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Minutes- Dec 11, 2014

Ray Elementary Local School Council

Monthly Meeting, Thursday, December 11th at 6:15p, Cafeteria

Draft Minutes

  1. Call to Order & Roll Call. Call to order at 6:27pm. Present: Andy Carter, Paula Florell, Denise Hill, Cynthia Horth, Eleni Lemberis, Sarah Ogeto, Kara Scott. 7 Present, Quorum Met. AT 6:34pm, Silvia Arbelaez-Ellis arrived, making 8 attendees. Absent: Megan Thole, Christopher Allen, Jenny Wejman.

  2. Approve Agenda. Andy moved to approve agenda, Silvia Seconded. Unanimous in Favor.
  3. Welcome

  4. Public Comment. None.

  5. Announcements from other Organizations. Paula: Free Mandarin Class on Saturday at Blackstone through HP CAC. Denise: Also next CAC meeting will be next Wed 12/17 at Kenwood Acad and will include hearing from Principal Jones on the move of the Academic Center to Canter; also regarding Dyett and the state of its closing; State of our Schools by Janice Jackson, Network Chief.
  6. Committee Reports : (Approximately 2-3 mins each for brief recap)
    1. Principal’s Report (Megan Thole): Megan is not present; Denise spoke through the Principal’s Report. Ray is a 2+. This report is based on growth. Attendance is 94.4% which is a drop from last month. Class initiatives will begin to promote Attendance.

Open House: A number of parents came for an intimate group setting. Thanks to the volunteers and the student who spoke. Need to get the info out.

  1. Communications (Cynthia Horth). Brochure is done (Jennifer and Anne R). Survey for communication, the best way is email; but Cynthia would like to do the next best non-electronic way; also Facebook is continuously updated. Next meeting in January (hopefully before the next LSC meeting).
  2. School Climate (Sarah Ogeto). Nothing new. Hope to meet next week. Waiting to see about the grant we completed. Get folks on the committee. Hope to meet in the Latin Room, next Tuesday, at 6:15pm
  3. Partnerships (Silvia Arbelaez-Ellis). Doing a lot. Hope to get a rack with sheets on all the different programs. New: A mom, Leslie Woods will do a free dance class Tuesday and Thursday morning. Artifice: newer non-profit, Uof C physics alum on programming. We also want to thank people who have helped publicly: Hyde Park Bank for basketball uniforms and piggy banks; Medici for gift cards for PBIS; see the listing. Upcoming: Common Thread, Lango, a possible 5K fundraiser. Next Meeting: January 13.
  4. CIWP (Kara Scott) Nothing New except that Megan is working the CIWP so it will be easier to budget accordingly. We will review in the new year.
  5. Budget (Kara Scott). We want to formalize the budget process and get this info to the LSC ahead of time but there are a few budget items to address right now. I met with Megan earlier this week and I hope we can pass them. They are (also located in the Principal’s Report package):

+ Deposit money for the 8th grade graduation luncheon on the Odyssey

+ Overtime engineer bucket (for Sunday coverage). Move from Internal Accounts.

+ Printers. Pay $6,523 which would be for 2 printers and the software/hardware to be able to print to the copiers.

+ Robotics Club/Artifice of $1,500. Pay for this program to allow 12 students to get training on computer programming and robotics.

+1 Part time Security Position for $8,000.

+ 2 PT Lunch/Recess Positions from 11a – 2p

  1. PPLC (Eleni Lemberis). Mission statement (past and current) to be more specific to Ray. We are focused specifically on math, literacy and science. We are able to meet on grade-level meetings but cannot do this consistently as a school. We are going to get a message board so that all teachers can show what they are doing in order to coordinate over grade levels. Some are doing walking math class (differentiation: where all students in one grade move to different teacher based on their level); but all are teaching through Everyday Math. Looking at NWEA scores and arrange kids by scores. The Network wants us to focus on 3 (of 8 items) on guidelines: 1. Attend to to Precision; 2 Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others; 3 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. Literacy: reading groups for differentiation. 1st grade does walking reading class.

Paula: Are Network’s goals aligned with our teachers? Eleni: Yes. Paula: Congrats on a good PPLC and ILT relationship.

