Here is the list of motions on tomorrow’s School Committee Agenda along with some of my views on these motions.
6.I. [By Robert Gignac]:
To request the Finance Subcommittee meet to review FY17 year end financials.
GN: This should have been done June 1 or at the end of May. Whatever happened to this motion from the Finance Subcommittee?
School Committee Meeting Sept. 7th – Finance Sub-Committee Report
6.II. [By Connie Martin]:
Requesting an update on current plans to engage an Acting Head of School for the fy17-18 school year and a proposed timeline for launching a full scale search for a permanent replacement that includes: prospective recruiting firms specializing in this industry and any public sessions that will be part of the process.
GN: While the Committee should be kept aware of when the position will be filled on an interim or permanent basis, under the Ed Reform Act it is the responsibility of the Supt. to hire and choose his method on doing so.
6.III. [By Connie Martin]:
Requesting that the administration prepare a report for a joint meeting of the Personnel Subcommittee and Policy Subcommittee to review the use of Screening Committees during the hiring process and provide information of how their input serves as a factor in hiring decisions.
GN: Same thing, there is nothing in Ed Reform or Mass Law that states the Supt. has to use a screening committee or explain if he does what weight he gives that. This comes close to interfering in the hiring process.
6.IV. [By Connie Martin]:
Requesting that the administration provide the explanation from City Solicitors office of the delays during the FY17-18 budget process. Information requested at Lowell School Committee Meeting on May 3, 2017 and on May 8, 2017.
GN: About time the Supt. is held accountable. The Committee set a deadline that the Supt. failed to keep. They deserve an explanation and he is required to provide one and if somehow the City Solicitors office played a role in the delay that needs to be clearly explained.
6.V. [By Connie Martin]:
Requesting an update on the staffing plans for Principals and Assistant Principals for the fy17 and fy18. Approved by Lowell School Committee on April 5, 2017.
GN: School Committee has the right to know this and it should be addressed and answered completely tomorrow.
6.VI. [By Connie Martin]:
Requesting that the administration provide the committee with an update on plans to accommodate the middle school bubble for the FY 17-18 school year. Approved by Lowell School Committee on April 5, 2017.
GN: Another reoccurring question that needs to be finally answered.
6.VII. [By Jacqueline Doherty]:
Request the Superintendent provide the committee with the Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Education Assessment (MCIEA) survey that was distributed to Lowell students and teachers in June 2017 as well as the Hanover Research survey that was used to collect parent and community data during the same time period. In addition to the actual surveys, please include information pertaining to the number of teachers, students, parents and community members who responded, as well as plans for assessing and disseminating the data.
GN: All this information should be made available to the School Committee
6.VIII. [By Jacqueline Doherty]:
Request the Superintendent provide the committee with a report for the August 16 school committee meeting that lists all open positions and their status.
GN: All this information should be made available to the School Committee to insure the system is properly staffed
6.IX. [By Jacqueline Doherty]:
Request the Superintendent provide quarterly reports to the committee in executive session with names removed regarding all personnel issues that rise to the level of investigation.
GN: This should be a no-brainer, the School Committee should never be blindsided if something blows up and needs to be made aware of any incidents that are under investigation. However because Jackie ask for names to be removed, I question if it falls under the exceptions for holding Executive sessions?
1) To discuss the reputation, character, physical condition or mental health, rather than professional competence, of an individual, or to discuss the discipline or dismissal of, or complaints or charges brought against, a public officer, employee, staff member or individual. The individual to be discussed in such executive session shall be notified in writing by the public body at least 48 hours prior to the proposed executive session; provided, however, that notification may be waived upon written agreement of the parties.
Reason 5 seems to allow it but the names I believe would need to be included.
5). To investigate charges of criminal misconduct or to consider the filing of criminal complaints.
This purpose permits an executive session to investigate charges of criminal misconduct and to consider the filing of criminal complaints. Thus, it primarily involves discussions that would precede the formal criminal process in court. Purpose 1 is related, in that it permits an executive session to discuss certain complaints or charges, which may include criminal complaints or charges, but only those that have already been brought. However Purpose 1 confers certain rights of participation on the individual involved, as well as the right for the individual to insist that the discussion occur in open session.
Purpose 5 does not require that the same rights be given to the person who is the subject of a criminal complaint. To the limited extent that there is overlap between Purposes 1 and 5, a public body has discretion to choose which purpose to invoke when going into executive session.