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Regular meetings held at The Hickcok Meeting Room, Summit Public Library, 9:15 a.m.

March 22, 2016 SUS Regular Meeting Notes

At the regular monthly March SUS meeting all schools were represented except for Franklin and Lincoln-Hubbard. We really do need to find a L-H rep…so speak to a board member or to me if you know of someone who might be interested.

With nothing “huge and pressing” on the district right now, we talked mostly about what the principals might have deemed lacking enough in the budgets to have made their impassioned plea to go to/above cap in this month’s special BOE meeting on the budget. 

Celia explained the difference between curriculum supervisors and instructional facilitators. Neither works directly with the students. IFs work with the teachers with issues they are having with specific topics. There have been no CS for K-8 since 2010, so “taking them out” of the budget is not a new thing. There are CS at SHS, and they all teach classes.

We talked about the need for strong guidance counselors in elementary schools.

At Brayton, parents are frustrated with having their children learn so many different math programs over the past few years so they have started a parent tutor group to support them. Some classes are very large, and some parents feel that the tutor group is being used to “babysit” some of the more disruptive students in the class.

Celia said that even at 23 students, our classes are smaller than classes at Millburn and Westfield, which often go up to 26-27 students in the class. We agreed that the makeup of the class is more important than the number of students—you can have a very problematic class of 16 students.

While those of us present believe that there were plenty of ways that the $33,000 left on the table by not going to cap could have been used wisely to further the educational/curriculum/sports/arts/tech needs of the district, we acknowledged that plenty of other people in the district want to keep school spending to the bare minimum. We are concerned about the balancing act that the administration/BOE must do to please all parties. It was reported that June Chang told presidents’ council that there were no specific sustainable programs that could have been initiated and continued with the funds. We said that we bet Ron Poles and the other principals might think differently.

We talked about district communication on sensitive topics, such as the recent whooping cough outbreak and security concerns about the return of a suspended student to LCJSMS.

Do you find all this interesting? Then come to the next SUS meeting. April 19 at 8:30am, 175 Colonial. If you already “like” the SUS page, then please share it with your friends with younger children.