JAMESTOWN SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETING

Lawn Avenue School

October 18, 2007


Present: Catherine Kaiser, Chairperson

William Brennan

Julia Held


Present: Dr. Marcia Lukon , Superintendent

Dr. Robert Fricklas, Director of Pupil Services

Maria Alfred, Business Manager

Carole Melucci, Aspiring Principal


Call to Order: Ms. Kaiser called the general meeting to order at 7:12 p.m. and led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Ms. Kaiser called the Roll Call.

Members present: Kaiser, Brennan, Held,

Members absent: Dolce, Kallfelz.


Public Forum: None.


Routine Items:


Consent Agenda: Mr. Brennan asked to exempt the Minutes of September 6 from the Consent Agenda.


Ms. Held moved and Mr. Brennan seconded a motion to approve the Consent Agenda: a) Minutes of August 14, 2007; b) Payment of Bills of September 4, 11, and 23, 2007; and c) Appointment of Anne Reilly and Eleanor Hanson as Teacher Assistants, and Janette Warner as Data Manager Assistant for the remainder of the fiscal year. All approved. So moved.


Mr. Brennan requested that his name be added to the Minutes of September 6, 2007, since he attended the meeting and was referred to in the body of the Minutes.


Mr. Brennan moved and Ms. Held seconded a motion to approve as amended the Minutes of September 6, 2007. All approved. So moved.


Correspondence: Mr. Brennan received an interesting pamphlet regarding foods. Ms. Held will take it to the Wellness Committee for their review.


Ms. Kaiser received a letter from the Rhode Island Broadcasting Association regarding their new no-fee methods for signing up for personal notification about school cancellations, delays, and early dismissals. Dr. Lukon added that this letter has been sent to parents.


Unfinished Business:


Food Service Update: Dr. Lukon referred to a handout on food service sales activity. She questioned whether the committee needs more data or reports. Ms. Held said she is interested in how the present figures compare with the previous year’s data. Ms. Kaiser thought it would be helpful to have figures by month and to date. She will make copies of the previous year’s data and distribute them to the committee.

Dr. Lukon said that SODEXHO’s goal is to have half of the students participating in the food service program. Ms. Kaiser noted that almost half of the students are participating now. Ms. Kaiser said that Solange Morisette reported that 54 parents participated in SODEXHO’s “Join your Child for Lunch” program, and there was very good feedback. Mr. Brennan asked whether SODEXHO could put the data in a graph form by week but only if they did not charge extra to provide these data.


Ms. Kaiser explained that administrators, a parent and a student will meet with SODEXHO on December 6 to set goals. Mrs. Alamanzor is asking the student who wrote the food service article for the Warrior. Dr. Lukon added that she received a survey from SODEXHO. Ms. Kaiser said that she also received the survey and completed it. She did not have enough information to evaluate the program, so she marked many responses as “Neutral”; her responses caused some discussion at SODEXHO because they expected a higher evaluation.


Discussion: Upcoming Meetings:


A) North Kingstown School Committee: Ms. Kaiser explained that Jamestown’s strategy will be to wait until North Kingstown sets the joint meeting date. Their committee spun cancellation of the joint meeting as a joint decision, when it was North Kingstown’s decision to cancel it. People in the community were upset about the way it was cancelled.


B) School Committee Retreat: The retreat will be next Thursday at Rhode Island College. Topics will include setting school committee goals and reviewing the administrative structure. Dr. Lukon explained that she needs to testify on her behalf at 1 p.m. that day; she will attend the retreat as soon as she is able.


Ms. Held requested that the building use policy be discussed at the next workshop. Dr. Lukon will discuss this with Janette to determine whether the policy can be presented within that time frame. Dr. Lukon requested that budget and its process also be discussed.


C) Town Council: Ms. Kaiser explained that a joint meeting is scheduled for October 29. The joint committees will discuss the results of 2006-07 and will look forward to 2008-09. She questioned whether the school committee should discuss time lines; the consensus was that this be discussed at the following meeting. Ms. Held suggested that building use policy be discussed at the workshop in November. Dr. Lukon said that she has a draft of a document on policy for Title 1. Ms. Kaiser said she would place on the November agenda a discussion of a draft policy on building use.


Third Reading: Policy on Reporting of Communicable, Environmental and Occupational Disease: Ms. Davis read the proposed policy.


Ms. Held moved and Mr. Brennan seconded a motion to approve the policy on Reporting of Communicable, Environmental and Occupational Disease. All approved. So moved.


New Business:


Home Schooling Requests: Dr. Lukon distributed an updated list of students who are being home schooled and recommended approval of the requests.


Ms. Held moved and Mr. Brennan seconded for discussion a motion to approve the home schooling applications for 2007-08.


Mr. Brennan asked whether the students on this list were the only ones who were home schooled. Dr. Fricklas explained that he sent letters to all parents who have home schooled in the past. All parents responded except for parents of 12th Grade students and one whose child went to a charter school. He added that if there are others, they have not indicated a request for home schooling. Mr. Brennan said he wanted to make sure this issue was covered, because the district doesn’t have a very good way of knowing whether all students are going to school.


All approved. So moved.


