Creative Science School

critical thinkers, courageous problem-solvers, compassionate community builders

Site Council Minutes 12/3/12

Site Councilbrittney


  • Update on Intel grant- Russ
  • Mid-level opportunity- Filip
  • Update on CSS-wide behavior system- Russ and Filip
  • Character education update- Heather
  • Discussion on what we are doing to support and evolve the Vision, Mission and Core Principles- Brooke and Christi

In Attendance:

Russ Alexander-Hensley

Ben Needham

Christi Braun

Filip Hristic

Jeff Pazdalski

Brooke Dempsey

Heather Zelinsky

Update on Intel grant-Russ

  • Grant of $5,000 secured to put benches and signage in our arboretum on the west side of the school
  • Kerasun has been working with PPS District on a plan to make a physical trail through the trees but due to the difficultly in mowing and the lack of an ADA-approved surface (we wanted to use the free and sustainable surface of woodchips but ADA requires hard packed gravel), the grant proposal has evolved to include only benches and tree signage
  • Work will be done by Intel employees who are volunteering their time and will be completed by Montavillage
  • If you have any ideas or input, please get in touch with Kerasun Orsag @

Midlevel Opportunity-Filip

  • Filip was approached with an opportunity for our Mid-level program by a representative of the Heart Foundation
  • Heart Foundation teaches programming that covers areas such as human rights, deconstructing media, animal rights and the environment
  • It's a free program as they are starting a branch in Portland; currently they are working in schools in New York and Chicago
  • Comprised of 2 sessions; one 10 week session of lessons and another 13 week session of service learning
  • CSS would be able to use the Independent Learning time in our schedule to support this program
  • Curriculum is taught by Heart Foundation teachers
  • They have a connection to PSU and it's Service Learning department which may make getting service learning opportunities for our students easier
  • It could be a great fit for our school and also for their program
  • Site Council unanimously supported moving forward with this program; to be implemented in our 3rd and 4th quarters
  • Link to Heart program:

Character Education Update-Heather

  • Heather spoke with Lynne to learn where we are in regard to selecting a school-wide Character Education program and reported back to Site Council
  • The selection process started last year with the Climate Council, a team of parents and teachers
  • Lynne's top choice for such a program is one that is used widely in Washington state schools and is called "Welcoming Schools"
  • Currently PPS is also searching for a Character Education program to embrace for many of its schools
  • After discussion about specific qualities of this program, Site Council decided that we should not pursue a specific Character Education program at this time
  • We will use PBIS to look further into climate to see if any particular needs/concerns arise that would guide our choice of a CE program in the future
  • CSS might never want to choose a prescribed CE program as we are a unique school with a proud history of tailoring programs to fit our unique need

CSS-Wide Behavior System/ PBIS-Filip/Russ

  • All students will have filled out a survey to surface issues of safely and climate by the end of this week
  • Climate Council will review data to choose an area to focus on using PBIS as the framework; this will allow us to see how PBIS might work to help solve issues of climate and safety in our school
  • Additional future surveys to teachers and parents will most likely be a part of this process
  • Filip will draft communication to parents about PBIS
  • Suggestion that some of the climate issues are due to a lack of consistency about behavioral expectations
  • Christi pointed out that if all teachers constantly referred back to the stated Vision, Mission and Core Principles, we should be able to achieve consistency
  • Brooke added that she still feels there is some urgency around issues of behavior and consistent behavior expectations across grade levels and during community events
  • Filip and a 1st grade parent, Paula, are working on compiling a parent handbook; it will be done by the end of the year

Supporting and Evolving CSS' Vision, Mission and Core Principles; update- Christi and Brooke

  • Christi and Brooke circulated a survey to teachers asking 3 questions: what are the next steps in your classroom for supporting Vision, Mission and Core Principles? What questions do you still have?  What support do you need to take the next steps?
  • About half of teachers responded and the main take-aways are:

Teachers need more time to collaborate and to see each other's classrooms

Concern for consistency and common language; what is everybody else doing? How do we know that what we are doing is constructivist

Time for Constructivist Professional Development (as in the early release idea)

  • Next steps will include pursuing an early release day, supporting PD around observation/peer collaboration

Staff needs to come to a consensus and submit an early release proposal to Filip by January 15th then SC and PTA will get a chance to discuss the proposal.