Agenda for the November 20 Sixteenth Regular Meeting of the Medford School Committee
The Fifteenth Regular Meeting of the Medford School Committee
Monday, November 20, 2023
Executive Session: 5:00 PM
Regular Meeting: 6:15 PM
To Be Held at the Howard Alden Memorial Chambers, Medford City Hall and via remote participation.
The meeting will be held remotely via Zoom and viewed through Medford Community Media on Comcast Channel 15 and Verizon Channel 45 starting at 6:30 p.m.
I. Roll Call for Attendance of Members and Student Representatives
II. Salute the Flag
III. Good of the Order
IV. Executive Session
Upon a Motion to enter into executive session pursuant to M. G.L. c. 30A §21(a).
Executive session pursuant to G.L c. 30A (a) (3): the Medford School Committee will convene in Executive Session to discuss strategy in preparation for negotiations with Teamsters Local 25 Administrators because an open meeting will have a detrimental effect on the bargaining position of the Committee and the Chair so declares.
Executive session pursuant to G.L c. 30A (a) (3): the Medford School Committee will convene in Executive Session to discuss strategy in preparation for negotiations with Medford Educational Secretaries Local 3338 AFSCME Council 93 because an open meeting will have a detrimental effect on the bargaining position of the Committee and the Chair so declares.
Executive session pursuant to G.L c. 30A (a) (3): the Medford School Committee will convene in Executive Session to discuss collective bargaining with the MTA regarding a grievance and the Chair so declares.
The Medford School Committee will convene in public session immediately following the conclusion of the executive session, expected to be at 6:15 pm.
V. Consent Agenda
- Bills and Payrolls
- Regular School Committee Minutes, October 16, 2023
- Committee of the Whole Minutes, November 1, 2023
- Committee of the Whole Minutes, November 15, 2023
VI. Report of Subcommittees
VII. Report of the Superintendent
- Superintendent’s Updates and Comments - Dr. Marice Edouard-Vincent, Superintendent
- McGlynn Elementary and Middle School Update - Andrew O’Brien, McGlynn Elementary School Principal and Nicholas Tucci, McGlynn Middle School Principal
- Request to Approve SY 24-25 Draft School Calendar - Dr. Peter J. Cushing, Assistant Superintendent of Operations, Enrichment and Innovation
Presentations of the Public (not to begin before 7:00 pm)
“Regular Meetings of the School Committee include this ‘Presentations of the Public’ agenda item to give any resident the opportunity to place a presentation before the School Committee. A resident may only present once at any meeting.
These presentations are an opportunity for the public to make a presentation to the Committee but are not opportunities for dialog with the Committee. If one or more members of the Committee wishes to have a conversation about the topic presented, a member may request that the item be added to a subsequent Regular Meeting.
The details for submitting a presentation can be found within the policy BEDH, Public Comment and Presentations of the Public”
Pursuant to policy BEDH, Public Comment and Presentations of the Public - any resident in the audience may be given permission to speak once on any item on the agenda for up to three (3) minutes. The speaker is expected to keep their comments to the item on the agenda. The speaker must begin their comments by providing their full name and full Medford street address where they reside. A welcoming, inclusive community is both a value of the School Committee and an aspirational goal. We ask for your help in achieving this goal and value your perspective. Employees of the Medford Public Schools are exempt from the residency requirement of this policy. The voice of our employees is welcomed on all matters before this body. When a non-Medford-resident employee is participating in public comment or submitting a presentation of the public they will include their home address and identify themselves as an employee of the Medford Public Schools.
VIII. Continued Business
2023-25 Offered by Member Hays, Member McLaughlin, Member Mustone
Policy Second Reading
ACA-1 NONDISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF GENDER IDENTITY
Medford Public Schools is committed to maintaining an educational environment and workplace where discrimination on the basis of gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, or gender expression is not tolerated. The school district does not and will not discriminate on the basis of gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, or gender expression in the educational programs and activities of the public schools, and strives to create an environment where all students and staff feel safe, welcome and included. Medford Public Schools takes allegations of discrimination and harassment seriously and will respond promptly to complaints. Where it is determined that inappropriate conduct has occurred, Medford Public Schools will act promptly to eliminate the conduct and will impose corrective action as necessary, including disciplinary action where appropriate.
