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School Committee Action Notes

"SCAN," issued by the Superintendentâs 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: December 16, 2004


Letters received :

• From Superintendent Sipala, a copy of a letter from Steve Nardelli, Executive Director of the Rhode Island League of Charter Schools, expressing the League's support for a comprehensive look at public school funding.

• From Matt Bolles, Director of Parks and Recreation, responding to letters sent by third graders to the Town Council about the state of disrepair of the town playground.

• From Peter Gingras of NEARI to the superintendent, concerning hiring practices in the 1980s.

• From Superintendent Sipala, a copy of a Newport Daily News editorial entitled “Jamestown Schools Keep Improving.”

Letters sent :

• From the School Committee, recognizing third graders who wrote to the Town Council concerning the disrepair of the town playground.

Consent Agenda : The committee approved the minutes of November 18 (as amended) and October 21; payment of bills; the resignation of Karen Chin; and the appointments of two long term substitutes: Kelly Grennan to replace Karen Chin as 7 th grade science teacher and Erin Covell to replace Jeana Calise in the preschool.

Old Business

Second Readings of the Medication Policy and the No Idling Policy: The superintendent suggested several changes, which will be incorporated into the policies for a reading at the next business meeting of the school committee.

Discussion and Vote on the High School of Record : The school committee agreed by unanimous vote to seek an extension of its contract with North Kingstown. In the coming months, the committee will explore regionalization and other possible responses to declining enrollment. Looking ahead to this discussion, the committee indicated an interest in four districts (North Kingstown, Middletown, Narragansett and South Kingstown) as potential candidates for regionalization or other alternative arrangements.

Information and Proposals:

Superintendent's Report :

•  Mrs. Sipala recommended that the committee consider the order of future policy revisions. The committee agreed that all policies relating to the school committee goal of “Healthy Schools, Healthy Kids” should take priority. The committee also agreed on the need to remove all archaic policies from the policy manual.

•  The superintendent reported that meetings with North Kingstown's technology department have been productive and that the two school departments have identified three areas for collaboration (with Jamestown purchasing services through NK). Mrs. Sipala will outline her recommendations at the January 13 budget presentation.

Committee Reports:

Melrose School Improvement Team : Melrose SIT discussed plans to work with SELAC on Education Awareness Day. SIT also discussed the ongoing implementation of individual learning plans at Melrose; and the need to provide students with additional opportunities to practice completing tasks under testing conditions.

Lawn School Improvement Team : SIT met with the Lawn faculty to brainstorm action plans to support the three goals of the Lawn School Improvement Plan. The SIT will compile the ideas and meet with faculty again to finalize action plans.

SELAC : The group continued to plan for Education Awareness Day (March 5).

Facilities Committee : The facilities committee met to readjust and reorganize the capital improvement plan in preparation for the budget. The proposed budget will address ongoing heating and ventilation problems at the two schools, as well as library renovations at Lawn. The budget will also include a line item for the production of a display board that can be used to highlight problems such as bus pick-up lanes, parking for buses and staff, etc., and possible solutions to be achieved through a “campus” configuration of the two school properties. Arek Galle of William Warner Architects was present at the school committee meeting to answer questions about the production and potential uses of a “vision board.”

North Kingstown : Ms. Kaiser reported changes to the NKHS course offerings.

SORICO : Ms. Kallfelz attended the Southern Rhode Island Collaborative board meeting. The board discussed personnel changes, budget format and facility improvements.

Legislative : Ms. Kaiser reported that she met with a sub-committee of South County school committee members and superintendents to plan the January 10 joint meeting of Southern Rhode Island school committees and legislators.

Jamestown Education Foundation : Ms. Gooding reported that the foundation will fund mini-grants of up to $500 per proposal. JEF is also planning a spring break camp; will double the size of its Save the Bay summer camp; and continues plans for the Osprey Project.

The Jamestown School Committee will hold a budget workshop on January 13. The next business meeting will be on January 20. All meetings are held at 7 p.m. in the Melrose Multi-Purpose Room.