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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 Business Meeting: Jan. 19, 2006

The meeting opened with a moment of silence and a tribute by Superintendent Katherine Sipala to the memory of Diane Drown, founder and coordinator of the community-school mentor program in Jamestown.


Letters received :

From Karen Rafanelli, an email concerning the committee's budget discussions and class size.

From North Kingstown High School, the list of Jamestown students on the Honor Roll.

From Blue Cross/Blue Shield, an announcement of a Feb. 9 seminar on GASB No. 45 preparing for the new governmental accounting standard on retiree healthcare benefits.

From Southern Rhode Island Collaborative (SORICO), an announcement of the Jan. 30 Keywork meeting/joint legislative workshop.

Consent Agenda : The committee approved the minutes of December 15 and January 5 and 14; payment of bills 1/17/06 and the appointment of Colleen MacIntyre as a one-on-one teacher assistant in the second grade.

Old Business

Report on the Joint Narragansett/Jamestown School Committees Workshop : Ms. Kaiser reported on the initial meeting of the two committees and stressed that discussions are exploratory and do not constitute a plan of action. A subcommittee was formed to examine the feasibility of sharing services in targeted areas (administration, special education, support services, transportation and food services). Mr. Filkins, Ms. Held and Superintendent Sipala will represent Jamestown on the sub-committee, reporting back to the larger committee to allow ongoing discussion.

New Business

First Reading of the Policy on Family Vacations : Director of Pupil Services Beth Pinto shared the first draft of a policy on family vacations during the school year and will incorporate committee suggestions that advance requests for make-up work not be honored and that the policy contain a warning that missing school can negatively affect a student's academic performance.

Information and Proposals:

Presentation by Principal Gerry Foley and Director of Guidance Tim Chace, North Kingstown High School : Mr. Foley and Mr. Chase responded to committee questions about minimum/maximum class sizes at the high school, AP courses,advisories, NK's interpretation of Jamestown's standards-based report card, criteria for course placement of 8 th graders, start times, the percentage of the student body making the honor roll and probable reasons for NK's High Performing and Improving status (Math curriculum and program changes).

Committee Reports:

Melrose School Improvement Team : Melrose SIT sub-committees discussed a service project in April, differentiated learning, and professional development supporting differentiated learning. SIT also drafted a letter to be sent to the school committee and town council inviting them to visit the school during budget discussions.

Lawn School Improvement Team : Lawn SIT discussed alternative plans for middle school programming. The group also identified the parts of school improvement action plan for which SIT can take responsibility .

SELAC : The group commended Mr. Filkins and Ms. Renie Sullivan for their work on the health and wellness committee. Ms. Held reported that North Kingstown SELAC is not interested in co-sponsoring the speaker for Education Awareness Day; and that on Jan. 19 Carol West, Special Education Department Chair at North Kingstown High School, presented to parents of Jamestown special education students in the 7 th and 8 th grades.

Facilities Committee : No report. The committee will meet on Feb. 1.

North Kingstown High School: Mr. Brennan reported on a presentation b United Healthcare at the NK School Committee meeting. Mr. Brennan participated in a discussion of committee dynamics.

RIASC : Ms. Kaiser reported on the Rhode Island Association of School Committees monthly executive board meeting, attended by Dept. of Ed Commissioner Peter McWalters and Board of Regents Chair James DiPrete. The group discussed the need to coordinate efforts on a legislative agenda and agreed to meet bimonthly to establish better communication and discuss items of mutual concern.

Health and Wellness : No report. The committee will meet Jan. 26.

Budget hearings of the Jamestown School Committee will be on Feb. 2 and 9. The budget will be voted upon at the Feb. 16 business meeting. The budget sessions will be held in the Melrose MultiPurpose Room and will begin at 7 p.m..