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 in-depth summary notes linked in the blog. We also post district highlights and community events such as our listening sessions.

    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

  • 7/20/22 Summary of Meeting Notes

    Posted by MSC on 7/25/2022
    • Call to Order at 7:00 PM
    • Remarks from the Chair – T. Cooper

    Introduced & welcomed Lynne Bennett, new Assistant Superintendent of Student Services; started July 1st, 2022

    Superintendent evaluation process: thank you to Dr. Harvey for his work on the self-evaluation; thank you to SC members for input/feedback; thank you to Zillie for compiling information from SC members. The superintendent’s evaluation will be posted with the meeting minutes once they have been approved.

    No SC meeting in August. Next mtg in September.

    • Comments from the Audience

    No community members in the audience tonight.

    Dr. Harvey is happy with the audit; Bill Hodges asked for clarification as to who completed the audit; Tasha indicated we last signed the contract with this firm before we had a turn over in the superintendent and assistant superintendent, and decide to stay with them to keep consistency at Masco. Kosta & Bill, read the audit as completed by an individual – not by firm as whole – given that James Giusti, CPA signed it. Dr. Harvey said it is the same firm, Giusti, Hingson & Company, but that Mr. Giusti’s partner recently retired…so audit only signed by Mr. Giusti for that reason.

    SC voted and approved audit; motion then removed by Bill Hodges; new motion made to appoint the firm of James G. Giusti, CPA as independent for school years 2022, 2023, 2024. Seconded; Unanimous vote approved by SC members.

    SC members discussed; Zillie asked if it was needed to add an August SC mtg in order to approve anything prior to 9/7/22 mtg? Dr. Harvey stated it was not necessary from his perspective for an August meeting. SC unanimously approved calendar.

    Zillie reviewed highlights from summative evaluation feedback from SC; purpose of evaluation: to be fair, thoughtful and useful, 3-5 goals recommended, within focus indicators per DESE guidance for administrative evaluations; Dr. Harvey submitted self-assessment (20+ pages) to SC to be reviewed by members; google form was developed, broken down into three sections: 1. progress toward superintendent goals, 2. performance standards per DESE rubric, 3. open response/feedback by members.

    SC member narratives were summarized/synthesized based upon those comments that were repeated or observed as developing key themes. The full evaluation will be posted with the meeting minutes once they have been approved.

    Summary of feedback reviewed:

      • Members were sympathetic to stress of demands related to COVID-19 related activities
      • Areas of strength: building culture of reflective practice among staff, focus on long view of students needs, development of new programs to support student needs, proactive data collection about student mental health was set in motion for upcoming years, development of pilot schedule
      • Areas needing improvement: communication and interpersonal relations at all levels between admin and staff, students and community memberships; need to increase responsiveness to stakeholders, need for more creative ways to be accessible to families (e.g. more modalities, seeking advice from consultant); effective communication needs to be a priority in upcoming year. Strategic and capital plans need to be developed.
      • Harvey – none of feedback is unexpected.
      • Kosta – acknowledged that the last 2 years have been very stressful for school and town administrators and is glad we were not in a place of needing to find a new superintendent in the midst of these stressful times of the pandemic.
      • Carolyn – asked if self-evaluation can be made public? Dr. Harvey agreed to share the written part of evaluation with no links or deactivated links, so that community members can see his reflective thoughts and how the process works. New goals will be developed based upon feedback from SC members and will aim to align with SC member goals for upcoming year as much as possible.


