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Minutes- Nov 13, 2014 LSC

Ray Elementary Local School Council

Monthly Meeting, Thursday, November 13 at 6:15p, Cafeteria


  1. Call to Order & Roll Call. Meeting began at 6:20pm. Present: Megan Thole, Denise Hill, Silvia Arbelaez-Ellis, Andy Carter, Cynthia Horth, Eleni Lemberis, Kara Scott, and Jenny Wejman. Sarah Ogeto arrived at 6:25pm. Total members: 9; Quorom Met. Absent: Chris Allen, Paula Florell.

  2. Approve Agenda. Denise: Paula is not here so we will table Section 9a so that she can lead it. Motion to Approve the Agenda without Section 9a (Rapid Response Safety Team), made by Kara, Seconded by Silvia. In Favor: 8 (Unanimous) *Note Sarah was not present at this time.
  3. Welcome. Denise welcomed all. The audience was roughly 40 parents.

  4. “State of Ray” presentation by Principal Thole

Data: We’ve met and exceeded Illinois. Last year 2014, there was some changes in scores but note that ISAT was being phased out. We saw a drop in Reading between 2013 and 2014 but Math Stayed consistent.

There is a bigger push for NWEA. We took only end of year (EOY) last year. So our data points is for one test. NWEA Reading, similar to ISAT info. Reading GROWTH slide (3b): 62% met growth. This is okay in terms of how the school is being assessed. Growth is esp. important for this upcoming rating system, SQRP. Math is a little lower than Reading attainment. Math is 55% and Reading is 60%.

Our Goals and Strategies. Differentiation and different programs to assess and individualize the instruction. Different styles of reading and other literary programs.

Strategies: Professional Development. Inside PD; Also can get outside PD. Different assessment tools and need help to support for PARCC. CIWP: We are reviewing and adjusting the CIWP right now. We need more Math support, so we are putting more money towards Math. Also for 7th and 8th grades.

  1. Public Comment

+ So happy to hear about additional support for 7th grade Math, because my daughter’s grades are around B and C. Glad to hear more help in Math. I want to thank Ms. Chapputi for the extra help she has given my daughter. I know I am not alone when I say, I cannot help my daughter with some of her homework. I want to hear about more resources for Math for Ray Students.

+ Is there a difference in testing between the students that have been here at Ray from K, to those that come in later on? Megan’s response: We could if we wanted. There are students coming from many schools, and that said, these are Ray students now. We will address where they are and to teach them.

+ I’ve been hearing about parents’ revolt against testing and I can see why. This is a large amount of time for testing. Megan’s response: All students will take testing 3x a year. There are other test that we could take, a benchmark CPS test, but we don’t. 3rd grade and on will be a state test. No one knows how PARCC will affect how long the kids will take to test.

+ In addition to PD, as teachers are going through transition, so are the students. We need to add Classroom Management in addition to how to teach. Because if the classroom isn’t orderly, the students can not learn.

+ How is attendance? Megan’s response: It is about the same as last year which is about 94% but we want to raise it to 96%. We are beginning some incentives like extra recess or computer time or something. We are also trying to reach to the parents.

+ Did you look at the BOY NWEA in terms of the different demographics? Megan: Yes, we did by grade level and there is still an achievement gap between diverse learners. Boys are also lower. There is a gap racially and socio-economically but I will assess and look at the numbers more for MOY instead of BOY.

+Have you sat down with grade level teams to see what things have been done or will be done differently? Megan: I can speak to lower-intermediate grades, we’ve begun using MathTalks which helps to explain. In 1st grade, we are doing a walking/reading program, which means instruction depends on where the student is (in terms of high-level, or focus on vocabulary or reading aloud).

+ Some of these are large class sizes, any chance of an aid? Megan: Not an aid but we are getting tutors through U of C program and also aiding the students.

+ Do we reach Title 1 threshold? Megan: No we do not.

+ Will we get another presentation in the MOY? Megan: Sure, another powerpoint is possible.

+ I’m wondering about NWEA, is there any help for the students to reach their goal? Megan: I think that is what the teachers are doing, helping students meet their goal. We meet with the teachers, and we work with small groups so that it is tailored instruction.

Ended at 7:00pm

  1. Announcements from other Organizations

Kenneth Newman, JPAC: Bigger push for education, I would like to see a couple of teachers at the next JPAC meeting new Earl Shapiro Lab School, Monday, Dec 8th at 7pm.

Katie Gruber, CAC: Murray, next Wed, Nov. 19 and for Dec 17, 6pm

  1. Committee Reports :

**Written Communiques Also Available for some Committees**

  1. Principal’s Report (Megan Thole)

Science: We are currently doing PD on how to teach standards for next year. Attendance, I spoke to. Finance: for SBB, we did not get any cuts (we were looking to loose $265,000). We also have SGSA, we have a boost of $31,000 (as we were projected to lose $12,000). This is Supplemental Funding and we have not received it yet but we can fund groups.

