School Leadership Team Minutes 2/11/2016

In Attendance:


Micah Hasegawa

Sherry French (Parent)

Janet Miller (Parent)


Parent Members:

Kevin Daly (PTA Delegate)

Amy Gillman

Karen Kaapcke-LePique

Rhonda James

Kyle Pfortmiller (Chair)

Faculty/Admin Members:

Dmitriy Faybyshenko (Faculty)

Erin Flaherty (Faculty)

Miriam Nightengale (Principal)

Naeta Rohr (Faculty)

Kim Terranova (UFT)



Eleanor Pricket-Morgan

Menyonis Washington

Justyn Diaz

Nissa Bisguier



Meeting called to order at 4:45 pm


Approval of Previous Minutes

The minutes from January 21, 2016 were approved. The only correction made, Dmitriy was changed to UFT delegate for that meeting.

Two main projects discussed at this SLT meeting: Community Service & Grading Survey:

Four students from the GSA sat down with the SLT and responded to several questions generated by the SLT to open up discussion of Community Service at CSS.

Below are the questions from SLT and responses from the students.

  • What has been your experience of Community Service?

The students all felt that their community service has been self-driven. The community service experience were bookstore, student government projects, GSA, NHS (such as tutoring), acid’s walk, household repairs, doing groceries for elder people, among other school stuff.

  1. Pros to community service:
  • Most of the students felt that community service was a good way to find small ways to help in the world having to be a professional.
  • Students felt needed at CSS because of community service such as tutoring for NHS.
  • CSS made an easy transition for students to meet 150 hours of community service requirements.
  1. Cons to community service:
  • Community service is not connected to larger or longer-term projects.
  • Most students had to find the community service themselves such as bookstore, helping house repairs/ doing groceries for older people, etc.
  • Students did not fully understand the goals of community service.
  • What is the difference, if any, between community service and the Civic Action Project done in CSS government classes?
  • Civic Action Project was mandatory and students received a grade for it.
  • There wasn’t enough communication that civic action project can be counted as community service.
  • Of the community service projects you’ve done which have had or made the most impact on you or your community?
  • Tutoring, garden clean-up, voter registration, helping the elderly, etc.
  • How important is community service to you?
  • Most students felt voter registration made a big impact on them.
  • Students were asked on scale 1 to 10 how important they felt community service is to them and they replied 7 or 8.
  • What is your ideal community service project?
  • Have the entire grade work on it (group projects).
  • Start community service in 9th grade with a faculty advisor.
  • Combine community service with electives.
  • All students thought the GSA was a good model for ideal community service project.

Grading Survey Discussion:

  • This survey was based on responses from 57 faculty, 82 parents, and 229 students.
  • Most push-backs from parents were they did not understand why they need to do it and that they did not understand any questions asked in the survey.
  • Teachers did not answer questions #6, will ask them to answer it during next faculty meeting.
  • Students feel that creative thinking and effort can’t really be fairly measured, and that grades are not a good indicator of skill level, and students feel that it indicates neither mastery, nor progress nor teacher standards for the most part.
  • Students felt that grades are a good way to alert parents about performance.
  • 6% of students felt that a grade of 95% or over means a student has completely learned the necessary material.
  • Students felt that creative thinking should be graded separately from knowing the answers (29.8%) and feel that effort should be graded separately from knowing the answer (41.1%).

Follow-up to Grading Survey Discussion:

  • Create questions and follow-up questions for the next meeting.
  • Kevin will email SLT in 2 weeks to ask for all the follow-up questions.

Important Dates:

  • February 22, expense funding deadlines.
  • March 25, Mark Levin’s resolution program.

Political Outreach:

  • Marisol Weiner wrote a card to Mark Levin with students input. It was a very touching gift.
  • Gale Brewer’s card has been printed as well so she will receive it soon.


  • DOE rule is to have minimum 500 students to have a library in school building and minimum 1000 students to have a librarian.

Follow-up for next meeting:

  • Update CEP by end of March
  • Feedback on Grading Survey (follow-up questions)
  • Notes on discussion with students about community service
  • The new custodian willing to track classrooms that are too hot or cold, faculty need to let him know that.

Meeting adjourned at 7:40 pm

Next Meeting: March 17, 2016