Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting Minutes – January 22, 2015
GALILEO ACADEMY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting
I. School Capacities
–Lisa began by telling the group every year we put in a request to EPC on how many students we want to have for the next year. We take into account returning students, traveling teachers, etc.
–We currently have 1908 students and we are funded at about 1976 students. We will get 40 newcomers.
–We will not be making decisions today, just getting input. Do we want to be smaller or larger—this will all affect funding and staffing?
–David Barrios asked about the budget. Does our budget go up as the district has more money for next year? He asked if we get more money can we lower the number of students and still get the funding. Science feels that the most professional thing to strive for is one teacher per classroom. He would opt for smaller class sizes, so lower enrollment if we are getting more money per student.
–Susan said you lower the number of students, you have fewer faculty and fewer staff. She said there are changes in different school sites. She mentioned the new middle school that is being set up differently. The district is also very fond of administrative costs, so all the funding is not equally distributed.
–Stephen Jackson asked how many teachers we would lose with lower enrollment. Lisa said 150 students for one teacher per department.
–Doug said there are way too many variables in this equation. We need to look at specifics, like how many teachers does this involve. If we are going to lose teachers, then we could probably have more students. Lisa said it does involve a lot of factors. Do we want to stay where we are now, grow a little or go down?
–Doug asked if we stay the same would our class sizes go up. Stephen Emmi said class sizes will grow.
–Joseph said they would like to see VAPA grown by 100 students and bring back band. He felt there always will be traveling teachers.
–Michelle Moffett did not have a chance to have a conversation with her department to answer the questions.
–Michelle also mentioned bringing in new academies and pathways. She felt that we need to look at how course offerings will look.
–Mat for Social Sciences said they feel they are at full strength, like their class sizes and do not want to lose anybody.
–Lisa said if we keep 1908 we will have less funding next year.
–Susan said parents are looking for schools that have lots of choices for their children. The choice comes down to a difficult decision. If we do no have electives that make high school more enjoyable, we will lose students to other schools. Traveling will always happen based on our number of classrooms.
–Bai said many parents ask him about class sizes. More students in the building and higher class sizes are not desirable to prospective parents. He said some parents would like more VAPA classes.
–Lisa said if we have more students, we get more money. We also run out of classrooms if we have more students. We have to look the CORE classes that students need.
–Nancy said we do not know right now how much more money we will have, as the district is changing how they do the WSF. The district has said the WSF will be conservative next year.
–David said more students do not necessarily mean more electives. He mentioned several electives in Science, but it is important to recruit students for the electives. He felt that no staff should be cut. He would like to see the numbers remain the same or go down by just a few students if the attrition from our staff can accommodate that.
–Doug recalled 3 or 4 years ago that we had 2100 students and everyone seemed to fit. He mentioned the addition of room 354 as a classroom. Lisa said some periods have no available classrooms. He felt giving teachers their own room is a preference question, not a capacity question.
–Michelle Moffett mentioned co-teachers and planning time and the benefits of having their own room for preps. We may have to revisit CPT and using more for planning.
–Stephen Jackson asked about the space behind room 105 in the “garage” area where autoshop classes met. He said we should be more aggressive in finding and refitting spaces. Susan talked about events at GWHS and funding converting rooms that were the shop areas.
–Stephen Emmi and Lisa discussed some building requests from the past that have not happened.
–Lisa asked about our preferences for the total number of newcomer students. We are funded and budgeted at 150. We have 128 right now.
–Michelle asked if we can influence the newcomer students number for next year. Lisa said we are a newcomer pathway school. She put out numbers on class sizes.
Michelle said Kathleen wants the class sizes small and the students need them small as well.
–Lisa said the information will go to the High School Office today and it will go to the district tomorrow.
Meeting adjourned at 10:30am.