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March 13 LSC Meeting Minutes

LSC Meeting Minutes
O.A. Thorp Scholastic Academy
6024 W. Warwick Ave., Chicago, IL 60634
March 13, 2019, 7 am

An archived video of this meeting is available at

Roll call:
Jennifer Alper, Debra Dean, Amy Ellison, Mahmoud Bambouyanni, Efren Toledo, Joel Paulraj, Bill Harmon, Ami Thaker, Naomi Millan, David Feller (7:12 am), Robert Lee (7:22 am), Angelica Jacinto (7:30 am).

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

Call to order: 7:07 am

Approval of agenda: Unanimous approval.
Approval of February meeting minutes: Paulraj motioned, Harmon seconded. Unanimous approval.

Public Participation:
Bill Harmon’s birthday acknowledged.

LSC Committee Reports:

PPLC (Professional Personnel Leadership)
– Met on 3/12. The minutes were shared with the LSC.
– Discussed MTSS focus. Focused especially on the younger students.
– Restorative justice discussion continued.
– Doing a survey on homework practices.
– Next committee meeting will be 4/9.

CIWP (Continuous Improvement Work Plan)
– Ms. Schoonewolff and Mr. Vikhter will be presenting the semi-annual CIWP and budget report for the community/parents. Saturday March 16 at 8 am. Expecting potentially 40 parents.

PEC (Principal Evaluation)
– Sent out draft of the principal survey to LSC.
– Will be sending survey to parents by Friday or the Friday at the latest.

Bi-lingual Advisory Committee
– Received clarification on how to spend the funds allocated to the committee. The money is to be spent for programming or supplies for the parent group, such as food for the meetings.  

Wellness Committee
– Internet town hall had about 40 attendees with a subject internet health/good practices.

Communications Committee
– Principal letter broken over two emails is easier to read, but how is it working? Open rate is about the same. Parent survey needed?

Committee on Diverse Learners
– They’ve gotten good feedback and enthusiasm.
– March 25 is the next meeting.
– They’ve set up a speaker to come in, on May 4 from 11-3 at the Austin/Irving library. Speaker will discuss what IEPs and 504s are and how to use them.
– Working on a survey.

School Committee/Organization Reports:
Friends of Thorp
-Fundraiser vote for Ultimate Ninja fundraiser on April 5. Harmon motioned. Bambouyanni seconded. Unanimous approval.
-FoT working on buying a 3D printer for student use.

-The book fair is this week. Zumba is on Friday.
– In April there will be a digital families night, sponsored by Facebook. They will be raffling a Chrome Book.
– Discussion of bathroom improvements, perhaps a new exhaust fan, new fixtures. Have had some issues in the first floor restrooms where the flushers might be too hard for the younger students to use. Custodians are supposed to flush unflushed toilets on their rounds. Diverse learners might find sensor flushers scary.
– Purchasing $1000 of books for the library.
– Working on a new set up for the lost and found.
– Working on letting teachers know about the wish lists they can set up with PTA.

7th/8th Grade Committee
– No fundraisers coming up.
– 8th graders are paid up for their end of year activities. Joint fundraising is working well.

Principal Report:
Grade distribution
-Discussed the grade distribution at Week 25. There are fewer D/F students year-over-year, but the performance curve pattern is continuing.
-Lee asked about correlating grades to single-parent home status. That data is currently not gathered.
– Saturday school is starting up again, and this year it’s open to 5th to 8th grade. The D/F issue is being addressed during Saturday school.
– Homework is a low percentage of grades (at most 15%) so the grades are made up primarily of tests and major projects.

Partnership with other schools
– UIC is sending 8 students who are doing their clinicals.
– Toledo taught a section at DePaul and found it helpful to see what new educators are being taught. Teaching critical thinking skills is not being taught to teachers in college.
– Wanted to give recognition for Mr. Coughlin 8th grade history fair. All students were involved. Also recognized Mr. Vikhter.


– Ms. Sanabria has been out on leave, so collections have not been updated.


– Discussed the IAR, a new test that is essentially a re-branded PARC. Expecting a shift from NWEA to whatever the state goes with. IAR is a tougher test, but it’s all on grade. The IAR is adaptive and will provide instant score, eventually. There are no opt-out procedures, outside of student self-advocacy. Results will be returned over the summer. IAR will have no stakes for CPS, but will impact scholarships.
– Discussion on impact of testing opt out. Hurts school standing with the state for ranking, but only tool available to parents to protest time-away from instruction and metrics-based evaluation. 95% is the expected participation rate, and we’ve never hit that.

New Business
– Dean discussed how Huron Consulting wants to spend a day at the school on beautification projects. They are the team who painted the fence black.
– Harriette Marchand discussed FoT fundraiser goals, including outdoor improvements, 5th grade lockers, and the 3D printer.

Old Business: none

Motion to adjourn at 8:04 am. Harmon motioned. Dean seconded. Unanimous approval.

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