    • Subcommittee Reports 
      • Community Relations– P. Bernheart; Schedule will be developed for upcoming year; community tree in process.
      • Budget – T. Teleen; No updates
      • Anti-Racism – W. Hodges; Upcoming Mtg TBD
      • Policy – M. Ogden; Next mtg next Wednesday to review Section J (w/MASC)
      • Negotiations – T. Cooper; No updates
      • Liaison Updates; No updates



    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


    Comments (-1)
  • Summary Notes - Wednesday June 22, 2022

    Posted by MSC on 6/28/2022
    Masconomet Regional School Committee Regular Meeting @ 7pm via Zoom
    A. Call to Order
    B. Remarks from Chair
    • Statement written by Dr. Harvey read by Tasha Cooper
    • Dr. Harvey not in attendance at tonight’s mtg
    • Tasha Cooper made opening remarks: congratulations to class of 2022; administration has apologized for mistakes and are committed to working to improve their communication with the community and SC moving forward; focus upon working together as a community for the students.
    C. Field Trip Presentation to Costa Rica
    • Approved by School Committee
    D. Field Trip Presentation to Barcelona Spain Trip
    • Approved by School Committee
    E. Master Teacher Recommendations
    • Dana Fowler, Erika Donovan, Leah Stewart, Allison Lecesse, Brett Ordway, April Cochran, Erin Evans, Ryan Quadros, Ai Li, Eric Artus, Jason Tierney, Kim Marini, James Maciak
    • Approved by School Committee
    F. Superintendent’s Update
    • School Security Update - link for more information can be found on Superintendent’s blog; read aloud by SC Chair; Concluded Review of Investigation of 5/13 incident; School Committee members engaged in lengthy discussion of various aspects of security protocol discussions that took place last week with superintendent in executive session; committee also discussed opinions on request for emergency meeting, questions were raised about staff/community’s level of trust in admin at this time, discussed Dr. Harvey not being in attendance to tonight’s mtg, and reflected on how things were communicated and whether it would have been different if proper channels of communication and protocol had been followed, discussed impact of social media and keeping scale of problem issues that arise in perspective as best we can.
    • School Schedule: discussion of the unfortunate way in which this new schedule was presented to the public, students in particular; SC Chair read aloud highlights from Dr. Harvey’s proposed Pilot Daily Schedule which was created by the Schedule Task Force. Schedule includes increased instructional time, daily flex block for students to seek additional academic support, and all content area classes to meet 4x per week. More info on schedule included on the link on this mtg’s agenda. Committee members discussed increased flex time being made possible through changes made through negotiations with the teacher's union recently. Flex blocks will be structured, by appt or when required by teacher(s). Designated space will be available for students not needing flex block on a given day. Weekly professional development incorporated, which was one of the goals of increasing PD for staff in upcoming years. Congratulations to all staff retiring this year!
    G. Faculty Request for Student Enrollment:
    • SC approved request 10:1
    H. Ratify Tentative Agreement w/Masco Assoc of Prof Administrators
    • SC approved request
    I. Ratify Tentative Agreement w/American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, state council 93, local 939
    • SC approved request
    J. Vote to accept Settlement Agreement w/Masco Teachers Assoc. Regarding Prohibited Practice Complaint w/Dept of Labor Relations
    • SC approved request
    K. Second Reading of Policy Revisions and Review of Section B minus Selected Exclusions: BA, BBAA, BBBA/BBBB, BCA, BEDB
    • BBBC - committee agreed to remove “or district” from one sentence
    • SC unanimously approved these policies with this minor revision
    L. Designate School Committee Members to sign warrants
    • Domenic and Bill were designated as signers, with Tasha as back up.
    • SC approved
    M. Subcommittee Reports
    • Community Relations (PB) - reflected upon successful Small Town Hero Awards Ceremony
    • Budgets (TT) - no budget meetings scheduled
    • Anti-Racism (WH) - will be scheduling a meeting sometime soon
    • Policy (MO) - 7/15/22 next Policy mtg; 6/29 - MASC training w/Policy Committee members about updating policy manuals
    • Negotiations: none at this time
    • Liaison Updates: Domenic attended Middleton Select Board mtg, introduced himself and opened lines of communication, discussed STH Awards
    N. Consent Agenda
    • Minutes approved by SC
    • Warrants approved by SC
    Comments (-1)
  • PSA - School Committee Meeting and Community Relations Subcommittee Meeting, 06/29/2022, 6:30 p.m., via Zoom Teleconference

    Posted by MSC on 6/28/2022
    Comments (-1)
  • Small Town Hero Awards 2022

    Posted by MSC on 6/17/2022

    2022 Small Town Hero Awards

    STHero awardees

    Our 2nd annual Small Town Hero Awards ceremony was held on June 16th, 2022 and was a great success!

