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Policy Subcommittee Meeting 7/8/2021

SCHOOL COMMITTEE: POLICY SUBCOMMITTEE MEETING
Present: School Committee District Administration
Terri Medeiros and Andrea Thorrold Lori Duerr and Sonia Tellier
Absent: Melissa Keefe
Date: Thursday, July 8, 2021
This meeting was conducted virtually via a Zoom Webinar.
• Discussion of JEB: Entrance Age
Superintendent Duerr opened the conversation by sharing legal counsel’s response to a review of the Falmouth version of policy
JEB: Entrance Age. Our current policy allows for flexibility to enter Kindergarten at age 6; however, it does not allow for
flexibility for students who are not yet 5 to enter Kindergarten. This provision is fairly consistent among other districts whose
policies were reviewed since our last meeting; these policies report a Kindergarten entry age cut off for turning 5 on or before
either August 31 or September 1.
As part of the review of policy and practice, Superintendent Duerr spoke with other region superintendents and with both current
and past Falmouth elementary principals who collectively recall less than five such inquiries, and none have arisen in the past
three years. There is one at present. Members want to provide flexibility necessary to do what is right for each child as they enter
into their education and create a process for allowing such flexibility when it is in the best interest of the child.
For this meeting, Superintendent Duerr prepared a draft for members that captured ways to clarify our current language and build
in the flexibility sought. As members continued to frame a process for earlier entrance, they discussed that there would be a
reliance on schools’ current Instructional Support Teams (ISTs), which would need to include a K teacher, a School Psychologist,
and the district’s Early Learning Coach in reviewing entrance requests to ensure readiness of the whole child, which includes
academic skills and mindset, emotional readiness, and social willingness.
As we continue forward, we also need a time to receive input from current Falmouth Kindergarten teachers. Members agreed to
show our Kindergarten teachers how the policy is being shaped and receive their feedback to refine the policy revision process. At
the conclusion of the meeting, members agreed to pause the revision process and wait to gather Kindergarten teachers’ feedback.
Superintendent Duerr will connect with School Committee Chair Kanellopoulos about a student placement in K prior to fifth
birthday. There is a specific concern to not setting precedent regarding not following a published policy.
• Other: Upcoming Information
üNext Meeting: July 12, 2021 • 5 – 6:30 pm
o Agenda
• Review and approve minutes for June 30, 2021 & July 8, 2021
• Continue review of substantive changes to Student/Family Handbooks
• Homework
• Discipline
• Other
Respectfully Submitted by,
Sonia L. Tellier
Assistant Superintendent