Senate Meeting Notes
January 18, 2011
In Attendance -- Feigal-Stickles, Powell, Padilla, Ames, Jones, Berlin, Harper, Wolf, Torvik, Greene, Lee, Sylver, Linett, Overlie, Coon, Higgins, Sims, Jones, Ratcliffe, Tudor, Northfield, Powell, Miyata
I. Common Principle—Personalization
a. Sen Ames—this is not happening. National, state and district reforms are more top-down than bottom-up
b. Sen Renouard—How can we avoid this?
c. Sen Sylver—we tried this with small learning communities, but even our 9th grade teachers with “smaller classes” are still seeing 125 kids per day
d. Sen Linett—we do what we can with limited resources. We’ve struggled against class size increases for years. Is this principle even realistic?
e. Sen Feigal-Stickles—Has this ever been realistic in a public school?
f. Sen Linett—We can move closer to this.
g. Sen Coon—Alternative scheduling can help—a 4 x 4 block.
h. Sen Nielson—What about “choice of teaching materials” in this principle? How did this affect the math program?
i. Sen Coon—at NHHS we did choose a different math program a few years back. It included lots of professional development. The mandated curriculum does not include as much PD, but we can modify and improve on the district math curriculum. NHHS math did not fight hard to keep the old curriculum.
j. Sen Feigal-Stickles—we get what we get in terms of our teaching materials. At NHHS we tend to modify and improve on the materials.
k. Sen Tarleton—this is the principle about which the staff has the most pessimism. With other principles, we have figured out creative ways to implement them, but this one has bigger road blocks.
l. Sen Ames—there is a middle ground. In Finland, there is a national scope and sequence, but teachers choose how to implement it. We are not headed down that road. Instead, we are headed toward a prescriptive curriculum. Now there is movement toward national standards. Will be interesting to see where we are down the road.
m. Sen Renouard—this is the principle we have the least control over.
n. Sen Greene—personalization is often why families choose Hale
o. Sen Berlin—thanks to staff perseverance, it seems like we have worked in ways to personalize. The type of assignments we give to kids tend to be very personal.
II. Administration Report—Powell for Sen Hudson (arrived late due to conflict)
i. No budget news yet—should be coming next week. We do not expect good news.
ii. Construction—we are on schedule according to Earl Edwards
1. Make sure to get EVERYTHING that doesn’t work on a fix list
iii. Mentorship Committee—meeting next week. Sen Ames reports that the committee has been working on a survey for kids.
b. Mid Year Review conferences
i. Using the new PG and E tool, admin is meeting with teachers for mid-year conferences
ii. This year we have avoided the 5 extra meetings by working PG and E news into our staff meetings
iii. However, there is a mid-year reflection on goals that is required. Wondering how to fit this in.
iv. Mid-year conferences can be short—5 minute conversations
v. Sen Renouard—would prefer to work individually and share with CFG
vi. Sen Sylver and Sen Linett agree
vii. Sen Hudson—if everyone is willing to commit to this in CFG, that should take care of the mid-year reflection requirement
III. Construction Update
a. Tudor—we relocated some teachers today due to the weekend storm’s impact on overhanging electrical lines
b. Tudor—on schedule with last phase of construction. Will discuss moves at the meeting on Wed
c. Tudor—we will move in on time. The punch list and some landscaping will not be finalized until July.
d. Tudor—common spaces and display spaces
i. East Forum—located in old Kuhns art space
1. Will have steps for seating, ceiling-mounted projector, and screen—similar to PAC forums.
2. Intended to be shared space for meetings
ii. New common space in old World Language Hallway
1. Student Activity Area—poster supplies will be located here
2. Common space for ALL students
3. Will be furnished
4. Doors to courtyard
5. Ultimately there will be a landscaped path access to commons—outdoors to allow kids to spend some time outside
1. Will be finished in February
2. Will have space for presentations and performances
iv. Display spaces
1. Student work display areas will be located in south hallway
2. Want these cases cleaned out and ready to go
3. Upstairs in science/history hallway—we will have glassed in meeting spaces and display space
v. Systems in Progress
1. Signing up for display areas
2. Checking out keys for display cases and meeting rooms
vi. School Visits—coming in March. Hoping to have student work on display during this time.
