12/11/13 Meeting Minutes

SCHOOL SITE COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
December 11, 2013

Members present: Marcus Blacksher, Mele Lau-Smith, Jonathan Ring, Jackie Peters, Loan Ly, Stan DeBella, Brandon Lee, Bettie Grinnell, Jim Fong

Members of the public present: Marcia Lomneth.

The meeting was called to order at 3:35pm.

Approval of minutes:

S. DeBella made a motion to approve minutes of 9/18/13. Motion seconded by M. Blackshur. No discussion and minutes were approved.

J. Ring made a motion to approve minutes of 10/16/13.Mele asked about the October 18th minutes. No changes or discussion and minutes were approved. S.DeBella abstained as he was not present at the 10/18/13 meeting.

Jim Fong requested a follow up to the proposed talk with other principals about the budget referenced in the 10/16/13 minutes. M. Blackshur gave an update in the budget discussion below.

1. Budget Discussion

M. Blackshur shared that the letter that the Galileo SSC sent to Myong Leigh was provided to other High School principals by Janet Schulze. There was no other information provided in addition to the information in the letter. No additions were made to the Galileo SY 13-14 budget as a result of the letter.

J. Ring told of a meeting he attended with Myong Leigh in which no further information was provided either. J. Ring shared a document he created that shows how the change that the district made to the per pupil spending formula affected Galileo. From the Spring preliminary budget to the Fall final budget, the per pupil spending formula was reduced by $38/student.

The per-pupil cuts affected Galileo more than the buffer cuts. The AP funding received helped mitigate the impact of the reduction in per pupil spending. However, this may not be the case next school year as the teacher’s contract will be negotiated this year. In summary, the per-pupil spending went down and the high school budgets absorbed the largest cuts when compared with elementary and middle schools.

There was discussion as to how to follow up with the district’s response to the letter sent by the SSC this semester. It was suggested that the SSC send a follow up letter in January asking:

1. If the district is planning on using the same process for this upcoming budget year in which the per pupil spending formula might change from the Spring to the Fall
2. That the Galileo SSC requests the district work in good faith with all SSCs to assure them that the Fall budget will not include changes to the budget formula that adversely impact budgets with no warning. Furthermore that the Galileo SSC will not pass a budget without such assurances.

It was noted that if the SSC does not pass a budget, the Principal will be required to submit a budget that has not been approved by the SSC. This was the case a few years ago when Washington HS tried to not submit a budget a few years ago and the district told Washington that the principal had to submit a budget.

L. Ly also suggested that an informational flyer be develop to provide tips to students and parents so that they can become more involved in the school’s budget development process. M. Lau-Smith asked if L.Ly could draft the flyer to which L. Ly agreed.

J. Peters asked how the Prop 30 funds have been spent. It is not entirely clear how the funds were appropriated throughout the district. It appears as though many new positions have been hired at the district level to support school sites and that not much of the money has reached the schools.

S. DeBella noted that if is a California requirement that 55% of the budget go into the classroom. He mentioned that last year 48% of funding went to the classroom. This is a legal requirement and a way we could possibly put pressure on the district.

All members were asked to save the March 1st date for the School Site Planning Summit. The summit brings together all school site councils and provides an over view of the budget process and workshops. SSC student representatives are included in the summit.

M. Lau-Smith summarized the action items that were agreed on:
1. Develop an informational flyer to inform parents so they can support us. Loan will work on this.
2. Follow-up letter to Myong Li—Mele and Jonathan will work on this.

Jonathan mentioned that the budget comes out before the union contracts have been negotiated.

II. Bylaws

A discussion on the Galileo SSC Bylaws followed. It was noted that there are no alternates for the teacher members of the SSC. S. DeBella will follow up with the teachers who were not elected to let them know that they serve as alternates.

It was agreed that each representative body will develop a nomination and election process for review prior to the January meeting:

Teachers – S. DeBella
Classified – B. Grinell
Students – B. Lee
Parents – M.Lau-Smith will compile and J. Fong will review and finalize.

J.Ring initiated a discussion about the ratio of SSC members. In the past, there were 4 classroom teachers and 1 non-classroom representative. B. Grinnell suggested that the bylaws make it clear that classified staff have a seat on the SSC. Non classroom personnel can mean other certificated staff such as counselors, etc. This can create a situation where no classified staff are represented. As a result of the discussion it was suggested that the membership of the SSC be comprised as follows:

4 Certificated staff , of which at least 3 are classroom teachers
1 Principal
0 other administrators
1 classified staff,
3 parents
3 students.

J. Ring made a motion to revise the bylaws with the above requirements. S. DeBella seconded the motion. Motion carried.

J. Ring brought up Section 2 and 4 for the alternates. It was noted that all nomination and election processes include a process for selecting alternates.

J. Ring brought up Section 6, involving public comments and the process through which public comments are allowed. In terms of the budget process, there Marcus liked it when we had one meeting for public comment and then a meeting with no public comments. Mele talked about the past process.

Marcus said that he needs to make it clear to the group that the SSC is a recommending body, but the principal makes the final decisions. Article II, Objectives explains this process.

Jackie asked if there was something in the document that says the principal should notify the SSC if he or she is not going to follow the SSC’s recommendations, then he or she should notify the SSC. This would be part of the recommendation we sign-off on.

January agenda
1. Review Informational Flyer
2. Review Letter to Myong Li
3. Review Election Process
4. Discuss Budget Process
5. Discuss BSC

During the February meeting there will be an update of the WASC (Western States Accreditation of Schools and Colleges) review process currently underway. The SSC will be asked to review and sign off on the WASC review prior to submission.

Other items:

J. Fong asked when is the best time for the community meetings related to the BSC and budget process. M. Blackshur noted that they are usually held during the PTSA meetings. J. Fong mentioned that at the middle school his child attended, the community meetings were held at different times of the day and included discussion groups. It was agreed to discuss a community meeting schedule as part of the BSC discussion at the January meeting.

J. Fong inquired about the reasons behind the 27-point reduction in the API. M. Blackshur noted that this is under discussion at the Leadership Team level and said there are some things the school is working on to raise the number.

J. Fong suggested that there might be something to learn from the technology portion of Kahn Academy and that perhaps teachers and/or students could create their own academies. J. Fong mentioned that the school might be able to receive an innovation award as a result of such an initiative. M. Lomneth mentioned there could be some things already in place that can be collected to show implementation and receive the grants.

S. DeBella moved to adjourn the meeting at 4:55pm. M. Blackshur seconded the motion.

Meeting adjourned at 4:55pm.