    It was wonderful to hear the heartwarming stories about the positive impact our award recipients have had this past year on their community. Our award recipients this year are: The Topsfield Boy Scout Troop 81, Creative Co-op, Aniqa Zahra, Gretchen Fishman, Ralph Blackey, Anish Deshpande, Christina Eckert, Andy Fiedler, Michelle Siden, and Andrea Monty. A BIG thank you to Ben Hanchett, Jackie Bazazi, Sara Tocci, and the student council for working so hard planning and organizing this event!

    We look forward to next year’s ceremony!

    There is no power of change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.” – Margaret Wheatley

    Comments (-1)
  • PSA - Small Town Hero Awards

    Posted by MSC on 6/11/2022

    June 16th at 6pm

    SmallTownHero 2022

    Comments (-1)
  • PSA - Statement Regarding June 8, 2022 School Committee Meeting

    Posted by MSC on 6/8/2022
    Our community and our country have been through a lot over the past few years. The pandemic, rising violence, and political divisions both here and abroad have caused stress for everyone, including—and perhaps most tragically—our teenagers.
    Unfortunately, these literal and metaphorical diseases are not abstract concepts for the Masconomet community. Since 2020, we have seen a sharp increase in disrespectful dialogue and unreasonable expectations directed at teachers, staff, administrators, parents, community members, and school committee members. This includes direct threats to individuals and groups made by email, social media, and—in the past 24 hours—via the US Postal Service. We recognize and celebrate diversity of thought and opinion, but we cannot and will not tolerate these threats.
    Tonight’s School Committee meeting will be rescheduled so that we can reflect on how we can move forward in a productive way. We respectfully call for adults in our community to pause for a moment and remember that we share common goals: to ensure that our students have a safe environment in which to master our challenging curriculum and have the communication, problem solving and social skills to become happy, well-functioning members of our society.
    Tasha Cooper (she/her), Chair
    Terri Teleen (she/her), Vice Chair
    Masconomet Regional School Committee
    Comments (-1)
  • PSA & 05.25.2022 Summary Notes

    Posted by MSC on 5/31/2022

    PSA - May 2022

    Following the latest assault on school children–this time in Uvalde, Texas–communities around the country are struggling with how to be certain that their schools are as safe as they can be. We have heard from several individuals who are concerned about a police report regarding an unauthorized person who accessed the school on May 13th through a propped door. Our towns and our District have invested heavily in safety and security protocols over the past 10 years, and those protocols worked effectively during this event. Dr. Harvey addressed the event and the decision-making process around communication in his message last week. At our next School Committee meeting (June 8th at 7:00pm), we will have an Executive Session to discuss campus security and communication protocols. Discussing all safety procedures in public can undermine their effectiveness. We will also have a general update on this topic for the public as a part of the Superintendent's report. Mike will invite Boxford Police Chief Riter to join us at that meeting. The agenda will be posted here. We understand that our community is on edge following the latest attack on a school building. Every community in the country is experiencing the same thing and, as parents, we feel it intensely. We look forward to our meeting next week.

