Department Heads Meeting – May 31, 2012


Department Heads Meeting





Marcus called the meeting to order at 11:10am.


Marcus welcomed the new members, Lisa Warnke and Douglas Page.  Then everyone introduced themselves.



Department Heads


I.          Department Head Return Dates

–At the last meeting this was under discussion.  The return date will be August 13th.  The mornings will be for everyone to work on their own and then there will be meetings in the afternoon.

–Department Heads will work 2 days prior to school and 3 days after school.

–It has not been determined yet if there will be department heads in the fall.  No one has received letters yet.


–Joseph mentioned a Grievance Meeting next Wednesday at 3pm, 555 Franklin Street, Room 306.  Joseph and Michelle are mentioned by name in a letter he read to Susan Solomon concerning all department heads.             Joseph encouraged everyone to attend.


II.         Calendar

–Katie mentioned that she and Tony will be working on the Galileo calendar for next year.  She asked members to give them any dates they wanted on the calendar.

–Freshmen Orientation will be the Friday before classes begin.  PE uniforms will be sold at that time.

–Doug Page asked for the end of the marking periods.

–Joseph wants the Winter and Spring concerts on the calendar.

–Date for Back to School Night should be on the calendar.

–September 20 or 27 will be the ELD Picnic/Team Building Activity.

–Human Rights Exhibit should be between STAR and AP testing.

–Kathleen asked for the CELTD testing dates.

–Joseph mentioned the concept of unbalanced semesters.  In the spring semester, there is STAR testing, 4 Furlough Days and a week of finals, which he felt made this semester so rushed.  Kathleen said the first semester seemed really rushed.  Joseph felt we should eliminate the Final Exam week.  He also thought we should have 3 block days for finals, and have teachers give 1-hour finals only.


–David said some teachers want that time to do their grades, clean their rooms, etc.

–Marcus said we want to get students ready to go to college and the finals are part of that.

–Kathleen said we should have a policy about finals as many do not give them.  She asked if this is a sight-based decision.

–The Furlough Days are not listed on the Instructional Calendar.  The district says it is 4 for next year.  If the state tax initiative does not pass, the amount of furlough days will be 9.


–Michelle asked about CPT for next year.  Marcus said we need to do the PD plan first.  We will go with the 2 days—Wednesday and Thursday.  She asked for the Cluster Time.  Doug also asked for more CPT for the clusters.

–Marcus said with the Cluster Time there must be agendas with a focus and a goal.  We need to be efficient with the time.

–Doug said that most teachers teach more than one subject so they are involved in 2 clusters.

–David had a suggestion on how to target both the admin requirements and the cluster activity and meet administrative requirements.

–Ray said he prefers the meetings to be longer than 1 hour.  The old 2 hour meetings were much more productive,


III.       Final Survey Results

–Joseph passed out the final survey results.

–Most preferred the 5-minute passing period.

–Most people preferred 2 homerooms per week.

–Most people wanted to keep 15 minutes of SSR.


–The survey also included the teacher comments.


–David mentioned that the teachers who travel do have a challenge to get to the next classroom.


–Marcus said the student survey results were not clear.  54% preferred the 5-minute period.  We will look at the student survey and make the final decision.

–Marcus asked about the SSR.  David said school literacy is a huge issue.  Research shows that it is very effective in literacy.  Literacy affects all disciplines.

–Denise said students like structure.  It happens every block day for each period.  Ethan said he requires books in PE.


–Ray said every classroom should have an SSR library.

–Lisa suggested having SSR during homeroom. She suggested making homeroom longer.

–G-House TV will continue next year.

–Ray said we use homeroom for class level assemblies as well.

–Michelle said that Homeroom is not supposed to be an additional class for the teacher.  Joseph said this is also a union issue, so homeroom is not a class.

–Kathleen said homeroom is a chance to talk to the kids and homeroom stays together 4 years.  It is a bonding issue.


–Kelli made a comment about the attendance strips and homeroom, which Joseph read to the group.

–Kathleen mentioned the citizenship policy and Katie said that there are teachers who do not enforce this policy.

–Doug talked about private schools, where the teacher just marks the attendance strips and does the grades.  The absences are calculated by the school and then citizenship grades are assigned accordingly.

–Denise talked about what the Deans’ Office puts out about citizenship.  She followed it and it worked.

–David said he thought many teachers might forget about doing the citizenship.

–New teachers may not know about the citizenship policy.

–Marcus thanked Joe and Stan for doing the survey.


IV.        Miscellaneous

–Denise asked about old editions of books in boxes.  Katie said the warehouse will come and collect, but they need a list.  Put the books outside where you keep the books.  Please email Katie if you have books to get rid of and where they will be.

–Consumables can be recycled.


–Kathleen has lots of SSR books and magazines.  Katie asked her to send that out in an email in the fall.


–Ethan asked if our entire faculty will be in place at the start of school.  He also asked about the budget.


–Ray said his department has their books on rollers.  Please do not take these books or carts.  The carts are labeled.


–Marcus said we will use the entire 2nd floor for summer school, and the 3rd floor in the Van Ness Building.  Some classrooms are a mess right now and have to be cleaned prior to summer school.


–Promethean Boards—Marcus encouraged the group to make the best use of them.  If some teachers are not using them, give them to others in your department.  Kathleen said we need training.


–Mat asked about tomorrow.  Marcus asked the members to stop in and see him tomorrow.  He will be here until 3pm tomorrow.


Meeting adjourned at 11:55pm.