CSS SCHOOL LEADERSHIP TEAM MINUTES 4/20/2015
Meeting was called to order.
Amanda Valenti (UFT
Alba Avericani (Student Rep)
Janet Miller (Parent, SLT
Andi Velasquez (Admin)
Virginie Glaentes (Parent)
1. Approval of Previous Minutes: No minutes were discussed. Core voting members not in attendance.
2. School Start Time: Parent Virginie Glaentes presented evidence showing later start time improves test scores and follows natural sleep cycles and melatonin production of teenage students. Mrs Glaentes stated she had petition signed from 46 parents who would be in favor of time change to later start.
CSS’s start time was 8:30 (instead of current 8:00) in school year 2013-2014. Current start time was implemented due to Teachers’ Contract mandating the school day cannot go beyond 4:00pm. Other issues presented counter to a later start time were described:
• High school days need to be longer due to credit earning nature of the system.
• Changing the start time affects the whole day’s schedule making it necessary to change lunch/PE schedules etc. which is particularly problematic with our shared cafeteria/gyms.
• Complaints were made that later start time interfered with family structure during evening hours (studies support the importance of structured family activities).
• Many parents complained about later start time last year.
Making a start time change might be possible on an individual basis if health concerns are confirmed by a physician. Student could then use free period in am. In addition, teachers will vote on the contract and may choose to modify terms to allow earlier start, but it would be an incremental change, not school-wide).
3. Lunch Payment Program: DOE’s Payment system is changing to “My Lunch Money” Program stating May 12, 2015.
Lunches will still be $1.75. Previously students’ lunch payments were recorded manually in the cafeteria on a hand written roster kept by school. CSS paid Department of School Foods out of school budget, and billed student families. Annually CSS paid out approximately $10,000.00 in unpaid lunches. Now the program will be changed to an automated system, Heartland Payment Code. Each student will be issued a card with a bar code which will be swiped to tabulate their personal lunch account balance.
• Parents can register for program and make prepayments online. Parents without internet access can give money/check to Assistant Principal Lenice Nelson.
• High school students will NO longer be able to charge lunches without a positive balance in their account. If the account is zero/negative, they must pay cash that day. Middle school students normally have free lunches city-wide; however, because CSS is a Secondary school the free lunch policy does not apply.
• The SLT all expressed concern over the lack of time given to CSS to prepare for this transition. We have a large number of free lunch students who will not even be able to charge lunch if their applications are not completed in time. It was suggested that it might be possible for the PTA to cover the approximately 2,000.00 that might be incurred from now to closing of school so that unprepared students may eat.
• In another change, the application for free lunches will now be online starting July 1 2015.
• CSS will be responsible for taking any fees and reimbursing the Lunch program.
4. Bored and Brilliant: This is a challenge for a community to unplug from electronic devices for a period of time and see what happens. We would like to propose this to our community as a science/social/philosophical experiment that can offer real world exposure to application of theories/ techniques we are learning in school.
• Tabled until next year.
• Announcement for proposal at end of school.
5. Grading policy discussion:
• SLT subcommittee has created a survey which is not completed. Extra meetings are needed to complete.
• Distribution of survey before school ends.
6. School Culture:
• We have targeted 2 schools who have high scoring on their school surveys, Mott Hall II and East Side Community High School. Meetings are in the process of being set up.
• School survey will be given higher weight in school report card next year. We want to have larger participation.
• Students will be given a teacher survey which will be used in the evaluation of teachers next year.
• We want to complete contacts by the end of the year.
7. Facility issues In Progress:
• We have a working PA system. We are able to contact each classroom individually and the school as a whole for emergencies. We still need to fine tune programming for bells.
• SLT’s of both PS 125 and CSS have come together to discuss the announcement that KIPP Star is planning to move their middle school and replace it with another elementary school. Due to our outcry KIPP Star has backed off this proposal for 2015-2016 school year. This event has had a positive effect in that it bought CSS and PS125 together at one table and discussions were started We can now address campus building concerns as a team. KIPP Star has asked for a meeting with PS125/CSS.
• We need to contact Elizabeth Rose to call for a community Impact meeting if KIPP Star continues to push for changes.
• We are currently over enrolled for next year. We will have 4 sections in 6th/9th/10th grade classes. We do not have enough classroom space or enough teachers as the current enrollment has an increase in special needs students.
• The BLUE BOOK, which is a guide for how much space a school needs, evaluates only for classroom space. It does not account for shared or community spaces. It is currently being revised.
• State Senator Espaillat has visited our school and asked our students to draft a letter outlining our facility issues, He stated he will deliver this personally to the chancellor.
8. Facility Issues Pending:
• Auditorium Upgrade– $300,000.00 awarded for chair upgrades/stage floor/Auditorium floor.
• School Lighting– is in realm of the custodian who is retiring May 21. We need more information on how to address this.
• Phone upgrade– virtual phones lines are being installed to allow calling using the internet. We are worried this will be patchy.
• Electrical upgrade is not currently being addressed.
9. Elected official Outreach:
• Gayle Brewer has opportunities for volunteering this summer.
• The Participatory Budget voting results are May 6th. We have ideas that have been proposed by CSS students in the running (proposed play ground to be turned into field for team sports).
10. Funding for extracurricular activities and rules for participation
• Want to research how activities are funded by school and PTA, what have been successful models for fundraising within groups, and how we can repeat these models for different activities.
• Propose having clear standard for eligibility to participate in extracurriculars, and ways to note and describe specific exceptions.
• Example: CSS has more stringent requirements for participation than PSAL for sports participation.
11. Election for new SLT members:
• 1 position is open for parent members that needs to be re-elected
• Teachers refill their positions in the fall at first UFT meeting
Meeting adjourned. Next Meeting May 21, 2015 4:45pm
Proposed agenda item: review and edit/amend current Bylaws