10/16/13 Meeting Minutes

Galileo Academy of Science & Technology
School Site Council Minutes – October 16, 2013

Marcus Blacksher – Principal
Milagro Escobar – Student
Brandon Lee – Student
Anna Shao – Student
Bettie Grinnell – Non classroom
Mele Lau-Smith – Parent
Jim Fong – Parent
Jackie Peters – Teacher
Jonathan Ring – Teacher
Loan Ly – Teacher
Claire Siegel – Parent

Approval of minutes from Sept 18 meeting

M. Lau-Smith made the correction to “b” of III of the minutes, adding “for parent representatives” after initial word “Nominations”. M. Blacksher moved to approve the minutes, M. Escobar seconded. Minutes approved.

Results of SSC Parent Election

New parents representatives elected at Back-to-School Night were Mele Lau-Smith (returning representative, parent of 9th and 12 graders), Jim Fong parent of a 9th grader and Julie Nelson parent of 10th grader.

77 ballots were returned at Back-to-School Night for 5 parent candidates. J. Fong asked what ideas have been discussed in regards to increasing attendance at Back-to-School. Report cards being handed out at BTS night is one. B. Lee thinks some students might attempt to keep their parents away for that reason. Announcements to students via Gal House TV and intercom might help but M. Escobar says kids don’t pay attention to these. Autodialer and mailed announcements do usually happen.

With these new parent reps, the current 2013-2014 Site Council roster is comprised of:

Students : Anna Shao, Milagro Escobar, Brandon Lee,
Staff: Principal-Marcus Blacksher, School Secretary-Bettie Grinnell, Teachers- Jonathan Ring, Loan Ly, Jackie Peters, and Stan Debella
Parents: Mele Lau-Smith, Jim Fong, Julie Nelson

Election of Officers: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary

Discussion of possible candidates after M. Lau-Smith described the duties of the positions (see By-Laws).

M. Blacksher moved to approve a slate of:
Mele Lau-Smith a – Chair;
Jonathan Ring – Vice Chair;
Bettie Grinnell – Secretary.
M. Escobar seconded. Motion passed.
M. Lau-Smith mentioned the need for a SSC member to regularly post minutes and meeting notices on the Galileo website.
Loan Ly volunteered to post minutes and meeting announcements on the Galileo website.

Review and set calendar for SSC 2013-2014 meetings

Meeting will be held on the second Wednesday of the month as stated in the By-Laws. For the 2013-2014 year they will be:
November 13th
December 11th
January 8th
February 12th
March 12th
April 9th
May 14th

Discussion of extra dates that might be need for budget planning was postponed until after the SSC Summit.

Communication process

Discussion of the best way to approve, correct and review documents:
L. Ly proposed that using googledocs would be the easiest and there was agreement that this is the most convenient way for members to review and comment on SSC documents such as: Proposed agendas, By-Laws and Minutes before meetings. Members will be responsible for bringing their own copies of the above documents (either printed out or on their laptops).

The Chair will send notification to regular emails addresses of SSC members when there is a googledoc on-line to be reviewed.

Follow-up discussion of budget letter sent to Deputy Superintendent Myong Leigh

Discussion of Myong Leigh’s response to our letter about the district’s newly increased “buffer” of (which generally seemed to be applied, in the negative, to High Schools and, in the positive, to Elementary schools) and the decrease in per-pupil-spending across the district, the result at Galileo being a much greater deficit than we could have planned for. M. Leigh’s response was appreciative of the information but not substantive in any other way.

M. Lau-Smith suggests that we remind them in a letter at budget time that we need to be better informed of any substantial changes that are applied to the formula we use to estimate our budgetary needs for the following year. We might also request a fairer formula that is less disruptive to all schools. J. Peters asked what happened to the Proposition 30 money that was supposed to be flooding into the district this year. M. Smith-Lau stated that apparently the money has not reached school sites directly but is going to the central district offices with the expectation that they will then be better to support school sites centrally.

