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Minutes for the Pelham School Committee Meeting of March 3, 2011
Submitted by kochn on Mon, 05/09/2011 - 10:12am.
Pelham School Committee
Pelham School Committee Meeting Minutes
Thursday — March 3, 2011
Pelham Community Room
Attendance: Debbie Gould,Kathy Weilerstein, Annemarie Foley, Lisa Desjarlais, Maria Geryk, Ed Martin, Fred Vanderbeck, Janet Scott, Mike Hayes, Linda Michaud, Nora Maroulis, Public
A. Debbie Gould called the meeting to order at 6:12 pm.
B. Agenda Review
Budget rescheduled until March 17th at 5:00 pm at the Rhodes Building because Rob is ill.
C. Approve Minutes
Kathy approved minutes from last meeting
2. Announcements and Public Comments
Debbie introduced new Pelham School Committee Member, Annemarie Foley, to the committee and public.
Ed asked that recycling on Saturdays be done at the school because parking is a problem down at the police parking area. Debbie deferred to Lisa and Janet. Janet said as long as it is not on School Fair Date then all other Saturdays would be fine.
Ed shared that Lisa Silverstein from and electric and fuel company could come and give an estimate for fuel and electric cost savings. Debbie Gould asked if it was free and Ed responded yes so it was approved.
Ed asked who the observer for negotiations would be and Maria responded that they would talk about it in the four town meeting and add it to the four town meeting agenda.
Ed introduced Linda Michaud as a soon to be new member of the Selectmen.
Trevor Baptiste, a Pelham resident, shared that he has two (soon to be three) children and he wanted to learn more about the Pelham School to explore educational opportunities for his children.
3. Superintendent’s & Principal’s Update
Lisa share that MCAS test are coming up in few weeks
Students in grades 2-6 completed RTI for math. There were some kinks in the level of difficulty the questions appeared.
Lisa will take a workshop on Monday to help her better inform staff about how to deal with any kinks and how to help prepare students for the evaluation. The workshop will also provide training on how to interpret the information gathered by the RTI.
Maria invited members to come to training.
Kathy voiced concern about the language used when talking to children about the evaluations and worries that the word test will make it hard for children.
School Council parent survey is almost finished and Lisa hopes it will go out by the end of the month.
Town report was sent to all members and is due tomorrow.
4. Continuing Business
A. District Initiatives
No updates tonight
Maria shared the district initiatives. See handout titles Inquiry Groups to Inform FY12
Maria explained a multi year collaborative initiative which includes Teacher Teams, Instructional Rounds and Inquiry Groups. Teacher Teams are groups of teacher who meet around an action plan. These groups can go across schools and grades. Instructional Rounds are a tool for administrators to gather data and help guide teacher training. Inquiry groups are a tool used by administrators to give district wide information not individual teachers evaluations.
Kathy wondered about teacher evaluations in instructional rounds. Maria explained this tools gives us district data not specific teacher information. Maria
Mike Hayes explained that the goal of evaluations is to help teachers improve while the goal of instructional rounds is to help administrators understand teaching and learning.
The Amherst Education Foundation is providing funding for professional development around teacher teams. Marie is also exploring grant options.
Kathy asked Who are we as Pelham in the District? How do we fit in?
Lisa said that Pelham teachers will be part of teacher teams. Teachers are dedicated and don't want to lose instructional time with students. Lisa explained that some teachers will be freed up by the Robotics lessons higher grades.
B. School Choice Vote
Kathy made a motion to remain a school choice school. Debbie seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
C. Student Activities Account
Kathy asked that the School council be informed of future use but that the current money is not for the school committee to decide.
Lisa will meet with Rob Detweiler to move forward with the current money.
5. New Business
D. Middle School Presentation
Mike Hayes, the middle school principal, shared information about the middle school.
The middle school being a responsible “funnel school” for the region's students transitioning into 7th grade. Teams are the core teaching structure for the middle school which allows teachers to be middle school teachers and content specialists.
The middle school is working to meet the needs of all students. One way is by extending options such as 4 foreign languages, music, arts and technology.
Kathy suggested that it might be helpful to have parent to parent communticsation about the transition to middle school.
Debbie wondered how choices about academics come into play. Mike reponded that 6th grade teachers will give assessments to help place kids in the appropriate class for them.
Summer program with Amherst College students is open to all families for free academic and fun classes and enrichment.
Tom Fanning, Technology Teacher at Middle School, appreciates the full time principal and superintendent. He also appreciates the clarity of the superintendent's handout.
E. FY2012 Budget
Changes were made but Rob is sick so another meeting was scheduled for March 17th at 5:00pm. The meeting will be at the Rhodes building to approve vote on Pelham budget. School Committee members will attend the Finance Committee meeting also at the Rhodes building at 6:00pm.
Visioning group approves of having a preschool
Lisa has met with several principals of local schools to discuss different models
Parent survey will also have questions about the preschool.
G. Accept Gifts (See Handout from Mary Wallace Regional Treasurer/Administrative Assistant
Kathy motioned to accept gifts. Debbie seconded the motion. It passes unanimously.
6. Subcommittee Reports
A. Pelham Visioning
Kathy asks to step down as chair of visioning committee. Kathy is serving on the Regional Committee and the Region Sud Committee on finance policy. Debbie chairs the School Committee, serves on the Region Committee and the Regional Sub Comm on Finance Budget.
School Committee wants to add two slots and ten the select board can add them untilthe elections.
B. Policy Subcommittee (See Policies First Reading Membership Qualification Handout )
BBBA. Debbie motioned and Kathy seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.
BBBB. Kathy motioned and Debbie seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.
7. School Committee Planning
A. Calendar Review
March17th 5:00pm and 6:00pm at Rhodes Building
April 7th 6:00 Community Room.
B. Items for upcoming meetings
School Committee would like to talk with teachers about Robotic program in the upper elementary grades.
8. Meeting was adjourned at 8:45
Last updated May 09, 2011