REPORT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT:
- Education First International: Scott Childress, a member of the Sandwich High School faculty, provided an overview of a proposed field trip to the Dominican Republic through Educational First, an organization offering cultural experiences for students. Courtney Mullins, from Education First, joined him. Scott wanted a field trip for the students that was more than a sightseeing trip. This would be a service working trip with non-profit organizations. It fits the idea of project based learning with STEM. The trip is planned for late June or July in 2015 when school is out. Courtney then gave a background on the company. She said the Dominican Republic is a country in need of help. This is a way for students to get their hands dirty and impact the country in need. A wide variety of programs is offered. The trip is 8 days and 30 hours of service is completed in each program. Various questions were posed by the School Committee, i.e. total cost, housing, health and safety, etc. Killion suggested that Scott Childress meet with the students to gather interest and input and then come back to the School Committee. Scott said he would like to meet with students in March. Courtney asked if the students could register for the trip pending the School Committee’s final approval. The School Committee said yes. Courtney said if the School Committee said no the students would all get a refund.
- Pool HVAC Successful Bid Award-BLW Engineers, Inc.: Several questions were asked and answered about the proposed award. A grammatical error will be corrected on the first page of the Scope of Services. Andrade moved to accept BLW Engineers’ bid and award the contract for the HVAC system for the pool to them, seconded by Mrs. Crossman. VOTE: Unanimous
- Discussion of FY15 Budget Funding: The Board of Selectmen will be meeting February 27th to address the Town Manager’s recommendation to meet the needs of the FY15 School Department’s budget to include Phase 1 and the opening of STEM in September 2014. To meet that plan, Dr. Canfield asked the School Committee to authorize the appropriation of $60,000 from the $100,000 School Choice reserve account. Kangas moved, seconded by Mrs. Crossman, to release up to $60,000 on a one-time basis pending approval of the Town Manager’s plan to fund the school department’s budget request by the Board of Selectmen. VOTE: Unanimous
- Phase 2 Update: Canfield is committed to keeping the School Committee updated on Phase 2. Information was shared on enrollments and floor plans for Forestdale and Oak Ridge. His intent was to show that the PK-6 projected enrollments can be accommodated in two school buildings beginning in September 2015. He said it is time to stop the Band-aid approach to the Wing School’s mechanical and infrastructure repairs. Dr. Canfield recommends that the School Committee vote at its March 12th meeting to cease use of the Wing building effective the 2015-2016 school year. Dr. Canfield made available handouts of his PowerPoint presentation entitled “Phase 2 Planning”. He outlined school configurations based on 2 K-6 buildings as well as one PK-2 and one 3-6 building, projected enrollments, school floor plans, next steps, 2 year view, savings and any added costs in year 1. He also provided a T-chart showing assets and challenges with the 2 PK-6 school’s configuration, as well as one PK-grade 2 building and one grades 3-6 building. In the end, he said you look at the challenges and ask is there a way to mitigate the challenges. Dr. Canfield will continue conversations with the administrators. The School Committee took a consensus vote to charge him with the responsibility of doing the work and coming back with a recommendation for the School Committee to vote on at its April 9th meeting. The March 12th agenda will include a vote to decommission the Wing School in 2015-2016. Mrs. Killion will research the correct wording for the vote.