J. Fong suggested that our principal could discuss the issue with other principals. M. Blacksher said that this was possible.

M.Lau-Smith said she would post the By-Laws in a googledoc on Novemeber 4th, in anticipation of the November 13th SSC Meeting. She asked that people review, comment or propose changes by November 8th after which it will be considered as finalized for the next meeting.

B. Grinnell moved to adjourn
M. Blacksher seconded
Meeting adjourned

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.




Weekly Bulletin – January 6 – 10, 2014



Weekly Bulletin

JANUARY 6 – 10, 2014





WORD OF THE WEEK:    All Teachers please put this word on your blackboard or other prominent place.  MUNIFICENCE: Extraordinarly generous or bountiful; liberal.




SPECIAL SCHEDULE FOR MONDAY. JANUARY 6, 2014:  All students and teachers report to homeroom at 8:00am.  See the special schedule for January 6, 2014 on the main page of the Galileo Web Site.


Galileo PTSA Education/Enrichment Grants Application Procedures Update:


Please submit your applications 3 weeks before the following General PTSA meetings:

Jan. 8, 2014, March 12, 2014 and April 9, 2014.  This will give the Grants Committee members time to review and then make recommendations for voting at the above listed General PTSA meetings.  For complete guidelines, please go to galileoweb.org/ptsa/grant-request     Questions can be directed to Jeanne at  Lattjiu@aol.com

ANNOUNCEMENT FORMS: We are now using Google Forms to collect announcement requests. The form is linked from the Teachers page at galileoweb.org. Check it out.


**BULLETIN NOTICES:**EMAIL ADDRESS FOR BULLETIN NOTICES:  Please email bulletin notices to: grinnellb@galileoweb.org. The deadline for submitting items for the bulletin is Friday morning by 8:30am.                 Mrs. Grinnell


SUBSTITUTE SYSTEM:  The Substitute System’s phone number:  345-0064.  The old phone number, 241-6641, is no longer operational.  The on-line system remains the same.  If you have any questions please let me know.


SOCIAL COMMITTEE CONTRIBUTION:  Just a reminder–if you haven’t already given your social committee contribution, it’s not too late.  See Bettie Grinnell in the Main Office with your $20–checks or cash welcome!                  Social Committee


PARKING COURTESY:  Please do not block other cars in both the Bay Street and the Polk Street parking lots.  If you have to block a car, do it only for a few minutes and leave your Galileo Parking Hanger in plain sight in your car.  If you do not have a Galileo Parking Hanger, see Bettie Grinnell in the Main Office.                                       Mrs. Grinnell



SPECIAL SCHEDULE FOR MONDAY. JANUARY 6, 2014:  All students and teachers report to homeroom at 8:00am.  See the special schedule for January 6, 2014 on the main page of the Galileo Web Site.


ASB STORE in Room 150  is selling healthy snacks, beverages, sweatshirts, new drawstring day packs, hand towels, lanyards, bookcovers, pens, pennants, mugs, and other spirit items during lunch time and after school. Money helps to pay for our school activities.

ASB STORE is selling ASB card stickers @ $5.00. Discounts are given for dances, sweatshirts, yearbook, and other spirit items.

LETTERMAN JACKETS will be on sale Tuesday, Feb.4 in front of the auditorium during lunch time. Free embroidery – “T-Day Champ 2013” for football players..

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING: next Monday, Jan. 13 in room 153 at 3:15 pm. Will discuss the Spirit Week Food Festival.

PEP RALLY AND CLASS COMPETITION SNOWBALL FIGHT: in the courtyard on Friday, Jan. 17 during lunch time.

BOAT DANCE: is Saturday night, March 15.

ARE YOU STRESSED? Having a hard time adjusting back to school? Having issues in your friendships or relationships? Just need someone to talk to? Come to the Wellness Program in Room 151. It’s free, private and if you are looking for someone to listen we are here!


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