School Committee Meeting Summary
December 8, 2022
Moment of Silence
Francis X. "Fran" Foley passed away on Wednesday, November 23, 2022. Fran was a 1956 graduate of Walpole High School and began teaching Math at Walpole High School in 1961. Mr. Foley was at the forefront of the computer movement and was instrumental in obtaining computers for the high school. He retired in 1999 after more than thirty-five years of dedicated service. Condolences are conveyed to Fran's family from the Walpole School Committee and administration.
Walpole High School Student Report
Walpole High School student representative to the School Committee Joy M., was unable to attend the meeting but provided the following report that Mrs. Syrek read:
- Winter sports have begun, such as boys and girls basketball, boys and girls hockey and boys varsity wrestling. Good luck to the winter teams.
- On December 2 and 3, Walpole High Drama Club hosted the production of “You're a Good Man Charlie Brown”.
- The number of WHS Clubs have also seen an increase. For example, a new Dungeons and Dragons Club is scheduled to begin on January 4.
- The WHS Humane Society submitted over 300 pictures of pets being submitted for their fundraising calendar.
- The Spanish, Latin, and French Clubs have scheduled their upcoming field trips to Boston.
- The Speech and Debate Team is raffling an $800 basket of gift cards. The proceeds will be used to help offset this season's competition.
- On Tuesday, December 6th, the WHS Student Council held an event in support of the “4 you, I will fight” organization to raise awareness for ALS. With the recent loss of Tara O'Brien, our thoughts are with her family.
- Many students are in the process of applying to college and receiving acceptances. Those who have made their college selections may submit pictures to the WHS Futures page.
- Work on the 2023 yearbook is continuing. Pictures from elementary school years have been recently submitted by students.
- With the holidays around the corner, students are working diligently to finish assignments and prepare for winter break. Progress reports will be issued on December 19th.
Out-of-State Field Trip Approval: The School Committee approved an international field trip for Walpole High School students to Spain from February 17, 2023 through February 25, 2023.
Math Update: A math curriculum update was provided by Walpole High School Math Department Chair Jonathan Ridolfi, middle school teachers Julie Chin and Jill Masterson, and elementary school teachers Sheila Rinaldi and Jen Torigian. The full report can be viewed here at time marker 11:05.
Daniel Feeney Preschool Tuition: Daniel Feeney Preschool Director Julie Martin provided the School Committee with a comparison spreadsheet of local preschool tuitions. The School Committee reviewed the tuitions and rationale for raising the Daniel Feeney tuition costs to be comparable with other districts. After discussion, the School Committee voted a 3% tuition increase for the 2023-2024 School Year.
Request to Fund HVAC Study: The School Committee discussed funding a HVAC engineering study at Walpole High School in the amount of $50,000. School Business Administrator Mr. Michael Friscia explained that an engineering study would provide in-depth analysis of the existing HVAC equipment and indicate if the current boiler and related systems are approaching the end of their useful life. Mr. Friscia said that an engineering study would not only justify the need for equipment to be replaced, but would also enable the work to be eligible for significant utility and federal government incentives. The School Committee voted to approve the funding of this study.
2023-2024 School Year Calendar - First Reading: The School Committee was provided with a proposed draft calendar for the 2023-2024 school year. The draft 2023-2024 school year calendar proposes that teachers will return to school on Monday, August 28; students in grades 1 through 12 will return to school on Wednesday, August 30, 2023; PreK and Kindergarten students will return to school on Tuesday, September 5, 2023. The last day of school for Grades K- 11, without snow/emergency days would be Wednesday, June 12, 2024.
2023-2024 School Committee Meeting Calendar - First Reading: The School Committee was provided with a proposed draft calendar for the 2023-2024 School Committee Meetings.
- WHS staff members including Athletic Director Ron Dowd, teacher Courtney Nottebart, and DEI/METCO Director Jesenia Burke, attended a state conference on Addressing Hate in School Sports. The conference, held at the TD Garden and hosted by the Attorney General’s Office, focused on creating a positive sports environment and building a healthy team culture.
- The 2023-2024 budget process has begun. In addition to last week's Leadership/SC budget workshop, Mr. Friscia and Dr. Gough will individually meet with every leadership member (principals, Assistant Superintendent, Director of Digital Learning and the Director of Pupil Services) to discuss their goods and service budgets. The Public Budget Hearing is scheduled for January 19th.
Survey Reminder: Another email reminder was sent asking families to take a WPS Districtwide Family Survey. If you have not yet taken the survey, please check your email. It would have come from Panorama Education. We thank families for continuing to be an essential source of information as we work to create the best learning environment for our students.
Dr. Gough reminded School Committee about the Fales, Leach, Rogers, and Kunde Scholarship meeting on 12/14. For those students who applied, they will receive notification prior to the winter break. Letters should go out next Friday, 12/16.
Other upcoming events
- 12/9 Early Release Day (Staff Training)
- 12/8 JMS Gr. 7/8 Band and Chorus (5:30 p.m.)
- 12/13 BMS Gr. 7/8 Band and Chorus (7:00 p.m.)
- 12/14 BMS/JMS Orchestra Concert (* @ WHS 7:00 p.m.)
- 12/15 JMS Gr. 6 Band and Chorus (7:00 p.m.)
- 12/20 BMS Gr. 6 Winter Concert BMS (7:00 p.m.)
- 12/21 WHS Winter Concert (7:00 p.m.)
- 12/23 Last day prior to break (This is a full day of school)
- 12/26-1/2 Winter Break
- 1/3 School Resumes
Middle School Building Project
Mr. Breen provided an update to the middle school building project. He reminded the community that a timeline and three-week look ahead schedule is on the middle school webpage. The community is encouraged to visit the webpage and reach out to the Middle School Project team with any questions or comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
High School Renovation Information
Mr. Ahern provided an update with regard to the high school renovation project. Updates will continue to be provided to the public.