School Committee Summary

January 9, 2020

Official Meeting Minutes

Minutes are published when approved and voted on by School Committee. Click here for official Meeting Minutes.


Members of the Walpole Swim Team were recognized for winning events at the state level. Sophomore Amanda Melish won the state and sectional championship for diving two years in a row.

The boys swim team are also state champions a second year in a row. Below is a list of events the students have won:

  • Casey Laliberte won the 200 freestyle and broke the meet record and 500 free
  • Michael Rose won the 50 freestyle and 100 Fly
  • The following students won the 200 freestyle Relay and set a meet record:
  • Matthew Samargedlis
  • Casey Laliberte
  • Matthew Ferraro
  • Michael Rose

The following students won the 400 freestyle relay and set a meet record breaking their own from last year:

  • Matthew Samargedlis
  • Casey Laliberte
  • Andrew Hendricks
  • Michael Rose

Coach Cheryl Cavanaugh and Diving Coach Chris Brady introduced the athletes and highlighted their impressive accomplishments. Cheryl remarked that these students also have high GPA's and are filling out applications to be recognized as "Academic All Americans."

Walpole is extremely proud of all of these athletes and their commitment on a personal and team level.

Walpole High School Student Report

Darci, Walpole High School (WHS) Student Representative to the School Committee, gave a full report on the academic, athletic and extracurricular activities at WHS. Darci reported that:

As the new year is beginning so are many new activities around the Walpole High School (WHS) community. This Saturday the WHS Student Council is holding the Annual MASC/SOMA Bocce tournament. This event is in conjunction with the Special Olympics where schools from all over Massachusetts can attend and bring teams to play in the games, be spectators, or participate in other activities such as face painting, corn hole, and ring toss.

The Special Effects Club is a new club coming to WHS where students are able to create and design sets with the goal of spreading creativity around the school. The first meeting was yesterday. If anyone is interested in this club and have any questions contact Mr. Braccini.

The WHS Theatre club held auditions for their annual winter show this Wednesday and Thursday. To find more information on this event and about getting involved, please visit the WHS website.

The Math Team has had a very successful season so far as they are 4th out of 36 teams. They had a meet last night and will have to remain in the top 10 to qualify for playoffs.

The Green Team is hosting a textile recycling drive. Materials such as clothing, shoes, belts, towels, and pillowcases are all wanted. These household items are then converted into new material and fabrics.

Sign-ups for the National French and Spanish exam are out. The cost is $10 to register and is due by January 16th. The test will be held in March.

The Spanish Club will be going on a trip after school on Thursday January 16th. Permission slips are needed by the 14th.

Winter sports are well on their way. The track team had a meet yesterday and are beginning to prepare for the postseason meets where they hope to win the Division 3 Title again. The girls’ basketball team has a game Tuesday, January 14th at home against Brookline and boys will play at Brookline High School. The gymnastics team has a meet this Friday against Weymouth High School. The girls’ hockey team has a game against King Philip on Monday (January 13) and will play at home and the boys will play against Hingham. Lastly the wrestling team had a meet last night at 6:30 at Newton North High School.

METCO Program Update

Jesenia Castro (METCO Coordinator), Ms. Chareese McIntosh (high school academic advisor), and two WHS Metco students attended the School Committee Meeting. The students talked about what being a METCO students means to them and their families. See the presentation here. The School Committee remarked that it is great to have METCO students as part of the community.

Walpole Public Schools has been a proud participant in the METCO program since the 1970's. The Walpole METCO Program is committed to making sure that each METCO student finds their intellectual identities while developing the social capital necessary to expand their horizons.

What makes the Walpole METCO program special?

  • Diversity awareness and education program participations
  • Caring and qualified METCO staff
  • Walpole METCO Parent Advisory Leadership Board
  • Extensive extracurricular programs including various sports, drama, music, clubs, and academics at all levels
  • Breakfast provided for all students in the METCO Program
  • Onsite tutoring and off – site tutoring referrals
  • SAT Prep programs

2020-2021 Draft Calendars

The School Committee was provided with a proposed draft calendar for the 2020-2021 school year.

