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Minutes- Feb 12, 2015 LSC

Ray Elementary Local School Council

Minutes: Monthly Meeting, Thursday, February 12th at 5:30p, Cafeteria

Minutes- Feb 12, 2015 LSC

  1. Call to Order & Roll Call . Started meeting at 5:35pm.

Present: Megan Thole, Denise Hill, Sharon Burgin, Andy Carter, Eleni Lemberis, Kara Scott, and Jenny Wejman. We have 7 (and meet Quorum). Absent: Silvia Arbelaez-Ellis, Christopher Allen, Fran Grossman, Cynthia Horth, Sarah Ogeto.

  1. Adjust the Agenda (if necessary)

Sharon: Move Vote on Budget Items to right after Principal’s Report
Denise: Give Sarah Ogeto remarks after X – Public Participation.

Sharon motioned to make these agenda adjustments. Kara Seconded. Vote: All in Favor.

  1. Welcome.

  2. Principals Report. (see report)

Sarah Ogeto come in at 5:45pm. Silvia Arbelaez-Ellis came in at 5:55pm. Total: 9 members.

Sarah: Youth Guidance does great work and have been recognized by the President’s office. They do solid work with individuals and families.

8pm: Ms. Thole left for 8th Grade Assembly.

Agenda Item Move: Vote on Budget Items.

Andy moved to approve the $12,000 for counseling. Sharon seconded. No discussion.

In Favor: 6 – Kara, Silvia, Andy, Sharon, Eleni, Jenny; Abstain: 0 – Denise; No: 0. Sarah did not vote. Motion passes.

Sharon moved to approve $3,000 to Supply line. Andy Seconded. Discussion: Kara: We’ll go through the Committee meetings, but we had a Budget meeting and I was impressed with Ms. Thole and her responsibility with the budget. Vote: In Favor: 7 (Unanimous)

Andy moved to $4,000 to Profl Devt. Eleni Seconded. Vote: Unanimous in favor.

Silvia moved to approve the January transfer of $1,000 for supplies. Andy Seconded. Vote: All in Favor

  1. Public Comment

Daan von Rossum (Parent): Complaints about inside recess. There was 1st grader who had to stay all recess in the floor as a punishment from the day before. 1st Grade. Another time where all 1st graders had to stay in line for 10minutes until everyone is quiet and recess was only 10 minutes because there is only 20 minutes of recess. I’d like this to be communicated to the Staff if this is not what they should be doing. I don’t think this is a thing about volunteers.

Sharon: I volunteer at Recess for 4th and 5th Grade. I act like I have authority.

Cynthia joined at 6:10pm.

Silvia: What do you mean, he had to stay on the floor.

Daan: They had to wait in the hallway.

Sarah: This was brought up in the Social Climate. But we should be doing age-appropriate responses.

Cynthia: Thanks for coming to bring this to our attention. Parents have brought this up. One parent came up and said, my child loves class but hates recess. This child has to sit with only boys during lunch but he cannot sit elsewhere. There was one time where the whole class had to stand for misbehaviour of a few. When Ms. Thole was told, she said this will not happen again.

Sharon: I volunteer some times for 4th grade recess and it can be rough. Harder than middle school kids.

Kara: This is something close to my heart. So I can follow up on this.

Comment: Roger Huff (Community member): I’m here in connection with the neglect of the school to take care of the sidewalks that is the schools. They do a good job for most of the perimeter of the school until it gets to the North side of 56th. West side of street: Kenwood Ave from 56th St and 57th St. It is the school’s responsibility. I have a copy of the Park District lease to the school. I spoke with Christopher Allen, Engineer. As a member of the community, I’m disappointed that I did not get a call back. I came here tonight because I understand that the Principal is part of the LSC. I don’t know why another meeting would be scheduled on the same night as an LSC.

