Minutes from September 8, 2009

Minutes from 9/8/09 Meeting

Attendees:

Ted Hall, Jodi McGuire, Deborah Johansen, Emily Davison, Chris Hill, Mandy Peaslee, Suzanne Hamilton, Todd Shaw, Melissa Noack, Amy Bongard, Lorrie King, Tom McDowell, Brenda Michaelsen

Check-in: Done                        Notetaker: Lorrie King

Review norms from last year:

The group reviewed the norms to see if there is anything we need to change. There was discussion as to whether we all leave the meeting clear on the directions we need to be going.  Can we have a system that helps us be clear on how we are moving ahead?

Debrief inservice days:

Advisor Handbook Discussion-

  • The need for advisors to be more consistent around attendance was a recurrent theme.
  • Suzanne wondered what our next steps would be with this information.
  • Ted mentioned that one of the goals of this session was to bring this resource back into the forefront of teacher’s minds.
  • Melissa wondered if the individual questions brought up by the group in these notes could be answered.
  • There was a discussion about gathering up information on what things most advisors see as things we should keep tight, and others that people agree we can keep loose.
  • Ted will review the document again and synthesize the main points.  We can share that at the advisors meeting tomorrow morning.
  • Emily suggested that as a longer-term step we might make a google doc collecting information about what activities people are actually doing with their advisors.  Emily will create the document and we will use it with the advisor meetings.

Leadership Discussion-

  • Brenda mentioned that there were some questions about the purpose of the team as it came up in several places.
  • Communication, membership, and decision-making process were reoccurring themes.
  • Suzanne asked as to whether it is clear to the rest of the staff that our job as a building leadership team is to help our school advance the district goals.
  • Amy asked if there is a way to “lift the veil” so that more people can know what we do as a leadership team. How can we open the communication lines?

Technology-

  • There may have been too much presented at once.  Some people felt that once they could work on their own, it was better.  The venue was not ideal.  It may have helped to move into smaller groups.

Learning Area Discussion about Common Assessments-

  • English LA has already decided to incorporate the sharing of common assessments as well as teaching strategies in a more deliberate way.
  • Visual and Performing Arts is doing something similar to that, and they are going to bring their collaborative inquiry into that.  This way the results can be better documented.
  • Math thought that the timing of this discussion was quite good.  Math already uses many of the same assessments, but now they can concentrate on analyzing the results of these common assessments and adjust teaching strategies as needed.
  • Science talked about which groupings make sense in terms of teachers working together.  The diversity of the disciplines can be an issue, but they may return to some sort of common theme amongst all the classes, such as lab reports.
  • Modern Languages began by delineating their current common assessments.  They were wondering why the driving force was behind this goal.  Ted explained that research shows that schools that evaluate and analyze common assessments have improved results.  Meghan has some thought of going to other schools to collaborate with other Latin teachers.
  • Social Studies identified common assessments and determined who would be the best teams of teachers to analyze the work, whether it is grade level or across the grades.
  • Freshman team does do common assessments as well, such as in Humanities (English and Social Studies).

Exercise to begin looking at beliefs:

This topic was tabled to the next meeting because there wasn’t enough time.  Suzanne will send a document to the leadership team so we can do some preparatory work before the meeting.

Items from staff:

Question: Response: How will it be communicated:
A staff member asked what our next steps are for technology? We have Wednesday morning with a technology focus coming up in late September. We may also consider using some faculty meeting time as well. Melissa will bring the information back to the person who asked the question.
Will there be any major field trips right before the AP exams? Ted will talk to the teacher who has the trip right before to see if this can be arranged differently Ted will communicate the answer to Todd.
Was there ever any feedback received about the two days versus three days CEP experience? The supervisors were not polled last year, nor were the students, teachers, or parents.  If we are going to ask questions, we want to make sure that we ask questions that help us get to the best possible experience, and not just based on number of days. Todd will tell the people who asked about the current status.
Can the feedback from the inservice day be put on Google docs. The purpose of the feedback is to help us plan, so the audience for this feedback is not necessarily the entire staff. Ted has heard this question directly from the person, so he will contact the person to talk about this.
Club Advisors are having difficulty finding adequate time for meetings.  Is there any other times that clubs could meet? This question could not be answered today, so we put it out here so we could consider it at another time. No action at this time.

