August 8, 2022

Seekonk School Committee Chair Rebuts Criticisms

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Chairperson Kim Sluter said the public has had ample opportunity to voice their concerns at school committee meetings.

Doreen Taylor, a former chair of the Board of Selectmen, said Sluter “eliminated” a portion of the agenda at Monday’s meeting

“As Chair, I am legally responsible for preserving order,” Sluter said. “In consultation with MASC, our district legal firm and Seekonk (police) I made the decision to rearrange the agenda this evening due to increased outbursts at our meetings.”

Taylor also alleged the school committee had been spreading misinformation about expenditures at town meetings.

“What we need in this town is open communication,” Taylor said. “We
need honesty from our elected officials. I think you work within a
bubble. I think you do what you want to do and you want to do it without
any consequence to anyone else or consideration to anyone else. We
entrusted you in a fiduciary capacity as well as stewardship for our
schools. In my opinion, you're doing a pretty lousy job."

At the conclusion of her comments, Taylor said she “wished” Sluter would resign.

Sluter was re-elected to the school committee last April. Her term expires in April 2024.

“This is my fourth year as Chair of the Seekonk School Committee,” Sluter said. “I continue to be incredibly proud of the open, honest and transparent work the Committee has accomplished in addressing our 3 main roles: budget development/adherence, Evaluation/Supervision of the Superintendent and policy development.  I most appreciate our diversity in perspectives and backgrounds and I am most proud of our ability to operate with respect and true civic civility. The Seekonk School Committee's commitment and contributions to the betterment of Seekonk has not wavered.”

“Our School Committee as a whole is very supportive of our public schools,” said Superintendent Rich Drolet. “We have worked together with other town leaders to increase collaboration and communication in these past 3-4 years. Covid has been tough on our students, teachers and staff, school administrators, families, and also the School Committee. In my humble opinion, Mrs. Sluter has done a commendable job working to support our schools.”

The committee voted to purchase modular units for the Martin Elementary School due to the hiring of several additional teachers in an effort to lower class sizes. Modulars were used at the Aitken Elementary School before construction of the $10.5 million classroom addition, which was completed last June.

The modular units were installed and have been in place in Martin Elementary School for 3 years. The vote was “to purchase them to stay at Martin instead of having them taken away or continuing to lease them,” Drolet added.

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