The Dennett School Committee had their monthly meeting Mon., April 23 to provide updates on the school over the past month. The first item on the agenda was a School Choice Public Hearing. School Choice allows slots within the Dennett Elementary for students out of district.
The committee discussed opening slots for new potential School Choice students for the upcoming school year, and voted against it. Currently, there are eight School Choice students, and no siblings of those are enrolling in Kindergarten for the upcoming year.
Next, Emily Peters of CASA, met with the committee to discuss plans for the new sign at the end of the driveway at the school. CASA located the artist of the original sign, and he declared it was unrepairable.
They found an artist willing to do a very similar design of a small school house, and raised letters. A company has also donated 8×8 granite posts for the sign, the original having 6×6 posts. The sign will be moved slightly forward and lit so it is more visible to those passing.
Updates on the water treatment project were presented by the committee, stating that a new water tank was installed over break, which consists of pipping up to the building itself. The project is expected to be completed by early summer this year.
The committee is still seeking guidance as they update the current playground at Dennett. They are in need of a consultant or project manager with experience working on playground safety and accessibility to help guide the project. A proposal must be completed and ready for approval by Fall 2018, which sparked Joy Blackwood, Superintendent, to offer contacting anyone she may know who can help.
The project would be aided by the School Choice fund. Updates on the project will be discussed at the next school committee meeting, May 21.
Christine Healy then provided the current Financial Report, briefly stating there was a deficit in custodial supplies due to custodians taking on more responsibilities and needing more supplies.
There was also a deficit in contracted services due to the new generator; this is expected to drastically drop next year. There was a surplus in Special Education, and Vocational Technical accounts of about $105,000.
Jill Proulx discussed the Curriculum Instruction Assessment updates, such as a new training available in the fall on suicide prevention and social emotional learning. It will be taught by an ELA teacher in the school who is an approved instructor of the course.
Next, she discussed the new policy to make available EpiPen at the school for all students. If the student goes on a fieldtrip, however, they will need to bring one from home.
In other news:
• There are currently 204 students enrolled at Dennett, with 25 to 30 potential Kindergarteners entering the school.
• The committee approved allowing several students each month to present their work at the school committee meetings to remind members why they volunteer their time for the children, and also to allow students to gain exposure for their work.
• CASA is planning to hold a Fun Run at the Dennett this upcoming summer, which will be further discussed in next month’s meeting once details are worked out.
• The next Dennett school committee meeting is Monday, May 21.