School Committee Meeting Summary

October 27, 2022

Walpole High School Student Report

Joy M., Walpole High School student representative to the School Committee was present and reported as follows:

  • Many of the fall sports are coming to an end. The seniors will say goodbye to the sports they love and will celebrate the hard work they put in over the last few years. We wish them all the best in their upcoming senior night. Congratulations to all of our athletes.
  • The WHS Humanity Club is once again offering a "Pets of Walpole High" calendar where students submit photos of their pets. Those who don't have pets can enjoy the pets of their fellow classmates by purchasing this calendar.
  • Spanish Club had a wonderful karaoke session last Thursday and sang their favorite Spanish songs!
  • In support of breast cancer awareness, The Random Act of Kindness Club is writing positive notes to encourage and offer support for those battling cancer.
  • The senior baby picture yearbook deadline was last Friday. All seniors were encouraged to submit their favorite or cutest picture of themselves to be included in the yearbook. Additional upcoming deadlines for the seniors are the senior blurb and the senior survey.
  • Another approaching important deadline for seniors is the college application early decision deadline. The date for submission for early decision/early action applications is November 1st.
  • Lastly, Joy mentioned that this time of the year can prove stressful for our seniors. She encouraged everyone to help and support these students in order to make this taxing process a little easier.

New Business

1. Chief Richard Kelleher/Walpole Police Department Update - Chief Kelleher provided a Walpole Police Department update with respect to efforts related to substance use concerns, current trends, School Committee policies and school security. Officer Tommy Hart updated the School Committee on recent drills conducted at the schools. Chief Kelleher indicated the level of communication between the school department and the police has been, and continues to be, outstanding. Walpole PD feels fortunate to have a great and mutually supportive partnership with WPS.

The "Text to 911" feature was also mentioned. All Massachusetts 911 call centers now have ability to receive a text message through their 911 system. Text to 911 allows those in need of emergency services to use their cellular device to contact 911 when they are unable to place a voice call. To contact emergency services by text message, simply enter 911 in the “To” field of your mobile phone and type your message. It is important to make every effort to begin the text message indicating the town you are in and provide the best location information that you can as the 911 call center may not always have your exact location when they receive the text. The state 911 Department encourages citizens to text to 911 only when a voice call is not possible.

2. Equity Audit - Dr. Julie Shepherd, Krista Reed, Meghan Rosenberg and Artemus Werts of MassInsight participated in the meeting via Zoom. They reviewed the findings and recommendations from the Equity Audit. The goals, purpose and objectives of this audit were outlined in detail. Stakeholder surveys, focus group and interview results as well as family and community engagement findings were also shared. Their full report can be viewed here at time marker 26:54.

Superintendent Report

  • Congratulations to Mr. David Kujawski, BMS science teacher, who was selected as a one of five state finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). This is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teaching. There are two levels of selection, the first being the State Finalist, the second being the National Level Awardee.
  • Congratulations to Mr. Charlie Ferro, who won the MIAA Unified Track Coach of the Year. This is a wonderful honor for Mr. Ferro and his tremendous team of coaches, support staff, and athletes. We thank him for his dedication to our students and this program!
  • Dr. Gough provided information regarding her goals for the 2022-2023 school year, which included student learning, district, and professional practice. These goals are aligned with the District’s Strategic Plan.
  • Dr. Gough shared and provided information regarding the School Improvement Plans (SIPs). Changes were also noted. She thanked Dr. Anne Vera Cruz, for her assistance in developing this template. She also thanked the teachers, parents, community members, and principals for volunteering the time to serve on our School Councils.
  • Please be reminded to check calendars for parent-teacher conferences.
  • Tomorrow, October 28th is an early release day (due to parent-teacher conferences).
  • Finally, don't forget that the Fales, Leach, Rogers, and Kunde Scholarship applications are due Monday, October 31. The application can be found on the District Website or at the Superintendent's Office. Awards shall be distributed to undergraduates at four-year accredited colleges. To be eligible for these scholarships, the student must be a graduate of Walpole High School.

Middle School Building Project

Mr. Breen stated that construction documents (CD) are 90% complete and will be provided to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) in early November. The CD's will be sent to professional estimating organizations and the team will meet to review and reconcile cost differences. The School Building Committee will perform value engineering if necessary. As a reminder, a timeline and a 3-week construction look ahead schedule is on the school project webpage. The community is encouraged to visit the webpage and to reach out to the Middle School Project team with any questions or comments via email at

High School Renovation Information

Mr. Ahern provided an update with regard to the high school renovation project. He indicated a productive conversation was had with the Town Administrator about possible funding sources. Updates will continue to be provided to the public.