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

  • 1.25.23 Budget Subcommittee & SC Meeting - Postponed

    Posted by MSC on 1/25/2023 3:30:00 PM

    Due to the anticipated inclement weather, the Budget Subcommittee & SC Meeting scheduled for tonight at 5pm will be POSTPONED.  New date: TBD

    Comments (-1)
  • FY24 Budget Calendar

    Posted by MSC on 1/23/2023

    The FY24 Budget Calendar and all other FY24 Budget Documents can be found here: https://www.masconomet.org/Page/913

    FY24 Budget Calendar

    Comments (-1)
  • PSA - WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

    Posted by MSC on 1/20/2023

    Please participate in this survey from Masconomet's Strategic Planning Working Team by February 1st.

    strategic plan survey

     

    Details in letter below:

     
    Dear Masconomet Community Member,

    In November, the Masconomet Regional School District launched an aspirational, community conversation to redefine what success should look like for our students and schools and to embrace the practices that will enable the district to realize that vision. A representative Strategic Planning Working Team has started discussions to help plan for our future.


    Now is YOUR time to participate
    in setting the future direction and determining strategic priorities
    for Masconomet Regional School District.<https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MasconometPlanningSurvey>


    We welcome your ideas and invite you to participate in a community survey to share your perspectives and suggestions. All responses are anonymous and take only 15 minutes. And as a bonus, we’ll be raffling a $40 gift card to participants. Here is the link:

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MasconometPlanningSurvey

    by February 1, 2023


    Also, please share this link with families, neighbors and colleagues in your Masco community network, even if they don’t currently have students at the middle school or high school. We hope to maximize community engagement and capture our best collective ideas.

    Responses are due by February 1. For more information on Masconomet’s Strategic Planning Initiative, see our website (https://www.masconomet.org/Page/908).


    Best regards,

    The Masco Leadership Team

    Tasha Cooper, School Committee, Chair

    Mike Harvey, Superintendent

    Jeff Sands, Assistant Superintendent finance and Operations

    Lynne Bennett, Assistant Superintendent Student Services

    Mary Jo Carabatsos, High School Principal

    Phil McManus, Middle School Principal
    Comments (-1)
  • Open Community Reflection/Discussion TOPIC: Turf Fields

    Posted by MSC on 12/4/2022

    COMMUNITY UPDATE: Turf Field FAQ and Timeline as of Dec. 2022 (updated 12/7/22)

     

    image0.jpeg

    We invite all members of the community to join us for this open discussion period. We welcome questions and comments about the School Committee’s activities and district priorities, about relations between Masco and the community, and welcome your ideas and input.
    Comments (-1)
  • 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

     

    Comments (-1)
  • 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!

     

    Comments (-1)
  • 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!  

     

    Comments (-1)
  • 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

    Approved

     

    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        

    Comments (-1)
  • 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         

     

    Comments (-1)