Lawn School Improvement Team

October 11, 2007

Meeting notes

Item 1: Respect Guides Community

Discussion centered on “Respect Guides Community,” the year’s guiding principles for behavior and the theme for this year’s Advisory Groups. The new lighthouse painting in the cafeteria was discussed, as was the possibility of having lighthouse T-shirts made. A kick-off assembly will be held Oct. 18th. Fun ways to incorporate the theme of respect — such as a faculty skit or using the song “Respect” — were discussed. Also discussed was the progress and successes of the enrichment program, which includes fitness, newspaper, project-based learning and virtual high school.

Item 2: Update on Self-Study in preparation for SALT visit in February

Nick Alfred will join the self-study team at Melrose. Sue Pratt will chair the Lawn self-study group and Jen Sherer will chair the Melrose team. Team members will each shadow a student on the first day and visit classrooms on the second day. Preparations for the SALT visit in February were discussed, including whether we should attempt to anticipate and address the concerns of the SALT team prior to its visit. General consensus was that we should allow our findings from the self-study to guide our preparations, but that it is impossible to anticipate every concern the team might have. The next self-study team meeting will be October 25.

Item 3: Math at Lawn this Year

Jenn Clark and Nick Alfred talked about the math curriculum at Lawn. Some concerns included how parents can find help if they feel they need it to assist their child, as well as whether the students and teachers alike understand that the curriculum is a “spiraling” curriculum — concepts come back around to be re-addressed — and therefore mastery of a concept at its initial introduction is not a requirement. General consensus is that the Everyday Math curriculum for fifth and sixth graders and the curriculum for seventh and eighth graders have our math program moving in the right direction, and that the new curriculum is a great improvement over what we’ve had in the past. Nick Alfred also pointed out that the entire seventh and eighth grade math books are available online, along with online tutorials and live help for parents and students who need it.

Item 4: NECAP Math Scores from 2006 for Grades 5-8

With meeting time running short, attendees briefly looked at the reported scores from last year’s NECAP math testing. General consensus was that the scores — and the method of reporting — yielded valuable information for teachers in terms of particular concepts that need to be addressed, as well as valuable information for the district as a whole in terms of how Jamestown students are doing compared to their peers.

Next SIT meeting will be held November 8 at 4 p.m.