Runkle School Council

Meeting Minutes (Draft)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Martin Sleeper Library, Runkle School


Members Present: V. Beauchaine, A. Depew, A. Hummel, V. Godhwani, T. Gallo-Toth, D. Dixon, M. Bienen, J. Katz


Members Not Present:  C. Pelton, E. Perez, J.Shapiro


I. Meeting called to order at 4:10 PM by V. Beauchaine and all present were welcomed to our first meeting in the newly renovated building.


II. Council Introduction – V. Beauchaine gave a brief overview of the state law that governs School Councils and the Open Meeting Law that governs our meetings.


III. Co-Chair Election – After a brief discussion, R. McElroy nominated A. Depew for the position of co-chair for the 2012-13 school year.  A. Hummel seconded and the election was unanimous.


IV. Current Issues/Public Comment – There were no members of the public who signed up to make a public comment.


V. Council Meeting Dates for 2012-13 – The Council will meet on the following dates from 4:30 – 6:00 in the Martin Sleeper Library:  11/1, 12/6, 1/3, 1/24, 2/7, 3/7, 3/28, 4/25, 5/9, 5/23.  Later in the year the date(s) for SIP presentation(s) will be identified and published.



VI. Superintendent/School Parent Leaders Meeting Update – R. McElroy shared highlights from the most recent Superintendent meeting, including:


An overview of Brookline Public Schools Hiring Profile for FY2013 and strategies in place to bring levels of diversity among teachers more in line with the ratios found in the student population. R. McElroy shared several highlights of Dr. Angela Allen’s presentation to the parent leader group.


“Non-Tax” Revenue Procedures – Dr. Lupini explained that he is in the process of identifying procedures that carry out the School Committee’s recently approved policy related to non-tax revenues being spent in schools.  Everything from PTO expenditures, BEF grants, other fund-raising/expenditures will be covered by this policy.  Dr. Lupini shared his first draft with the assembled parent leaders and took feedback on the document.  R. McElroy indicated that Dr. Lupini had described an interest, expressed both by principals and by parent leaders, that principals be given discretion over a greater portion of their buildings’ budgets.  (The vast majority of monies currently being controlled centrally by curriculum coordinators and other central staff.)  Dr. Lupini stated that further discussion and revisions would be shared at future meetings.


R. McElroy reported the discussion of the Homework and Holidays policy and Dr. Lupini’s firm re-affirmation of the district’s policy against assigning homework over (or bridging) religious holidays.  He indicated that the policy had not been uniformly followed, particularly at the high school, and he was eager to bring all in line.  He requested parents cooperation in reporting violations of this policy to principals and, if necessary, to his office.


VII. Transition to Druce Street – V. Beauchaine shared highlights of open issues related to the transition to the new building, including:


Field Use – The mulched area has been opened for use.  The grassy field will be monitored for progress on an ongoing basis and, if possible, may be opened sooner than the original April 2013 estimate.  While classes with shorter recess periods will continue to stay on-site at 50 Druce, physical education classes may, on occasion, make use of the fields at Waldstein Park.


Arrival – The use of the door on Chesham St. leading to the Druce Street wing of the building resulted in an increase in hallway traffic during the first few days of school.  V. Beauchaine reported that efforts to re-route arrivals to the main entrance and the cafeteria entrance were successfully improving flow.


End-of-day – After a discussion of end-of-day procedures and the sequencing of announcements after the bell at 2:20, V. Beauchaine confirmed that learning is to take place right until 2:20 when students are released.


Playground Safety – V. Beauchaine reviewed safety procedures that have been put in place while students are becoming accustomed to the new equipment.  The lack of access to the grass field creates additional congestion in the playground area.


Ribbon Cutting – The Council discussed the possible ways the school community might participate in the town’s official ribbon cutting, which is expected to take place on a Saturday in the beginning of December. Given this will be an event that draws many outside public officials and will include the speeches and formalities that go along with such an occasion, the Council agreed that an alternate “internal” event for the students would be appropriate—likely the day before.


The minutes of the 6/12/12 meeting were reviewed and approved with minor corrections.  All members present approved the minutes with the exception of J. Katz who abstained.


The minutes of the 7/24/12 meeting were reviewed and approved with minor corrections.  All members present approved the minutes with the exception of R. McElroy who abstained.


The meeting was adjourned at 5:50.


Respectfully Submitted,

Rosemary McElroy

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