Portsmouth school board to target vaping scourge at Oct. 22 meeting

Numerous staff members, groups also honored for their work

By Kristen Ray
Posted 10/9/19

PORTSMOUTH — From staff recognitions to updates on vaping prevention and intervention initiatives, the Portsmouth School Committee’s Tuesday night was quick, celebratory and promised …

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Portsmouth school board to target vaping scourge at Oct. 22 meeting

Numerous staff members, groups also honored for their work

Posted

PORTSMOUTH — From staff recognitions to updates on vaping prevention and intervention initiatives, the Portsmouth School Committee’s Tuesday night was quick, celebratory and promised even more was information was yet to come.

Fight against vaping

With vaping deaths still making headlines and the temporary ban on flavored e-cigarettes now in effect, an update on the district’s efforts to combat the public health crisis has been placed on the committee’s Oct. 22 agenda.

“We have been working on prevention and, you know, stopping the outbreak here in Portsmouth with our own students,” said Superintendent Ana Riley. 

Portsmouth Prevention Coalition Coordinator Corey Silvia will be attending the meeting, offering information and answering any questions committee members may have. 

Hard work pays off

It was a night that called for celebration, as committee members honored both the Kate Grana Music and Arts Association for leading the charge in renovating Portsmouth High School’s new auditorium, as well as Lisa Colwell for being named Rhode Island’s Special Education Director of the Year. 

Although it wasn’t on the agenda, Director of Facilities Matt Murphy was recognized as well for his work over the summer, updating and improving systems and structures throughout the district, including the new Kate Grana Auditorium and Melville Elementary School’s Outdoor Learning and Adventure Zone. 

“It’s important to take the time to say thank you,” School Committee Chairwoman Emily Copeland said.

Setting goals

Committee members voted unanimously to approve the superintendent’s goals for the district, focused on implementing the strategic plan, developing a capital five-year plan, and working on social emotional learning, communication and professional development. 

A mid-year check-in will occur at the end of January. 

Next meeting

The committee’s next meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at Town Hall.

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