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November 9, 2020

FHS SCHOOL COUNCIL:  November 9, 2020

Present via Zoom:  ​Deb Berglin, Paula Carlson Cahill, Bill Cone, ​ ​Mike Feeney, Mary Gans, Stephen Mello, Michael Melvin, Zorianna Petrosyan, Noah Schmidt, Sean Sullivan, and Jennifer Vu.

Meeting opened at 3:30 pm.

Ms. Gans welcomed the Council members and discussed the continuing of the membership term from last school year, asking all to review the agenda footnote regarding Council purpose, and reminding all adult members to review the Conflict of Interest information. 

The Council elected Mr. Cone as this year’s co-chair. 

Ms. Gans detailed the forming of and the work of the FHS Covid-19 Task Force - which consists of 34 volunteer staff and faculty members who met all summer to create a working plan for us to come back to school. Each union unit had at least one representative serve on the Task Force which helped in viewing from all perspectives. The Task Force will continue to meet as needed. 

FHS also has formed a Racial and Social Justice Committee consisting of 24 volunteer members to address the current two pandemics we are living through: Racial Injustice and Covid-19. Their goal is to solicit and amplify student voices and student stories, to help guide us on how to have meaningful conversations with the intent to make FHS better.

The Council will review -

  1. The Budget – please attend the joint Budget Presentation with the Lawrence School, via zoom, at 5:00 pm on January 4th. We have been very lucky in Falmouth, the town has been generous in sustaining the school budget this year, without layoffs and we were able to hire monitors to help assure physical distancing protocols are followed.
  2. The School Improvement Plan goals were published in today’s Agenda. This year the District goals are also the School’s goals.
  3. The Student/Parent/Guardian Handbook is available on our website and through the link in today’s agenda – please review and submit any edits and/or suggestions to Ms. Gans.


School Start Times: Our member Zorianna Petrosyan is working on reviewing School Start Times. Zorianna is in the research stage of her project and plans to present her recommendations to the School Committee. Zorianna will keep us apprised of her progress. Transportation costs were mentioned, along with child care issues. Zoom meetings were advised. It was noted that if implemented, a task force will be necessary. Mike Melvin offered to join Zorianna on this. 

Noah Schmidt requested Senior lawn signs again this year. Ms. Gans suggested he discuss with senior advisors. 

Ms. Gans asked for student input on using Schoology. 

  • Some students used it last year so it wasn’t a huge change this year.
  • Others reported once they became accustomed to it, it wasn’t so bad.
  • Some students don’t like the user interface – and said there were tech issues.
  • It can be difficult to submit assignments, and Kami slows it down.
  • It is effective at keeping grades/assignments/materials in one place.
  • Teachers organize their pages differently, so can take a bit to figure out what is where.
  • Some like it better than Google Classroom.

Ms. Berglin asked why the switch during the pandemic and noted that they cannot print from Schoology – they then have to put work into a google doc to print it, and then it’s multiple steps to submit the Google doc to Schoology. 

Ms. Gans created a Schoology group for our Council as a way to communicate as a group and a place to post agendas and other information.

Upcoming Events were reviewed.

Clipper Time changes were detailed with how FHS was able to keep this valuable resource by reimagining it this year.

Student headphones with microphones – we have let students know that there are headphones available for every student. If you know of any student needing a set, please let us know or have them reach out.

 Ms. Berglin reported that the job description for the Diversity Equity Inclusion Coordinator position is open for review and comment until November 27th​ – they are very interested in community input and invite our suggestions. Ms. Gans sent a link to the description to all members.

Upcoming meetings - held virtually via zoom, invitations will be sent prior to the meeting:

  • We may hold an additional meeting in December – we will email date/time information when available. January 4, 2021 at 5:00 pm - Joint Budget Presentation with Lawrence School
  • March 1, 2021 at 3:30 pm
  • May 11, 2021 @ 3:30 pm

 Meeting adjourned at 4:20 pm.