Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting Minutes – February 18, 2014



Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting









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



I.          Attendance


–Katie asked the members to remind their teachers to take attendance.  Remind the teachers to keep a record other than the blue attendance strips.  She mentioned one of our students who is currently in jail and some of his teachers cannot verify attendance.  Synergy is not always reliable.


–See Bettie if you need the paper attendance books.


–Katie said the requirement for the courts is not the strips, but the records from the teachers.


–Stan asked when the attendance would be digital.  The Board of Ed and the state will have to approve this.



II.         Feedback from Last Week’s Drills


–Please provide Katie with feedback from your teachers.


–Joseph said one of our security aides mentioned a teacher walking down the hall during the lock down.  The teacher was asked to enter a classroom and refused.



III.       Master Schedule


–Nancy said the counselors started visiting classes today and this will go through March 4th.


–Jo mentioned a student who wanted to pick a class with a certain teacher and Jo told the student that she would like to have the students pick the classes, not the teachers. She encouraged everyone to tell their teachers to let students know what they are teaching, but not the periods.



IV.        Senior Activities


–Jo passed out a Draft Calendar for Senior Activities, Clearance and Graduation.  She discussed a change in the dates for the Senior Clearance—she moved it up one day.  The forms will be sent out prior to the clearance dates.  Teachers can sign students out prior to the 20th of May.  The Counseling Office needs the next 2 days for clearance.


–Graduation Rehearsals will be after school on April 30th and May 1st.  These are block days.


–Joseph asked if they will use the stage, as the stage will be set up for their evening concert.


–Lisa said the Senior Finals on May 13th conflicts with the AP Gov. Exam.



V.         WASC


–Lisa has been writing up the report based on the feedback she has been collecting from the group.  She asked everyone to take a few minutes and read part of the report and provide feedback.  She distributed pens.


Members spent the rest of the meeting time reading and providing written feedback.



Meeting adjourned by 12:15pm.




Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting Minutes – February 11, 2014



Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting









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



I.          Senior Finals and Clearance


–May 28th will be graduation at Bill Graham Auditorium at 1:00pm.  Time has not been confirmed, but the date is confirmed.


–Senior Rehearsals and Finals will be the weeks prior.  Rehearsal at Bill Graham will be on May 27th.


–Due to no STAR testing this year, we will not be able to have Senior Activities at that time in April.


–AP Testing for Seniors runs until May 13th.


–David suggested using the early release times on Block Days for rehearsals.


–Jo mentioned that we need to plan for the Senior Breakfast.  Senior Panorama is April 24th.


–Joseph suggested senior finals in the morning and then rehearsals in the afternoon.


–Jo said they need 1 day for Senior Clearance as all the counselors are participating.


–Jo said she needs clearance by May 22nd with a free day on May 23rd for planning for last minute details.  May 26th is a holiday.


–CAHSEE is May 13th and 14th for just a few seniors.


–Senior Finals will be May 14 – 20th.


–Senior Breakfast will be May 22nd or May 23rd.


–Teachers have May 21st and morning of May 22nd to sign seniors out.



II.         Timely Communications About CAHSEE & Other Tests and Classroom Use After School


–Mat said he heard comments about teachers wanting to know room assignment for CAHSEE testing earlier than happened this year.


             –Mat mentioned classrooms are being used after school and the teachers in the rooms are not notified.  Many teachers feel it is OK as long as the rooms are returned to the original condition.



III.       CELDT Results


–Kathleen has the results by teachers.  She distributed some information on what the results look like.  She explained the documents.


–LTEL—Long Term English Learners is a new term (after 5 years in USA).


–USA Entry is an interesting entry.  Kathleen explained this entry.  She asked the members to present these to their departments.


–She discussed the differences in language courses and literacy for the Hispanics and the Asians.


–Marcus asked how long the Newcomer status lasts.  Kathleen thought one year, Katie thought 2 years. She suggested thinking about a Newcomer Pathway for next year. She mentioned a Newcomer Social Studies class.


–Doug said his department could probably fit in classes for Math for the Newcomers.