  1. Communications (Cynthia Horth): I have a written sum up. We have done a lot and it is amazing. We have a draft Mission statement that will need to be voted in on the LSC. We have someone for the website; The Facebook has changed through PTA but now can be updated. We have a brochure, I have a draft to used to publicize during Open Houses. A survey on how to communicate has been passed out during Parent Teacher Conferences. We are thinking of a flat screen to continue showing news at the front door. There will be another meeting, but it is not scheduled yet. Also the LSC blog will be changing so we can update the site by committee.
  2. School Climate (Sarah Ogeto). We had our first and thanks for those who participated. We focused on the CIWP School Climate and Culture. There will be another meeting some time next week, in the Latin room (as know it). It will be in the PTA eNews.
  3. Partnerships (Silvia Arbelaez-Ellis). I’d like to highlight the goal: To grow partnerships with and around the community, and also to apply for grants. We have focused on University of Chicago, and went to Chicago International Children’s Film Festival. LaWanda, Gordon and Anne with partnership with Hyde Park Bank, and they will buy the basketball team’s uniforms. Mentoring programs and tutoring programs, we’ve been working with the PTA and others because we cannot do it alone. We’ve talked to teachers to see what the needs are. Next meeting: 1st Thursday of every month, at 7pm, Place TBD.
  4. CIWP (Kara Scott). We’ve met and it has been good to review and tighten up the past CIWP and make it specific to the programs being implemented now. Also to have the goals measurable.
  5. Budget (Kara Scott). This is to follow CIWP so we will now be meeting hopefully before the December LSC meeting.
  6. PPLC (Jenny Wejman & Eleni Lemberis). 1st Thurs of every month, 7:45am. We had elections, and it is great because we have a wide variety of teachers for all grades and backgrounds. The Middle school teachers shared a lot and we look at Science, Math and Literacy for the CIWP. And we feel we want to put in Accountability in terms of practice and PD. Many of the PPLC are also Network meetings. And what the network is trying to do Best Practice, which shows results. And we want to connect to the ILT. We want to be collaborators.
  7. Facilities (Christopher Allen) – N/A
  8. Gardening (Andy Carter) We had a 2nd meeting last Tuesday. We have a strong teacher representative, Ms. Garcia, who has made garden an important learning facility. It has been brought up that the space around the school is not so inviting. We are working on a survey to get input to get ideas to make the space around the school to be more useful for students, parents and teachers. We’d like to make it the 2nd Tuesday of the month in Ms. Garcia, but it changes. The next meeting Tuesday, January 20th, 5:30pm. It would be good to have more parent volunteers. Contact me. We’d like to get a Landscaper to take a look, give us ideas and then do some fundraising.
  9. Safety & Security (David Adams). We’ve been doing Kiss ‘n Go and we still need more volunteers. I’ve gotten some other questions about other things (dogs in the playground, buses idling, and if a child is missing) but I really just run the Kiss ‘n Go. I don’t know if we need to change the name because the committee doesn’t handle all the security. We’re starting to try and get Student Volunteers. I want to get a few convex mirrors for the teacher’s parking lot and the alley west of Kimbark.
  • Old Business
    1. Next Steps Regarding National Resolution on High Stakes Testing: Discussing PARCC

    Denise: I wanted to bring up the information because the last LSC voted to adopt the resolution on high stakes testing. The PARCC is coming up and there is a lot of information about it.

    Kara: There is a question on whether to implement it this year or not. There is a great youtube video of the Evanston School Board discussing the implementation of PARCC and that it really hasn’t been field-tested enough yet.

    Andy: The open-response for math, this is a good place to go towards. It is appropriate to be concerned, but you need to be sure not to make your response to quick. This is a good shift. Whether the implementation is correct or not, well that needs to be addressed.

    1. Other

    LSC Info Sheet: Denise: If you did not submit, please do. Megan responded: I have it all.

    Denise: We need a new ByLaws committee chair. We will add this for next year. Likewise, if you have a new description, please get that written out so we can update our bylaws.

    Sarah: Did we agree on the process to fill the seats? Denise responded: It is written in the bylaws.

    1. New Business
    1. Rapid Response Safety Team – TABLED
    2. December Open House. Monday, December 1st,, 9 – 11am. Last year, the LSC took the charge on the Open House. So if anyone can take charge on this, send an email to Denise and Megan
    3. Call for LSC Community Rep & LSC Parent Rep. Denise: I’d like to set the deadline for submitting to be December 5th. So that we can review before the next LSC meeting. Send to Denise and to Kara.
    4. Other
    1. Public Participation.

    David Spearman (parent): There are 2 positions opened, 1 Parent and 1 Community? Response: Yes.

    Kenneth Newman (community): JPAC has a docent that does some landscaping. Maybe we can do some of these things together with Gardening? I’m looking to work with older kids on more serious science issues, ecosystems.

    Sharon Burgin (parent): Two things thinking about math: 1 Could we consider a math team to get kids excited about math? 2. About Gardening, I think it is great to involve students, and maybe we could grow food? Because it can be a real good lesson on social justice, food systems. It is a great possibility. Andy responded: On a workday, we harvested these wild tomatoes, and we would have like to bring it in. But there are new regulations and we were a little concerned about restrictions. Megan responded: You cannot give out anything during the school day, so you can do this after 3:45.

    LaWanda May (parent, PTA): I think Sharon’s idea on a Math Team is great. The directory is a great idea, thanks Cynthia. The PTA is helping with that, so I just ask the families to complete the forms (you can also ask not to be in the directory).

    1. Approve Previous Minutes : October 2, October 9. Silvia moves to approve October 2 then October 9. Andy seconded. Favor: 7; Oppose, none; Abstain: 2. Motion Carries.
    2. Vote on Budget Items (if necessary). One to move to a budget line for additional Afterschool Funds support. Around $4,000. It is a bucket fund to open and get additional support, to to get After School Fund. Kara Moved. Andy Seconded: We will transfer the funds to open a budget line from internal accounts. Any discussion: None. In favor: 9 (Unanimous). Motion carries.
    3. Brief Final Thoughts (LSC)

    Cynthia: Is there someone who can help David with Security?

    Cynthia: We need to review the description for student involvement.

    Cynthia: Do you want a copy of the brochure before the Communications prints out? Yes.

    1. Adjourn. Silvia moves, Andy Seconds. In favor: 9 (Unanimous).

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