3/21/2012 Meeting Minutes


Galileo Academy of Science and Technology

1150 Francisco Street, San Francisco, CA  94109

Room 210 at 3:30 P.M.

Location and Time of Meeting


School Site Council Meeting-March 21, 2012

X  Agenda Attached

X  Attendance/sign-in attached

Present:  Marcus Blacksher, Stan DeBella, Doug Page, Jonathan Ring, Woodraw Smith, Patrick Delaney, Mele Lau-Smith, Claire Siegel, Nicole Torres, Jacky Chau, Clarissa Lee, Anna Mai, Nancy Lambert-Campbell, Karin Lau, Tony Payne, Katie Pringle, William Hoffland, Gayline Tom, Michelle Moffet, Michael Kyle

Absent (Excused): None

X  Minutes of the previous meeting approved


Decision Made/Issues Reviewed

I.  Call to Order

– M. Lau-Smith called the meeting to order at 3:41 pm.  There were twelve elected members present; a quorum was established.  Introductions went around the room.


II.  Approval of 3/14/2012 Meeting Minutes

– The site council decided to postpone this item to the next meeting.


III.  New Business

– There weren’t any new agenda items.


IV.  Old Business

1.  2012/2013 SY Preliminary Budget

– M. Lau-Smith set the ground rules for the second part of the site council meeting to continue discussing the preliminary budget.  She hoped that K. Pringle had gotten the answers to the five questions formulated from the March 14 meeting so that the council could go forward with passing the preliminary budget.  Here were K. Pringle’s answers to the five questions:

i.  Is it a guarantee that Galileo will get the AP money in the fall?

– She couldn’t get a reply from downtown and the fact remained that the AP money hadn’t been loaded in our budget allocations.  Though Galileo would likely get the money in the fall, the school couldn’t plan on using it.

ii.  In what areas can Galileo use the categorical funding –EIA/SCE and EIA/LEP?

– The school could use these restrictive monies for supplementing but not supplanting services and classroom supplies for their target student population.

iii.  Why does Galileo have 7.4% cuts to its budget when the District has millions in reserve?

– S. DeBella and P. Delaney brought attention to this issue.

iv.  How does the school use its non-personnel fund?

– K. Pringle explained that out of the total non-personnel budget of $263,105, $150,000 went to the different departments; the balance of $113,105 was used for school-wide.

v.  Can the school reduce its required 2% in non-personnel and replenish it in the fall when the school gets the AP money?

– The 2% stipulation in non-personnel applied only to the WSF fund, not the entire budget allocation.

– K. Pringle presented her budget spreadsheets (see attached):

Page 1 – Budget Allocations (same as March 14)

Page 2 – Budget Summary (same as March 14)

Page 3 – All Cuts 2012-13

– The spreadsheet showed all the possible cuts in non-classroom and classroom with the bottom line of $203,874 remaining for non-personnel expenditure.

Page 4 – Possible Cuts 2012-13

– The spreadsheet showed all the possible cuts in non-classroom and classroom incorporating all the changes proposed by the school site council on March 14 and the leadership team meeting with the bottom line of -$13,103 remaining for non-personnel expenditure.

Page 5 – The Cost of Salaries for Administration, Certificated, Classified in four years.


– K. Pringle explained Page 4 in details and suggested that when the site council meet again to discuss the fall final allocation in September, the members could decide what services and personnel to restore if there were new money.

– After K. Pringle’s presentation, M. Lau-Smith asked that each member take 2 minutes to comment on the proposed cuts on Page 4 and to try to base their reactions around the District and school priorities (District-English Language Learners, Special Education, Common Learning Assessments/Common Core; school-9th Grade Transition, Algebra, A-G Alignment).


1.  W. Smith – If the ASB period were taken out of the school day, the action might cause the school culture to decline.  He suggested putting the ASB period back.  He felt the AVID program is generally successful.  If the school wanted to close the achievement gap, the AVID cuts should be reconsidered.


2.  N. Torres – She wanted to know that when resources are scarce, how do the admin and staff corroborate so that gaps are filled.  How do department heads come together to meet the challenges?  Does a process exist?


– Pringle cited that the school staff does work together to resolve issues.  For example, the counseling office had asked for an additional counselor, but the idea was overwhelmingly rejected.  And hence, the item was taken off the budget.


3.  C. Siegel – The AVID reductions seemed detrimental as well as the English department’s elimination of one section.  She suggested restoring the AVID sections in the lower grades.  K. Pringle proposed offering two sections in the 9th grade, 2 sections in the 10th, and a single section to combine the 11th and 12th graders, when the demands often dwindle.  The 9th graders get credits for College and Career when they take AVID.  The AVID class is an elective and therefore, it does not meet the A to G requirement.


4.  S. DeBella – He was disappointed that the District didn’t get back to Galileo with these crucial answers.  He still questioned the steep cuts to all the schools when the District has so much in reserve.  He and P. Delaney would try to find some truth to this debacle.  M. Lau-Smith concurred with his frustration.  She wasn’t very successful at her inquiry of answers last year.


