JAMESTOWN SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETING
Lawn Avenue School
January 3, 2007
Present: Catherine Kaiser, Chairperson
Present: Dr. Robert Power, Superintendent
Elizabeth Pinto, Director of Pupil Services
The School Committee returned from a 6:00 p.m. Executive Session pursuant to RIGL 42-46-5 Exception 2, Collective Bargaining Session. Ms. Kaiser announced that no votes were taken.
Call to Order: Ms. Kaiser called the open work session to order at 7:15 p.m. and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Ms. Kaiser called the Roll Call.
Members present: All present.
Public Forum: None.
Consent Agenda: Mrs. Kallfelz moved and Ms. Held seconded a motion to approve the bid awards with Precision Glass for the windows project at Lawn School. All approved. So moved.
Information & Proposals:
Budget Discussion: Regarding 30/50, Ms. Kaiser received an email from Edward Fogarty. His opinion is that one reference to school districts was inadvertent; however, he thought it was expected that school committees keep their town apprised of costs. Ms. Kaiser spoke with Peter Schaeffer, who told her that the reports on mandates are out. Ms. Kaiser explained the procedure for reporting and reimbursement. She noted that there is a partial list of mandates on the web site for 1992 to the present, and school mandates are on it. The law covers 1979 to the present, but there is nothing on the list for the period of 1979-1992. This means, for example, that regional bussing is not on the list. Ms. Kaiser thought that there must be a list of mandates for the missing period, but she didn’t think school mandates were on it. She added that Superior Court has ruled that school districts are municipal agencies.
Dr. Power received a report from Mrs. Alfred regarding the law about health care covering students until age 25. This change will be expensive. It is supposed to begin January 1, 2007.
Mr. Brennan asked what things were on the list of town mandates. Ms. Kaiser gave the list to him. She explained that Mrs. Alfred needs to put together costs for mandates that are both on and off the list.
Regarding budget schedule, Dr. Power said he would sit with Mrs. Alfred and put together a preliminary budget for the meeting on January 18. At that time, he will distribute a schedule for budget meetings.
Because the school is doing well financially, Dr. Power suggested that the School Committee might want to consider capital expenses that save energy, for example, waterless urinals and window replacements. Mr. Brennan will give Dr. Power a list of potential dates for the Facilities Committee meeting.
Mr. Brennan said that he wants to look at the possibility of collaborating on some positions. He referred to the decline in student numbers this year and said he thought that some positions should be open for discussion.
Dr. Power added that there are not necessarily lower student numbers next year. There is a smaller Kindergarten next year, but administration does not know what will happen with military numbers. He noted that every district in the state has decreasing student numbers.
Dr. Power explained that Jamestown is about 10 students short of the magic number of 50 students required for requesting federal aid to support military students. He explained that there are different categories for aid, and school districts do not have to have a military base in town in order to receive federal funds.
Ms. Held asked if Ms. Pinto’s approach regarding special education was to start from the ground up and build from there. Ms. Pinto answered yes.
Discussion of the Request for Proposal (RFP) for Food Service: Mrs. Kallfelz explained that the present document is a combination of an RFP from the DOE and from Jamestown. School Committee members discussed each page of the document and agreed by consensus on a number of changes that individualized the document specifically for Jamestown’s requirements. Some of these changes included the option to include federally donated commodities, wording about bonding, and the issue of having a resident food service contact instead of an on-site director.
Mr. Filkins suggested that the document be sent to the school’s attorney before going to bid. Dr. Power said that the RFP must be sent to DOE for approval, too, because RIDE sees Jamestown’s RFP as a test case.
The issue of using the current food service employees was discussed. Mrs. Kallfelz will ask Dorothy Braley for suggestions on wording. She noted that the state is looking at the RFP steps in the bidding process and not specifically at food requirements. Dr. Power added that he thinks the cost for food service will be high. He suggested that the School Committee may have to look at how to decrease the numbers, have additional discussions, and may have to re-bid.
Ms. Kaiser asked whether the goal for the bid was to have it out by January 18. Mrs. Kallfelz thought this was possible. She will ask Ms. Braley regarding the process.
Mrs. Kallfelz explained that Section 4 on nutritional requirements was added by Jamestown. There will be no a la carte items other than milk and water in either school. She called attention to the section on use of locally-grown Rhode Island foods and meal format. Mrs. Kallfelz explained which objectives came from the DOE and which were Jamestown’s changes. She discussed the objectives and responsibilities for the food service provider and for the school.
Mrs. Kallfelz referred to Section 5 on legalities and requirements for the bid as “boilerplate”. Mr. Brennan thought the document should be kept simple. By consensus, it was decided to trust Mrs. Kallfelz to simplify the document as needed. Dr. Power suggested that some language may be needed so that there is some protection in case the district runs into problems.
Ms. Held asked about the time period for the food contract and whether there would be a probationary period. Mrs. Kallfelz explained that the contract is for three years, with a one-year probationary period. Dr. Power said that there is usually a clause to get out of a multi-year contract if there is a problem. He suggested that a rolling date option was possible.
Mr. Brennan asked about Jamestown’s total amount of income and outlay for the present food service. Dr. Power explained that lunch fees go directly to North Kingstown, and the school district supplements that amount.
Donna Drago asked about the nutritional requirement for added sugars for particular brands of milk and juice. Mrs. Kallfelz explained that Ms. Braley studied many brands and chose the figure of 4 grams of sugar per ounce as a limit.
Mrs. Kallfelz will make appropriate changes to the document and check with Ms. Braley regarding staffing issues. Dr. Power commended Mrs. Kallfelz for her work on this document. Mrs. Kallfelz will send the draft document to members electronically.
Public Forum: None.
Adjourned: Mrs. Kallfelz moved and Ms. Held seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:36 p.m. So moved.
THE AFOREMENTIONED MINUTES ARE HEREBY APPROVED:
Chairperson, Jamestown School Committee Date