CURRICULUM AND EDUCATION COMMITTEE MEETING
August 12, 2020
Committee Members Present: Chair: Pia Holmes; Staci Fortunato, Jan Michaud
Board Members Present: Jennifer Dumond, Edward Hastings, Kevin Lamoreau, Amanda Olson
Administrators Present: James Anastasio, Katy Grondin, Kathy Casparius, Troy Alexander, Teresa Beaudoin, Nick Gannon, Heather Gauthier, Christie Jernigan, Sarah Landry, Monique Roy, Kim Silsby, Susan Walters
1. Student Data Reports
Katy Grondin, Assistant Superintendent, explained the protocols in place once a bullying complaint is made. Once Administrators get a bullying complaint, there is an investigation to determine if it is indeed bullying and not just mean behavior because people use the word bullying for a lot of things. Mr. Anastasio said the law is very specific about the process that has to be followed to determine whether it is actually bullying. This is something administrators take very seriously and they do a lot of work with students around how to treat others respectfully, how to self-regulate and conflict resolution. Along with restorative practices, there are wonderful resources in schools that include guidance counselors, deans of students and administrators to make sure kids are feeling safe in their learning environment.
A student is considered truant if they have completed 6th grade but not yet 17 and has 10 or more cumulative unexcused absences; if they have completed 6th grade and are not yet 17 and have seven or more consecutive unexcused absences; if they are age 6 or above who haven’t’ completed the 6th grade and have seven or more cumulative unexcused absences; if they are age 6 or above who haven’t completed 6th grade and have five or more consecutive unexcused absences; if they are at least five years of age and not yet six years of age and have not completed grade six and have been enrolled in public school and have not been withdrawn and have seven cumulative unexcused absences; and if they are at least five years of age and not yet six years of age and have not completed grade 6, have been enrolled in public schools and have not been withdrawn and have five consecutive unexcused absences. She said the data shows improvement. Once a student is identified as truant the schools work with their teams, deans, social workers, guidance counselors and classroom teachers to come up with plans to help families and students attend school. The goal is to have less than 10% of the population chronically truant. Mr. Anastasio said the DOE and superintendents are concerned about attendance because funding is based on attendance and student count. He said everyone is expecting student counts to be down this year and truancy and other indicators may be up. Superintendents are asking the DOE commissioner not to use the October 1st 2020 student count and there is some discussion about using the 2019 or 2020 year.
C. Student Behavior
Some of the incidents reported around student behavior are illicit drugs and alcohol; weapons possessions; violent incidents with physical injury and violent incidents without injury. Ms. Silsby said there has been an increase in vaping incidents. She said the student behavior rubric can be found on our website under the student handbook. She said typically we have a small percentage of students who have multiple infractions. She said we have a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club with the Alternative to Suspension Program that provides a lot of support for students and said that program is invaluable.
Sarah Landry said elementary principals also work hard with student behavior around the PBIS system and positive behavior supports. The goal is to try to keep students in school as much as possible and reported that in the last couple of years incidents have been less.
Ms Grondin said attendance is part of Title I and ESSA. She said the elementary and high schools have discussed what they are going to consider for attendance for the upcoming year and Kathy Casparius will work with Web2School on how they are going to capture our expectations of students in regards to attendance. Mr. Anastasio said we will have to report our attendance to the DOE quarterly. Every school district is working on determining what the attendance policy will be.
Pia Holmes would like Administration to share more information on how PBIS works and the process used to support students. Katy Grondin suggested doing presentations on Seesaw, Google Classroom, NWEA and how those programs are being utilized as teaching tools.
The meeting adjourned at 6:14 p.m.