Runkle School Council

Runkle School Library

January 3, 2013


Members Present: Vanessa Beauchaine, Rosemary McElroy, Teresa Gallo-Toth, Elvira Perez, Amy Hummel, Marcy Bienen, Anne Depew, Chad Pelton, Val Godhwani, Judy Katz (arrived at 4:38)


Members Absent: Marian Voros, Jen Shapiro, Deanne Dixon


Dr. Beauchaine called the Council to order at 4:31 p.m.


I. Approval of Minutes 12/6/12

There were questions on certain areas of the minutes. A motion was made by V. Beauchaine to table the approval of the minutes until the minute taker, D. Dixon could be present to clarify these items. Seconded by Amy Hummel and unanimously approved.


II. Public Comment

No public signed in.


III. DCAP (District Curriculum Accommodation Plan)

Dr. Beauchaine reviewed a presentation of the DCAP and highlighted areas that were different from previous years, which is mainly driven by changes the personnel that carry out a given part of the plan.


DCAP is reviewed every year to make any necessary changes. This DCAP applies to EVERY Runkle student.


A. Hummel asked a question on how to manage or facilitate expectations of parents toward reaching specific specialists directly to gain feedback on their interactions with their child. V. Beauchaine responded that if your child is working with a specialist, you should expect the same response as from your child’s classroom teacher.


Discussion around Direct and Systemic Reading. Question raised by R. McElroy regarding a child that may be reading well above grade level, what is done for that child. Replies by V. Beauchaine, T. Gallo-Toth and A. Depew – ECS does provide a reading list for high level readers. With the ECS upcoming review, this issue will certainly be addressed.


A. Hummel suggested that the Parent Involvement section should be retitled to better reflect the items listed since it is more of a push-pull of information vs involvement. E. Perez suggested that the title “parent involvement” should be defined. V. Beauchaine stated that the Parent Involvement section needs to either go beyond the current surface points listed or the title shall be changed to better reflect the content listed. T. Gallo-Toth mentioned that she is part of an “evaluator pilot project” and the parent involvement piece is a very important part of the project. Their definition may be helpful to this section of the DCAP.



V. Olweus Kickoff

Due to time constraint of the Parent Information meeting, this agenda item was moved forward with Jim Stoddard presenting.


– Olweus kicked off on Wed Jan 2 with an all school, student centered assembly. The assembly consisted of 3 parts.

1. Last year, Student Council (6th, 7th, 8th graders) were instrumental in creating the “Runkle Way” posters based upon the discussions among students and staff school-wide. The assembly began with the current Student Council members sharing what each part of R.U.N.K.L.E. meant to them.

2. V. Beauchaine talked about where we are as a school and went through the four bullying-prevention rules from Olweus.

3. A video that was put together before vacation was shared. It featured kids singing the anti-bullying lyrics written by 6th, 7th and 8th graders to the tune “Call Me Maybe”. There were a lot of 8th graders in the front leading all the kids in singing the chorus.

– That evening, Thurs 1/3, two separate parent information sessions were to be held for K-4 and 5-8 led by V. Beauchaine, J. Stoddard, J. Schultz, R. Sneider and S. Stern. The evening was set to feature an overview and an Olweus produced video with snippets on how bullying situations will be handled.

– For parents that cannot attend, information will be placed on the website and possibly a backpack stuffer.

– Other Brookline public schools are doing their kick-offs that same week.

– A. Hummel said for the future, it’d be great to know how this dove-tails with the Responsive Classroom and Empower.


IV. Open Meeting Law Review

– V. Beauchaine and A. Depew attended town led meeting.

– A. Depew said the top line takeaway is that you cannot deliberate as a group unless in a public forum. You should not deliberate via e-mail, for example.

– V. Beauchaine stated that our school council meetings are subject to Open Meeting Laws. New this year, anyone can record a public meeting if it is requested. Typical practice, is for us to also record the meeting if another individual is recording it. This particular meeting was being recorded by an external person as well as by V. Beauchaine.

– A. Depew stated that it was a great training and recommends it to others. It was also great to see that the Council not only followed these laws, but also went above and beyond them. One example of this is how the Council posts Draft minutes of meetings as soon as they are available, which is not a requirement.


VI. 2012 MCAS Follow-Up

– This agenda item will be covered at the Jan 24th meeting when there is more sufficient time for discussion.


VII. Student Activities Account

This will be discussed at the next meeting. V. Beauchaine will distribute ledgers to members to review for the next meeting.


VIII. Superintendent/School Parent Leaders

No update since there was not a Superintendent meeting held since the last Council Meeting.


IX. Other

– T. Gallo-Toth requested information to better understand the sub-committee role as part of the council.

– This is touched upon in the by-laws. This subject will be added to a future council meeting agenda.



The meeting was adjourned at 5:55


Respectfully submitted,

Valerie Godhwani

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