CHICOPEE — The School Committee was scheduled to discuss pedestrian safety and safe walking routes as well as learn an update on the Bowie School playground and about whether or not the Department of Parks and Recreation should supervise the school playgrounds, but both topics were shifted to the next meeting of the committee.

School Committee member Sandra Peret placed both topic on the agenda, but as of Jan. 17 had not yet taken the oath of office this year and could not attend the meeting. Peret asked if both issues could be discussed at the next meeting and the committee voted unanimously in favor of the delay.

Vice Chair Donald Lamothe did take time to remind city residents to keep their sidewalks clean to improve the safety of students who walk to school.

Director of Maintenance Scott Chapdelaine was asked by the committee if the recent snowstorms had an impact on the school buildings. He said there were seven buildings that did develop leaks in the roof due to the storm. He explained the flat roofs are not actually completely flat, which guides rainwater to drains. When the drains are plugged by snow and ice, water finds existing small holes and leaks develop.

There was minimal damage at Chicopee Comprehensive High School in the gym where there was water damage on the floor under the bleachers.

Chapdelaine added the city has not yet received a bill from the contractors so the financial damage has not to be determined.

The School Committee approved the creation of a new position for Early Childhood Coordinator. School Superintendent Dr. Marcus Ware explained the city’s early childhood program is “busting at the seams” with additional students. The position will be funded by Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds, known as ESSER funds, for the first year but then would be part of the budget. Ware added that he has kept a current position vacant in the budget to prepare for the next budget year to pay for the position.

The committee also determined which members would serve as chair of the various subcommittees.

Jason Dout will chair the Human Resources Subcommittee; Grace Schofield will chair the Superintendent Evaluation Subcommittee; David Barsalou will chair the Curriculum Subcommittee; Douglas Girouard will chair the Finance and Budget Subcommittee; the Negotiations Subcommittee is chaired by Grace Schofield; the Facilities Subcommittee will be chaired by Ronald Bernard.

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