–Joe mentioned SF International as a school for Newcomers.  This school is totally full. Many of the classes are on an A – G track.




IV.        Master Schedule


–Counselors will start going to Social Studies, Health and College and Career classes next Tuesday.


–She mentioned they have taken over the Computer Labs.


–After the counselors finish, members will start working on placements within their departments.


–Michelle asked how this process would go.  Nancy said she will have a form for the department heads.


–The Counseling Office likes the information from English and Math where they indicate where students should move to.  Doug mentioned having students put down what they want after the levels have been defined.


–David asked about the AP guide and schedule.  Nancy said everyone will receive a packet this year.


–Nancy said the classroom visits will start in April.


–Those students who are not in an AP class can see her or Mrs. White to sign up for the exam.



V.         BCC Audit


–The school board has chosen EL students in Special Ed.  They will come and meet with a team and then there will be classroom visits.  They report to the School Board, who reports to the Lau group.


–They are looking to see that students are being served.


–This will be sometime in March.


–Lisa said that teachers should continue to teach and not have a conversation with the visitors.


–Marcus said this is a Board appointed audit.



VI.        WASC


–Lisa said she hoped everyone found the groups last week at the faculty meeting meaningful.


–Lisa asked for meaningful feedback on the action items.



VII.      Miscellaneous


–Alicia mentioned yesterday’s fire drill and the 4th floor exit.  She said her exit is totally jammed—the one in the corner.  Perhaps we can reroute several classes.


–Katie said common sense should prevail and teachers are free to use another staircase. Kathleen agreed.



–Michelle asked for the testing calendar.  Katie said the weeks of April 14th and April 21st will be testing.  She is hoping for a week of 4 block days.  Monday – Thursday would be block days.  Second week would be Tuesday – Friday block days.  This will be for all 11th graders in English and Math classes. 


–10th graders in Life Science will test and Katie would like to talk to David about the mixed classes.


–Wednesday/Thursdays will remain the same for attendance reporting.  Monday/Tuesday will just like Wed/Thur.


–Dismissal would be at 2:10pm if Transportation agrees and we have enough instructional minutes.



Meeting adjourned at 12:10pm.




Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting Minutes – January 29, 2014



Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting









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



Marcus said the visitors from Colorado yesterday were very impressed with Galileo—positive environment, liked the academies and pathways.  Marcus thanked those involved in hosting the group.


–He talked about the gap in per pupil spending from our district ($3,800 plus add- ons).  The Colorado team has over $6,000 per pupil. Only a 7% of the Colorado students qualify for free and reduced lunch.  Not much diversity in ethnic breakdowns is present in their school system.



Leadership Team




I.          Testing


–Katie went to the Testing meeting last Wednesday.  40% district wide was chosen and we are the only large comprehensive high school that does not have to do the field test.  We could test if we wanted to but we will not.  There is a new tech roll out with a secure server that will be downloaded to individual computers.



–10th graders still need to take the Life Science test for federal accountability.


–11th graders who are taking EAP have to take the Math and English and writing.  11th graders in Geometry are exempt from the Math.


–Michelle asked if we could get both of the tests on the same day.  Katie is working on it.


The CST will be done over 2 days.  Katie would like to test each group in the English and Math classes.  Students do better when they are with their subject teachers.


–Testing window goes from April 7 –May 8.  Katie said it would not overlap with AP” testing.



II.         Student Access to Wi-Fi


–Mat says that since student can access with wi-fi, the now use their phones and there is more phone usage during class.


–Lisa said we did not make a technology plan when Ben Chun left, and some of the items Doug Pfifer is not doing as much as he did in the past.  We are the only school in the district where you can’t get immediately to the sfusd wireless.  We are now transition now to the district—sfusd and sfusd guest.  These are all accessing the same wi-fi network.  Soon we will only use the sfusd and sfusd guest and the Galileo network will be gone.


–Lisa said it was important to offer students wi-fi so they do not have to use their data plans.


–Marcus said teachers will have to be more diligent in monitoring the cell phones.


