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Superintendent’s Message November/December 2023

It’s hard to believe that we are nearing the holiday season and have completed the first quarter of the year.  Report cards will soon be issued, followed by parent conferences on December 5.  Please make an appointment with your children's’ teachers if you have not already done so.  It is in partnership that we do our best work in education.  We look forward to these conversations.

The cool mornings and sunny mid days are some consolation for our “solar winter” which is what meteorologists call this time during November/December.  While we still enjoy time outside whenever possible, many of our extracurricular activities move indoors.  Might I suggest Family Art Nights on November 15 and December 13 at Melrose School as well as the K/1 music concert on December 19.  Holiday music performances will be presented at Lawn School on December 12 and 13th.  Middle school basketball replaces soccer and cross country and Robotics is in full swing on Tuesday and Wednesday nights in the Lawn School Maker Space.  Wednesday and Thursday afternoons at Melrose School offer fun after school activities like “Sew Fun”, Cup Stacking and Kite Making.  Homework help is available at Lawn School and a late bus makes all of these activities more accessible for your children.  

Speaking of our Melrose Art program, I am happy to announce that teacher Erica Connolly will receive the 2024 Rhode Island Outstanding Art Educator of the Year Award in a special program at Rhode Island College on November 30.  Erica is already the Jamestown Teacher of the Year. Now her peers are recognizing and celebrating her excellence.  We are so proud of Ms. Connolly and fortunate to have her in our schools!  

As many of you know, I am here in Jamestown this year in an Interim capacity.  I originally served as your Superintendent of Schools  from 2002-2006. During that time, I was also the Principal of both Lawn and Melrose Schools!  When I left in 2006, we created 2 separate principalships and a part time position of Superintendent.  That model served the district well for 8 years.  When the School Committee asked me to serve in this transition period, they also asked me to consider whether a part time Superintendent model could be considered now. I believe that it can work once again, and that the change will be positive for the district on several fronts.  My proposal for a part time Superintendent is on our web site on the School Committee page. Please take a look at it.  The SC will be considering the recommendation at their November 29, 2023 meeting and are interested in your comments and perspective. 

May the upcoming holidays bring happiness and contentment to you and your families.  

Katherine Sipala
Interim Superintendent of Schools  

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