The March 2nd School Committee Meeting started with a video of Hyannis West Elementary students in Ms. Kathy Duran’s second grade class reciting their “I Have a Dream” speeches inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You can watch their speeches here. The Student Envoys to the School Committee told the Committee that students were able to remove their masks on February 28th and it was great to see everyone’s smiling faces. Superintendent Mayo-Brown echoed that sentiment saying as she was in various schools, it was great seeing smiling students and teachers. The School Committee had voted, unanimously, at a Special School Committee meeting on February 16th, to change their policy on Face Coverings that had required masks be worn. The Committee’s policy had followed the mask mandate per the Massachusetts Department of Education that took effect on August 24, 2021 and was lifted on February 28, 2022. Starting on February 28th, masks in Barnstable Public Schools and on school buses were optional. The various school cafeterias are in the process of reopening for lunch. Barnstable-West Barnstable opened their cafeteria on March 2nd and Barnstable High School, Barnstable Intermediate School, and Barnstable United Elementary School will be opening in March. Food Services Coordinator Dave Badot is working with the elementary schools on opening their cafeterias. Dr. Mayo-Brown spoke about the Barnstable Intermediate School principal search being underway with Human Resources Director Bill Cole facilitating the search.
Assistant Superintendent Kristen Harmon gave a report to the Committee on the STAR Reading and Math Assessment results. Barnstable Public Schools was awarded a $200,000 New Literacy Curriculum Resources Grant for grades K-5. The district will use this money for new literacy curriculum resources that will be vetted by a Selection Committee and Review Team.
The School Committee revised their Face Coverings Policy to reflect the federal order being lifted that required face masking on school buses. Deputy Finance Director Gareth Markwell gave reports and presentations on how the ESSER Grant funds have been utilized by the district, quarterly budget update, and the FY’23 budget presentation. On March 16th, there will be a public hearing on the FY’23 School Budget at 7:00pm in the Town Hall Hearing Room. At the April 6th School Committee Meeting, the FY’23 School Budget will be approved by the School Committee and submitted to the Town Manager and eventually the Town Council for their approval.