Welcome to our Blog

  • Welcome to our Masconomet School Committee Blog!

    Each month, we will post some highlights from our recent meetings to keep you aware of MSC topics, information, and resources for deeper learning. 

    As wisely expressed by our Superintendent, Dr. Mike Harvey, “It is important to visualize what we aim to do, as well as how we do it, and why.” We intend to continuously connect our actions with the district vision.

    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, Carolyn Miller, at cmiller@masconomet.org 


School Committee Blog

  • 10.21.20 Meeting Summary

    Posted by MSC on 10/23/2020

     “They’re like a NASCAR pit crew getting every desk clean, sanitized and ready before the next lunch.”

    —MS Principal Phil McManus, about the lunch cleaning & disinfecting team from our cleaning vendor

     

     band under big-top tent

    Band class practices under the “big-top” tent

     

    Meeting highlights: 

    • Dr. Harvey shared an update on the first three days of Hybrid Learning at Masco
      • This update doc includes photos of traffic, lunch-time and the “big top” tent
      • Systems in place have performed well - students and staff have been great
      • Cleaning/disinfecting between lunches has been very thorough and efficient
      • IT issues that resulted in slow connectivity being resolved 
      • Yes, free lunches are unlimited - students can get back in line for seconds, thirds
      • Talking with Dept. Heads about figuring out more time for teacher prep
        • “This year every teacher feels like a first-year teacher— and the first year of teaching is really hard.”
    • Dr. McManus shared an update on the first three days of Hybrid Learning in the Middle School
      • His slide presentation features pros, cons and photos
      • Students have been great with all the rules and procedures
      • Increased class time has been positive for middle school students so far 
      • Attendance rate higher than average year over year for October 
      • Smoothing bumps as they go
    • Student SAB representative Lindsey Byman shared her perspective, including student interest in participating in revising the schedule. Her full statement is available in summary notes
    • School Committee Responsibilities and Protocols 
      • School Committee is responsible for “leadership in district vision, policy, budgeting, planning, program evaluation, and advocacy.” (from doc linked above)
      • “It is the Superintendent’s responsibility to oversee personnel issues and to manage the day-to-day operations of the district. It is the School Committee’s responsibility to evaluate the Superintendent’s effectiveness in these matters.” (from doc linked above)
      • SC members should work to direct concerns through the Chain of Command.
      • SC members like to hear from all stakeholders (Dept Heads, teachers, students, families, community) through appropriate channels in order to better understand and inform decisions about policy, budget, superintendent, vision and planning.
    • Anti-racism Resolution was passed unanimously
      • Met with History / English Dept Heads, who had shared this letter 
      • Developing action items and resources based on the resolution
    • Policies are being developed, and will work with MASC on reviewing, hosting
    • Community Relations will meet 10/28
      • Planning a Listening Session evening of Mon. 11/16

     

    Further notes can be found in the  Summary Notes* from the 10/21/2020 meeting.  *These are not meeting minutes and not intended to be a transcription of the meeting.

     

    Masco resources:

    • Want to stay up-to-date on communication from Masco? Use the Masco App to consolidate Masco messages in your Activity Stream. Emails, blog posts, resources, as well as student grade updates, too.

     

    District highlights: 

     

    Community resources:

    • TriTown Council hosted a Parent Program: "The Secret Life of Tweens & Teens" - A 2-part interactive program with licensed therapist Jon Mattleman. Recording of Part 2 available through 10/25.  
      • Top 15 Parenting Tips handout HERE
      • Signs of Struggle handout HERE
      • What is Depression handout HERE
      • What is Anxiety handout HERE

     

    • SEPAC is an excellent support resource for families. Follow them on facebook!
    • School Committee meetings:  Due to covid-19 limitations on in-person meetings, public comments must be submitted in writing to our Chair by noon the day of a meeting. Watch our meetings live or recorded. Email questions, comments or concerns to the committee Chair, Carolyn Miller, at cmiller@masconomet.org 

     

    NEXT SC Meeting: 

    Our next regular School Committee meeting will be Wednesday, November 4 at 7pm.

