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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: Dec. 1, 2005

Public Forum : Paul McDermott, co-chair of the Lawn Avenue School Improvement Team (SIT), read a statement supporting the plan put forth by seventh and eighth grade teachers to reorganize each grade into three instructional groups, freeing teachers to offer additional classes of academic support or enrichment. Mr. McDermott urged the school committee to maintain current staffing levels until this year's regrouping of the sixth grade into three instructional groups can be properly assessed.

Continuing Discussion: Reorganization, Restructuring, Shared Services

Middle School Programming, Support Services, Class Size, Administrative Structure

Superintendent Sipala and facilitator John Pini shared information learned from other school districts on the policy and practice of admitting tuition-paying students. Most districts accept (rare) tuitioned students; few have official policies; none advertise.

Mrs. Sipala reviewed with the school committee class enrollment in grades K-8. The committee discussed certification requirements in the 7th and 8th grades and considered the ramifications of closing classrooms. For the Jan. 5 work session, the committee asked Mrs. Sipala to report on the different arrangements possible at several grade levels.

Ms. Pinto presented an overview of support services, explaining the various models employed at Jamestown Schools to meet all children's needs.

Mrs. Sipala informed the committee that although she is not recommending the addition of a principal at Lawn Avenue School this year, she remains convinced of the need to separate the positions of superintendent and principal to ensure full-time instructional leadership at Lawn. She urged the committee to address this need after the longer-term question of where Jamestown's sixth, seventh and eighth graders will best be served has been resolved. Mr. Brennan proposed that before the next budget season (07-08), the school committee survey the school community and broader community to measure support for keeping these grades on-island.

The next business meeting of the Jamestown School Committee will be on December 15; the next work session will be January 5. All meetings are held at 7 p.m. in the library at Lawn Avenue School.