November 2, 2017
Meeting was attended by Rick van Adelsberg (Principal), Kaki McLachlan (Assistant Principal), Sara Gorelick (Parent Club Co-Chair), Kristina Riemer (Parent Club Co-Chair), Sam Lueck (Parent Club Treasurer), and two parents.
The first item on the agenda was review and adoption of Parent Club budget for 2017-18 school year. Sam walked us through the draft budget. Discussion included district-wide fundraising Roundtable guidelines. There was great brainstorming discussion about fundraising goals, parent club funds vs. YES funded programs, and how to more clearly communicate fundraising goals and needs to parents. Rick made motion to adopt the budget as written, Sara seconded, and the budget was passed with unanimous consent.
Heavy backpacks were the next item on the agenda. This topic had also been discussed at the last Site Council meeting. Our kids are carrying around very heavy backpacks all day long. Few kids use their lockers and lockers are so small that many items wouldn’t fit anyway. Teachers are aware of the problem and are trying to keep backpack-necessary items to a minimum on their end. Kids should not be carrying any textbooks in their backpacks. Everyone is given a textbook to leave at home and there are classroom sets at school. If children have more than one household, extra books are available. This message needs to be reinforced with everyone. The reason small lockers were installed to begin with was that we were moving away from textbooks. It was expected smaller lockers would be fine for student needs and more lockers could be installed in the same amount of space. Unfortunately that has not proven true. Rick will research cost and logistics for replacing with larger lockers.
Campus update from Rick focussed on professional development and student behavior.
Our district has an exciting professional development program. Two teachers from each school spend the morning making rounds of observing all classroom grades, TK-8. In the afternoon they discuss what they saw. All grades are continuing to build on Readers & Writers workshops by using the same language and tools all the way through, TK-8th grade.
Student behavior issues are being addressed on several levels. Faculty and administration are raising the bar for respectful behavior and accountability. Horseplay and dangerous behavior are being consistently called out and stopped since the beginning of the school year. Sexual harassment is not tolerated and is being taken more seriously than ever. Girls are being empowered to come forward and with boys supportive of this idea, the culture is beginning to change. Restorative justice circles with students and teachers are working very well and