• MSC New Member Update

    Posted by MSc on 10/4/2022 6:00:00 PM

    MSC Update: New Committee Member

    We are pleased to inform the community that we have chosen a candidate to fill the open Boxford seat on the Masconomet School Committee for the remainder of this year. While it was a difficult decision, as there were several interested and highly qualified candidates interviewed, our new member for this year will be Christine Bolzan of Boxford. Christine has many years of leadership experience both professionally and within her community and we look forward to collaborating with her as a committee member in the upcoming year!

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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 linked in the blog. 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

  • Volunteer Opportunity:  Masconomet Regional School Committee

    Posted by MSC on 9/15/2022

    The Masconomet Regional School Committee and the Boxford Select Board are seeking a Boxford resident to fill a recently vacated position on the School Committee.  The selected volunteer will fill this open position until the next general election, which will be held in early May 2023.  

    The School Committee is responsible for establishing educational goals and policies for the schools in the district consistent with the requirements of law and statewide goals and standards by MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), reviewing and approving budgets for public education in the district, and selecting and evaluating the Superintendent.   

    The appointment will be made by the Boxford Select Board and Boxford Representatives to the Masconomet School Committee.

    Interested residents should submit a letter of intent by 5:00 PM on Friday, September 23, 2022.  Please send all materials to: Masconomet Regional District Administration Office, 20 Endicott Rd, Boxford, MA 01921, Attn: Tasha Cooper, or by email to Tasha Cooper at tcooper@masconomet.org

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  • 9/7/22 Summary of Meeting Notes

    Posted by MSC on 9/14/2022

    A. Call to Order at 7:00 PM

    B. Enter into Executive Session to conduct negotiations with non-union personnel (Superintendent Harvey) and to return to Open Session. Executive Session Purpose #2.

    C. Remarks from the Chair – T. Cooper

    Welcome back to school statement given

    D. Comments from the Audience 

    a. Several community members (including both parents and students) expressed support to move forward with turf field project. 

    b. One community member raised question about the Schedule Pilot Program @ Masco and asked if feedback from staff and students will be sought out as part of process. 

    c. Some community members raised concern of current conditions of athletic fields (e.g. holes, injuries, etc.)

    E. Stantec Turf Fields Demand Analysis Report

     

    a. Tasha Cooper (SC Chair) & Bill Hodges (SC member) – overview and history of project given

    b. Josh Atkinson (Landscape Architect – part of 2019 study): Elsa Fisher presented (Park & Recreation Feasibility Study Expertise) findings: 

    1. Members raised questions regarding cost over time not showing increases due to inflation (used linear approach), cost based upon current rates; 36 weeks of use is their conservative estimate; order of phases are not fixed; used conservative approach so did not include summer use in this study, but potential for additional revenue is there in summer months (camps, leagues, etc.); differences in cost if you have lighting, more use daily, etc. that come along with turf fields; cost of turf was given, but not estimated based upon quality; study was conservative with revenue but not with estimated costs.

    c. Next Steps – SC needs to discuss further and develop next steps moving forward (e.g. inviting stakeholders to mtgs, surveying community, etc.)

    1. Members raised questions regarding costs now with grass fields as compared to turf; what can be done to improve conditions of field now; phase 2 to be included in capital plan; SC members to send emails to Tasha with information members seek to know regarding Turf Project by next Monday 9/12/22, in prep for next SC mtg in October.

    F. MASC Conference Attendees

    a. Members should email Jackie and/or Tasha if they would like to attend November’s MASC conference this year.

    G. Superintendent’s Salary for FY23

    a. Dr. Harvey is starting his 4th year as Superintendent; he is last to be considered for increases in salary for upcoming year; keeping consistent with other contracts with 2.25% increases among staff, motion made to make increase; passes with majority vote.

    H. Superintendent’s Report

    a. Dr. Harvey presented: good to have sense of normalcy as we start our new school year; Masco and Tri Town Union presenting Parent University in upcoming month – to support parents and families on variety of topics relating to curriculum, character education, etc.; childcare will be available; see Superintendent’s blog for details; engaging in aspirational community conversation as part of Strategic planning process, how we can come together to problem solve and collaborate as we navigate complex issues; faculty, staff and students will be part of this conversation; 14 mth engagement; what are we doing well, where do we need to improve/change, etc.; will develop shared plan together with goals and objectives – to be completed by November 2023. Promoting Inclusion presentation – 9/13/22, link to register will be on blog post; negotiations with support staff will begin soon; upcoming school events: open house, picture day, senior parent counseling workshop, 9/29 homecoming dates, 10/12 PSATs; fall musical.

    b. Members asked questions regarding: staffing status (all positions filled except paraprofessional positions at this time); bus transportation status (continue to have bus shortages, bus driver shortages, but things are functional); what will be done about current athletic field conditions (Jeff Sands – will follow up with coaches and athletic director – who are responsible for maintenance or problems with field conditions; chain of command should be starting with coach, then athletic director, then director of facilities, and finally Jeff Sands).

    I.  Subcommittee Reports

    a. 1. Community Relations– P. Bernheart  - no updates; calendar to be developed

    b. 2. Budget – T. Teleen - no updates

    c.  3. Anti-Racism – W. Hodges – no updates

    d. 4. Policy – M. Ogden – met twice over summer; next mtg 9/23 @ 11:30 am via zoom with MASC representative

    e. 5. Negotiations – T. Cooper – no updates

    f.  6. Liaison Updates – no updates

    J.  Consent Agenda 1. Approval of July 20, 2022 Meeting Minutes 2. Warrants $3,820,651.79 (32) signed since July 20, 2022; motion to approve; SC approved unanimously; motion to adjust agenda to remove Joe Ciampa – as he was not present; Zillie to be added as she was present; SC unanimously approved.

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  • 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

     

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  • 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
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  • 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

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  • PSA - Small Town Hero Awards

    Posted by MSC on 6/11/2022

    June 16th at 6pm

    SmallTownHero 2022

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  • 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.
     
    Sincerely,
    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

    UPDATE:

    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

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