    05/25/2022 Meeting Summary Notes

    *These are not meeting minutes and are not intended to be a transcription of the meeting.
    • Comments from the Public. There were no comments from the public.
    • Student Advisory Board update. SAB Class of 2025 member Greta Hartung reported that students are busy with end-of-year programming. She advised that the announcement speakers in a couple of specific rooms are not as audible as they could be, and the administration will be looking into that.
    • School Committee Reorganization. The School Committee reorganizes itself annually following town elections. The Committee agreed on a draft meeting schedule and elected Tasha Cooper as Chair and Terri Teleen as Vice Chair. The following subcommittee assignments were also approved:
    • Policy: Melissa Ogden (Chair), Carolyn Miller, Trevor Currier
    • Budget: Terri Teleen (Chair), Dominic Casamassima, Bill Hodges
    • Community Relations: Patti Bernheart (Chair), Kosta Prentakis, Zillie Bhuju, Joe McLean
    • District Capital Improvement: Carolyn Miller (Chair), Kosta Prentakis, Melissa Ogden
    • Anti-Racism: Bill Hodges (Chair), Dominic Casamassima, Terri Teleen
    • Turf liaison: Tasha Cooper, Trevor Currier
    • SEPAC liaison: Patti Bernheart, Zillie Bhuju
    • Superintendents Update. Dr. Harvey presented his update, which appears in his blog. It is available here. Safety and security measures were discussed regarding Masco’s campus and the collaborative relationship the district has with local safety departments. Security staffing, prevention, rapid response protocols, and surveillance were among the things discussed.
    • Masconomet Teachers Association. The committee approved a Memorandum of Agreement with the Masconomet Teachers Association about course reimbursement. The MOA is available here.
    • Budget Subcommittee Update. Thank you to the citizens of Boxford, Middleton, and Topsfield for supporting the Masconomet budget at your Town Meetings.
    • Anti-Racism Subcommittee Update. The subcommittee is exploring options for partnering with local faith communities.
    • Policy Subcommittee Update. The subcommittee is continuing the process of reviewing and updating the School Committee policy manual.
    • Liaison Updates. Anyone who would like to follow Masconomet student Andrea Salvaggio’s road to recovery is invited to join a FB group created for her here
    Upcoming Meetings: Please refer to the “Public Meetings” page on the Masconomet Website for a list of upcoming meetings and agendas.
    Note that all past meeting meetings and recordings are posted here
    Comments (-1)
  • PSA - May 2022

    Posted by MSC on 5/9/2022


    Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Community Relations subcommittee needs to cancel their 5/25/2022 meeting.  New date will be announced soon.  Thank you for understanding.  Agenda will be posted under Public Meetings.

    cancelled CR mtg

    Comments (-1)
  • PSA* - May 2022

    Posted by MSC on 5/2/2022

    Masconomet member towns will be hosting Annual Town Meetings and local elections over the coming three weeks.  Masconomet’s FY23 budget is part of the annual Town Warrants, which townspeople are invited to vote on each year.  Thank you for your participation!  


    Further details can be found through these links:

    Topsfield Town Meeting 5/3/22

    Topsfield Elections 5/5/22

    Boxford Town Meeting 5/10/22

    Boxford Elections 5/17/22

    Middleton Town Meeting 5/10/22

    Middleton Elections 5/17/22


    Masconomet member towns will be hosting Annual Town Meetings and local elections over the coming three weeks.  Masconomet’s FY23 budget is part of the annual Town Warrants, which townspeople are invited to vote on each year.  Thank you for your participation!  


    Further details can be found through these links:

    Topsfield Town Meeting 5/3/22

    Topsfield Elections 5/5/22

    Boxford Town Meeting 5/10/22

    Boxford Elections 5/17/22

    Middleton Town Meeting 5/10/22

    Middleton Elections 5/17/22

    *Interested in staying informed about the Masconomet School Committee's work?  Follow posts to this blog in the Masco App, and/or join this Facebook group and set your notifications to "all posts" in the FB app!

    Comments (-1)
  • 04.27.22 Meeting Summary

    Posted by MSC on 4/29/2022

    Science Team

    *These are not meeting minutes and are not intended to be a transcription of the meeting. 