To help create a safe and supportive environment for all students, the school district will, consistent with applicable laws and guidance, adhere to the below outlined policy:
Medford Public Schools will maintain a list of definitions in support of this policy on the district website and will maintain the list of definitions on an annual basis.
Privacy, Confidentiality and Student Records
Under state law, information about a student's assigned birth gender, name change for gender identity purposes, gender transition, medical or mental health treatment related to gender identity, or any other information of a similar nature, regardless of its form, is part of the
individual's student record (https://www.doe.mass.edu/sfs/lgbtq/GenderIdentity.html) (see Massachusetts Student Records Regulations, 603 CMR 23.00). Medford Public Schools will ensure that all information in relation to a student's gender identity shall be kept confidential in accordance with applicable, federal, state and local privacy laws and regulations. Information that may reveal a student's gender identity to others will not be disclosed.
With regard to changes to the student record, unless the school is legally required to do so, student records regulation 603 CMR 23.01 states that these right shall be the rights of the student:
- upon reaching fourteen years of age, or upon reaching the ninth grade, whichever comes first.
- if a student is under the age of fourteen, and has not yet entered the ninth grade, these rights shall belong to the student's caregiver(s).
- if a student is between 14 and 17 years of age or has entered the ninth grade, both the student and his/her caregiver(s) or either one acting alone shall exercise these rights.
- if a student is eighteen years of age or older, he/she alone shall exercise these rights subject to the following: caregiver(s) may continue to exercise the rights until expressly limited by the student.
Gender Markers on Student Records
A gender marker is the designation on school and other records that indicates a student's gender. For transgender students a documented gender marker (for example, "male" or "female" on a permanent record) should reflect the student's gender identity, not the student's assigned sex. Upon request by the student or, in the case of students under the age of fourteen or has not yet entered ninth grade, young students not yet able to advocate for themselves requested by the caregiver(s), the school should change the gender marker on the record for transgender students. In addition, transgender students who transition after having completed high school, may ask their previous schools to amend school records or a diploma or transcript that includes the student's birth name and gender.
When requested, and when satisfied with the gender identity information provided, schools should amend the student's record, including reissuing a high school diploma or transcript, to reflect the student's current name and gender.
Medford Public Schools recognizes that every student has the right to choose and be addressed by the name and pronouns that correspond to the gender identity they consistently assert while at school, regardless of the student’s assigned birth gender and names that appear on the student’s birth certificate. Court orders are not required to update student records to reflect changes in a student’s name and gender markers. According to DESE, “Massachusetts' law recognizes common law name changes. An individual may adopt a name that is different from the name that appears on his or her birth certificate provided the change of name is done for an honest reason, with no fraudulent intent. Nothing more formal than usage is required.” Schools will work with the student and the caregiver(s) if they are involved in the process, or in the case of a younger student with the student and the student’s caregiver(s), to develop a plan for communicating any name and pronoun change within the school.
The decision about whether and how to undergo social and/or medical gender transition is personal and depends on the unique circumstances of each individual. There is no threshold medical or mental health diagnosis or treatment requirement that any student must meet in order to have his or her gender identity recognized and respected by a school. When a school is informed of a student’s transition, the school shall hold a meeting with the student and the caregiver(s) of the student if they are involved in the process, or in the case of a younger student with the student and the student's caregiver(s), to develop a transition plan to provide a safe and supportive educational environment for the student and to address any concerns that may arise. The primary goal of MPS will be to facilitate the relationship between the student and primary caregiver(s) wherever possible. However, some transgender and gender nonconforming students are not openly so at home for reasons such as safety concerns or lack of acceptance.
School personnel should speak with the student first before discussing a student's gender nonconformity or transgender status with the student's caregiver(s). For the same reasons, school personnel should discuss with the student how the school should refer to the student, e.g., appropriate pronoun use, in written communication to the student's caregiver(s).
Restrooms, Locker Rooms, and Changing Facilities
All students are entitled to have access to restrooms, locker rooms and changing facilities that are sanitary, safe, and adequate, so they can comfortably and fully engage in their school program and activities. Students in Medford Public Schools will have access to the restroom, locker room, and changing facility that corresponds to their gender identity. Transgender and gender nonconforming students who are uncomfortable using a sex-segregated restroom, locker room, or changing facility should be provided with safe and adequate alternatives, such as private changing areas, designated gender neutral restrooms, single stall gender neutral restrooms, or the nurse's or main office restroom. However, under no circumstances will a student be required to use gender neutral facilities because they are transgender or gender nonconforming.
