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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 Work Session: Nov. 3, 2005

Continuing Discussion: Reorganization, Restructuring, Shared Services

Middle School Programming, Support Services and Class Size

In her opening remarks, Superintendent Katherine Sipala provided a history of the reorganization/restructuring dialogue initiated last spring by the school committee and administration. She also reviewed the primary factors impacting school resources: rising health care and pension costs; increasing mandates; and declining enrollment.

Principal Kathy Almanzor reported on the programs at Melrose Avenue School and recommended preserving the status quo for next year.

Special Education Director Beth Pinto described the district's special education services, the population served and recent changes to the law.

Teacher Lark Goodyear presented on behalf of seventh and eighth grade teachers a proposal to reorganize each grade into three instructional groups, freeing those teachers to offer additional classes of academic support or enrichment.

Discussion facilitator John Pini cautioned that school committees face the challenges of dwindling resources and an aging population whose over-55 ranks are growing and who are more likely to oppose school expenditures. The challenges in Jamestown are compounded by the district's small size and declining enrollment.

The school committee asked the presenters questions and made several requests for additional information. Discussion will continue at the December 1 work session, which will also focus on the administrative structure district-wide and at Lawn School. The January 5 work session will include an analysis of the possible impact of these discussions on the 2006/07 budget.

The next business meeting of the Jamestown School Committee will be on November 17 at 7 p.m. in the library at Lawn Avenue School.