School Leadership Team Minutes 10/15/2015

In Attendance:


Janet Miller

Sherry French

Judith Insell, District 9 – Chair of Community Board 9 Youth Education and Libraries Committee

Parent Members:

Kyle Pfortmiller (via speakerphone)

Tara Herlocher

Amy Gillman

Rhonda James

Kevin Daly (PTA Delegate)

Faculty/Admin Members:

Dmitriy Faybyshenko

Miriam Nightengale (Principal)

Naeta Rohr

Student Members:

Justyn Diaz


Meeting called to order at 4:55

  1. 9/15 Meeting Minute approved
  2. Introduce Guest: Judith Insell, Chair of Community Board 9 Youth Education and Libraries Committee
    1. CSS is part of Community Board 9 – there has been a historical disconnect between CSS and CBA 9; Judith is here to facilitate communication and advocate for CSS at CBA.
    2. West Harlem Development Corporation potentially has a space in an upcoming project that CSS might be able to utilize for the arts.
    3. Kevin Daly will attend a meeting next week with WHDC.
      1. Possible solution proposed for both TC Community School and Columbia Secondary School to move into this WHDC space described above (CBA 9).
      2. Sherry suggested that perhaps we could get a grant to expand air space.
  • Columbia University has gifted us with a developer most of the funding is going towards operational expenses.
  1. We continue to have students with IEPs whose needs are not being met.
  2. Proposal to more actively engage current CSS students with CB9 volunteerism projects.
    1. Many community service opportunities that simultaneously build student resumes and represent community outreach in CB9.
    2. CB9 objective is to get teenagers from the neighborhood to help the neighborhood – stay in District 5/6! Organizations discussed as potential opportunities for CSS students include:
      1. Total Equity Now – Literacy organization
      2. Hamilton Library – Teen Center
      3. Habitat for Humanity — Justyn Diaz considering initiating school club.
    3. Judith reasserted that it would be very helpful for more CSS parents to attend CBA meetings – asks SLT to direct parents to attend meetings.
      1. They are public meetings open to anyone! Students, parents, etc.

Old Business:

  1. Grading Survey
    1. Google form created for entry of student responses
      1. Note: Students who did not take a Regents exam did not take the survey
      2. Survey will be re-administered to students who did not have the opportunity to take it previously.
    2. The SLT needs to develop plan for administering to parents:
      1. Andi is translating Spanish language version of survey
      2. Note: 60% of parents do not use their CSS emails – suggested preference for paper surveys
  • Surveys will be distributed at next PTA meeting by SLT members and via email
  1. Idea raised to have laptops and paper copies will be facilitated at PTC through SLT members
    1. We would like to have the data assimilated and prepared for review by the November 12 SLT meeting, so PTC is actually too late
  2. Conclusion: Surveys will be distributed at next PTA meeting by SLT members and via email.
  1. Need to develop plan for administering to teacher
    1. Teachers will take survey on Google Form; survey will be distributed on Friday October 16, teachers will be reminded to take it at October 19 Faculty Meeting.
  2. Target to have completed this task by November
    1. Kevin volunteers to organize administration of survey
    2. Kyle will send retitled surveys to teachers
  • Anyone who volunteers to enter data needs to be made an administrator by Laura
  1. The SLT members will each take a stack of paper surveys to manually enter data into Google Forms once made Administrators
  1. Facilities – Lunchroom
    1. Action item: Student-Admin taskforce to solve biggest complaints
      1. Tyler Colon – subcommittee
      2. Student Lunch committee will present November 25th Cultural Day Report during Town Hall
    2. Facilities – Custodial Engineer
      1. Kevin meets with him 10/16 9:00 AM
        1. Planters in front of the building – upgrade and increase aesthetics
        2. Present PTA and SLT as potential resources to Custodial Engineer
  • Electrical upgrades to the building – Kevin is information gathering and will report at the next meeting (he will have information next week).
  1. Facilities: PTA Website
    1. Is fully functional
    2. Roll out at November PTA meeting! àorg
    3. No action needed by SLT
  2. Budget: Athletics
    1. Updates/Action needed by SLT?
    2. Need outside funding
    3. STEM Funding subcommittee may help

New Business:

  1. Facilities: Participatory budgeting – Playground
    1. Participatory Budget – 8 proposals; #1 was access and usage of a field on 110th Street that is constructed for baseball
      1. Cost is high and has a waitlist. CSS is on the waitlist but there is no applicable funding currently.
    2. Proposal passed for playground – October 19; Steve Smith from Parks Department – Principals, Harold DeLucia, students will attend.
    3. Key Question: How can we accommodate rugby and tennis in this space? What surface will be amenable to both sports?
      1. Although the approved proposal includes a space for basketball courts, CSS is advocating for no basketball courts – some sort of grass/turf surface.
    4. Political Outreach
      1. WHDC Meeting
        1. Are we going full-force advocating to be moved to new building?
        2. Thursday, October 22 at 4:00 PM
          1. 423 West 127th Street, Suite A
  • Agenda: Suss out if there is development of a potential school site (?).
  1. Our per-student funding is lower than any other school in District 5 and we are the highest-performing school in District 5.
  2. Miriam will give a presentation about CSS highlighting accomplishments and needs.
  3. Justyn Diaz, Mark Levine, Kevin Daly, Janet Miller, Sherry French will attend
  1. Sherry submitted 8 proposals for 2016 CSS PB funding – creative room over gym, air conditioning, better managing building colocation security and safety.
  2. STEM funding committee is available for upcoming teacher/admin proposals and suggestions.
  3. Kevin made contact with Gale Brewer’s 125th Street office. (Informational comment)
    1. Connecting students with volunteer opportunities
    2. Suggestion for teachers to advertise in class – probably Social Studies
  • Can we organize a team to help students identify volunteer opportunities, barriers to participation, etc. and then creating the solution
  1. Solicit information from focus group of students and teachers to identify the ways that we as a committee can spark this – invite Social Studies team, students, etc. to create a better entry point
  2. Invite to November 12 meeting: Social Studies team, College Counselor, SG grade reps
  1. CEP
    1. Miriam will email out CEP; Please review before next meeting
    2. We will sign off on the CEP at the November 12 meeting.
    3. Needs Assessment:
      1. Community Service – will be discussed as a data cycle next week
        1. Suggestion: Service-Learning project introduced as capstone graduation project


  1. Superintendent’s Initiatives – Family Engagement
    1. Parent Open House
      1. Invite parents into classes for one day per month.
    2. Special Needs Family Intensive
      1. Schools will have a night dedicated to working with the parents/guardians of students with IEPs/special needs to ensure families understand rights/accommodations.
    3. School Problem of Practice/Theory of Action
      1. We fulfill this obligation with the CEP.

Meeting adjourned at 7:30 PM.

Next Meeting: November 12, 2015. (Note: This is the second Thursday of the month, due to Parent Teacher Conferences on November 19, 2015).