Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting Minutes – September 13, 2012


Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting





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


Leadership Team


I.          School-Wide Academic Honesty Policy

–Marcus asked other district principals for their policies.  He felt the Balboa policy was the most comprehensive.  He distributed other schools’ policies as well so that all departments could read them and discuss them.  Marcus asked everyone to take this to their departments for discussion regarding additions, deletions, etc.  The goal is to have a school-wide policy for academic honesty.  We will revisit this at the next meeting.

–Marcus said the Deans would also like to be involved in this.


II.         Textbook Accountability

–Marcus asked everyone to present how their department is tracking textbooks and holding teachers and students accountable.

–David said they use the orange lost book cards.  They do a count at the end of the year.  He felt that teachers should track their own books and be accountable.  Everyone has access to the book room.  Some teachers keep their books in their rooms.

–Kathleen has a Textbook Record Sheet with the numbers on the sheet.  They do an inventory at the end of the year.  They use the orange lost book cards.  All books are kept in the book room and all teachers have access.

–Mat said his teachers use the book numbers and the orange cards. Some are in the bookroom and some are in classrooms.

–Ethan said the books are in the Fitness Lab and the teachers rotate.  They check books out to the students.

–Joseph said they do not have a state approved textbook.  If students want to take guitars home, they fill out an orange book card.  His art classes do not have books.

–Ray said for Special Ed the books are in the classroom.  If students check books out, the teacher fills out a sheet.  They have 15 books for each class.

–Michelle said they have textbooks and novels.  Teachers keep textbooks in their rooms.  Very few teachers use the textbooks.  They mostly use the novels.  The novels have numbers and are assigned to students.  Lost book numbers are sent to Connie in an electronic form.

–Michelle said they used to have a budget to replace novels.  In the past the teacher collected the money and replaced the novels.  They have stopped doing that now.

–Doug said teachers can keep books over the summer in a locked cabinet in their rooms.  Some teachers use the orange lost book cards.  Some teacher keep track electronically.  For transfer students from one class to another the teachers exchange the book numbers.

–Leah said they use the orange lost book cards for the textbooks.  For the novels the teachers keep track.

–Science and math had textbook needs this year.  Michelle said her department signs up ahead of time for the novels.  Due to higher class sizes, some of the teachers cannot teach the novels they want to, due to lack of books.

–Marcus mentioned a small amount of money in the lost textbook fund.  Let him know if you have needs.

–Marcus talked of a former school that was moving towards a central system that had a barcode system initiated by the librarian.

–David spoke of a system he experienced at another school.  All teachers had a scanner and a central person in charge of the books.  He feels a digital system will work.  Every book must have a bar code and be added to a database.  This database should be linked up to SIS.  School Loop does not have this capacity.


–Marcus will ask other principles.  We are getting pda’s donated to us.  This is like a personal computer you can hold in your hand.

–Michelle said at one time the English Department had a book clerk who checked the books in and out

–Lisa said that perhaps there could be a system that operates like the library system.

–Patrick said this is a statement by the district in the Librarian Job Description indicating this is not part of the Librarian’s duties.

–Katie discussed her work in the math and science department book rooms.  She feels the departments must have their own book storage areas and the accountability should be with each department.

–Michelle mentioned the Senior Sign-Out process and wondered if we could do this each year with each grade.  Marcus said the big deal for seniors is graduation.

–Many students who transfer do not return the books.  Marcus said it is against the law to withhold a student’s cum folder.

–Marcus said the district is putting a lot of pressure on each department to save money and keep track of the resources.


III.       7-Step Schedule Change Process

–Mat said there are many students attempting to leave AP classes as they say the classes are too hard.  He said Barry Barbour has been working with Mat.  The recommendation is to move from AP to regular, not Honors, as students should not get their second choice.  He mentioned students bringing in their parents to put pressure on the teacher.  Mat asked for administration back up.

–Katie said in the Spring they look at course requests and then we build the Master Schedule around the requests.

–Stan asked what the time frame is for the 7 Step Process.  Lauren said often students request a change from one class and that will affect all their classes.

–Most members like the process.

