Creative Science School

critical thinkers, courageous problem-solvers, compassionate community builders

Site Council Minutes 2/4/13

Site Councilbrittney

In Attendance: Ben Needham Christi Braun Lynne Gammon Filip Hristic Jeff Pazdalski Brooke Dempsey Russ Alexander-Hensley Heather Zelinsky


  1. Security Update-Filip
  2. Space usage at CSS-Filip
  3. Early release proposal update-Christi
  4. SIP update-Ben
  5. Review/feedback on Mid-level handbook-Katy and Filip

Agenda Item #1: Security

  • All auxiliary doors at CSS now remain closed throughout the day with exceptions at the west-side of the main hallway where PTA has organized parents to monitor an open door between 8:35 and 8:45 am to ease congestion at the front door.  Kindergarten doors will soon have parent monitors pending volunteers.  Parent volunteers for these doors wear vests and carry walkie-talkies that connect with Pam in the office.
  • District is looking into the locking mechanisms of our classrooms doors to see if they can be improved
  • PA System: in case of a lockdown, CSS staff will hear an extra-long bell

Agenda Item #2: Space usage at CSS

  • When we moved to Clark from Bridger, Headstart moved in at the same time as us with a plan to move out as we grew into the school
  • Now that we are growing another 6-8 class, we are essentially maxed out of our space
  • Filip, the District and Headstart will be meeting about a plan for how and when to dedicate all the classrooms at our building to CSS

Agenda Item #3: Update on Early-release proposal

  • At the staff meeting last month, Christi brought a schedule change request to the staff
  • The staff agreed to adopt the proposal for an early release once a month, on Fridays, despite some reservations
  • Christi and Brooke have been working on the details of this proposal since last year and it took its current form recently after staff members responded, in a survey, that they would greatly benefit from a Constructivist-focused worktime with their colleagues on a regular basis
  • SC discussed some obvious concerns about such a proposal; namely, loss of instructional time and cost to families
  • Brooke mentioned that she is in contact with Campfire to see if they could offer more care on the early release Friday each month.  She also said that she is confident that the After-school program would be able to "fill In the gaps" and provide low cost and no-cost activities for that one day each month
  • SC members also expressed concern with how to measure any benefit that these worktimes hope to produce
  • Parents on SC agreed that the cost/care logistic is huge and needs some answers to make this proposal viable
  • All SC members agreed that this Constructivist-focused time would be a great asset to our community
  • Next steps for this proposal will be: present this proposal to the parent community and get feeback, SC to vote (based on informed views and feeback from parent community), and then for Filip to take our endorsed proposal to his supervisor

Agenda Item #4: SIP

  • Postponed until next meeting so that SC could get to the Mid-level Handbook review

Agenda Item #5: Mid-level Handbook review/edit

  • SC members gave feedback/suggested revisions on latest-version of the ML Handbook to Katy and Filip so that it would be ready for the 5th grade families meeting later in the week
  • One area of interest came up around the current schedule of ML students, 6th graders in particular; Brooke mentioned that the current version feels very choppy and stressful to have students transitioning between classes every 45 minutes or so
  • 5th grade parent meeting will be a place for a discussion on how the ML program is different from the K-5 program and will include details on, among other things,  how to prepare your child for more transitions throughout the day
  • One member suggested that we do another "shadow day," wherein a 5th grader shadows a ML student for a day to get a feeling for how ML is different
  • Filip mentioned that we won't know what our schedule for next year will look like until we get our numbers and that won't happen until after the lottery and after staffing decisions are made at the District and site levels
  • Heather and Katy are going to visit another focus-option PPS (Sunnyside Environmental)  school next week to look at the flow and details of their Mid-level program.  The idea is to bring back ideas to share with SC as we learn more about our numbers

Things that SC will come back to as we think about our ML program include: schedule and 5th to 6th grade transition