12/7/11 SLT Meeting Minutes
SLT members in attendance:
Arthur Mattia, Ira Yankwitt, Alison Bowers, Mary Beth Carroll, Janine DiLorenzo, Betsy MacLean, Michael O’Neill, Steve Quester, Unyque Rencher, Danita Susi, Adrienne Urbanski, Gillian Williams
Absent: Fred Muench, Erhmei Yuan
I. Ira called the meeting to order
II. Principal’s Update – Mr. Mattia
*CEP update – The CEP goals, which are the same from the previous CEP, were submitted. Artie will provide a copy of the goals at the next SLT meeting. The goals are still in draft mode and members can review and provide input. Artie reviewed the goals with District.
*Budget Concerns – Mr. Mattia
1. For the first time in 20 years a class is being cut due to a low register of ICT students. Artie said he found out on Nov. 23. There are18 classes now. Currently have 132 students on register instead of the 140 students that are needed. Reasons for register attrition include: (1) students being decertified from receiving Special Education services to General Education. (2) Students who have moved or transferred to other schools. There are currently 16 out of the original 24 ICT students in 5th grade.
2. Many schools’ budgets are being cut – due to new special education reforms and less kids in district 75. A total of $110,000 was removed from the budget (prorated) and 1½ teachers affected (will lose a teacher and a paraprofessional). Artie will work with Tweed and utilize a “Hold Harmless Funds” (a resource if one does not have enough money to pay for things – money comes from Tweed to support teachers). Artie anticipates getting the class back next September when this year’s 5th graders graduate and the incoming Kindergarten students will make up the difference. In the meantime Artie plans to use resources in the school and is asking the District to help out and send any additional students.
Alison – asked does Inclusion mandate 2 teachers in a classroom?
Artie responded that the worst case scenario would be to have one Gen Ed classroom and to disperse the D. 75 students to the other two 5th grade classrooms. If the register goes up the money will be returned.
Allison – asked is there an admission process to screen incoming students?
Artie replied that he doesn’t want to be reactive – the first step is to do things internally rather than just take in new students. The concern is one does not know what type of student one will be getting.
*Contract with the Archdiocese – Mr. Mattia Since accepting his proposal, Artie has not heard from the Archdiocese. He will sign a 20-year lease.
*Expansion – Mr. Mattia and Adrienne Urbanski 1. Adrienne put together a survey and Artie asked that feedback and comments should be directed to him, as he will send out the survey.
2. Artie shared that Immaculate Heart of Mary is closing in June. St. Francis Xavier @ Berkeley Carroll will be going back to its former location after renovations are completed in January. Artie will forward this information about the availability of these schools to Portfolio and any other possibilities.
3. Subcommittees involving staff have been created to work on curriculum planning and developing admissions criteria. The admission process is of concern as developing a screening criteria is an important issue.
4. Parents will be invited to join the subcommittees and provide feedback.
5. SLT members reviewed the survey. Ira made 2 suggestions – (a.) discern and clarify CTT and ICT for parents (b.) add 2 introductory sentences Artie stated that parents could opt to put their name on the survey.
Ira queried that parents may be less honest in their responses if they choose to put their names on the survey. Members debated this issue. The majority feels that names should not be an option. Artie said he would take this under consideration.
III. Steve said that he just got the November minutes.
IV. Subcommittee Reports/Updates
*UFT update – Steve said he had no updates
*PTA Update – Allison reported that the PTA is status quo
*Diversity Committee Update – Steve
Armadilla Cruz at Sunset Park today. Roxanna created a flyer for a big yearly outreach event Get together 8-9 beforeWinterfest-families from Sunset Park and Red Hook – talk to families about recruitment and getting the word out Iris’ system is not useful in targeting Roxanna sits with PTA director to get information
*Social-Emotional Committee – Gillian
1. Fred continues to work on creating a parent survey and plans to get feedback from SLT members. Members responded that they have not yet received a draft of the survey to review.
2. Plans are also underway to create a pamphlet on bullying to clarify terminology and educate parents and kids. A draft has been created and feedback and input is being sought.
3. Staff working on the PS 372’s Players Teasing and Bullying Project recently learned of a mandated inquiry team consisting of a kindergarten and third grade teachers and paraprofessionals who have also chosen to focus on addressing teasing and bullying in the school community. These third grade teachers have already conducted activities in their classroom. Both groups have met and decided to work synergistically and take on certain tasks and responsibilities, such as communicating the project to the broader school community to get support.
Marybeth suggested a teacher survey as well. Gillian responded that Fred also has created a survey for the teachers.
4. Artie suggested doing a presentation at a PTA meeting and also conducting a parent workshop. In response Gillian stated that the S-E committee had also discussed planning on conducting a parent workshop. 5. Gillian reported that due to needing more time to prepare the PS 372 Players, staff would like to meet with Administration to discuss adding an extra session in the week for rehearsal time to work with the students. 6. Ira stated that because of our model, our school is particularly sensitive to bullying issues. Gillian added that the while incidences of bullying in this school is not a major issue, the S-E committee members discussed the need to clearly define the definition of bullying to parents, and emphasize that the Bulling and Teasing project is a pro-active and preventive measure to empower students.
V. Betsy asked if there is a subcommittee on space/community issues and was told that there was an Environment Committee. Ira asked if we want to resurrect the Environment Committee.
Betsy shared that she has prior experience working with PS 89 and SCA on a healthy food initiative and expressed interest in doing something here.
Artie told Betsy to see him to discuss identifying the school’s needs.
Steve added that when a new lease is negotiated an environmental review is done.
Artie said he would look into that.
VI. Ira raised the issue of Erhmei not being able to attend the Wednesday meetings and suggested that the SLT meetings be changed to a different day. Because the LRE committee meets on Tuesday mornings and Monday is generally not a good day to meet, members OK’d Thursday as the new day for the SLT to meet.
Next meeting date: January 12, 2012