Lawn Avenue School
School Improvement Team
January 8, 2009
Attendees: Kathy Almanzor, Jenn Clark, Lisa Carlisle, Ann Zainyeh, John Baldwin, Nora Santamour, Bev Rudman, Teresa LeBlanc, Julie Kallfelz, Sue Pratt, Nick Alfred, Cynthia Cherney, Janet LaMantia, Deb Barone and Sally Schott.
a. A letter was sent to the school committee acknowledging the music department.
b. A letter to the editor will be written by the co-chairs to acknowledge that more than 50% of the 9th grade Jamestown students made the honor role at North Kingstown’s High School and to congratulate the school on preparing the students well.
One of the goals of this committee will be to determine their role with the school’s technology committee.
School Improvement Plan:
Kathy Almanzor will be editing the plan to include a technology goal.
Sally Schott presented two goals:
Expand the school community partnership by inviting new presenters and by asking individuals who have never been involved with the school.
Include topics that are off the beaten trail but very interesting.
Sally Schott recommended that by the end of January, a list of presenters be put together and letters sent out. By the end of February, the list will be finalized.
A discussion occurred about new and previous presenters. It was suggested that new presenters be asked first and then the remaining spots go to previous presenters.
If anyone has any questions or suggestions, please contact Sally Schott.
A date of Friday, May 29th was selected.
3. Old Business:
The SIT co-chairs will be meeting with the 5th grade, 6th grade and 7th and 8th grade teams to discuss possible ways VIE can assist them.
Jr. National Honor Society
Kathy Almanzor will be reinstating this as of September 2009. This will be in addition to the school honor rolls.
The five areas that all students must meet are: scholarship, leadership, service, citizenship and character.
Kathy Almanzor will be the coordinator.
c. Grading System:
Kathy Almanzor stated that all teachers and the school are committed to:
All grading will be done on a quarterly basis.
Academic grading will not be about effort, it will be about meeting the standard.
A preliminary list of Frequently Asked Questions was distributed to the committee.
The faculty received the preliminary list at the last faculty meeting. They will be working on answering the questions.
An updated preliminary list of FAQ’s is attached to these minutes. Further discussion will occur at the next meeting.
Lisa Carlisle will send an updated list of FAQ’s to the teachers.
Once the FAQ’s are finalized, the method of distribution to parents will need to be determined.
If information will be located on the school web site, it should be concise and easy to read with links for further explanations.
d. Challenging All Students:
This item will be discussed once the discussion on the grading system has been fully explored.
4. Next SIT Meeting:
The next SIT meeting will be held on Thursday, February 12, 2009, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Lawn Library.
Lawn School Improvement Team
Preliminary Grading FAQ’s
January 9, 2009
What is a standards-based grading system?
Is this used by the school to avoid students from being compared to one another?
Why use a standards-based grading system instead of the traditional A through F or percentage systems?
Standards based grading shows you how you are doing where traditional A through shows you how you did.
How do standards-based grades compare to the A through F grading system. For example, does 4 = A, 3 = B, etc.?
No, the two different systems do not compare.
Why do Jamestown schools use a four-point scale for kindergarten through 4th grades, a five-point scale for 5th through 8th grades?
Why are effort codes different from 5th and 6th grades to 7th and 8th?
Are standards-based grades any more or less subjective than those from other grading systems?
Why do some teachers give checks or percentage grades on homework and tests and others do not?
If a teacher expects more or less from a particular student, will the standards be applied differently to that student?
If my child moves to a school that does not use standards-based grading, how will that school interpret his grades?
How does standard based grading transition the students to high school?
How does standard based grading relate to the high end user or those on an IEP?