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Minutes March 13, 2014

William H. Ray Elementary

LSC Meeting Minutes


APPROVED 2014-05-06


Meeting called to order approximately 6:10 PM


Roll Call – Present


Gabriel Sheridan

Amy Levine

Tim May

Bill Schmidt

Kirsten Esterly

Patrick Brutus

Don Willard

Matthew Christian (arrived 6:13)


Roll Call – Absent


Gordon Mayer

Bruce Pickens

Alysia Tate

Antonia Hill


Approval of Agenda


Kirsten Esterly moved and Bill Schmidt seconded approval of the agenda. Vote was unanimous in favor.


Approval of Minutes


Don Willard noted that in the 2-13 minutes, Papczun (Patrick) in the ILT list needs to be corrected in the minutes


Amy Levine noted that teacher Jean Clement’s name should be included in the ILT list as well.


(Matthew Christian arrived at 6:13 pm)


Amy Levine moved and Patrick Brutus seconded that we approve the LSC minutes of 2/13/2014. Minutes were approved unanimously with one abstention.


Kirsten Esterly moved and Patrick Brutus seconded that we approve the LSC minutes of 12/12/2013. Minutes were approved unanimously with 2 abstentions.


Public Comment


Ken Newman: At last meeting mentioned property of school, entire school footprint. I am wondering if we have obtained a copy of the school footprint (athletic field, playground, etc.) from the relevant CPS office. Also think we maybe ought to have higher fences to keep balls off 57th street and possibly also out of Bixler Park.


Kirsten Esterly: I understand that has been requested but not yet received.


Amy Levine: I recall seeing this information in the past and being surprised at how much property belongs to Ray School, as opposed to being public property as many people assume.


Ken Newman: There are all sorts of good things that could come from having more control over the property around the school.


Don Willard: I know from the Kiss-and-go / Safety committee, there was discussion of who is responsible for clearing sidewalks between school and Bixler Park. Bixler park is the area that goes over to Kenwood. Bixler play lot is on the east side of Kenwood and goes out to 57ty Street. Chicago Park district bought the play lot and out to 57th street. CPS apparently owns “Bixler Park” which is the property west of Kenwood. Anne Renna has also asked why we don’t plow on the north side of Bixler park, east of the Tower apartments. Nobody cleans the area east of the tower, so that parents and kids avoid that side, stay on the other side, and then cross at the alley, which is a concern for the safety committee.


Kirsten Esterly: So that is the Amanda’s Garden corner? (Answer: Yes.)


Don Willard: I have written Dr. Hill to ask that Chris Allen be instructed to take care of this area.


Ken Newman: I also want to note that this Saturday in Jackson Park there is a bridge naming ceremony for Nancy Hayes on the north bridge to Wooded Island.


Kirsten Esterly: I can put that information out in the Ray e-news.


Ken Newman: The Council meets on the second Monday of each month at 7 PM. The location changes for each meeting. It would be nice to have someone representing the Ray community there.


Cynthia Horth: Last LSC meeting we talked about plowing and shoveling of walks, but that is not including the plowing of the playground asphalt areas.


Discussion ensued among the council and members of the public about how the asphalt play areas can be plowed, and by whom, and when. These details are still not in our possession, since both Dr. Hill and Gordon Mayer are not present at this meeting.


Gabriel Sheridan: The issue you are talking about is playing. In all the years I’ve been at Ray we’ve never had so much discussion and so much cancelled recess. We ought to be outside when the weather is warm enough and using salt and sand to make the surfaces safe.


Kirsten: I have some information about that . . .


Tim May: We should move on to ensure that other questions and concerns are addressed.


Cynthia Horth: From another parent: last year there used to be 2 recesses for students up to 2nd grade. Some parents are concerned about this and feel that too much pressure on the students could be harmful.


Amy Levine: We were given our schedules this year by the Network.


Gabriel Sheridan: We tried to argue that a second recess had instructional value in the PPLC but that was not accepted.


[A Parent]: I am a parent of a rising Kindergarteners and this is a huge concern for me.


Ken Newman: Next year CPS is putting in place expanded PE requirements for all schools. All the students next year will either get more PE classes or have longer PE periods.


