School Committee Meeting Summary

September 16, 2021

Walpole High School Student Report

Grace R., Walpole High School student representative to the School Committee and new student representative mentee Colin Mahoney were present at the School Committee Meeting. Grace gave a report as follows:
  • The school year kicked off smoothly.
  • Back to school night for parents and guardians to meet their students’ teachers will be held on September 23.
  • Students are happy to be back to a more normal school year with an eight-day rotation and without one-way hallways or google meets.
  • In order to reduce exposure during lunch blocks, if students cannot sit six feet apart in their classroom, then half the students go to the cafeteria that has socially distant desks. Also, anyone is allowed to eat lunch outside.
  • Keeping the tradition of last year, students with study hall during 1st block are allowed to come in late and students with study hall last block may leave earlier.
  • This year, seniors may leave and come back when they have a lunch block study.
  • There is no homeroom. Instead, students go straight to the first block, and attendance is taken at the second block.
  • Fall sports got off to a great start with their first games and meets last week!
  • Additionally, clubs have started up again at the high school! Most clubs met for the first time this week and are happy to be back in person.

New Business

1. Opening of School Reports - Each building Principal, Director, and the School Business Administrator gave a presentation to the School Committee relative to the opening of schools. Mr. Friscia, School Business Administrator, informed the Committee of the successful start of school, including the transportation, school nutrition, and the Extended Day programs. Each speaker indicated their gratitude to all staff, teachers, nurses, custodians, Department of Public Works employees, the transportation coordinator, and secretaries.


Mr. Tom Reeve, the District's new Director of Digital Learning, was introduced to the School Committee. Mr. Reeve's background includes science and physics teacher, Department Chair, and Technology Integration and Innovation Specialist. Mr. Reeve has enjoyed getting to know the very talented teachers, tech support staff, digital coaching staff, and leadership. Mr. Reeve talked about the importance of technology in education and how it continues to evolve. He is excited to be part of Walpole Public Schools.


2. Master Plan Steering Committee - The Walpole Planning Board asked for representatives from various town boards for the Master Plan Steering Committee. Mrs. Denitzio volunteered to participate as a School Committee representative. The School Committee voted to appoint Mrs. Denitzio and asked her to provide periodical updates.


3. School Improvement Plans - First Reading - The School Committee was provided with all schools 2021-2022 School Improvement Plans for a first reading.

SUPERINTENDENT/ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT REPORT

  • Dr. Gough was excited to welcome our students back into classrooms for full-time, in-person learning. It was great to see interactive instruction that engages students in collaborative conversation and robust learning experiences.
  • Dr. Gough commended all staff for their hard work that led up to a successful opening.
  • She will be going out to all the schools on a rotating basis to meet with principals, discuss goals/progress and visit classrooms.
  • Mr. Hahn provided the School Committee with new staff information and details regarding the New Staff Orientation held the week of August 23rd. He thanked all of the staff that made this another successful orientation.
  • Dr. Gough provided a Covid update. She indicated that she will be updating the Covid dashboard on the District webpage each weekend. Currently, the high school student vaccination rate is approximately 70%. However, another 7% have received their first dose.
  • The Fales, Leach, Rogers, and Kunde Scholarship application will be available on October 1 through Monday, November 1, 2021. The application will be found on the District Website or at the Superintendent's Office on October 1st.
  • Mark Your Calendars! Next Friday, September 24th! 8:30-9:45 a.m. at WHS Track: Walk with the Supers! This activity is designed to promote community engagement and wellness - Come for a portion or stay the entire time. This is open to all community members.
Big picture

Middle School Building Project

Mrs. Gallivan provided an update regarding the Middle School Building Project. In preparation for the November 2nd ballot vote, there is a lot of information available on the Middle School webpage here. There are also three upcoming Community Forums:


  • Wednesday, September 22 at 6:00 p.m. at the Council on Aging, 60 South Street, Walpole
  • Tuesday, September 28 at 7:00 p.m. at Johnson Middle School, 111 Robbins Road, Walpole. An optional tour of Johnson Middle School will be held at 6:15 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 19 at 7:00 p.m. at Bird Middle School, 625 Washington Street, Walpole. An optional tour of Bird Middle School will be held at 6:15 p.m.


Please email any questions is middleschoolproject@walpole.k12.ma.us.