Jamestown Schools: A School-Community Partnership

School Committee Action Notes

"SCAN," issued by the Superintendent’s Office in conjunction with the School Committee, is designed to inform staff members and interested others of matters discussed and actions taken by the Jamestown School Committee at its most recent meeting. SCAN does not represent meeting minutes.

Jamestown School Committee Business Meeting: October 21, 2010

Consent Agenda: The committee approved payment of bills and the minutes of August 26, September 16 and October 7. The committee also accepted with regret the resignation of child outreach coordinator Gerri Cabral and approved the appointment of Timothy Vietri as maintenance repair technician/custodian.


Letters received:

From Chris Savastano, an email comparing the NECAP scores of Narragansett High School with those of North Kingstown High School.

From Jared L. Rhodes, RI Statewide Planning Program, to Town Planner Lisa Bryer, announcing tentative acceptance of Jamestown’s Safe Routes to School application for $203,750 in federal funding. Superintendent Marcia Lukon and SRTS committee member Julie Kallfelz reported that expenditure of this grant is contingent on the resolution of Narragansett Indian tribe objections to soil disturbance on portions of the school grounds that have not been previously excavated and found to be free of Indian remains and relics.

Old Business

Food Service Update: The school committee reviewed Sodexo monthly sales figures. The superintendent reported on a meeting with Sodexho representative Solange Morrissette concerning staff feedback about the lunch program and plans to address the ongoing problem of families that owe the district money for lunches charged.

New Business

North Kingstown Tuition Contract – Extension of November 1 Deadline: The committee approved an extension of the November 1 deadline for notifying North Kingstown if Jamestown will not be sending additional students to NKHS and vice versa (if NK cannot accept additional Jamestown students). The deadline will be extended to January 1, 2011, to allow the two communities to complete tuition contract negotiations.

Jamestown Teacher Association Contract: Ms. Kaiser reported that a tentative agreement had been reached with the JTA negotiating team. The committee tabled this agenda item to allow the union time to share the terms with its membership and seek contract ratification.

Information and Proposals:

Superintendent’s Report: The superintendent reported on the district’s submission for the race-to-the-top LEA (local education agency) scope of work and partnership agreement. She shared that the district’s limited number of administrators will be a major challenge in completing the work required by the four-year RTT plan. The nine South County school districts that constitute SORICO (Southern Rhode Island Collaborative) have agreed to include in their scope of work submissions to RIDE plans to work together to accomplish RTT goals; the hope is that the districts will secure group funding (exceeding anticipated individual district RTT funding). • The superintendent also reported that Jamestown is part of a Portsmouth application for Rhode Island Foundation funding to study the feasibility of a magnet school for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). The AIM academy would be an educational choice for academically able and motivated students interested in rigorous and relevant studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. • Superintendents met with RIDE’s David Abbott to discuss district measures to conform with BEP requirements. • The superintendent completed her report by sharing that she had attended an advance viewing of the documentary Waiting for Superman and strongly recommended it to the committee.

Principals’ Report: Both principals reported on recent professional development that allowed teachers and teacher assistants to explore Google apps in the computer labs. At Melrose, reading consultant Bill Oehlker continues to work with grades K-2. • Melrose faculty completed two online surveys measuring the current systems in place to support PBIS (positive behavior in school support systems). • The results for Degree of Reading Power (DRP) tests were distributed to teachers for students in grades 2-8; the Scholastic Mathematics Inventory will be administered to grades 2-8 in October. • The Jamestown Education Foundation has funded the district’s After School Enrichment Program. • Three teams of students are participating in the First Lego League and will participate in the lego challenge to be held at Roger Williams University on January 15. • The district’s annual Red Ribbon (drug-free) week is scheduled for October 25-29.

Committee Reports:

Lawn School Improvement Team: The group discussed Island Treasures 2011 and the challenge of keeping plants alive in the Lawn corridor planters.

Melrose School Improvement Team: The group discussed the Thanksgiving sock drive, the opening of a new teacher resource room at Melrose, and problems reported with the electronic communication of information to parents.

SELAC: Ms. Long reported that the most recent meeting was well attended, with several new parents present. Ms. Long commended Pupil Services Director Gwen Spence on her thorough presentation of information essential to SELAC parents.

North Kingstown High School: The NK School Committee approved emergency repairs to the septic system at the high school and discussed forming an energy saving committee. Ms. Held reported that the committee heard a presentation on AIMS web software and discussed NECAP science scores.

SORICO: See the superintendent’s report, above.

Legislative: No report.

Facilities: Mr. Whitehouse will touch base with Mr. Kitts on the issue of the Lawn planters.

Wellness: Ms. Long met with school nurse Renie Sullivan to discuss possible initiatives, including a health and wellness in month during which students would track periods of activity/inactivity. They also discussed the need to educate the school community on the impact of missed instruction when students miss school.

Policy: No meeting.

The next workshop meeting of the Jamestown School Committee will be on November 4. The next business meeting will be on Thursday, November 18. All open meetings begin at 7 p.m. in the Lawn Avenue School Library.