Carolyn Havrda, Cindy Kehoe, Dee-Dee Desmarais, Lauren Akerlind, Ruth Tracy, Rosana Bannock, , Kathy Evans, Jennifer Shannon, Maureen Andrews, Christy D'Aquila, Victor Paul, Nancy Mendez, Jacqueline Cossentino
Student Governance Council Meeting Minutes
August 27, 2015 Members Present:
Carolyn Havrda, Cindy Kehoe, Dee-Dee Desmarais, Lauren Akerlind, Ruth Tracy, Rosana Bannock, , Kathy Evans, Jennifer Shannon, Maureen Andrews, Christy Dâ€™Aquila, Victor Paul, Nancy Mendez, Jacqueline Cossentino
Annie Sablon, Beayanka Pinckney-Naraine
SGC Ground Rules were read aloud by members of the SGC.
Review and Acceptance of May 2015 SGC Minutes:
Minutes from the previous meeting were reviewed. Minutes were approved. SGC Elections
Parent committee member Jessica Chirdon has stepped down from her position on the SGC. An election will need to be held to elect a new parent member. A parent initiated election committee is being formed through our MMCO/PTO to review and update the election process to ensure a fair, widely publicized election and hold elections.
SGC Training Resources
SGC members, Carolyn Havrda, Jennifer Shannon, Nancy Mendez and Cindy Kehoe shared the information they learned at the SGC training on the School Accountability Plan (SAP) on July 29, 2015. The SAP now referred to as the School Implementation Plan (SIP) is developed from the school data. The role of the SGC is to evaluate and make suggestions on the SIP using the data. The SIP is a working document that is constantly changing.
The SGC reviewed the 2015-2016 training schedule. Carolyn Havrda encouraged attendance to all trainings especially the Team Building training on September 26, 2015. Carolyn also encouraged members who had previously attended the training to attend it again so that together with the new members, they could grow as a team.
Carolyn Havrda requested assistance from the SGC to create a training notebook to be used as a resource. Rosana Bannock and Lauren Akerlind volunteered to work on updating the current notebooks and add the most recent training information. These notebooks will be continuously updated as new resource materials are developed. Rosana requested that when attending a training, to please take an additional copy of the materials and place them in the notebook.
Carolyn Havrda requested assistance with tracking attendance for SGC trainings. This would allow members to be aware of those who have attended the trainings and use them as further resources. Nancy Mendez volunteered to develop this grid.
The SGC discussed requesting from Carolynn Harris at the SGC office, that all of the training materials be put online for easier accessibility. Nancy Mendez volunteered to email Carolynn Harris.
All of the SGC training materials are in Carolyn Havrdaâ€™s office and are accessible to the school community.
Nancy Mendez volunteered to be the parent chair. After discussion, it was a unanimous vote to elect Nancy to parent chair.
Jacqueline Cossentino requested that she continue to serve as a community member. After a discussion, it was a unanimous vote to elect Jacqueline to a two year term.
Kathy Evans requested to be removed as a community member and in her place she requested that her co-worker from OPMAD, Annie Sablon replace her. After a discussion, the SGC unanimously voted to take the next month to seek out additional candidates. The SGC would like to continue to stay true to the election process by allowing interested candidates from the community an equal opportunity to the position. The SGC invited Annie to put her name on the ballot. Annie agreed.
SGC Meeting Schedule
Five meetings were scheduled for the 2015-2016 SGC. All meetings will be held as follows: dinner for council members and children of council members from 5-5:30pm, followed by an SGC meeting from 5:30-7pm. Childcare will be provided for SGC members that RSVP for childcare.
The following are the dates of the meetings: Monday, October 5, 2015, Monday, November 16, 2015, Monday, February 1, 2016, Monday, March 28, 2016, and Thursday June 9, 2016
Carolyn Havrda shared an update she received via email from Dr. Slater. The following is the information from the email:
The State of Connecticut has approved and provided $5.6 million to the City of Hartford for the purchase and renovation of a building to house the new Hartford Montessori School. The Board of Education has identified a property at 425 Franklin Avenue as the site of the new Hartford Montessori School. This location has been appraised, inspected and determined to be an appropriate location. The use of incubation funds for the purchase of the property has to be approved by the State of Connecticut Bond Commission. The State Department of Education has recommended the Bond Commission approve this. The Bond Commission will meet September 25, 2015 to approve the use of the incubation funds. The negotiations with the owner have worked out in regards to sale price and appraisal and this is hoped to bring to City Council Sept 14. We will know more and be able to move forward after the September 25 meeting.
The SGC requested follow-up with Dr. Slater to clarify several questions. Carolyn Havrda, Nancy Mendez, Jacqueline Cossentino and Christy Dâ€™Aquila volunteered to draft a letter to Dr. Slater. The letter will be sent to SGC members for review and input before being sent to Dr. Slater.
The SGCâ€™s main concerns were the following:
When will renovations begin?
Will the new location be ready for the fall 2016 school year?
Is the location on Franklin Avenue a temporary or permanent location? Will CREC be managing the construction project?
Is there a contingency plan if the new location is not ready for students in fall 2016?
If the incubation funds are 5.6 million and the purchase price of the building is 2.6 million, how will the remaining 3 million be allocated?
As of today, enrollment is at 255 students. The school has the capacity for 262 students. A waitlist request will be made to fill the remaining spots. If enrollment dips below 255 for the October 1 count budget cuts will need to be made. The make-up of the school is 50% Hartford and 50% Suburban students. The classrooms at the McDonough campus are being kept at a smaller class size than AMI standards and teacher contract caps. This is due to the limited physical space in these classrooms. The budget is directly affected by these smaller class sizes, less students equals less dollars.
School Data Results:
SGC members reviewed school date from the 2014-2015 school year. The FACT SHEET 2015 presented our individual school results as well as the district overall. The data is used to develop the School Implementation Plan (SIP).
School Implementation Plan
Using the data FACT SHEET 2015, Carolyn Havrda reviewed the current SIP with the SGC members. The SIP is a working/living document. Carolyn requested the members review and make suggestions on the current SIP. Time did not allow for extended discussion and it was requested that the SIP be placed on our next meeting agenda.
Three main areas of the SIP are reading, math and climate. For academic areas---the identified needs are broken down by Tier 1, 2, and 3 students. These Tiers represent three different categories of students. Tier 1 is what all students receive, Tier 2 and 3 are for students who receive subsequently more support and are below grade level. For climate--- identified needs are good attendance habits, strong 2-way teacher parent communication, respect for cultural diversity and a positive student peer climate.
The SIP is derived from the study of data but also aligns itself to the HPS Strategic Operating Plan (SOP). Carolyn Havrda agreed to send the SOP to council members. It is also available online at www.hartfordschools.org.
The Montessori Magnet staff used the book Courageous Conversation to discuss ways to talk about cultural diversity. Carolyn Havrda has two personal copies and is willing to loan a copy out to those interested. If the budget allows, the school may consider purchasing this book with the help of the PTO and/or Title 1 Funds.
The SGC had a brief discussion about testing and the schools plan to address preparing for testing. Members requested more information about ways to work with families to educate them about testing. It was suggested that the topic of testing be placed on the next meeting agenda.
Meeting Close Process/Gratitude:
Time did not allow for an extended meeting close.
Next Meeting: October 5, 2015
Minutes submitted by Jennifer Shannon