Return to Headlines

5/4/21 School Committee Meeting Minutes

340 Teaticket Highway
School Committee Meeting
May 4, 2021
Public Meeting 6:30 PM
Webinar Archived on You Tube
School Committee Members at FHS Library
874 Gifford Street, Falmouth MA
Kelly Welch, Chair Lori Duerr, Superintendent
Natalie Kanellopoulos, Vice-Chair Sonia Tellier, Assistant Superintendent REMOTE
Melissa Keefe, Secretary Joany Santa, Dir. of Human Resources REMOTE
Terri Medeiros Joan Woodward, Dir. of Student Services REMOTE
Andrea Thorrold
Leah Palmer (arrived at 5:30 PM Remote/In-Person 6:10 PM)
Bill Rider Sharon Reid, Recording Secretary REMOTE
Lisa Hart Community Access REMOTE
John Furnari REMOTE
HEARD Kelly Welch open the Public Meeting at 5:30 PM.
MOTION by Kelly Welch to move into Executive Session with respect to collective bargaining with FEA units A and B;
Step III Grievance (#8 and #9), and to discuss strategy with respect to litigation: Department of Labor Relations. Having
these discussion is open session may have a detrimental effect on the School Committee’s position. It is anticipated that
the School Committee will return to open session. SECONDED by Melissa Keefe. Roll Call Vote. UNANIMOUS.
HEARD Kelly Welch re-open Public Meeting at 6:40 PM.
HEARD the Pledge of Allegiance.
HEARD Ms. Welch recite the video/audio recording statement. Karin Donohue raised her hand on Zoom.
HEARD Kelly Welch read the following statement:
We’ve seen the news articles and social media posts, and we all passed many of our wonderful educators on our way in
today as they showed their support for their union and its leadership. Despite what I have read in the news articles and
emails that have been forwarded to me, I want to assure you that the School District and the School Committee have not
engaged in actions to inhibit the FEA’s rights to represent its members.
I’ve been on this committee for quite a few years now, and part of our negotiations team for many of those years. I can
state unequivocally that this is a district that values our staff, and values all of our unions and the role that they play in
representing their membership. When the union and the district work together, it is a fabulous thing. It is a really
important relationship that serves the students, the staff, and the district well.
I have had many meetings and conversations with Dr. Duerr and I can assure you that she shares this view and does everything in her power to create a student focused, and staff friendly workplace, because as she always says, it’s the right thing to do. It has been especially challenging during this pandemic, but Dr. Duerr and her team have worked tirelessly to come up with creative solutions to meet the needs of staff and students. As you know, we cannot discuss individual personnel matters during school committee meetings in open session, but the School Committee is always open to hearing any issues our employees or community members feel are not being addressed. UPDATE on Teaticket Roof Ballot Question (May 2021) HEARD Patrick Murphy review the process for the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) Accelerated Repair Program. The Falmouth Public Schools has begun this process for the Replacement of the Teaticket School Roof. If the application continues to be passed along through the process, a bid package will be published next fall and the project will begin in the summer of 2022. The MSBA would cover approximately one third of the cost. To continue through this process a bond is required from the Town of Falmouth. The ballot question (Voting Day - May 18, 2021) is to approve how the bond would be paid. The ballot question reads: QUESTION 1 - Shall the Town of Falmouth be allowed to exempt from the provisions of proposition two and a half, so–called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to replace the roof for the Teaticket Elementary School. The community will vote for the amount of the roof at the November 2021 Town meeting, when estimates and full MSBA approvals should have been received. HEARD questions and comments following Mr. Murphy’s report. PRESENTATION and Discussion with the Wampanoag Tribe-Education Department HEARD Nitana Hicks Greendeer, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Wopanaak Language Reclamation Project, Linda Coombs, Aquinnah Tribe, Wampanoag Historian, Kitty Hendricks-Miller, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Indian Education Coordinator, and Jerry Lassos, Tongva Tribe, American Indian Resource Specialist review the process and purpose of creating a “Land Acknowledgement.” Discussion followed the PowerPoint Presentation and requests for those interested in participating in a subcommittee for creating the land acknowledgement were asked to submit their names. UPDATE from the Superintendent HEARD Dr. Duerr report of the following items:  Corinne Adams, FHS Ceramics Teacher, is a semi-finalist in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) 2022 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year.  