February 2012

PTO Meeting Notes 2-6-2012

Attendance
Introduction:  Peggy, Norms
How do we communicate between parents and teachers
How do we communicate with teachers?
Wanda Hines – how many parents?
Shelley Mathias – introduced

Decouch, qualify behavior – track data, overall behaviors are good 84% never to office, lower grades (K-1) problems, daycare regulations is 5-1, we have 22 kids in K.  Big difference for kids. School budget is important for the school budget.  We have extra person in the K-classes.  Budget puts in one para per K-class, making it 22:2, instead of 22:1.  We have great K-teachers, but with the’ squirmies’ come out, it goes beyond the 5 year olds to pay attention.  It’s the stresses to 5 year olds.  Academically it’s too hard for those learning to count and learn alphabets. We need to build the foundation better.  This piece on the budget is one of the more important things you can do.  Needed for all grade levels.  So students can learn how to be a student, and how we learned it today.  K-students have to learn to read at that level.  Overall behaviors here are good.

Leslie Halperin – 4th grader here – be clear what are the real problem to stop the rumor mill.  What about parents with kids in k-1.  How can we communicate the real deal now, not just for next year.
Peggy O’Neill – we met with K teachers and some things have happened with the paras rotating.
Susan Weishaar – every year is different, but this the amount/number of kids, very young (only a few are 6 years old now).  We have a lot of programs so that we spiral curriculum – reading/writing workshop – we set the foundation in kindergarten.  License from Shelley to do it differently – start it later, that has helped.  Small group in struction for better differentiation.  Having more students to behavior support team is helpful, so they can start evaluations of that special ed. Nature.  Want to make connection to early ed/pre school education to k-garden.  Haven’t done that, but what can they learn from that.  Look at the transition.  Identify the kids, because then those kids can get 1/1 support through out the door.  It’s a civil productive learning environment.  New kids coming in just put in now, but in the past
Danielle Bessette – floating/shared para educator.  Good for 1/1.  She has a degree in elem. Ed.  Another set of eyes.  Student teacher left after first semester, so it’s good to learn more about pre-school.  So, they will connect with the pre-schools.  Parent volunteers are great, but doesn’t really help with behavior issues.  The budget is to get that ratio better.

Clare Wool – we’re the largest  elementary school.  We are no longer neighborhood schools.  State wide ratio is 15-16/1.

Ann Kiley – what is the protocol to fix these behavior problems?
Shelley Mathias – Educator to Admin to Central Office (superintendent).  Tried to prevent it without having the cluster of challenging students.  Students were fully designated to a classroom until after about 2 week, but that was a honeymoon period, and didn’t give the right information to divide the classes.  There were interesting groups.  Childrens’ emotional buckets were filling up quickly.  There is only so much we can communicate legally, so we were working in all along – students support, planning room, teams, etc.

Annie Howell – Longer conversation about behavior issues in k needed.  How did the k-efforts impact the rest of the school?
Shelley Mathias – need to be in classroom as eyes, as leader, but having to deal with a few kids impacts how much I can get in to observe the class.  Don’t have infrastructure and staffing to deal with this large school.  Budget comment – not optimal way to use dollars.  If you want to improve the product and then you have to use the dollars.   Large organizations that need people who are working towards goals.
Carolyn Hanson – Are we reaching out to pre-schools?
Shelley Mathias-  yes, I’m used to it.  2/3 were EEE.
Kate Larson – really appreciate that the PTO is making this conversation possible.  What is the most important piece of going forward?  Budget, spacing,
Greg Gillard -Para for each of the classroom, doesn’t approach the size of class size – it’s a bandaid.
Kate Larson – Optimal solution, this building would have a room that we could use if the middle school didn’t use our rooms.  We’re the only building that has that capacity.
Janet Bellevance – testing pull child to side, 2nd grade in one-on-one.  K-1 are testing 1-1 that take 20-30 min. per kids.  5 days in fall 5 days in January – 3 weeks.  Mandated.  How can we use our resources more effectively.  They’re not getting that 20/20 – bank of really good retired people, who’s getting paid to do this.  Needs/resources.  Who do we ask these questions of?  With Jeanne, Terry aBailey, Terry Philips.  How does the school wide – call a meeting to do it. Trained people at the top of their game.  This is what the school needs – this is what you can do.  In house?
Keith – 20/20 speak up on the School board next month – space is a major issues.  Business manager, financial management.   Space -w e don’t know what the numbers are going to be until end of August.  Census used to be earlier, but it’s not that way anymore.  Not all schools go to pre-school – they go to daycare and other things.  To build on

Shelley – 3 sets of tests in Hyde Park.  Used shorts tests based on national research.  Quick to look at and learn from.
Wanda Hines – son at Edmunds.  It’s all good.  Behavior issues beyond crowd and issues .
Shelley Mathias – number of kids in classrooms, socializations.  Different kids with all kinds of situations – that’s public education.  Food security issues.    This year with the paras helps, but it’s short term.

Kurt Wright – If enrollment continue to go up, what is the solution?
Shelley Mathias
Miro Weinberger – attic space?
Shelley Mathias – in Middle School building.  2 classes in here used by Edmunds.
Clare Wool – no more space in there
Shelley Mathias – St. Joseph’s space.  CP Smith/Flynn is having construction – they’ve used St. Joe’s.  We got the lockers from there.
Clare Wool – it’s tough with this perfect storm of all the costs coming together.  We knew this was coming.  Really  just 1.9% to us.

Shelley
3% is from one bucket to another – that’s a shift and not an increase.  Education has been the bully pulpit for why property taxes increase.  What was the result of cutting education?  Education investment was stable, we’ve been cutting.  Asked to do much more today than since 2000 with mandates.  The Brook Benet Law – tragedy – we now have to educated parents and guardians about child sexual abuse.  When did that become our territory and where is that funded (federal and state legislature).  Then we get nailed if the scores aren’t there.
Educate yourself on the
$350/for VSO.  3 keither 175 up to 350 for VSM petting zoo.
Looking for someone to help with it this year.  24 volunteers to help out.
Go through room parents.

Miro husband of k-parent and parent.  Overcrowding.  Public coffees.  Came down to people’s wages are stagnating out there and can’t meet the 10% increase.  More pressure, frustrating to have to make a decision.  As maybe will make every effort to not be in this position.
Kurt Wright – feel free to call or email. Already met with Jeanne
Wanda – keep on doing what I’ve been doing.  I do support the system and the budget.  Off for the next month and
Claudia – FSP survey – will the survey be translated.  Have translators to get it done.
Lisa – part of the communication that goes out with the survey so people know.  Teachers who write letters, please include it there.  Teacher letter.

Math night – rsvp – Feb. 18th 5-7.
Mr. Teer – 10th grade – portraits of teachers.  For the concerts, help have cover of the concert program.   From someone today – add something – workshop for song writing – IAA song writing.  Help write a song for Mr. Teer.  John Gilmore.
Parent talent – email blast – something from here. – Claudia and
Annie – very helpful to have this meeting to know what’s going on.
Victor – was here – lots of energy – how can we help

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