Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting Minutes – October 22, 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. PSAT Concerns
–Mat said his department was concerned about double booking of classrooms during the testing. Some of his teachers were confused as to where to teach their classes.
–Mat mentioned we have the CAHSEE coming up.
–Stan said some students who were not taking the test had no place to go. Nancy said it is an issue every year. Stan said when Vicki was here we had a video going in the auditorium.
–Nancy said the problem with using the auditorium is that it is noisy in the cafeteria where the test is being given.
–Kathleen would like to have cell phones collected prior to the test. Katie said that would be a disaster and she does not want to be responsible for 500 phones.
–Kathleen said that the students cheat with their cell phones. She also said that some of the ELL students are passing when they perhaps should not.
–Kathleen asked for dividers on the tables. Nancy suggested checking student IDs.
–Marcus and Nancy also suggested that we start the schedule for the day after the PSAT.
–Nancy said she tried to look at tables for the testing in the cafeteria and the gym but the district does not have enough tables.
II. Counseling/Testing Dates
–Michelle said it seems like there is one test after another. The 10th graders have the most tests. In English the teachers feel they cannot get anywhere with curriculum.
–She would like to request a testing calendar at the beginning of the school year
–She also mentioned that English harbors a lot of the classroom visits as all students take English all 4 years. She would also like to know what types of presentations the Counseling Office wants to make in the English classes and would also like to have a schedule and advanced notice
–Michelle also mentioned field trips that the Counseling Office sponsors. Her department would like to have these dates as well.
–Michelle also said that she thought homerooms were set up to dispense some of the material that is now done in the English classes.
–Lisa did a testing calendar for the year but she knows she missed some of the tests. She will put out an updated calendar.
–Nancy asked what the group would like as “fair notice.” Nancy said there was 1- month notice for the college field trip date.
–David asked for a single sheet with dates of when curriculum in the classroom will be interrupted.
–Michelle asked about the length of the presentations and if homeroom could be used.
–Jo said the presentations are 30-60 minutes long. She tried to get Mr. Machtay to put some of the information on video, but it has not been possible so far this year.
She also said that students and teachers don’t want to see videos over and over again. They would like to make homeroom a place to go to get information.
–Joe suggested giving a month for a particular presentation and then teachers could sign up for a class time.
–Michelle said at times she does not know the purpose of the presentations. She said when class time is used for these presentations then there is less class time to prepare academically for college.
–Another possibility is the auditorium for an hour for all seniors, but maybe that would mean half the seniors would not listen.
–Alicia said that everyone wants to make homeroom more useful. She suggested this be an agenda item for a future meeting.
–Doug suggested trimming the information down to shorter blocks.
III. Emergency Preparedness
–Katie said we would reschedule the lockdown drill. She asked if anyone had an event they want to mention that they would not want interrupted.
–Katie felt the evacuation drill sent well. She would like some feedback via email.
–IT has been out to Galileo, as well as the head of the Attendance Department. The scanner is now working. There are issues of some programs not being compatible. We can sort of scan the strips here. It is very slow to scan the strips. There are inaccuracies. The truancy letters are not being generated. Nancy said this was an important tool for the counseling office.
–There will be a conversation tomorrow to look at what is our contingency plan. We need some way of notifying parents of absences. We have no autodialer.
–Katie is concerned that students will learn there is no way to monitor the attendance and they can miss classes without being caught. This is a district wide issue.
–Kathleen suggested doing something the old fashioned way of taking 10 students and concentrating on them. Students know they can get away with not attending class. Kathleen says she has called parents, talked to the counselors, etc., so what is next? Katie suggested the Counseling Conference.
–Jo said when counselors call classes to find out if the students are present, it is because they have no other way of knowing.
–Doug suggested telling the parents to call some place at SFUSD—Parent Engagement of Parent Voice to complain about the lack of attendance.
–Katie said this problem has to be reported to the state by December 15th.
–Katie suggested that Galileo be a test sight for online attendance. All of our teachers have access to computers.
–Alicia asked if it was OK to notify the counselors in case of truancy. Nancy said there might be a Google Doc coming shortly.
–Joseph thought we should solve the problem here. We have a lot of technology and smart folks. We should make a group effort to get the attendance because we care about the students.
–David said there is an online system now, but it is partly a union issue. Katie said the elementary teachers do not all have computers. The state also needs to approve online reporting. And there is also an issue of a security code.
V. PROP A Funding
–Lisa distributed information about the Prop A information. She will email this to the whole staff. This funding is for 18 extended hours for a variety of the staff.
–Most of it should be site based. There is some centralized PD, but the district is encouraging schools to have most of this at the school site.
–Hours will be turned in at the end of each semester.
–Lisa said some of these hours can be used for co-teachers working together.
–Nancy distributed an older Google Doc they have used in the past and wanted input from the group.
–Protocol is at the top of the page. She reviewed the document. She mentioned a previous discussion about doing a “match,” and she discussed those possibilities.
–Nancy said we have over 150 less TAs than in past years.
–Nancy said that TAs cannot be on the class list—this does not work in Synergy.
–Jessica asked if all TAs can be on a Google Doc and Nancy said this has been started.
–Jessica also asked what needs to change to make this a better system? Lisa said there was no process or system, but this will be established for next year.
–Jessica asked for a priority list for some very important TAs to be assigned prior to general assignments.
–Nancy said the TAs assignment is a huge task.
Department Heads Agenda
1. Accommodations for Special Ed Students in Regular Ed Classes
–Ray asked if everyone is comfortable with the SAI rooms.
–Ray said they are really looking for accommodations for students in the classroom. He mentioned there are only a few students with anxieties. Let him know about any problems.
–He said some periods there are no students in the SAI rooms.
–He said that many of our new teachers in Special Ed this year come from school districts where this is common practice. Let Ray know if you call a SAI classroom and no one is there.
–Kathleen would like to bring up the dress code at a future meeting.
–David asked for feedback on the Principal Walk-Through last week. Marcus said it was positive. There was some concern about 1 teacher doing too much and the other not doing much.
–Lisa said 2 of our co-teachers will go with Lisa to a meeting this week to do a presentation.
–Some of the principals commented favorably on the students being engaged with each other.
Meeting adjourned at 12:15pm.