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Melrose Avenue School
January 16, 2003

Present: Catherine Kaiser, Chairperson

Barbara Davis

Mary Keen

Elizabeth Gooding

William Brennan

Present: Katherine Sipala, Superintendent

Elizabeth Pinto, DPS

Maria Alfred, Business Manager

Lewis Kitts, Superintendent of Buildings & Grounds

Call to Order: Mr. Settipane called the Council Meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.

Budget Presentation: Mr. Settipane introduced Mrs. Katherine Sipala, Superintendent of Jamestown Schools.

Mrs. Sipala presented a shorter version of the original Budget Presentation that was given the previous week to the Town Council. Mrs. Sipala restated the School Committee’s budget goals and presented overhead slides showing budget percentages, percentages of increases, and enrollment. Discussion was held.

Mrs. Sipala spoke regarding the new position of Principal.

Mr. Kitts presented the reasons for his request for a part-time custodial position.

Mrs. Sipala presented to the Town Council the information they requested on Teacher and Support Staff salary and steps. Discussion was held.

Mrs. Sipala spoke on out-of-district cost for tuition and transportation. She also clarified and corrected information reported by the Jamestown Press.

Mrs. Shuhy presented a chart showing the transportation for on island and out-of district students.

Mrs. Sipala spoke regarding Charter Schools and non-funded mandates.

Ms. Kaiser reported on the North Kingstown High School Tuition Subcommittee meeting held this past week. Discussion was held.

Ms. Pinto spoke on Special Education and out-of-district student costs. Ms. Pinto stated that she felt that this budget under funded the cost of evaluations and out-of-district placements. Ms. Pinto also explained what an Individual Education Plan (IEP) was to the Town Council. Discussion was held.

Mrs. Sipala answered several questions that were presented to her by Town Council earlier in the week. These questions concerned: Medicaid, State Aid, Union status of specialized employees, legal fees and the Principal’s salary.

Mrs. Willis commented on Staff to student ratio. Discussion was held.

Mrs. Willis asked about required summer reading. Discussion was held.

Mrs. Sipala spoke on per pupil costs. Discussion was held.

Mr. Settipane spoke regarding the efforts of the Jamestown School Committee’s budget work. He asked the School Committee and Superintendent to assist the Town in long term planning and keeping costs down. Mr. Settipane asked the School Committee to consider a $25,000 to $50,000 additional cut to their budget.

Mr. Littman asked about nondiscretionary costs and mandated costs. Discussion was held.

Ms. Kaiser stated that the School Committee would take to heart the request for cuts. Discussion was held regarding the timeline needed to present the final figures.

Mrs. Gooding asked the other Council Members to comment on the budget.

Mr. Long agreed it was a good budget.

Mr. Swain stated it was the best presentation he has seen.

Mrs. Willis appreciated the thorough presentation.

Mr. Littman, as Town Council liaison, appreciated the difficulties in budgeting.


Adjourned: The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.





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Chairperson, Jamestown School Committee Date