Sarah Moon-Sarudi: I have three children at Ray, and regarding recess, I am all for it but I want to make sure that if we advocate for it it is supervised appropriately and structured somewhat to benefit instruction. We have been a Ray family for some time and I have noticed a negative climate. My husband had to actually break up a fight because the students are not supervised, and a student actually wound up hitting an adult. This happened near the pre-k area. My husband was more alarmed by a group of students egging on the fight and saying “kick his white a**”


This happened just last week, inside the building. That is alarming because it happened in a school setting and the supervision was not adequate to prevent it.


Even if this happened outside the school grounds this is not the kind of behavior we want in our students anywhere. My husband has even reached out to his principal (he teaches at Kenwood) to see whether there can be cooperation of some kind between the schools to address these issues.


My son in 3rd grade sees this, my daughter also in 5th grade and this is a concern.


Amy Levine: Dr. Hill is also planning specific professional development for teachers in light of this recent incident.


Patrick Brutus: Dr. Hill is aligned with our priorities when it comes to raising the level of the school. The system now in use with Level 1,2,3 rankings of schools is being replaced next year by a Tier 1-5 system next year.


Principal Report


A written Principal report from Dr. Hill was read aloud by Patrick Brutus. That report is included in these minutes as an addendum.


Gabriel Sheridan: There is confusion about whether there will be after-school programs during the last quarter of the year.


Discussion ensued among the council and public about issues and problems in the school climate. Gabriel Sheridan noted that Dr. Hill and all the teachers are taking these issues very seriously and are very aware of the issues. Teachers also are frustrated by the lack of consistent faculty meeting times on a regular basis.


Budget Committee


Kirsten Esterly: We discussed a number of things. Administration at Ray has heard loud and clear that we like these class sizes of 26 very much. The school’s goal is to have 26 students per class. The lottery has happened, and they have offered seats to 60 kindergarteners in the lottery. No offers were given for the upper grades. They are going to wait and see what happens and then make calls, so we can control these smaller class sizes.


We have some funds in our internal accounts that we would like to use toward purchasing IPads and laptops for k-2 grade levels. We still need official approval from downtown before we can vote as an LSC on that.


At our next Budget meeting, our independent accountant will be there to help us. That is Mr. Goodall.


Executive Session


There was no executive session.


Resolution on High Stakes Testing


[Bill Schmidt left the meeting at this point. Matthew Christian took over as secretary. Quorum was still present with 7 council members.]


Motion to sign a resolution showing its support of Time Out From Testing (TOFT), a national campaign that is seeking to put an end to the way standardized tests are used to determine student promotion and teacher evaluation.


Don Willard moved and Matthew Christian seconded. Motion passed unanimously.




Patrick Brutus moved and Gabriel Sheridan seconded that the meeting be adjourned. Vote was unanimous in favor. Meeting adjourned 7:48 pm.





                        William H. RaySchool

           LSC Principal’s Report

               Thursday, March 13, 2014



  • School      Leadership

–  Met with ILT (Lemberis, Horgan, Walter, Drewa, Garcia, Annorh, Kane, Rogers, & Papczun)        – Attendance incentives

– CIWP Instructional priorities


  • Instructional      Leadership

– Completed ISAT testing; 11 students “Opt-Out”

– ELL (Access) Testing completed

– Extended Beyond the Bell – Afterschool program to March 27, 2014


  • Student      Centered Learning Climate

– Progress Reports distributed

­- Choir performed at Navy Pier – African American History Program


  • Professional      Development and Human Resources Management  

– Network 9 – Principal Meeting ~ Chief Harrison Peters

– PBIS Training (CHAMPS team)

– Literacy/Math PD (Lemberis, Horgan & Papczun)

– Technology PD (Hickson)

– Open Position

–          CWA (Mr. Bruce)

–          Security (Ofr. Patrick)


  • Parent      Involvement and Community Partnerships

– African American History Celebration – (Sponsored by PTA)

– Attended Kenwood CAC


  • School      Management- Daily Operations

–  Clear negative budget (BUCKET) lines for extended day and Recess support for     Career Svc. Positions.

– 115 000575 320014 52130  – – $1,969.23

– 225 000703 219005 52140  – – $1,076.60


  • Interpersonal      Effectiveness


Presented @ LSC meeting: 3-13-14


Dr. Antonia L. Hill, Principal

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