School Committee Home Page


Melrose Avenue School
September 19, 2002

Present: Catherine Kaiser, Chairperson

Barbara Davis

Mary Keen

Elizabeth Gooding

William Brennan

Present: Katherine Sipala, Superintendent

Elizabeth Pinto, DPS

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

Ms. Kaiser called the Roll Call. All Present

Executive Session 42-46-5 Home School Application: Mr. Brennan made a motion on behalf of the School Committee to direct the Superintendent and Director of Pupil Services to contact the family requesting a revision to the Home Schooling application. Mrs. Keen seconded. So moved.

Recognition: Mr. Brennan on behalf of the School Committee and the Facilities Committee recognized the Custodial Staff for their efforts over the summer in preparing the schools for opening day. Mr. Brennan thanked Kevin Lathan, Steve Catterall, Paul Woodbine, John Kenyon and Lewis Kitts for their efforts.

Ms. Davis brought to the attention of the School Committee and audience a poem published in today’s Jamestown Press written by Robert Goode, a former student of Jamestown School.

Public Forum: No one signed in.

Announcements and Correspondence: Mrs. Sipala presented a letter from the Interlocal Trust regarding Lead Paint litigation.

Mrs. Sipala informed the School Committee of a letter received from the Tree Warden concerning the removal of the dead pine trees on the property. Discussion was held.

Mrs. Gooding asked Mr. Littman, Town Council Liaison, to find out about available funds for this project.

Mrs. Sipala received correspondence from Jane Argentieri regarding a JESPA Sick Bank proposal.

Mrs. Sipala also received a letter from Ms. Argentieri regarding JESPA contract negotiations and a letter from Mr. Peter Gingris of NEARI regarding JTA contract negotiations.

Mrs. Sipala stated that she would respond to these letters.

Mrs. Keen received the SORICO agenda for their December 2nd meeting.

Mrs. Gooding presented information from the URI Therapy Clinic regarding a Parenting Workshop.

Mrs. Gooding stated that she sent letters of recognition to Sandra Hanson and Janet Smith.

Consent Agenda: Ms. Kaiser asked to exempt item A of the Consent Agenda.

Ms. Davis moved and Mr. Brennan seconded to accept items B, C, D, and E of the Consent Agenda. Vote taken. So moved.

Ms. Kaiser stated that there was a error in the minutes. Mr. Brennan moved and Mrs. Keen seconded to approve Item A of the Consent Agenda as corrected. Vote taken. So moved.


Unfinished Business:

Goals and Objectives 2002-2003 – School Committee Retreat: Ms. Kaiser reported on the School Committee Retreat. She stated that it was very successful.

Ms. Kaiser presented goals that were agreed upon by the School Committee. They are:

To provide to all students a rigorous academic program;

To monitor school facilities and climate to ensure optimum conditions for teaching and learning;

To create a public engagement plan that supports a school system of excellence; and as part of that plan, to convene a three-day strategic planning session in spring 2003 to involve the community in developing the district mission, vision and goals;

To revise the current administrative structure to support the strategic plan, academic goals, and daily needs of the school community;

To submit to the Town Council by mid-December a fiscally responsible budget that addresses the needs of the school and community;

To negotiate fair and equitable contracts with JTA and JESPA by May 2003;

To regularly review and revise school committee policies to support the strategic plan, academic goals, and daily needs of the school community; and

To devote part of each school committee workshop meeting to a discussion of the Key Work of School Boards to improve the committee’s ability to provide effective governance.

Discussion was held.

New Business: No new business.


Information & Proposals:

Superintendent’s Report: Enrollment /Budget/ Information: Mrs. Sipala stated that she would have a full enrollment report for the Committee in October. She stated that the enrollment at Melrose is 303 and Lawn is at 264 for a total enrollment of 567.

Mrs. Sipala stated that she and Mrs. Alfred, the Business Manager, are working on the Budget Calendar and have decided to stop the Purchase Order process as of today in order to get a good handle on expenditures to date. Mrs. Sipala stated that she would submit the Budget to the School Committee by the first of November.

Director of Pupil Services Report: Kindergarten Autism Program: Ms. Pinto presented a report on the Kindergarten Autism Program. She stated that there are 10 children currently enrolled in the class, two are diagnosed with Autism. Ms. Pinto informed the Committee that there are two teachers and one teacher assistant in the class. She stated the classroom is also serviced by a Speech Pathologist and an Occupational Therapist.

Ms. Pinto informed the Committee that the Team attended an intensive professional development program over the summer to prepare for this Kindergarten program. Ms. Pinto was happy to state that the children are exceeding expectations in their performance. Discussion was held.

Mrs. Keen reported on the meeting she, Mrs. Sipala and Ms. Cherney attended of the Interlocal Trust on the proposed Health Care Pool. Mrs. Keen shared information with the Committee regarding this meeting. Mrs. Keen suggested that the Trust make a presentation to the School Committee and the Town Council and Administrator.

Mrs. Sipala stated that is a 3-year commitment and that they act as an advocate for the school and take over some of the administrative work. Mrs. Sipala stated that she felt this is something we should look into. Discussion was held.

Mrs. Sipala suggested that the presentation from the Trust be done at the October 3rd School Committee meeting. The School Committee agreed with the stipulation that the presentation be held to one half hour.

Ms. Kaiser asked Mrs. Gooding to invite the Town Council to the first Budget Meeting to be held on November 7th.

Committee Reports:

SIT Committee: Mrs. Gooding reported that the first SIT Committee meeting was held today. The first order of business was to form two School Improvement Teams. The Teams with have 15 members each. Mrs. Reynolds and Ms. Cherney will chair the Melrose Team. The Lawn Team will have to elect officers at their next meeting. Mrs. Gooding stated that one of the first things they will do is a Salt Data Review. She stated that sub-committees will be formed to look at Testing Assessments, Diversity, School Climate, and Honor Roll (in the Lawn School). Mrs. Gooding informed the Committee that they also plan on a series of joint meetings with SIT, PTO and SELAC.


SELAC: Ms. Davis reported on the SELAC meeting. Mrs. Gaeli Greene and Mr. Tony Rafanelli will co-chair SELAC this year. She stated they welcomed the new Superintendent and that Ms. Pinto will be the representative from the school. Ms. Davis stated that a school policy concern was brought forward which she addressed at the School Committee retreat. They discussed the annual report which they hope to have ready in October. Ms. Davis stated that one of the goals for the year is awareness of SELAC.

Facilities Committee: Mr. Brennan reported on the "Walk Through " by the School Committee and the Facilities Committee to view the work done over the summer on both buildings. Mr. Brennan stated that the next big project of the Facilities Committee will be the brick exterior at the Lawn School. He stated the next meeting would be on October 9th at 6:30 p.m.

North Kingstown School Committee: No report

Ms. Kaiser reported on the School Committee Chair quarterly meeting. She stated that one topic of discussion was the new high school regulations. Also discussed was the Interlocal Trust plan and the FICA Alternative plan. They are also looking at an Electricity Rate Pool, which could be a savings for schools.

Mrs. Gooding commented on the new playground and how wonderful it looks and how much the children are enjoying it.

Adjourned: Mrs. Keen moved and Mrs. Gooding seconded to adjourn the meeting at 8:14 P.M. So moved.






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Chairperson, Jamestown School Committee Date