by Stephanie Hall, School Committee Chair
Coincidence is defined as “a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without causal connection.” Google Dictionary
We had an interesting coincidence this week at our School Committee meeting! Our first public forum brought us news on a Senior Project petition from SHS seniors, Sam MacKenzie and Brandon Speers. These students explained their concerns about the new Senior Project and shared their opinion that this requirement for graduation was adding additional anxiety and stress to a student body who was already tasked with many other responsibilities. While School Committee members cannot engage in dialogue with speakers at public forum, it was noted afterwards that we appreciate the respectful efforts of our students and the SC will be hearing more about this topic when it is an agenda item during our next meeting.
The coincidence occurred when SC members welcomed faculty, staff and administrators for their planned presentation about Social and Emotional Learning at each grade level K-12 in our district! Some of the same topics were discussed as were mentioned by our SHS seniors; particularly dealing with anxiety and stress. Interestingly, our presenters described in detail many different ways each grade level is working to inform, engage and assist students with these very challenges. Social and emotional learning is not just the latest “catchphrase” in education; it is integral to a student’s academic success. SC members noted and appreciate the wide variety of efforts going on in our district to assist all our students but also acknowledge many challenges remain and we must continue to find innovative ways to support them.
So, it was a coincidence that both events occurred on the same night but interesting and informative as well.
*Cape Kids Meals – The SC was pleased to welcome Mike Miller (Board of Selectman) and Mary Carlson from the Bourne-Sandwich Rotary to learn about their efforts to provide additional food to our students who are on the free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs in our district. The number of students who need help is staggering – the Rotary currently provides food in discreet bags to over 120 students in Sandwich and Bourne districts and there are many more who could use help. For more information on you can donate or help, please visit www.capekidmeals.org
*Coming up in November: At our next meeting on November, as mentioned before, we will have the Senior Project on our agenda and we look forward to hearing from additional faculty and administrators to enrich our discussion. We also hope to see our parents and students as we work to address concerns about this program. In the meantime, please contact us – we would love to hear your thoughts on the subject!
Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 11/8/17, 7pm at Sandwich Town Hall – there will be two public forums available. You can watch the meeting on SCTV, Channel 14, view online anytime at www.sandwichcommunitytv.org and email the SC at firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to seeing you!