December 21, 2016 School Board Parents Highlights

T his was created from Parents who attended the meeting.

There was a very productive and informative School Board meeting this month. I’m embarrassed to admit that it was my first time attending a School Board meeting from start to finish, and worthwhile it was. Thank you to those parents who attended. Continuing with a parent rotation through signup genius is a great way to stay informed! I will update this soon so you can sign up for a meeting that suits your schedule. FYI…you can refer to the School Board’s FB page for a video of the meeting soon.

  • The SB was just informed that the SAU 50 Budget (overall district budget whose costs are split by each town) calls for a new position of Asst Business Manager to shadow/learn the role of long-standing Business Administrator, Jim Katkin, and begin his succession planning. SB noted that this is look-ahead thinking that is rarely seen in education. As a result, the recently SB-approved 2017-2018 budget will need to increase to reflect this additional position. The SB will hold a special meeting on Tuesday 1/3 @ 5pm to vote on this budget change prior to public hearings and deliberative session.
  • The SB noted that it had already intended to provide a follow-up for RJH Social Studies integration. It was agreed that this will take place in the form of a Special Issues Meeting in January (date TBD). Special Issues Meetings take place now and then, when there is an area of discussion that can not be fully addressed during a typical monthly meeting. For those who are interested, stay tuned for a date to be provided soon.
  • There are two school board positions whose terms are up in March. One board member has opted not to run again and one has decided to run for re-election. If you want to make a difference and think you have something to offer, this is a great way to make an impact in our community. You must be a registered voter and file at the town hall  between January 25 – February 3. On a personal note, I think it would be great to have more representation from RES parents as the Board is well-represented by RJH parents.
  • A recent report from PHS shows that in last year’s graduating class 6 Rye students placed in the top 10; It was also noted that Rye students score higher than their state and district counterparts on SATs.
  • RJH Principal report: good energy in building; 6th grade class invited parents into classrooms to share social studies research project (studied a country and planned a menu)—teachers excited about the parent participation and turnout; 7th graders did an 1860’s presidential debate or became an inventor from the Industrial Revolution who had to make their case to the “shark tank”; 1920’s 8th grade social studies unit was great; awesome laser cutter, as shown in “Most Likely to Succeed” movie last year, has been awarded by REF!
  • RES Principal report: REF funded several initiatives: outdoor classroom; book project w Uganda; puppet making residency for grade 4 to combine w state fair project
  • SB received request from town Selectman inquiring if some RJH building space can be used for town hall purposes; SB sought legal advice from an attorney, whose response will be made public shortly
  • Per one attendee, science tests are low and should be a note of concern
  • Approved 2017-2018 budget is now posted online. Click here. Happy reading! J
  • Policy needs to be created to clarify non-public parent participation in Rye school events
  • Grant highlights: REF grant funding was nearly $50k this cycle; PTA funded robots for 7th grade science teacher Sheila Adams, a maker space for 4th grade teacher Jacque Defreze, and a Scrim Screen (a high-tech backdrop for changing scenery) for the 8th grade 1920s project, which will be used for future purposes as well.
  • PTA report: Spring fundraiser will be a casino night
  • SB agreed to amend monthly agenda to be more efficient for the public: “New business” will take place after “Unfinished business” and “Financial reports” will follow “Standing Committees”
  • One attendee suggested SB look into enrollment data from another source (I did not catch the name of it) in addition to 5-year cohort analysis done by SAU Business Administrator

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