February 7, 2012 Minutes

Marcy Open Parent/Site Council Meeting Minutes
February 7, 2012
Media Center
6:00 - 7:30

In attendance: Allison Hunter, Jean Dudley, Kirsta Eduarte, Marvin Boucher, Sara Dotty, 
Carl Wilson, Anne Hoglund, Elizabeth Hawley, Sandy Learned, Nina Smith, Terri Warren, Lori Janies, Lisa Hondros, Barbara Reiter, Abdirazak Jama, Nicole Kuhse, Melanie Townsend, Katharine Tondra, Rosemary Schinderldecker, Donna Andrews, Sidney Orchard, Scott Thorstenson, Garrett Petrie, Matthew O'Brien

Special Request for Parent Coucnil funds - Scott Wentworth request $125 for History Day boards. He has gotten this in the past and reuses the boards as long as he can. He is in need of more and he will ask for donations.

Donna is not giving a Principal report to save time.

Committee Report - MAP grant for the 3/4 team to have a Dragon puppet residency. To save money on postage for the MAP Gala they are thinking of sending home the invites with students. They will email families to look for those in backpacks. Is it okay to use the Marcy Page information for this communication? Could this be added to the Parent's Press? Sidney sends to about 170 families. We could do a robo call about this in English and other languages and repeat it a couple of times. Would people prefer a robo call to the email? Yes it seems a robo call would be better and then it also goes to those who have their email on file.

Special Presentation from Supplemental Math and Reading - Donna gave a brief overview of Reading Corp, PRESS, and math specialist. 

Sandy Learned - The PRESS team works with students in K-3 who need reading interventions. Sandy also works with Kilee, the CFC coach, on developing and delivering professional development to staff. They have exited 35 students, meaning they have reached grade level standards. They are currently working with 39 students who receive instruction from PRESS and core content from the classroom teachers.

Elizabeth Hawley - Minnesota Reading Corp - fairly new and only in Minnesota. Started in the 2003-2004 school year. The program continues to receive funding and continues to grow each year. Our Reading Corp specialists work with students who are on the bubble and focus mainly on fluency. Elizabeth and Ariel each work with 15 students each day.

Nina Smith - The math specialist position was created this school year. The focus is on 5th grade. This grade has a lot of math content that they need to be taught. The district thought that having two teachers at this grade level would increase learning and give students a smaller teacher to student ration. Nina also works with 6th grade math teachers to align their curriculum to the standards. Nina also does monthly professional development with K-6 teachers.
Why doesn't Minneapolis curriculum align with the standards? The state didn't adopt the Core standards and so there is work to be done. No one curriculum is written for one state's standards so it is important that we look at our curriculum and the standards and align our work to best meet the student's needs.
What are we doing to move our students forward for the 8th grade expectation of Algebra? Nina is working with teachers to make sure all of our students are prepared for rigorous math instruction. We are working with the schedule to see how we can improve math instruction for Marcy students across the school. Our middle school teacher teaches five different levels of math. We don't want to set students up for failure. In the future all eighth grade students will have to take Algebra. Over the years we have had a large group of students who enter the middle school who do not know how to add, subtract, multiply and divide. We have applied for Math Corp for our students. This would be similar to Reading Corp but for math in the intermediate grades.

New Business
Future of Junior Great Books - Gretchen Nicholls had been in charge of this program at Marcy for a number of years. This program is Shared Inquiry discussions to help students learn to read for meaning and to support their thoughts with evidence from the text. This is a program with pre-packaged materials. They were able to generate enough volunteers to open this program to any students who were interested. Parents could recommend their child, the teacher could recommend, or students could advocate for themselves. This program covers K-8 and at the peak services 100 to 120 students a year. 
The district supports the program but funding is very limited. In the past they have found grants to continue training volunteers. It has been a challenge to find the time in the day for this program, finding volunteers, and finding space in the classroom or school building to hold these shared inquiry talks. 
Not sure how this program can or will continue. Will someone take it over or will it end for now. Donna thinks that this would be a good program for afterschool to help accommodate student's schedules with the core content. We would love to see this happen here but we don't have the staff to take this over. It would need to be a volunteer that takes this position over. We could also use some new materials for this program. They have updated the Great Book materials.
It costs about $295.00 per person to be trained. Donna would help support a few folks being trained in this if they are willing to take this program on.

Old Business:
Tabled due to Caucus happening in the building.

Julie Young-Burns will present on bullying and her presentation will be the first 50 minutes of our next meeting in March.