–Patrick said the AP issue is also contractual—if a class drops below 25 then the teacher would not get the extra prep.

–Michelle asked about the term “due process.”  Lauren explained it.


IV.        Night School/Cyber High Update

–Lauren said students have been registering.  Cyber High will launch next week and there will be 3 sessions.  Social Studies is not available for Night School. Tomorrow is the last day of registration.

–No class size will go above 38, but there are always those who drop out.

–Juniors and Sophomores can sign up if there is room.

–Lauren mentioned the classes available with Night School and she sent an email to everyone mentioning the classes.  Students who received F’s or D’s can sign up.


V.         Final Exam Schedule

–Marcus distributed last year’s schedule, with some changes.

–Marcus suggested having a shorter break between the two exams and an earlier dismissal.

–Grades will be due Thursday 12/20/12.

–Patrick questioned make-up exams and grade changes.

–Doug mentioned that we might get by with just one Winter Assembly.  David suggested that we plan for 2 and then go to 1 if we can.


VI.        Administration Responsibilities

–Marcus distributed the advised administration responsibilities due to change in personnel and exchanges of duties.

–Lisa said it will be posted on line.

–Marcus said Katie has taken on some testing and supporting Spec. Ed.  Lisa is taking up technology support.  Marcus thanked Bettie for learning the web site and Word Press.

–Katie also passed out the Clerical Responsibilities


VII.      CELDT Testing Update

–Lisa gave an update on how the testing is going.  Lisa thanked Ethan and Patrick for their contributions.  Karen and Rodolfo Cancino and Nancy Statler are doing the testing in Room 119.  Lisa explained the process of calling students from classes for the testing.


VIII.     Emergency Plan Review

–Katie told the group that the administrators will visit each department meeting today to talk about the Emergency Evacuation Plan.  Hopefully there will be a folder in each classroom.  There are not many changes.  Katie explained the posting process in the classrooms and the evacuation route needs to be posted.

–All Department Heads told where their meetings are held.

–Discussion followed on the recent evacuation we just experienced and how we did.

–Joseph mentioned one line of the evacuation map that is confusing.


IX.        PD Calendar

–Lisa distributed the PD calendar.  It will be presented to the UBC this afternoon.  This is a draft.  She thanked Leah and Michelle for help in including lots of requests from all of the departments.

–Wednesdays are mostly school-wide activities.  They will be school-wide activities.

–Thursdays are teacher days, with teacher requests.  Thursdays will be the same each month.

–School Loop time is always factored in when grades are due.  Lindsay Silverman is helping with School Loop training.

–Kathleen mentioned the October 18th ELD activity and the fact that they need to prepare for it the day before.

–Lisa said that clusters are mainly held during department time.

–Ray said his department does not use clusters.

–Stan mentioned that “time earned” for the October Open House is not reflected in the schedule.  Report cards will be distributed at the Open House.

–Discussion followed about how to name each item on the calendar.


X.         Evaluation Packets

–Stan asked about the number of evaluations this year.

–Stan asked if the teacher had a choice about the short or long evaluation.  Last year the administrators did all long forms.  This year they would like to do some short forms, but do not know how to select each one.

–Patrick suggested they read the contract.


Department Head Meeting


I.          ELD Feedback & Next Steps

–Lisa said she got feedback from yesterday’s PD.  She said she is excited about giving some teachers at school leadership opportunities.  She would like to see this work continue.  How do we move forward with this?  How do we propel this work forward?  What engagement strategies can we use that engage students and not take much time?

–Discussion of alternatives followed.

–Joseph said he enjoys going into other teachers’ classrooms and seeing how they teach to their students.  He feels it is really effective.  He mentioned focusing the Peer Observation Component in a discussion following the activity.

–Ray felt the leadership opportunities for staff is great.  He was surprised about the assumptions teachers have about what the students know and do not know.  Each department will be different.

–Lisa thanked everyone for their feedback.  She said next week there will be similar workshops.


–Marcus said they will be looking for the Authentic Language Objectives when they do walk throughs. Kathleen asked about the monthly GLO’s.


Meeting adjourned at 11:40am.