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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: April 27, 2006


• Trish McDevitt for her role in bringing Dr. Edward Hallowell to Jamestown for Education Awareness Day.


Letters received :

• From David Abbott, Deputy Commissioner, RI Department of Education, recognition that the district is in compliance with chemical safety regulations.

• From Steve Carey, Nutrition Program Specialist, RI Department of Education -- in response to an inquiry from the school committee -- a confirmation that lunch is not required to be “hot” to satisfy the nutrition requirements of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

• From Director of Pupils Beth Pinto, an article about the benefit of early intervention services for children with low birth weights.

• From 5 th grader Drew MacIntyre and classmates, a request that 5 th graders be allowed to participate in afterschool sports. (The superintendent met with the students to explain the rules/constraints of the Interscholastic League for grades 6-8 to which Jamestown belongs.)

• From Kenneth Swanson, Director, Office of Special Populations, RI Department of Education, approval of a district-requested variance from state regulations for a student with special needs.

• From the Rhode Island Association of School Committees (RIASC), an announcement of the annual meeting on May 13.

Letters sent :

• By the Jamestown School Committee, a letter to the editor of The Jamestown Press in appreciation of the contributions of Jamestown teachers.

Consent Agenda : The committee approved the minutes of April 6 and 27; payment of bills; the appointment of Brenda Hawkins as a long-term substitute in the position of reading teacher at Melrose; and the transfer of teacher assistant Colleen MacIntyre to a one-to-one position in first grade.

Old Business

Discussion of the Lawn Avenue Survey : The committee approved revised survey questions to be sent to parents of students at Melrose, Lawn and North Kingstown High School. It is anticipated that the survey will be sent on May 8.

New Business

Town Council Proclamation for Teacher Appreciation Week : At its April 24 meeting, the town council proclaimed the week of May 8 as Teacher Appreciation Week in Jamestown. The text follows:

Whereas , the Town of Jamestown supports our teachers in their mission to educate the children of our community; and

Whereas , Jamestown teachers strive daily to provide a stable, challenging learning environment for our children; and

Whereas , Jamestown teachers serve as listeners, explorers, role models, motivators and mentors; and

Whereas , the Town of Jamestown recognizes the important influence teachers have on the future of our children and thus on the future of our community and our country;

Therefore , we, the Town Council of Jamestown, Rhode Island, hereby proclaim May 8 through 14 Teacher Appreciation Week in Jamestown and urge all citizens to pay tribute to our teachers.

First Reading of the Wellness Policy : Health and wellness committee co-chair Renie Sullivan reported that the committee now comprises 22 members and next year will add a Melrose student representative. She also reported that the Lawn lunch menu now includes healthier bread selections and the à la carte menu has been streamlined. New playground exercise equipment will be purchased to promote structured physical activity at Melrose. The school committee discussed the health and wellness policy and suggested several changes. The committee also discussed the contention by NK Food Services (the current lunch program provider) that changes requested by Jamestown to ensure healthier offerings are costly and that such costs should be covered by the district. The committee agreed to discuss the food service program and alternative lunch programs at an upcoming meeting.

Information and Proposals:

• The superintendent shared the most recent enrollment figures with the committee. Ms. Kaiser suggested that the committee continue to look at enrollment projections at Lawn and configuration of grades at the two schools to determine in longer-term discussions if an alternative (revenue-producing) use of part of the Lawn building would help ensure the school's continued ability to offer depth of programming in the middle grades.

• Mrs. Sipala reported that the school's new mascot is a wolf, chosen by students after a steering committee established by the student council explored possibilities. The steering committee met with John Brown of the Narragansett Indian Tribe, who shared the tribal belief that the wolf represents leadership. Students decided that the powerful and heroic nature of the wolf as a leader would represent the school's history of excellence.

Committee Reports:

Melrose School Improvement Team : No report.

Lawn School Improvement Team : Lawn SIT met with the head of the North Kingstown High School math department; and also with representatives of the Jamestown Historical Society to discuss the possible use of the room adjoining the Lawn library as a Jamestown historical resource room. Funded by grants, the resource room would be open to the public and would also provide students with access to primary sources.

SELAC : The group looked at grant sources; discussed the resolution endorsed by the school committee proposing the repeal of state special education laws that are more restrictive than federal laws; and discussed SELAC's role as a support group.

Facilities Committee : No meeting. At upcoming meetings the group will look at water usage and conservation in school facilities.

North Kingstown High School : Mr. Brennan reported on dynamics at NK school committee meetings.

Legislative : Ms. Kaiser testified at the State House in support of a state-run transportation system for special education students and in opposition to the lifting of the charter school moratorium.

Wellness : The Health and Wellness Committee met to review the health and wellness policy being recommended to the school committee.

Narragansett/Jamestown Shared Services : The subcommittee met; no further meetings are anticipated. The special education directors will continue to seek ways to collaborate.

The next work session of the Jamestown School Committee will be on May 4. The May business meeting will be on the 18th. All meetings are held at 7 p.m. in the Lawn Avenue School Library. School Report Night will be on May 10 in the Melrose Multi-purpose Room.