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School Committee roundup: Repairs continue after flood at middle school; protocols adopted

by | May 26, 2022 | Education, Featured: Education

At Thursday’s School Committee meeting, Superintendent Carol Cavanaugh shared details about a flood earlier this week in the basement at Hopkinton Middle School that resulted in 3-4 inches of water consistently and water up to 4 feet high in the elevator shaft.

The flood originated in a pipe that connects to an eye-washing station.

She said the Fire Department and ServiceMaster were called in for cleanup, and by Tuesday afternoon the area was “pretty well-drained.”

Cavanaugh added that although the basement is a lot drier, there are some classrooms that have to be gutted. She is waiting to hear from the insurance adjuster as to whether the students can “re-inhabit,” any of the six classrooms in the basement before the end of the school year. “The jury is still out,” the superintendent said.

Moment of silence held

A moment of silence was held early in the meeting in memory of the 19 students and two teachers lost in Tuesday’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Chair Nancy Cavanaugh said thoughts are with the community and families of the victims, adding, “It’s a tragedy for their school but also for all schools to have that kind of fear.”

Roof projects nearing completion

The superintendent gave an update on the roof projects at Hopkinton Middle School and Hopkins School. The flat roofing areas are complete on both buildings, she said.

The roofers still are working on metal flashing on all protrusions at the middle school but only the edges at Hopkins, Cavanaugh said. Both projects are expected to be completed before the end of the week.

Protocols and Best Practices adopted

The committee adopted its Protocols and Best Practices report.

Among its contents is the need for committee members to set aside time for self-evaluation, make an effort to promote a positive image, stress the importance of proactive communication, and refer questions and concerns they receive to the chair or superintendent.

There also is a section where members agree to respect individual differences during the course of debate. Vice chair Amanda Fargiano added an amendment that the committee acknowledge a “unified commitment to best serve students” despite disagreements on how it should be accomplished.

Grant, donations accepted

The committee accepted the following donations: $6,450 from the Galanek family for instruments and other supplies for the middle and high school music program; $600 from the Knaiger family for musical instruments for the high school band; and $750 from the Scott family for an alto saxophone for the high school.

The committee also approved a Hopkinton Education Foundation grant amounting to $52,775 for an Anatomage table (anatomy visualization system) for the high school Science Department.

Misc.: Chair, vice chair reelected

Now back to five with the addition of newly elected members Holly Morand and Jennifer Devlin, the committee unanimously re-elected Cavanaugh as chair and Fargiano as vice chair. …

The committee spent some time looking at a proposed calendar for the next year of meetings and will finalize the dates at a future meeting. …

Member Lya Batlle-Rafferty asked about scheduling of MCAS for students who were out sick with COVID-19. The superintendent reported that numbers are decreasing and that the students and their parents don’t have to worry if they couldn’t participate in the testing.

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