    Meeting agendas, minutes, documents, and videos are posted on-line at: https://www.masconomet.org/domain/41




    Comments (-1)
  • 10.15.20 Masconomet Site-Visit

    Posted by MSC on 10/16/2020

    safety sign

     

    As was laid out in the School Committee’s decision on Aug. 12, Masco began on Sept. 21 with four weeks in a fully remote learning model, and upon reviewing readiness on Oct. 7 decided to phase to hybrid learning beginning Oct. 19.  

     

    On Oct. 15, the School Committee had a second site visit. Some photos and information from this visit can be viewed here:  MSC 10/15/20 Hybrid Building Tour

     

    We are grateful to our whole Masconomet team for everything involved in this transition. All of our staff members — facilities, student services, guidance, human resources, nursing, instructional technology, teaching staff, department heads, administrators and assistants, etc. — have been working through a bottomless list of logistical pieces to make hybrid learning go as smoothly and safely as possible for everyone. We understand that a remarkable amount of work has been placed on your shoulders in this extraordinary time, and we thank you for all you do for our Masconomet students.

    Comments (-1)
  • 10.07.20 Meeting Summary

    Posted by MSC on 10/9/2020

     “Job number one is to do what’s in the best interest of our students.”

    —Superintendent Mike Harvey, about FFCRA and teacher accommodations 

     

    Masco rainbow

    The famed Oct. 7 rainbow over Masconomet just before the School Committee meeting

     

    Meeting highlights: 

    • The committee voted unanimously to implement the school’s Hybrid Learning Plan on Monday, October 19, 2020. 
    • View Dr. Harvey’s announcement to our community about next steps
    • HS Principal Pete Delani led a discussion on: 
      • classes, sports and clubs off to a great start
      • positive feedback on remote learning and its schedule
      • the WIN block “protects the academic integrity of the class times”
      • imagining unimagined spaces and Vision 2025
    • Assistant Superintendent Jeff Sands presented a FY21 Financial Update 
      • Discussion on the laws, ethics, educational impact and financial impact of providing accommodations to employees 
      • In a pandemic, the need for such school staff increases, and is supported by the same state and federal laws that apply to all employers of 50-500 employees
      • In any non-remote model, a teacher not physically in a classroom is filled by an alternate employee (substitute, paraprofessional, proctor, etc.) 
        • Reasons (any time) can include illness, family, physical/mental health care, quarantine, meetings, etc. 
        • Employing accommodations that allow our highly-qualified teachers to continue teaching our students is the most responsible solution for
          • our students’ education
          • our employees
          • our finances
          • our vision
    • Policy, Anti-racism, and Community Relations subcommittees are meeting regularly
    • The committee expressed gratitude for our student SAB representatives; Senior rep. Liv Dunham shared questions and student feedback on current and proposed learning models - available in summary notes
    • This two-question community survey continues to be available where parents, students and staff can ask their most pressing questions. 

     

    Further notes can be found in the  Summary Notes* from the 10/07/2020 meeting.  *These are not meeting minutes and not intended to be a transcription of the meeting.

     

    District highlights: 

     

    Community resources:

    • TriTown Council is hosting a Parent Program: "The Secret Life of Tweens & Teens" - A 2-part interactive program with licensed therapist Jon Mattleman on Tuesday, October 15 & 22, 7:00-8:00pm (See attached flyer for more info and webinar registration)
    • SEPAC is an excellent support resource for families. Follow them on facebook!
    • School Committee meetings:  Due to covid-19 limitations on in-person meetings, public comments must be submitted in writing to our Chair by noon the day of a meeting. Watch our meetings live or recorded. Email questions, comments or concerns to the committee Chair, Carolyn Miller, at cmiller@masconomet.org 

     

    NEXT SC Meeting: 

    Our next regular School Committee meeting will be Wednesday, October 21

    Meeting agendas, minutes, documents, and videos are posted on-line at: https://www.masconomet.org/domain/41

