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Meeting Notes: School Committee Discusses Capital Budget, Dale Street School

The Medfield School Committee met Monday at Medfield High School to discuss business around the school district.

The Medfield School Committee spent the majority of Monday’s meeting reviewing and discussing the district’s capital budget for FY13 that was proposed by Charles Kellner, director of finance and operations of Medfield schools.

Kellner highlighted capital project proposals at the , , and that would cost $226,245 in 2012-2013. The most crucial among those projects, according to Kellner, is replacing the 70-year-old mahogany gym floor at the Dale Street School.

“After 70 years, it’s time to replace it,” Kellner said.

 Committee Tim Bonfatti raised the question of spending money to replace a gym floor in a building that will likely undergo significant renovations within the next five years.

“We had those conversations too,” Maguire said. “It becomes an issue of safety.”

Committee members agreed if the gym floor is a safety hazard for students, it should be replaced without hesitation. Kellner wasn’t sure the current floor could hold up much longer after the current school year. Replacing the gym floor at Dale Street is projected to cost $38,000.

Other capital project proposals:

  • Replace exterior windows at Dale Street School, which according to Kellner, would complete those renovations. Total cost of project, which would be stretched over four years, would cost $162,500.
  • Updating central monitored smoke/heat detection at Dale Street School. Cost is to be determined and would likely go out to bid, according to Kellner.
  • Second floor finishes/fixtures to boys and girls bathrooms at Dale Street School. Cost of project is projected at $33,100, which would be paid for in FY2016-2017.
  • Heating system improvements at Dale Street School. Total cost is to be determined and likely go out to bid, according to Kellner.
  • Replace corridor doors at Dale Street School. Total cost is projected to be $45,500 and would be paid for in FY2014-2015.
  • Replace corridor doors at Wheelock School. Projected cost is $31,500 and would be paid for in FY2013-2014.
  • Update central monitored smoke/heat detection at Wheelock School. Projected cost is to be determined and will likely go out to bid, according to Kellner.
  • Replace corridor and exterior windows. Projected cost is $206,000. $98,000 would be paid for in FY2014-2015 and $108,000 would be paid for in $2016-2017.
  • Replace freezer at Wheelock School. Projected cost is $22,436 and would be paid for in FY2014-2015.
  • Masonry repairs, boiler room at Wheelock School. Projected cost is $65,000 and would be paid for in FY2013-2014.
  • Provide new primary electrical service at Wheelock School. Projected cost is $125,000 and would be paid for in 2015-2016.
  • Site traffic and parking plan at Wheelock School. Projected cost would be $16,000 and would be paid for in FY2013-2014.
  • Replace boilers at Wheelock School. Projected cost is to be determined and would likely go out to bid, according to Kellner.
  • Install gym blinds at Blake Middle School. Projected cost is $7,345 and would be paid for in FY2012-2013.
  • Install lift at stage at Blake Middle School. Projected cost is $67,000 and would be paid for in FY2015-2016.
  • Replace side basketball backboards in gym at Medfield High School. Projected cost would be $10,200 and would be paid for in FY2012-2013.
  • Archive project throughout the district is projected to cost $18,500 and would be paid for in FY2012-2013.
  • Replace pick-up truck in district. Projected cost is $61,000. $30,000 would be paid for in FY2014-2015 and $31,000 would be paid for in FY2016-2017.
  • Replace mower in district. Projected cost is $16,000 and would be paid for in FY2015-2016.
  • Upgrade exterior lighting at multiple schools. Projected cost is $54,500 and would be paid for in FY2012-2013.

FY13 Budget Update

Subcommittee members of the town’s Warrant Committee that will be working with the school department on its fiscal year 2013 budget were present as Maguire further discussed his recommended budget.

“At this stage of the process, we are cautiously optimistic from the town’s information that we will be able to hopefully have a less challenging process than we have had over the last couple of years,” Maguire said. “Although the environment is still at a point where you still have to be aware.”

Maguire has recommended to the School Committee an increase in the district’s general budget of less than 1 percent.

