Department Heads Meeting Minutes – August 14, 2012


Department Heads Meeting





Marcus called the meeting to order at 12:15pm.


I.          Walk Throughs

–Marcus spoke about the history of the Walk Through tool and how it went last year.  He mentioned that the rating portion caused some discussion last year.

–David suggested Marcus email the teachers after a Walk Through and ask the teachers to come in for a conversation.

–Marcus said he will make it clear to the staff that he enjoys the conversations and will send the staff an email if he feels there should be a conversation.


–Lisa asked for the process of Informal Walk Throughs, as she will be doing much of this on an informal basis.

–Michelle said that it has pretty much been that visits are welcome and there is an open door policy.  She mentioned administrators who dropped a note to the teachers after a visit.

–Marcus said it is a criterion for evaluation for administrators, so this year Marcus will have to show more documentation that the administrators are doing walk throughs.  Marcus will keep a copy of the document for his records.

–Joseph said he would not want this to be part of a formal evaluation and would not want this to get into his personnel files.  He said he welcomes anyone to come to his classroom to observe.  This also helps with student management.

–Joseph also said that his department members have done walk throughs in his department.

–Doug said that his department does this and does cover classes for each other so they can observe in other departments.

–The administrators were asked if they could help cover classes.


II.         CLAs and Common Formative Assessments

–Testing window for CLAs is October 9 – 19th.  This is on the Staff Calendar.  All departments are giving some sort of assessments during this time.

–David mentioned that they have created a CLA for the Fall and for the Spring.  He also said that this was written for the end of the semester.  English and Math for 9th and 10th graders will happen in the October time period.

–Doug asked about the hand written portion of the test. Lisa said she and Marcus would do some training to help teachers use the data.

–Joseph asked if the Common Formative Assessment has to be a scantron test.  Marcus said Joseph would have to do it by hand.  Joseph talked about his project based assignments.  Lisa suggested looking at particular sections of the rubric.

–Joseph would like to see Common Formative Assessments from other departments.  This would help in planning their test.

–David felt the goal of this is to see what we need to do better on.  We want to have the best use of our time.  Marcus said that some departments have activities in common while others do not.

–Joseph suggested each department could pick their best assessment and share it with others.

–Mat asked if there would be another window for the non-Math/English assessments.

–Mat said his department did not want to do the assessment at the end of the semester, as there would not be time for changes.  Marcus will send out an email and everyone will have input for the timing.


III.       School Loop Training

–Training on Thursday will include an intro class from 1:30pm-2:30pm.  The advanced training will be from 2:30pm on.

–Lisa has answers to some of the questions.

–By 3:30pm, everyone must have the syllabus up, send an email, post an assignment, upload a document (hopefully your syllabus), and your grading scale.

–Anyone who already knows how to do all of these activities does not have to go to the training, but all of these items must be posted by 3:30pm.  Two trainers will be here—one of them is the mother of one of our students.

–Joseph said he tried to post an assignment last night, but with no students listed it was not possible to post an assignment.

–Joseph brought up the issue of “intellectual property.”  He would like to hear from the union about this.  He feels that if he creates something on his home computer, he owns it.  Does it have to be copy writed?  There is not enough time to do all of this by 3:30pm tomorrow.

–Lisa said it does not need to be the actual syllabus, but should know how to do the activity.

–Kathleen feels the same as Joseph about the issue of “intellectual property.”

–Marcus said that documents do not have to be attached—just the basic assignment.  The title of the assignment would be fine.

–Joseph said he felt this syllabus is his “intellectual property,” and he would like clarification from the union.

–Lisa mentioned that any work that you do on work time then becomes the property of the school/company, etc.

–Marcus said he is not sure there is anything in the contract about this issue.

–Joseph felt that each individual has a right to their “intellectual property.”

–Lisa said the solution is to upload something resembling the document.  The syllabus is the document she would like uploaded.

–Discussion followed to change the language.

–Doug mentioned that the Math Department would not be at school on Thursday, so Lisa will help on Friday


IV.        CST and Goal Setting

–You can look at your results, but we cannot share it until August 31st.

–Marcus asked everyone to join a prediction activity—for the  CSTs write a prediction of what the CST will be for last year in each department. Marcus collected the predictions from each member.

–It was mentioned that the UCs might use CST results for English class placement.

–Marcus mentioned reading Schmoker last year and this will be an activity this year.


V.         Miscellaneous


–Mat mentioned that 6th period on Wednesday and Thursday next week would be 35 minutes, while all others are 50 minutes.


–Michelle asked about department budgets—do we have any money?  Supplies will come out of a general area.  Katie said it was voted on last year that departments would relinquish their supplies to save a position.  Katie suggested Donor’s Choice as an alternative to get supplies, etc.



Meeting adjourned at 12:55pm