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School Committee Hears Update on Windows, Budget

The following is Part Two of a transcript of the Dec. 2, 2013 School Committee Meeting. For the links to other part of the meeting, click here. 

8:35 p.m. to 8:37 p.m. (55:00 to 57:00)

Keele jumped ahead to an update on the Day-Robinson School windows.

Olsen reported to the board that he was informed that the Permanent Building Committee is postponing work on the windows until February.

Murray asked if the openings, which Olsen said could be up to four inches, would be an improvement over the old windows, saying ventilation is a huge issue, particularly in June when classrooms are an “EZ-Bake Oven.”

Keele said that the project was still on schedule.

8:37 p.m. to 8:39 p.m. (57:00 to 59:00)

Olsen provided an update on the Registered Marijuana Dispensary Committee, which is charged with creating bylaws to regulate any potential marijuana dispensaries that seek to come to town.

Olsen and Westford Academy principal Jim Antonelli serve on the committee for the schools.

8:37 p.m. to 8:51 p.m. (59:00 to 73:00)

Moving back to the budget, Keele said that the town manager has accepted the requested 4.58 percent increase in the School Department’s budget.

He said that in his six years on the board, this was the earliest that agreement had been reached, and that Kohl wanted to ask several questions, but was not in attendance and Keele was almost done with his assessment

Finance Committee member Jim Geraghty gave an update from the Finance Committee’s perspective on the overall process and the School Department segment of the process, asking that questions for the Finance Committee come in by Thursday.

Ryan asked a question relating to the special education population growth and funding mentioned in the budget, with one specific student who appeared to not have special education needs prior to moving to town.

Olsen answered the question that all new special education students consisted of special education students who moved with their parents from other towns as well as special education students already living in Westford who had been educated in other towns and were now being educated in Westford.

The meeting then went to a presentation made by School Department budget director Kathy Auth, which detailed where certain segments of where the school budget were allocated (see attached).

Benoit asked a question relating to student population changes, answered by Auth.

8:51 to 8:54 p.m. (73:00 to 77:00)

The board approved budget warrants and previous minutes.

Olsen announced the retirement of Nabnasset School custodian Joel Palmer, a week after several other retirements of long time members of the School Department. 

Nick Caraway February 01, 2014 at 09:03 AM
Even the assistant Superintendant appears tired of antics around Westford's schools opting to announce retirement rather than continue down the path with this school Committee from conversation at the diner.

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