“I have submitted a recommendation to [the committee] of 0.87 percent and as I have mentioned [before], there are a number of things that have been helpful,” Maguire said. “Decline in enrollment, community groups have provided some relief from pressure to make the numbers more manageable, our bus contract and so forth. At this stage of the game, I’m feeling cautiously optimistic about where we are.”

Maguire said he hopes to have the school committee take action at its Jan. 30 meeting to adopt his recommendation so it can be submitted to the town.

“Our intent would be to have the committee take action on the last meeting in January,” Maguire said. “That is about the time that the town requires we submit a budget. You can make adjustments from that point moving forward but we are looking to submit at the end of January. … We will ask that you make a vote to transfer it from being my budget and my recommendation to the school committee’s budget and recommendation.”

Maguire and his administration will meet with the Warrant Committee on Jan. 17 to further discuss the proposed budget.

Dale Street School Principal Search

School Committee members Tim Bonfatti and Debbie Noschese volunteered to be part of the Dale Street School Principal Search Committee. Maguire is currently advertising for community members to join the search committee. For more information, .

Here’s a tentative timeline for the Dale Street School Principal Search Committee:

  • Feb. 17: Applications for search committee closes.
  • Week of Feb. 20: Prepare packets.
  • Week of Feb. 27: Search committee organizational meeting.
  • Week of April 19: Search committee completes interviews and forwards finalists to Maguire.
  • Week of April 26: Finalist interviews/school visits/ site visits.
  • Week of May 2: Appointment of Dale Street School principal.

Review of Special Education Coordinated Program

Matthew LaCava, director of Pupil Services in Medfield, provide an update of the Department of Education (DOE) Special Education Coordinated Program Review to the school committee.

LaCava told the committee the district was currently in the second phase of the three-phase review, which is the file review.

“[DOE] chose 35 different Special Ed files [in Medfield] based on disability, level of need and services,” LaCava said. “They were actually on-site on Jan. 3, the first day back from the break.”

The DOE’s Coordinated Program Review is something that happens every six years in the school district and LaCava said Medfield’s “six-year cycle is up.”

The first phase of the review process was the documentation, which according to LaCava was submitted to DOE last spring. LaCava said the purpose of the review is to make sure Medfield is meeting all the program’s criteria. The third phase of this review process is an on-site visit, which will be taking place from Jan. 23-26.

“[DOE] will be doing facility walk-throughs as well as interviews,” LaCava said. “The interviews will consist of questions that can vary from [asking] principals to parents and are part of a verification process.”

LaCava said among those being interviewed will be himself and Maguire.

“The questions will be geared around what they found from our documentation and our filing,” LaCava said. “It will be about process, timeline, how are we meeting the needs of the parents and students. I will be interviewed and [Bob Maguire, Superintendent of Schools] will be interviewed as well from a district-wide perspective.”

DOE will visit each of Medfield’s five schools and according to LaCava, will be looking for “confidentiality to make sure kids are not being identified from going into a certain room and there’s no identifying signs [of special needs].”

“I’ve been through all the buildings and we are in very good shape with that,” LaCava said.

After the review, the district will receive a report from DOE regarding its visit. If DOE finds Medfield lacking in any areas of the program, the district will be asked to take action.

“We [would] have to write a corrective action plan on anything that [comes] up as partially implemented or not implemented, which means some requirements are being met while others are not,” LaCava said.

LaCava added if any parents would like to be interviewed during DOE’s visit to discuss their child, they should reach out to Superintendent Maguire’s office to share their contact information.

“[Parents] will have an opportunity for that,” LaCava said.

Action Items:

The School Committee approved the , prepared by Maguire and his administration. Maguire said he will hand deliver the statement Tuesday.

"The deadline for submission is Jan. 11," Maguire said. "We will submit the electronic version Tuesday morning and I will hand deliver the hard copy by end of day Tuesday. ... "Well ahead of the deadline," Maguire joked.

The School Committee approved the following meeting minutes:

  • Sept. 19 regular and executive session
  • Nov. 7 regular and executive session
  • Nov. 21 regular and executive session

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