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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: June 17, 2004


• Kathy Almanzor, by Ginny Perry on behalf of JESPA, for a successful first year as principal at Melrose.

• Parent volunteers Kristy Wian, Carroll Pruell, Michelle Grenier, Ann Deffley, Kathy Farrell, Lori Smith, Patty Nadeau, and Patty Donnelly for leading the students in creating this year’s outstanding yearbook.


Letters received:

• From Ginny Perry, on behalf of JESPA, commending Mrs. Almanzor for her first year as principal.

• From Potter School announcing its closing.

• From the Rhode Island Association of School Committees, a copy of a bill proposing the formation of an advisory council on school finances.

• From the Department of Education, a copy of the regulations governing the longer school day.

• From Superintendent Katherine Sipala, a copy of the Lawn Avenue Writers Club publication “Writers Quarterly,” printed courtesy of 02835/The Jamestown Journal.

• From the Auditor General, notice of an August 6 Open Government Summit to be held at Roger Williams University Law School.

Consent Agenda:  The committee approved the minutes of May 20; payment of bills; and the appointment of Cynthia Cherney as Dean of Students, the transfer of Leah McGowan to the position of TA with the autism program; Philip Capaldi from Grade 5 to Grade 4; Leanne Turenne from Grade 4 to Grade 1, Elizabeth Aho from Grade 1 to K/1 Resource.  The committee also accepted the resignation of Joanne Augustinho and approved the recall of Christine Bernardo to Grade 6, Sara Sweetman to Grade 4/co-teaching; and Michaela Romano to Grade 2/co-teaching.  The committee approved the reappointment of Eric Bush as Boys Basketball coach and also the appointment of the following ESY &  Summer School teachers: Lynn Ventresca, Sharon McNeil, Donna Casey, Julie Calise, Jane Mitchell, Trish McDevit, Faith Krause, Sara Sweetman, Peg Wark, Kelly Speck, Beverly Green, Christine Daley, Sandra Reynolds, Maureen McGuirl, Kristin DeSantis, Nick Alfred and Kate England.

Old Business

Discussion of Policy “Use of School Buildings by Non-School Based Organizations”/Special Speaker, Colleen Bodziany of The Trust:  Ms. Bodziany explained the TULIP (Tenant User Liability Insurance Policy) and recommended that the school require a certificate of insurance from all non-school-sponsored groups/individuals using the facilities. The TULIP policy can be purchased by third parties for one-time events.

Second Reading and Vote on “Statement of Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action Policy”:  The committee approved the policy after deleting reference to after school programming.  The vote was 4-1 with Mr. Brennan voting no.

Ms. Pinto shared the opinion of the school solicitor in responding to a question from Mr. Brennan concerning the redundancy of policies on topics covered by state or federal statutes.  The solicitor considers it advisable to have policies in place that can be disseminated and that detail the process for appeal, when applicable.  Ms. Pinto shared with the committee an article on effective policy development.

New Business

Awarding of Bus Contract: The committee approved a three-year contract with First Student using the alternate bid specifications (excluding the provision of bus monitors and special ed aides).

Awarding of Carpet Contract: The committee awarded the bid for carpet replacement to Robert K. Brown, Interiors LLC.  The work will be completed by August 9.

Information and Proposals:   

Superintendent’s Report:  The Superintendent explained line item overages in the last monthly report and shared with the committee projected enrollments for September (03 Melrose 282/04 Melrose 270; 03 Lawn 269/04 Lawn 247; 03 NK 200/04 NK 225).  The superintendent also shared an invoice from the Employees Retirement System of Rhode Island (ERSRI) for the employer share of the Jamestown Teachers Assistants purchase of membership in the Employees Retirement System for the period of 1992-2000.  Business manager Maria Alfred explained the formula ERSRI used in calculating the amount due.  The amount, $184,946.93, is based on the full actuarial value or cost had the school department contributed its share of the retirement benefit during the teacher assistants’ tenure during the period of 1992-2000.  There is no record of why twelve teacher assistants were not included in the retirement system during the years in question.  The committee asked Mrs. Alfred to request from ERSRI any statutes governing the calculation method.

Committee Reports:

Melrose School Improvement Team: SIT reviewed SALT data and continued work on the school improvement plan.

Lawn School Improvement Team: SIT finalized the action plans for its 3-year school improvement plan. 

SELAC: The group reviewed the year in preparation for writing its annual report. 

Facilities Committee:  No meeting.  

North Kingstown:  Following the defeat of the referendum to approve the school budget, the NK school committee held two special meetings to make the necessary cuts to balance the budget approved by the NK town council.   In a cut that affected the high school, NKSC raised minimum class size at NKHS from 15 to 20, which allowed a reduction of one staff position.

SORICO:  Mrs. Kallfelz attended the Southern RI Collaborative annual meeting and reported that the collaborative experienced a deficit that will be made up with surplus funds from previous years.  There will be no increase in membership fees.  The SORICO board installed new officers, with Mrs. Sipala being elected as secretary/treasurer.


High School Review Committee:  The visitation teams are writing reports detailing their observations during site visits.

Jamestown Education Foundation:  Fifty children have registered for the camp offered in conjunction with Save the Bay, with others wait-listed.  The JEF is bringing Ocean State Follies to the island in October for a fundraiser.


The next business meeting of the Jamestown School Committee will be on July 8.  All meetings are held at 7 p.m. in the Melrose Multi-Purpose Room.