School Committee Home Page

Melrose Avenue School
January 21, 2003

Present: Catherine Kaiser, Chairperson

Barbara Davis

Mary Keen

Elizabeth Gooding

William Brennan

Present: Katherine Sipala, Superintendent

School Committee Chairs from: Westerly, Narragansett, Exeter West Greenwich, Chariho, and North Kingstown

State Senator Theresa Paiva-Weed

Sate Representative Bruce Long

Jennifer Wood, Legal Counselor for RIDE

Keith Oliveria, Charter School Specialist

Call to Order: Ms. Kaiser called the general meeting to order at 7:08 p.m. and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Ms. Kaiser called the Roll Call. All Present

New Business

Key Work of School Board Discussion: Alignment: Ms. Kaiser welcomed fellow School Committee members, Superintendents, State Legislators, Jennifer Wood, Keith Oliveria, parents and community members.

Ms. Kaiser informed the audience that this was a work session and gave a brief summary of Key Works Alignment.

Discussion was held regarding Key Works Alignment and Unfunded Mandates.

Mrs. Shuhy gave a brief presentation on what is involved with Bus Transportation for a small community like Jamestown due to Federal and State Mandates.

Discussion was held on State versus Federal Mandates and Statewide Alignment.

Ms. Kaiser posed the question of what can we do as districts to reach a particular achievement. Discussion was held.


Information & Proposals:

Presentation by Keith Oliveria, Charter School Specialist and Jennifer Wood Chief Legal Counsel RIDE: Ms. Jennifer Wood, Legal Counsel for RIDE and Mr. Keith Oliveria, Charter School Specialist gave a presentation on Charter Schools.

Ms. Wood gave a summary of Rhode Island Charter School legislation from 1995 to present. Her presentation covered funding, demographics and spending districts.

Ms. Wood presented an overview of Charter School development. She stated that Rhode Island has the most restrictive Charter School laws. Ms. Wood made it known that Charter Schools were considered public schools that provide an alternate form of education with a different administrative government but still answerable to Federal and State Mandates.

Ms. Woods and Mr. Oliveria were given questions from the School Committees previous to the meeting. Ms. Woods responded to these questions. Discussion was held

Legislators Paiva-Weed and Long both stated that when legislation was passed on Charter Schools, they were guaranteed that public education would not be negatively impacted. They agreed that after tonight’s discussion this doesn’t seem to be the case.

Mr. Bill York, Director of Compass Charter School, spoke to the School Committees and audience regarding Charter Schools. He asked that they try not to put a wedge between public and charter schools. Discussion was held.


Adjourned: Mr. Brennan moved and Mrs. Gooding seconded to adjourn the meeting at 9:55 P.M.

So moved.





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Chairperson, Jamestown School Committee Date