Archive 2008 - 2019

Holliston School Committee News

by Lisa Kocain

When should students start their day?

That’s a question we will be debating in the coming months, after early start times were identified as a source of stress for some students, according to the “Final Report of the Superintendent’s Task Force on Student Stress,” released in June. One of the 19 recommendations in the report was to “conduct a systematic review of the schools’ start times to better align them with research into the sleep needs of the youth and adolescent brain.”

In September, the School Committee created a new sub-committee to take a deeper dive into this issue. One piece of information that the three-member committee will review is the experiences in other districts, where some middle and high schools have already delayed their start times. There are many issues to consider including costs; bus routes; athletics and other activities, some involving other districts; and the impact on our families and community.

The sub-committee shared a proposed timeline for its feasibility study with the School Committee at our October meeting.

Time Period


September 2016

Subcommittee Organized

October 2016 to February 2017

Research (Local Issues and more)

Develop 2-4 Options to Bring Forward for Community Input

March 2017 to April 2017

Collect Community Input

Early May 2017

Write Final Report and PowerPoint

May 18, 2017

Present Report to School Committee

June 1, 2017

School Committee Makes Decision

If Change to Start Times is Adopted

School Year 2017-2018

Community Outreach/Communication

August 28, 2018

Adjusted School Start Times to be Implemented


Vaping Banned

In the past few years, there has been an increase in access to and use of vaping by means of electronic devices. The Holliston School Committee wants to ensure that the schools and grounds are free from these products.

Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration classified electronic cigarettes, electronic cigars, electronic pipes, and other similar items that rely on vaporization and aerosolization, as tobacco products. The School Committee voted in October to update existing school policies to specifically prohibit such items on school property, in order to make it clear that they are part of our tobacco ban.

By updating these policies, the Holliston School Committee intends to continue our commitment to a safe and healthy environment that promotes wellness.  

Help us bring in some green!

The School Committee’s Green Subcommittee has placed textile recycling boxes at all four schools, to promote environmental awareness and bring in a little cash. The boxes are white and have a Holliston Green Committee logo on them. Placed in October, the boxes are already successful, with 220 pounds of recycled textiles collected the first month. In our November collection we netted 350 pounds of recycled clothing and other items. The Green Committee encourages families to bring clothing, linens, footwear, and stuffed animals to one of the white Bay State Textiles boxes and support our recycling efforts. For a complete list of acceptable items, please click here.

We earn 5 cents for every pound collected and the Green Subcommittee plans to use that money for future environmental initiatives. We have earned, so far, $28.50 for 575 pounds donated, with Placentino leading the way at 335 pounds collected.

School Committee Members

School Committee members are Holliston residents elected to three-year terms. All Massachusetts School Committees have three main purviews:

  1. Hire and evaluate the Superintendent;

  2. Prepare and approve a school budget, which is subject to final approval by the town;

  3. Create and amend policies.

Our agendas, meeting minutes, and policies are available on our web site at

Feel free to contact any committee member with questions or comments. Please note we all have new email addresses:

Anne Louise Hanstad, Chair

Stacey Raffi, Vice Chair          

Martha Devoe                    

Lisa Kocian                              
Cynthia Listewnik           

Andy Morton                     

Joan Shaughnessy     


School Committee meetings are held at 7:00 p.m., in the High School Library. The next School Committee meeting is December 15, 2016.  The agenda will be posted online prior to the meeting.

Office Hours: 
We will hold office hours at Casey’s on Thursday, December 1, at 7:00 p.m. Come ask us questions or share concerns.

Sub-Committee Meetings:
Policy Subcommittee -- November 14, at 10 am, at Central Office

School Start Times Subcommittee -- December 2, at 10 am, at Central Office

All agendas are posted in the Town Clerk’s office.