Last Amended: N/A
Last Reviewed: N/A
Review Frequency: two (2) years
Next Review: TBD
Policy ID: ACA-1
JB Equal Educational Opportunities
ACAB Prohibition of Harassment
AC-E/ACA-E Title IX/Chapter 622
JI Student Rights and Responsibilities
Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964
MA 603 CMR 26.00 Access to Equal Education Opportunity Regulations
MA, 603 CMR 23.00 Student Records Regulations
MA Session Acts of 2011, c.199 An Act Relative to Gender Identity
MA Session Acts of 2016, c. 134 An Act Relative to Transgender Anti-Discrimination
Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) General Rules, Rule 43: Gender and Participation
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Creating a Safe and Supportive School Environment: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity
IX. New Business
2023-26 Offered by Member Graham, Member Ruseau
Be it resolved that the Superintendent will present School Year 2024-2025 handbooks to the School Committee for review and approval no later than April 1, 2024. Be it further resolved that the School Committee will create an ad hoc subcommittee to establish a process and norms around annual handbook review no later than March 1, 2024.
Date of Request: November 13, 2023
Date Requested to be on Agenda: November 20, 2023
2023-27 Offered by Member Hays, Member McLaughlin, Member Mustone
Ad Hoc Report Request - Bullying Curriculum
Whereas the Medford Public Schools Bullying and Intervention Plan states that MPS will “provide age-appropriate instruction on bullying prevention to students” as required by law;
Resolved, the MPS administration will provide an presentation to update the community about the curriculum or lessons used at each grade level to explicitly teach students the following:
- How to understand what bullying looks and sounds like
- How to identify bullying when it’s happening
- How to understand when verbal bullying becomes hate speech
Date of Request: November 15, 2023
Meeting Requested to be on Agenda: November 20, 2023
2023-28 Offered by Member Hays, Member McLaughlin and Member Mustone
Accessibility of End-of-Cycle Superintendent Summative Evaluation Report
Whereas the Medford School Committee is committed to ensuring transparency, accountability, and accessibility to the community with regard to the work of the school committee and the school administration;
Whereas the completion of the annual Superintendent Evaluation is one of the three main functions of the school committee;
Whereas the Superintendent End-of-Cycle Summative Evaluation Report is a public document that provides the community with important documentation of the Superintendent’s performance and the district’s progress towards the goals in the strategic plan;
Be it resolved, each Superintendent End-of-Cycle Summative Evaluation Report from the 2021-22 school year forward will be added to the newly created Superintendent Evaluation tab on the School Committee page of the MPS website;
Be it further resolved, each new Summative Evaluation Report will be added to the Superintendent Evaluation tab of the MPS website within two weeks of its approval by the School Committee.
Be it further resolved, every Summative Evaluation Report will be translated into the top three languages spoken by families in the Medford Public Schools.
Date of Request: November 15, 2023
Date Requested to be on Agenda: November 20, 2023
X. Reports Requested
The Members of the Medford School Committee express their sincerest condolences to Patrice Barry, MHS teacher and her family for the loss of her daughter, Lauren Barry of Malden and also a Medford High graduate of 2007.
The Members of the Medford School Committee express their sincerest condolences to the family of John Lazzaro, former High School Science teacher, brother of Michael Lazzaro, Senior Custodian at Medford High School and brother-in-law to Brooks Elementary School teacher Ellie O’Leary and her husband Chip O’Leary, custodian at Medford High School
The Members of the Medford School Committee express their sincerest condolences to the family of Freda London, grandmother of Joy Weldon, Human Resources Administrative Assistant.
The Members of the Medford School Committee express their sincerest condolences to the family of Mary Stack, former teacher at the Franklin & Swan Elementary Schools.
The Members of the Medford School Committee express their sincerest condolences to the family of Patricia Kenna, former Medford Public School teacher.
XII. Next Meeting
December 4, 2023 - Alden Memorial Chambers, Medford City Hall in addition to zoom