Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting – February 23, 2012
GALILEO ACADEMY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting
Marcus called the meeting to order at 10:10am.
I. Academic Honesty
–Marcus emailed his colleagues and received information from Lincoln and Balboa that he shared with the group. He asked members to take the information back to their departments for feedback. He suggested we table this item until the next meeting.
II. Master Schedule Update
–Nancy said we are done registering students on the Google form. She is waiting for the district to be ready for the district registration. She hopes to be able to have counselors start this process in the next several days.
–Nancy will need to get information from this group about placements and she will send out a Google dock for this issue.
–Michelle brought up the fact that some teachers feel with some students it is not a good idea for them to register for honors or AP classes. She asked about the process. Nancy reviewed the problems we had with this last fall.
–If a teacher does not give approval for an AP or honors class, the counseling office will honor the teacher’s request. There is a criteria for honors and AP classes and if the students do not meet the criteria, then they should not take those classes.
–David said his department has so many students signing up, that they have to cut students, so they drop the students who do not qualify.
–Marti discussed how the Math department did this last year.
–Marcus mentioned the superintendent’s policy, but if we have criteria, we can honor that. We also look at each student on an individual basis.
–Nancy will send out information next week. She would like to have information by March 16th.
–Patrick asked which weeks of the first 6-weeks a student could opt out of honors or AP classes. Nancy said that they need to go through the 7-step process.
–Nancy said there would not be placement tests for incoming 9th graders in May, as the district changes the information over the summer. This year we will do the placement tests the first few days of school.
–Patrick asked about the Feb. 6th access to Scheduler. This always causes a “crunch.” Nancy said she has to enter the information on Scheduler and it is easier to provide this information to the faculty after it has been entered.
–Ben asked when the new system, Genesis, will be ready. Nancy said we are supposed to be using it by this time next year. Nancy said the district has not signed the contract yet.
–Katie said the name has been changed to Synergy.
–Marcus said the budget is due on March 23rd.
–Kathleen said that low-level ELL students should not be taking foreign language. Nancy said that it can be posted on the transcripts that these students have taken foreign language.
–Denise asked when we will know how many students and how many sections? She mentioned that we will need to order books.
III. Budget Update
–Katie said we would take a $659,000 hit next year. This is reflecting a drop of 147 students. We are being budgeted at what we are showing now. 2,074 students for next year. Ethan asked if there is Scenarios A, B and C, and Katie said no. She also mentioned that schools across the district are looking at the same drops. We are getting more SCE and AP monies, down in all other categories.
–Marcus said we would be moving fast with the SSC to make decisions.
–Katie asked everyone to hoard supplies, as it will be thinner next year. She asked everyone to conserve supplies so we can go with a lower operating budget. The district is mandating that 2% of budgets have to go for operating budget. David would like to know how that compares with our budget this year.
–Ethan asked if it would be SSC, Administration, and Leadership Team making the decisions on cuts.
–Katie said the district will issue many lay-off notices—it will be blanketed.
–Marcus said we will work from our priorities, and then A-G requirements.
–Marcus said we would know by March 23rd if we will have layoffs.
–Patrick said the two priorities are to keep staff and keep lower class sizes.
–Marcus said there are still some protected positions.
–Katie said last year we spent $292,000—on operating budget—that is 3% of our total budget. Next year we will have $177,513 for operating budget.
–Denise asked about ordering books for next year and what the deadlines will be.
–Joseph asked if the seniors have to pay for their own graduation. The seniors now have $17.000 and graduation costs around $13,000.
IV. Hall Sweep Update
–Allison reported on the Hall Sweeps. We have done 3 of them and we will continue to do this once a day for the next week and then on a random basis. Everyone who is caught gets detention that day.
–Patrick said this is fantastic. He mentioned that the security aides have had hours and pay cuts. Please thank the security aides for their hard work with the hall sweeps.
–Denise mentioned the U’s for citizenship grades for tardies, absences, electronics, etc. She would like to see this enforced as a school policy.
–Joseph would like to have the administration see the attendance issues the parents complain about from the teachers’ perspectives.
–Allison said hall passes now have become a hot commodity as students are grabbing them so they can be in the halls.
