School Committee Meeting – September 8, 2015

Meeting Notes – September 8

School committee meeting 9/8/15 Agenda and meeting packets (including enrollment information) at

Superintendent/School Comm Member Announcements:

  • Dr. C to meet with DA to talk about what Middlesex partnership for youth can offer
    Lextended day at Bridge to start in October, 60 slots.
  • Top 3 issues from parent survey – overcrowding, stress, parents.
    Homework policy will be brought forward at next admin council meeting. Next meeting 10/7.
  • National Park Service has a program for all fourth graders – download form off National Park Service website – go into national parks for free. DC art is also participating.
  • Dr. C to look into mitigation of excessive heat (and cold in the winter) in the high school and follow up with Pat Goddard.
  • Everyone in town should have received fall recreation bulletin and lex community ed bulletin – sign up
  • 9/24/2015 is the first safe routes to school room meeting 237 9:30am
  • Please bring in emergency forms. Medication, allergy, contact information needs to be at every front office / nursing office.
  • The parent academy was well-received last year and will occur again this year at Clarke, topics to include stress, cognitive development, sexual abuse.
  • The chair of the permanent building committee, Dinisco, Pat Goddard and the Capital committee reviewed applications from 9 firms who have indicated interest in diamond, Clarke, fiske etc. construction – selected 6 to be interviewed at end of September.
  • Interviews are underway for a new SC secretary. Minutes from meetings since April are not on the website but available as hard copy if you contact SC – will be on web soon.
  • Large community meeting for Lexington Youth Coalition on 10/7 6:30-9:30.

Funding of outdoor classroom construction at Bridge:

  • The Bridge school seeks to conduct three fundraisers for their proposed outdoor classroom and are asking for SC approval. Plan would be for stadium style seating, handicap accessible, for a single class or whole grade, possibly for community use – approx. cost 20-30K. Fundraising would include a fun run, auction, and spring fling. Passed unanimously.

2015-2016 enrollment numbers:

  • Projected vs. actual difference of 6 fewer students, versus Dr. Ash forecast in 2014. Overall increase of 2%. School by school projections – EWG working on more reliable school based projection to have numbers for 10/1.


  • Timetable for budget approved, budget guidelines approved. PTA presidents happy to have per pupil expenditure included.

Proposal to move Hastings ILP to Diamond:

  • Currently students in the Hastings ILP go to Clarke middle school, the director of the special education department wants to build capacity at Diamond for Hastings ILP to go to Diamond instead.
  • Clarke does a great job of transitioning students – but this has been an ongoing issue, not moving with building peers. Social connections are part of the hallmark of the autism disability – disappointing to ES that the social connections from Hastings are lost.
  • Would like to request additional capacity at Diamond (possibly two more classrooms, $2M, discussed with Dinisco) for this program. Two classrooms going into courtyard.
  • SC received email from Lex SEPAC/SEPTA – shared with committee – express support for proposal outlined by ES to change feeder patterns for ILP.
  • Concern about how the transition would happen – recommendation to move one grade at a time, only rising sixth graders.
  • Plan – additional 3385 SF, $2,054,000 cost. Two classrooms between new construction and wing built in 2007. Two floors. Efficient, centrally located, both near stair and elevator.
  • No financial savings at Clarke, but would gain one more classroom / better educational space.
  • Additional discussion on long term view for the ILP program, use of rooms, sharing of resources between intensive ILP and ILP.
  • Motion to consider moving ILP from Clarke to Diamond and provide space needed, in context of looking at both middle schools without incurring cost of $2M. Passed 3-2

Fiske brick and mortar construction:

  • Discussion as to whether to propose at summit meeting on 9/16/2015 to move forward with design of a 26-classroom addition vs. 24 or 27. Vote to propose 26-classroom addition as ideal cost/benefit.

Other projects:

  • Vote to propose moving forward with design plans for cafeteria relocation at Diamond rather than expansion of existing space.
  • Vote to fund a study of mechanical systems (steam, hot water) at Diamond to have information before moving forward with design of addition.
  • Vote to request construction funds for replacing temporary partitions at Clarke with permanent walls to increase acoustical privacy and significantly improve the educational experience.
  • Vote to study renovation and upgrades to science rooms to support current educational paradigms at Clarke and Diamond – both are original furniture and designs.
  • Vote to propose approval of construction funds for renovation of current LCP rooms at Harrington to be appropriate for additional elementary classrooms, assuming LCP moves. Plan is to have ready for 2016-2017 school year.
  • Vote to approve funds to complete study of costs and opportunities for additional classrooms at Harrington.

The superintendent presented her draft goals for the 2015-2016 school year. She will meet with SC members, then finalize goals at the next meeting.

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