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. a


Jamestown School Committee Meeting: September 23, 2004

During a pre-meeting workshop, Parmelee, Poirier & Associates presented the auditors’ report and answered school committee questions.


• Joe Ucci, commended by the American Heart Association for his leadership of Melrose School’s Jump Rope for Heart.  Melrose was named the 2003-2004 Top New Jump Rope for Heart School in Rhode Island.


Letters received:

• From the Rhode Island Association of School Committees, notice of the new date, Oct. 23, for a seminar on Collective Bargaining.

• From the National School Board Association, an announcement of the April 16-19, 2005 Annual Conference.

Consent Agenda:  The committee approved the minutes of August 26 and September 9; payment of bills; accepted the resignation of Carolyn Sion; recalled Joseph Ucci; approved the transfer of Elizabeth Aho to fill the position vacated by M.J. Moynihan (one-year leave) and the appointment of Patricia McDevitt as long-term substitute in special education at Melrose; and appointed Nicholas Alfred as Student Council Advisor and Diane Wright, parent, as Yearbook Advisor. 

Old Business

Fourth Reading of Policy “Use of School Buildings by Non-School Based Organizations”:  The committee approved this policy by unanimous vote at its August 26 meeting.  However, several minor changes are in order based on additional information provided by the Interlocal Trust.  A final reading of the policy is slated for the October 23 school committee meeting.

Fourth Reading of “Bullying”:  The committee approved the policy by a 4-1 vote.  Mr. Brennan shared his reservations about the policy, which he considers overly broad.

Information and Proposals:   

Superintendent’s Report:  The Superintendent shared the latest enrollment figure of 513 (256 at Melrose; 257 at Lawn).  Although enrollment at the high school has grown, this year’s lower tuition rate ($8712) offsets the increase.  Mrs. Sipala also reported that the State Retirement Board is calling for an increase in retirement contributions to make up for a  state fund shortfall.  In Jamestown, the employer share of teachers’ retirement (based on current salary figures) will increase by an approximate $114,000, a figure that will impact next year’s budget.

Committee Reports:

Melrose School Improvement Team: SIT revisited the mandates to school improvement plans and reviewed its 2004/2005 goals: • Continue to build effective instructional practices with a clear focus on the development of higher order thinking skills for all our students. • Continue our commitment to a full continuum of programs in order to provide the best education for all our students. • Develop meaningful ways to broaden the partnership among parents, teachers, and administrators to provide the best educational for all our students.   SIT also formed three subcommittees to examine curriculum, assessments and SALT surveys.

Lawn School Improvement Team: SIT welcomed new members, toured the building to see improvements made over the summer and reviewed the strategic plan and action plans.  The group also approved its 2004/2005 goals: • Provide a challenging learning environment that values excellence and promotes high levels of performance. • Support a culture that fosters the development of all middle school students and encourages their motivation. • Promote citizenship and civic responsibility within the school and the community at large. 

SELAC: This committee is sponsoring two workshops:  Basic Rights in Special Education (October 12); and the ABCs of IEPs (November 9). Jamestown received an Honorable Mention and Color Professional computer equipment in Kurzweil Educational Systems’ School Excellence Award program. 

Facilities Committee: The facilities committee and school committee will tour the buildings together on September 28.

North Kingstown:  No actions specific to the high school.

SORICO:  The superintendent and four members of the school committee joined school committee members (and candidates) from five South County school districts at a September 20 Key Work of School Boards workshop held in Narragansett.

High School Review Committee:  The review committee will provide its report to the school committee in October and answer questions at the November 4 school committee meeting.


A joint meeting of the Jamestown School Committee and Jamestown Town Council will be held on October 7.  The next business will be on October 21.   All meetings are held at 7 p.m. in the Melrose Multi-Purpose Room.