Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting Minutes – March 18, 2014
GALILEO ACADEMY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting
Marcus called the meeting to order at 11:20am.
I. Classroom Announcements
–David said 4th and 6th periods there are many announcements. These announcements are made by staff other than Bettie. He asked the group for feedback. Michelle said they are annoying. Most of these announcements could be made during 4th period announcements. Some are also done during CPT, which is also interrupting.
–David said that announcements should go through Bettie or the 4th period announcements. Once someone else starts announcing then it gives other staff the idea they can also announce.
–Jo said many of the announcements at the end of 4th period are about lunchtime activities.
–Someone suggested having announcements at the end of 4th period.
–Lisa suggested we keep announcements at the same time and if necessary change next year.
–Lisa reviewed the day with WASC. The WASC visitors knew that we had a lot of staff and administration changes. They saw consistency in the classrooms and progress from their last visit. They did say we are in the discussing and talking about stage of our action plan items. They said that we need to move more in the action plan stage. They indicated we are fine and we will have another self-study in 3 years.
–Marcus thanked everyone for being prepared and doing what you do.
III. BCC Audit
–Bilingual Community Council—Lisa explained the composition of the BCC. Their focus this year is duly identified students—ELL and Spec. Ed. They will come again this coming Monday. They will visit classrooms that were visited last week by the district people. The district liked what they saw last week. Lisa will email everyone about this. They will just observe and will not expect a conversation. Feel free to tell the students who the visitors are.
IV. Xerox Overage $2100
–Marcus said this is an overage bill. We need to be mindful of how many copies we are making. He asked the group to relay this to their teachers.
–Lisa said we talked about this several weeks ago. She distributed some possible schedules if we eliminate homeroom next year. M, T and F are the same. 4th period has an additional 5 minutes for announcements, so dismissal would be at 3:10pm. Wednesday we would eliminate homeroom and add a 5-minute announcement time at the end of 5th period. On Thursdays 4th period would be 20 minutes longer for G-House TV—either at the end or beginning. Wednesday we would get out at 1:55pm and Thursday at 2:10pm.
–Ray mentioned the bus schedule and they control our dismissal time.
–Joseph did not like the inconsistency of lunch each day.
–Josephine was not sure having G-House TV once a week that it might not be fair to the kids who are a part of the broadcast. Lisa said Hank Machtay was OK with once a week.
–Ethan asked about G-House TV for PE students.
–David said once a week for G-House TV might get more faculty members to tune in.
–Joseph suggested 10 minutes on Wed and Thur for G-House TV for more consistency in the bell schedule.
–With this schedule CPT could be longer which could be beneficial.
–Faculty meetings might have to change to Thursdays.
–Joseph would go for consistency of schedule rather than consistency of announcements.
–Marcus asked if the group would like more possibilities. Doug said he thought we should bring this back to department members.
–Ray would like to see more students in homeroom. He felt that 2 hours to sit for special ed. students with no breaks is awful.
–Jo talked about the truancy letters and parent conferences. She found out that students are attending their friends’ homerooms and this causes truancy notices. She felt teachers should not allow students who are not in their homeroom to stay.
She also said that when teachers turn off the TV the students are seeing a bad role model. She also mentioned the counselors use homeroom to pass out notices, transcripts, etc.
–David said he does not have much faith in teachers enforcing attendance in homeroom. Homeroom takes up valuable time.
–Doug mentioned that in many classrooms, students are talking during G-House TV. Teachers do not enforce attendance or watching the G-House TV.
–Jo said there is a lack of consequence for cutting homeroom. She talked to counselors at Lincoln and GWHS. Both of those schools put in a 3 day cut list—if a student is on the truancy list, they cannot play sports, go to dances, attend club meetings, etc. We have no consequences for our students.
–Kathleen said the “U” should mean something. She said her teachers like homeroom—for a chance to talk to the kids, have a break on block days, etc.
–Marcus said the deans and security want homeroom removed, as attendance is not being enforced.
–Ray asked if there could be a grade and the answer was no, due to the contract.
–Marcus asked everyone to bring this issue to their teachers.
VI. Teacher Referral Process
–Ray asked teachers to not turn a student away when they are new by saying the class is full. When they schedule a student in a class, they select the class with the lowest numbers. He asked that the problems be settled after school, not turning the student away.
–Kathleen says the same thing happens with newcomers.
–Nancy said that when students are incarcerated, they are removed from the class rolls. When they come back, we have to take them in. Nancy asked that teachers not turn these students away, call the counselors, etc. We are trying to make these students a part of the community and we do not want them wandering around.
–Michelle said some rooms are smaller and that needs to be taken into consideration along with class size.
–Jo said the counseling office works hard to figure out the schedule for students. Accept the students, and then email the counselor after class.
–Nancy said this time of year it is challenging scheduling students and finding classes.
Department Head Agenda
I. Master Schedule
–Nancy said she assumes everyone is working on the Google Docs. She asked if this is true.
–Nancy asked the group if the March 21st deadline would work. Michelle, David and Ray had questions.
–Nancy made a form for department preferences for the 3 courses the teachers would like to teach, and the a space for the department heads to enter needs. Lisa explained the form.
–Administration would like all the information completed by Thursday, March 27th in the am if possible.
–Last year we had A2A that generated truancy letters to students. This year it was not operating until a month or so ago. The first letter went out after 3 absences (800 letters). The second letter has gone out which is sent after 15 unexcused absences (500 letters). This is a Summons Meeting with the District Attorney. This meeting will be on Wednesday, March26th. The third letter is going out this week (there are 400 of these), and these students should be SARBd and perhaps meet with a judge. There will be 400 families meeting in the auditorium with their students.
–These letters count excused absences and tardies. The district does not want us to suppress these letters. Pupil Services is in charge of this.
–Students attending games are supposed to be marked present in classes they miss. Homeroom absence is the main part of these letters.
–Ray said for special ed. students this can generate lawsuits from the parents. He has lots of calls from parents and lawyers.
–Jo said if an attendance strip is not turned in, then the student is marked present. She encouraged teachers to turn in the strips for accurate attendance accounting.
–Doug asked if we were moving to online attendance next year. Nancy said it is supposed to happen, but it was supposed to happen a few years ago.
–Nancy explained the process for correcting the attendance. The students are involved.
II. Frisco Day
–Joe said it is on Friday, April 18th. This is a mandatory field trip by the district. There is no teacher approval for this field trip. It is for Seniors and held at CCSF and SF Concourse.
Meeting adjourned at 12:15pm.