Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting Minutes – March 4, 2014
GALILEO ACADEMY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting
Marcus called the meeting to order at 11:20am.
Leadership Team Agenda
–Os-Maun Rasul came to talk about Homeroom and the concerns about Homeroom. He will discuss some possible solutions. He mentioned in previous schools there was a school-wide curriculum students were exposed to in Homeroom. This helps with classroom management and encourages students to attend homeroom.
–He mentioned that many students treat homeroom as a free period.
–Lisa mentioned submitting grades and not being about to give grades for homeroom.
–Nancy said some teachers have given homeroom grades, which then need to be removed.
–Lisa mentioned that Stephen has suggested doing away with homeroom. If the main purpose of homeroom is around announcements, grade level groups meetings of students, etc., there might be an alternative.
–Homeroom teachers will still announce the names at graduation.
–Marcus said we have to have a homeroom in place for testing.
–David mentioned the rapport that comes with homeroom for testing which may be different with the new testing process.
–Nancy said we would have to figure something out if we eliminate homeroom. She also mentioned that counseling might go back to grade level.
–David would like to propose that the 15 minutes be part of a block period.
–Nancy said it would be better to be the last 15 minutes of the period.
–Jessica is curious to know what other SF high schools do. What do they use homeroom for?
–Kathleen recalled the nutrition break and thought this would be good for the students.
–Lisa discussed tacking the announcements onto a period. Block Days could have G-House TV and or class assemblies. She mentioned getting out earlier on Wednesdays.
–Stan asked about G-House TV—answer was it could be at the end of a block period.
–Joseph said we should think about the students and know that they do need a break.
–Homeroom is instructional time; nutrition time does not count as instructional minutes.
–Doug mentioned that many students would leave campus on nutrition breaks and we would have the same hall walking problems as we have with homeroom.
–Marcus suggested we compose several schedules with homeroom included at the end of the period. He asked them to bring them to the next meeting.
–Several members recalled some schedules Jonathan Ring did in the past.
–WASC review is next Tuesday, March 11, 2014. She referred to the report—everyone has seen the first 3 chapters. She will email everyone the entire report.
–The visiting members will be with us during Leadership next Tuesday.
–There will be a check-in during 4th period on Monday in Room 210.
–Marcus asked everyone to read the report by next Monday.
–Please let Lisa know if there should be changes or edits.
III. Master Schedule
–Nancy said the counselors are finishing registering students today. Department Heads should have the forms by Monday to look at student placements.
–Placement will be due on March 21st.
–David asked when Nancy would send out the form regarding teacher preferences. She said she would try to send that out next week.
IV. Night School
–Mat said this is about the integrity of night school. He discussed that some of the students feel entitled to a passing grade for showing up. No one in his department is teaching night school. He also mentioned our discussions on grading. He mentioned the scenario that students might think night school is easy, and may run into unintended consequences. He mentioned some students who take classes in summer school to pass in 5 weeks.
–David said students know that night school is easier. He said many of them are trying to graduate. He mentioned the 1 science class offered, and no matter what science class a student needs, this class fits it.
–Alicia mentioned that her son is in night school. She discussed his history. She said his teacher bonds with the students. This class ends at 5:30pm. These students go for 2 ½ more hours after school. There is a fine line to walk between judging students and encouraging them to be prepared to move on.
–Stan is a night school teacher. The teachers are aware that students take the class as the easy way. He said they try to make the curriculum applicable and helpful for the students. The entire make up credit, online, summer school, night school all have their drawbacks.
–Jo said there are some students who are trying to play the game—the smart ones. Jo said they try to get the students on the right track. She mentioned other students who are looking to have a second chance to make up credits and turn it around for college. She said 9 out of 10 of these students are in that group. We need to help these students.
–Nancy discussed the orientation for night school and tells the groups that the students will be from all different levels and the content should be a review of the basic curriculums. She mentioned that classes can be dismissed between 5:00pm and 5:30pm. She said teachers use resources in the school, like the library, computer labs, etc.
–Marcus said that Mele Lau-Smith, who runs the after school programs said we are spending lots of money having night school here. The largest one is at Washington and perhaps our students should go there.
V. Students with “Action Plans”
–Mat discussed the students who go part time and how this is decided.
–Nancy said we have a handful of students on a modified schedule where they start out with a shorter day. For the 504’s there are some students who do not meet the full qualifications for an IEP. Some of these have health problems, particularly mental health problems, who cannot handle the whole school day. She mentioned several scenarios.
–Nancy and the counselors oversee the Action Plans.
VI. AP Test Payments
–Doug mentioned that currently the individual teachers collect the funds. Some students have to get waivers from the counseling office. He mentioned some students get waivers from some tests, but not all.
–He also mentioned the scenario of being responsible for the money—what if he gets robbed, he loses the money, etc. Who is responsible?
–Nancy was thinking that there should be follow through with the students. We will be giving 990 exams this year.
–David mentioned centralizing it by student, not test.
–Nancy said Judie White works with Nancy on the payments.
VII. First Aid Supplies
–Doug mentioned an email from Nurse Kitchell to Karen Field that each department is responsible for all their first aid equipment. He asked for what the rules are and what they each have to stock.
–David says he buys Band-Aids for the classrooms.
–Ray said there are latex gloves in 212 and 214.
Meeting adjourned at 12:05pm.