Head of school Joan Reilly pitched the merits of the Playworks program at the April 7 board meeting of The Citizens’ Committee for Education, which runs Homer A. Plessy Community School.
A folder of information Reilly distributed described Playworks as “a national nonprofit organization that transforms schools by providing play and physical activity at recess and throughout the school day.”
Playworks also includes a conflict-resolution component that has the effect of “improving school climate both on and off the playground,” according to the literature. In addition, it offers professional development for teachers with an emphasis on managing large groups.
Reilly said she wants to offer up to four Playworks classes a day, in addition to recess. The annual cost for a Playworks coach is $17,500. Reilly said she was scheduled to interview a prospective coach candidate the day after the board meeting.
In other business, the board was advised that Literacy Night and Open House will be held together on April 24.
A report from the fundraising committee hailed the recent auction of student art as “successful and most entertaining,” board president Ben McLeish said.
The auction yielded a net of slightly more than $4,000. Two pieces of student art were purchased for especially generous prices — $75 for a kindergartener’s artwork, $100 for a second-grader’s.
The board approved adding member Patricia Adams to the governance committee, whereupon Adams encouraged a discussion of whether to invite attorney Alicia Bendana onto the board.
Bendana’s experience as a member of several boards and her expertise in bankruptcy law and commercial litigation would fill “gaps” in the board’s spectrum of skills, Adams said.
Board treasurer Nigel Fields wondered if Bendana’s many other commitments would leave her with time for Plessy. He backed inviting her to the school as a way to get acquainted with its arts-inspired style of learning.
Jackson Knowles, vice president of the board, suggested waiting until next month’s board meeting to make a decision, but in the end the consensus was to invite Bendana to join the board.
The board approved a revamped policy for public comment. Those wishing to comment at board meetings will be asked to fill out a “speaker’s card” and submit it to the vice-president or secretary prior to the board meeting’s start. Violators of the policy may be denied access to future meetings.
Led by the personnel committee, a discussion of school evaluation surveys sparked a brief debate over whether to buy a packaged program or some other lower-cost approach to evaluations.
Gilda Armstrong-Butler informed the board that the school has arranged support services for students with behavioral problems.
For next month’s meeting, on May 5 at the school, the board decided to reevaluate the current standing committees.
The one-hour April meeting began at 6 p.m. Those present included Adams, Armstrong-Butler, Fields, Melissa Fox, Knowles, McLeish, Brooke Muntean and Reilly.