School Committee Home Page

Melrose Avenue School
February 27, 2003

Present: Catherine Kaiser, Chairperson

Barbara Davis

Mary Keen

Elizabeth Gooding

William Brennan

Present: Katherine Sipala, Superintendent

Elizabeth Pinto, Director of Pupil Services

Ken Littman, Town Council Liaison

Executive Session – RI 42-46-5, Exception 2 Pertaining to Litigation or Work Sessions Pertaining to Litigation: Ms. Kaiser opened the Executive session at 6:30 P.M. All Present.

Call to Order: Ms. Kaiser called the general meeting to order at 7:14 pm. and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Ms. Kaiser called the Roll Call. All Present.

Open Forum: No one signed in.

Recognition: Mrs. Sipala recognized Mrs. Deborah Murphy, 1st grade teacher, for achieving National Board Teacher Certification status. Mrs. Murphy gave a brief statement explaining what she needed to do to apply for this certification.

Routine Items:

Correspondence: Mrs. Sipala presented information on the Key Works of School Boards Workshop being held on March 31, 2003 at 6 p.m. at the East Greenwich High School.

Mrs. Gooding stated that she wrote letters to State Representative Long and State Senator Paiva-Weed thanking them for attending the workshop on Charter Schools and for introducing legislature regarding non-funded mandates to the State. Mrs. Gooding asked that SCANs be emailed to both parties in order to keep them informed on the work of the Jamestown School Committee.

Ms. Davis asked to bring attention to the SELCA minutes that were given to the School Committee this evening. She also stated that she has emailed schedules to the School Committee members regarding School Awareness Day.

Ms. Kaiser received an invitation from West Bay Vocational School inviting the School Committee to dinner and a tour of the facility.


Ms. Kaiser received a letter from Maureen Cotter thanking them for the opportunity to attend the last School Committee work session and a request to be able to attend and film the next meeting on Key Works. The School Committee agreed.

Consent Agenda: Mr. Brennan moved to accept the consent agenda with the exception of Item B – Payment of Bills. Mrs. Keen seconded. So moved.

The minutes of January 21st and January 23, 2003 were accepted. Mrs. Lynn Roach’s requested for extended parental leave was approved.

Mrs. Keen questioned two items regarding tutoring services. Ms. Pinto answered her questions.

Mrs. Keen questioned the payment to the Compass School. Mrs. Sipala responded.

Mr. Brennan questioned the payment to the Substance Abuse Counselor. Mrs. Sipala responded.

Mrs. Gooding asked about the cost for advertising for School Committee meetings. Discussion was held.

Mr. Brennan asked about this year’s fuel costs.

Ms. Keen moved and Mrs. Gooding seconded to approve payment of the bills as presented. So moved.

Unfinished Business:

Status of North Kingstown/Jamestown High School Tuition: Ms. Kaiser update the School Committee and audience on the status of the tuition issue. She stated that discussion has now entered into negotiations so further discussions will now be held in Executive Session.

Update on Charter Schools/Aid to Non Public Schools: Mrs. Sipala reported on the update of Charter Schools/Aid to Non Public Schools legislation. She emphasized how much work this School Committee has done with this issue. Mrs. Sipala stated that State Senator Paiva-Weed and State Representative Long have both put forth legislation to address this issue.

Discussion was held.

New Business: Mrs. Sipala asked the School Committee’s approval to send letters of non-renewal to the following teachers:

Michaela Romano, Gr. 3 - Due to closing of a classroom

Joseph Ucci, PE – Return of teacher from leave

Robyn Reilly Gr. 3 – Return of a teacher from leave

Tamara Harris, Resource Melrose – Return of a teacher from leave

Sara Sweetman, Kindergarten – Least senior teacher in a classification of a tenured, displaced


Christine Bernardo, Gr. 6 – Least senior teacher in a classification of a tenured, displaced teacher

Discussion was held.

Ms. Davis moved and Mrs. Keen seconded to approve letters of non-renewal to be sent to the teachers listed.


Information & Proposals: Mrs. Sipala reported on the water problem that occurred today at both schools. Due to a problem with a water main, water to the schools was cut off at approximately 12:20. It was reinstated soon after then shut down at 2 p.m. Mrs. Sipala stated that she canceled all after school activities and that all students were sent home at the regular dismissal time. Mrs. Sipala spoke with Mrs. Crawford, Town Administrator and at 6 p.m. this evening water was restored to Melrose Avenue School, but not the Lawn Avenue School. Discussion was held regarding what might need to be done if water is not restored by tomorrow. It was agreed that Lawn School could be closed and Melrose kept open.

Mrs. Sipala clarified the dates for the remaining School Committee meetings. Discussion was held regarding the necessity to hold two meetings during March and April.

Ms. Kaiser introduced the Democratic candidates for School Committee: Mr. Jim Filkins and Mrs. Julie Kallfelz. Mr. Brennan stated that the Republican candidates are Greg Babich and Kristen Kennedy.

Committee Reports:

SIT/Melrose: Mrs. Gooding reported on the Melrose SIT meeting held today. She stated that the main item was review of the State Assessments. Also discussed were School Report Night on March 26, SELAC School Awareness Day and the upcoming SIT Plan. They were informed that the Writing Prompts for Grades K-4 were completed.

SIT/Lawn: Ms. Kaiser report on the Lawn SIT meeting. Areas of discussion included North Kingstown Transition and School Identity. They looked at the Website and formed a Committee for the SALT Assessments and a Subcommittee to work a User Friendly Handbook for Lawn School parents.

Mrs. Sipala stated the May 1st is the date the District Strategic Plan is due to the State. She stated that she plans to send in the same one as last year since they need not be revised every year.

SELAC: Ms. Davis deferred to Ms Pinto for the report. Ms. Pinto informed the Committee about SELAC’s School Awareness Day program being held on March 29th.

Facilities Committee: Mr. Brennan stated that the Committee will be meeting on March 18th at 6:30 P.M. at the Lawn Avenue School.

NKHS: Ms. Kaiser stated that most of the meetings have been regarding the NK Budget. She informed the Committee that NKHS is discussing Full Block Scheduling for the fall. Discussion was held.

Mr. Littman reminded everyone about the Town Financial Meeting on March 3, 2003.

Adjourned: Ms. Davis moved and Mrs. Keen seconded to adjourn the meeting at 8:35 P.M.

So moved.





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Chairperson, Jamestown School Committee Date