School Committee Meeting March 2nd, 2020

During the School Committee Meeting, all committee members attended and began fairly quickly to address the issues brought up since the last meeting. At the start of the meeting, the Ferryway School had picked one of their students to win the “RESPECTfully” Poster Contest recently and was in attendance. 

Almost the first thing that occurred during the meeting was the introduction of the “RESPECTfully” Youth Partnership Winning Poster Artist. The artist, Ly Nguyen, a fifth-grader, came with her family to receive an award for her poster, which was being showcased on the platform where the committee was seated. Nguyen’s poster was called “Love is Love” and is meant to show support for the LGBT community. The poster depicted a girl in front of what appeared to be a melting rainbow, the rainbow being a symbol of the LGBT community. After she was introduced by Margie Daniels, the Executive Director of “RESPECTfully”, Nguyen and her family took a picture with the poster.

Shortly after the “RESPECTfully” Poster and its artist was showcased, Ferryway School Principal, Abdel Sepulveda, addressed the committee about a week-long field trip to New Hampshire. The trip used to be a usual occurrence for Ferryway but was recently disbanded. Principal Sepulveda brought up 8th-grade science teacher Cheryl McDonough with him to give more in-depth information about the trip. McDonough talked about how important it would be for the students to get away and be with friends for five days. The trip is meant to be an enriching experience; something enjoyable but not entirely based on fun. Going away would be educational and the kids would truly gain something from it.

The Student Opportunity Act Plan is a program about what students are now able to do in terms of moving ahead in life. During the meeting, the plan was brought up in the form of a slideshow. After the presentation, the committee voted on whether to pass this or not. Due to a lack of information on some of the committee members’ parts, this was not passed and was followed up on March 10. The plan passed unanimously.

Director of the Physical Education Department, Charlie Conefrey, gave an update for the Bullying Prevention Plan to the committee for this meeting. During Conefrey’s time to address the committee, he spoke about what had already been done for the plan thus far. According to Conefrey and the Malden Public Schools’ website, “The Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan (“Plan”) is a comprehensive approach to addressing bullying and cyberbullying, and the school or district is committed to working with students, staff, families, law enforcement agencies, and the community to prevent issues of violence.” So far, the Bullying Prevention Plan was going well, according to Conefrey. Later during Confrey’s time to speak, Erin Craven, Head of Guidance at Malden High School, spoke about Malden High School’s involvement in the Sandy Hook Promise. The Sandy Hook Promise is an organization run by the families of the victims killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting. The program is meant to inform others about gun violence and school shootings to protect others’ lives.

For updates from the School Committee amid COVID-19, including agenda and minutes visit the Malden Public Schools website.

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