Lawn Ave.  SIT notes

December 8, 2005

(back to Lawn Sit)

1. Minutes

Minutes of November 10, 2005 meeting were read and accepted.

Minutes of November 29, 2005 meeting were read and accepted.

2. Old Business

Mr. McDermott represented the SIT Committee at the school committee meeting with a statement that supported a four-teacher teacher team in both seventh and eighth grades.

Seventh Grade Plan – Meets content area four times per week

Eighth Grade Team does not support content areas meeting four times per week.

Integration on the fifth day is a “loss” because content areas do not meet.

Four teachers with three groups allows for more common planning time.

School Committee was positive about grades 6, 7, and 8 teaming.

The current program in sixth grade will be evaluated. There has been positive feedback regarding the changes in sixth grade this year.

Teachers are probably not interested in being less than full-time teachers.

Teaming – the goal if for teachers to work together as a team.

for both subjects.

Kathy Sipala will provide a plan for seventh and eighth grade after listening and evaluating all options. The goal is to have as few changes as possible.

3. New Business

•  Presentation on Advisory

Mark Allard and Cynthia Cherney described the role of advisories in middle school and the proposed plans for implementation in September 2006. Many factors still need to be considered:

•  Staff who will be advisors

•  Size of groups

•  How often will meet

•  How long the period

•  Whether to loop students

•  Multi-age or same age

•  Programming

•  Professional Development

An advisory committee represented by each grade level and a specialist will begin meeting regularly during the remainder of the school year and during the summer to plan and prepare for the implementation of advisory. The March professional development day for teachers will have time scheduled to train staff for advisory.

The members of SIT participated an activity that determines the “type” of advisory program that individuals foresee in the Lawn Avenue School. The staff participated in the same activity. Results showed that “Advocacy” and “Community” were strongly supported and “Skills” showed moderate support. Students will also take part in this activity.

The support for staff training and professional development was emphasized. A variety of established programs will be examined to determine the program that meets the needs of the students and staff at Lawn Avenue School.

•  Spanish/ the transition to High School

Michaela Onosko presented information regarding the Spanish program at Lawn Avenue School and the transition of “Spanish” students to high school.

•  Currently Ms. Onosko meets with high school Language Department once per year, but proposes meeting more frequently. This would increase communication regarding the strengths and weaknesses of Lawn Avenue students as they transition to high school.

•  8 th grade students with Spanish scheduled everyday for Spanish and students in 7 th grade meeting two and three times per week have demonstrated positive results in high school.

•  At Lawn Avenue School, when all students were scheduled Spanish five times per week, not all students were successful. The World Languages Program was implemented in 2004 for students not scheduled five times per week.

•  A program that meets three times per week is being considered for 2006-2007.

Evaluation of student progress in high school

•  Improved scores for students in Spanish I and Spanish II students in high school.

•  Those high school students meeting five times per week are prepared for Spanish II in high school. Lawn Avenue School needs to clearly define those students scheduled for Spanish II in high school.

85% average – Spanish II students – Jamestown

80% average – Spanish II students – North Kingstown

More Jamestown students withdrew from Spanish II.

Spanish I – Many students choose to schedule Spanish I in high


Need to change perception of World Languages. Seven out of

eleven students chose to schedule a language other than Spanish.

Questions to address:

•  Should students be scheduled for Spanish I after completing two years of Spanish at Lawn Avenue School?

•  Should Spanish be part of the program at Melrose School?

Spanish programming will continue to be examined. Implementing a “new” book in the Spanish Program at Lawn Avenue School is a possibility.

Mathematics and student transition to North Kingstown and preparation for the January 9 th meeting with the Lawn Faculty will be discussed at the next meeting