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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: September 18, 2003

Action taken in Executive Session:

The committee denied (5-0) a home school application based on deficiencies in the application and insufficient evidence of progress.


Letters written:

• To Kate Shuhy, thanking her for her service as school committee clerk.

• To Compass School, requesting information on the school’s enrollment policy.

Letters received:

• From the Department of Education notifying the district of the Unsafe School Choice Option adopted as Rhode Island policy in July.

• From RIASC (Rhode Island Association of School Committees) detailing district savings realized with the New Energy Aggregation Pool.

• From SELAC, the 2002-2003 Annual Report.

• From Cathy Kaiser, copies of Providence Journal articles on school spending and on educational endowment funds; and a copy of correspondence with columnist Julia Steiny concerning No Child Left Behind funding.

• From Sue Duff, Board of Regents, providing information from Keith Oliviera, Department of Education, on the relationship of sponsoring agencies with charter schools.

• From Maria Alfred, a copy of an article detailing provisions of a proposed Medicare bill.

Consent Agenda:  The committee approved the minutes of September 4; payment of bills; home school applications; and the appointments of Bruce Engelhard as technology coach at Lawn, Nicholas Alfred as Student Council advisor, Eric Bush as boys’ basketball coach and Leslie Wolken as NKHS coordinator.  The committee awarded tenure (4-0; 1 abstention) to Lisa Casey, Kaitlyn Downing, Jane Mitchell, Mary Jane Moynihan, Sandra Reynolds, Kelly Speck and Leslie Wolken.

Unfinished Business

North Kingstown High School Contract - Discussion:  The committee reviewed a draft letter prepared by school attorney Amato DeLuca notifying North Kingstown that Jamestown will continue to review all options for high school of record.  Pursuant to the terms of the contract, Jamestown is required to give notice three years prior to any change.  The committee directed Mrs. Sipala to ask the attorney to clarify that “notification” in this case does not signify certain change but rather the possibility of change due to ongoing review.  The committee will revisit the letter at an October meeting and will discuss the formation of a high school advisory committee.

Information and Proposals – Superintendent’s Report:

• Mrs. Sipala provided updated enrollment figures. 

• On September 30, Mrs. Sipala, Cathy Kaiser, town council liaison Guy Settipane and town administrator Maryanne Crawford will meet with teams from Middletown, Portsmouth, and Newport and Gary Sasse of RIPEC (Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council) to plan an upcoming dialogue on educational funding.

Committee Reports:

Melrose School Improvement Team: Melrose SIT reviewed the revised School Improvement Plan; formed a communications committee; and discussed sponsoring a community involvement week in April, “kicked off” by a volunteer appreciation night.

Lawn School Improvement Team: Lawn SIT reappointed Paul McDermott and Bruce Engelhard as co-chairs and reviewed last year’s school improvement plan, brainstorming topics for the new plan. 

SELAC:  Jim Filkins read the list of accomplishments highlighted in the SELAC annual report.  Mr. Filkins conveyed that committee’s concern that the school policy on 504 identification be revised to ensure compliance with the law.  On October 28 at 7 p.m., Dr. Thomas DiPaola, director of special needs, Department of Education, will speak at Melrose School on No Child Left Behind and HR 1350 legislation.

Facilities Committee:  At its September 10 meeting, this committee discussed Melrose School playground maintenance and agreed to prepare for its next meeting cost figures for ventilating the Lawn library and Selinger Lab.  Mr. Brennan reported that the facilities committee is finalizing its 5-year capital projects plan.  The school committee and town council liaison Guy Settipane discussed financing such expenditures through bonding.  Mrs. Sipala will contact town administration to discuss including the school’s capital improvements as part of upcoming town bonds.  Mr. Brennan shared upcoming project plans at a meeting of the town building and facilities committee.



The next work session of the Jamestown School Committee will be on October 2; the next business meeting will be on October 16.  All meetings are held at 7 p.m. in the Melrose Multi-Purpose Room.