5.  M. Blacksher – He lamented the lack of funds and resources to maintain all the programs, which make Galileo a great school.  If Galileo got more money in the fall, he would enhance the math and science departments.  He was also disappointed that there weren’t enough resources to keep up with the fast changing technological hard/soft ware.


6.  J. Ring – He felt the proposed cuts were manageable.  He was aware that the proposal had the intention of decimating the non-personnel portion and replenishing it in the fall with the AP money.   He reminded us that the budget allocations were based on the old contract.  When a new contract is negotiated, it will change the rules of the game.  He prioritized keeping all the teachers and lowering the paper usage expenses.  He questioned the quality of library services if the librarian’s hours were reduced to .60FTE.  If the world language department’s demand didn’t necessitate the additional .40 FTE, the librarian’s hours should be restored back to 1.00 FTE.


7.  D. Page – He commented that it was difficult to reduce positions when they are filled.  He wanted to know why Galileo had gotten a bigger cut as compared to the other schools.  He felt that the proposed cuts were manageable, but cuts to the classrooms still hurt.


8.  J. Chau – He felt the cuts in AVID sections weren’t so detrimental.  He observed that many students had the mindset to go to colleges.  He didn’t want the ASB period cut from the school day.  The position was important because it had the responsibility to raise money to pay for graduation expenses.  Who would carry on the torch when the position is eliminated?  He preferred for the Yearbook and Journalism to be combined as a single class and be offered during the school day.  Though it might be feasible to offer it afterschool as an extracurricular activity.


9.  C. Lee – She wanted the Yearbook and Journalism class put back into the school day.  The Yearbook class requires a lot of hard work; having it as an after school activity would not work.  She wanted the ASB period to be restored to the school day because it had to fund raise to pay for the senior expenses.


10.  P. Delaney – He said it was possible for the site council to refuse signing off on the budget if they were not satisfied.  Of all seventeen high schools, Galileo placed fifteenth to receive the least amount of funding.  He questioned the additional section in the social studies department and the reduction of seven sections in the physical education department.  He proposed to add back some of the sections in PE and reduce some sections in science, since students only need two years of it to graduate.  He also proposed to offer fewer sections in Health Ed, since the demand will drop due to a smaller 9th grade class.  He would like to restore all 8 sections of AVID and fill those JROTC classes to offset the high PE class sizes.


11.  A. Mai – It would be difficult to have the student body advisor teach five classes and do the ASB period after school.  When that happened, it would affect the school climate.  Also, giving the advisor $2000 stipend to do the ASB activities is not equitable.


– M. Kyle questioned why the library would face reduced hours and services.  He as an English teacher and his department teachers use it often.  He thought it was wrong to have the classroom teachers carry the burden of all the cuts when the non-classroom staff such as the administration, counselors, and clerks escapes such reductions.  He wanted the English sections and the library FTE restored and keep technology as a priority.

– M. Moffet, English department head, felt that cuts should be done across the board and to avoid the areas where they could help the school raise its API scores and the students with meeting the A to G requirements.  The proposed cuts on page 4 concentrated on cutting sections in VAPA and English and bypassed the administration and clerks.  Though students only need two years of science to graduate, there are more sections offered there.

– After the site council members and visiting staff commented on the proposed cuts, M. Lau-Smith summarized people’s preferences and suggestions.  In order to submit a balanced budget, cuts must take place.  She looked at reducing the world language sections even more.  Students have the options of testing out the language requirement if they speak that language.  When the school reduces its elective offerings, the limitation will impact mostly the juniors and seniors, who then take TAs to fill their schedules.

– Staff has the rights to return and have a full-time position.  When cuts must be made, it is beneficial for the staff to have the position kept at a minimum of .60 FTE, when benefits kick in for the incumbent.

– M. Blacksher disseminated the “science course registration data” handout, which showed the course sign-up data in the department.  Galileo tended to offer more science electives thought students only need two years.  M. Moffet would like to see a variety of English courses-required and electives- offered in her department as well.

– M. Lau-Smith suggested cutting each clerical position by .20 FTE or reducing one position to .60 FTE.  She reiterated people’s proposed reductions in order to balance the budget:

* add back the ASB period to the school day

* restore the librarian’s hours to 1.00 FTE

* keep the 13.40 FTE in English

* reduce non-personnel fund to reflect the anticipated AP money coming in the fall

* decrease .20 FTE from a clerical position


– The site council members voted on the following two motions:

First motion:  to approve the possible budget discussed with the above changes.

Second motion:  to sign off on the budget, but to write a letter to protest the various key issues.

– P. Delaney recommended that the letter be written and delivered at a future board meeting.



Roll Call:

W. Smith – yes/no

N. Torres – yes/no

C. Siegel – yes/no

S. DeBella – yes/no

M. Blacksher – yes/abstain

D. Page – yes/no

J. Chau – yes/no

C. Lee – yes/no

P. Delaney – no/no

A. Mai – yes/no

M. Lau-Smith – yes/no

J. Ring – yes/no



The meeting was adjourned.


Minutes taken and prepared by Karin Lau