The calendar proposes that teachers will return to school on Monday, August 31; students in grades 1 through 12 will return to school on Wednesday, September 2, 2020; PreK and Kindergarten students will return to school on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. The last day of school for Grades K- 11, without snow/emergency days would be Thursday, June 17, 2021.

The School Committee was provided with a proposed draft calendar for the 2020-2021 School Committee Meetings. This draft calendar was presented for the School Committee''s discussion and review as a first reading.

Daniel Feeney Preschool Tuition

At the last School Committee Meeting potential preschool tuition increase options were provided to the School Committee for consideration. The School Committee was also provided comparisons of tuition costs in surrounding communities. The School Committee voted to increase the Daniel Feeney Preschool Tuitions over the next three years. Tuition will increase 5% next year (2020-2021), 10% for the school year 2021-2022 and 15% for school year 2022-2023. These increases will bring the tuitions to a competitive rate with other local preschool programs.

Superintendent Report

Dr. Gough gave an update with respect to:

  • The 2020-2021 budget process is underway. Public Budget hearings are scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at WHS on the following dates:
  • January 14 - Public Budget Hearing Goods and Services)
  • January 21 - Public Budget Hearing (Personnel)
  • January 23 - Public Budget Hearing (if necessary)
  • The Fales, Leach, Rogers & Kunde Scholarship Meeting was held in December. The School Committee/Administration awarded 74 scholarships totaling $105,000. Walpole is grateful to the Charles Fales Fund, Joseph S. Leach Fund, Benjamin D. Rogers Fund and Dorothea and William Kunde Scholarship for their continued generosity.
  • Dr. Gough has participated in many walkthroughs at the schools. She is also answering emails from Grade 8 Civics classes who are researching issues related to Walpole Public Schools. She is enjoying the questions, comments and suggestions from these students.
  • The Wellness Committee met on Tuesday, January 7th and completed their first read through of the Walpole Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan. The Plan is reviewed every two years by the Wellness Committee and all of the individual School Councils. All of the feedback will be considered, and the Plan will be updated this Spring/Summer. All feedback is welcome. Community members can contact Assistant Superintendent Hahn with any questions or comments. The Plan can be found here. Mr. Hahn can be contacted via email at
  • The Research for Better Teaching course, Studying Skillful Teaching, will start on Monday, January 13th. Walpole is hosting instructor Dr. Debra Reed from RBT who will be leading 25 Walpole teachers from all 7 schools in this exciting course work. The course focuses on building teachers' capacity to promote students' motivation, learning, and increased achievement.
  • Dr. Gough reminded the Community there is no school for students on Friday, January 17th. All staff will be participating in EdCamp, which is designed to provide participation-driven professional development for educators. The focus will be on collaboration, group expertise, and instructional design.
  • Kindergarten registration packets went out on January 3rd. Families can register at the schools the week of 1/21. This year, we added an evening registration- Tuesday, January 21st at Town Hall, Superintendent's Office, Room 204 until 8:00 p.m.

Massachusetts School Building Authority

After following a qualifications-based process, the Walpole School Building Committee formally voted to recommend Compass Project Management to the MSBA as Walpole's proposed Owner's Project Manager (OPM). This was a rigorous process that required multiple meetings and multiple documents to be submitted to the MSBA. We are thankful to the OPM Interview Committee, who spent endless hours reviewing applications, conducting interviews and completing paperwork. On February 3rd, MSBA will have an OPM Panel Review Meeting.

For more information visit the MSBA School Building Project page on the Walpole website at

Next Meeting

The Public Budget Hearings for the Walpole Public Schools are scheduled for:

  • January 14 - 7:00 p.m. at Walpole High School
  • January 21 - 7:00 p.m. at Walpole High School
  • January 23 - 7:00 p.m. at Walpole High School (if necessary)

The next regular School Committee Meeting will be Thursday, January 30, 2020 at Walpole Town Hall, Main Meeting Room.