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April 10 and April 26 LSC Meeting Minutes

LSC Meeting Minutes
O.A. Thorp Scholastic Academy
6024 W. Warwick Ave., Chicago, IL 60634
April 10, 2019, 6:15 pm

An archived video of this meeting is available at

Roll call:
Present: Jennifer Alper, Debra Dean, Efren Toledo, Joel Paulraj, Bill Harmon, Ami Thaker, Naomi Millan, Angelica Jacinto.

Absent: Amy Ellison, David Feller, Mahmoud Bambouyanni, Robert Lee

LSC members will be noted by last name only for the remainder of the minutes.  


Call to order: 6:21 pm


Approval of agenda and March minutes: Paulraj motioned, Alper seconded. Unanimous approval. 


Public participation (moved up from original agenda)

— Natalia Espinoza, student council president, another student council member, and Thomas Mackie presented on the restorative justice system the student council had developed. The system will be piloted with the 5th grade and higher, and later will be modified for younger grades and diverse learners.  

— Ballots for LSC advisory council discussed.


LSC Committee Reports

— PPLC (Professional Personnel Leadership): Discussed project-based learning and teachers presented what they’re doing in the classroom. Next year, every grade will have three nights of special programming: open house, project-based learning night, and a what’s coming up night to prep for the next year. 

— CIWP: Will be addressed during budget discussion.

— Principal Evaluation Committee: Extending deadline for principal evaluation survey.

— Bi-lingual Advisory Committee: Nothing new to report.

— Committee on Diverse Learners: The community meeting on the IEP and 504 has been moved to 5/18 at the school. Autism picture day will be the 26th. The diverse learners survey deadline is being extended. 

— Wellness Committee: The teacher and student survey on homework has been done. There will be a townhall meeting on May 9th on homework. 

— Communications committee: Nothing new to report. 


School Committee/Organization Reports

Friends of Thorp — $34,700 were raised at spring fundraiser. Fund-in-need and raffle tickets were biggest contributors.

PTA — On 4/26 there will be a digital families event, funded through a grant from Facebook. On 5/10 Huron is coming for a service date, donating $500 for improvements. There is a proposed joint activity day on 5/11 involving Friends of Thorp and PTA. June 7 will be Kindergarten Olympics. Parents who volunteer will need to fill out a volunteer security clearance form.

7th and 8th Grade Committee — Trip to DC went well. 45 students went. With fundraising, individual costs went down to $500. 8th grade will do a Milwaukee trip.

Principal Report
Budget Overview
– Receiving the budget in April is very early. (Treat as provisional.) The budget will need to be voted on by LSC week of April 22. Total school budget is $7.8 million, most of which is taken up by payroll. 90 individuals on payroll.
– More state funding in budget due to shift in projections based on 20th day of attendance. 

– Increase in student-based budgeting of 2.5 percent.
– Increase in supplemental aid by $10 to $920. No more rollover option.
– Thorp hasn’t received Title 1 funds for 5 years because of growing affluence of parent base. Title 2 funds ($50,000) are used for professional development (math and science curriculum alignment).
– No personnel cuts foreseen. Will be able to add an additional DL position.
– Magnet school funding, a federal program, totals nearly $800,000. Since 1968, it has been there, but is not guaranteed in future.
– Aftercare program has become the rollover cushion ($300,000). Bad news: Did not get the grant for after-school programming, but the aftercare fund covers it.
– School engineer is shared with Beard.

Other topics:
– Six new Chromebook carts are going up the 3rd floor. Older carts will be moved for use in lower floors.
– WIN periods are being re-evaluated to be times where students can learn/explore something outside of normal curriculum.
– Review curriculum map for alignment. The learning base should be the same.
– Renewed focus on phonics in earliest grades.
– Perhaps revisiting using a textbook, so there is a base level of instruction.
– The DL population has grown from 6% to 12% during Toledo’s tenure. He thinks the label is
perhaps being misapplied, and will work on moving students out of DL as needed. Perhaps a lack of phonics base is contributing.
– DL instructional practice program pilot will be expanded beyond the 4th grade.
– New school improvement projects: LED sign at road, blinds for classrooms.

New business: Special meeting to vote on the budget will be April 24, 7 am.
Old business: none

Motion to adjourn at 7:58 pm. Alper motioned, Dean seconded. Unanimous approval.

Special Meeting To Vote on Budget
April 26, 2019,  7 am
Roll call: Ami Thaker, Mahmoud Bambouyanni, David Feller, Efren Toledo, Naomi Millan, Amy Ellison, Debbie Dean, Bill Harmon, Angelica Jacinto, Jen Alper
Absent: Joel Paulraj, Robert Lee

Call to order: 7:04 am
-Discussion of open meeting policy requirements, which is why special meeting was moved from 4/24 date. A bulletin board outside the school might be of benefit.
– Motion to approve the agenda. Dean motioned, Bambouyanni seconded. Unanimous approval.

– Vote to approve the budget. Harmon motioned, Bambouyanni seconded. Unanimous approval.
Will have to see if the budget changes once new administration comes into office.

– Update on principal survey: 216 responses came in. There are about 650 families at Thorp. Of 47 teachers, 34 responded.
– There are 46 incoming siblings for the 2019-20 school year.
– Principal Evaluation Committee will meet on May 2 at 5 pm. New parent meeting starts at 6 pm on same day.

Motion to adjourn: Dean motioned, Harmon seconded. Unanimous approval. Adjourned around 7:20 am.

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