Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting – April 26, 2012


Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting





Marcus called the meeting to order at 10:10am.


Leadership Team


I.          Student and Teacher Voices

–Joseph shared conversations with students about the STAR tests.  Joseph mentioned that there are 5 different versions of the test and the questions are in different order on each of the versions.  He talked about how excited these students were about solving the math problems on the test, during their lunch hour.

–He talked about the RIP tombstones they made for the band program being cut.  One student asked him about the cuts.  One student said her brother was going be a Gal student next year and band is the only thing he is good at.  He told of other students who were upset about the end of the band.

–Then Joseph read the speech that he read to the parents and students in the auditorium at the Open House last night.


“Tonight, we are witnessing the last performance of the Band on this stage.

Every other spring concert that I have helped produce in my 18 years at Galileo has been a time of celebration. This year’s concert is different.  This is a time for mourning and sadness.  87 years ago, the Galileo Band and Galileo Piano program was born.  For 87 years, the music program has contributed to the culture and fabric of Galileo.

We will never hear the fight song played at Song and Yell.

Future graduating seniors will not be called to the stage to receive their diplomas with the clarion call of the trumpets playing the opening strains of “Pomp and Circumstance.”

Graduating seniors will not be able to sing the Galileo Hymn with the Band.

Beginning piano students will no longer be able to touch the genius of great composers like Bach, Beethoven and Mozart.

Incoming 9th grade students will not be able to become a part of this tradition that has been in existence since 1925!

Tonight, the work of a long line of dedicated, hard working music teachers comes to a crashing halt.

There is a chance that this may not come to pass.  Every other time that the Arts have faced a catastrophic demise, money has been found.  Budgets have been restored.  The needs and desires of students have been realized.

We are here to celebrate the band’s long and powerful life.  Thank you to all musicians, parents, teachers, and administrators who have helped support music at Galileo.

The world will little note, nor long remember what I say tonight, but it can never forget the music that has been made here. Our job is to be dedicated to the unfinished work that they who performed here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is for us to be dedicated to the great task remaining before us—to preserve the long tradition of music at Galileo.”


–Michelle asked if the SSC has discussed priorities for restoring programs.  Marcus said this would happen at their next meeting.

–Patrick thanked Joseph for sharing his thoughts.

–Joseph said that everyone needs to know about items such as this.

–Marcus is in conversation with Rob Daniels about this and restoring the position.


II.         Academic Honesty


III.       Open House Feedback

–Mat said some in his department question the need for all teachers to be present.

–He did mention that a big wave of students and parents came by to see their display

–Marcus said he agreed, but he did not know how to say who should be here and who should be excused.

–Denise thought about teachers who travel far by public transportation or have young children.

–Marti recalled a year in the past where only several teachers from each department were asked to be present.

–David suggested doing it as a department choice.  He also mentioned that this used to be more oriented to our current students, but it has become more of an 8th grade event.

–Joseph felt that the tour groups should be spaced farther apart.

–Joseph also advocated for a return to having the Fall Open House moved to week 10 so we can distribute report cards to parents—that brought many more parents to the event.  He also mentioned that some parents have students in more than 1 school and they cannot attend all the events when they are all in the same week.

–Jessica shared her thoughts about the event.  She did not get as many parents as she was prepared for.  She said the feeling was chaotic and felt it did not showcase the amazing programs at Galileo.

–Nancy said they tell the parents who are registering their students about the Open House.

–Patrick mentioned that if Department Chairs were the ones required to attend, they might not be available for a CPT if they are given comp time.

–Patrick said you cannot use where people live or how many children they have as a means of excusing teachers.

–David felt it is better when the parents are free flowing and not in groups.

–Jessica volunteered to help see how we can change this event.


IV.        Final Schedule

–It is now posted on the Web Site.


V.         2012/2013 Bell Schedule


–David wanted to discuss the homerooms and passing times.

–Some teachers want homeroom every week.

–He also said there should be discussion on the passing periods.

–Nancy asked Patrick if there was a vote last year on the bell schedule.  Patrick said it was on the CPT—1 day or 2 for early release, which affects the bus schedule.

–Joseph asked if Patrick could have the UBC put out a survey.  Patrick said the UBC would review the survey.

–Denise said her teachers felt the teachers know the students better for testing when we have a weekly homeroom.

–Ben said for scheduling purposes it seems to be better to have consistency and have the homeroom weekly.

–Marcus asked Patrick to do another survey.  Patrick said the UBC will work on contractual issues.  He also said the UBC is not a paid position.

–Marti thought the UBC was involved in creating this year’s schedule.

–Ben said we have a Leadership Team, a UBC and an SSC and no one wants to take the lead on this.

–Stan asked how many questions should be on the survey.

–Marcus asked for feedback.

–David said his department did not want to have homeroom only once a month.  Denise said her department felt the same.

–Bettie recalled for the group the days of Galileo being an II/USP school with low-test scores.  The Homeroom was reinstated then so that teachers could build relationships with their students which would help students want to do better on the tests.

–Marcus asked Stan to do a survey with 2 questions—Weekly Homeroom or not?  5 or 7 minute passing period?

–Joseph is in favor or the weekly homeroom and a 7-minute passing period as the bathrooms are really crowded and 5 minutes is not long enough.