    • Chair’s Remarks. Chair Bhuju noted Teacher Appreciation week is next week (May 2-6), and recognized Joe Ciampa for his service, as he is retiring from the Committee after four years of service.
    • Public Comment. A Middleton resident explained why they do not support amending Graduation Requirements to include the arts. Joe Ciampa expressed gratitude to the Committee members for their hard work.
    • Student Advisory Board.  Class of 2023 Representative Stella Nagle reported on end-of-year activities, including the TriTown Hero Awards (link here). She listed a few events as well as little day-to-day things happening lately that are making students feel positive about school and boosting morale. She said students are interested in clarification about the schedule for next year.
    • Washington, DC Field Trip.  Mrs. Rebecca Calzini proposed that the 8th grade field trip to Philadelphia and Washington, DC resume this year (November 2-5).  The School Committee unanimously approved the proposal. 
    • Vision 2025 Showcase.  Science Department Chair Tammy Fay spoke about all the amazing work happening in our Middle and High School science classrooms, including co-curricular learning (for example, projects that incorporate both science and art or history).  She thanked the Masconomet Education Foundation for their support in purchasing equipment.  Finally, she celebrated the 40+ members of the Masco Science Team, some of whom attended the School Committee meeting.  We are proud of the Science Team’s accomplishments.  Please enjoy the slides from the full presentation here.
    • Financial Reporting.  Independent auditor James Guisti and District Accountant Laurie Zywiak and presented our FY21 Annual Audit Report.  Mr. Guisti also submitted his annual Management Letter stating that in his opinion, “the financial statements represent fairly, in all material respects, the respective financial position” of the District.  The documents can be found here: Financial Statements for the Year Ended June 30, 2021,  Final Audit FY21 Management Letter.  Mr. Guisti pointed to pages 12 and 13 of the Financial Statements as the best place to find an overview of the District’s finances.
    • Middle School Principal Report.  Dr. McManus spoke about the many end of year activities being planned.  We want to draw attention to the 6th grade Parents Night, scheduled for May 19th, and the 6th grade Masco tour and assembly on June 9th.  You can review the report here.
    • ESSR II Grant Review. Dr. Harvey and Jeff Sands, Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations, informed the committee of their updated plans for the ESSER II grant (one of the federal COVID relief grants).  Changes include addition of two adjustment counselors, two Academic Success Center teachers, and operational/COVID supports (one MPFT and one IT technician), all of which will be two-year positions that help fulfill the pandemic-related purpose of this grant.
    • Last Day of School for Students.  The Committee voted to confirm June 23, 2022 (10:30am release), as the last day of school for students.  Please be aware that there is no school on June 20th due to the Juneteenth holiday.
    • Graduation Requirements. The Committee approved the addition of one year of visual/performing arts to our graduation requirements, beginning with the Class of 2026. The Committee also reviewed most of policy section B.
    • School Resource Officer Intermunicipal Agreements. Approved for FY22 and FY23.
    • Subcommittees.  The Policy Subcommittee will meet on May 17th at 12:00 noon by Zoom.  The Negotiations Subcommittee is meeting on May 2nd at 2:30pm at the District Administration building.
    • Town Meetings and elections.  Town Meetings are the final step in approving the Masconomet budget. Liaisons announced that Topsfield’s Town Meeting (TM) will be Tuesday, May 3rd at 7pm in the Masco auditorium, and Topsfield elections are on Thursday May 5th; Boxford’s TM will be Tuesday May 10th at 7pm in the Masco auditorium, and Boxford elections are Tuesday, May 17th; Middleton’s TM will be Tuesday May 10th at 7pm in the Howe Manning gymnasium, and Middleton elections are Tuesday, May 17th.  


    Upcoming Meetings:

    The next regular SC meeting is scheduled for May 25th.  Please refer to the “Public Meetings” page on the Masconomet Website for a list of upcoming meetings and agendas. Note that all past meeting meetings and recordings are posted here

    Comments (-1)