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Ray LSC Communications Committee Minutes, April 23, 2013

LSC Communications Committee Meeting
Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 7:45am
Ray School, Room 205

Minutes

1. Roll call and introductions: Meeting called to order at 7:50am. Ms. Campbell, Bill Schmidt, TeeNeka Gueye-Jones, Kirsten Esterly, Sarah Conning, Dr. Hill, and Joy Clendenning in attendance. Alysia Tate excused.

2. Approve agenda:  Approved

3. Approve March minutes:  Approved

4. Communications at Ray School

a.  Expectations for communications:

Ms. Campbell reported that the administration would attend grade level meetings on April 24 and will learn more there about expectations about communications at Ray. One tool they had heard about was the google calendar but they do not have access to it.  They have heard that it was inconsistent.  One item at the grade level meetings will be calendar — where should it be posted — suggestions will be made to the ILT (Instructional Leadership Team). The blogs are another topic for grade level meetings.  So much had been created on google docs but the owners are no longer at Ray.  The administration has been collecting schedules, calendars, blogs, etc.  They have revamped the special education schedules.  They are looking at scheduling throughout the school to figure out how communication can happen vertically throughout school with staff.  Also looking at reviewing and updating the CIWP.  Bill raised the issue of specials teachers and their schedules and how could they attend grade level meetings. Could they at least have a group meeting? The administration responded that yes, they are looking at that, that the specials teachers and pre-K teachers need meeting time. Dr. Hill reported about Ms. Campbell working on schedules and the importance of vertical and horizontal work and that this will be a priority for next year.  Also that the ESP staff need to be at the meetings. Dr. Hill also mentioned wanting to have opportunities for colloquiums of teachers to have meeting times, especially to work as a team with specific children. And she mentioned a “tally for kids” system in which there is a roster for verification of the % of contact with a child. Dr. Hill asked about a beginning of the year handbook and we referred her to the pages currently in the beginning of the Ray agendas.

b.  Report cards:  There were some glitches but should have corrected grades by 4th quarter.  Some discussion about grading scale and making it more universal for the school.  The Principal read every single report card — this was very appreciated. TeeNeka commented that there was good communication for report card pick up day. We postponed further discussion of report cards to next month.

c.  Gradebook Parent Portal:  Ms. Cobb was in lab during Report Card Pick Up Day so she could show parents what to do to access parent portal.  There will be a push for this for next year.  Dr. Hill thinks she can send letters with PINs home to families. Could teachers also push parents to sign up for parent portal? Important to remember that parent portal seems to send e-mail updates from CPS that are not sent out in any other way to parents, so by being signed up, even if parents don’t use it to check grades, it means they will received these e-mail updates.

d. Cultural Competency/Diversity Training:  Alysia, Tim, and TeeNeka wanted to check with the new administration about this issue.  Tim has possible trainers at the university; TeeNeka has individuals; part of the transition plan (as a receiving school) could include this training, focused on how to welcome new families and children.

e.  Limited English parents communications:  Dr. Hill will be in touch with Ms. Zaragoza about this.

f. PR about signing up for e-news: would like to get teacher buy-in for the usefulness of the e-news so they can push it to parents.  Could e-news be opt-out rather than opt-in?  Bill suggests a quick check-list of things parents can sign up for; and/or add the e-news opt-out to the emergency form. The e-news is used as the “official” tool because it is the best tool we have — but not everyone receives it.

g. Texts: Dr. Hill announced that she is starting robo-calls for the Ray community (based on the phone number on the emergency form — important that these are correct).  Because the robo calls are free and we would have to pay for a text plan, we tabled the text discussion. People can check with Colleen to know which phone number is in the system.

h. Parent Resource Center/Room: we provided background about this to the new administration.  What room would be best? Administration says we need to have a parent room, just have to figure out where that will be.  Will be able to plan more after school closure vote is taken (May 22). Dr. Hill wants to establish a professional library for the Ray staff and we could consider establishing a parent library.

i. Parent orientation/packet pick-up/student meet n greet planning/timetable: moved to top of agenda for May meeting.

j.  Idea for communications position at Ray — paid parent, NSP internship, other U of C internship: tabled to May.

5.  Recommendations and report to LSC: Joy will summarize and report.

6. Public comment:  None

7. Agenda items for May: Next meeting May 28 at 7:45 am.  Agenda items include organization of committee for 2013-2014 (Joy will no longer be here); Parent orientation; and more.

8. Adjourn: Approximately 9:00 am.

 

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