    Comments (-1)
  • 10.05.20 Community Listening Session

    Posted by MSC on 10/1/2020

    listen definition

     

    Dear members of our Masconomet community,

     

    On Monday, Oct. 5 at 6:30pm the Community Relations subcommittee of the Masconomet School Committee will hold a Community Listening Session during our regular public subcommittee meeting via zoom. This window of time, approximately 30 minutes, will allow subcommittee members to actively listen to the voices and questions of people in our Masconomet community (such as students, parents, guardians, teachers or staff). This session will not have Masconomet experts invited to answer questions, but committee members will do our best to refer, respond, or help gather further information. Here is our subcommittee meeting agenda with zoom link.

    Comments (-1)
  • 09.16.2020 Meeting Summary

    Posted by MSC on 9/17/2020

    “My overall vision for the year is a focus on social-emotional learning — building a culture of kindness with a focus on patience and resilience. We want students to learn from mistakes and grow.”

    —Dr. Phil McManus, Middle School Principal

     

     7th grade orientation video

    7th Grade Orientation video

     

    Meeting highlights: 

    • Carolyn Miller Chair remarks: Looking forward to school starting on Monday, September 21— Good luck to all the teachers and students!
    • Dr. Harvey shared his ReOpening Update. Highlights include:
      • 12 days of faculty professional development on a variety of topics
      • “all hands-on deck” to begin remote learning
      • Supplies and equipment preparations, including 100 x 120 ft. tent outside the building
      • Masco seeks to hire 20 proctors based on numerous teacher requests for accommodations or leaves based on legitimate and legally applicable needs
    • Dr. McManus, our new Middle School principal (began in July 2020), presented his first Middle School Principal Report. Highlights include: 
      • The 7th grade orientation video and 8th grade welcome back video were emailed and are available on the website
      • Drive-by materials pickup - including chromebooks and agendas (see schedule);
      • Installation of plexi-glass in office and desks in fieldhouse; 
      • School vision focused on kindness, patience, resilience, and developing organizational skills
    • Volleyball, which was recently included in the Fall sports designated to play in the original Fall season, was moved to Fall 2 (Feb 22-April 25 competitive season). The unanimous decision was informed by recommendations from Athletic Director John Daileanes, Head Coach Mike Scammond, and Senior Captain Paige Richardson
      • Most NEC schools have also moved volleyball to Fall 2
      • Registration forms and payment keep the same deadline of September 18
      • Intend  to hold some practices in the Fall
    • Funding to initiate capital planning efforts was approved
    • The school committee completed our annual superintendent evaluation, which will be posted in meeting minutes. Here is a brief summary
    • Negotiations with the Masconomet Teachers’ Union continue — described as “cautiously optimistic”
    • This two-question community survey continues to be available where parents, students and staff can ask their most pressing questions. Questions about the hybrid phase will contribute to our next community forum.

     

    Further notes can be found in the  Summary Notes* from the 09/16/2020 meeting.  *These are not meeting minutes and not intended to be a transcription of the meeting.

     

    District highlights: 

     

    Community resources:

    • TriTown Council is a great place to find local resources and opportunities; Sign up for their newsletter and follow them on facebook, too!
    • SEPAC is an excellent support resource for families. Follow them on facebook, too!
    • School Committee meetings:  Due to covid-19 limitations on in-person meetings, public comments must be submitted in writing to our Chair by noon the day of a meeting. Watch our meetings live or recorded. Presentations from Masco leaders are a great way to be in the loop. Email questions, comments or concerns to the committee Chair, Carolyn Miller, at cmiller@masconomet.org 

     

    NEXT SC Meeting: 

    Our next regular School Committee meeting will be Wednesday, October 7 at 7pm.

    Meeting agendas, minutes, documents, and videos are posted on-line at: https://www.masconomet.org/domain/41

    Comments (-1)
  • 09.09.20 Community Forum on Remote Start Phase

    Posted by MSC on 9/11/2020

    “We all have the same goals in mind — to keep our kids engaged with their learning and see them make progress.”

