Runkle School Council

Runkle School Library

December 6, 2012


Members Present:  Rosemary McElroy, Teresa Gallo-Toth, Elvira Perez, Marian Voros (left at 5:00 p.m.), Amy Hummel, Marcy Bienen, Vanessa Beauchaine,  Deanne Dixon, Anne Depew (arrived at 4:40), Jen Shapiro (arrived at 4:35).


Members Absent:  Chad Pelton, Val Gondhwani, Judy Katz


Dr. Beauchaine called the Council to order at 4:09 p.m.


I.  Approval of Minutes

Rosemary MacElroy made a motion to approve the minutes from the previous meeting, seconded by Amy Hummel; 8 members voted to approve the minutes, 2 abstained (Marcy Bienen, Marian Voros).


II.  Public Comment

Dr. Beauchaine said that Mr. Scott Murphy had signed up to speak in the Public Comment section, but could not stay for the beginning of the meeting.  Dr. Beauchaine requested that the Council move this section of the meeting until later to provide him an opportunity to speak.


III.  2012 MCAS Results

Dr. Beauchaine introduced Mr. Stoddard, Runkle Vice Principal who was invited to today’s meeting to discuss the school’s MCAS results for 2012.


Mr. Stoddard began his presentation saying that today’s PowerPoint presentation was similar to others comparing to Brookline’s overall results, and the Runkle School’s performance to the other Brookline elementary schools.


Mr. Stoddard noted that at present we are seeing the end of NCLB (No Child Left Behind) as we know it;  the 2014 threshold Plan for 100% of students be at proficiency ; the Commonwealth of Massachusetts had applied for a waiver to the 2014 proficiency deadline, and had been granted a waiver:  what does it mean?


The goal is no longer 100% proficiency:  new goal is to halve the distance, or 83% of school population taking MCAS reaching proficiency in 2012;  ½ of 17%, is 8%;  therefore now we will have a “proficiency gap”  or 92%  reaching proficiency will be the new target by 2017.


Mr. Stoddard said that you presently have to pass MCAS to graduate from the high school.  These are yardsticks – gives the students a sense of where the students are; you can take the 10th grade MCAS 5 additional times from mid-Sophomore year until Senior year graduation.


Mr. Stoddard noted that this year (2012) test results have declined slightly from the previous year.


Quick statistic:  79% Proficiency in English (last year 82%)

73% Proficiency in Math (last year 78%)


Runkle ranked 7th in State in Grade 7 (present 8th grade)


For five years we have offering MCAS-boost for children who received “warning” or “needs improvement”;  this year we piloted a computerized program at 4th and 5th grade for MCAS Boost called “Study Island”; meeting 2x /week; Comparing 4th  grade results with those for 6th grade where students received direct instruction from a teacher, Study Island was not as effective as the direct instruction model.


Things changing:


Before we’d talk about aggregate and different subgroups (ELL, low-income, special education, etc.) 40 students in a subgroup;


Now we are talking about High needs Groups include all of three above subgroups:  1) special education, 2) low income, and 3) ELL students.


PPI (Progress Performance Index) will be calculated differently.


PPI (new acronym)will look similar to CPI, but we will now be looking at growth of performance over time, looking at this data with a growth mindset will be a healthy more positive move.


Dr, Beauchaine noted that using MCAS data to inform teaching decisions is complicated by the fact that the DESE does not release all of the test items.  She said that as we make a shift to the “Common Core” and a new test, we can get greater transparency.  In response to a question by Ms. Perez about student classroom performance vis-à-vis student success on MCAS.  Dr. Beauchaine responded that many times students do not do well on MCAS but do solid work for that grade.  We do look very closely at student performance individually. The purpose of the MCAS has been school accountability for student performance and to some extent increased teacher accountability related to the elements of the curricula that are taught.


IV.  Superintendent/School Parent Leaders

Ms. McElroy gave a synopsis of two recent regularly scheduled superintendent meetings with Brookline public school parent organizations.  At recent meetings she heard presentations by Mindy Paulo on social competency/OLWEUS bullying prevention program roll-out in January;   Runkle (parent presentation on January 3, 2013);

Enrollment growth:  pressing questions about increase in student enrollment over the next two years;  Government funding cuts;  all expenditures frozen;  forecast for initial 600K deficit for 12-13;  a potential 2M deficit for 13-14.


A consultant has been hired to examine current space utilization (at BHS).  The question remains: Could present space at BHS house 2,400+ students.  Ms. McElroy said that the bulk of the conversation with Dr. Lupini centered on capital improvements – apparently there is a great need for additional funding.  The system will need very different funding profile than we have now.  Either taxes will go up or school will look a lot different than they do now.  This may eventually impact class size.  Brief conversation about conditions which would necessitate a tax override in this scenario.


V.  Public Comment

Mr. Scott Murphy asked two questions:


How do Runkle students do when they get to BHS?


What kind of term limits do Runkle School Council members have?


Dr Beauchaine response:  we will discuss the Runkle student’s performance at BHS at our January 24th, 2013 meeting.


Council members hold office for periods of one, two and three years.  Several Council members will complete their term at the end of this school year.


VI.  Review of Budget

A short discussion of Runkle’s budgetary expenses took place and whether the current spending freeze would have an impact upon program stipends (Math Counts, Math League, Art Club, Science Club,, Guitar, etc.) Dr. Beauchaine expressed satisfaction that all of the expenses have been spent, and the current spending freeze will not have an effect upon our present programs. Ms. Hummel noted that if something was really critical, it would be a great opportunity to make a request to the PTO for extra funds.


Our next meeting is scheduled for January 3rd, 2013.  A discussion of the DCAP scheduled for today’s meeting will take place at that meeting.


Ms. Shapiro made a motion to adjourn at 6:02 pm.,  seconded by Ms. Gallo-Toth.  All voted to adjourn.


Respectfully submitted,

Deanne Dixon

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