The Cohasset School Committee welcomes you to our meetings. We appreciate visitors from the community and trust your attendance will be mutually beneficial and informative. We feel it is very important for parents and other interested persons to know about the workings of our school district and for us to be aware of what is important to the community. You are invited to participate in the meeting in accordance with the policy and rules established by this Committee.
Cohasset School Committee Meeting Schedule, Location, Minutes:
All regular meetings begin at 7:00 pm and are held in the Cohasset Public Schools' Community Use Room at the District Offices located at Cohasset Middle-High School, 143 Pond Street, unless otherwise posted. Minutes from previous meetings are posted on the district web-site or available upon request from the district office. In addition to regularly scheduled meetings, others may be added as needed and will be posted on the school calendar and homepage, and the town website.
2019/2020 Meeting Dates:
Cohasset School Committee meetings are not public meetings, but are meetings held in public under the law. As such these meetings are posted at the Cohasset Town Hall which is the official and legal posting place. The School Committee meeting calendar is also noted in the PSO Calendar that is sent to all CPS families at the beginning of the school year. The meetings are also noted on the district calendar and on the School Committee tab of the district website at www.cohassetk12.org.
For the 2019/20 school year, meetings are on the following dates:
July 11, 2019 (Thursday), July 17, 2019 (SC Workshop)
August 7, 2019, August 21, 2019
September 4, 2019, September 18, 2019
*October 10, 2019 (Thursday), October 30, 2019
November 6, 2019, November 20, 2019
December 4, 2019, December 18, 2019
January 8, 2020, January 22, 2020
February 5 2020, February 26, 2020
March 4, 2020, March 18, 2020
April 1, 2020, April 15, 2020
May 6, 2020, May 20, 2020
June 3, 2020, June 17, 2020
*The October 9th meeting was moved to Thursday, October 10th.
School Committee Responsibilities:
Massachusetts Law, Chapter 71: Section 37, charges school committees to select and to terminate the superintendent, review and approve budgets for public education and establish educational goals and policies for the schools in the district. It is not the duty of the school committee to operate the school but to see that it is well operated. The Committee concerns itself primarily with broad questions of policy rather than with administrative details. The application of policies is an administrative task to be performed by the superintendent and his/her staff, who shall be held responsible for the effective administration and supervision of the entire school system. Members of the Committee have authority only when acting as a Committee legally in session. The Committee shall not be bound in any way by an action or statement of an individual member except when such statement or action is in pursuance of specific instructions from the Committee.
Superintendent’s Duties and Responsibilities
The position of Superintendent of Schools is created by state law to run the schools and to provide the School Committee with the benefit of advice from a professional educator. The state statutes and rules give the Superintendent the necessary authority to carry out the responsibilities assigned to him/her in relation to the role assigned by the School Committee.
Cohasset School Committee Meeting Agendas:
An outline of subjects to be covered in the course of the year is reviewed by the Superintendent and the Chairperson of the School Committee prior to the start of the school year. Prior to each meeting, they review the yearly outline and include subjects to be covered for each individual meeting, adding timely subject matter for discussion. Once the School Committee Chairperson approves the final agenda the meeting is posted at Town Hall at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. Any member of the public may request that an item be considered for the agenda by contacting the Chairperson in a timely manner.
Standard Meeting Agenda
Call to Order
Pledge of Allegiance
Invitation to Speak/Public Comments
Approval of Warrant
School Committee Comments and Communication
Approval of Minutes
Follow-up and Updates
Topics not reasonably anticipated by the Chairperson 48 hours in advance of meeting
Executive Session (if applicable)
In accordance with the Freedom of Access ("Right-to-Know") law, and the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, Committee meetings are held in public; again, these are not public meeting but members of the community are welcome to attend. No votes may be taken in a public meeting by secret ballot. The Committee may enter into private or executive sessions upon vote of 3/5 of the members present and voting, for consideration of certain matters specified in law (including but not limited to certain personnel issues, contracts to be negotiated, collective bargaining, security systems, and legal advice or pending litigation). The Committee must first be in open session to call an executive session. At the time the executive session is called, the purpose for the session and whether the public meeting will reconvene must be stated. All votes taken in executive session must be by roll call.
Meetings of the School Committee are public in the sense that they are held in public. This does not mean that they are public meetings in the same sense as a "town meeting." Although there is no statutory requirement in Massachusetts that the public be permitted to speak at Committee meetings, this Committee has chosen to include on each agenda an "Invitation to Speak" section where the public is invited to speak. Civility is expected at all times, and the Chair has the legal right to evict any person who does not maintain a civil demeanor.
The chairperson may, at his/her discretion, also provide an opportunity for public comment during the consideration of any major agenda item. Please be aware of these "ground rules”:
- The number of speakers and the length of time each speaks may be limited.
- Speakers must address all comments and questions to the Chair.
- All speakers are asked to identify themselves by name and state their address. To be eligible to address the Committee, speakers must live in Cohasset, or be an employee of the school, or be invited by the Committee or the Superintendent to speak.
- In the case of a large audience, attendees may be asked to sign in when entering the meeting room so they may be called on most expediently.
- Speakers are asked not to be repetitious of comments already made to the Committee, in the interest of the most efficient use of time.
- Except in an emergency, the Committee will not attempt to decide any question before full examination and an opportunity for the Superintendent to research the matter and make his/her recommendation to the Committee.
- No complaints or allegations will be allowed in public concerning any staff member or any person connected to the school system.
It is the law of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the policy of this school district not to discriminate in education programs, activities, or employment practices on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identification, age or handicapping conditions. Policies regarding these or other policies and the names and telephone numbers of contact persons may be accessed on the Cohasset Public Schools' web-site, Student-Parent Handbook, or by contacting the Office of the Superintendent at 781-383-6111.
School Committee Complaint Policy
All parents, students or other citizens initiating complaints or concerns regarding any aspect of the school department or a school employee shall be encouraged to seek a resolution at the lowest possible level. If the complaint cannot be resolved at any lower level, it may be appealed to the Superintendent's level. It shall be considered for possible placement on the agenda of the next regular meeting for the School Committee's consideration if requested by the person making the complaint. Certain personnel matters must be treated, by law, in executive session, and the subject of the complaint has the right to be present at the discussion.
We hope that the above information is helpful in understanding the processes followed by the School Committee in order to carry out the business of the district. Should you have questions on any of the information here, please feel free to bring your question forward to the Chair of the School Committee, or any other member.