Lawn Avenue School
School Improvement Team
March 12, 2009
Attendees: Nick Alfred, Kathy Almanzor, Deb Barone, Jenn Clark, Lisa Carlisle, Christine Daly, Duval DiGasper, Kristen DiSantis, Janet LaMantia, Sue Pratt, Bev Rudman, Nora Santamour, Robin Sweet and Ann Zainyeh,.
a. The Kid’s Corner in the Jamestown Press has been good PR for the school and exhibits the good quality of writing the student’s are creating.
b. The student’s are involved in raising money for Pennies for Patients.
c. Great student feedback was received from the interdisciplinary Volvo Challenge curriculum for 7th and 8th grade.
The committee is working on updating a faculty technology survey. They hope to have it sent out by they end of March with a deadline of one week for its return.
This will occur on Friday, May 29th.
A total of 8-10 new presenters have confirmed they will participate.
Letters have been sent out asking previous presenters to participate.
3. Old Business:
At the March 3rd joint town council/school committee workshop, the town administrator told the group that the town side was looking a 0% increase from last year’s budget. The school committee was not given a direction at this meeting.
Lisa Carlisle will speak on behalf of the Lawn SIT during open forum at the March 16th town council meeting to ask them to support the school committee’s submitted budget.
Other school groups (Melrose SIT, PTO, SELAC, and JEF) may be speaking during open forum as well.
The next joint workshop between the town council and school committee is Tuesday, March 31st.
Jr. National Honor Society:
This item is tabled until the next meeting.
It was discussed that a new name for the school honor roll is needed since it is based on effort.
Standards Based Grading
A subcommittee of Dara Chadwick as chair, Teresa LeBlanc, Cynthia Cherney and Jenn Clark was formed. This subcommittee will work on the FAQ’s and overview that will be a communication piece for faculty, parents and students. They hope to complete it by the end of March and will present it at the April meeting.
The 5th and 6th grade teachers were invited to attend the meeting to discuss how their reports cards were developed, how well they work and if there is room for improvement.
The 5th grade teachers present explained that the report cards are similar to the 4th grade report cards because it makes for and easier transition. They also explained that since they teach all subjects, they felt the report cards needed to be more general.
It was explained that from a parental stand point, the 5th & 6th grade report cards do not give a good understanding of what the standards are. It was suggested that the standards be on (similar to 7th & 8th) or attached to the report cards.
Another piece of the report cards which is either ignored by parents and/or confusing is the effort key. The 5th grade teachers explained that this is a small snapshot of the student.
It was asked that the 5th & 6th grade teachers return to the April meeting to discuss this issue further.
d. Challenging All Students:
It was asked of the teachers to describe ways that they differentiate in their classrooms.
One teacher explained that each student is looked at as an individual.
One example of differentiation was through project based learning. The teacher designed the project so that it can be added on per the child’s educational requirements and self direction.
Another teacher noted that differentiation can be difficult at times because not all students are motivated.
This topic will continue to be discussed at our next meeting.
4. Next SIT Meeting:
The next SIT meeting will be held on Thursday, April 9, 2009, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Lawn Library.