Information & Proposals:


Superintendent’s Report: Dr. Lukon reported on a number of items. 1) Dr. Lukon received notification from Fire Chief James Bryer that RI Fire Safety Code deficiencies at Melrose and Lawn have been corrected, and the schools are in compliance. 2) Forms and letters of explanation about Federal Impact Aid have been sent to families with a parent on active military duty or who are civilians employed on federal property. Thirty-five families have responded; Janette Warner is calling those families who have not yet returned the form. It appears as if Jamestown will at least qualify under the “Active Duty” criteria of 3%. 3) School administrators and Jamestown Police and Fire Department representatives will attend an all-day School Emergency Preparedness training on November 15. All participants will continue work in writing and revising the Jamestown Fire/Police/School Coordinated Crisis Response Plan. The plan, staff training, and practice drills were mandated during 2007. 4) Administrators and administrative assistants attended the first in a series of School Max trainings. 5) Fifty-four Melrose parents and the SODEXHO mascot attended SODEXHO’s “Join Your Child for Lunch” program. 6) This morning, Dr. Lukon attended RISSA’s event, Commissioner’s Forum on Legislation. Andy Andrade reviewed newly-enacted 2007 legislation that impacts elementary and secondary education. Mr. Andrade discussed RIDE’s legislative priorities for 2008; these include advocating for a funding formula and for pension reform, as well as for allowing some flexibility in the “peanut law”. Governor Carcieri has requested that Judge Flanders, Jr. ask the Board of Regents to assemble a task force to recommend improvements to the teacher contracting process in RI. Mr. Brennan commented on legislation regarding use of alcohol, drugs or weapons, and he said that Jamestown already does this. Ms. Kaiser said she thought that this had to do with special education legislation. Dr. Fricklas explained that it also concerns zero tolerance. Mr. Brennan added that the local school committees already make local laws. He also questioned why time would be spent on passing an act on quality early care that is voluntary. Dr. Lukon added that Jamestown will have to look at the date of education and she referred to one of the items of legislation. This required for middle school. This issue came up because one person went to one legislator. She noted that it is better to be proactive than reactive. 7) Dr. Lukon met with Bruce Keiser to discuss Jamestown government, the schools, the budget process, fiscal matters, union contracts, and other issues. 8) Dr. Lukon will meet with North Kingstown’s new superintendent on October 22.


Principal’s Report: Ms. Melucci reported in Mrs. Alamanzor’s absence. 1) In order to prepare for the SALT visit in February, each School Improvement Team is conducting a self-study on November 1, 2, and 5. Ms. Melucci described the self-study teams and their duties. The teams will write reports which will be shared with teachers and with the School Improvement Teams. 2) The Degrees of Reading Power reading comprehension test was given to Grades 6-8 last week and Grade 5 will complete it tomorrow. Ms. Melucci described the test and added that Personal Literacy Plans will be developed for any student below grade level in reading by the end of the first quarter. She added that students in Grades 1-4 have been screened individually by their teachers; students with difficulties receive more extensive assessments so that their Personal Literacy Plans can be developed. 3) Mathematics teachers in Grades K-8 are meeting monthly in cross-grade groups to analyze what students are doing and what needs improvement. 4) The Washington, D.C. trip for Grade 8 will take place on June 14-17 and will be discussed at the November meeting. 5) Ms. Melucci and Mrs. Alamanzor will attend a two-day retreat on November 2-3 with other members of the Principal Residency Network. The group will focus on strengthening the professional learning community in the schools and on studying data that can be used to solve problems.


Committee Reports:


SIT/Melrose: Ms. Melucci reported that the group discussed the self-study, the professional learning community and “critical friends” group, and NECAP testing.


SIT/Lawn: Ms. Melucci reported that the group discussed the self-study. The math coach attended the meeting and discussed what she is doing.


SELAC: Ms. Held reported that there will be a meeting on October 23. A parent support meeting was held in the library; Karen Rafanelli added that there were ten attendees at this meeting, and people were happy with the format.


Facilities Committee: Mr. Brennan reported that there has been no meeting, and there are only two members at present. He asked to have a yearly facilities tour set up with Mr. Kitts. Mr. Brennan asked to have an advertisement for new committee members be placed in the Warrior. He noted that Mr. Kitts and one school committee member are part of the committee, and parents volunteer as additional members.


North Kingstown School Committee: Mr. Brennan reported that Dr. Priscilla Feir, North Kingstown’s new superintendent, seems very energetic and intelligent, and he thought that she was trying to do the right things. There was unhappiness within the community about communication regarding the joint meeting. Jamestown’s high school tuition was an issue at the last meeting. Community members thought this topic was to be discussed at a joint North Kingstown/Jamestown school committee meeting. There is misinformation within the community on Jamestown’s tuition. Mr. Brennan added that Jamestown needs to discuss the North Kingstown contract, present it to the North Kingstown School Committee, and sign it.


Ms. Held asked at what point it becomes important to clarify misinformation publicly, for example, about the inaccurate perception regarding the contract. Mr. Brennan explained that the majority of people in North Kingstown think that Jamestown is doing okay, bur there is a vocal minority that is questioning. He said he thought it was best to bring up arguments about these perceptions in a public forum when both committees meet. He added that he thought North Kingstown should set the date for a joint meeting. Ms. Kaiser added that she could do a presentation on how the North Kingstown contract was developed with Jamestown. Mr. Brennan noted that North Kingstown also worked on a meeting cancellation policy.


SORICO: Ms. Kaiser reported that there was a meeting to discuss the Keyworks meeting, which will be held in the spring. There will be a legislative session in January. There will be a first-ever meeting of school committee Chairs in December.


Legislative: Ms. Kaiser said there is nothing to report.


Wellness: Ms. Held reported that there will be a meeting next week. Carol Toselli asked to attend this meeting, and Ms. Held will inform her of the time and location.


Public Forum: None.


Adjourned: Ms. Held moved and Mr. Brennan seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:25 p.m. So moved.




THE AFOREMENTIONED MINUTES ARE HEREBY APPROVED:



___________________________________________ ____________________

Chairperson, Jamestown School Committee Date