JAMESTOWN SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETING
Lawn Avenue School
June 18, 2008
Present: Catherine Kaiser, Chairperson
Present: Dr. Marcia Lukon, Superintendent
Kathleen Almanzor, Principal
Carole Melucci, Co-Principal
Robert E. Fricklas, Director of Student Services
Maria Alfred, Business Manager
Michael White, Town Council Liaison
The School Committee returned to Open Session after a 6:30 Executive Session pursuant to RIGL 42-46-5, Exception 2, Contract Negotiations. Ms. Kaiser announced that no votes were taken.
Call to Order : Ms. Kaiser called the general meeting to order at 7:17 p.m. and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Ms. Kaiser called the Roll Call.
Members present: All present.
Public Forum : None.
Ms. Kaiser moved and Ms. Kallfelz seconded a motion to approve the Consent Agenda: Payment of Bills of May 8, 22 and June 5, and Minutes of Meetings of April 24, May 8 and May 15, 2008. All approved. So moved.
Following discussion regarding the Occupational Therapist position, Mr. Brennan moved and Ms. Kallfelz seconded a motion to approve, with regret, the resignations of Ms. Theresa Colantuono, Occupational Therapist, and Ms. Norma Gervais, Teacher Assistant. All approved, so moved. The committee approved the extended school year appointments of Tara Higgins, .5 Teacher, Tara Toolan, .5 teacher and Michelle Smith, teacher assistant and a request to job share the ESY Preschool Teacher position by Beverly Green and Jamie Ordway. All approved, so moved.
Correspondence: Mr. Brennan and all School Committee Members received a letter from Spanish Teacher, Michaela Onosko, on the subject of foreign language instruction at Melrose School.
Ms. Kaiser reported on several items of correspondence. 1) Ms. Kaiser received thank you letters from Beth Weibest and Linda Rezendes for the School Committee’s Retirement Party earlier in June. Ms. Kaiser reported that the event was a great success and recommended the committee continue this type of retirement function in the future 2.) Ms. Kaiser received the first official Sodexho newsletter. 3.) Ms. Kaiser received a letter from a community member asking about programs for gifted and talented. She will work with Ms. Almanzor to prepare an informed response.
Ms. Kaiser requested the meeting move forward to New Business to accommodate a guest student.
Student Comments on Substance Abuse and Tobacco Policies : Maia White, eighth grader, presented a proposal for a new Alcohol and Tobacco Policy prepared by herself, Nicole Perez and Jessica Rudman. The girls polled teachers, parents and students regarding the present policy. 100% of those polled felt the present policy’s consequences were too vague. Mia presented their proposed consequences: 1) One week’s suspension, 2) being banned from sports or other extracurricular activity for the rest of the season/session, 3) attending alcohol awareness program with parent, 4) notification to parents and police, 5) three 30-minute periods with substance abuse counselor. After discussion, the committee thanked Mia for an excellent presentation.
Food Service Update : Dr. Lukon stated that the information supplied by Sodexho will be more meaningful shortly when it is tied to some financials. No questions were raised.
Discussion of August Retreat : Ms. Kaiser reported that the Town Council selected Thursday, August 14, 2008, for the retreat, and that one Town Council member has commented that they may not be attending. Following discussion, it was decided that Ms. Kaiser will contact the Town Council and suggest that if it would help to bring the entire council to the retreat, the school committee will relocate the retreat to a Jamestown location.
New Business (continued):
Food Service Contract Renewal, Vote : Ms. Kaiser moved and Ms. Kallfelz seconded motion to approve one year renewal of contract with Sodexho Food Services. All approved, so moved.
Substitute Teacher Rates for 2008-09 : Dr. Lukon reported that the present policy called for the School Committee to review the substitute teacher rates for the coming school year. Dr. Lukon recommended, based on her review of substitute rates for other schools in the area, that the School Committee continue with the present rates specified in the policy for the coming year. Mr. Brennan moved and Ms. Kallfelz seconded a motion to approve the present substitute teacher rate policy. All approved, so moved.
