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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 Meeting: January 22, 2004


Mary Berry and Ginny Perry, for their successful submission of a proposal to present at the 23rd National Paraeducator Conference.


Letters written:

To the Harpool family, a letter of condolence from the school committee.

• To Maryanne Crawford, from Lew Kitts, a letter thanking the Public Works Department for its assistance during December’s heavy snowstorm.

Letters received:

From SELAC, minutes of the November 18 meeting.

• From NKHS, a list of Jamestown students on the first quarter honor roll.

• From Carolyn Armington, suggesting that the Jamestown Tree Protection and Preservation Committee to collaborate with the school to rejuvenate the small forest between Melrose and Lawn. (Any such project will need to be coordinated with plans for the Fitness for Life Trail.)

From the RI Healthy Schools Coalition, announcing a breakfast meeting on Feb. 24.

Consent Agenda: The committee approved the minutes of Dec. 4 and 11 and Jan. 5 and 15; payment of bills; the after school enrichment program appointment of Jim Kaczynski (Science Olympiad); the appointment of Carla Andronowitz as a long-term substitute for Grade 1; and the maternity leave request from Michele Desrosiers.

New Business

Budget 2004/2005 Discussion and Vote: Upon the recommendation of Superintendent Sipala, the school committee unanimously approved a budget reduction of $122,548, achieved by applying $37,000 (IDEA grant money) to resource teacher salaries; by trimming $35,274 from the high school tuition line to reflect anticipated transfers to private schools; and by eliminating the Lawn Avenue playground line item from the capital projects budget. The playground will be funded through donations from two community groups and money remaining from the Melrose playground project.

Unfinished Business

High School Review Committee Discussion: Jim Filkins volunteered to work with the superintendent and director of pupil services to coordinate the formation of a high school review committee. Parents, teachers and community members will be invited to submit letters of interest to serve on this committee.

Information and Proposals:

Superintendent’s Report:

Mrs. Sipala shared with the committee copies of the letter sent to parents about Shelter in Place procedures, the Jamestown Fire/Police/School Coordinated Crisis Response Plan, and the new Emergency Procedures Guide.

• The committee considered plans for a fourth grade trip to Ellis Island. Responding to a question about the lengthy bus ride, Cynthia Cherney expressed confidence in the students’ ability to handle the long day. In considering security issues, the committee supported the plan to accommodate parents wishing to accompany their children.

The committee completed a first reading of the Kindergarten Admission Policy, revised in response to the change made to the statutory age for kindergarten enrollment.

Committee Reports:

Melrose School Improvement Team: SIT discussed declining membership; a homework survey has been sent to parents; Becky Romano will present to staff a mentoring program available through Americorps.

Lawn School Improvement Team: At its January meeting, Lawn SIT met jointly with Melrose SIT.

SELAC: Sub-committees are working on plans for Education Awareness Day. The site visit by the School Support Team is ongoing; a draft response from the team is expected by Feb. 5. In conjunction with the visit, SELAC presented a letter commending the contributions of Special Education Director Beth Pinto.

Facilities Committee: No meeting.

North Kingstown: The NK school committee approved the change of school colors to black, white and gold (with the traditional brown continuing to be honored, e.g., tassels at graduation).

RIASC: A meeting to review proposed legislation will be held on February 28. The annual meeting will be held on April 30 at Salve Regina.

SORICO: The Southern Rhode Island Collaborative has received a Rhode Island Foundation grant to support professional development for school committees. Committees must make an in-kind contribution of $97 per school committee member. Funds are available to send representatives from each committee to a national conference, such as the National School Board Association’s annual conference in Orlando in March. Funds are also available to support school committee professional development at the district level.

The next work session of the Jamestown School Committee will be on February 5; the next business meeting will be on February 26. All meetings are held at 7 p.m. in the Melrose Multi-Purpose Room.