SCHOOL COMMITTEE NEWS: 5 Things That Happened At This Week’s Meeting

WILMINGTON, MA – Below are FIVE things that happened at the Wilmington School Committee Meeting on Wednesday, September 13, 2017.

#1) The Wilmington School Committee were introduced to many of the district’s 35 new teachers, staff and administrators. They include:

• Jaclyn Costello, Boutwell, PreK/Kindergarten Special Education Teacher
• Carrie Fitch, Boutwell & Wildwood, School Adjustment Counselor
• Alexandra Perry, Boutwell & WMS, Speech & Language Pathologist
• Lauren Cameron, Shawsheen, LT Substitute, Grade 3 Teacher
• Alena Jewett, Shawsheen, Health
• Leah LeBouef, Shawsheen, Speech and Language Pathologist
• Kelsey Kowal, Woburn St. School, Special Education Teacher
• Anthony Tavanese, North Intermediate, Educational Assistant
• April Varricchio, North Intermediate, Administrative Assistant
• Jennifer Bolanos, West Intermediate, Educational Assistant
• Kristin Russo, West Intermediate, Grade 4 Teacher
• Kristine Benning, WMS, Special Education Teacher
• Eric D’Antonio, WMS, Grade 6 Science Teacher
• Christina Dick, WMS, Special Education Teacher – Learning Center
• Daniel Faircloth, WMS, Assistant Principal
• Michael Ferrara, WMS, .4 FTE Music Teacher
• Dennis Fitzgerald, WMS, Technology/Education/STEM Teacher
• Rachell Granara, WMS, Educational Assistant – STRIDES Program
• Andrew Hoffman, WMS, Language-Based Program Teacher
• Amanda Madigan, WMS, 1:1 LPN/Educational Assistant
• Dennis March, WMS, Special Education Teacher – STRIDES Program
• Darin McDonald, WMS, Grade 8 ELA Teacher
• Kimberlie Monteforte, WMS, Librarian
• Marianne Oshiro, WMS, .8 FTE Language Based Program Teacher
• Sarah Rollins, WMS, .5 FTE School Psychologist
• Kristen Romano, WMS, Reading Specialist
• Jonathan Bush, WHS, Math Teacher
• Jessica Kimball, WHS, LT Substitute – Speech & Language Pathologist
• Jordan Russell, WHS, 1:1 Educational Assistant – STRIDES Program
• Frank Antonelli, District, Interim Director of Administration & Finance
• Paul Blair, District, Mini-Van Driver
• Jillian Gentile, District, LT Substitute – Administrative Assistant to Assistant Superintendent
• Ann Haskell, District, Team Chairperson
• Andrew Paschal, District, School Psychologist
• Jill Spero, District, BCBA

#2) The Wilmington School Committee unanimously approved the FY19 budget development schedule calendar, as presented by Interim Director of Administration & Finance Frank Antonelli.

Fiscal Year 2019 runs from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019, encompassing the 2018-2019 school year.

Key dates on the budget calendar include:

• October – School Committee discusses budget priorities
• October 6 – Budget materials sent to district’s Leadership Team
• October 25 – FY18 budget materials are due to the Central Office
• October 25-November 8 – Materials reviewed and entered into the budget in the “FY18 Proposed Budget” column
• November 8-9 – Central Office reviews proposed budgets with Budget Managers
• November 10-December 5 – Central Office prepares preliminary budget presentation
• December 13 – School Committee receives preliminary budget presentation at public meeting
• December 14 – Complete Facility Repair & Improvement Requests
• December/January – School Committee deliberates over budget
• December/January – Capital Budget / Warrant Articles drafted
• January – Budget books completed & sent to Administrative Team & School Committee
• January – School Committee receives superintendent’s recommended budget.
• January 22 – Town Manager makes his town budget presentation at a public Selectmen’s Meeting.
• February – School Committee deliberates over budget
• February 14 – Public Hearing on School Budget
• March 2018 – Meeting with Town’s Finance Committee on School Budget
• May 5 – Budget will be voted on Annual Town Meeting

#3) The Wilmington School Committee received an update on contract negotiations with the Wilmington Teachers’ Association. The update, however, took place in Executive Session, after the public meeting.

Wilmington teachers have been working without a contract since September 1. The School Committee hasn’t publicly discussed teacher contract negotiations since its June meeting.

At that meeting, WTA Past President Robert Mauriello urged the School Committee to support “fair language” and “a salary scale that would bring [Wilmington teacher] pay up to that of comparable communities.”

“When compared to similar communities, the teachers before you are paid significantly less,” said Mauriello, who was supported by approximately 65 of his fellow teachers in the audience. “We are proud of the education we offer the students of Wilmington… If you are proud of the job we do, as you say you are, our salary shouldn’t be near the lowest paid in the area.”

“It’s very, very difficult to sit on the other site of the table from people you like, respect and admire,” responded School Committee Chair Steve Bjork. “We’re looking at very, very difficult fiscal constraints… I promise you the School Committee is interested in parity. We want to get you where you should be and we do recognize where you’re at…. We’re going to continue our negotiations to reach a mutually beneficial contract.”

Committee members were also provided an update on negotiations with the cafeteria workers’ union while in Executive Session.

#4) The Wilmington School Committee received a final update on the district’s FY17 revolving accounts. All accounts were in the black.

FY17 balances were as followed:

• Athletic Program: $3,803.21
• Food Services: $392,787.62
• Summer School: $65.31
• Community Programs (SATs/PSATs): $7,050.90
• Pre-School: $38,717.51
• Wilmington CARSE: $918,842.22
• School Facilities (Revenue from Gym Use & Performing Arts Concerts): $1,230.62
• Global Child Program: $9,216.97
• Mini Grants: $37,773.33
• W.P.S. Gift Accounts: $169,381.25
• High School Revolving Fund (Picture Money): $1,844.64
• CHNA 15 (Wildcat Project): $169.44
• One-To-One Chromebook Program: $6,809
• Circuit Breaker (Reimbursement From State For Out-Of-District Tuition Costs for Special Education Students): $1,659,903.44
• Lost Books: $7,342.42
• 9/11 Memorial: $731.33
• Scholarships: $72,036.75

#5) The Wilmington School Committee will soon be selecting a search firm to assist in finding the school system’s next superintendent.

The School Committee heard presentations from the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (in the form of Field Director Mike Gilbert) and the New England School Development Council (in the form of Executive Director Art Bettencourt). MASC served as the committee’s search firm during its last search.

After both presentations, the School Committee voted, 4-1-2, not to discuss the search firms or make a selection that evening, but, instead, to table discussion to its next meeting. Byrnes, Mulas, Broussard and Talbot voted in favor. Bryson, who was ready to discuss and potentially make a selection, voted in opposition. Bjork and Kane abstained.

“This is a tough call,” said Julie Broussard. “I’m very concerned about making the right decision for this community. I, personally, don’t think waiting two weeks will hurt us as long as everyone is fully prepared to make a decision that night.”

The School Committee next meets on Wednesday, September 27 at 7pm in the WHS Large Instruction Room.

Look for FIVE MORE THINGS that happened at this meeting soon.

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