 

    Topics include:

    • Strategic Planning Update

    • Schedule Review Committee Update

    • Classroom Observations

    • Student Meetings

    • Congratulations to Cast and Crew of Chicago

    • Good Luck to Our Fall Sports Teams

    • Tri-Town Council Programs

    Discussion on student feedback about school lunches (from Dr. Harvey’s weekly student meetings): Work is being done to improve options, since several factors have so far made it different from the popular pre-pandemic service; options must follow the guidelines of the state-wide free-lunch program; the number of students getting school lunch has increased significantly; dining services has been short-staffed and seeking to remedy that in order to return to pre-pandemic service, particularly at Java. This includes breakfast options, which had previously been offered at Java.


    1. Vote on MASC Resolutions and appoint a delegate to the MASC Conference 

    The committee voted to appoint Tasha as delegate with Zillie as alternate.

    The committee voted on the MASC resolutions: #1 - yes, #2 - yes, #3 - yes, #4 - vote inconclusive, #5 - yes, #6 - yes


    1. Policy First Readings

      1. Consent Agenda:  Policies JA-JHD

    Reviewed and voted to approve the first read. Second vote to follow.


    1. Approve Collective Bargaining Agreement with Masconomet Association of Support Staff

    Voted to approve the agreement as presented.


    1. Subcommittee Reports

    1. Community Relations– J. Mclean - will meet Wed Nov 2nd at 6:30

    2. Budget – 

    3. Anti-Racism – W. Hodges - will meet Mon Nov 7th at 6:30 

    4. Policy – M. Ogden - will meet Fri Dec 2th 11:30

    5. Negotiations – T. Cooper

    6. Turf Field Task Force – T.Cooper - SC liaisons Tasha and Trevor and Athletic Director John Daileanes met with Turf-Up representatives Missy McSweeney and Mary Shannon; Turf-Up group is researching schools in area to put together a new spreadsheet to run our own scenarios on revenue potential; Masco awaiting update from Stantec (should have by Fri) for updated cost projections; SC task-force scheduled next meeting on Wed Nov 16th with Turf-Up reps to review data points; anticipate they will come to SC meeting on Nov 30th.

    7. Liaison Updates - Trevor has requested SC meetings be posted on Middleton town website; Zillie is coordinating town-based listening sessions in Topsfield monthly on Saturday mornings.


    N. Consent Agenda

    1.  Approval of October 12th Meeting Minutes 

    2.  Warrants $2,089,073.12 (09) signed since October 12, 2022

    3. Approve MEF Grant in the Amount of $2000

    4.  Approve High School Quebec Field Trip April 28-30, 2023

                  Field Trip Quotes

    Voted to approve consent agenda.


    O. Entered into Executive Session to conduct strategy relative to bargaining with non-union personnel (Superintendent Harvey) (Executive Session Purpose #2).  


    Upcoming Meetings:

    Please refer to the “Public Meetings” page on the Masconomet Website for a list of upcoming meetings and agendas.

    NB: School Committee meeting minutes are not intended to be a transcription of the meeting. All meetings are video recorded and the complete videos are posted on-line at: https://www.masconomet.org/domain/41         


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  • MSC Community Relations Subcommittee 11-2-22 Meeting Agenda

    Posted by MSC on 10/25/2022 10:00:00 AM
    Comments (-1)
  • MSC 10/26/22 Meeting Agenda

    Posted by MSC on 10/25/2022 10:00:00 AM
    Comments (-1)
  • 9th grade Inclusion, Belonging, & Facing Adversity Presentation

    Posted by MSC on 10/18/2022 12:00:00 PM
    Comments (-1)
  • 10-12-22 Meeting Summary Notes

    Posted by MSC on 10/14/2022 5:30:00 PM


    Wednesday October 12, 2022 – 7:00 P.M., High School Library


    Meeting Summary Notes 10/12/22

    Agenda Item


    7:00 PM

    A. Call to Order

    B. Enter into Executive Session to conduct strategy relative to collective bargaining with the Masconomet Teachers Association (Executive Session Purpose #3). The Chair has determined that holding this discussion in Open Session may have a detrimental impact on the District’s Bargaining Position. The Committee will return to open session after the conclusion of the Executive Session.


    7:15 PM

    C. Remarks from the Chair – T. Cooper

    • No remarks


    7:20 PM

    D. Comments from the Audience (Comments will only be taken from members of the Audience who are physically present at the meeting).

