School Committee Meeting Minutes 08/26/2019

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Farmington River Regional School District

Farmington River Elementary School

555 North Main Road, Otis, MA 01253



Monday August 26, 2019, 6:00PM

Meeting #376



Community Participation:                                                   6:00-6:15 PM




Members Present: Nicholas DellaGiustina, Carol Lombardo, Deb Fogel, Jennifer Hibbins and

Thomas Nadolny


Guests:  Aimee Magovern


Nicholas DellaGiustina called the meeting to order at 6:02pm


  1. Discuss the Front Receptionist Position. Tom asked if he first can update the playground.  School Committee agreed.  Tom stated the playground is in.  The woodchips are being spread thanks to Jeff Gray and the Otis DPW.  The chips will be ready to go for the students on Wednesday August 28th.

The Professional Day on August 26th went well.  Mandatory training such as blood borne pathogens, 504s, IEPs, and Teacher/Staff Handbooks were on the agenda.  Half day tomorrow August 27th, then full days begin on Thursday August 28th.

Tom asked for guidance from the School Committee regarding the Front Receptionist position.  Tom does not feel the receptionist needs to be full time.  The position would have to offer health insurance, which increases the expense of that position roughly by $23,000.  This is on top of the salary being paid. Tom also feels that the position could benefit in the office. Help is needed with answering phones, letting people in the building, making sure they are signing in and out.  All of these tasks take pressure off of the Administrative Staff.  Carol asked: what are the duties of the Assistant to the Business Manager?  Tom explained the duties.  Payroll, Accounts Receivable/Payable, and purchasing are the duties.  Jennifer Hibbins stated the purpose of the position she felt was about security.  Someone always available and present in the office would be useful.  Carol did ask what are the hours needed for health insurance.  20 hours minimum are required for health insurance.  Carol thought the position was not only reception work but also secretary to the Principal.  Tom stated it is not necessary for him to have a secretary because Teresa DellaGiustina is his secretary.  He does not need two secretaries.

Aimee Magovern asked if she could speak.  Aimee, President of PTA, discussed how many parents have spoken their concerns about the inconsistency of information from the school.  The communication is a concern and the parents are comfortable with going to one point person for all information.  A familiar face that knows the families and students.   Aimee feels a full time position is need.

Nick asked if the position is year round.  Tom stated that the position is school year.  It used to be school year with limited hours during the summer.  Tom states that he can see both sides of having a full time position, but wanted to make the Committee aware that the position could cost up to $50,000 a year.  Nick feels a full time school year position would be helpful.  The security issue has come up quite often and a consistant familiar face would be worth the money.  He also feels it may be less expensive a year having a full time position rather than other security measures.

Tom sent a letter home to the parents/guardians stating that no one is allowed down the hallways anymore.  If they have to be here, signing in and out is a must.  Drop off is in the lobby only.  This way it is not a surprise come the first day of school.  So far most parents are willing to follow this procedure.  Paula and Teresa have been monitoring the entrance in the mornings making sure everyone is signing in and out.

The biggest concern is Sandisfield.  If a $50,000 dollar position is hired, expenses go up even more.  The School Committee feels this is a safety and security measure that parents want.  The parents pay taxes in both towns, so if the parents want this they will vote for it.  The School Committee would like a breakdown of expenditures that have gone up over the school year, such as electric, gas, insurance etc., at budget time to see where the main increases are coming from.

Tom asked if he could speak on behalf of Eric Jesner about the Curcuit Breaker money.  The School Committee allowed Tom to speak.  Eric wanted to inform the School committee that from the Curcuit Breaker money that the School is receiving, there will be enough money to purchase the $41,000 van that was discussed in the meeting at the beginning of the month.  This is not a vote, just an update.  We do need to spend the money quickly.

The School Committee will now leave regular meeting to go into an Executive Meeting to discuss the Business Manager position, only to come back to School Committee meeting to adjourn.

  1. Adjournment. Meeting was adjourned at 7:21pm