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Ray Communications Committee Minutes March 19, 2013

Ray LSC Communications Committee Meeting
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 7:45am
Ray School, Room 205


1. Roll call: A quorum was established at 7:50am. By 8:05am TeeNeka Jones-Gueye, Kirsten Esterly, Tatia Beckwith, Sarah Conning, Amy Levine, and Joy Clendenning were all present. Excused: Alysia Tate; Absent: Bill Schmidt
2. Agenda approved
3. February minutes approved
4. Communications at Ray
i. Parent Resource Center/Room: The idea has received a positive response from administration but we need to wait and see the status of Ray for 2013-2014 regarding whether the building will house pre-K through 7/8 grades which would mean reconfiguring how building space is used.
ii. Child’s progress — how is this communicated?

Report cards: we should ask a teacher to talk about how grades are calculated; calendar for grades; which categories do not get grades; Latin grades (this will be worked out as the school figures out how to incorporate Latin as a world language); and how often grades are entered. Amy Levine explained that Ray does not mandate how often teachers need to enter grades to gradebook; some schools might, but Ray does not want to micromanage in this way.

 The school should be explicit about how report-card pick-up day works: How to sign-up for conferences (safety regulations post Sandy Hook do not allow for sign-ups to be posted inside school); it depends on the individual teacher how sign-ups are done; last time there was a note sent home from the office and in the e-news directing parents to communicate with individual teachers about sign-ups; some teachers use google calendars for sign-ups; safety regulations will not allow a return to the old sign-up sheet method. Individual teachers manage report-card pick-up day conference sign-ups.

 Progress is also communicated through 5-week progress reports. Recommended that parents (especially of upper grades) be encouraged to talk to and check in with kids about how they are doing. The expectation for the lower grades is that parents are checking folders nightly. In the upper grades the expectation is that students write in their agenda before leaving school for the day — so the agenda would be something parents could check.

 There was some discussion about how 3rd grade could be used as transition year at Ray. Students move from using folders to agendas, for example, and there are other more upper-grade like expectations. Dr. Beckwith shared that the teachers do a lot of bridging for the students over the 3rd grade year; it was suggested that this kind of bridging is also needed for parents. 

iii. Communication styles There may be different platforms for communicating within school and within school community; different expectations; issues of tone. We need to talk more about this theme. Cultural competency/diversity training is still on the agenda for the school, for a Professional Development, maybe for August, at this point. Suggested that Valeria Olds at the Network office might be a good resource.
iv. Texts and/or robocalls LSC is interested in the text s as a way to communicate with parents. We will need to re-visit this when LSC is looking at next year’s budget and also work out various details about how such a texting system could work.
v. Parent Portal Dr. Beckwith said that Ms. Cobb should be able to offer parent sign-up for Gradebook Parent Portal, on report-card pick-up day, April 17 — that parents can get their PIN’s that day.
vi Expectations for communications Tabled until April
vii. Other Sarah Conning and Amy Levine have joined the Communications committee.

5. Recommendations and report to LSC Joy gave a brief report to the LSC at their March meeting. Committee minutes will be posted on the LSC blog. The Principal agreed that she could post her monthly Principal reports to the LSC, on the Principal’s blog. Joy will prepare a brief report from this meeting, for the April 11 LSC meeting.

6. Public comment None

7. Agenda items for April 23 meeting at 7:45 am, room 205 (4th Tuesday)

PR about signing up for e-news

Limited English parents communications


Gradebook Parent Portal

School expectations for communications

Parent Resource Center/Room

Report cards (communication of child’s progress)

Communications styles

Parent orientation/packet pick-up/student meet n greet planning/timetable

Idea for communications position at Ray — paid parent, NSP internship, other U of C internship

8. Meeting adjourned at 8:43am

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