  1. Facilities (Christopher Allen) (Absent)
  2. Gardening (Andy Carter). Last meeting: Removed thorny bush. Started removing some of the big branches off the tree that fell to make it more accessible for kids. Next Meeting: Jan at Ms. Garcia’s room at 5:20pm. Desire to make the space around the school user-friendly. Marcy Schlessinger has talked with a design student to work with the committee. Sending a survey to parents to see what parents would like. Sabine: getting bulbs free to plant.
  3. Safety & Security (David Adams) (Absent)
  • Old Business (approximately 7:15p) (approximately 15 mins)
    1. Next Steps Regarding National Resolution on High Stakes Testing: Discussing PARCC. Denise: Think about whether we want to pass something to agree with Barbara Byrd-Bennet on requesting a waiver from taking the PARCC this year.
    2. December Open House. Denise: Thanks to everyone who brought that together. Excited for the upcoming ones tied with the monthly coffee talk. Sarah: How did the information go out? Denise: It was advertised in the Herald; also Anne R posted it to PSN. Sarah: In the future, we could advertise it more. Brainstorm (from all): HP Herald (ad and in HP calendar); PSN and other Neighborhood Groups; FaceBook. Paula: What was telling was the Survey that Megan had the parents complete. The main concern was class size. Dr. Hill implemented a small class size and thankfully that is carried over. We should be aware of that going forward.
    3. Update on Achievement Gap Research. Denise, Sarah and Paula attended a workshop from COAL (Coalition of African American Leaders) on Achievement Gap.

    Sarah: You can put into all the supports when they are young, but unless these supports are continuous, the achievement gap can increase.

    Paula: I felt really good sitting there. This woman was really learned and impressive and she was basically saying what we have learned together as a group. The things that are good for our African-American children are good for all children. There are 2 things that were said that I’m just going to say. African-American children are capable learners. There are norms that are against this thinking including norms against the poor. Because statistically African-American kids are more likely to be suspended and get recommended to Special Ed. And this is done by adults of all races. Some predictors of good practices: Rich curriculum; highly experienced and well-trained early childhood professionals; parent support; low teacher/child ratios in the classroom; provided wrap-around services. She talked about stressors and how stress changes a child’s brain. Also the physical health of the child.

    A feel like this group has proven to be inclusive. Some members of this group didn’t know what Achievement Gap was at the beginning of this and now we are all well versed on this issue. I just think we are on the right track.

    1. Other. None.
    1. New Business
    1. Rapid Response Safety Team. Paula shared the beginning of RRT protocol for a Missing child. We will work on this and move forward. Thanks to Nicole for helping put together the protocol and for Anne as a good sounding board.
    2. Response to Events in MO & NY: Discussing Possible Dialogue Session for Students

    Denise: The Middle-school kids are certainly addressing this during school. If we want to do something in addition to this, please email me.

    1. Other
    1. Parting Words from Outgoing Parent Rep (2-3 mins). Paula: I want to talk to people personally as well. I am super proud of the work we have done. I am so optimistic on the future of Ray. I am so excited on the new committees that are getting so much energy and doing things. The LSC is anchoring items so that parents who can get involved are doing great things. Denise: I want to thank you Paula for your service to this body. And you have moved this board to where we are. Your thoughts and pushback have pushed the board to do the things we should be doing.
    2. Vote to Fill Parent Rep Vacancy. Denise: You have received the statements. I did speak with Marcus, David could only serve this school year as his child is in 8th grade and he couldn’t be community rep. Cynthia: I want to bring up the point I thought today. I think the parents who ran should be contacted and asked if they wanted to run. I don’t know if they want to run but I think they should be contacted. Denise: Before I put the call out, I read the by-laws and guidelines. For the community, if it has been before 6 months, then we would take the runner up but it was just over 6 months and there was no runner up. But for parents, we take the letters of intent. But it is up to you guys whether you want to extend the deadline. Sarah: We have the letters of intent. I think we should go on.

    Sarah O: Nominate Sharon Burgin; Paula Seconded. Paula: I would say this privately and I think Cynthia that you want to share information and get it out to everyone. That’s great but coming to the meetings is also part of that. I knew there was a special election because I was attending the meetings. Kara: I would like to do contact the parents who ran for the LSC formally in any future vacancies.

    In favor: Silvia A, Sarah O, Andy C, Kara S, Eleni L, Paula F (6); Opposed: 0; Abstentions: Cynthia H and Denise H (2). Motion carries on majority.

    1. Vote to Fill Community Re Vacancy. Andy Carter: Nominate Fran Grossman; Sarah O seconded. Favor: 8 Unanimous
    2. Vote to Install Interim By-Laws Committee Chair. Silvia E: Nominates Sarah O. Paula Seconds. Favor: Unanimous
    3. Public Participation. None.
    4. Approve Previous Minutes. Silvia Moved to accept November’s minutes; Cynthia Second. Approve Minutes. Favor 6; Abstain: 2; No: 0
    5. Vote on Budget Items:
    Item Cost Budget Line
    8th Grade graduation luncheon on the Odyssey (25% deposit) $1,014.95 Internal Accounts, General Funds ~available: $19,654.59
    Overtime engineer bucket (for Sunday coverage) $3,000.00 Internal Accounts, Building Lease Income ~available: $13,900.61
    Printers (Ricoh) *enabling alc opy machines to print and adding two smaller printers to the Annex building $6,523.00 115 Funds “other Instructional Purposes”
    Robotics Club; “Artifice” $1,500.00 225 Funds “Computer Education”
    1 Part Time Security Position (from 3pm – 6:30p) $8,000.00 115 Funds “Other Instructional Purposes”
    2 Part Time Lunch/Recess Positions (from 11 – 2) $8,000.00 115 Funds “Other Instructional Purposes”


