Senate Meeting Notes
May 3, 2011
I. Approval of Minutes from April 5, 2011
a. Passed by voice vote
II. Common Principle—“Learning to Use One’s Mind Well”
a. Neilson and Sylver--Habits of mind posted in classrooms remind students and teachers to use minds well.
b. Brandon—emphasized in 9th and 10th grades. Wishes there was a similar focus in Upper House. These questions are useful.
c. Renouard—when asks grads how well NHHS prepares students for college, kids say that they know how to participate in discussions and how to think
d. Feigal-Stickles—nice to see kids over 3 full years—interesting to see how they change and progress over a long span of time
e. Tarleton—goes along with “Depth vs Breadth” and idea that schools should not be comprehensive.
f. Ratcliffe—uses them when she reads newspaper articles
g. Hudson—want to help students create habits of mind, heart and work. These ideas go along with our mission.
III. Old Business
a. Final Exam Schedule—Mr. Cash would like to explore idea of shortening semester exam periods to only two days.
i. Lee—students stressed by this idea—hard to have more than2 finals in a day
ii. Padilla—world language not in favor of a 2 day schedule
iii. Sylver—LA in favor of 3 day schedule
iv. Davis—too challenging for kids to have more than 2 big tests in a day
v. Senate generally not in favor of exploring this idea
IV. Administration Report
a. Hudson—Brockman informed us that we have no RIF’s this year
b. Hudson—has 2 printers to put out for student use. Activity Center? Hallway corner?
i. Computer connected to it? Not necessary if the printer is networked.
ii. Davis—inappropriate paper use?
iii. Linett—when it was in the AC in the past, the printer was networked.
iv. Greene—problems included over-printing, running out of paper, low toner. Who will take care of this?
v. Brandon—Social Studies copy room?
vi. Ames and Renouard—printer could be outside door
vii. Padilla—not in favor of printers in glass boxes
viii. Hudson—will follow up with Patrick—one on first floor and second floor
ix. Linett—need to consider maintenance and upkeep
x. Brandon—why not ask students to bring their own printer paper?
xi. Greene—we used to have an electronic limit for printing. Could we do this again?
xii. Tarleton called the question. Passed by voice vote.
c. Nathan Hale Foundation
i. Jessica Phillips—president of NH Foundation—sitting in on Senate meeting today.
ii. Consider adding NH Foundation seat on the Senate
V. New Business
a. Mentorship Committee Report (presented by Sen Ames)
i. Survey results
1. Kids want to stay together as a small group, 9th to 12th grade year
2. Not always supported by staff
ii. Pilot Program
1. Mentorship Committee Proposal--Current 10th grade mentors will stay together with their kids during 11th and 12th grade year. 9th grade teachers will move forward with their rising 10th graders
2. Miyata—how will this affect building relationships with incoming 9th graders? Their mentorship teachers will likely not have them in class.
3. Lee—worked pretty well to have one of his 10th grade teachers as his 9th grade mentor
4. Hudson—benefit to building relationship over 4 years. Goal is to help kids navigate the system and serve as their advocate.
5. Ratcliffe—in favor of having her current 9th grade mentor for all 4 years
6. Davis—in favor of a 9th through 12th grade cross-age mentorship.
7. Hudson—gives opportunity to pair up Upper and Lower house mentorships. This could also reduce the size of mentorships to 18 kids.
8. Greene—has had no mentorship, a Running Start mentorship, and a 9th grade mentorship (last year). Has not been an issue that her mentees are not in her classes.
9. Linett—liked a multi-age mentorship. Also likes idea of kids staying with the same mentorship teacher and group over 4 years.
10. Sylver—Academy teachers in favor of having 9th graders with an academy teacher for mentorship
11. Brandon—more beneficial to have kids stay with their grades.
12. Ruehle—challenging for people outside Academy to work with 9th graders—don’t always know the schedule and procedures.
13. Hudson—this may be a benefit—all staff will become knowledgeable about 9th grade procedures.
14. Hudson—currently, our 9th and 10th grade mentorship classes are much bigger than 11th and 12th grade mentorships.
15. Hudson—we have people who can help with 9th grade process and procedures.
16. Renouard—didn’t like the mixed age mentorships—not always productive to have 10th and 12th graders together. In favor of entire building getting to know the 9th and 10th grade programs better.
17. Linett—how widespread is the idea that 9th graders should be with their Academy teachers? Sylver—have only talked to Tina about this, but there is a strong history that this system works well.
18. Linett—are kids in favor of having mentorship? Ames—yes.
19. Miyata—at mentorship committee meeting, need to talk about how to put the groups together. Hudson—best to keep the kids within their Red, Blue and Green teams.
20. Miyata—scheduling mentorships takes HOURS to organize. Will be easier to schedule the “Red” kids into 4 different groups.
21. Brandon—the importance of the bond with the mentorship teacher must be emphasized. Many kids need this personal relationship with a teacher. A good idea to have the same mentorship teacher for 4 years.
22. Ames—for now, this is a pilot program. Suggests devoting time at a staff meeting. Anticipates that this will be a bigger issue.
23. Ratcliffe—good to have someone you can always go to for help.
24. Feigal-Stickles—it is a big challenge to start with 9th grade students that you do not have in class. Makes it hard to get to know your mentorship kids. However, once you put in the initial energy, it will be a big improvement to have the kids over 4 years.
25. Tarleton—struck by theme of relationship. This is the job of mentorship teachers—to develop positive and helpful relationships with students.
26. Feigal-Stickles—also notices that the bond is really strong between kids in the mentorship.
27. Hudson—we may need to look at a different schedule in the month of Sept to allow 9th grade mentorship teachers to build a bond with their students. Perhaps have kids go to mentorship for Reflective Scholarship during Sept.
28. Brandon—for Freshman Mentorship Program next year, planning to have “interest surveys” to match 9th and 12th graders.
29. Linett—can we have time to discuss mentorship at Staff Meeting tomorrow? Hudson—if we can take some time off of Senior Projects.
b. Attendance Policy discussion--Neilson
i. Policy used to comply with OSPI.
ii. Seems like there is not a current policy.
iii. Wondering how we can use attendance to hold students accountable?
iv. Spring Sports are an issue—kids are absent from 6th period frequently
v. Hard to give kids a grade when they are absent frequently (excused and unexcused absences)
vi. We used to have someone in charge of holding kids accountable for attendance.
1. Hudson—for excused absences, we need to provide students with alternative assignments
2. Renouard—there are situations where its hard to give kids an authentic assignment when they miss class
3. Ratcliffe—very difficult to make up work, especially group work, after a long absence.
4. Feigal-Stickles—sports related absences are even more difficult than a long excused absence. Some kids miss 3-4 classes every week due to sports.
5. Davis—this is partly based on late start, partly based on making up games due to bad weather. Also, we need to be more on top of kids who don’t return to class after a rain-out.
6. Hudson—this is challenging, but we don’t want to take away the sports opportunities from our kids.
7. Feigal-Stickles—would it be possible to make a better schedule for games.
8. Davis—spring sports have to be played during daylight hours AND before Little League takes over fields. May need to work with Parks Dept to deal with these issues.
9. Tarleton—could we have kids talk to administrators with excessive excused absences—similar to truancy court?
10. Hudson—can have interns look at attendance data.
11. Davis—made a difference when kids would lose credit following 10 absences.
12. Neilson—wants to continue this discussion next time and devise a better policy. Add to Admin Report.
c. On next agenda—NH Foundation Senate Seat
d. Diversity Day Schedule—Wed is an “A” day, Thursday is Diversity Day—all day in mentorship, Friday is a “B” day