The donation of a traverse climbing wall to be installed in the gym at Center School was discussed and approved at the Mattapoisett School Committee meeting on Monday evening.
The wall, which is approximately 3 feet high helps students build upper body strength and learning skills. The wall is designed for elementary students and does not have any ropes or harnesses, usually associated with large climbing walls.
Eugene Jones, Facilities Director, told the committee that the wall would cost around $4,800 to purchase, but would cost $1,860 to permanently install it.
“These traverse walls are great…kids move sideways and in loops…because we are getting it for free, I highly recommend that we accept the donation,” said Jones.
The committee voted to accept the donation and pay the installation cost.
Jeremy Collier, Interim Recreation Director, presented plans for the summer use of the school buildings, including a space camp and a summer camp. Camp would begin in late June and run for five or six, one-week programs. Camp would not be offered during the week of July 4.
Collier also discussed the upcoming refurbishment of the tennis courts next to Center School. The costs of the project will be discussed at the Community Preservation Committee in March. Other equipment needs include new basketball rims with backboards at a cost of $7,000 and the need for new soccer goals.
Charles Motta told the board that damaged flags, flown from the flagpole at Center School were taken to Old Colony Vocational Technical School for repair.
“These are good quality flags and we want to repair them,” said Motta.
Rose Bowman, Center School Principal, thanked the custodial staff of Jim Taylor, Joe Perrone and Shiloah Major for opening and manning the storm shelter round the clock at the school during the recent snowstorm. Bowman said that problems with the generators at ORR High School required opening the shelter at Center School.
“They served sandwiches, coffee and smiles,” said Bowman.
Bowman discussed the recent incoming kindergarten parent meeting held last week. 59 parents attended and Bowman estimates that 63 students will attend kindergarten in the fall.
The committee noted that all students and staff will have the school winter break from February 18 – 22. School will reopen on Monday, February 25. The committee thanked Susan Bellevue, School Adjustment Counselor for Mattapoisett schools for her twenty-seven years of service and wished her happiness in her retirement.
The committee discussed the issue of full day versus half day kindergarten, with Dr. Elise Frangos stating that the state is ‘encouraging full day kindergarten because of the head start in reading and basic number skills it provides for students entering first grade the next year.
Superintendent White discussed the 2014 state budget proposed by Governor Patrick. Although not yet approved by the State House and Senate, White presented the proposed amounts currently budgeted in the state budget for education.
The Chapter 70 Increase for the ORR Senior and Junior High School is a 2.17% increase over the fiscal year 2012, representing approximately $593,336. If approved, Marion would see a 48% increase of approximately $216,400. Mattapoisett, under the proposed state budget, would have an increase of 32% or $174,439. Rochester would have a .7% increase, equaling approximately $12,625.
White commented on the change in education and requirements through the years. White said that he had attended a recent educational seminar and recommended that the public take a look at a web site which recorded the changes in education that have taken place since the 1990’s. The site can be accessed at http://www.jamievollmer.com/poster.html.
By Joan Hartnett-Barry