|From the Cape Elizabeth School Board|
SCHOOL BOARD NEWS
October 29th, 2018
The School Board held a half-day retreat on September 25th with Dr. Wolfrom, Cathy Stankard, and future School Board member, Laura DeNino. The retreat helped create a roadmap for the 2018-2019 school year. As a result, the School Board unanimously voted to adopt the following goals during the October 9th Regular Business Meeting:
1. Develop a new strategic plan.
2. Define and implement a collaborative and proactive budget development process that includes all stakeholders such as Town Council and community members.
3. Participate with the Town Council in the formation of a committee composed of all stakeholders to fund and finalize the School Facilities Study plan. Implement the findings of the plan by making strategic investments which will modernize and repair aging school buildings and grounds, as well as maximize student learning and safety.
4. Cultivate and leverage community involvement.
During the same October 9th meeting, former Maine State Senator, Justin Alfond, presented to the School Board an initiative which aims to eliminate child hunger in Maine by joining forces with the Maine nonprofit organization, Full Plates Full Potential. Alfond explained that providing all children with nutritious breakfasts, lunches and summer meals can be possible by accessing a network of nonprofits, coordinated efforts with USDA food programs, and de-stigmatizing free and reduced meal plans. The School Board agreed to explore this further at the next board meeting with the district’s Director of Nutrition, Peter Esposito.
Also of note, Hope Straw, who is the School Board representative for Portland Arts & Technology High School (PATHS), reported that the number of CEHS students accessing the wider options of courses at PATHS has increased to 16 students. PATHS provides an excellent opportunity for our high school students to dig deeper into skills, courses, and curriculums that support their passions and future endeavors. For more information, please visit https://paths.portlandschools.
On October 23rd, the Superintendent, School Board, Town Council and Town Manager held a joint dinner and workshop facilitated by Craig Freshly, of Good Group Decisions. With an objective of exploring the roles and responsibilities of the “One Town Concept,” the two parties shared thoughts and suggestions on how to improve the school budgeting process. Among several points shared, there was a consensus by those present to explore the ways in which the Town Charter could support an amendment that would allow future budgets brought forth by the School Board to go, essentially, straight to the voters — as is the norm outside of Cape Elizabeth. The same group plans to hold a second workshop in the near future to discuss this and other ideas.
The School Board is in the process of composing a committee which will be charged with initiating a Needs Assessment through Colby Company and, ultimately, develop and fund a plan to improve school facilities. There will be four meetings prior to the beginning of the school budget process. All members of the public are welcome to attend and provide input at the beginning of each meeting. The first meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 7th at 6:30PM, location TBD.