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: September 17, 2009

Correspondence: Mr. Whitehouse reported receiving a call from the Conanicut Island Art Association about rental fees for the annual craft fair.

Consent Agenda: The committee approved the minutes of August 19; and payment of bills. The committee also approved the appointment of Jessica Kalooski as .8 teacher assistant.

Old Business

Food Service Update: Superintendent Marcia Lukon reported on the success of the All Local Lunch Day, attended by parents, press, Senator Teresa Paiva-Weed, RI Education Commissioner Deborah Gist and the Rhody Cow. All menu items were prepared with food sourced from farms within a fifteen-mile radius of Jamestown.

New Business

Teacher Seniority Lottery: Based on the lottery, the order of seniority for the following staff members hired on the same date is (1) Laurie George, (2) Amy Simoes, (3) Jayson Juhnowski , and (4) Dr. Lisa Wholey.

High School Tuition Contract: Negotiating Sub-committee: Superintendent Lukon, Finance Director Jane Littlefield and Chair Kaiser will meet with the North Kingstown administration and representative school committee members to negotiate the high school tuition contract. The resulting tuition rate will be one factor considered by the high school review committee.

2010 School Committee Meeting Calendar: The committee approved the calendar by a 4-0 vote.

Summer School Report: Director of Pupil Services Gwen Spence reported on enrollment and services provided at the Extended School Year/Summer Literacy & Numeracy Camp; and Jamestown enrollment at the Trailblazer Camp located at the Kent County YMCA.

Resolution re Binding Arbitration: The committee approved, with minor changes, a resolution drafted by the Newport School Committee. The committee will submit the resolution opposing binding arbitration to members of the legislature.

Information and Proposals

Superintendent’s Report:

Superintendent Lukon reported on the new statewide transportation system for special education and private school students. She reiterated her disappointment that the state has downgraded Jamestown savings estimates from $90,000 to $30,000 to a probable break-even scenario. She also shared a plan to negotiate with First Student to pay to resurface the courtyard/access road in exchange for the ability to park five busses overnight in that area. After Ms. Kallfelz expressed concern about resurfacing an area for which fundraising is ongoing to create a play-yard, the superintendent and committee discussed the possibility of seeking a contribution from First Student to build a parking lot next to the tennis courts.

The superintendent reported that the school department receives H1N1 weekly updates from the RI Department of Health.

Dr. Lukon also reported on the introductory visit to the district by Commissioner Gist, who outlined her priorities in meetings with parents, teachers, students, school committee members, administrators, and legislators Teresa Paiva-Weed and Deb Ruggiero.

Dr. Lukon provided the school committee with an overview of the Science NECAP test results. The administration will present a detailed analysis of the results at the school committee’s October 1 workshop meeting.

Principals’ Report: Principals Melucci and Almanzor reported on the orientation day for faculty and support staff; the orientation for parents of preschool and kindergarten teachers; the September 15 All Local Lunch; the open houses at Lawn (September 16) and Melrose (September 23); and upcoming testing: the Degree of Reading Power assessment in grades 3-8 and NECAP assessments that will begin on October 5. The principals also reported reviewing emergency plans with the faculty of both schools and Ms. Melucci updated the committee on the success of the new traffic flow pattern at Melrose. During this academic year, both principals, along with teachers Nick Alfred and Jen Caswell, will attend six full-day professional development sessions offered in Rhode Island by the Dana Center at the University of Texas. The sessions focus on deepening the understanding of the GLEs (grade level expectations) and GSEs (grade-span expectations) in mathematics and science.

Committee Reports

Melrose School Improvement Team: The group discussed development of the website; the technology plan; using the community farm more effectively as a resource; and an end-of-the-year family trivia night connected to the curriculum.

Lawn School Improvement Team: Group members responded to the question “If I could affect or change one thing at Lawn this year, it would be ….” Responses will be compiled and discussed at the next meeting. The group also discussed the need to upgrade the website.

SELAC: The group welcomed Director of Pupil Services Gwen Spence and elected officers. Group members also discussed placing the state monitoring report on the website and creating a strategic plan with SELAC goals for the year.

Facilities Committee: No report.

North Kingstown: Ms. Held reported on NK school committee discussions of the auditor’s report and investigation of that school department’s activities funds.

SORICO: The group discussed the budget and the sharing of positions by member districts. Jamestown has submitted a request to share an ELL (English language learner) teacher.

Legislative: The legislature will reconvene on October 28.

Policy: No meeting.

Teacher Evaluation Committee: Mr. Whitehouse reported that this fall the RI Commissioner of Education will hold hearings on proposed standards for teacher evaluation. The Department will unveil a recommended evaluation tool in December. The Jamestown committee has scheduled five meetings to discuss the six areas of standards in anticipation of the tool becoming public in December.

High School Review: The group is visiting North Kingstown and Narragansett High Schools this week and will schedule follow-up visits to allow administration and staff to answer the group’s questions.

Health and Wellness: No report.

The next workshop meeting of the Jamestown School Committee will be on October 1. The next business meeting will be on October 15. All meetings are held at 7 p.m. in the Lawn School library.