Principal Michael Hobin made a presentation to the Council regarding the certification of the school by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) at Monday night's meeting.
The presentation discussed how although a recent visit to the school was concluded with a continued 10-year NEASC accreditation, the school was also given a "warning" status by the Commission on Public Secondary Schools which will not be removed until the school can demonstrate that it has satisfactorily completed certain recommendations.
The recommendations, considered part of the Commission's Standards on Curriculum and Community Resources for Learning, will be monitored by subsequent progress reports submitted by school officials.
Several of the Commission's concerns include:
- Development and implementation of a plan for the regular replacement of equipment. (athletic, technological, etc.)
- Development of both short-term and long-term plans, including a timeline, to address all identified facilities concerns.
- An adequate and dependable source of revenue to provide and maintain appropriate school programs, personnel, services, facilities, equipment, technological support, materials and supplies for student learning.
- The negative impact of space restraints on the delivery of the curriculum.
- The extreme fluctuations in temperatures throughout the entire facility due to an aging HVAC system.
Despite the 33 recommendations from the Commission, the school was given 41 commendations, including:
- The shared vision, direction and focus of the school community on student learning.
- The implementation of an advisory program which connects every student with at least one adult in the building and can serve as a basis to personalize learning for every student.
- The regular celebration and display of student success.
- A climate which is safe, positive and supportive, resulting in a sense of pride and ownership by stakeholders.
- The extensive opportunities for family and community involvement in students' educational programs.
The complete letter from NEASC can be viewed here.
Principal Hobin made it very clear that he and the staff at the high school are open for any and all suggestions regarding ways to complete the requirements given to them by the NEASC.
"Several of these issues can be fixed by November, but it will be a long process," said Hobin. "My concern is that the bigger ticket items are not going to be a quick fix."
Traffic Calming Committee
District 5 Representative Ted Jendzejec suggested a committee that would advise the Town Council on developing traffic calming initiatives for neighborhood streets and roads. According to Jendzejec's proposal, the intent of the Traffic Calming Committee will be to utilize measures to reduce speed, enhance pedestrian safety and reduce traffic diversion in residential neighborhoods.
The Committee will consist of seven members as follows:
- One Town Council member
- Two citizens
- Chief of Police
- Public Works Superintendent
- Planning Director
- Town Engineer
Upon formal neighborhood request for traffic calming, the matter will be forwarded to the Committee and researched within 60 days by the Police Department to determine a course of action. If the Police Chief feels the issue can be resolved, a course of action will be implemented for 120 days then reported back to Committee.
Priority shall be given to streets that provide direct access to schools or other community facilities. Normally the street should not be a through-truck route unless an acceptable alternate route is identified.
"It's really time to be proactive in slowing traffic down in our neighborhoods," said Jendzejec.
Coventry Patch will continue to report on this proposal as it progresses.
Department of Agriculture Grant
The Council approved an agreement with theU.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service for a grant of $89,025 to be matched by the Town of Coventry's $11,005 for erosion mediation associated with the 2010 flood event on the Pawtuxet River in the Sandy Bottom Road area.
The work, which may include earthfill and/or rip-rap rock will hopefully mitigate the risk of future flooding caused by erosion in the path of the water and weakened wall supports of the bridge.
State reimbursement for this type of work is generally about 75 percent, however Town Manager Thomas Hoover was able to work with the state and allow the town to be awarded 90 percent reimbursement.
T-Mobile Antenna Lease
The Council approved a lease with T-Mobile Northeast for the placement of antenna facilities on an existing Town-owned tower at . MIS Director Edward Warzycha explained to the Council that the five-year lease with a possible 30-year total lease time will yield $27,000 to the school department this year alone and upwards of $1 million over the life of the lease.
Police Vehicle Maintenance Contract
A contract for vehicle maintenance at the was awarded by the Council to ., owned by Gordon Taylor. Chief of Police Bryan Volpe explained that of the three requests for proposals that the Department received, Two Guys has to most to offer including fleet experience.
"Gordy Taylor has our confidence," said Volpe. "He is known as a trustworthy man with the highest integrity."
Private Detective License
The Council approved David Thatcher's application for a Private Detective license at Monday night's meeting.
The Council's next meeting will be held on March 28 at 7 p.m.