Plans for next meeting:

Beliefs discussion will be the major piece of the next meeting.

Agenda for September 8, 2009

Norms for our work:

* Engage in clear, open, honest communication among team  members.
* Be open to consideration of others’ ideas.
* Be clear about how we communicate with teams.
* Communicate the status of ‘items brought by staff.’
* Balance whole-school perspective with advocacy for learning areas.
* State clearly how decisions will be made.

1. Check-in  (5 min)

2. Decide on notetaker (2 min)

3. Review norms from last year to see if we need to change (5 min)

4. Debrief inservice days, including looking at the notes from advisory discussions and the notes from the leadership discussions (25 min)

5. Exercise to begin looking at beliefs (40 min)

6. Plans for next meeting (5 min)

7. Items from staff  (10 min)

8. Celebrate our work!

Minutes from August 18, 2009

Leadership Team Meeting Minutes

August 18, 2009

Members Present:            Jodi McGuire, Brenda Michaelsen, Ted Hall, Amy Bongard, Tom McDowell, Lorrie King, Mandy Peaslee, Emily Davison, Suzanne Hamilton, Melissa Noack, Todd Shaw, Chris Hill, Deborah Johansen

1. School Culture Survey Discussion–Rather than spend time as a staff on analysis of this section of the survey, we will make the results available for staff perusal and record leadership team observations/themes/learnings here:

Strengths:

•collegial atmosphere

•portfolio process

•sharing teaching with each other

•ambitious learning for all

•helpful comments in portfolio process

Areas That Need Growth:

•communication needs to be stronger

•evaluation, job performance

•we need to get to unfinished business

•decisionmaking

•analysis of student work

•portfolio product reflected some need for growth

Priorities for This Year’s Work:

•academic honesty

•NHS

•analysis of student work

•nstruction/engagement

•technology

2. Leadership Team Effectiveness Data Discussion–After reading and analyzing the data, the Leadership Team developed suggestions for improvement:

We (LT) need to:

•get clearer about decision making processes;

•be more deliberate about items from staff with a clearer attempt to get back to people;

•bring this issue to learning areas and ask for feedback/suggestions/input;

•make a public announcement at Wednesday morning mtgs. to update staff about work of the leadership team;

•encourage staff members to attend meetings especially if they have concerns.

3. Review of Updated Community Service Requirement Guidelines as completed by Brenda and Lorrie.  Lorrie will take the suggestions and revise the document for the opening of school.  The Leadership Team approved the document with the suggested upgrades.

4. Draft Agenda for In-Service Days–We reviewed the plan for the in-service days and made suggestions to Ted.

5. We discussed the Yarmouth District Goals, specifically Goal #1 with regard to “Teams of educators will improve student learning through analysis of common assessments.”  Ted will deliver a pithy introduction to this work on Wednesday afternoon.

Minutes from June 9, 2009 Meeting

Minutes from Leadership Team Meeting
June 9, 2009

Members Present:  Ted Hall, Tom McDowell, Chris Hill, Lorrie King, Todd Shaw, Amy Bongard, Mandy Peaslee, Suzanne Hamilton, Melissa Noack, Deborah Johansen, Jodi McGuire, Emily Davison, Brenda Michaelsen.

1.    Ted reviewed briefly the notes from last week’s meeting.

2.    Items from staff:  None

3.    Issue to be Worked On and the Action Steps:

Support Systems for students:  Open the school year with an overview of support systems
Technology:    Provide a basic competency list for staff; provide time to develop the link between technology and instruction
Engagement:  Continue to have it as the “umbrella” for our work (Cognitive Engagement of Students)
School Culture/Morale:  Look at data from June survey;     continue “good news” format for opening of meetings
Core Beliefs about Learning:  Spend summer work time thinking this through
NHS:  Committee will start work in the fall on this issue of upgrading the NHS process
Community Service Requirement:  Lorrie and Brenda will bring something to the group in September
Standards Based Grading:  Embedded in Core Beliefs work

4.    Summer Work Day:  the focus of this meeting will be in crafting a process for 2009-2010 to work on our Core Beliefs About Learning.
Date:  Tuesday, August 18:  8:00-2:00 p.m.

