School Committee Notebook for March 5 Meeting
School District celebrates recent achievements.
Monday night’s School Committee meeting was one of the most attended in recent years, though that was because of the many accomplishments in the district. Here is a rundown of these accomplishments and other items covered in last night’s meeting. Tune in later today and tomorrow for more in depth stories.
- The search for the Norton School District superintendent has been narrowed down from 28 candidates to eight. They will be interviewed March 6, 12 and 21. It is hopeful that the final candidates will be brought before the School Committee in early April.
- The fiscal year 2013 books have been delivered to the Finance Committee and Selectboard. The proposal will be discussed by the Finance Committee Wednesday, March 7, 7:40 p.m. in the selectmen’s meeting room of Town Hall. The open budget meeting is scheduled for April 2 in the auditorium of Norton Middle School.
- Norton High School’s track team, coached by Kent Taylor, was recognized for persevering over not only literal hurdles, but figurative ones as well. The 4x50 shuttle hurdle team won their event and were elated when their state record-winning time was posted on the scoreboard. Twenty minutes later they found out the finish line was drawn 2 ½ feet short. They got a second chance in another meet however, and Norton won their section in a Division 4 record of 26.97, beating the old record of 27.80. More on this story and other track-related information will be posted at a later time.
- The high school’s wrestling team, coached by Pat Coleman, was also honored for their many accomplishments this season. The Lancers were 26-1 overall and Division 3 State Champions. Norton won the Tri-Valley League title for the fourth time in five years and were champions of the D-3 Central Sectionals for the first time ever. The varsity team wasn’t the only wrestling team with success. The Lancer JVs, coached by Chris McCarthy, went 15-0. For more about the team, click here.
- School Committee member Deniz Savas addressed lingering concerns about the high school renovation and expansion project, saying that the cost will not exceed $34 million. “It’s not legally possible,” he said. Chairwoman Beth McManus added that the school budget and building project budget are not shared, so one cannot take from the other.
- Students at Norton Middle School unveiled a new mural in the C Wing Monday night. For a video and story on this, check in later with Norton Patch.
- A policy for handling outstanding lunch charges has been implemented. Because about $1,000 needs to be collected, Norton Public Schools will be reaching out to parents first by phone, and then via a letter in the mail. Parents are reminded of reduced lunch options if they are experiencing financial problems. More on this story later.
- Another policy discussed was on the use of iPads and other electronic equipment borrowed from the school. In the future when these devices become available to students, they will be restricted on what sites they frequent and what they can download to it. Also, students and their parents will be financially responsible for lost or damaged equipment. Because there were questions on policy wordage and specific regulations, this will be tabled until the March 19 meeting.
- Jill Milton’s math class at Henri A. Yelle Elementary boosted the fun factor by relating curriculum to the Super Bowl. Students studied problems related to the Patriots and Giants game such as planning a trip to Indianapolis and creating game day recipes.
- Also at Yelle, student Breelyn Gilbert studied the number 13 and reported her findings to the School Committee. It is her favorite number because she was born Aug. 13. Did you know that 13 is a baker’s dozen?
- The 2012-2013 calendar was submitted to the Committee, noting that the start date for students in grades 1 through 12 will be Sept. 5, and Sept. 6 for kindergartners. High School graduation is scheduled for June 7, while the last day of school is set for June 26.
- An AP Physics course was added to Norton High curriculum, making the total amount of AP classes 12. Using a grant, a teacher will be trained for this class.
- The School Committee approved a field trip for 12 Yelle students to see “Seussical” at Veterans Memorial Auditorium (VMA) Arts & Cultural Center. After the show they will visit the Rhode Island State House.