John D. Runkle School – School Council Meeting Minutes

February 7, 2013


Members Present:  V. Beauchaine, E. Perez, M. Bienen, M. Voros, T. Gallo-Toth, C. Pelton, A. Hummel A. DePew (arrived at 4:48)

Members Absent:  D. Dixon, R. McElroy, J. Shapiro, J. Katz, V. Godhawani

Location:  Runkle School Library


Meeting Began at 4:38 pm; the meeting was recorded.



VCB reviewed a plan for outreach efforts (i.e. St. Jude’s Program, Walk for Hunger, etc.) at Runkle School.  Since there is no real policy here, VCB thought it would be a good idea to use the Council to talk about where to go with outreach programs for our school.


I.  Approval of Minutes:


Approval of the January 24, 2013.  After discussing some changes to the January 24 minutes, the Council had to table the approval of minutes until the next meeting because only five members from the previous meeting were present during this time.


II.  Current Issues/Public Comments


No public comments were made during this School Council Meeting.


III. School Improvement Plan Progress


Literacy Goals.  VCB reported on the literacy goal and as of this date she stated that we are half way through the PD training for the K-2 team.  M. Beinen and M. Voros gave insight on their experience with the training.  It was stated that there is a nice connection with the Runkle Literacy Specialist and the classroom teachers, which enriches the curriculum even more.  The literacy collaborative has allowed teachers to reflect on their practices.


Additionally, there was a training for the BAS (Benchmark Assessment) to improve the literacy goal on the School Improvement Plan.  6-8 teachers were trained in BAS in October.  The second round of BAS training is starting soon.  According to VCB, there are currently six first graders, eleven second graders, and three third graders involved in the LLI program to this date.  VCB showed a diagram of students who have improved on their Benchmark Assessments through the LLI intervention, all of which showed student improvements on BAS levels.


Math Goals.  The next goal was about the increase in achievement in math.  Marilyn-Burns methods have been used to increase scores in math for various grade levels.  Teachers have been integrating these methods into their math curriculum, some of which incorporate literature into math skills/concepts.  Through these methods, VCB says that there seems to be rewarding benefits and Runkle math skills have improved.


VCB also mentioned that there was an allowance for ELA MCAS Boost that was approved.  There will be monies available to allow for 8-fifty minute sessions.


Technology Goals.  VCB then discussed the goals in technology.  There has been a lot of collaboration with the technology specialist at Runkle.  There has been an increase in use in technology throughout the school, providing more authentic and interactive approaches to learning.  VCB says that we are getting clickers that work in tandem with the SmartBoards to provide a different approach to learning.


There was a question that came up about where the money has gone for technology at Runkle.  VCB shared that there are three mobile laptop carts, clicker sets, covers for laptops, document cameras, iPad carts, either at Runkle currently or in the process of getting.  VCB says that Runkle is on the “high end” of the technology spectrum in the Brookline School District.


Procedures and Process Goals (Goal 5).  VCB reached out to teachers to help build this goal for the School Improvement Plan.  VCB wanted to use this committee to help develop the outreach programs at Runkle School.  Typically, student initiated outreach programs have been given the OK and are strongly encouraged, however, there needs to be a greater discussion about these initiatives.


It was mentioned that outreach programs should be approved by the administration first and should be limited.  It was also mentioned that outreach programs don’t have to involve money, but could involve time instead.  The cumulative affect could be uncomfortable.


Goals of the outreach efforts (brainstorm):

  1. Connecting to a larger community.
  2. The school has a role to play but a minor role compared to the larger community.  The values of outreach are really important but there is a limited time in school and maybe families could teach this better.
  3. There was a comment about how outreach programs should reflect the mission statement of the school.
  4. How do we create citizens within Runkle and the greater Brookline Community?
  5. Keeping it local
  6. Avoid having money involved


VCB said that she would like to continue this discussion in the future.


Topics for Future Agendas

Attendance policy review

Recess policy

School Council Transparency


At 5:57 M. Beinen made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  A. DePew seconded.  The meeting ended at 5:57 p.m.


Submitted By,


C. Pelton

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