    — Meagan Hildebrand, English Department Head


    masconomet community

     

    Forum Overview

     

    • Event was a collaboration between Masconomet experts and the School Committee for our Masconomet families and community
    • A panel of 16 Masconomet staff responded to questions from our community
    • Over 430 people attended the zoom forum
    • Topics and questions were primarily generated via community survey
    • Audience members asked additional questions during the forum

     

    View the Forum Zoom Recording 

    Below is an outline of the forum’s topics and speakers with time-markers for when each topic begins in the zoom video. 

     

    TIME: 0:00:00 

    Introduction: Bonnie Thornborough, MSC

     

    SECTION A: TOPICS 1-4

     

    TIME: 0:09:12
    1. Education Quality - New Remote Model 

    Q: Bill Hodges, MSC
    A: Pete Delani, HS Principal
    A: Ben Hodges, Director of Digital Learning

     

    TIME: 0:17:54
    2. Teacher Training

    Q: Zillie Bhuju, MSC
    A: Ryan King, Instructional Technology Coordinator
    A: Jeanne O’Hearne, Foreign Language Department Head & ELL Coordinator
    A: Stacy Mannheim, Art Department Head

     

    TIME: 0:27:50
    3. Weekly / Daily Schedule - WIN, Period 8

    Q: Joe Ciampa, MSC
    A: Pete Delani, HS Principal

     

    TIME: 0:32:50
    4. Weekly / Daily Schedule - Morning Block

    Q: Kristen DeMarco, MSC
    A: Pete Delani, HS Principal
    A: Phil McManus, MS Principal
    A: Patty Bullard, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services

     

    TIME: 0:39:55
    AUDIENCE QUESTIONS ON SECTION A: TOPICS 1-4


     

    SECTION B: TOPICS 5-9

     

    TIME: 0:54:30
    5. Materials Pickup

    Q: Carolyn Miller, MSC
    A: Phil McManus, MS Principal
    A: Katie DiNardo, HS Assistant Principal

     

    TIME: 0:59:37
    6. Orientations for 7th & 9th Graders

    Q: Melissa Ogden, MSC
    A: Alyssa Schatzel, HS Assistant Principal
    A: Phil McManus, MS Principal

     

    TIME: 1:05:40
    7. Extra Help and Tech Support

    Q: Terri Teleen, MSC
    A: Pete Delani, HS Principal
    A: Ryan King, HS Principal

     

    TIME: 1:08:45
    8. Extracurricular Activities

    Q: Kosta Prentakis, MSC
    A: Pete Delani, HS Principal
    A: Justin Crosby, Senior - Student Council President
    A: Phil McManus, MS Principal

     

    TIME: 1:11:43
    9. College Planning

    Q: Tasha Cooper, MSC
    A: Irene Duros, Guidance and Counseling Dept. Head

     

    TIME: 1:15:02
    AUDIENCE QUESTIONS ON SECTION B: TOPICS 5-9

     

    SECTION C: TOPICS 10-15

     

    TIME: 1:24:38
    10. Wellness

    Q: Carolyn Miller, MSC
    A: John Daileanes, Wellness Dept. Head and Athletics Director

     

    TIME: 1:30:20
    11. Special Activity Classes such as labs / performance

    Q: Tasha Cooper, MSC
    A: Tammy Faye, Science, Technology and Engineering Dept. Head
    A: Randy O’Keefe, Music and Performing Arts Dept. Head

     

    TIME: 1:38:53
    12. Special Ed: IEPs, 504s

    Q: Kristen DeMarco, MSC
    A: Patty Bullard, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services

     

    TIME: 1:42:55 
    13. SEL / Mental Health

    Q: Zillie Bhuju, MSC
    A: Irene Duros, Guidance and Counseling Dept. Head
    A: Patty Bullard, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services
    A: Meredith Shaw, Executive Director of Tri-Town Council 