    • No public comments


    7:30 PM

    E. Vote to Appoint School Committee Vice-Chair

    • Thank you to Boxford reps for interviewing 7 candidates; congrats to Christine Bolzan for joining the SC this year to fill Terri Teleen’s open seat.

    • C. Miller made motion to appoint Melissa Ogden as Vice Chair; SC approved


    7:40 PM

    F. Student Advisory Board Report

    • student council interviews start tomorrow; approximately 350 students attended Homecoming this year


    7:45 PM

    G. Youth Risk Behavior Survey Presentation and Student Services Report

    1. 2022 YRBS HS Report



    2. 2022 YRBS HS Crosstabs Addendum



    3. 2022 YRBS MS Report



    4. 2022 YRBS MS Crosstabs Addendum 


    • Presentation to review key points/results/trends from survey of middle and high school students

    5. Student Services Presentation


    • Strategic Action Plan: Comprehensive Mental Health System presented

      • Goal: to build Tier 1 & 2 supports to reach all students who need mental health interventions, along with identified students in Tier 3, grounded in CASEL model

      • Prevention focused approach

      • “All hands on deck;” early feedback from presenters is that this new initiative has been supported and there is buy-in among admin and staff so far

    8:15 PM

    H. Approve 5-Year Transportation Procurement Term

    • A majority vote needed for procurement of new 5 year bus contract; SC approved


    8:20 PM

    I. Superintendent’s Report:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/16y1ZFu6cH-bjjR1SkzPhrZADB9tHRVg5/view?usp=sharing

    • Update on Strategic Planning purpose and process provided (14 month engagement); November 2023 - process will be completed.

    • Update on Pilot Schedule: survey will be given last week in October 2022 to students and faculty; decision for 2023-2024 year will be made by February 2023.

    • Update on PD: three 10 week sessions are being provided to staff on following topics: Social Emotional Learning, Curriculum & Development, and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

    • Students took PSATs today (gr. 10 &11); grade 9 and 12 students provided alternative activities centered around inclusion, overcoming adversity, perseverance, class bonding, and post secondary topics

    • This weekend, Chicago, the fall musical will take place; buying tickets in advance highly recommended

    • Tri Town Council, sponsoring What is Play (through Peter Gray from Boston College) on 10/20/22, and Chasing Childhood (movie relates to increasing levels of anxiety and depression and free play movement) on 11/3/22.

    • Covid clinics will be provided; more info in Superintendent’s blog

    • Review of upcoming events; see Superintendent’s blog


    8:30 PM

    J. Finalize School Committee Goals https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_ka0yZeImPbVa43chB1qxvcL3KvHI-ef/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=113323593184293228078&rtpof=true&sd=true 

    • Reviewed SC goals proposed, followed by group discussion

    • Item #1: add language to 3rd bullet “Determine accountability methods to evaluate/measure growth of students in a systematic manner to drive SC decision making

    • Item #2: add language to 5th bullet “Liaison to work with towns regarding towns regarding periodic updates and budget/capital plan, ensuring no surprises”

    • Added to Item #2: “Support the Superintendent and ELT in the development & completion of a Strategic Plan and Capital Plan”

    • Added to Item #3: evaluate SC progress toward meeting these goals


    9:00 PM

    K. Vote to Approve Side Letters with Masconomet Teachers Association

    a. Stipended Positions

    b. Class coverage compensation

    • Dr. Harvey explained the purpose of adding these items to teacher contract; SC approved both items


    9:05 PM

    L. Subcommittee Reports

    a. Community Relations– P. Bernheart - next mtg TBD in next couple of weeks

    b. Budget – 

    c. Anti-Racism – W. Hodges - Christine B (new SC member) to join; next mtg TBD

    d. Policy – M. Ogden - Mtg on 10/21/22 to review Section J

    e. Negotiations – T. Cooper

    Task Force will be developed around Turf Project; 1st mtg next Wednesday 10/19/22

    f. Liaison Updates - none noted


    9:15 PM

    M. Consent Agenda

    a. Approval of September 7 and 21st Meeting Minutes

    b. Warrants $2,980,001.99 (20) signed since September 07, 2022

    c. Accept $250.00 check from the Boxford Historical Society for the Art Department


    9:20 PM

    N. Enter into Executive Session to conduct strategy relative to bargaining with non-union personnel (Superintendent Harvey) (Executive Session Purpose #2). The Chair has determined that holding this discussion in Open Session may have a detrimental impact on the District’s Bargaining Position. The Committee will not return to open session after the conclusion of the Executive Session.


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