III.       TA Badges


–Nancy said the TA Badges are ready for the teachers.  Students will be responsible for wearing the badges.  This is a quick id to prove they are TAs, but they still will be required to carry a pass when they are a TA.  Those who do not have the proper identification have to be held accountable.


–Students should not be leaving campus at all.  Nancy will send a memo about this.


–Badges have student name, teacher name, period and a school special stamp.


–Students keep the badges.  No photos are on the badges.


–Alicia suggested that the teachers hold onto the badge.


–Marcus said he and the UBC worked on the badges and the procedures.


–Marcus suggested people write up suggestions.



IV.        Master Schedule


–Nancy is working on google doc and form. She wants departments to look at the registrations form and is asking for improvements/adjustments. This form is used for students to register.


–David said he wants to make sure all departments are treated the same.


–Nancy confirmed that English/ELL can be used for graduation eligibility.




V.         Grading


–Marcus spoke with two departments but both did not provide additional insights on how there are grading. He wants departments to talk amongst themselves to make some decisions on how they will make changes to their current grading policies.



VI.        WASC


–Lisa is writing up the report. Activity followed asking leadership team members to respond to each poster. Each poster has a need or strength listed in the WASC report.  All responses will be used in the report.



VII.      Day of Learning


–Loan Ly will be coordinating a Day of Learning where all students and educators are invited to attend on Sunday, March 23, 2014 at Galileo. She is asking if teachers can provide extra credit/incentives for students to attend. Everyone must register to attend.  In past years this event was held at Mercy High School but the event has become so popular that they needed a larger venue. Workshops for teachers will be available. Many guest speakers from a variety of local agencies, including students and teachers will present.  



Meeting adjourned at 12:15pm.


Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting Minutes – January 21, 2014



Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting









Marcus called the meeting to order at 11:40am.



Leadership Team Agenda




I.          Affordable Care Act Enrollment Days


–Jessica told the group that on Thursday there will be specialists here to help families enroll.  It takes an hour and a half to get a family enrolled.  The computers in 260 will be used.  The information is going out through the auto dialer today.  This is for any family that has students in the SFUSD.  There are 7 dates for this enrollment throughout the district.


–Lisa suggested this be announced on G-House TV.



II.         Consequences for Cutting Homeroom


–Mat said his department is asking what is in place at this time.


–Stephen said detention and community service if we are able to catch them.


–Some students are going out of the building with loose permission from adults in the building.


–Stephen asked the group to tell their teachers not to let students out during homeroom.


–Jo said that 3 Us on a report card means students cannot attend dances.  For the seniors if they get a U for a final grade they cannot participate in the graduation ceremony.


–Doug said at the private school where his son attends, the teachers record the attendance and the administrators give the citizenship grades based on attendance.



–Marcus said that TAs will have ID Cards with their names and periods on them.  They should show them when they are in their TA period.



III.       Dress Code


–Kathleen discussed the fact that the hot weather is bringing back the exposed flesh in the girls and the underwear in the boys.  She asked if other teachers are talking about this.


–Lisa said they would all take calls and will talk to students who are inappropriately dressed.


–Katie said Mr. Rasul talks to kids and gives them PE clothes or sends them home.



IV.        Newcomers


–Kathleen said there will be an ELD Night School for levels 5 and higher.


–She also mentioned some of the newcomer students who are just coming to Galileo might not be fluent by next year.  She is looking into the .8 classes to make sure there are adequate class spaces.


–Discussion followed about class sizes at the beginning of the semester and then how the classes grow larger during the semester.


–Kathleen said if the newcomers come in as Juniors (15 or older), they do not have to meet all the graduation requirements (A-G), but then they cannot go directly to a UC after high school.


–Marcus asked how long the students keep the newcomer status.  Jo said 1 semester to 1 year.


–Kathleen said they are called “developing,” and this can go either way and it is a bit confusing.  Most of them cannot manage the .6 classes.



V.         Emergency Preparedness Week


–Katie is thinking of the last week in February or the first week in March.


–Michelle said the English Department would be busy the last 2 days of February.