5.    Update on Academic Honesty – there will be a presentation to the faculty on Wednesday, June 10.

6.    Time to Celebrate our work!!

7.    Meeting adjourned at 3:50 p.m.

Agenda for June 9, 2009

Agenda for June 9, 2009

Norms for our work:

* Engage in clear, open, honest communication among team  members.
* Be open to consideration of others’ ideas.
* Be clear about how we communicate with teams.
* Communicate the status of ‘items brought by staff.’
* Balance whole-school perspective with advocacy for learning areas.
* State clearly how decisions will be made.

1. Check-in  (5 min)

2. Decide on notetaker (2 min)

3. Review notes from last meeting (5 min)

4. Finish up what we have and haven’t completed this year (20 min) leadership-team-initiatives

5. Set date for summer leadership day (10 min)

6. Update on Academic Honesty (10 min)

7. Items from staff  (10 min)

8. Celebrate our work!

Minutes from June 2, 2009

1. Check-in
2. Decide on notetaker
3. Review notes from last meeting
4. Finish standards-based grading discussion.  Below is some of the thinking on this topic:
MN-“What does a student have to know and be able to do to succeed in your class this semester?”  Good as a guiding question for Open House
BM-Common expectations that are clear for similar courses. It is important for grading system to be consistent across the board
LK-Clarity of grading practices is key-not a mystery.  Feedback is all over the place at YHS-we need to pay attention to the kind of feedback that we are giving them
TS-Provide feedback that warrant student attention (rather than a cursory glance)
MP-Encourage respect for teacher feedback-Change in culture: Use feedback to improve achievement
AB-Feedback that is like an autopsy vs. yearly exam (there is room for improvement vs. death)
LK-Feedforward-I tell you what you did that was great that you should continue or something that can be changed to improve work
BM-Get parents on our side-Communication needs to be more than just when students are failing-What is the best way to communicate with parents?  Is there another way besides Power School?
JM-What do we value?  We should monitor what we value.
TH-Does this have anything to do with engagement?
LK-Clarity helps engagement
TH-Is it more tied to cognitive engagement?
LK-It is cognitive and emotional.
TH-What is the most challenging work?
AB-One challenge is “how to evaluate student achievement rather than the speed with which work is completed
SH-When do we as educators draw the line with a formative vs. summative assessment?  Do students have an infinite time to meet a deadline?
TS-If you overdue flexibility with deadlines you are handicapping students for the real world
SH-Some of the life role outcomes contradict the messages in this article
LK-Inconsistency or Flexibility?  We value individualed attention for each student-Most teachers are flexible with students. There are inconsistencies in how teachers do retakes
DJ-One challenge is coming to agreement around flexibility
TH-We have inconsistency with grading practices-paying with cash, vs credit card, vs check.  Deadlines are important
SH-What are these problems?  How widespread is this problem?
TH-Some teachers have no penalty for late work, some teachers have points off for late work, some teachers have no make up policy, some people have number cut offs for redos
ED-Doing school vs. learning
DJ-Students should have multiple opportunities to demonstrate meeting a standard (this requires a lot of correcting).  Students who struggle with work completion (there are some in honors classes, cp students have more problems with work completion)  Higher standards in curriculum and work habits is essential.  Students will rise to the standard set
LK-Inconsistency in timely feedback-how does this impact student achievement?
ED-What I take away is the importance of clarity
MN-Teachers have different version of clarity and fairness
TS-Student perception of fairness
DJ-How many students are struggling academically?  Is this a huge issue?
TH-What are our beliefs about learning?  It would be helpful for us to come to some agreements that are based on best practice, for example:    We need to define our academic expectations with clarity and precision early (It is not ok for students to ask How did this end up on the test?  What is going to be on the test?). Grades reflect achievement not the speed in which things are learned. Should we require the research paper as a graduation requirement (like Public Policy). CEP is a requirement (we make this a requirement) but how come we don’t make the research paper an academic requirement
ED-What is a common belief about homework?
TS-Grade (less than 10% of grade) WH grade encourages students to
DJ-Work habits needs to be assessed.  Is public policy a graduation requirement?  It is not and never was?
TH-If an assessment is so important, it should be essential.  If you have a grading system based on standards, and averaging-it is averaging-you can do poorly in some areas and well in others.  Standards are stricter-you have to pass all of the standards
MN-You can’t have numbers with Standards Based grading
DJ-I am on board with going back to sqare 1-what are our beliefs about learning
TS-If everyone buys into the core beliefs about learning than that what jump starts
TH-It would be a waste of time to just talk about core values on education.  There is a checklist of what a standards based classroom looks like
LK-Is this too difficult to have in large groups?
TH-Beliefs have to be based on what works (it can’t be just be what people think, it has to be based on best practice, research, evidence)
SH-We need to have some discussion as a whole
TH-Our conversations have stopped about Standards Based Grading
SH-Are we talking about abandoning our current grade structure-there is tension around that?
MN-How can it not have anything to do with that?
TH-Our work will stop if we talk about about getting rid of grades.  We want to start with core values and beliefs about learning
LK-New teachers have to reflect more about their beliefs on teaching
DJ-Open to conversations it will take a lot of crafting, we should use our own data to drive decisions.  What is the big problem?  Why are we doing this?
TH-The danger in asking that question is accepting that we are performing well and not improving