Information and Proposals:
Superintendent’s Report : Dr. Lukon reported on several items. 1) Dr. Lukon reported receiving a notice from The Trust that they will be increasing the standard Property claim deductible for all School Department members from $250 per occurrence to $1,000 per occurrence as of July 1, 2008. The premium will remain the same. 2.) Dr. Lukon reported that she had been selected to represent the Rhode Island School Superintendents Association in a 2008-09 China Exchange Initiative along with eight administrators from Massachusetts. In October, visiting Chinese Principals will spend a week in Jamestown and North Kingstown providing the Chinese partner with a full PK-12 school experience. Dr. Lukon will find a host family and interpreter. Dr. Lukon will visit China in April, 2009. Because of RISSA sponsorship and commitment of Governor Carcieri to obtain corporate sponsorship, cost of participation should not exceed $600. 3.) Dr. Lukon reported that Lew Kitts and Carrie Melucci attended a Jamestown presentation of the New England Recycling Council and RI Resource Recovery. The town is trying to increase the amount of island material that is recycled. A representative of RI Resource Recovery is going to come to the school in the summer to help to set up classrooms to be more “recycling friendly”. 4.) Dr. Lukon reported that she had a meeting with Lew Kitts, the Fire Chief and Fire Marshall regarding replacement of the fire alarms in both schools. Replacement parts are no longer available for the present systems. Lew has recommended that the Lawn system be replaced this year, saving parts from the old Lawn system for use in the Melrose system should they be needed, and the Melrose system be replaced next year. In the unlikely event that the main board fails, the system at Melrose would have to be replaced on an emergency basis (a one week process) and a firefighter would have to be paid to remain in the building during this time.
Bids will be opened on July 2, 2008.
Principal’s Report: Ms. Almanzor and Ms. Melucci reported on several items: 1) Ms. Almanzor reported on the outstanding success of “Island Treasures Day” at Lawn School. This year students had the opportunity to go off-site for many of their workshops. 2.) Ms. Almanzor reported that the two band concerts were held last week, with student John Ragland (7th grade student) composed an extraordinary piece of music which was performed at the concert each evening. 3.) Parents of fourth grade students came to Lawn Avenue School for a 5 th Grade Transition Meeting including a tour of the school and overview of 5 th grade. Student Emily Kallfelz helped answer parents questions. 4.) Faculty of both schools met and shared their yearly professional development. 5.) Ms. Melucci reported that, through the RISCA grant she obtained, Island Moving Company came to Melrose School to work with K-4 and the dancers put some of the 3 rd grade Jamestown stories to dance. The program was well received. 6.) Field Day at Melrose was a great success, thanks to Joe Ucci, Physical Education Teacher. Students were in multi-age groups and some parents volunteered. Lawn School will hold Field Day on June 20, 2008. 7.) Preschool Celebration was today and Kindergarten Graduation will take place tomorrow.
Mr. Whitehouse commented that he would like to know about these types of school activities in advance, if possible. A plan was made to include a copy of the school calendar of events in the packets at Business Meetings.
Director of Student Services’ Report : Dr. Fricklas reported that the Medicaid Audit was completed in half a day due to the excellent preparation and organization of the information by Debra Saul. Dr. Fricklas reported on topics presented at recent RIDE meetings: 1)RIDE Budget – an additional 36 staff are expected to leave within next few months and they will hold off on new hires for many months. 2) Data Warehouse is up and running, but not in an easy to use form. 3) Role of RIDE will evolve into quality assurance. 4.) There will be a “Multiple Pathways” initiative for students who do not obtain a diploma to fulfill school-to-career transition goals. 5.) PLP’s will be replaced with ILP’s reflecting customized literacy, numeracy, etc. plans. 6.) Regarding RTI, districts will be required to demonstrate how general education interventions were exhausted (pre-referral) before SLD eligibility can be established. Data must be collected. 7.)The General Assembly in next session will deliberate on consolidation plan to reduce 34 LEA’s into 6. Aid will target municipalities with “Density of Poverty”.
SIT/Lawn : New Co-chairs were established. Lisa Carlisle and Ann Zainyeh will be parent co-chairs with Jennifer Clark and Nick Alfred as teacher representatives. They will meet next in July.
SIT/Melrose: New Chairs were established. Kim Ferguson is the parent Chair, with Marilyn Hostetler and Charlene Tuttle as teacher representatives.
SELAC : Jill Ball will be the new president of SELAC. Their last meeting included working on their annual report.
Facilities – no report.
North Kingstown School Committee : Mr. Brennan reported that the last meeting included a presentation by students of Current Events on the topic of Energy Conservation and using conservation and renewable energy to help the budget at North Kingstown School. A topic of discussion at the meeting was how to find funds to replace the money cut before reinstating 10 paraprofessionals. The amount needed was $400,000. The position of Tech Director was cut and now the school will collaborate with the town. There is skepticism on how well this will work for the school.
SORICO : Ms. Kallfelz reported that the director has resigned.
Legislative : Ms. Kaiser reported that she testified regarding the Emergency Relief Bill which addressed public schools being required to provide busing and textbooks to private schools. She reported that the bill was not passed.
Policy : Ms. Held reported that the committee hopes to meet in July.
Wellness : Ms. Sullivan’s annual report was distributed to school committee members.
Public Forum : None
Adjourned: Ms. Kaiser moved and Mr. Brennan seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:55 p.m. All approved. So moved.
THE AFOREMENTIONED MINUTES ARE HEREBY APPROVED:
Chairperson, Jamestown School Committee Date