–Nancy said the counselors will be going to classes between February 18 and March 4.


–Katie said she would know the testing schedule after a meeting this week.


–Katie did not want to do it the last week of the grading period.


–Suggestion was made to do it the week of February 10th.  We will mix of periods and days and Katie will put it on the calendar.



Department Heads Agenda



I.  Master Schedule


–Nancy distributed information concerning the 2014 Spring Master Schedule Timeline.  Today begins the period to let Nancy know if there are new classes in each department. She surveyed the group.


–Joseph said Mr. Novota would like to offer Beginning Band.  They are making a commercial for G-House TV.


–David and Alicia had new course offerings they have discussed with Nancy.



–Nancy talked about the 2-day training she and Lisa went to about how to build the Master Schedule.  She said it was good training.  She mentioned the timeline she distributed is a DRAFT and the district is working now to put things in place to start building the Master Schedule.  She emphasized that we need to be flexible.


–Nancy said Lisa will be helping with the Master Schedule, as Nancy will not be back until October next fall, as she is pregnant and will not be able to come back for the start of the school year.


–Counselors will be able to visit 2 classes per period.  We also need to report the number of classes to the March School Site Council meeting.


–Doug asked if Synergy would decide which courses a teacher has and when the prep period is.  He spends a lot of time honoring his teachers’ requests. 



–Ethan said the new plan is already in place at GWHS.  He offered that “work is work” and it needs to be fair across the board.


–Nancy said there are no guarantees for who has prep period when.


–David hoped that after the computer puts out a program, the department heads would be able to discuss it with the administration.


–Question was asked if the system could take into account room assignments so that teacher movement is kept to a minimum.  The answer is “Yes.”






January 12 – Ongoing          Begin Master Schedule Priority Discussions


February 18 – March 4        Counselors Registers Grades 10 – 12 (for next year)


March 10 – March 21           Department Heads Submit Student Placement and/or


                                                Placement Revisions


By March 21                          Department Heads Submit Teachers 3 Content Area Choices


March 17 – March 28           New Student/Freshman Registration


April 7 – April 11                  Number of Courses/Sections Are Determined



March 24 – April 11             Counselors Enter Course Requests



April 14 – 18                         Build Shell



April 18                                  Continue Development of Master Schedule



May 12 – 23                          Round 2 of New Student/Freshmen Registration



May 30                                   Teachers Are Notified of Courses They Are


                                                Teaching 2014 – 2015



–Kathleen asked if her students could move up in the same logical pattern that is in place now.  The answer is “Yes.”  This will also include team teaching classes that have to be certain periods.


–Michelle said that some of the academy people want to have a common prep.  Lisa said they are prioritizing academy programs and co-teaching programs.



–Ray said that we need to be able to read the IEPs of all the incoming 9th grade (current 8th grade) students.  He explained that the only way to know how to place the students is to read the IEPs.



–Michelle said one of the glitches of team teaching is that the teachers did not have time for discussions.  She would like to know before the end of the semester who will be team teaching and what they will be teaching.  Marcus said they would know before the end of the school year.


–Nancy will ask who wants to team teach, etc.  There will be a Google form.  They will prioritize team teachers who want to stay together.



–Doug asked who would handle those who have issues with what they are teaching next year if they are told on the last day of school.  Nancy said administrator contracts do not end on May 30th and they will be working on it.



II         Grade Level Special Ed Problems


–Ray said we are still getting 9th grade students in unannounced enrollment.  He said the placement office is not looking at Special Ed component for students they send to Galileo.  He mentioned that Naomi Gibbons has 15 students in one class, which is quite large for Special Ed.



III.       Miscellaneous



Meeting adjourned at 12:10PM.


Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting Minutes–January 14, 2014



Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting









Galileo Grading Policy Conversation Day 4






–Surface concerns, issues and strengths around teachers’ grading policies


–Challenge or confirm belief systems around grading policies


–Create a safe environment to share potentially difficult issues






1.  Minute Paper


2.  Review Norms—raising hand s, step-up/step back,  assume positive intentions.


3.  Framing for the day:  What are your next steps with your departments and as a school?


4.  Lincoln Policy


5.  Work time – individual – partner – group


6.  Next steps?




Lisa distributed a document that was from last semester—Mark Distribution by Ethnicity.


