The Plympton Elementary School Committee met virtually on Monday, July 11.
Director of Business Services Christine Healy provided a financial closeout. The closeout balance in the regular day budget is $23,969.51. She said there was one PO that they have included for approximately $49,000 for a chiller in a rooftop unit, specifically two compressors. “The unit is limping along, barely functioning,” Healy said. She also said that replacing those two compressors would make the unit function properly though she acknowledged that the entire unit would eventually need to be replaced. She said that the compressors would still be compatible with the unit were it to be replaced down the line. “The compressors themselves, these are separate than the other five units that we are needing to replace and by purchasing them now, when we replace those units, which is sort of on the notional plan here with ARPA funds and other potential funds, these compressors… we’re not putting $50,000 toward these and then throwing it out, that $50,000 is going to be spent one way or another,” Wilhelmsen said adding further clarification. “The town still ends up in very good standing,” he added. Healy said that the funds for professional development were underutilized this year most likely due to grant funding that was available. She said there was also a surplus in special education. “The closeout is in pretty decent shape,” Healy told the Committee. When all is said and done nearly $110,000 would be returned to the town.
Chair Jon Wilhelmsen provided an update on the teachers’ contract. “Just an update there, I’m still getting the changes put into that; we’re going to get that over to the teachers soon. We’ll either vote on that at our September meeting or likely we’re going to have to have a meeting… at some point this summer,” he told the rest of the Committee. The abbreviated meeting over the summer would also be needed to deal with the solar panel installation at the Dennett.
Wilhelmsen provided an update on those solar panels saying that his attempts to get DESE to approve the transfer of the roof into the Selectmen’s hands has been a “less than straightforward process.” He said that certified votes will need to be taken by both the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee before DESE will entertain giving their approval.
Committee member Jason Fraser said, “the State has not come through with its fiscal budget for 2023 yet and part of that was the continuation of remote participation in meetings until December 31, 2023. The Senate just passed a bill with just the language for remote participation, but the House has yet to take it up; the expiration for meeting remotely is this Friday until someone does something on Beacon Hill.” “We’ll have to do it one way or another,” Wilhelmsen said.
Dennett Principal Peter Veneto reported on a myriad of projects that have been ongoing at the school. Various pavement projects and roof repairs were deemed completed by Veneto. He said that they were still waiting on materials for the flooring replacement and repair of the art room and the teachers’ prep room. They are also waiting for materials to complete the door access card project as well as the intercom and bell system replacement. Signs should be going up shortly on campus to notify residents that dogs are not allowed on the premises.
Healy said she didn’t have much of an update on the playground. She did say that they were visiting the site to get the exact measurements for the rubberized mulch. She also spoke with Plympton about where they could use the excess mulch that is to be replaced by the rubberized surfacing.
Superintendent Jill Proulx asked the Committee for approval on the school calendar for next year. The main change was that all half days have been changed to a 12:30 dismissal across the entire District. “This allows for better scheduling of lunch,” Wilhelmsen explained. The Committee voted to approve the calendar as presented.
Proulx also told the Committee that Christine Marcolini would be starting as the Director of Student Support at the Dennett. She also introduced David Turcotte who will be the new Director of Human Resources for Silver Lake. Proulx said that she received a request to elaborate on the hiring process.
Proulx said that the building principal has the hiring authority though she noted they will typically have a committee that reviews applicants. Veneto said that they are interviewing for a school psychologist position to replace Marcolini. Other openings include an art position, a music position, and two kindergarten aide positions.