Faced with an even number of members after a resignation earlier in the week, the Jefferson School Committee split three votes related to library material policy changes during its Monday, Oct. 2 meeting.
Jefferson School Committee Chair Walter Greene-Morse announced at the meeting that Chase Macioch resigned on Sept. 29. Macioch was elected in April set to serve a three-year term expiring in 2026.
According to AOS 93 Superintendent Lynsey Johnston, Macioch did not provide a reason for his resignation.
As a municipal school committee, the committee can appoint a member to fill the vacant seat, or the town can call a special election, according to Johnston. The committee did not discuss filling the seat at its Oct. 2 meeting.
The even number of members resulted in a split votes as the committee considered additional definitions and processes for a policy pertaining to instructional and library media materials selection in the school.
Greene-Morse proposed an addition to say that sexually explicit material shall not be allowed in the Jefferson Village School library. In the discussion that followed Greene-Morse’s motion, committee members John and Danielle Bernier expressed hesitation about the definition of sexually explicit material.
“The definition of sexually explicit material can be different for everyone,” Danielle Bernier said.
The vote on the amendment failed 2-2, with both John and Danielle Bernier voting in opposition and Wayne Parlin and Greene-Morse voting in favor.
Greene-Morse then made a motion that the AOS 93 superintendent, rather than the certified library media specialist, be responsible for the library media program.
“Our certified library media specialist is someone who only spends a few hours a year in the library,” Greene-Morse said.
The vote on the amendment failed 2-2 with both John and Danielle Bernier voting in opposition and Wayne Parlin and Greene-Morse voting in favor.
Greene-Morse then made the motion that the superintendent would present recommendations to the committee regarding the selection of textbooks and other classroom instructional materials.
“I have full confidence in the staff and their decision-making,” Greene-Morse said. “However, it’s the committee’s responsibility to have the final say.”
According to Johnston, the proposed change would make it so that every piece of instructional material would have to go through the review of her office before it got to the classroom.
Once again, the motion failed in a 2-2 tie.
In the event of a tie, the vote does not pass. According to Johnston, the adjustment to the library material policies will be sent back to the policy committee for review and suggestions on how to move forward.
In other business Troy Cutler, a school nurse at JVS, approached the board about raising the rate of pay for substitute nurses, an effort being coordinated by the five nurses of AOS 93.
Culter said the rate of pay for substitute nurses at JVS is $125 a day.
“I can tell you that at $125 a day, you’ll never have a substitute nurse,” Culter said.
Culter’s proposition to the board was to raise the rate to $230 a day, which would help secure per diem nurses, according to Cutler.
Committee member Wayne Parlin asked Cutler how likely it was that the $105 raise would attract more nurses, to which Cutler said he wasn’t sure, but that it was in the right direction.
“If you build it, they may come,” Cutler said. “But if you don’t build it, they’ll never come.”
According to Cutler, JVS currently has no substitute nurses on call.
The committee tabled the discussion to gather more information on the matter and will discuss it at the next scheduled meeting.
The next regularly scheduled meeting for the committee is at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 6 at the school.