Doug asked for a similar document by gender.



Eric and Myra came for the 4th meeting on the Grading Topic.


Eric reviewed the norms, including assume positive intentions.


Myra talked about the Framing for the Day.  Myra and Eric will share what Lincoln’s Policy is and then everyone will work in groups.


Eric distributed the Lincoln Grading Policy and asked members to review it and talk with one another about it.  This is a living document.



Eric asked for feedback from the group.



–Alicia mentioned the issue of the two students who got the same grade—one came all the time but didn’t do all the work and the other student who didn’t come every day but did the work.  They both got grades of C.  The C says something about each student.


–Marc said they wanted to make sure the students gained some mastery and the grade reflects that.


–Eric mentioned discussions at other schools.


–Stan said we are doing fine on expectations.  What does consistent grading policy?  How do you calibrate grades?  Stan also mentioned the vocabulary in the Lincoln document.  He also mentioned the School Loop Guidelines.


–Eric explained how the Lincoln faculty discuss common assessments and look at student work and compare grading standards.


–Stan challenged the word calibrated and its definition.


–Mat added with calibrated grades there must be a baseline and asked who will set the baseline?


–Doug added that if there are enough people discussing, the members can calibrate to each other and do not really need a baseline.


–David asked how long this has been implemented at Lincoln.  Eric said this was the first school year it was implemented.  He expressed curiosity about the gains Lincoln will make this year. 


–Joseph like the idea of teachers getting together to look at work samples and compare grading policies.  He also liked the words “care givers” in the document.  Joseph also agreed with Stan about the definition of the words.


–Joseph also mentioned the disagreement between teaches and the union about the use of School Loop.



Eric called for a discussion about what kinds of activities you would like to try out in your departments.  How will this affect grading policies.  He referred to the back of the agenda with a piece from our last WASC review.  These are items we were told to work on.



WASC—“Identification of essential skills and knowledge in all courses and the development of common assessments, grading standards, criteria, rubrics and student exemplars so that teachers can made grading practices more consistent and more accurately communicate proficiency levels to students.”  Lisa added that this is something WASC recommended we work on.



What are the next steps with your departments?


–Share syllabus and discuss individual grading policies


–Create common rubric


–Discuss and develop no D policy


–Plan common assignments or assessments


–Discuss late work/revision and develop policy


–Discuss the purpose of grades and who is the intended audience


–Discuss zeros



Things to Think About:


–How much are assessments worth?  What types of assignments are teachers using?


–How much are assignments worth?


–Are grades based on meeting the standards of effort?




The members of the group discussed the issues with each other.



Eric called for feedback from the group.



–David mentioned the grade break down and the differences in teachers in the same courses.  It is not just a disparity, but also teachers can teach the same course in different ways.  Students know this.  This affects the Master Schedule.



–Michelle said looking at a particular grade level, the grades can be high, and then looking at the EAP scores, they do not always match in the 11th and 12th grades where we are trying to assess if the students are college ready.



–Mat said he thought this would be a tough buy in as teachers appreciate educational freedom and flexibility.  He felt there would be obstacles.  His department has begun an assessment activity.



–David does not want to get away from academic freedom, but there must be common curriculum.



–Doug felt the way David does.  Then he talked about it from a student’s prospective and the differences in easier teachers and higher grades.  There should be fairness for the students.  He referred to the data by ethnicity.  He look at the balance between ethnic groups and it seems more balanced in the seniors.  It is not balanced when the students are freshmen.  He mentioned the differences in being prepared when they enter high school.  He felt his department would understand the need for implementing this.



–Joseph said this will vary from department to department.  The departments vary in size and the amount of classes/courses in each department.


–Kathleen said they have a consistent portfolio in her department that spells out the assignments and the amount of each type of assignment.



