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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: Feb. 16, 2006


Letters received :

• From a parent, concerning AP course offerings at North Kingstown High School.

• From NEARI (National Education Association of Rhode Island), concerning contract negotiations.

• From Anthony Rafanelli, on behalf of SELAC, inviting the School Committee to attend Jamestown Education Awareness Day.

• From a parent, inviting the school committee to observe a typical day in the special education program.

• From Terri Tamase and Tracie Shea, SELAC co-chairs, concerning the special education budget and talks with Narragansett about shared programming.

• From a parent, supporting co-teaching.

• From ASD Network, an announcement of the March 14 meeting at which Jamestown's Terry Kahn and Teresa Colantuono will present on “Visual Supports that Work for Students with ASD.”

• From Senator Paul Fogarty, concerning Senate Bill 2006S-2135.

• From Southern Rhode Island Collaborative (SORICO), an announcement of the March 6 Keywork meeting on federal special education laws (IDEA).

Consent Agenda : The committee approved the minutes of January 19 and February 2; payment of bills; leave of absence requests by Jennifer Francis and Theresa Colantuono; and the appointment of Veronica Neronha as bus monitor. The committee also accepted the resignations of Cara Fasy and Pam Mothon; and the notification by Peg Gordon of her intent to retire at the end of the school year.

Old Business

Second Reading of the Policy on Family Vacations : At the suggestion of teacher Maureen McGuirl, the school committee asked Director of Pupil Services Beth Pinto to amend the second draft of the policy to include a sentence advising parents that completion of assignments missed while on vacation is not a substitute for classroom instruction.

New Business

Discussion and Vote on the Budget 2006/2007 : After discussion, the committee approved the budget of $10,838,980 by a 3-2 vote.

Information and Proposals:

The superintendent shared the latest enrollment figures with the committee.

Committee Reports:

Melrose School Improvement Team : Melrose SIT heard reports by three subcommittees: the communications committee will send a letter to parents this summer informing them of changes in the math curriculum; the academics committee reviewed recent SALT Survey results and discussed the possibility of making foreign language audio tapes available for class use in an audio lab in the library; and the service learning committee discussed a food drive that will actively involve students in the process (planning, implementation, etc.).

Lawn School Improvement Team : Lawn SIT discussed the reduction in 7 th grade from four instructional groups to three; after hearing a presentation by Michaela Onosco, SIT members agreed that they do not support a reduction of Spanish to enable the 7 th grade to retain four teachers. Bruce Engelhard shared the outcome of meetings with NKHS to discuss the transition of math students to high school classes . SIT held a second meeting to discuss the implementation of the school improvement plan and the impact of classroom closings on the plan. Several members expressed concern about student anxiety caused by the possible closing of Lawn Avenue School. Ms. Kaiser reiterated that the committee considers closing the school a “last” option.

SELAC : The group commended Ginny Perry for service to Jamestown Schools; and talked about ongoing school committee budget discussions, and the inclusion of all school groups at Education Awareness Day.

Facilities Committee : No meeting.

North Kingstown High School : Mr. Brennan reported on an ongoing debate by the NK School Committee about whether a forensic audit of that district's finances is warranted. In response, Mr. Brennan sent a letter to the committee clarifying what a forensic audit is and questioning whether the ongoing discussion is an efficient application of the committee's governance.

Legislative : Members of the Jamestown School Committee joined Southern Rhode Island school committees and legislators at a joint legislative meeting at SORICO on January 30.

Wellness : The Health and Wellness Committee will meet on March 2.

Narragansett/Jamestown Shared Services : Ms. Kaiser and Mrs. Held reported that the possibility of shared services in special education was discussed at the first subcommittee meeting. The subcommittee will meet again on March 2.

There will be a short business meeting on Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. to discuss a special ed legislative resolution and to vote on letters of non-renewal. The next work session of the Jamestown School Committee will be on March 2. The March business meeting will be on the 16th. All meetings are held at 7 p.m. in the Lawn Avenue School Library.