ACS held the second board of education meeting of the week on Wednesday evening. This second meeting wasn't just your run of the mill BOE meeting however, it was a special meeting. It turns out that a Special Hearing isn't really special in a fun way. They just call it that when the meeting isn't a regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting or so says Board President Perkins.
This special meeting was called to order at 5:30pm. The superintendent declined to give a report as he already gave a report on Monday. I did miss that meeting, but you can watch the recap in this link. In a shocking turn of events there was no public commentary. Of the 13 people present at the beginning of the meeting it did appear that most were faculty and staff. There was also one late arrival who was a member of the public.
The primary item on the agenda was the Board of Education's response to the Teachers union grievance. It was weirdly titled "G1. Response to Andover Teachers' Association Grievance regarding a teacher's required attendance at a CSE meeting." It's weird in that my understanding of the grievance was that the teachers weren't disputing their required attendance at the CSE meetings, but were disputing that their contractually provided prep periods could be used in this way. I could be wrong though.
The Board of Education denied the dispute and will be delivering the written reply to the Teachers' Union. This decision was unanimously approved by all board members present. President Perkins thanked the Teachers for following the processes again. He stated that the grievance was denied as the language in the teachers' contract regarding prep periods does not explicitly state that it is teacher directed time and could not be directed by the district for meetings. Betsy Kent, Pat Howland, and Michele Calladine went on to make similar statements regarding the language of the contract.
The meeting moved on to approving a 2nd probationary year for Jamie Weeks and the superintendent apologized for the oversight in leaving her off of Monday's agenda. Ms. Weeks appointment was approved unanimously.
Before adjourning the board did hear commentary from Cheri Drake (who is a totally different person than Carrie Drake and I apologize for my error in the previous BOE article). Ms. Drake questioned if the board had considered past practice when making their decision as past practice had been that prep periods were teacher directed time. President Perkins stated that they did, however the contract did not include that language. The union now has 20 days from the response to initiate arbitration if they disagree with this decision. The board did state that they are also still willing to discuss it further in the mean time.
This meeting was a 5/10. The meeting was 10 minutes long which felt a little brief. It was nice to see so many teachers and staff present, but it would have been cool to have some more public involvement. It was also kind of a bummer to find out that the meeting was only "special" because of scheduling. I felt duped. The vibe was overall decidedly mid* as the kids say.
*I'm probably too old to use this word. Don't tell the young folks.
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