Eric and Myra will be here at Galileo to help support everyone.  Myra told everyone she was ready to provide information.  They both thanked the group for having them.



Meeting adjourned at 12:15pm.


12/11/13 Meeting Minutes

December 11, 2013

Members present: Marcus Blacksher, Mele Lau-Smith, Jonathan Ring, Jackie Peters, Loan Ly, Stan DeBella, Brandon Lee, Bettie Grinnell, Jim Fong

Members of the public present: Marcia Lomneth.

The meeting was called to order at 3:35pm.

Approval of minutes:

S. DeBella made a motion to approve minutes of 9/18/13. Motion seconded by M. Blackshur. No discussion and minutes were approved.

J. Ring made a motion to approve minutes of 10/16/13.Mele asked about the October 18th minutes. No changes or discussion and minutes were approved. S.DeBella abstained as he was not present at the 10/18/13 meeting.

Jim Fong requested a follow up to the proposed talk with other principals about the budget referenced in the 10/16/13 minutes. M. Blackshur gave an update in the budget discussion below.

1. Budget Discussion

M. Blackshur shared that the letter that the Galileo SSC sent to Myong Leigh was provided to other High School principals by Janet Schulze. There was no other information provided in addition to the information in the letter. No additions were made to the Galileo SY 13-14 budget as a result of the letter.

J. Ring told of a meeting he attended with Myong Leigh in which no further information was provided either. J. Ring shared a document he created that shows how the change that the district made to the per pupil spending formula affected Galileo. From the Spring preliminary budget to the Fall final budget, the per pupil spending formula was reduced by $38/student.

The per-pupil cuts affected Galileo more than the buffer cuts. The AP funding received helped mitigate the impact of the reduction in per pupil spending. However, this may not be the case next school year as the teacher’s contract will be negotiated this year. In summary, the per-pupil spending went down and the high school budgets absorbed the largest cuts when compared with elementary and middle schools.

There was discussion as to how to follow up with the district’s response to the letter sent by the SSC this semester. It was suggested that the SSC send a follow up letter in January asking:

1. If the district is planning on using the same process for this upcoming budget year in which the per pupil spending formula might change from the Spring to the Fall
2. That the Galileo SSC requests the district work in good faith with all SSCs to assure them that the Fall budget will not include changes to the budget formula that adversely impact budgets with no warning. Furthermore that the Galileo SSC will not pass a budget without such assurances.

It was noted that if the SSC does not pass a budget, the Principal will be required to submit a budget that has not been approved by the SSC. This was the case a few years ago when Washington HS tried to not submit a budget a few years ago and the district told Washington that the principal had to submit a budget.

L. Ly also suggested that an informational flyer be develop to provide tips to students and parents so that they can become more involved in the school’s budget development process. M. Lau-Smith asked if L.Ly could draft the flyer to which L. Ly agreed.

J. Peters asked how the Prop 30 funds have been spent. It is not entirely clear how the funds were appropriated throughout the district. It appears as though many new positions have been hired at the district level to support school sites and that not much of the money has reached the schools.

S. DeBella noted that if is a California requirement that 55% of the budget go into the classroom. He mentioned that last year 48% of funding went to the classroom. This is a legal requirement and a way we could possibly put pressure on the district.

All members were asked to save the March 1st date for the School Site Planning Summit. The summit brings together all school site councils and provides an over view of the budget process and workshops. SSC student representatives are included in the summit.

M. Lau-Smith summarized the action items that were agreed on:
1. Develop an informational flyer to inform parents so they can support us. Loan will work on this.
2. Follow-up letter to Myong Li—Mele and Jonathan will work on this.

Jonathan mentioned that the budget comes out before the union contracts have been negotiated.

II. Bylaws

A discussion on the Galileo SSC Bylaws followed. It was noted that there are no alternates for the teacher members of the SSC. S. DeBella will follow up with the teachers who were not elected to let them know that they serve as alternates.

It was agreed that each representative body will develop a nomination and election process for review prior to the January meeting:

Teachers – S. DeBella
Classified – B. Grinell
Students – B. Lee
Parents – M.Lau-Smith will compile and J. Fong will review and finalize.

