Meeting Minutes 4.9.15

Marcy Open Parent/Site Council Agenda (MOPSC)

April 9, 2015

Media Center

6:00 – 7:00


Jean – Welcome and announcement that Donna will not be in attendance this evening.


Beth – Math program – trying to find the just right fit for all students in math.  We use lots data to look at students for accelerated math.  We use MAP, MCA, teacher recommendations, student surveys, and parent input.  Parents can opt out of advanced math if they would like.  Students don’t have to be identified as an Advanced Learner to be in an advanced math class.  This year we looked at students at the end of 4th grade but the district is changing this to begin at the end of 3rd grade.  This is a fluid process and kids can enter and exit and various times.  The program is designed to meet kids various needs and various times.


Luda – English Language services – We serve 116 students in this program.  We have kids with little formal schooling, interrupted learning, and some that have attended school regularly.  Students are assessed on the ACCESS test to determine their level.  Level 1 are new comers and Level 6 would be exited out of the program.  Students at Marcy are mostly around the Level 4.  Most students are seen 4 to 5 days a week for EL services.  Most students’ work with Hannah or Luda for ½ an hour and students who are newer to the country receive up to 1.5 hours of service a day.  Students are pulled out of class for these services.  They are usually pulled from the literacy block since EL teachers are working on reading and writing skills with the students.  Students who are in the country less than one year are exempt from only the MCA Reading portion of the test.


Jean – Special Education Service – 504 plans are part of the American’s with Disability Act and students who have many different diagnoses can qualify for a 504.  A student with severe asthma might qualify for a 504 plan.  It is up to parent to advocate for this for their students.


We have 2 SERTS that work with our student who have IEPs (Individual Educational Plans).  They work with students who have academic, physical, emotional, and other impairments.


We also have 4 Special Education teachers that are part of the Autism City Wide program. We have students in levels 1and 2 at Marcy Open.  Our program will look similar next year but we might not receive new students in the younger grades as the district is looking at a big restructuring of this program.  Students also work with physical therapists, speech therapists, and music therapists in our program.  The district also offers early childhood services.  


Are there no EBD programs in MPS anymore?  The do exist but the district is working to keep kids in their home schools and serve them there.  We do have 2 schools that are Level 4 and they are separate buildings with programs within.


The parents are the most important members of all students “teams”.


Alix – Would other teachers like to speak to other programs that are happening at Marcy?


Holly – Science is a cycle for kids but varies on student developmental levels.  Currently in the elementary grades students are exposed to science through FOSS or other science kits and in middle school Holly is teaching all students the 7th grade curriculum this year and 8th grade next year.  She is working on differentiated strategies to meet and challenge all students.


Andrea and Tiffany – Differentiation in Readers Workshop – the guided reading groups are fluid and students move as needed.  Currently our AEs work in K-4 classrooms to support guided reading.  This is also starting to happen in math here at Marcy.  We will be doing more of this next year so students would be challenged at their level.  Students will pretest before each unit and then we will divide the class into about 3 different groups.  Some of the downfall about this is that kids quickly figure out who is in the “high” group and who is in the “low” group.  That is one problem with leveling and grouping kids.  The benefit of guided math is that more kids seem to flex between groups more than in reading.   They might be in the “high” group for one unit and a different group for the next unit.  Teachers pre-assess for these units but also use their own observations since not all students preform well on these assessments. 


Assessments some times get a bad reputation but we really use this data and other data to inform our teaching to ensure student learning for all.  We encourage students to talk about how they got to their answer and think about their thinking instead of just marking something wrong or right.


We have a great Big Brothers Big Sister program at Marcy


We have the Everybody Wins program where local businesses come once a week for 20 minutes to read with a kindergartner or first grader.  At the end of the year they go to the businesses to eat lunch with their adult readers.


We have a great Mental Health Collaborative here at Marcy.  We have seen some really great work happening with some of our students.  This is something that parents have to sigh off on.


We also have a great after school program for students to participate in.


Reading Corp. is for 1-3 students who are on the cusp of meeting reading grade level standards and they work with kids for 20 minutes each day.