CSS SCHOOL LEADERSHIP TEAM MINUTES 2/26/2015
Meeting called to order.
In Attendance:

Parent Members:
Kevin Daly (SLT Chair)
Tina Glover (PTA Chair)
Kyle Pfortmiller
Amy Gillman
Karen Kaapeke-Lelique

Faculty/Admin Members
Miriam Nightengale
(Principal)
Amanda Valenti (UFT
Delegate)
Stephen Meinshein
Dmitriy Faybyshenko
Lynn Tiede
Alba Avoricani (Student Rep)
Justin Diaz (Student Rep)

Visitors
Janet Miller r (Parent, SLT
Secretary)
Donizetti Gonzalez (SONYC)
Andi Valesquez (Admin)
Wayne Collier (Parent)
Sherry French (Parent)

1. Approval of Previous Minutes: Minutes from previous meetings were distributed. Kevin proposed: minutes be circulated via email with a comment period for editing. If there are no comments, minutes will be approved in one week. Miriam seconded. Proposal passed.
2. Cell Phone Policy: Cell Phone policy was approved via email circulation without comments. It will be initiated on 2/27/2015.
• Cell phones must be out of sight during school hours
• Limited use before and after school, to contact parents
• Use in class ONLY with approval and supervision by teacher
• Social media is not allowed
• Gaming devices, PC’s, music devices are not allowed
• Consequence of misusing phone or other devices is confiscation, with release of device only to parent/guardian.
3. School Culture-Building: We will be implementing monthly school wide workshops to increase our culture-building activities. The first one will be Career Day, scheduled in March.
Other thoughts for workshops are:
• Campaigns for less cell phone use (cell phone free nights at home). Possibly “Bored and Brilliant,” an extension of NPR introducing the idea of unplugging from all computer devices.
• School Culture research: Meetings with SLT and Principal of Mott Hall II and East Side Community High School, still pending.
• Comparison with Prose schools what can we learn from them? What do they use that we can implement within our school?
4. Grading Policy Subcommittee: Parents/Students/Teachers/Miriam are developing a survey to gather data about what the school community thinks about grades.
Survey is currently being developed. Another meeting is required to complete. It will be distributed widely, and with that information we can question more deeply and come up with a uniform grading policy.
5. Facilities/Co-Location:
Issues.
• We do not have adequate community spaces: Theatre/cafeteria/gym. NO library.
• Footprint vs actual building usage—available building spaces do not meet state requirements.
• Sharing limited space with co-located schools requires negotiation and wastes administration’s time. Co-location limits all 3 schools’ potential for growth. Competition for space creates rivalries, making partnerships difficult. It also distracts attention from the heart of the problem: CO-LOCATION OF SCHOOLS!
• CSS was placed in Bunch Building without proper community input, so we continue to be seen as a space usurper.
• Shared space meeting between all 3 schools is scheduled for next week. Miriam to attend.
Advocacy.
• Hearing on school overcrowding at City Council March 3rd.
• Personal letters vs group letter: Both
6. Political outreach/Advocacy: Our approach needs to be responsibility first, then opportunity.
Gale Brewer:
• Meeting with Gayle Brewer’s office manager is planned.
• Gale Brewer proposed “Teens on Board” program in her State of the Borough speech. Students are to be included on community boards. This would be an excellent way to serve.
Funding Sources: We need to keep abreast of the possible funding for STEM schools from Albany and federal sources.
CEC: Mark Lewis and Tina Glover attend the CEC meetings.
Statewide Standardized Tests:
• We pay for the grading of State tests. Our teachers are required to grade them and we have to supply substitutes while our teachers grade them. This funding comes from our very limited budget.
• UFT is giving pushback against the current newly implemented teacher evaluation tests that our students have to take which the teachers are then evaluated on.
Prose school investigation:
• Idea vs school based option: extended day/high level work/close knit community
• There will be a staff retreat where these ideas can be explored and then organized for possible implementation.
7. SONYC Program: Pool is almost ready! American Red Cross is completing inspection. There will be 2 life guards and aquatic directors who will organize testing to place students in their proper levels and then put them in the days for their appropriate level. Students who expressed interest will be notified via email. Email Donizetti Gonzalez directly with questions: Dgonzalez@ywashhts.org
Middle school participation in the afterschool program is 234 students out of 300.
There is homework help from 3:20-4:00; parents can negotiate small-group enrollment for students not required to attend, if there is a need.
For high school there is “Office Hours” which is arranged between student and teacher and is not part of After-School program.

Meeting was adjourned. Next Meeting: March 19, 4:45 PM.