2009-11-25 / News

School attendance rates return to normal

By Eileen M. Daly

Superintendent Marcia Lukon told the school committee last Thursday night that the recent H1N1 school vaccination clinics were successful. Lukon also said that after a spike in absenteeism, attendance rates are returning to normal at both Melrose and Lawn Avenue schools.

“Student attendance has improved and has been pretty much normal this week,” she said.

Two hundred and five of the 241 kindergarten through grade 4 students at Melrose School were vaccinated on Nov. 3, Lukon said. More children were registered to receive the vaccine at Melrose, but were unable to receive it due to illness, she said.

According to Lukon, the vaccination clinic participation rate was even better at Lawn Avenue School, where 182 of the 202 students in grades 5 through 8 received the vaccine.

Lukon took special note of the individuals and organizations that helped to make the clinics successful.

“We had teams of vaccinators from the medical corps here to support our families, along with support from Jamestown police, and fire and rescue,” she said. “I would like to commend Gwenn Spence, who serves as Jamestown’s H1N1 coordinator, for working patiently with the department of health in planning, attending to the details of and overseeing both clinics.”

Lukon also extended appreciation to the individuals that assisted Spence, including Renie Sullivan, Carrie Melucci, Kathy Almanzor, Maggi Moretti, Deb Saul, and Lew Kitts and his staff.

“The medical corps were very complimentary about how the clinics were run and how they were treated here,” she said.

A second clinic will be held in January for Melrose students who are under 10 and who have received their first dose of the vaccine. They will be given the second dose at that time, Lukon said.

In other business:

• The committee elected offi cers and liaisons. The committee voted 5-0 to appoint Cathy Kaiser as chair, Julie Kallfelz as co-chair and B.J. Whitehouse as clerk. Julia Held will serve as the Jamestown representative on the North Kingstown School Committee, and Whitehouse and Held will continue to serve on the policy sub-committee. Whitehouse will also serve as liaison to the Melrose School Improvement Team and also as liaison to the Facilities Committee. Kallfelz will continue as liaison to the Lawn Avenue School Improvement Team and also to the Southern Rhode Island Collaborative. New school committee member Dana Long will serve as the liaison to the Special Education Local Advisory Committee, as well as the Health and Wellness Committee. Kaiser will continue as legislative liaison.

• During the Principals’ Report, Melrose School Principal Carrie Melucci recognized veteran teacher Diane Caswell’s death on Nov. 12.

“Diane Caswell’s memorial service was held today. She was my social studies teacher and she taught me everything I know about Egypt. She was just a very special person and I’d like to take a moment to remember her and thank her,” Melucci said.

• Melucci reported that the annual Empty Bowls Fundraiser held on Nov. 6 was a success. “We raised $4,300 and it was so beautiful,” she said. Proceeds from the fundraiser went to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, she said.

Melucci also reported that the kindergarten classes walked to McQuade’s market and bought items to contribute to the Thanksgiving baskets for Jamestown families in need.

The second grade will perform its Thanksgiving show on Wednesday, Nov. 25, at 9:30 a.m. for families and grades K-1, she said.

Finally, Melucci reported that both principals and two teachers participated in a classroom walkthrough for continuous improvement at the Dana Center. The exercise provided a coherent set of efficient, easy-to-use tools and processes to collect, analyze, refl ect and act to strengthen teaching and learning, Melucci said.

The next workshop meeting of the Jamestown School Committee will be held on Thursday, Dec. 3. The next business meeting will be Thursday, Dec. 17. All meetings are held at 7 p.m. in the Lawn Avenue School Library.

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