Denise: To respond to the points. Megan reached out to me about the 8th grade meeting, which is mandatory, to see how we could do both meetings. She made a concerted effort to be here but it just happens that way sometimes.

Roger: I talked to Dr. Hill last year and Chris Allen about this same issue.

Silvia: Thanks for bring it up. This was a huge problem last year with all 57th St. Megan is very responsive with emails rather than phone calls.

Kara: The Administration says that it is not Ray’s responsibility. I asked Megan about it a few days after the storm and that was her response. She did look into it. I think even if it is not Ray’s responsibility there is also a reason for being a good neighbor to shovel. I think the administration is wrong, who else would shovel there? But there is also a lack of resources. We have one full-time person for Ray, which is the engineer. The other Maintenance are contracted from Aramark. This works against the simple task of getting sidewalks shoveled. And I want to say that some of my emails get responded on Sunday evenings. Ms. Thole is very busy and works tirelessly for Ray.

David Adams: I want to also say that it has affected Kiss-n-Go. Kids cannot get inside. Parents drop off on 56th because they cannot get down the cul-de-sac. Kids are being dropped off and walking through the teacher parking lot.

Andy: We’ve also talked about this in the Gardening committee. Part of the problem is that we don’t have very good equipment to address the snow removal.

Kenneth Newman (Class of ’72): I spoke 1.5 hours last week on the Superintendent of Grounds. I will follow up with trying to get a new snowplow for Ray.

  1. Announcements from other Organizations

Kenneth Newman (Class of ’72): Please pick up the Chicago Reader on article of books that were pulled. Brookfield Zoo has a new program to teach Science at the schools. JPAC is in for this program. JPAC: We have a lot of exciting things planned. Someone from the LSC should come to our meetings.

Kara: On testing: Meeting Feb 18, 6:30 – 8pm with More Than A Score. They’ve done a lot of work to review the PARCC test. Also a history of how testing became an industry. This is important information.

Denise: CAC: The next meeting is at Kenwood at 5:30 Mingle; 6pm start.

  1. Presentation from the Office of Student Health & Wellness. Diane & Laura

We had a 10min presentation from the Office of Student Health & Wellness on the new program being developed on Sexual Health Education.


Sarah Ogeto: What about kids who have moved schools if they haven’t followed through the program.

Response: We recommend that the teacher start with the prior year’s curriculum to review with kids who are new to the school or with the rollout.

Silvia: What does it need to be a national leader?

Response: There are very few school systems that have aligned with national standards of health.

Silvia: I heard some bad press about Chicago’s Sexual Health Education…

Denise: Yes there was a report in DNAinfo but that was not the program that is being taught.

Silvia: Then it would be good to know what should happen if a parent has complaints.

Denise: The Curriculum Connection for parents: is that online, is there a hard copy? Is there a workshop for parents?

Response: That is what we are working at. The Curriculum Connection is about 200 pages so we are trying to figure out with schools how to get the information out.

Denise: What support is there for bullying or for teens that are pregnant?

Response: We don’t have that support, that is a separate department. But we discuss where to turn to for support and that includes discussion on good info and bad info on the internet. Also where else to turn to for information.

Ken Newman: If there is problems in printing?

Sharon: During the curriculum, is there going to be movies or slides?

Response: After the teacher gets certified in teaching this info, the teacher gets access for video and slides.

Sharon: There is something the nurse is doing? Is that the separate or the same?

Eleni: This is a separate program that the nurse is doing. The nurse took the initiative for a separate partner. It’s is more about puberty.

Response: We also have community partners; approved partners that can come in and build on some of these partners. We have that available for schools if they want to go that route.

Sharon: I can tell you from this meeting, that parents wanted a male teacher to talk to the boy students. Could you send someone from your office?

Denise: I have a comment on how to disseminate the 200-pg info is to have Info-Graphics. We are having a parent center, we could have one copy there.