5. Review what we have and haven’t completed this year
Top priorities
Academic Honesty
Engagement
School Culture
Core values and beliefs about learning
Support-systems for students (Easy to do)
NHS
Community Service Guidelines (almost completed)
Technology
Standards Based Grading
6. Set date for summer leadership day—we did not get to this
7.  Items from staff—we did not have any items from staff
8.  Items for next meeting on June 9th—wrap up the year

Agenda for June 2, 2009

Agenda for May June 2, 2009

Norms for our work:

* Engage in clear, open, honest communication among team  members.
* Be open to consideration of others’ ideas.
* Be clear about how we communicate with teams.
* Communicate the status of ‘items brought by staff.’
* Balance whole-school perspective with advocacy for learning areas.
* State clearly how decisions will be made.

1. Check-in  (5 min)

2. Decide on notetaker (2 min)

3. Review notes from last meeting (5 min)

4. Finish standards-based grading discussion (20 min)

5. Review what we have and haven’t completed this year (40 min) leadership-team-initiatives

6. Set date for summer leadership day (10 min)

7.  Items from staff  (10 min)

8.  Items for next meeting on June 9th (5 min)

9. Other

Minutes from May 19, 2009

Minutes: May 19, 2009
Present: Ted, Brenda, Lorrie, Mandy, Chris, Todd, Emily, Jodi, Suzanne, Tom, Deborah, Melissa

1.    Check in
2.    Decide on note-taker–Mandy took notes
3.    Review notes from last meeting
a.    Team discussed briefly how long each class should be on step-up day; team decided no more than 15 minutes.  Tom noted that that information will be helpful for public policy presentations.
b.    Ted noted that we will ask for site supervisor feedback on number of days for CEP.  It did not seem appropriate to ask on the student evaluation form.  An email will be sent to gather feedback.
4.    Finish work from district leadership meeting
a.    Ted took notes on the document. reviseddraft-vision-5-5-091

5.    Standards-based grading discussion
a.    Ted distributed a short reading, Douglas Reeves’s “Effective Feedback for Students” from The Daily Disciplines of Leadership.  Two groups used the Final Word/Last Word protocol for small group discussion.  Prompt for discussion with the full group:  What about what is said in the article do we agree with and DO, and what in the article do we agree with and DON’T DO?
b.    When the two groups came back, we decided to come back to this discussion next meeting.

6.    Summer work proposals: Ted and Amy are almost done…schedules should be out soon.

7.    Teacher schedules were distributed.  Brenda mentioned that class sizes are subject to change, especially if numbers are high.