–Joseph suggested we also survey the teachers about the length of SSR.  He also said that we need to be flexible.  Galileo is an organic being and we need to revisit the ground rules.

–David offered some insight into why we are having this discussion now.  He thought we did not make a decision on the homerooms and the passing periods.

–Marcus is happy with what makes the teachers and students happy.

–Denise suggested homeroom on one of the block days.

–Stan asked if the survey should be on email or hard copy.  Joseph said he would help do a Google doc.  Joseph said it could be done during CPT next week.

–Marcus said we would have to have plans for things to do during homeroom.

–Bettie talked about the many bell schedules that need to be programmed.


VI.        Build On

–Marcus introduced Chad Zibelman from Build On.

–Chad said they have been here since 2008, they are a national organization and their focus is to enhance education and empower youth.  This is worldwide.  This year they are an after school program; in previous years they were a lunchtime program.

–He mentioned that a Galileo student in this program was on the national news last week. One focus is community service.

–There are two full time employees in the schools to run the program.

–Chad would like to have a space on campus.  He would like to look at partnering with an academy or program at Galileo.

–Denise asked if he has talked with Summerfund.

–Michelle asked if Build On was going to work with our groups who already do Community Service.  Chad said they would like to get other students involved as well.

–Chad said they are now under the umbrella of Futurama.  They are at Leadership now and they will start full time in the fall.  The organization builds schools in foreign countries and gives the students the opportunity to travel abroad and help build schools in foreign countries.

–Joseph expressed his feelings on how positive this type of work is.  He mentioned Christmas in April from the past.  He is in favor of building community service here at Galileo.

–Karin said she has parents who want activities for their children during the summer. She expressed her concerns to keep this open and not partner with a pathway, as that limits the student participation.


VII.      Master Schedule

–Nancy said they continue to work on the schedule.  This year there is more data from the district than they have ever had before.  Beginning on May 13 we will get another 100 9th graders.  We have 430 now committed to Galileo—530 were admitted.  We will get more money.  We may be facing some changes.

–David said they might have to change their department schedules, as they did not get another room.  If you have any ideas on rooms, please let David know.  He will have to change the singleton/doubleton situation.  Nancy and David will work on this.

–Nancy said her last day is tomorrow.  Things will continue to be influx.  Nancy is training Lauren and Nancy will keep in touch with Lauren.  Marcus and Tony have done the master schedule.

–Many items will affect the Master Schedule and there will be changes.

–Denise discussed conversations with parents about 9th graders taking world languages.  Nancy said we do not have the capacity to offer world languages to 9th graders.  They do have to take the College and Career course during 9th grade.

–Marti discussed the transition with her retiring and Doug Page taking over.


–Joseph wanted to discuss the extra days for department heads.  This year we did 2 days before school and 3 days after school.  She mentioned how Vicki handled this in the past.

–Ray said since we will have Summer School at Galileo, then department heads could come in during summer school to work on the schedule.

–Marcus said they would talk about this in their administrative meeting.


–Marcus said that there was talk of Nancy moving to C & I.  At this point that won’t happen and the new position is for C & I.  Round 2 of interviews will be tomorrow.

–Denise expressed her hope that we get someone who knows about high school curriculum.

–Michelle talked about the CPT and how much of it has not been productive.  She mentioned that we have not had cluster meetings.  She would like to see more of this in the CPT schedule.

–Ray misses the 2-hour meetings.  He said an hour is not long enough to get major tasks done.

–Joseph said it is important for teachers to share their best practice with their colleagues.  He thought these meetings should be interdepartmental.

–Marti felt that we need to know ahead of time when meetings are scheduled—weeks ahead of time.

–Marti suggested doing a survey or room need, ratios.

–Joseph mentioned rumors in the district about eliminating department head positions and AP preps.  Then we will need more rooms.

–David felt we should minimize teachers having to move during the school day.

–Marti will look at the ratios. Michelle and David will help her.


–Marcus asked everyone to thank Richard McDowell for his hard work on winning a 2-year grant worth $50,000.


Department Head Agenda


I.  Balanced Score Card Review

–Marcus distributed some current information.


–Item tabled until next meeting.


II.         Professional Development Day Feedback

–His department appreciated the flexibility of the day and that teachers could catch up as being very valuable.

–Others agreed.  Many said it was the best PD day they’ve ever had.  They had time to get things accomplished.

–Joseph said the best PD days are those that are on-site.

–Marti said her department really enjoyed the flexibility.

–Marcus thanked everyone for the feedback.

–Ray learned that IEP meetings are not optional and IEP teachers and administrators must attend the meeting from beginning to end unless a box is check on the form that they will only attend part of the time.

–Joseph said it is difficult when teachers have to attend an IEP on their prep time.

–Marcus said the district is going to work on making IEPs more streamlined.

–It is an administrator’s duty to find coverage for teachers who have to attend an IEP during their class time.

–Ray said that IEPs should never take more than an hour.

–Ray said all of his teachers will check the box saying “Part of” for teachers and administrators attending.


III.       Miscellaneous


–Michelle asked about the agenda for the department heads 2 days prior to start of school.  The department heads need time outside of meetings to get work done.


–Joseph asked for input for the survey for homerooms and passing times.


Meeting adjourned at 12:25pm.