  1. Updates
  1. Fund-raising: Denise: We spoke about this last meeting…
  1. Other. None.
  1. Discuss Calendar/Topic-Areas for Continued Discussion Series.

Denise: I want to start for March; Achievement Gap, Discipline Gap, Middle-School. I’ll talk to Megan about possibilities on doing this. This could inform the CIWP.

If you have topic areas of suggestion because it doesn’t have to stay with those topics. If you have people that you would like to present either in-house or other.

Discussion ensued.

  1. Vision/Strategic Planning for the Year

Denise: Sharon, I think you had brought this up, would this be the CIWP?

Sharon: I think that it would be good to have some long term goals for the school. I think some things that could go amiss is the longevity. The LSC can change, the principal can change, and all good things can fall apart. I feel we have a really great leader and with the partnerships. These are all short term things. I think if we have a vision for the middle school for the next 4 years, how we will get there without that vision.

Discussion ensued.

  1. Other
  1. Presentation from the Office of Student Health & Wellness (Moved up)
  1. Committee Reports : **Written Communiques Also Available for some Committees**
    1. Communications (Cynthia Horth). Denise: Cynthia has a written recap. We have a new website.
    2. School Climate (Sarah Ogeto). Sent out minutes today. We have a meeting on 2/28 (Sat) to roll up our sleeves. Parent and Teachers would use this space. Idea to work on every other Sat and hope to open in June. Paula is now the chair, but I don’t think I can serve as Secretary. There is a designer who is working pro bono for the room.
  1. Partnerships (Silvia Arbelaez-Ellis). Look at the website for the Partnerships. Andy will talk about another exciting one. We will try and paint rooms this summer.
  1. CIWP (Kara Scott). No news.
  1. Budget (Kara Scott). We are comfortable in our budget. We don’t have it to hire personnel but we have a healthy amount of money that needs to be spent this year.
  1. PPLC (Eleni Lemberis). Release dates for alignments. PPLC and ILT have a good conversation right now. We are now focusing on PERSEVERANCE.
  1. Facilities (Christopher Allen). AbSENT.
  1. Gardening (Andy Carter). Lots have happened. A10 restaurant approached Megan on a possible pilot. Silvia and I went to Disney2 for a presentation and they were doing these cooking demonstrations for all classes. We had a gardening meeting this week and Marcy Shlessinger has a plan for a multi-year plan for the use of land. Ms. Gollum will provide for us a CAD drawing for this design. Our goal is to have a design plan to present to the PTA before the end of the year. Anne Renna also has a plan for the trees on the North end. We had a walkthrough with Openlands with Jerome Scott and Michael of Openlands. We have 2 meetings in March: March 10 and 31st. I will be gone mid-April through mid-June. We want to make this a hospitable place with benches and tables and also a place for Art to be put up.
  1. Safety & Security (David Adams). Absent (but spoke during Public Comment).
  1. Public Participation. No one here.
  2. Approve Previous Minutes

Sarah: On full-day kindergarten, the discussion brings out a larger issue of determining what to do even if the administration doesn’t support it. The LSC can make its own decisions and whether to work within the confines of CPS.

Andy: I move to approved minutes from January 15. Kara Seconded. Discussion: None.

Vote: in Favor: 6 ; Abstain 1 (DH). Passed.

  1. Vote on Budget Items (if necessary). Moved to top of Agenda.
  2. Brief Final Thoughts (LSC): Sarah Ogeto: I am stepping down. We made a decision to withdraw our son from Ray. It was an honor and a pleasure to serve on this board. I encourage the LSC to do all within its purview. A lot of assets and talents are here at the school.

Denise: Thank you Sarah for your dedicated service. As to the room, Legacy doesn’t just stop when you’re gone but you’ve left us something that will continue and work on. You will be missed.

  1. Adjourn. Sharon: Move to Adjourn; Andy Seconded. All in Favor. Meeting ended at 8:05pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Kara Scott, Secretary

Approved: June 11, 2015

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