J.Ring initiated a discussion about the ratio of SSC members. In the past, there were 4 classroom teachers and 1 non-classroom representative. B. Grinnell suggested that the bylaws make it clear that classified staff have a seat on the SSC. Non classroom personnel can mean other certificated staff such as counselors, etc. This can create a situation where no classified staff are represented. As a result of the discussion it was suggested that the membership of the SSC be comprised as follows:

4 Certificated staff , of which at least 3 are classroom teachers
1 Principal
0 other administrators
1 classified staff,
3 parents
3 students.

J. Ring made a motion to revise the bylaws with the above requirements. S. DeBella seconded the motion. Motion carried.

J. Ring brought up Section 2 and 4 for the alternates. It was noted that all nomination and election processes include a process for selecting alternates.

J. Ring brought up Section 6, involving public comments and the process through which public comments are allowed. In terms of the budget process, there Marcus liked it when we had one meeting for public comment and then a meeting with no public comments. Mele talked about the past process.

Marcus said that he needs to make it clear to the group that the SSC is a recommending body, but the principal makes the final decisions. Article II, Objectives explains this process.

Jackie asked if there was something in the document that says the principal should notify the SSC if he or she is not going to follow the SSC’s recommendations, then he or she should notify the SSC. This would be part of the recommendation we sign-off on.

January agenda
1. Review Informational Flyer
2. Review Letter to Myong Li
3. Review Election Process
4. Discuss Budget Process
5. Discuss BSC

During the February meeting there will be an update of the WASC (Western States Accreditation of Schools and Colleges) review process currently underway. The SSC will be asked to review and sign off on the WASC review prior to submission.

Other items:

J. Fong asked when is the best time for the community meetings related to the BSC and budget process. M. Blackshur noted that they are usually held during the PTSA meetings. J. Fong mentioned that at the middle school his child attended, the community meetings were held at different times of the day and included discussion groups. It was agreed to discuss a community meeting schedule as part of the BSC discussion at the January meeting.

J. Fong inquired about the reasons behind the 27-point reduction in the API. M. Blackshur noted that this is under discussion at the Leadership Team level and said there are some things the school is working on to raise the number.

J. Fong suggested that there might be something to learn from the technology portion of Kahn Academy and that perhaps teachers and/or students could create their own academies. J. Fong mentioned that the school might be able to receive an innovation award as a result of such an initiative. M. Lomneth mentioned there could be some things already in place that can be collected to show implementation and receive the grants.

S. DeBella moved to adjourn the meeting at 4:55pm. M. Blackshur seconded the motion.

Meeting adjourned at 4:55pm.

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.




Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting Minutes – December 10, 2013



Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting








Eric and Myra returned for session #3.  There will be one more meeting in January of next year.






Teachers were asked to respond to 2 questions in writing at the start:


1.  What could a teacher do to support a student that feels like they can no longer pass his or her class?


2.  What is MISSING in the school experience of students who are failing?  What school structures or resources can help students believe that they can be successful?



Outcomes will be the same as in the past two meetings.  What are the responsibilities of teachers and grading and supporting students?  We will discuss this during the meeting.  How can we be intentional in class to get the struggling student in class working?



Eric reviewed the norms—raise hands, step up/step back, assume positive intentions.



Framing of the Day:  Assume every student at Galileo can graduate and be successful in college or in a career.  What are Galileo teachers doing to ensure students’ success?



Myra introduced an activity involving scenarios.  She went over the handout and the Scenario Discussion sheet.  White papers were placed on the walls, markers distributed and members broke into groups of 3 to discuss one of the 3 scenarios.



Scenario A:


Mario is a current sophomore at Galileo High School.  He attends class daily but is not very engaged and rarely completes his homework.  Mario does not participate often in class; however, Mario is NEVER a behavior issue either.  His exam scores are inconsistent. He does not have an IEP.  He is a native Chinese speaker, but he was reclassified by 5th grade.  Mario received an F for the semester due to his poor HW grade, inconsistent exam grades, and lack of participation. On his final exam he got an 86%.



