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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 Workshop: June 2, 2005

Recognition: The school committee and administration gratefully acknowledged the contributions of departing member Betsy Gooding and welcomed new member Julia Held.

Key Work of School Boards:

Transition for Former and New School Committee Members

Sharing and Evaluation of School Committee Goals 2004-2005 : The committee reviewed its goals, noting accomplishments and ongoing needs.

•  To provide to all students a rigorous academic program and to explore ways to heighten student challenge and remove performance “ceilings.” Ongoing goal. The committee noted the introduction of individual reading evaluations at Melrose, the formation of small student groups to focus on select strengths, the completion by parents, teachers and students of an inventory to identify individual student strengths and interests.

•  To implement the District Strategic Plan and support achievement of its goals. Ongoing goal. Action plans were completed addressing improved academic performance, collaboration with town government and enrichment opportunities. The committee and administration met several times during the past year to discuss and align town and school interests. Afterschool programming was expanded to provide additional enrichment opportunities.

•  To continue to support the implementation of the district's public engagement plan supporting a school system of excellence through community partnership. Ongoing goal. The committee agreed on the need to formalize its public engagement plan, noting the successful involvement of community members on the high school review committee and on the school improvement teams. In addition, community members serve as mentors and teach in the afterschool program. The new teen center is the result of the collaborative efforts of several community groups.

•  To investigate and implement the tenets of the “Healthy Schools/Healthy Kids” program. Ongoing goal. At its last meeting, the committee agreed on the need to form an advisory committee to generate recommendations for student nutrition and physical activity at the two schools. In the past year, the committee approved two health-related policies: a no-bullying policy and a no-idling policy for school buses.

•  To evaluate the costs and benefits of offering pre-school to all Jamestown children ages three and four. This idea was not fully explored due to current budget constraints.

•  To study regionalization and other approaches to addressing the impact of declining enrollment. Ongoing goal. The committee has adopted a three-pronged approach to cost-containment: evaluate the cost and effectiveness of district programs in preparation for the next budget cycle; explore a possible reorganization or consolidation of administrative operations; and continue to actively explore the feasibility of shared services with neighboring districts.

•  To advocate for district interests locally, regionally and at the state house. Ongoing goal. The committee has worked with other South County districts to generate resolutions on key issues to be presented to legislators. In addition, Ms. Kaiser has testified before the house and senate finance committees in support of bills impacting Jamestown.

•  To integrate the Key Work philosophy into school committee planning and decision-making. Ongoing goal.

Legislative Update : Superintendent Sipala summarized recent legislative efforts, which include the school committee and town council endorsement of resolutions on charter school funding, regional transportation, scope of bargaining, pension reform and fire codes. Ms. Kaiser testified at the state house in support of legislation pertaining to scope of bargaining and reimbursement for bridge tokens used for school transportation.

Reorganization/Resturcturing/Shared Services Discussion : Ms. Kaiser met with John Cronin of RIMES, who is preparing a proposal for a shared services feasibility study.

Scheduling of Summer Retreat : The committee scheduled a summer retreat on Thursday, August 18.

The next business meeting of the Jamestown School Committee will be on June 16. All meetings are held at 7 p.m. in the Melrose Multi-Purpose Room.