Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting Minutes – September 10, 2013
GALILEO ACADEMY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting
Marcus called the meeting to order at 11:20am.
Leadership Team Agenda
I. Letters of Recommendation
–Nancy told the group about Serena Chan, our new college and career counselor. Serena told Nancy about her previous school and how they handled the letter of recommendation process.
–She asked the group if their students bring information with them when they ask teachers for letters of recommendations.
–Doug said they try to get their personal statements.
–Nancy asked the group if they would like the students to come with information for the teachers.
–Michelle discussed the down side of this type of form. Nancy then asked the group if they would like to have a form or a process if they say they will write a letter of rec for a student.
–Nancy also asked if we should do something about the imbalance—many teachers write lots of letters and other teacher write no letters. She also said that we cannot force teachers to write the letters, as it is not in their job descriptions.
–Doug said those teachers who write many letters often teach the upper level courses, AP, honors, etc.
–Lisa felt there should be a letter for students giving information on how to ask for the letters.
–Marcus asked Nancy to have Serena compose something and share the document.
–Doug suggested we keep track this year of who writes how many letters.
–Nancy suggested we could put this in the senior survey.
–Nancy also suggested the intake form the students take to the teachers. Alicia also said the students have to know what they are looking for, applying for and what their qualifications are.
–Doug discussed coordination between teachers on the same student.
II. Emergency Procedures
–Katie said we had our first team meeting yesterday. Katie said if you have not signed up for her to visit your departments, please do so. All the forms will be updated on the teacher part of the website.
–Tentatively Emergency Preparedness week will be the last week in September. Katie asked if this would work for everyone. The week will start on September 30th. We will have a fire drill, a bomb threat, an earthquake drill, a shooter, etc.
–Katie said we will advertise that this is a week to practice and the homeroom teachers will talk to students. This should not be a surprise and students should take this very seriously. We will mix up the periods for the drills.
–Marcus said the administrators will notify teachers this week who is being evaluated and who the evaluators will be.
IV. Inclusion Support Team
–Marcus said we have been notified we are out of compliance, as we do not have this team. We will be asking for volunteers.
Department Heads Agenda
I. Master Schedule
–Nancy said we are done balancing classes. We are only accepting class changes now through the 7-step process. The forms are in the counseling office and counselors will talk to the students before giving them the form.
–Michelle said she thought class changes could be made at the 6-week period. Nancy said their office as done lots of work to make sure the students are all in the right classes/levels.
–Michelle said if a student is struggling at the end of the first marking period, they should be able to make changes. Otherwise they might have suggested the changes earlier.
–Josephine said she would always make a change for a teacher. She said if a student is not doing well at the 6-week period, many times the students will want to start the 7-step process.
–We need to keep the lines of communication open. Moving students up is a different story. Most of the movements are to lower levels.
–Ray said movement of students will affect the team teaching assignments.
–If teachers want to make changes at the 6-week time, it is the 7-step process.
–Mat asked if there is a sign in and sign out sheet for students moving to other classes that addresses the transferring of grades and return of textbooks.
–Nancy said it take 30 minutes to change one student’s schedule. We will be using a form for any changes now.
–Josephine said it would be good if book were not passed out to students during the first few weeks.
–Joseph suggested that next year students have to sign out of a class before they can sign in to a new class.
–Doug talked about the Math department’s plan next year to put every freshman in Geometry. They were told by the district not to do this now. He discussed the background of this decision.
–Lisa said she has some agendas and sign-ins from last week, but she encouraged those who had not turned them in to do so.
–WASC review is this year. Our WASC reviewer was the committee chair last time we had the review. He said it is important for us to have minutes and agendas.
–Ray said no one in his department wants to take the minutes. He asked the administrators to come and take minutes.
–CPT this week is Departments: IEP—this will involve the Special Ed teachers who serve in the departments will come to the meetings this week to talk about the Special Ed processes.
–Ray said many teachers like the old student profiles better than the IEPs. They are doing the better IEPs and will get them out to the teachers.
–Ray said the new IEP system has it challenges statewide.
–Special Ed now has 5 new teaches who have worked in other places.
–Marcus sent an email to all teachers that said all teachers have the right to review the IEPs for all their students.
–Lisa said we pushed it forward to the end of this week. Listening, reading and writing are the three parts. In the coming weeks the speaking part will happen and students will be pulled out of classes to be tested.
IV. Computer Lab Policy
–There have been some concerns about teachers and how and when they book the labs. Marcus distributed the policy from 2010, which was drawn up by Zoe Duskin. The group was asked to review the Computer Lab Booking Policy.
–Doug told about past practices of not releasing computer lab time until 3 weeks ahead of time.
–Lisa asked if the group would only like a month ahead.
–David said this might stifle their planning. There are 3 teachers who book often and way ahead.
–Lisa is the one who books the computer labs.
–The policy also addresses that teachers must pay attention to the students in the computer lab.
–With the block periods, teachers can only reserve half of the period.
–Michelle said the same thing should go with the library. Those who are booking on a regular basis should be flexible from time to time to let others in.
–Marcus said all teachers are required to attend all faculty meetings and CPT—part of the contractual workday.
–ELD tutoring will start next week. Kathleen said it is open to everyone. She is sending out an email with a form. She keeps track of who shows up and has a computer form showing attendance as well as a paper version. This is drop in tutoring.
–Tutoring and doing homework can sometimes be substituted for detention.
–Katie talked about a week in one of the months about “Hour of Code.” December 8-14 is Computer Education Week. Danny Tan provided the information.
–David mentioned that during the last week of grading periods no field trips re authorized. He asked if the administration checks this. He asked if that had always done.
–Ray said we have designated classroom for periods 1-6 for test taking when students cannot do well in a big setting. Ray will send the list out. There are no resource teachers in Special Ed now. They are now Education Specialists.
Meeting adjourned at 12:15pm.