School Committee Summary
October 24, 2019
It was wonderful to see several of our elementary students proudly present their writing products! Our secondary students are receiving a rigorous curriculum that is increasingly being diversified to include underrepresented voices. Thank you to the following students who presented their work:
Ellie Cummings - Kindergarten- Fisher School
Evelyn Roth- Grade 2 Old Post Road School
Luke Welter- Grade 3 Elm Street School
Isabelle Healey- Grade 5- Boyden School
New and Regular School Committee Business
Student Representative to the School Committee (SC), Scotty Cameron, reported on academic, athletic and extracurricular activities at WHS. Thank you to our student representatives for staying and actively participating in the full SC Meeting.
The SC unanimously voted to approve a Walpole High School field trip to Peru from April 17, 2020 through April 27, 2020.
Shannon Findley & Lauren Culliton reported on the ELA curriculum at the K-5 and 6-12 levels. Programs like Fundations and Lucy Calkins Writing are providing our elementary students with strong phonics and revision skills.
At Fall Town Meeting this past Monday, the following funds were allocated for the School Department:
- $400,000 for a Walpole High School Building Study
- $120,000 for technology infrastructure
- $420,000 for Chromebook purchases
- $50,000 for security camera upgrades
- $558,471 for Medicaid reimbursement
- $34,000 in student parking receipts
The SC voted to ratify new Memoranda of Agreement between the AFSCME Council 93, Local 1957 Secretarial and Clerical Unit and the AFSCME Council 93, Local 1957 Custodial and Maintenance Union.
Walpole has been invited to the October 30th MSBA board meeting where invitation into the feasibility study phase of the process will be discussed. We were previously anticipating being invited to the board's December 11th meeting, and it is an encouraging sign that the timeline has moved up given our early submission of required documentation.
Curriculum, Special Education, and Legislative Subcommittees gave reports. The largest news comes on the legislative front, as the Mass. House and Senate have unanimously passed the Student Opportunities Act, to improve the mechanism for state funding of public education. This is a $1.5 billion legislative package, of which Walpole can expect to receive an increase in Chapter 70 funding of $750,000 over the next 7 years, as well as near-doubling of our charter school reimbursement rate, and additional circuit breaker reimbursement monies for special education of around $445,000 (Circuit breaker will now include reimbursement for special education transportation costs).
Dr. Gough gave an update with respect to:
- Several informative community meetings were held including Screenager and a Youth and Vaping information session. Thank you to Walpole Police Department (WPD) and Dr. Lester Harman and Dr. Randy Schuster for holding this session. WPD also held a presentation entitled Critical Incident Response, which included an explanation of A.L.I.C.E. Program. Walpole Media taped this presentation which can be found here.
- The first English Language Learner PAC Meeting was held on October 16th. Assistant Superintendent Bill Hahn indicated it was a productive meeting. The primary agenda was the continuation of an adult English Language Learner program. Walpole is looking to partner with the Walpole Public Library for this program. Mr. Hahn will keep the SC and public updated.
- PSATs were held at Walpole High School last week. After the exam, students participated in three informative sessions, one being "Courageous Conversations" by Kathy Lopes, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at METCO. Another was from Chief Carmichael on Vaping and for the third session students viewed a video from the Walpole Film Festival on cellphone use entitled "Hung Up."
Walk with the Supers
- The first Walk with the Supers was held on Monday, October 21st. These walks are designed to promote community engagement and wellness.
- The next Walk with the Supers is scheduled for Friday, November 15th from 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. at the Walpole High School track. These walks are for all community members.