School Committee Meeting – March 10, 2015

Superintendent/School Comm Member Announcements:

  • Dr. Ash gave an update about the Bridge School evacuation from last week; collapsing ice/snow fell off the roof and caused an alarming sound; no structural engineering issues were found.
  • Margaret Coppe (speaking for School Committee) had presented Youth At Risk study to Board of Selectmen


  • Margaret Coppe resigned as School Committee Chair (she served as Chair for 2 years); Jessie Steigerwald was elected Chair; Bill Hurley was elected Vice Chair (there was no Vice Chair previously).
  • Leading up to the reorganization, discussion took place around whether to wait until after Special Town Meeting to make reorganization changes.
  • The School Committee voted (3-2) in favor of making leadership changes.
  • School Committee will wait to discuss Officer roles (e.g., should someone other than Chair be responsible for submitting meeting minutes?) as well as revisit liaison roles for School Committee members.

Governor’s Budget:

  • Dr. Ash presented potential impact to LPS budget as a result of potential budget cuts by Governor Baker.
  • Potential impact of $227,000 that pays the cost of K instructional assistants and $251,525 in special education reimbursements.
  • School Committee decided to follow Dr. Ash’s recommendation of “do nothing at this time” given how early things are in the budget process at the state and federal level and likely changes.
  • School Comm will look into mechanics around potentially seeking stabilization funds (should they be needed down the road). However, School Comm will not seek these funds from Town Meeting at this time.

Contract Extensions:

  • School Comm voted to extend employment contracts for Carol Pilarksi (Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Learning, Central Office) and Ellen Sugita (Director of Special Education) for 3 years and 2 years respectively.

School Building Project Consensus Plan

  • Voted to “move forward with technical redistricting study to explore redistricting plans that would…shift school density towards Estabrook” as per Consensus Plan.
  • Voted to approve Consensus Plan for School Building Project (which summarizes the consensus position of the Board of Selectmen, School Committee, Appropriation Committee, and Capital Expenditures Committee). Can be found here.

Town Meeting Articles:

  • The School Committee voted in support of Special Town Meeting 1, Article 2 (to support $4mm in design/construction feasibility funds) as well as several other articles that relate to schools.
  • Upcoming Meetings:
    • Public Hearing about LPS Mission and Homework Policy: Wed, March19 at 10:00 a.m. Central Office Building
    • School Comm Mtg on Mon, March 23, 6:30 pm at LHS Library Media Center (before Special Town Meeting 1)

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