Lawn Avenue School
School Improvement Team
November 13, 2008
Attendees: Kathy Almanzor, Jenn Clark, Lisa Carlisle, Ann Zainyeh, Dara Chadwick, John Baldwin , Duval DiGasper, Bev Rudman, Katie Lowell, Susan Baccari, Theresa LeBlanc, Julie Kallfelz, Sue Pratt, Nick Alfred, Kristen DiSantis, Christine Bernardo, Cynthia Cherney, Jane Wright, Kathleen Brown, Janet LaMantia, Christine Daly.
a. A correction was made to the October meeting minutes. Kathy Almanzor explained VIE to the faculty. Jenn Clarke and Deb Baronet supported her and offer their support to the program. Lisa Carlisle will make the changes and update the minutes on the website.
2. Old Business:
The advisory groups requested to continue watering the planters in the 5th grade hallway. The VIE volunteer may not needed for watering. Fifth grade has put in a request for a hose that can water the plants.
The 3R handprints are falling down. A solution and volunteer are needed to keep them on the walls.
The SIT/faculty Teambuilding exercise went well.
Writing Curriculum Update:
Kathy Almanzor reported on the quarterly writing assessments and said that the goal is to align the writing curriculum with grade-level expectations. It was also mentioned that students’ response to literature will be an area of focus.
Kathy mentioned that Jamestown students tend to lose points on short response questions and said that the curriculum’s focus is to train kids to produce quality writing consistently.
School Committee Update:
The superintendent of schools, Marcia Lukon, reported at the last school committee meeting that the possibility of taking in students from North Kingstown was not favorable with North Kingstown’s parents. NK will also be relooking at their enrollment numbers. It has been put on hold.
It was asked if the possibility of closing Lawn School was an option. A conversation took place about that but the idea was no more on the table than it even has been.
3. New Business:
A discussion of Jamestown’s grading system, and the misunderstanding of how grades are formulated and what they mean, was held.
It was mentioned that there’s a disconnect between the high school and Lawn School in terms of grades because the high school uses a percentage grading system, which can be difficult for Lawn students and parents to adjust to.
Teachers discussed the “work quality” portion of a student’s grade, mentioning that effort is a large part of the grade.
Kathy Almanzor further explained the grading system, adding that there’s a subjectivity involved in grading.
After some discussion, it was agreed that the grading system will be put on the SIT agenda as an item regarding how to better educate parents about standards-based grading.
Challenging All Students:
A discussion about the need to challenge all students in the Jamestown system was held.
The group discussed the possibility of grouping math students in fifth and sixth grade to better allow teachers to meet the needs of learners at different places on the learning spectrum.
A lively discussion ensued about how to best meet the needs of all learners.
It was mentioned that SIT meetings should not only focus on ways to improve Lawn School, but also to recognize the many things that the school and teachers do well.
Retaining the Stage for Band and Musical Performances:
A brief discussion of the importance of maintaining the stage for band and musical performances was held. Currently the stage houses the chorus room.
A stage curtain will be needed.
Jr. National Honor Society:
Discussion tabled for next meeting.
John Baldwin gave an overview of the items needed for further review by the Technology Subcommittee.
School Improvement Plan:
A meeting will be held on Dec. 9 at 4:30 p.m. to discuss updates to the School Improvement Plan.
Sally Schott is the co-chair and an in-school coordinator is needed.
A date of Friday, May 29th was selected.
5. Next SIT Meeting:
The next SIT meeting will be held on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Lawn Library.