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. Godhwani

Location:  Runkle School Library


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


V. Beauchaine explained that there are a variety of proposals for outreach efforts (i.e. St. Jude’s Program, Walk for Hunger, etc.) at Runkle School each year.  Since there is no real policy here, V. Beauchaine thought it would be a good idea to use the Council to talk about where to go with outreach programs for our school and asked to add this to the agenda.


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.  V. Beauchaine reported on the literacy goal as of this date.  She stated that we are half way through the PD training for the K-2 team.  M. Bienen 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 and to implement elements of Reading Workshop and Writing Workshop that they are learning about through the training.


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 V. Beauchaine, there are currently six first graders, eleven second graders, and three third graders involved in the LLI program to this date.  V. Beauchaine 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 units  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, V. Beauchaine says that there seems to be rewarding benefits and students’ math skills have improved.


V. Beauchaine 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.  V. Beauchaine 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.  V. Beauchaine 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.  V. Beauchaine 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.  V. Beauchaine says that Runkle is on the “high end” of the technology spectrum in the Brookline School District.


Procedures and Process Goals (Goal 5).  V. Beauchaine reached out to teachers to help build this goal for the School Improvement Plan.  V. Beauchaine 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.  Outreach programs don’t have to involve money, but could involve time instead.  The cumulative effect of making too many requests of families 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
  7. Outreach efforts should not detract from our academic focus.


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


Topics for Future Agendas

Attendance policy review

Recess policy


At 5:57 M. Bienen 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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