School Committee Met Thursday Evening

Following an Executive Session addressing collective bargaining strategies with the Holliston Federation of Teachers and with non-union personnel, Chair Stacey Raffi began the remote open session of the School Committee (SC) at 8:09 PM, October 15.  Members of the SC addressed the remote audience with several points of interest.

Member Dawn Naborsky:

  • Recognized the successful HHS virtual Open House, and the HHS Drama Club’s 24 hour Playfest,
  • Announced the upcoming virtual Open House at Adams Middle School October 21 (6:30-8:30 PM), as well as virtual clubs to be held at RAMS in November;
  • Thanked Lynn Bollaro and Dr. Susan Kustka for arranging a drive thru flu clinic on October 24, with all 250 time slots presently filled.

Member Lisa Kocian:

  • Announced a virtual Meet and Greet with the Holliston Special Education Parent Advisory Council on October 21 at 7 PM;
  • Invited the public to the Jack o’ Lantern Extravaganza, a drive through display, at Miller School on October 24, 6:30 PM.

Member Cynthia Listewnik:

  • Reminded residents of Early Voting at the Town Hall beginning Saturday, October 17.

Chair Stacey Raffi:

  • Updated the Committee on the progress of Mrs. Sara Peters’ (Miller School Grade 5 teacher) 2019-20 Miller School grade 5 students, whose spring presentation to the School Committee resulted in the inclusion of Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the Holliston Public School (HPS) Calendar for 2020 going forward: On October 15, the group met at 3 PM in the offices of Rep. Carolyn Dykema and Sen. Karen Spilka to advocate for Statewide recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Raffi introduced and thanked Dan MacLeod, Director of Technology and Digital Learning for HPS, and his technology team for their efforts since March 12, 2020, when HPS schools were closed to in-person learning.  MacLeod acknowledged each of his team members as he introduced the SC to the recently constructed Technology website that may be accessed by clicking on the Technology link of the HPS District website.  Click: Tech Website This new site contains various resources for students and families including Clever School Portal, a Help Desk, remote learning expectations, and Powerschool support and training.  

Raffi introduced Holliston Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Management Michael Cassidy and Interim Superintendent Dr. Susan Kustka to provide a school community COVID 19 update.  Dr. Kustka emphasized the importance of parents/guardians communicating to school nurses immediately about COVID-related concerns about their children.  “When in doubt, reach out,” said Dr. Kustka.  The school nurses will help parents to make these hard decisions, all of which may have a significant impact on the schools.  If such a concern occurs evenings or weekends, Dr. Kustka requests that parents/guardians email the appropriate staff.  Dr. Kustka will be emailing parents with this reminder on Friday, October 16. 

Other actions taken by the School Committee included:

  • Approval of a minor change made to the HPS Face Coverings Policy (EBCFA) previously approved by the SC (8-28-20);
  • Approval of changes to dates for Placentino and Miller Conference days as requested by Principals Dr. Jamie Slaney (Placentino) and Dr. David Keim (Miller).  The following are the changes:
    • Daytime: Nov. 5 and 10 changed to Dec. 11 and 15
    • Evening: Nov. 12 and 19 changed to Dec. 3 and 8    
  • Tabling of the discussion of 2021-22 School Year Calendar;

Keith Buday, Business Manager, presented the Enrollment Report for 2020-21.  Total enrollment is 2800, down 151 students from last year. 

Chair Raffi approved School Bills in the amounts of $133,903.62 (with $6199.37 covered by the CARES Act), $267,032.12 ($40,474.95 under CARES Act); a cafeteria bill of $10,243.27, and a student activities bill of $12,385.36.

The meeting adjourned at 10:02 PM.  The School Committee plans to meet next on, October 22, at 7:00 PM. 

Yvette Cain

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