East Providence School Committee approves scores of posts

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EAST PROVIDENCE — At a specially-called meeting Monday night, Aug. 27, in the City Hall Chamber, the East Providence School Committee seconded the Budget Commission’s previous approval of several positions within the system for the 2012-13 term.

Among the most notable of the new hires is that of Frank DeVall Jr. as the Martin Middle School principal. Mr. DeVall is serving out the second of his two terms as a State Senator for the city from District 14 and was twice-before a member of the MMS staff, a long stretch as teacher and one short stint as principal. Mr. DeVall, whose position was reported by The Post last week and who later gave an in-depth interview to the paper, returns to the city after spending four years away. His most recent job was as an assistant principal at Cranston High School West.

Of note as well from Mr. DeVall, he and his counterpart at Riverside Middle, Steve Prew, have begun preliminary discussions on the topic of creating some sort of intramural sports program to replace that what was cut by the Commission. The intramural program would likely be conducted by volunteers from the community and would not be funded by the school system.

The Committee corrected one of its approval notices from its meeting earlier last week. Kelley Richardson has been chosen as the new English Department director at Martin Middle School, not at East Providence High School as it was written and approved in the Committee’s Aug. 20 agenda.

In response to a proposal offered by City Manager and Budget Commission member Peter Graczykowski at that body’s Aug. 23 meeting, the School Committee voted to form a sub-committee to address the possible consolidation of legal services between the city and the system.

Mr. Graczykowski, with at least the support of former chairman and current Commission member Michael O’Keefe, proposed the grouping of the counsel under one single firm instead of having two law offices serve the city and school department.

School Committee member Steve Furtado chairs the sub-committee. School Committee member Ryan Tellier and Interim School Superintendent Dr. John DeGoes comprise the rest of the sub-committee that will look into the matter.

Also Monday, the School Committee heard the concerns from some parents of Special Education students in regards to proposed changes in the program as of the ’12-13 term. Dr. DeGoes was scheduled to host a follow-up meeting of administrators and teachers involved in Special Education on Tuesday, Aug. 28.

In a matter unrelated to the Committee’s Monday night meeting, The Post has learned the School Department was notified by the state of an impending air quality test to take place at East Providence High School sometime later this week.

The test is being taken due to the replacement of asbestos tiles in a significant portion of the building this summer. Worst case scenario, the outcome of the test forces the delay in the start of school on Sept. 6. Best case scenario, the construction workers performed the remediation properly and the quality meets the state standard.

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