COVID-19 cases are down within the Town and the Schools. Dr. Duerr reminds staff to email the Public Health Nurse, Jennifer Reissfelder, of their vaccination status to assist in contract tracing.  The Falmouth Public Schools will submit an application to The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for a Single District Virtual School for the 2021-2022 school year on Thursday, May 6, 2021.  The Wounded Warriors Ride will take place on May 21, 2021. Students in the elementary schools will write cards to the soldiers and a limited number of students in Morse Pond and Lawrence will walk to the event to support the riders.  Graduation plans are in process. Principal Gans joined Dr. Duerr to report that the 2021 graduation is scheduled for Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 10:00AM (rain date: Sunday, June 6, 2021) on the outdoor turf field at the High School. Many volunteers are required for the ceremony in order to adhere to all COVID protocols.  Summer Learning will continue this year. Dr. Woodward shared information about the Extended School Year (ESY) programs offered through the Office of Student Services and Dr. Tellier updated the Board on the Summer Learning Academy for students in grade 1-6 which will take place at the Teaticket School.  Due to a generous donation from the Waquoit Congregational Church, The Falmouth Public Schools joined the Happy Hope Factory’s Art Project. Students in the four elementary schools will volunteer to create 1,000 toothbrush kits, which will be donated to local shelters and food pantries.
ACT on the Carousel of Light Operating License - summer 2021
This item has been tabled until the May 18, 2021 School Committee Meeting. DISCUSSION.
PRESENTATION and ACT on Superintendent’s Evaluation
HEARD Natalie Kanellopoulos review the process for the Superintendent’s evaluation and the summative evaluation. Dr.
Duerr received an overall Proficient rating. MOTION by Natalie Kanellopoulos to accept the Superintendent’s
summative evaluation. SECONDED by Lisa Hart. Roll Call Vote. UNANIMOUS.
Routine Business
MOTION by Leah Palmer to approve the minutes of April 27, 2021. SECONDED by Andrea Thorrold. Roll Call Vote.
Committee Reports
HEARD Andrea Thorrold report that she attended a VIPS Board of Director’s meeting where Julie William-Tinkham,
Director of Physical Education, presented a training called, OUT for Safe Schools Badge Training, a comprehensive
anti-bullying program designed to train staff to be visibly available for LGBTQ students, and to support students beyond
the classroom. Mrs. Thorrold suggests that this training could be an option for the summer School Committee Retreat.
HEARD Mrs. Thorrold ask that an update of activities planned for PRIDE month (June) be given at the next School
Committee meeting.
HEARD Terri Medeiros report that she continues to attend the Emerald House Committee meetings.
HEARD Kelly Welch request that Committee Members send her dates when they will NOT be available this summer in
order to plan for the School Committee Summer Retreat.
HEARD Melissa Keefe acknowledge Nurses Day, and thank all of our nurses for their support to the staff, families and
students during this challenging year.
MOTION by Kelly Welch to move into Executive Session with respect to collective bargaining with FEA units A and B;
Step III Grievance (#8 and #9), and to discuss strategy with respect to litigation: Department of Labor Relations. Having
these discussion is open session may have a detrimental effect on the School Committee’s position. It is anticipated that
the School Committee will NOT return to open session. SECONDED by Melissa Keefe. Roll Call Vote. UNANIMOUS.
The following documents were included in the School Committee packet of May 4, 2021. Hard copies can be found in the
Superintendent’s office or electronic copies on-line at the Town’s website:
 Description of Town of Falmouth Ballot Question #1 – Teaticket Roof
 Letter dated April 14, 2021, from Carole Kenney, Co-Coordinator of Falmouth Military Support Group
 Carousel of Light Grant of License 2021
 Draft Minutes April 27, 2021
 Handout - Elements to Consider in the Drafting of a Land Acknowledgement
 PowerPoint Presentation Falmouth Schools Land Acknowledgement
 End-Of-Cycle Summative Evaluation Report: Superintendent Duerr
Public MEETING ADJOURNED: 8:46 PM Minutes Approved: May 18, 2021
Respectfully Submitted,
Melissa Keefe
Secretary Recording Secretary: Sharon Reid