Thursday, December 13, 2001

Cape affirms school superintendent

Published in the Current

The Cape Elizabeth School board re-appointed Superintendent Tom Forcella to his position for another year at the board’s regular meeting Tuesday. It was a formality required by state law, but the board took the opportunity to praise him.

“We are a really nice group and we really like Tom,” said board chair George Entwistle.

The board also congratulated middle school physical education staff and students on their achievement of the President’s Physical Education Award for the fourth consecutive year.

The board approved the revisions to the health insurance plan for teachers, which were renegotiated as required in the contract. Entwistle said the update is part of the district’s effort to attract and retain top-notch teachers.

The board also approved the changes to the educational records policies, as required by state and federal laws. Board members also approved the first reading of time out and therapeutic restraint policies, which are new to the district but are required by state law.

In other business, the board:
– Heard a report from Superintendent Tom Forcella that the Cape Elizabeth Education Foundation is continuing its strategic planning process and may kick off a capital campaign in fall 2002. Forcella also reported that there will be a districtwide staff survey in January to establish a baseline against which progress of the district’s Future Direction Plan can be measured.
– Heard a report from high school student representatives, including news that the mock trial team is doing very well and will face the Waynflete team this week in Portland. The debate and speech meet went well over the weekend, too. Sports are in full swing, and track and skiing will have their first competitions this weekend.
– Heard a report from the middle school student representatives, including information that there are programs throughout the school promoting kindness and respect between students. The middle school students also reported on their continuing videoconference communication with the Bronx Zoo. “We are the first school in the state to communicate in this way with an out-of-state organization,” said student Lily Hoffman.
– Heard a report from middle school principal Nancy Hutton that Gov. Angus King visited the school and participated in a video conference with the Bronx Zoo.
– Heard a report from high school principal Jeff Shedd on progress reports, which he described as “a work in progress.” For the first quarter, all students received progress reports from all of their teachers. For the rest of the year, students in danger of failing will have notices mailed home to parents, while other teachers may give progress reports to students, at their discretion. Shedd also said he has not received any formal notice from music director Norm Richardson of his departure.

The board invited residents to a public forum on ethical and responsible behavior, to be held Monday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria shared by the middle and elementary schools.