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Upcoming 2018-19 Meetings

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Nov 20
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Feb 26
March 19
April 23
May 21

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

Speak Up Summit November 15, 2016 Regular Meeting

Nice turnout for our November meeting. We were happy to welcome Deb McCann from the Board of Ed.  Lots of different topics of conversation:

European trip for SHS students. This has been postponed for one year because of low interest. The district was planning on taking four students. Concern for safety was expressed. It is an expensive trip, and much fundraising will be needed. Enrollment in the Holocaust and Genocide class is not necessary to take part in the trip.

PARCC. Test results are important to the district as they help compare schools and help the administration see how principals are doing. When students choose not to take the test it makes it harder to evaluate teachers and schools. 

Deb said that the Education Committee is really looking at the Basic Skills program, and has been collecting data. This includes analysis of English as a Second Language, English Language Learners, and even the Gifted & Talented program. It is hard to make assumptions or recommendations with a single year’s data, but this pool of information will grow. For example, this year there are 14 new basic skills students in 8th grade. Why? Are kids struggling because of a particular teacher? How long should a student remain in Basic Skills? Or ESL? 

We talked quite a bit about the two new programs being looked at: the SHS Culinary Arts program and the LCJSMS greenhouse. Both would be wonderful, and we get that the profit from the Pomptonian program needs to be rolled into something food oriented that supports the district, and our facilities for our foods classes are in need of an overhaul. Perfect match. Pure excitement about the prospect of electives that will teach students the business side of the food services industry as well. Was putting some Pomptonian money put toward the greenhouse as well investigated? It could be used to grow food that could be served in school so might it qualify? 

 And while we love the concept of a greenhouse at LCJSMS, we discussed that we have things in district right now that could use some TLC. For example, our Brayton rep reported that bathrooms are in bad shape: urinals are falling off the wall, walls are repaired with plywood patches, and students feel the bathrooms are “creepy” and are refusing to enter. Apparently, there was a $60,000 garden put into Brayton school not too long ago which was funded partially by SEF and teachers are not taking advantage of it. How would field trips to the LCJSMS greenhouse be orchestrated? Would busses be needed? Right now there is $20,000 annual costs being discussed—wouldn’t a dedicated teacher be needed to really champion the usability of the facility? We really love the concept and don’t want to be naysayers, but want to make sure all the pros/cons of our existing green areas and costs associated with the new program are looked at thoroughly. 

Our next regular meeting is January 17, and our annual Conversation with the Administration will be January 21 at 9am at Twin Maples, 214 Springfield Avenue.

In attendance:
Melanie Wilson
Meghan Terry
Laura Coburn—SHS rep
Laura Schaffer—SHS rep
Serena Healy—LCJSMS rep
Lisa Campbell—Washington rep
Kelly Hart—Franklin rep
Kathy Clark—Jefferson rep
Andrea Stein—Washington rep
Paola Acosta—Lincoln-Hubbard rep
Tere Usme
Deb McCann—BOE rep