Minutes SAC meeting – October 16th, 2014
Present: Rich Templin (Chair), Principal Van Camp, Assistant-Principal Williams, Mr. Landrum, Stephanie McGriff, Grace Francis, Lee Parker, Bridgitt Birmingham, Marie-Claire Leman, Will Hanley, Erin Rosatti, Ms. Howard, Mary Jo Peltier, Joarvonia Alexander, Daphne Holden (by phone for 1st part of meeting), Beth Roach, Tene Newman, Nicole Littleton, Sarah Strom, Kara Yancey (Big Brothers Big Sisters), Katherine Solz, Jane McKinney, Wendy Davis, Kia Rhymes, and Rich Templin. The above names were listed on the meeting’s sign in sheet.
The initial part of this meeting was for the 2013-2014 SAC. The matter for discussion was the School Improvement Plan (SIP).
Principal Van Camp gave some highlights about the SIP:
- In the introductory sections there is emphasis on Trauma sensitive approach
- In establishing the goals to be met this year, we took into consideration that we have new standards and new tests. Goals: ELA – have at least 50% of students proficient on 2015 FSA; Math - have at least 50% of students proficient on 2015 FSA; Science – we are using same state assessments so our goal is to increase the percentage of students scoring a level 3 and above from 44 percent to 54 percent.
- Throughout the SIP, we are aligning resources with needs.
Mr. Templin opened the floor to comments concerning the SIP, with the optic of moving towards a motion eventually.
Ms. Roach: If the SIP is approved, can the new SAC change it? How set in stone is it?
Principal Van Camp: While we plan and strategize, our resources change and we have to adjust accordingly to create the best learning environment. The SIP is a living document.
Mr. Templin: We got caught by the calendar. There are a lot of issues that were brought to the table and that are still open and pending and didn't end up in the plan. My vote is contingent on revisiting those parts. The SIP is a lot more than a formality; it is a dialogue between stakeholders. The calendar has set limits but the law has not and our continued work could improve the school. My desire is to keep working on these issues.
Ms. Holden (by speaker phone): After two years of participation, I feel the SIP reflects so little of what came out in conversations and surveys. I am encouraged by the Trauma-informed approach but I don't want everything that didn't make it in the plan to simply drop out. I am disappointed that the SIP doesn't reflect the discussions that were had.
Mr. Templin: I am looking for a motion from one of the 2013-2014 SAC members.
Ms. Newman: Is there a list of concerns that we can see?
Mr. Templin: Yes, it exists and we can email it.
Principal Van Camp: SIP is a coming together of information but it is not all inclusive. It acts as a road map of a prioritized list of things that are not going to change and it is focused on academics to create a learning environment. We are in a new age, with a new curriculum, new standards. We have an extra hour with a specific mandate for reading. We have to measure and demonstrate our students' success. The SIP was done in a collaborative way with teachers and parents. We don't want to bite off more than we can chew. We can look at other items, while attending daily that all the needs be met. The data tells a story about what helps us attain our goals. The SAC is advisory in nature to help improve the learning environment.
Mr. Templin and Principal Van Camp noted the absence of quorum. (M. Parker had not yet arrived)
Principal Van Camp moved to delay vote to the next meeting of the 2014-2015 SAC. The motion was seconded by Ms. Rosatti. The motion passed.
Mr. Templin moved that the 2013-2014 SAC be adjourned Sine die. Motion seconded by Principal Van Camp. Motion passed.
Second part of meeting – first meeting of the 2014-2015 School Advisory Council
Principal Van Camp facilitated the meeting until the election of new officers.
Principal Van Camp clarified the duties of each office:
Chair: keeping us in motion and following our agenda
Co-Chair: fulfills functions of the Chair in his/her absence
Secretary: keeps minutes. This is very important – ensures institutional memory and historical knowledge of meetings. Must keep track of what people said they will do, what was brought up, etc.
Principal Van Camp called for volunteers for the position of Chair. Rich Templin volunteered to chair. There were no objections.
Mr. Templin, as chair, now resumed facilitating the meeting.
Mr. Templin explained that he looks at the co-chair as a partner in the job of keeping the entity on track. He called for nominations for co-chair. Ms. Howard nominated Mr. Landrum. This was seconded by Grace Francis. Mr. Landrum accepted. Principal Van Camp spoke to this nomination: Mr. Landrum is a veteran and he will be a good one to navigate us through all the changes that are upon us.
There were no objections: Mr. Landrum is co-chair.
Mr. Templin called for nominations for Secretary.
Principal Van Camp said that Judi McDowell is very good at it and that she knows she would be willing to accept the nomination. There were no objections.
EDEP: Ms. Rosatt distributed the newsletter
21st Century: Ms. Rosatt explained that we are waiting to hear back from DCF and DOE – at this point it is not a question of 'if' but rather of 'when' the program will start. We will be partnering with United Way and they will bring in a lot of new activities and supplies.
PTO: Grace Francis as vice-president of the PTO talked about the direct donation campaign. Up to this point in time the campaign had raised $1600. The paypal link remained open until Monday Oct. 20th (post-meeting note: paypal link still open for donations). Fall Carnival is coming up on November 25th. October 28th is the next PTO meeting. Stephanie McGriff reminded everyone of Movie night, Oct. 17th – Rio 2 will be showing and concessions will be sold as a fundraiser.
Mr. Lee Parker: no DAC updates at this time.
Mr. Templin paused the meeting so that everyone could introduce themselves. Both Mr. Hanley and Assistant Principal Williams made note of the positive change of the meeting being scheduled in the late afternoon.
Principal's Update: Principal Van Camp explained that we are facing many new changes and she would like to invite experts to come answer questions and inform the council to make sure that we have all the information we need going forward. She wondered if we would like to have this guest speaker scheduled for the next meeting or for the one in December.
Ms. Leman: How long would the presentation take? How far can we push back the vote on the SIP?
Principal Van Camp: The bulk of the agenda would be taken by the presentation. The issues brought up by the presentation and in the SIP dovetail nicely.
Mr. Hanley: Is there a list of people we can invite from which we can choose?
Principal Van Camp: Stuart Greenberg is one of them. He is the Director of School Accountability (note post-meeting: his title at the district seems to be Division Director of Teaching and Learning)
Gillian Gregory – Director of Teaching, Research and Evaluation – is the other.
Various members of the council raised concerns about the timing of the guest speaker. On the one hand, members wanted to be well prepared before the presentation to be able to ask questions and benefit from the speaker's presence. Others felt that to move forward at all as a body we needed to gain the knowledge that this expert could provide. Then there was the concern of not wanting to push back a vote on the SIP too far, but yet not be rushed into the vote for lack of time at the next meeting to discuss the SIP among ourselves. We considered waiting until December to have the guest speaker present. We considered holding a special session of SAC devoted to the guest speaker. Principal Van Camp raised the concern that because some people were not present and we had agreed that meetings would be the 3rd Thursday of each month it would not be fair to schedule a meeting on another date in their absence. Mr. Landrum proposed that we have the speaker come in November, get the information we need, take the time to reflect and come back to our December meeting with a jump start. This plan was approved.
Mr. Templin reminded the body that the SIP is our main job and he pledged to send information by email to help inform the body.
Mr. Templin motioned to adjourn meeting.
Mr. Parker seconded and there were no objections.