LYNNFIELD — The new School Committee reorganized during an April 10 meeting that occurred less than 24 hours after the results from the annual Town Election were announced.

School Committeeman Jim Dillon nominated Kate DePrizio to serve as the school board’s chair, which was seconded by newly elected School Committee member Jenny Sheehan. The School Committee unanimously voted to appoint DePrizio as chair once again. She had been serving as chair for the past three months.

“Thank you,” said DePrizio.

Dillon nominated newly elected School Committee member Kristen Grieco Elworthy to serve as vice chair, which was seconded by Sheehan. He said he has been “impressed” with DePrizio, Elworthy and Sheehan’s leadership skills.

“I am impressed with how bright and driven you are and how much you care about Lynnfield,” said Dillon to his three colleagues. “You want to help the town move ahead. We are lucky to have all three of you here. You are all very impressive, and I am very optimistic about the town. I think Jenny would be equally qualified to do this, but Kristen was on the Finance Committee and knows Finance Committee members. I think that will help our relationships with them.”

School Committee member Jamie Hayman concurred with Dillon’s viewpoint.

“I think we also have a responsibility to build a bench on School Committee when it comes to experience and how everything works,” said Hayman. “Jim has been on the committee for 15 years and I have been on the committee for 10 years. We will be here to help you guys and make sure we are going in the right direction, but I think it is time to build that bench.”

Sheehan agreed.

“Kristen has really strong communication skills, which has been historically lacking a little bit from the School Committee in recent years,” said Sheehan. “I think as a vice chair, that is something really strong that she can bring.”

DePrizio recalled that she and Elworthy worked closely together on different town projects.

“I know the benefit of having your perspective and all of your skill sets,” said DePrizio. “I think that would be invaluable to us right now.”

After the discussion, the School Committee unanimously voted to appoint Elworthy as vice chair.

“Thank you very much,” said Elworthy. “I appreciate it.”

Dillon said he is looking forward to working with his fellow School Committee members and Interim Superintendent Tom Geary this coming year.

“I am very excited about this committee,” said Dillon. “I know from talking with individual members and Tom that his committee is going to focus on teaching and learning, curriculum and instruction, and school climate and school culture. Those are going to be the focus areas of our committee, and we are going to make progress on all of those things. We have the right people to do it. Moving forward, it’s going to be a great year.”

DePrizio said she is looking forward to working with her new and returning colleagues.

“I am very pleased to welcome all of you,” said DePrizio. “I am looking forward to us working together.”

Calendar presented

Geary gave an overview of the proposed draft 2024-2025 school calendar. He said educators and school staff will return to their respective buildings on Monday, Aug. 26.

“Kids in grades 1-12 will return on Wednesday, Aug. 28,” said Geary. “Aug. 29 will be kindergarten orientation and Aug. 30 will be the first day for kindergarten. Early releases will continue on the first Wednesday of every month for professional development and collaboration.”

Geary said a daylong professional development day will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 5, which will coincide with the presidential election.

“Religious holidays will remain on the calendar as well as the three traditional weeks off for vacation,” said Geary.

Hayman inquired if elementary school conferences will still be held in the spring as well as the fall.

“Right now, we are still working with the Lynnfield Teachers Association to finalize dates for conferences,” said Geary. “This year was a one-year pilot, so we are not ready to finalize that yet. I have heard good preliminary feedback about the spring and fall setup.”

In response to a question from Hayman, Geary said the elementary school spring conferences will be added to the calendar if the initiative continues.

“The middle school conference dates in the fall are already on the calendar,” said Geary.

Elworthy asked why school starts before Labor Day.

“Is there any option there to move that around at all?” asked Elworthy.

Geary said the academic year’s start date is “not contractual.”

“The premise has always been a day in June is not as valuable as a day in September,” said Geary. “There is also value in getting the team-building and the administrative stuff done on those first two-and-a-half days, and then hitting the ground running after Labor Day. Labor Day is early this year on Sept. 2. If Labor Day falls on Sept. 6 or Sept. 7, you don’t want to be starting school on Sept. 8. That has been our rationale all along.”

DePrizio also said starting school before Labor Day makes the transition for kindergartners go smoother.

“I do appreciate that the community is continually asking us to start after Labor Day because it is better for planning,” said DePrizio.

DePrizio said the School Committee will be voting to approve the 2024-2025 academic calendar at its next meeting on Tuesday, April 23.