CSS SCHOOL LEADERSHIP TEAM MINUTES 9/18/2014
Meeting was called to order
In attendance:

Parent Members
Tina Glover (PTA)
Kevin Daly
Kyle Pfortmiller
Karen Kaapcke
Amy Gillman

Faculty/Admin Members
Miriam Nightengale(Principal)
Amanda Valenti (UFT)

Visitors
Janet Miller
Richard Hara
Andi Velasquez
Mary Escalante
Mark Kerman

1. Approval of June Minutes: June minutes were taken by Professor Sephali Thakkar who has moved to Texas over the summer. We will reach out to her and attempt to get them.
2. Election of Officers:
Chair: Kevin Daly
Secretary: TBD
Review of CSS By laws:
Revisions: Proposal made to allow non team member to serve as secretary as no current members have the time to be secretary. (Moved by Miriam Nightengale Seconded by Kevin Daly) Passed unanimously. Janet Miller offered to be secretary and will begin these duties as a substitute today and for this year as per amendments to bylaws Article VIII.
Enforcement: Proposal made that SLT member Warren Orange be asked to step down per Article V due to lack of attendance and desire of other parent members to serve. (Moved Miriam Nightengale Seconded Kyle Pfortmiller) Passed unanimously. Letter will be sent in accordance to CSS SLT bylaws by Kevin Daly new SLT chair.
3. Visitor issues: Question was brought to table about the scheduling of the school day and what times the electives actually start.
School day is from 8:00am to 3:20pm
3:20- 4:00 homework/tutoring program/academic assistance: Students are required to stay in school grounds during this time
Middle School has monitored not structured supervised homework rooms
High School “office hours”
4:00- 6:00pm Electives
Middle School is sponsored by YMCA who is responsible for grading and attendance CSS staff is hired by YMCA. There is interest in offering the Regents geometry course but currently we don’t have the staff for it.
4. Standing Issues:
CEP: There is no current Data from last year as there is a lag for data to be presented i.e. state test scores school grade etc.
• Last year’s 2013-2014 CEP draft reviewed
• 2014-2015 CEP due last week of November
• We will add a full meeting to discuss new Data and Comparative Data from School cohorts.
• Data to be reviewed: Regent results/ State Test scores/Graduation Data/School Grade Report/Successes and failures of Columbia University courses, AP courses, other college opportunities/Actual Attendance of college by Alumni and their success.
• Areas to improve: Culture that CSS requires students to take college courses to be successful, Parent Education on how Columbia University/college courses are selected and a flow chart on what requirements are necessary to prepare for invitation to take college level courses.
• We already have plans for an 8th grade transition education day in December to help students and parents understand the transition to High School and what is necessary. High School Alumni are invited.
• A large part of the CEP will be to help create a working model that fulfills the needs of all students whether or not they take college level courses; provides them with a highly rigorous education; and prepares them to be successful in college.
Library: Do we have plans for obtaining the space and funds to have a library on school grounds?
• By State Law a School with 1200 or more students is mandated to have a library. So technically don’t have the required amount of students. But the Ralph Bunche Building has 1174 students combining CSS/KIPP star/PS 125. The SCA and the foot print office play the fact that we are 3 schools in one building against us regularly.
• We will attempt to get funding but we will have to find space for it.
Space Issues:
History. At our founding we were a partnership Between Columbia University and DOE. We were temporarily housed in the Ralph Bunche School Building in 2007. At that time we had 1 grade: 3 sections of 6th grade students. CSS was promised a new building with land donated by CU and a new building to be funded by the DOE. Unfortunately CSS had the tragic death of a student and the firing of a principal in one year. During that transition year 2011 DOE deemed the land donated by CU as unfit and reallocated the CSS construction funds—50% to build a New Teachers College School, 50% to upgrade our new permanent home at Ralph Bunche School. We demanded and received a Chemistry lab, upgrades to classroom spaces (engineering/physics labs), some electrical upgrades, new classroom spaces on the third floor, 220 lockers. However we have been in a constant battle for adequate space and technological upgrades as our school has grown. Currently we are sharing Ralph Bunche Building with 2 other schools: PS 125 and Kipp Star. CSS occupies the 3-5 floors with chemistry lab in basement, PS 125 occupies floors 1-2 with an expanded Pre K program and Kipp Star occupies the Annex building. We all share gym and cafeteria space. The 2nd floor also houses the District Superintendent’s offices and the 6th floor has The Robert Jackson Community Center which we have had limited use for testing purposes. The Office of Space Planning has published a “School Footprint” guide which allocates a certain amount of space per student and administration space for each school, and claims that CSS meets Footprint. The guide, however, does not take into account the type of school the space is allotted to, the type of student, or shared community spaces i.e student/teacher lounges, libraries, gyms, or cafeterias. This allotment policy is still in effect under the DeBlasio administration. However, the Office of Space Planning has been disbanded.
Students per school Footprint
CSS 660 above
PS 125 234 below
Kipp Starr 300-340 below
This means we have more students than we have space and it is difficult for us to plan our curriculum and our teachers must shuffle classrooms to teach. Lab and art classes are especially challenging as more space is required to store projects and equipment which we don’t have. We must cohesively share community space with our neighbors to plan lunch times and PE classes.
Current construction projects include:
• Bathrooms of the whole school are being renovated. We are in Phase II of a III Phase plan. This upgrade includes the locker rooms of the pool downstairs and resizing the water fountains to fit adults.
• Upgrading to a functional PA system that works on a 3-school campus. This project is in final planning and should start within this calendar year.
We need:
• Upgrades to the whole building’s AC/Heating system
• Cabinets and sink improvements in Chemistry lab
• Further electrical upgrades to WHOLE building as we are currently near the building’s overall electrical capacity (PS 125 experienced an electrical fire last year) and need upgrades to the supply lines in from the street to increase that capacity.
• Better communication with School Construction Authority during the turnover of finished construction projects so as to have jobs completed properly. SLT Chair Kevin Daly is currently working with CSS Admin to coordinate with SCA on the bathroom project.
Funding/Polictical Outreach:
We are currently receiving 87% of our “fair student funding” per-student allocation from DOE; other schools in our cohort are receiving up to 125% per student.
We have been granted extra funding for being a CTT engineering school???
We have received Grants from:
• Robert Jackson $115,000 technology upgrades
• Mark Levine $150,000 and Gayle Brewer $150,000 for auditorium upgrades
We are working to create partnerships with elected officials. Parent Sherry French, our Community Liason, is currently working with Mark Levine’s office to provide Students as Spanish translators during the Participatory Budgeting process meetings.
We want to create intern partnerships with elected officials.
We have had multiple officials tour our school including Senator Perkins, Gale Brewer, Robert Jackson, Mark Levine.
We need parents to attend CEC meetings.
The Friends are actively writing Grant applications for multiple funding sources including corporations and elected officials.
New Business:
Middle School application process has become a school based choice via middle school matching.
• Students must still have a 3-4 on state exams, > 90% in grades and >90% in attendance and be asked to take CSS exam
High School application process requires the above but instead of CSS exam applicant must submit a writing sample and undergo an interview.
Next meeting 4:45 10/16/2014 we will discuss shifting to later time when more teachers are in attendance
Motion to Adjourn Meeting: Miriam Nightengale Seconded Kevin Daly