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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 28, 2005


8 th grader Jessica Burrows, for her March 31 presentation before legislators on “Autism Awareness Day at the State House,” organized by the Rhode Island Autism Coalition.

Public Forum

• Liz Perez presented a petition asking the school committee to re-examine budget-neutral options for the organization of next year's sixth grade.

• Tracie Shea presented the committee with a copy of the Special Education Local Advisory Committee (SELAC) “Parents Can Be Partners” guide.


Letters received :

• From Special Education Director Beth Pinto, a copy of the Rhode Island Autism Spectrum Disorder Evaluation and Treatment Act.

• From Tree Warden Dave Nickerson, a recommendation for the formation of a Town Forest Committee.

• From a parent, a letter about the afterschool “late” bus from North Kingstown High School.

• From Peter Gingras, NEARI, a letter concerning contract violation.

• From the Jamestown Town Council, a proclamation for Teacher Appreciation Week.

• From North Kingstown High School, the 2 nd term Honor Roll.

Consent Agenda : The committee approved the minutes of March 17 and April 7 and payment of bills; the appointment of Jennifer Caswell as long-term substitute for Jennifer Francis, and Danielle LaBranche as substitute for Eric Bush; and the requests by Cara Fasy and Theresa Colantuono for parental leave. The committee accepted a letter of retirement from Teacher Assistant Sandra Hanson.

Old Business

Consideration and Vote on Open Meetings Law correspondence : Ms. Kaiser reported that the town council did not address the agenda item on open meetings law correspondence at its April 25 meeting. The school committee will wait to follow the council's lead on this issue.

Reconsideration and Discussion of the Educational Funding Resolution (SORICO) : After further discussion of the resolution's wording calling for a change to the constitution, the school committee voted 4-0 to rescind its vote approving the resolution. While the committee will follow closely the state-level discussion of a revision of the funding formula, the committee agreed that the proposed constitutional change would not be in the best interest of suburban and rural districts.

New Business

Approval of School Committee Meeting Dates 2006 : The committee approved by unanimous vote the meeting dates for 2006.

Information and Proposals:

Presentation and Report on North Kingstown High School : Principal Gerry Foley gave a presentation on programming at the high school, and teacher Marianne Kirby provided information about the Senior Project. In response to committee questions, Mr. Foley confirmed that if an elementary school is not closed (as is being discussed), the high school will lose a vice principal and the minimum class size will increase to 19. Mr. Foley invited everyone to attend a Saturday, June 18, celebration of the 100 th anniversary of NKHS.

Superintendent's Report :

• Mrs. Sipala reported on the town council endorsement of the SORICO resolutions on pension reform and fire code revision (to allow the exhibition of student work on school walls). The council had additional questions about the resolutions on scope of bargaining and regional busing. Mr. DeGiando will meet with Mrs. Sipala to obtain additional information before the next council meeting. At Ms. Kaiser's request, the council did not consider the resolution on educational funding.

• Mr. Brennan shared information sent by the tree warden on the Town Forest Project and volunteered to serve as the school committee member of the proposed town forest committee.

• Mrs. Sipala reported that she had conferred with North Kingstown High School about the afterschool “late” bus and was asked to maintain the current pick-up time. The NK late bus picks students up an hour later, but only because the bus is making elementary school runs prior to that. Afterschool activities (other than sports) end before the scheduled pick-up time of the Jamestown bus. Mrs. Sipala will ask for a count of the number of students riding the late bus and will explore whether or not the bus should make runs on additional days.

• Mrs. Kallfelz read the Town Council Proclamation for Teacher Appreciation Week, May 1-7:

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

Whereas , it is the mission of the Jamestown School community to prepare all students to be productive and creative world citizens ; and

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

Whereas , Jamestown teachers are charged with the all-important task of ensuring that no child is left behind in our schools; and

Whereas , Jamestown teachers should be accorded high public esteem, reflecting the value our community places on public education ;

Therefore , we, the Town Council of Jamestown, Rhode Island, hereby proclaim May 1 through 7 Teacher Appreciation Week in Jamestown and urge all citizens to pay tribute to our teachers.

Committee Reports:

Melrose School Improvement Team : Melrose SIT is finalizing work on a school curriculum guide, which will be printed by the end of May.

Lawn School Improvement Team : Lawn SIT continues to work with teachers on action plans.

SELAC : The group worked on the annual report and discussed revisions to federal law.

Facilities Committee : Mr. Brennan suggested that the group meet with Mr. Kitts in June to discuss work scheduled to be done in the buildings over the summer.

SORICO : No meeting.

Legislative : Ms. Kaiser represented Jamestown at the Pension Reform Rally at the State House.

RIASC : Ms. Kaiser will attend the RIASC annual meeting on April 30.

Jamestown Education Foundation : Ms. Gooding reported that the group is looking for a student counselor to assist the director of the teen center. JEF will sponsor a summer sailing program open to teens who attend the center and will again offer its popular camp run in conjunction with Save the Bay. Two Jamestown student scrabble players participated in the national tournament in Boston, and JEF will continue to sponsor that club next year.

The next work shop of the Jamestown School Committee will be on May 5. All meetings are held at 7 p.m. in the Melrose Multi-Purpose Room.