Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting Minutes – 1/7/14



Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting







Marcus called the meeting to order at 11:20am.


–Marcus wished everyone Happy New Year and asked everyone to tell about what they did over the Winter Break.



Leadership Team Meeting



I.          Focal Student Update


–Marcus attended the Alliance of Black Educators and is now one of the coordinators.  He mentioned the first event, which is a science event.  Marcus mentioned one of our challenges is getting AA students into the higher science classes.  He described the process of science classes from elementary school to high school.  We have very little AA students in our high-level science classes.  What as a school are we doing to get these students into the high-level science classes?


–Marcus identified 6 students to review for this project.  These students are all proficient in Math and Language Arts.  He was able to talk to 3 boys this morning.



–Doug asked why Data Director shows transcripts that are a year behind.    Nancy assumed it was a Synergy issue not being able to connect with Data Director.



–Marcus asked the boys how they felt about their first semester at Galileo, and about their backgrounds.  He shared this information with the group.



–Marcus will contact the students’ teachers.  These students are on track and should be able to continue their academic achievement and do well.  Marcus will do an update after the first 6 weeks this semester.



II.         WASC Preview



–Lisa reminded everyone WASC will come on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 for one day.  This is a mid-term review.  They will meet with us on that day during 4th period.  There will be 2 visitors from the previous committee.


–Lisa distributed a packet of information about the visit.  She explained the contents of the packet.


–Our Action Plan is included as well as the Key Findings Overall, and School-Wide Critical Areas for Follow-Up.


–We need to look at the Action Plan, reflect on it, and we can revise the Action Plan according to where we are now.


–Lisa mentioned some small group work would be done at the Faculty Meeting tomorrow concerning this.



–Marcus said we should continue talking about what we are doing and where we are now.



III.       Cumulative Grade Document Request



–Joseph mentioned this grade report that we were able to get last year.  He was not sure how to generate that report now.  Synergy does not provide this.  Nancy said this was a district-generated request from SIS.  Joseph requested this document.  He would like it after the first 2 grading periods for each semester.



–David mentioned a report that told what courses each teacher in a department taught and what their average GPA was.  He would like to have this again.



IV.        TA Selection Process


–Joseph mentioned he is not happy with the way the selection process went this year.  He described the list and said there are snafus that have happened with this process.


–He would like to propose a TA Draft in the Counseling Office.  Then the Department Heads could select the TAs they want.  He also said there might be a way to do it online, but prefers the face-to-face activity.


–Kathleen said teenagers being drafted many not work out so well.


–Nancy said those students who do not need another elective can be a TA.


–Josephine said students used to search for a teacher and the teachers would indicate when they need a TA.


–Josephine said it has to be a match between the student and the teacher.  She described how much she worked on switching TAs yesterday.  She said that if you tell a student you don’t need a TA, don’t take any more, as there are some teachers who need TAs and don’t have any.  She will not let a student drop a class if they don‘t need the class, unless they can get a TA assignment.


–Nancy said there were 50 who were not assigned and the Counseling Office had to place them.  This has created the same imbalance we had last semester.


–Nancy said everyone who wanted a TA got one.


–Doug said there should be another solution than having TAs.  More money will provide more electives.


–Lisa suggested we find out what other schools do.


–David said the problem is that some teachers take on so many TAs.


–Ethan said some TAs are an asset and some are so much work.



–Marcus said he will reach out to other schools to see what they do.


–Joseph said it is not good to have TAs who are liabilities.



V.         Dates for Counselors Registering in Classrooms


–Mat said some AP teachers want to know the dates so they can get those students set for AP classes.


–Nancy said they would begin the process on February 17th.  She also said the teachers should be preparing their teachers to give students the ideas of the levels that are appropriate.


–Nancy said we have never done a Master Schedule on Synergy.  Nancy said she will have 7 days of training on this during the semester.


–Michelle asked if there were other courses than ELA for the registration.  This year Marcus said it will be Social Studies (10th, 11th, and 12th). and College/Career/Health (9th graders).


–Kathleen asked about ELD and how specific those courses are.  Nancy said they could do ELD and then if there were presentations in the College/Career/Health classes, it would just be a repeat for some students.


–Doug described how his teachers talk to their students about what classes they should sign up for.  He asked if it is possible for the teachers to just recommend what the students should take.


–Discussion followed about taking certain courses off the google selection doc.


–Nancy said that she needs to be informed of all courses that go on the google doc. She needs to know these course offerings by January 21st.


–Michelle said with no new money coming in, this could affect class sizes in other sections.


–Nancy also needs to know any stipulations about stipulations for courses.



VI.        School Loop Not Updated


–Lisa sent an email to everyone.


–Lisa said all full year courses have a single number and 2 semesters.  She said the current grade book has to be edited to end December 20th and then create a new grade book.  She will email this information and help those who need it and attend department meetings.


–David asked why Synergy does not separate into semesters.  Most schools don’t do this.


–The conversion between Synergy to School Loop is different than in previous years.


–Nancy said part of the issue is Synergy has its own School Loop and it does not talk with the current School Loop.


–Nancy asked about attendance strips for classes that don’t meet for that particular day.  Nancy can get this fixed.  Please let her know.


–Nancy said Synergy does not read dates, which can cause issues.  She is not able to fix the leave dates.



Department Heads Meeting



I.          Attendance


–Katie asked everyone to remind their teachers to turn in attendance each day.



II.         Testing


–January 22nd there will be a testing meeting and she should have a schedule after that.



III.       Mid-Year Check In



–In 2-3 weeks the administrators will call everyone in for the mid-year check in.  Marcus will let everyone know when this will happen.



Meeting adjourned at 12:15pm.