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School Council Meeting
Meeting called to order at 4:00pm in the Runkle Library.
Members Present: V. Beauchaine, D. Dixon, T. Gallo-Toth, D. Halwick, A. Hummel, R. McElroy, C. Pelton, J. Shapiro, G. Sopel, S. Stern, J. Katz
Members Absent: M. Voros , V. Godhwani
I. Approval of Minutes 2/14/12
It was noted that section V of the minutes should clarify that R. McElroy was reporting on the Superintendent’s monthly meeting with school parent leaders for December, January, and February. With that note, D. Halwick made a motion to approve the minutes with the addition of one sentence under Section V: “R. McElroy provided a summary of the December, January, and February meetings.” it was seconded by A. Hummel; ten members voted to approve the minutes, J. Katz abstained due to absence at that meeting.
II. Public Comment
III. Runkle School Needs Survey
The Runkle School Needs Survey was administered to families and staff. V. Beauchaine gave a comprehensive overview of the results of both surveys, with discussion about the analysis of the data and consequent recommendations. She asserted that the results of the survey will be taken into consideration when reviewing and revising the School Improvement Plan (SIP), as well as incorporating them into her professional development plan.
Regarding the family survey, there was a 38% parent response rate, representing almost half of the student body. The lowest participation was for parents of preschoolers and seventh graders. For the staff survey, about 42% of the faculty was represented in the survey. The respondents included professional educators and two paraprofessionals.
V. Beauchaine reported on the results of the surveys and conclusions from a draft report that she said would be disseminated electronically to the community after she finalizes it. She shared the surveys with the Runkle Data Team to analyze this and other data so the results can be more thoroughly understood and used to improve the school experience for students, families, and staff.
A discussion of specific questions, results, and conclusions ensued. The following were some points that were made:
- It is sometimes difficult to make conclusions about the results of certain questions, as wording of the questions may have affected how respondents answered, in particular for the “I don’t know” or “not applicable” responses.
- It will be easier to follow up with staff on specific questions or concerns resulting from the survey, than with parents.
- V. Beauchaine asserted that she was generally satisfied with the response rates, and felt that the overall results of the surveys were positive, or leading in the right direction.
- Issues in both surveys revolved around the following areas:
ü Communication, such as that about recycling and certain community events;
ü Arrival and departure issues; such as loud, crowded hallways
ü Supervision and discipline, such as consistency across the grades, and presence during recess and lunch; and
ü Strengthening the sense of community.
- Staff were satisfied with the collegial atmosphere. However, teachers felt that they needed more time to collaborate with other staff, such as special education teachers. There were some questions that may require additional communication from administration to be sure that the entire staff is made aware of issues such as how bullying behaviors are addressed.
- Selected suggestions included:
ü Develop class-specific websites;
ü Disseminate more information about the School Council;
ü Re-instate the all-school morning coffee once/month;
ü Use Connect Ed to increase communication to families;
ü Update the Runkle website more frequently to reflect School Council and PTO activities
- V. Beauchaine expressed some concern about responses from some parents about her accessibility. Discussion ensued about how to interpret these responses, and whether it meant that parents did not think she was approachable or whether they were not doing so because they did not need to involve her.
A. Runkle School Building Project Update
“Substantial completion,” the milestone that needs to be achieved to receive a certificate of occupancy, of the overall project is scheduled for August 15, 2012, with renovation of the existing building (not the addition) in June. The playground work will be starting soon.
B. Agenda setting for upcoming meetings
Discussion ensued regarding setting Council meeting dates for the rest of the year, which are currently April 10, May 8, and June 12. Topics that need to be covered include:
- Reviewing the current SIP and revising it for next year;
- Arrival and dismissal procedures;
- Transition back to Runkle;
- Discussion regarding the success of Runkle Students at BHS;
- Update on the recycling initiatives; and
- Understanding Disabilities.
The main concern is having enough time to do the required work on the SIP before the end of the year. It was agreed that the May 8 meeting would be devoted to the SIP and extend from 4 to 7. If more time is needed, an extra meeting will be convened on May 15 from 4-5pm.
C. Superintendent/School Parent Leaders Meeting Update
At the most recent meeting, there were updates on budget, technology, and enrollment. Regarding the latter, there are expected to be over 650 Kindergarten students in the next academic year.
D. Other issues
A. Hummel mentioned that there are two warrant articles that would have an impact on the Runkle School coming to Town Meeting. The first (No. 16) advocates for a $1 million allocation to move the roof HVAC units next year. The second (No. 26) relates to the process on building projects. A. Hummel asked that Council members contact their town meeting representatives if they do not support these articles.
Meeting adjourned at 5:30pm.
Early Dismissal K-812:00 pm
No School:Thanksgiving Vacation
No School:Thanksgiving Vacation
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