    Kara: I motion to pay the deposit for the 8th Grade graduation luncheon on the Odyssey (25% deposit). Andy C Seconded. Discussion? Sarah: Will the school pay for the balance of it? Kara: I don’t believe so. I think that will come from the students. {Anne Renna agrees that this will not be from the school}. Vote: Favor: 7, No: 0, Abstain: 1 (PF)

    Kara: I motion to transfer funds to cover for the Overtime engineer bucket (for Sunday coverage). Andy Seconded. Discussion: Paula: From what I know of the church contract, there is money for this transfer. Kara (responds): Yes, Ray gets the money from the church and now we need to transfer it to pay the engineer. The amount to transfer is for a few months. Favor: 7, No: 0, Abstain: 1 (PF)

    Kara: I motion to pay for Printers (Ricoh) *enabling all copy machines to print and adding two smaller printers to the Annex building. Andy Seconded. Discussion: Sarah: Will this cover the extra costs of toner/ink? Kara (responds): All those costs including maintenance will be included in the lease contract that already exists. There will be no additional costs. Vote: Favor: 7, No: 0, Abstain: 1 (PF)

    Silvia: I motion to pay for the Robotics Club; “Artifice”. Andy Seconded.

    Discussion: Paula: I think it is a lot of money for only 12 kids. Silvia and Anne: This includes programming, equipment, and highly skilled personnel. Kara: I see this as a prototype for what the relationship can be in the future. It many only be 12 kids now but this is the beginning of a relationship, on both sides I think. Cynthia: Is this sustainable – is this cost everything? Silvia: Yes, I think this is a complete cost and includes the equipment. Anne: But it may be something to have the kids pay a small amount…if there are only 12 kids, you don’t want someone to just attend one session and then not go back.

    Denise: There are a lot of kids whose parents cannot afford Robotics camp. I don’t want those kids to miss out on this opportunity to change their lives, because you don’t know what this interaction can change in kids. And in the future we would need to see what we could do to expand it to more kids.

    Andy: This Partnerships sheet is wonderful and so helpful. Is the $1500 for volunteers and just for the equipment? Is someone being paid? Anne Responded: This is all volunteers and they are paying for their donated space, internet use. Andy: To get this going, you need to seed some ideas. I feel like this is a good investment. Sarah: This is a good deal using the program. Going to your point Denise that kids that don’t have access to this normally, it would be good to get kids who don’t usually get this to go. Paula: I’d like to have some thought behind who to fill in these positions and not first come, first served. Silvia: This was done for some past program where teachers recommended students specifically.

    Call for the vote for funding “Artifice”: In favor: 7; No – 0; Abstain: 1 (PF). Passes.

    Andy Motioned to pay for 1 Part Time Security Position (from 3pm – 6:30p). Kara Seconded. Discussion: Sarah: Is this only when basketball games are going on? Kara: I think it may be for every day. It is a good thing to have some more staff in the afternoon with this activities are going on. Megan should not have to be here for that entire time. Sarah: Can you confirm that 115 funds can be paid for a person and not directly for students? Kara: Yes. Vote: In favor: 7; No – 0; Abstain: 1 (PF). Passes.

    Andy Motioned to pay for 2 Part Time Lunch/Recess Positions (from 11 – 2). Kara Seconded. Discussion: (In General) This is a great thing – we need more help during lunch and recess. Vote: In favor: 7; No – 0; Abstain: 1 (PF). Passes. Sarah: Just make sure these 3 positions can be paid from 115 funds if that is where they are coming from.

    1. Brief Final Thoughts (LSC). Cynthia: Recess for Winter. Will someone be in charge? Can we get some Lost and Found Items to the teachers to make sure kids are prepared for the weather? Lost and Found box that will be discarded every Friday. Kara: Silke von Rossum has been washing the Lost and Found and now needs to know what is next. I can be in charge of trying to do something. Paula: This comes up every year. And some teachers think that it is really hard to outfit kids before lunch. I can help wash things. Nicky even suggested REI but those items would have to be returned. Cynthia: I talked with some teachers who would like to have some possibilities for kids who came to school without their winter things. Eleni: There are some coats in the office to borrow.

    Cynthia: International Night is 1/8 right after holiday. It is great to participate for families that are not originally from the US.

    Kara: I think our LSC meeting is for 1/8 so we should move it to 1/15.

    1. Adjourn (approximately 8:15p) Silvia Motioned. Andy Seconded. Unanimous to Adjourn.

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