2013-06-27 / Front Page

Board to decide official names of schools

Committee members not sure what to put on signs
By Nick Pereira

The School Committee at its June 20 meeting considered the implications of placing a large white sign on a wall at Lawn Avenue School.

“We don’t have signs of any kind,” said Lew Kitts, director of buildings and maintenance.

The sign would be painted in white onto the green wall at the front entrance of the middle school. The actual graphic would be a familiar one to students.

“We’ve been using it for four years,” said Kitts. The logo is of a howling wolf with a bridge in the background that is currently being used as the school mascot.

The main issue is what should be written on the sign. Before the construction of the school on Melrose Avenue, the building on Lawn Avenue was known as Jamestown School. Since the construction of the elementary school, residents and school staff have used the street names to distinguish between the buildings.

Committee members aren’t sure whether the sign should feature “Jamestown Middle School,” “Lawn Avenue School” or “Jamestown Middle School at Lawn.”

Currently, neither building has an official designation.

“Is it Lawn or middle?” asked Kitts. “What is it?”

However, committee members said Lawn Avenue School may not be eligible to be referred to as a middle school because the designation requires certain classes that Jamestown doesn’t offer, like shop.

“That is one stumbling block,” said Chairwoman Cathy Kaiser.

“I remember this from 17 years ago,” said Committeewoman Sarah Baines.

Not everyone was enthusiastic about declaring the schools with official names. “I think this is a real can of worms,” said Committeeman B.J. Whitehouse.

There was some question if the Jamestown schools even needed a sign, but Kitts disagreed.

“School spirit is big,” he said. “The wolf mascot costume? Someone gets in that doggone thing.”

Lawn Avenue School Principal Deb Dibiase said she would check with the state Department of Education to see what the criteria is for labeling a school “middle.”

The School Committee continued the matter for its July 18 business meeting. Action is slated to be taken before September.

The school board also held the first reading of a new substance abuse policy. The policy can be found on the School Department’s website. Final action will be taken at the committee’s next meeting.

“It emphasizes prevention and wellness,” said Superintendent Marcia Lukon.

In other news, the School Committee approved applications for 18 new hires. The appointments included Erin Grigsby as social worker and teachers Rebecca Bringhurst, Anke Steinweh, Jennelle Goodburn and Brittany DeRita.

Also, stipend positions included Eric Bush as basketball and baseball coach, Nick Alfred as technology and cross-country coach, and Karyn Kauffman as the director of the jazz band.

Patricia Carlson, Nikole Brinkerhoff, Michele Kennett- Fick, Jessica Demty, Anna Rosa, Darlene Daft, Valerie Perotti, Avery Beaty, Manuel Neronha, Stephanie Conrad and Lorrie Massa were hired to work during the extended school year.

The school board also accepted the resignation of Kayla Hervieux, a part-time behavioral specialist.

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