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Minutes from April 11, 2011 LSC meeting

Ray LSC Meeting Monday 4-11-2011 Minutes

Meeting called to order at 8:15 by Karen Macklin

Roll Call

Present: Karen Macklin, Gordon Mayer, Ralph Mirro, Maria Piscitelli, Ken Schug, Bill Schmidt, Crystal Watson, Bernadette Butler, Will Walter. Absent: Alexis Upshaw, Julie Vassilatos.

Approve Agenda

Gordon Mayer moved we approve agenda. Ralph Mirro seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Approve Minutes

Crystal Watson moved we approve minutes from our meeting Friday, April 8. Bill Schmidt seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Breakfast in classroom—“Grab and Go”

Ralph Mirro and Bernadette Butler reported on the new program. Citywide and local news outlets have covered CPS’ new initiative to provide breakfast in the classroom to ALL students but it may still be unfamiliar to many families. Called Grab and Go, the program is mandatory for all Chicago public schools and will start Thursday, April 14 at Ray.

According to the Board of Education, statistics show that many children do not eat breakfast before coming to school, and building on the success of the universal breakfast in the cafeteria program, Breakfast in the Classroom makes it even easier for kids who need breakfast to eat. Here’s how the process will go at Ray:

Breakfast will be placed on two tables at the base of the north stairs (for younger children) and two tables at the glass doors (for children in higher grades). As children come to class, they will have the option of grabbing a breakfast if they desire. They’ll bring it to class, where teachers will have placemats, handi-wipes and other materials to facilitate quick breakfast eating during the first 10 minutes or so of the day, which is often used for housekeeping time anyway. Uneaten non-perishable items will be collected for re-use; garbage will go into a special trash bag that will be immediately set outside the classroom for pickup and disposal by lunchroom staff.

If parents have any concerns they are encouraged to contact Mrs. Butler directly to log such concerns.

Report on PSC

Bill Schmidt reported the PSC process to the public and presented a written report compiled by Gordon Mayer of PSC activity to date to the LSC members. Noting that candidates were doing walkthroughs of Ray as early as this morning, Ms. Butler expressed concern she had not been fully kept in the loop about what was happening when; she knew candidates would be in the building Thursday and Friday but was unaware they would begin visiting as soon as today. Karen Macklin and other LSC members apologized and pledged to ensure that she receive fuller information in the future.

Members congratulated Barb Onofrio on her position at Stone and many members expressed their deep appreciation for her contributions to and legacy at Ray School. Will Walter commended Ms. Onofrio for all of her work under Ms. Butler’s administration and thanked her for all she is doing, has done and will do to make it a smooth transition. Mr. Walter also expressed the hope that Ray will put its remaining principal candidates under a microscope to really examine their track record, particularly aspects such as how long they have been looking, to ensure that we get someone of really great quality.

Maria Piscitelli thanked Ms. Onofrio as well, noting that she had heard from many in the school who are saddened to have her go, and also offered an appreciation of her work this past year on tasks such as curriculum alignments, which hopefully will continue next year and for all of the resources she has brought into the classroom. Ralph Mirro added that it’s been a pleasure working with both Ms. Butler and Ms. Onofrio, and that he expects the great relationships developed with them and many in the school will continue even after they move on at the end of the year. Karen Macklin also expressed that in her capacity as LSC Chair she has enjoyed being able to spend more time with Ms. Onofrio this year and appreciated everything Ms. Onofrio has done for Ray.


Still no budget from CPS, Ms. Onofrio reported. She and Ms. Butler did express concern about rumors that significant cuts may be coming, perhaps to pre-k programs including the new class slated to come to Ray from Murray.

Principal’s Reports

Ms. Butler reported that a CPS program in which high school students help design and build a state of the art playground is coming to Ray. The group may upgrade the playground to the east of the school, which is 8 to 10 years old, or perhaps replace equipment in the K-3 play area to the north of the building, which has 20-plus-year-old equipment. Ms. Butler has previously worked with this program when she was at Agassiz and she said the end product was excellent. She is recruiting a committee of parents and others and will have more details soon.  Karen Macklin volunteered to participate. She and Ralph continue to explore with CPS official Paul Morris the possibility of renting space on the weekends to Hyde Park Church. This could provide a steady stream of additional revenue. One side benefit of the research is that they are getting a sense of the current requirements involved in renting CPS space to external parties. Other items in her report: 5th/6th grades teacher Chandra Garcia is a Golden Apple finalist, MAPS testing is under way, and she and Karon Walker will meet Ald. Hairston next week to discuss the possibility of baseball field upgrades between Bixler Playlot and the school. The school currently has in its internal accounts $207,195.01.

Public Comment

There was no public comment.


Ms. Onofrio noted that students in first-period lunch have been asking if they can purchase popcorn. Since this is a fundraiser the LSC has to authorize it. Bill Schmidt moved we  approve sale of popcorn during first period  lunch. Ralph Mirro seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


At 8:55 a.m. Gordon moved we adjourn. Crystal seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

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