     

    TIME: 1:54:50
    14. Connectedness / Relationships

    Q: Bonnie Thornborough, MSC
    A: Denise Tenanty, Mathematics Department Head
    A: Phil McManus, MS Principal

     

    TIME: 1:59:31
    15. Parent Support and Student Preparation

    Q: Bill Hodges, MSC
    A: Jill Story, Social Studies Dept. Head 
    A: Meagan Hildebrand, English Dept. Head 

     

    TIME: 2:05:00
    AUDIENCE QUESTIONS ON SECTION C: TOPICS 10-15

     

     

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Save the Date: Community Forum Sept. 9 7pm

    Posted by MSC on 9/4/2020

    Please save the date:

    Wednesday, September 9 at 7pm via zoom

    Community Forum on our Remote Start Phase of Reopening

    This Forum is organized by the Community Relations subcommittee of the Masconomet School Committee and will feature a panel of experts from Masconomet responding to essential questions on the Remote Start Phase of this unprecedented school year

     

    Zoom link and topics guide will be shared next week

     

    Comments (-1)
  • 09.02.20 Meeting Summary

    Posted by MSC on 9/3/2020

     

    “Everything is on the table if playing Fall season. All days of the week are options.”

    —John Daileanes, Athletic Director - about the possibility of holding practices and games on weekends this fall

     

     fall sports players with signs

     

    Meeting highlights: 

    • Technical difficulties led to only the meeting’s audio being live-streamed, with the meeting video/audio recorded (all meeting recordings posted here)
    • Dr. Harvey shared his ReOpening Update, including this “welcome” video to the teachers by Student Council President Justin Crosby. Dr. Harvey noted that about 70 support staff are working on campus currently, and teachers are working remotely until the results from last week’s independent air-quality assessment are complete (this takes about two weeks). 
    • After in-depth presentations and discussion, the committee voted to hold all Fall Sports in the Fall season
      • Holding some practices and games on weekends may help alleviate the issue of limited daylight hours after Nov. 1 and obtaining extra busses to comply to DESE’s 30% capacity limit
      • It is unknown how many NEC teams will be available for Masco to play in the Fall, as other NEC schools have not yet decided between Fall vs Fall 2 
      • Volleyball being an indoor sport may pose the greatest challenges, but for all sports the intent is to put safety first, and apply creative problem-solving to achieve play time for athletes 
    • The committee formed a new Anti-Racism subcommittee that will begin meeting and giving regular reports to the school committee
    • Nicole Messih was introduced as our student SAB representative; she shared some highlights from student groups 
    • Negotiations with the Masconomet Teachers’ Union are ongoing, with an emphasis on assuring safety of the building for teachers to return. Masco’s full time HVAC technician performed system upgrades, and Masco commissioned an air quality report by an independent industrial hygienist. The union has agreed to teachers working in the building upon confirmation that the air is safe. 
    • A Community Forum about the Remote Phase of ReOpening will be held Wednesday, September 9 at 7pm via zoom
    • This two-question community survey continues to be available where parents, students and staff can ask their most pressing questions

     

    Further notes can be found in the Summary Notes* from the 09/02/2020 meeting.  *These are not meeting minutes and not intended to be a transcription of the meeting.

     

    District highlights: 

     

    Community resources:

     

    NEXT SC Meeting: 

    We will hold a Community Forum on Wednesday September 9 at 7pm via zoom. 

    Our next regular School Committee meeting will be Wednesday, September 16 at 7pm

    Meeting agendas, minutes, documents, and videos are posted on-line at: https://www.masconomet.org/domain/41

    Comments (-1)
  • 08.12.2020 Meeting Summary

    Posted by MSC on 8/14/2020

     

    “If there’s a silver lining in any of this, it may be that it gives us all a chance to reimagine things.”

