Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting Minutes – October 29, 2013
GALILEO ACADEMY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting
Marcus called the meeting to order at 11:20am.
I. Testing Calendar
–Lisa said this has been updated. She mentioned the different tests and grades.
II. Hall Walkers
–Mat said his department notices them on the 3rd floor. Stan mentioned the 1st floor. Mr. Emmi said the security aides are supposed to be in the halls with clipboards taking names. The security aides need to address the first floor.
III. Data Talk
–Marcus mentioned that there will be some blanks in data as we change the testing for the year. The district is coming up with some data sets.
–Marcus asked the group to choose 3 data sets to work with. We should look to see if we are making progress from year to year.
–Marcus would like to look at suspensions, CAHSEE, EAP, Grades, CST and Attendance. He asked the group to provide pros and cons of these data points.
–Lisa suggested splitting in partners and choosing 3.
–Doug said some are academic and some are behavioral and we should decide on a mix of both.
–Suspension and attendance are the behavioral ones.
–Lisa said attendance focuses on the positive and there is research showing how much better students do if they attend. Also, tardies should be factored in here.
–Marcus said we reduced our suspensions by 50% last year. The district is focusing on Factor K—defiance. He said we had only 1 K last year.
–Michelle said that we need to know where we are with attendance. Truancy letters aren’t going out, phone calls aren’t going home.
–David said many of the F’s are attendance issues.
–Marcus said with attendance there are other variables—if a student fails the first 6 weeks, are they done? He mentioned partial credit. Some students get in a hole and then just stop going to class.
–Ethan said some who get in the hole don’t have the ability to get out of the hole. There is also the issue of sequential classes.
–Stan says this is a 7th or 8th grade test. We don’t really affect this. Marcus said there is a difference in passing in the 10th grade, rather than just before graduation. He said that looking at students who go to a 4-year college would be a better measure.
–Marcus said we will face our challenges with the ELL students passing. He mentioned what June Jordon is doing to address this.
–Lisa said if students have to keep retaking the test, this is a disruption.
–Marcus said we do know that the students take this test seriously.
Grades—Michelle said with grades the biggest con is there is no real standardization.
–David said having a school goal of raising grades could back fire.
–Doug agreed with Michelle and David. He mentioned moving towards some type of standardization. Stan is against the standardization of testing, but we could look at grades vs. attendance, etc.
–Marcus said we could have the discussion about making grades more consistent in each 9th grade English class, etc. He mentioned homework and how much that should count for your final grade. He mentioned engagement strategies. He mentioned talking to students in the halls about why they go to one class and not another—teacher engagement plays a big part.
–Ray mentioned standardization and whose standardization are we talking about.
–David said we have some students who are really bad test takers.
–David mentioned that at the lower grades there could be more standardization and commonality.
–Jo said this would eliminate students trying to pick the teachers where they think they will do better.
–Joseph said standardization would work better in some departments but not others. In World Languages or VPA, there might be only 1 teacher teaching a particular subject.
–Steven Emmi mentioned the difference between a 0 and a 50—both being a grade of F.
–Doug feels the EAP is important, as the students are about to move on to college. English Early Assessment Program.
–Michelle said our scores are lower in the EAP. To try to improve performance, we want to make the push here.
–Doug discussed classes in SFCC where students start below the acceptable level, they may not stick it out to get to the college ready levels of classes.
–The group will each write down the top 3 they want to focus on and Bettie will tally them. She will send out an email by the end of the day. Marcus encouraged everyone to start discussions in your department.
–Marcus distributed a Data Power To Act document to share with each department.
IV. Co-Teaching Update
–Lisa passed out a survey on Co-Teaching. This came from an AP meeting last week. Lisa explained the responses.
–Lisa mentioned having enough time to co-plan.
–Gen. Ed teachers are having a harder time with the co-teaching.
–Joseph asked if anyone has asked the students how they feel about co-teaching.
–A poll of students was mentioned.
–Lisa said 15 teachers signed up for working with Yusuf Ali after school to train using Prop H hours. He thanked Kristy Morrison and Yusuf Ali for their participation in a recent presentation.
V. Attendance Update
–Katie said we are now up and running with the scanning. We can validate the absences, but not the present dates. If a teacher does not turn in a strip, the mark defaults to a present. She asked the group to have teachers turn in attendance early on Friday.
–Katie mentioned other problems with attendance records.
–Joseph asked for a time line on Friday for turning in attendance.
–Jo said now the truancy module does not work due to lack of attendance.
–Nancy said we have a print out of a report of 30 or more absences. We want to use older letters to notify parents. We will hear later today if we can do this.
–Nancy said meetings with students and their parents will begin soon.
VI. Homeroom Discussion
–Alicia said homeroom doesn’t seem very functional. She said many students don’t watch G-House TV. She thought more information could flow through homeroom. She did not suggest more work for the homeroom teachers.
–Ray said Special Ed students go to regular homerooms and his teachers do not get to see their counselees. They would like to modify that in the Spring semester. He suggested Special Ed homerooms by case managers.
–Marcus suggested we table this until next week.
VII. After School Supervision/Facilities
–Ethan said we are getting many more requests to use the facilities. Wrestling has the Dance Studio after school and the Cheerleaders are using the Fitness Labs. Basketball uses all the gyms.
–He noticed that many clubs are using facilities without a faculty or adult supervisor.
–Galileo web site has a list of sponsors.
–Marcus said all groups should be supervised.
–Mark said Futurama supervises many of the after school activities.
–Michelle said that that we need to supervise students while school is in session. She mentioned classes that are unattended due to teachers being late, etc. She mentioned liability, the noise factor, etc. We need to emphasize that there needs to be a teacher in every classroom.
–Unsupervised students should not be in the classrooms. This includes lunchtime.
This includes TAs.
VIII. Spec. Ed Students Failing Reg. Ed. Classes
–Ray said many of his students are failing these classes. He said this is frustrating and we need to address this issue. He gave some examples with Biology.
–David said we should have a discussion about the computer lab before and after school.
–Doug mentioned issues with the parking lot and being blocked in and having a hard time being able to leave.
–Marcus said he hears about safety issues.
–Marcus asked if this discussion should be with this group or the UBC.
–Katie said it should be an enforcement issue.
–Ray mentioned the handicapped parking spot. There is one space that should be kept open for wheel chair access from the elevator.
–Jessica asked if there is a way to increase our parking.
–Nancy suggested on football game days we should not let people park in the lot if there are no legal spaces.
–Marcus asked everyone to talk to their departments and let them know that we will start to discuss consequences.
Meeting adjourned at 12:15pm.