By Max Bowen
Richard Smith Grants
At the meeting on Monday, March 2, the School Committee reviewed a number of Richard A. Smith Grant recipients. These include $1,000 for a program to turn unused outdoor garden spaces into a hands-on learning project. This will begin with the Community School as a pilot and later to the rest of the schools. Other grant recipients include a coding program at the Amvet Boulevard School and a news production class at the Martin School.
Student representative report
As part of the meeting, North Attleborough High students Maria Fitian, Shruti Srinivasan, Brady Rosenberg, and Sam Osa Agbontaen gave a report of developments at the school. Agbontaen said 30 students attended a meeting to learn about becoming tutors with the High School Helpers Program.
Fitian said a Stress Management Week had been held prior to February Break. More than 200 students participated, meeting with therapy dogs and learning about yoga and meditation. She added that more students have taken part in the Student Voice Summit.
“We’ve got a lot of student leaders coming up in the school,” she said.
Student Opportunity Act
The committee reviewed the Student Opportunity Act, which entails a $1.5 billion investment in Massachusetts public education. The act also supports districts that serve a high percentage of low-income students.
Another element to the act is analyzing the Chapter 70 formula to ensure an equitable distribution of State Aid. Superintendent Scott Holcomb said this has been an issue for years where some districts receive a high amount of aid and others get little.
Community School Roof
In February, it was decided that the replacement of the Community School roof would be delayed to next summer. This was due to the fact that at this time, roofing companies have already scheduled their jobs. It would be possible to replace the roof this summer, but the cost—already estimated at $1 million—would be 10-15 percent higher.
One the project begins, it will take weeks to find a contractor, followed by core samples of the roof to see the full extent of the damage. Director of Facilities Kurt Kummer said $6,100 worth of work has been done on the roof over the last year, $4,800 of which in the last two months.
“I believe we can keep the roof sealed up tight,” said Holcomb. “We don’t want to intentionally kick the project down the road.”