–Patrick said we should gather some data—why are students out of class, how many hall passes have been stolen, etc.
–Denise suggested we always ask students why they are out of class in the halls.
–Kathleen suggested a secret code on the back of the pass.
–Marcus said we will discuss this again in a few weeks.
V. NASA Visit Update
–We now have the name of the astronaut—Captain Daniel W. Bursch.
–Karen sent out 11 invitations to district personnel. She has heard from 6 that they will be coming.
–Karin has 36 confirmed students and would like to have 9 more. The students will mingle with the district personnel, the NASA visitors, can win prizes, and other benefits.
–Karin distributed information on the event.
–Marcus said it would be great to include some of the under served students.
–Michelle asked about the date for the Spring Open House. Marcus said we would table this item.
VI. Professional Courtesy
–Mathew mentioned an email folks received from one of his department members. This involved a staff member removing a student from the classroom without acknowledging the teacher, while the class was taking a test.
–We should greet each other as professionals. This is great for morale. Remind out department members to say Hi to other adults.
–David said it was easier to meet other teachers when faculty meetings were held in the cafeteria.
–Ben reminded everyone not to give students your passwords. Do not let students enter grades, etc.
Marcus thanked Jessica, Wellness, and GSA for the LoveFest. We also got good press from Ms. Franzen’s class at Crissy Field. Also, thanks to Sgt. Hardee and Rebecca for the BSU assembly.
–Michelle felt that this assembly was invitational, but if it concerns cultural awareness, everyone should go. It is hard to have mandatory assemblies, but we need to make sure students can go to assemblies concerning their cultures.
–Some suggested that some boring assemblies be eliminated.
–Joseph mentioned the two invitational assemblies he puts on. He discussed the timing and felt that the last week of a grading period is not a good time for an assembly.
–On March 5th, SFPD will put on a presentation on different careers. They will target students who are on the cusp of truancy. Students will be given a pass to the presentation. These are not chronically truant students. This will address what students can do with just a high school diploma.
–Requests were made to have this presentation at other than class time. Allison said she is not able to do the scheduling.
Leadership Team adjourned at 11:15pm.
I. Policy for Students Returning Books
–Michelle said Allison Wagner is seeing a problem with Cyber High and the materials that are distributed.
–Some felt we have no policy for returning textbooks.
–Joseph felt the real deadline is when they graduate. He felt that they should be penalized at the end of each school year.
–Patrick suggested we table this until we get a clear handle on the program.
–Denise said her department hands out the cards, if the books are not returned then Connie goes after the students to return the books.
–Michelle mentioned the English department book room usually gets all returned books.
–This will be the topic for Wednesday’s meeting.
–Marcus will distribute information.
III. School Loop/Department Meeting
–Michelle mentioned an email Marcus distributed from a parent. Much discussion in her department and between department heads followed.
–Michelle asked what Marcus’ response to the parent was. Marcus said he emailed the individual teachers of the students to email the parent.
–Michelle would like to see what the teachers thought about this and what kind of support they can expect.
–This will be tabled until the next meeting.
–David felt this should be brought up at the next faculty meeting, and Marcus could provide his expectations.
–Marti and Michelle thought mixing with other department members would produce helpful conversations about School Loop—strategies, practices, etc.
–Denise mentioned the startling of the short bell rings for the custodians. Is there another way of alerting the custodians?
–David saw that the next staff meeting is March 14th, and he thought we might move it up to February 29th, as the following week is not an early release date.
–Mat asked for a quick decision on this as he has a guest speaker scheduled.
–Patrick said he has databases to promote in each department. Some teachers use these for research projects. David said these have citable sources. Patrick will come to department meetings and provide instructions.
–Katie said there was no tardy report with the bell schedule options—passing time 5 minutes or 7 minutes.
–Michelle asked Marcus about Special Ed data. She mentioned she has heard that some of the regular ed. teachers are not the best match for students coming out of special ed. Teachers are labeled “effective” or “not effective” with working with these students. She felt some of the language should be changed when asking teachers if they will accept these students.
–Joseph suggested that no class should have more than the percentage of Special Ed students in the school. He said this is an equity issue.
–David said it is an equity issue for students as well.
–Denise suggested para support in the classroom.
Meeting adjourned at 11:30am.