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LSC MEETING – 20161114

Merrimack Park

Monday, November 14th, 2016 @ 5:30pm Attendees: Tim A., Monica D., Debbie D., Ms. Alper, Jerry C., Mr. Robles, Jason Q., Tammy W., Amy E., George M., Efren T., Tim D.

* Call to Order

  • Roll Call
  • Review/Approval of Minutes * Motion to approve the Minutes Motioned: Tammy W, Seconded:George M
    • Vote: passed w/unanimous consent
  • Approval of Agenda
    • Motion to approve amended agenda w/new fundraisers Motioned: George M., Seconded: Ms. Dean
    • Vote: passed w/unanimous consent * LSC Committees Updates & Reports:
    • Continuous Improvement Work Plan (CIWP)
      • Tackled under principal’s report
    • Professional Personnel Leadership Committee (PPLC)
      • All members (Alper, Thacker, Carlos, Robles, Sonali, Bagri, Rasmussen) except one present.
      • Discussed the responsibilities of the committee and needs:
        • Looking for all sources of data (NWEA, PARC, etc. to drive the curriculum)
        • What’s working and what’s not:
          • Discussed a structured writing program.
          • Discussed WIN, it’s challenges and how it was working
          • There’s a lot of diversity in approach, are we using that time wisely?
          • Unclear for some teachers whether there has been benefits for classes outside of the 5th/6th grade.
          • One main concern was whether this would benefit Thorp’s testing results, there’s a question about whether there’s sufficient time to get to the full curriculum given the changes in the schedule.
          • Discussed success of Math in Focus
          • Next meeting: 2:40pm on 11/30
    • Communications Committee
      • Working meeting 11/29 to try and do implementation on website changes.
      • Demo short takes of LSC summaries for next meeting.
      • Initial take on some content for a general WIN update from Mr. Toledo for next meeting.
    • Friends of Thorp
      • Walk-a-thon raised $11k
    • PTA
      • Mr. Toledo thanked PTA for the luncheon, great pirate theme.
      • Raised ~$10k during book fair.
    • 8th Grade Committee
      • Taffy Apple sale raised ~$800, bowling night raised ~$400 towards their ~$4k goal.
  • Principal’s Report
    • Problem based learning committee
      • Focused on helping drive Thorp towards that project based learning over the next three years.
    • Update on the budget pilot:
      • Received budget transfer authority again and have streamlined some of the processes.
      • Seems to be improving.
    • Account review
      • We did receive the all stars grant ~$27k.
      • Upcoming spends from 115, tutors and supplies.
        • We are moving forward with hiring a half-time bilingual teacher, ideally with a special education endorsement.
        • One retirement did not go through and that’s put the math hire to replace Ms. Hunt on the back burner.
      • Gave notice of looking to move $21k from 353 to 225 for a position.
      • Did manage to make a hire for the additional support position referenced previously.
    • WIN
      • Goal is to push towards what is meaningful for students through interdisciplinary projects which link to the core curriculum. Problem based learning.
      • Mr. Toledo feels that at this point we’re catching up to students in building this out.
      • Mr. Toledo expressed a desire for “touchstone” experiences that students will remember after they leave.
      • In some minds this runs up against the practical limits of preparing for required testing.
      • Mr. Toledo expressed that it isn’t a race and that he’s looking to work with teachers on fleshing this out. Acknowledged the messiness of this process and the potential for frustration.
    • Professional development
      • Meeting with different teams and activities in building culture/climate
        • Dinner with DL team.
        • 3rd/4th grade went on an escape train mission with the goal of taking away what makes a memorable project.
      • Teacher development day focused heavily on MTSS (Multi-tier systems of support). Teachers throughout CPS have had some struggles with the changes.
    • Tech initiatives: Thorp TV
      • Student choice in choosing what’s on the bulletin boards.
    • Thorp’s road to integrating a Problem based learning focus.
      • Went through a short notecard tower exercise which went from hands on to trying to generate questions meaningful to their subject.
  • Old Business
    • Internal Accounts Review
    • Afterschool programs: Afterschool Allstars
    • Thorp Band
      • Mr. Vihkter is doing band in instrument sections during the morning, beginning next week.
  • New Business
    • Principal Evaluation Committee
      • Reviewing practices from other LSCs the recommendation was to break it into parts for folks to tackle and then as a separate meeting bring it together.
      • Will be setting an initial meeting, potentially to be held before the normal LSC meeting. 5pm 12/12 @ Thorp.
      • Notice from the board is that we likely won’t see SQRP until first or second week of December with an appropriate push of the deadline.
    • FoT fundraiser: La Cochinita doing a Thorp dine-out 2/22-23rd (30% share with FoT)
      • Motion to approve fundraiser Motioned: Debbie D, Seconded: Tammy W
      • Vote: passed w/unanimous consent
    • Poretta’s dine-out on 2/8
      • Motion to approve fundraiser Motioned: Debbie D, Seconded: Tammy W
      • Vote: passed w/unanimous consent
    • Mr. Coughlin will be running a raffle fundraiser for the chance to shave his hair and beard in support of Noah Padilla. Targeting mid-February for the event.
    • Amy brought up the ERSB bill currently looking likely to be voted on this week during the veto session. Pointed interested parties to the PENCIL Facebook page.
    • Ms. Dean shared that Thorp 1/15-2/6 will be hosting Chinese students again from the Cultural Exchange Academy and is seeking homes.
      • Tim D. and Tammy W. both discussed how rewarding it was as hosts last time through.
  • Public Participation
    • Mary Beth Golden discussed field trips and the lack of an organized sense around field trips. Concerned around the lack of enrichment opportunities. Explored the possibility that it was socio-economic? Fees? Presented data around a variety of schools and how Thorp compares and that there’s a lack of opportunity around trips even amongst schools with similar or lower socio-economic circumstance.
      • Mr. Toledo acknowledged that he has not pushed teachers in requiring field trips. Discussed that we have allocated for 2 field trips per grade, but that has not always happened. There was some discussion of some of the current field trips that occur (Emerald city, Feed your starving children) but also of the fact that there has been unevenness in how given classes address field trips. There was discussion of whether we create an informal committee to solicit feedback on potential roadblocks and what parents can do in order to help facilitate these sorts of activities. Discussion on the logistics of getting busing and pickups.
      • Suggestion from Mr. Toledo to have the teacher reps bring it back to the staff to discuss with the teams.
      • Ms. Alper volunteered to bring this back to the teachers and discuss.
  • Adjourn
    • Motion to approve fundraiser Motioned: Monica D, Seconded: Ms. Dean
    • Vote: passed w/unanimous consent
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