The August School Committee began with welcoming new Superintendent Dr. Sara Ahern to Barnstable and her first official School Committee Meeting. For the Highlight in Education, the School Committee welcomed the three new principals in the district who each spoke about the experience and their plans for the future as each of their schools:
- Jason Conetta – Barnstable Intermediate School
- Wendy Hesse – West Villages Elementary School
- Kim White – Centerville Elementary School
During her Superintendent Report, Dr. Ahern outlined her entry plan with her focus on building relationships and bring a presence in schools. She will be posting her entry plan on the district website next week. She met with central office staff this spring and has been meeting principals in their building this July. She will be meeting with the entire Barnstable District Leader Team at the three-day Summer Leadership Institute at the high school in August. She and Assistant Superintendent Kristen Harmon spoke about the three-day Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents Summer Institute they attended earlier in July.
Ms. Harmon stated Barnstable received an $84,000 Summer Acceleration Academy Grant this year. The district received the grant last summer and the programs were a great success, so she is hoping for another great summer of programming. Ms. Harmon spoke about the Cobb Astro Park at the high school and the Astro Park Committee working on the maintenance of the space, use of the space, and community outreach and marketing. The district did receive a $60,000 grant from the state for the Cobb Astro Park and part of the money was used to replace vases, purchase power washers, replace statues, and remove a tree from the space. The Cobb Astro Park is a jewel in the district and makes Barnstable High School special.
The School Committee discussed bringing a JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) program to Barnstable High School (BHS). Navy Officer Alex Barros, a BHS graduate, spoke to the Committee at a previous meeting about the program. The Committee would like the BHS Principal to gage interest from the students and their families to see if this is a program the community is interested in pursuing.
We hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful Cape Cod weather, relaxing, and being rejuvenated for the new school year that is just around the corner!