e. Sen Linett—concerned about maintenance and sign ups for shared display and meeting spaces. Has had some negative experiences with PAC use and maintenance.
f. Sen Hudson—in other schools, there is a point person appointed. Need to think through who will help with technology/sound in these spaces.
g. Sen Tudor—construction group will discuss some of these needs in upcoming meetings
h. Sen Feigal-Stickles—how will Forum use impact surrounding classrooms.
i. Tudor--We will need to conduct tests to see how this affects classrooms nearby. Some louder activities may need to be in the PAC.
j. Sen Ames—is this an opportunity to get materials that were not purchased in the PAC construction.
k. Tudor—some of these needs will be taken care of before construction is final. Sound systems may need to be purchased. Also looking at stage system that could be used in the lunchroom commons.
l. Sen Linett—what about management of these spaces?
m. Sen Hudson—there should be a centralized space for sign ups in the Main Office. The technical part is a bigger fish to fry and we’ll need to work it out.
n. Sen Linett—What about a Google calendar we can all access from our classrooms?
o. Sen Tarleton—Are we taking photos of the new construction and move in? Would be great to have this on our website to show parents and prospective parents.
p. Tudor—We will have a celebration and ribbon cutting at Bite of Hale on March 17.
q. Sen Renouard—note from Mr. Greenway—it would be helpful to get a list of look-fors from staff who have already moved into new rooms
r. Tudor—the ASR process is very cumbersome so something like this would be helpful
IV. Discipline Reports
a. Powell--Sept to present—49 incidents involving 37 students—fighting, assault, and use of illegal drugs
b. Sen Hudson—27 suspensions either short or long term. In previous years, we had more. 0607—71 total, 0708—98 total. 0809—44 total.
c. Powell—our data includes only time at school or transporting to and from school
d. Sen Hudson—we have disproportionality in discipline. Last year’s rate was 4.7 x more likely to be disciplined for black students. This year, its 4.3 for black students and 2.9 x more likely for Hispanic students. This year, our rate is a bit lower, but we continue to work on finding alternative ways to discipline. Note (added by Powell following close of meeting)—p-ratio is skewed because our numbers of African American and Hispanic students are lower than the number of white students, thereby increasing their percentage in the population when they get suspended.
e. Sen Linett—administrators always have the big picture—its helpful for teachers to have this too
f. Sen Hudson—graffiti continues to be a big issue. We have video cameras and/or know that some kids who are involved are no longer Hale students. Ask admin for this student’s name and report if he is seen on campus. Custodians have a chemical that can easily remove felt pens. Art teacher Shafkind would like to create a space for school-sanctioned graffiti.
V. Activities Calendar
a. Need to publish activities in advance.
b. Winter sports assembly scheduled for this Friday, but it’s the Friday before finals. Can we reschedule this?
c. Sen Lee—moving the assembly seems OK since most kids are not aware of it.
d. Sen Linett—how much time do we have before districts and metros?
e. Sen Torvik—what about reading period on Friday?
f. Sen Powell—students have not yet filed the form that grants permission for an assembly.
g. Sen Hudson—our bleachers are currently broken, so we may not be able to make a sports assembly happen on Friday.
h. Sen Tarleton—do we need a formal motion from the Senate?
i. Powell—no, but will take this information back to ASB
j. Sen Hudson—where is the activities calendar now?
k. Powell—its in the main office, but not totally up to date, nor does it include details
l. Sen Hudson—in the new building, we will have a designated wall calendar for publicizing events. This will be better than our current system of random posters.