What are some support structures or policies that a teacher, department, or school can put into place to support a student like this?



Scenario B:


Wendy is a Junior at Galileo High School. She has never missed school and works hard in class to complete every assignment perfectly.  She often attends tutoring sessions in the library after school and finds teachers at lunchtime for extra help.  She is a native Spanish speaker and was reclassified in 6th grade.  She does not have an IEP.  She does poorly on quizzes and exams.  Wendy received an F in class based on her poor exam grades.



What are some support structures or policies that a teacher, department, or school, can put into place to support a student like this?



Scenario C:


Derek is a Freshman at Galileo High School.  Derek rarely attends school and when he does he walks in tardy. Derek lives across town and takes two busses to get to school.  Derek is a native English speaker and does not have an IEP.  Due to his excessive truancy, Derek is missing numerous assignments and rarely tries to make up work.  In class Derek is often disruptive and off-task.  On exams, Derek frequently outperforms his peers.  Due to poor attendance and missing HW and CW, Derek receives an F.



Recognizing that attendance is a primary issue with Derek, what are some support structures or policies that a teacher, department, or school can put in place to support a student like this?



Members were asked to use a chart provided to record their responses along with creating a poster of their action plan.



Eric asked the group to star items on their charts to highlight those items that are “out of the box.”



Group C was called upon to report first.


Derek was the center and areas he needed to work on were highlighted.  Donald Harper explained the various parts of their chart.  Changing seats, work on behavior for relations, have SST, have parent meetings, develop weekly plans for him.  Learn more about Derek’s home life.  Weight test more heavily in his case.



Eric asked for comments from the whole group.  David asked why this student was not attending a school closer to home.  That would solve the tardy/absence issue.  There are so many variables as a Freshman.  Stan felt he was spending a lot of time on the bus and he could do his homework on the bus.  Lisa mentioned the data that Kathleen showed her kids about not graduating due to failing classes, etc.  Doug mentioned being more engaged in other activities at school would perhaps help.  Michelle suggested restructuring periods so that those commuting students could take a later schedule.  Marcus could not give this student an F.  He would question past knowledge.  He would try to find what the student has learned.



Group B presented next.


Marcus explained the scenario.  Alter the weight of assignments in the classroom.  Use alternate means of assessment.  Pair up student with a buddy.  Look at trying different engagement strategies.  As a department brainstorm what does and does not work with this students.  Have another teacher talk to student.  Emphasize anxiety reduction school wide.


Stan thought in both B and C it is unrealistic to give those students F.


Michelle suggested allowing an outline or notes the students can use during the test.


Eric mentioned what Lincoln High School is doing in this situation.  Teachers had conversations with students to see if they knew the content.



Scenario A presented last.


Alicia shared the scenario with the group.  Alicia felt the most important thing was to talk to the student.  Perhaps not all teachers are doing this.  The teacher can reflect on what their strategies are for engagement.  Sometimes parent contact is difficult if there is a language barrier.  Does the department have a grading policy about the weight of the final exam?


Lisa said they felt talking to the student is important.  Is the class too easy for the student, is there something going on at home, etc.?  Lisa talked about a strategy of identifying what each student is good at.  If the teacher can’t identify something for a student, then the teacher should have a conversation with that student, identify what the student is good at and plan a lesson around that topic.


Should that student go to college or should college be an option?  Some students will do well later on.



Eric said they would compile ideas from the discussion and use this at the next meeting.  He asked the group what they would need as support to continue this discussion in the departments.



Alicia said it would be useful if all the departments are asking the same questions.  Eric said they could bring to the next meeting what other schools are doing.  Marcus would like to know what the other schools are doing.


Doug asked how much time should we spend in our departments talking about this?  How do we frame it and how do we partition it?  What should we consider an expectation or an outcome?  Michelle said efficiency and time are important factors in the conversations.  David agreed—it will take a lot of time to do this.



Meeting adjourned at 12:15pm.


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