8.    Update budget for next year:  same numbers as last year.  Text book money needs to stay within text book budget.

9.    Items from staff:

a.    NHS survey: why aren’t the results made public?  DECISION:  Mandy will forward this to Ted who will send it to faculty.  nhssurveyresults
b.    Three days last week did not work well for seniors.  Why isn’t senior picnic during CEP days?  Could we check to see if dates conflict with Model UN and districts?  It is harder to do that with all of these disruptions. Next year we will look at specific dates sooner when compiling the schedule.

Agenda for May 19, 2009

Agenda for May 19, 2009

Norms for our work:

* Engage in clear, open, honest communication among team  members.
* Be open to consideration of others’ ideas.
* Be clear about how we communicate with teams.
* Communicate the status of ‘items brought by staff.’
* Balance whole-school perspective with advocacy for learning areas.
* State clearly how decisions will be made.

1. Check-in  (5 min)

2. Decide on notetaker (2 min)

3. Review notes from last meeting (5 min)

4. Finish work from district leadership meeting (15 min)  draft-vision-from-5-5-09-mtg

5. Standards-based grading discussion (40 min)

7. Summer work proposals update (5 min)

8.  Teacher schedules distributed (5 min)

9.  Update on budget for next year (5 min)

10. Items from staff  (10 min)

11.  Items for next meetings on June 2nd, June 9th (5 min)

12. Other

Minutes from April 28, 2009

Minutes for April 28, 2009

Norms for our work:

* Engage in clear, open, honest communication among team  members.
* Be open to consideration of others’ ideas.
* Be clear about how we communicate with teams.
* Communicate the status of ‘items brought by staff.’
* Balance whole-school perspective with advocacy for learning areas.
* State clearly how decisions will be made.

Present: Ted, Amy, Tom, Chris, Deborah, Todd, Mandy, Jodi, Lorrie, Emily, Suzanne, Melissa

1.  Note taker: Suzanne

2.  National Honor Society next steps (15 min)

We examined feedback that Mandy gathered on NHS using a protocol.
Comments and questions from discussion:
–    Look at national criteria, other schools
–    Get some clarity about purpose of NHS and how it fits with our values
–    There seems to be energy among the faculty to talk about NHS
–    Do some people choose not to fill in the forms because they prefer not to say something negative about a student?
–    If we don’t make some changes more people may choose not to participate in selection process. Currently just over half of our teachers fill out the form.
–    Should we be considering criteria for admission, selection process, or purpose of NHS?
–    Should there be criteria for having NHS membership revoked? Currently there are none.
Some possible next steps:
–    Get feedback from students (all students, not just NHS students)
–    Bring survey results to the full faculty, examine data and propose solutions.

3.  Preparation for May 5th District Leadership Meeting
We examined a draft of the district goals.

4.  Standards-based grading discussion—
This topic was not discussed at length today, but Ted would like to put it on the agenda soon. He felt that questions about standards-based grading have arisen as a result of the Academic Honesty work. We have made some progress towards standards-based grading and reporting, but the introduction of PowerSchool seems to have diverted attention from this work.

5.  Summer work proposals update: Ted has received many proposals. The deadline was Monday, but there was some confusion about how that information was disseminated.

6.  Study lounge–suggestions for next year:
The ninth grade team suggests that ninth graders should be restricted from using the Study lounge for the first quarter or first semester as part of their transition to high school. This issue will be brought to the Student Senate as a first step.

7.  Items from staff  (10 min)
–    A question about the status of Academic Honesty committee work. RESPONSE: we are not sure how this work will proceed.
–    What is the status of the budget for 2009-10? RESPONSE: at this point we think we are on track for next year’s budget.
–    Step-up Day: should we make the time allotted for each period a bit shorter? RESPONSE: This has varied from year to year. The feedback from teachers has been quite divergent, with some wanting shorter time blocks and others wanting longer ones.
–    CEP: Do we want to solicit feedback from site supervisors about the length of CEP visits as part of the site supervisor evaluation form? RESPONSE: Ted checked with Julie about the current form and realized that the site supervisor form is specifically for getting feedback about the student.  Instead of getting feedback that way, email addresses of site supervisors are being collected so that a survey can be sent out.
–    Period 2 and Senior privileges: Students felt that the tone of some of the comments was not appropriate or respectful; It made them feel uncomfortable asking for feedback. RESPONSE: We can find a way to address this with the full faculty.