Creative Science School

critical thinkers, courageous problem-solvers, compassionate community builders

Site Council Minutes 4/15/13

Site Councilbrittney

In attendance: Christi










1.Projected Staffing Allocation- Filip

  1. Review ML Parent Survey responses-All

Projected Staffing Allocation

  • Next school year's budget was released
  • We do not have to cut any positions- we received a staffing increase total of 1.94 FTE
  • District has underestimated our student population for next year-Filip will attempt to remedy this
  • We will receive a half-time (.5 FTE) district-certified Art teacher funded by art tax
  • K-8 schools with 400+ students get an Assistant Principal or Admin. at 1.0 FTE.
  • With our student numbers, we may be eligible for additional FTE at the Secretary position
  • Our budget is due on 4/29.   A mini-Site Council meeting will take place before then for Filip to present his budget
  • Will be adding staffing to the Mid-level program (increase of .5 to .75) but we don't know yet if we will be posting for a new position

Action Items:

  • Filip to speak with District to get a more accurate projection of students for next year (to increase our FTE)
  • Filip to find out if we might have flexibility with how we allocate Administrative FTE
  • Filip to check in with Pam to see what kind of support she might need in the year to come

Review Mid-Level Parent Survey Responses

  • Russ compiled responses from a recent online survey for current Mid-level families and sent them electronically for SC members to review in preparation for this meeting
  • Discussion began with an update by Filip and Katy about what steps have recently been taken to evaluate the ML program and to begin to outline some changes for next year
  • ML teachers have been meeting with each other and Filip to surface questions regarding aspects of the ML program including: field trips, Advisory, communication plans, Service-Learning integration, Independent Learning, cohorts, etc. The idea has been to find out what's working and what isn't
  • Staff also came up with a ML student survey, the responses to which will also shape the thinking about ML for next year and beyond
  • Katy stated that it's clear that Advisory needs a mission--we are just working through it this year and it's too soon to see what longer-term benefits it has to offer
  • Currently Advisory happens 2 times a week
  • A ML parent attending the meeting asked some questions about Advisory such as "How do we know it's working? How do we measure the results?" "What is the goal of Advisory?"
  • Group discussed how the goals of Advisory are or are not being met in it's current shape (1 Community Building, 2 Academic support 3 Social/Emotional support)
  • Suggestion that a modified block schedule with students starting in a "homeroom" and moving throughout the day in a cohort might satisfy the Community-building and the Social/Emotional support goals of Advisory
  • Question: "can we use Advisory time to create a stronger ML culture?"
  • Observation that if we move to Advisory time happening in the "homeroom" setting, we may be giving up the small Advisor to student ratio
  • Comment that right now not all of the Advisors are communicating clear goals to parents and a feeling that there may be a lack of consistency between the goals of different Advisor: Can we get more consistency between and more consistent communication from Advisors?
  • Lots of support for a cohort model where students move through the day together with their cohort
  • In the final 1/2 hour, group decided to determine Key Questions to consider when creating next year's ML schedule:

Key Questions for Mid-Level Review:

What is the relationship between Advisory / Independent Learning / “homeroom”?

-  How can the goals of advisory and IL be considered when looking at other structures?

Consider a block vs. segmented schedule.

-  What are the challenges to implementation of a block schedule?

What about a cohort model – students moving through most of their day in the same groupings?

Can we consider more flexibility in the schedule – ie., not such a rigid daily schedule, but one with longer blocks of time?

What is the communication plan? (We can come back to this at another meeting, not as time-sensitive as it is not directly related to the schedule)

Site Council asked for the following considerations/priorities when developing the mid-level schedule for next year (2013-2014):

1.     Build in flexibility with longer chunks of time.

2.     Humanities block (LA/SS)

3.     Blended cohort moves together throughout the day

4.     Advisory is built in to blended cohort w/ possible coach/mentors assigned to each group

5.     Whole mid-level meetings on a regular basis

6.     Site Council reviews