    —Carolyn Miller, School Committee Chair

     

     Phased Re-Opening

     

    MEETING HIGHLIGHTS: 

    Public Comments/Questions Of note:

    • Attendance on the zoom meeting reached 350 
    • Audience members asked questions about teachers, dynamics between the remote and hybrid models, building safety measures, safe behavior outside of school, hands-on/physical classes, community service and mental health 
    • The committee also shared an overview of the aggregated questions coming in from the community questions survey (below), highlighting academic rigor and accountability, safety concerns, mental health concerns, sports, college planning, among many others
    • This two-question community survey continues to be available where parents, students and staff can ask their most pressing questions. These questions are being organized and answered (as answers become known) in regular school committee update meetings, and a community forum to be scheduled soon.

     

    Dr. Harvey presented a Recommendation

     

    School Committee Members Deliberated, highlights include:

    • Shared desire for students to have connections with teachers and each other
    • Shared concerns about mental health
    • Empathy with families who want kids back in building
    • Realizations from bus/building tours of different school environment and multiple layers of challenges in ensuring safety
    • Realization of extreme challenges to collaboration/interaction in physical classroom with new protocols
    • Recognition of interaction and learning in different ways
    • State COVID19 map as just one factor among many from DESE 
    • Remote schedule’s WIN block (“What I Need”)
    • Flipped classroom concept
    • Advantage of time in remote schedule for online student training about hybrid protocols, procedures 

     

    Reopening Plan Votes

    • Unanimous approval of presented reopening plan for DESE
    • 10-1 in favor of starting this school year in the Remote Model on September 21, with review of conditions on October 7, toward goal of phasing into Hybrid Model October 19

     

    Further notes can be found in the Summary Notes* from the 08/12/2020 meeting.  *These are not meeting minutes and not intended to be a transcription of the meeting.

     

    VIDEO REFERENCES

     

    8/10/20 Working Session Video (3:44:00 total)

     

    8/12/20 School Committee Meeting (2:03:53 total; see video time markers below)

    • 0:00:00 Committee Chair Opening Remarks
    • 0:05:40 Community Member Questions
    • 0:33:50 Reopening Plan Summary and Recommendations
    • 0:49:17 Committee Questions and Answers
    • 1:11:45 Committee Deliberations

     

    District highlights: 

     

    Community resources:

     

    NEXT SC Meeting: 

    Our next regular School Committee meeting will be Wednesday, September 2 at 7pm

    Meeting agendas, minutes, documents, and videos are posted on-line at: https://www.masconomet.org/domain/41

     

    Comments (-1)
  • 08.10.20 Working Session Summary

    Posted by MSC on 8/12/2020

    “If you have a remote learning environment ready, you can be prepared to address the needs of all the kids in any model. We have the kind of teachers and staff we can leverage to make this successful.”
    — Ryan King, Instructional Technology Coordinator

     

     Math Class 6 feet

     

    Working Session highlights: 

      • Hybrid Model Tour: The school committee toured areas including a bus, several types of classrooms, academic support rooms, and cafeteria / field house  (View Tour Photos Here) — guided by Superintendent Michael Harvey, Assistant Superintendent of Operations and Finance Jeffrey Sands, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services Patricia Bullard, High School Principal Peter Delani, Middle School Principal Phillip McManus, Director of Safety and Security and Crisis Response Steve Burt, Instructional Technology Coordinator Ryan King.
      • Dr. Harvey presented the Draft Reopening Plans developed by the Reopening teams (Executive Leadership team and 40-member Stakeholder team) 

     

     

    • A two-question community survey is available where parents/guardians, students and staff can ask their most pressing questions. Please read the Reopening Plan before asking your questions. These questions will be organized and answered (as answers become known) in regular school committee update meetings, and a community forum that will take place once the start model is chosen.

     

    NEXT SC Meeting: 

    Wednesday, August 12: View the Agenda. Please note that the agenda includes an "Executive Session" at 7pm so PUBLIC session does not begin until 8pm

    Meeting agendas, minutes, documents, and videos are posted on-line at: https://www.masconomet.org/domain/41 

    Comments (-1)