School Committee Meeting Summary

January 13, 2022

Walpole High School Student Report

Joy M., Walpole High School student representative to the School Committee, was present at the School Committee Meeting. Joy gave a report as follows:


  • The end of term two and the end of semester 1 is approaching, and students are working diligently. The final day of the semester is January 21.
  • For students who would like to participate in the TEC internship, registration begins January 19 with the first virtual meeting scheduled for January 26.
  • Music lesson registration is open for the WPS Music Department until February 4. The second session of lessons will run from February 7 - June 17.
  • The first winter edition of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Newsletter is now available for viewing here.
  • Boys basketball played Milton on January 11 for their 6th consecutive win with a score of 50-29.
  • Girls basketball ended their game on January 11 with a win against Milton 52-18.
  • The boy’s hockey team had a game scheduled on Wednesday vs Milton and took home a 4-1 victory.
  • Track and gymnastics also have games scheduled in the near future. Track plays Thursday against Wellesley. The Gymnastics Team plays Wellesley on Friday. We wish them all of the best of luck as they continue to play throughout the season.
  • The WHS Humane Society Club just released Walpole High School pets calendar which includes all the pets of the Walpole High School community. All proceeds from the sale of this calendar will be donated to animals in need. For more information please email Allison Wilson at awilson@walpole.k12.ma.us

New Business

Science Update - Mrs. Meme O'Malley, Science Department Chair, provided the School Committee with a science curriculum update. This presentation can be viewed here at time marker 32.25.

COVID Update

Dr. Gough and Nurse Kathi Garvin provided a COVID update. The most recent COVID-19 data for Walpole shows a 23.78% positivity rate. The positivity rate reported at the December School Committee Meeting was 5.09%. There were 218 positive cases last week and as of this morning 175 positive cases reported this week. December positive case total was 243. Cases are updated every weekend and can be found on the WPS COVID Data Dashboard, which also includes the Massachusetts Weekly Public Health Report. The following is the current student vaccination rates for the high school and middle schools:


Walpole High School – 82.5%

Bird Middle School – 61%

Johnson Middle School – 64.4%


On January 10th, DESE Commissioner Riley announced that the mask mandate requirements will be extended until Monday, February 28. The Department will continue to work with medical experts and state health officials to evaluate the mask requirements. At this time, there is no change to the WPS mask policy. In conjunction with the Walpole Health Department, we will continue to review our local data. Additionally, per order of Walpole’s Town Administrator, masks are required in all town buildings until further notice.


The Walpole Health Department will open additional vaccination clinics for Walpole Public School students ages 12+. These clinics will be offered to High School and Middle School students who need their 1st or 2nd dose of the primary series or to those who are eligible for their booster vaccine (at least 5 months after the 2nd shot in the primary series).


Please note that the Walpole Health Department is working on another vaccination clinic for ages 5-11 in February. We will send out that information as soon as it becomes available.


Pre-registration is required which includes the consent for your student to receive the vaccine. The registration links for each corresponding clinic is below:


Walpole High School: Tuesday, January 25, 2022

8:30am – 10:00am: Pre-registration Link


Bird Middle School: Tuesday January 25, 2022

10:30am – 12:00pm: Pre-registration Link


Johnson Middle School: Tuesday January 25, 2022

12:30pm – 2:00pm: Pre-registration Link

2022-2023 Draft Calendars

The School Committee voted to approve the 2022-2023 school year calendar. Teachers will return to school on Monday, August 29; students in grades 1 through 12 will return to school on Wednesday, August 31, 2022; PreK and Kindergarten students will return to school on Tuesday, September 6, 2022. The last day of school for Grades K- 11, without snow/emergency days will be Wednesday, June 14, 2023. This approval is subject to a start date approval of the Walpole Teacher Association.


The School Committee also approved a proposed draft calendar for the 2022-2023 School Committee Meetings.

SUPERINTENDENT'S REPORT

Work is continuing on the budget for the next fiscal year. A Budget Workshop was held this past Tuesday, January 11th. The School Committee will vote on the tentative FY '23 Budget at their January 27th Meeting.


There is no school for students tomorrow, January 14th. Staff will participate in Professional Development EdCamps. EdCamps are designed to provide professional development training for our educators with a focus on collaboration, expertise and instructional design. Some of the scheduled EdCamp sessions include data tracking, diversifying assessments, attending subject/discipline area workshops, and creating digital choice boards to foster agency engagement.


Kindergarten registration for the 2022-2023 school year is underway. Registration instructions and materials have been mailed to all incoming Kindergarten families. Families should pre-register on line and bring all required materials to their neighborhood school through January 28. If parents are unable to drop off materials during the day because of work and other commitments, the Superintendent's office is open on Mondays and Wednesdays until 5:30 p.m. and Tuesday evenings until 8:00 p.m. To find out more about registration, click here.


Dr. Gough thanked the School Committee, their family members, the Walpole Police Department and personnel from the Central Office for their tremendous help on New Year's Day distributing Covid testing kits and masks to all teachers/staff.

Middle School Building Project

The School Building Committee will meet next Tuesday, January 18th via Zoom for an update on the MSBA Scope and Budget Agreement and Project Funding Agreement. The timeline for construction will also be reviewed at this meeting.


This community will continue to be informed and the project website will be updated often. Any questions or comments can be sent via email to the Middle School Project at middleschoolproject@walpole.k12.ma.us.

SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

Mrs. Denitzio reported that Walpole's Master Plan Steering Committee has adopted a design by Walpole High School junior Cara Morris as the official logo for the new Master Plan.


Several students at Walpole High school submitted designs for the new logo. The students' designs were submitted to the Master Plan Steering Committee anonymously, and members of the Committee then voted on their favorites. Cara's design will be permanently linked to the Walpole Master Plan. The Committee is very excited to have Cara's design become part of Walpole's history.


Mrs. Denitzio commented that other students submitted wonderful designs as well. Student Chloe Bindon's design came in second place and tied for third place were designs by Colleen Finn and Ariana Korentis.