Forum Minutes October 2012


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Forum Minutes October 2012

  1. 1. Stakeholder Feedback  Elementary    What is working well?  What areas need to be improved? Possible Solutions       Focus on reading is great.  Our kids   Focus on penmanship is lacking.   Just like students have reading logs  love reading.    there should be writing logs too in   Focus on math and the information    order to improve handwriting.  levels are great.   We (Asians) feel the education in   Review international standards and    Teachers are very accessible and very  America is different from our home  update curriculum.  organized. (2)  countries, like India or China.  We are     Comfortable learning environment.  not comfortable taking our kids in     Great access to technology  middle of elementary or middle    (computers, SmartBoards).  school education to our home     Students setting their own goals.  country.  The schools in Asian     Engaging students in conferences.  countries cover a lot more depth than     I like the various ways in which  here.    teachers help students raise their   Increase in African‐American teacher   Review hiring process  understanding level.  representation.     Teachers and administrators are good   Attention to diverse student   Larger net for teacher skill set  in putting certain things/elements in  population – languages offered for    action.  study.     “My kids are happy.”   Basic courses should include    o Good teacher communication. reference to non‐white people who    o The administration explains  have impacted America & global    the details well with me.  achievement.    o The District educates kids on   Add some more resources for ESL for   More interactive solutions such as  bullying and interactions.  the international students so they can  web information, guidance, etc. to   Excellent to provide opportunities for  quickly adapt to English classroom.  parents beyond adding ESL teachers.  at home learning & reinforcement   Need to improve music program.    Allow more advanced students to  with Lexia & IXL  More advanced students are not  move up to practice/play with middle   being challenged.  school.  Expand performance   Excellent to provide half day    opportunities.  
  2. 2. Stakeholder Feedback  Elementary    kindergarten option & even flexibility      to change half/full day option   Explaining to parents what things   Use newsletter to inform parents of  throughout year.  mean (RtI, Hawk Time, Intervention  specifics.  Ask teachers to   Tiers, Enrichment, Testing – Cogat,  communicate information to parents   Aimsweb) – How do teachers  on student’s individual interventions.   communicate to parents?      Foreign languages in elementary. (3)   Would love to see early introduction     in elementary (even if it is a course     offered for a fee, i.e. after school     enrichment).    Please reinforce washing hands,     especially with students in lower     grades.      Students to have more individual time   One on one between students and   with the teacher.  teachers even if it’s just 10 minutes     every month.    Communication to parents is not     acceptable.       Need more authentic assessments.      Need to challenge the higher   PLC‐RtI should also look at what do   performers.  we do for those who get it.    Writing   Need to write more.    Early identification of developmental     lack of progress        We don’t teach test taking skills     formally (all levels).      Would be wonderful to offer gifted     learning programs/opportunities.  (May already but I’m unaware.)          
  3. 3. Stakeholder Feedback  Elementary         Reconsider only having student‐led    teacher conferences at the youngest    st nd ages (for ex. Kind, 1  & 2 ).  I think I’d    still like to meet with teacher alone.     Art programs – Fine Arts, Art, Music,   Focus/add budget item/add goal to  Language.  District.   Sports programs for younger levels,   Possibly partner/discuss more options  prior to 3rd grade or volleyball prior to  with rec or after school.  6th.     Solid cap of 25 kids for all elementary   Consider a flat out limit or limit per  grades.  classroom size.   Parent/administrator feedback.       Additional forum or address  questions.  Forum per individual    school.  
  4. 4. Stakeholder Feedback  High School      What is working well?  What areas need to be improved? Possible Solutions       Excellent academic standards   Timely posting of grades to   Implement policies on deadlines for   Make freshmen feel welcome  PowerSchool and timely feedback of  grades to be posted.  For example:    Collect facts and data and make right  tests.  Some teachers are taking up to  Tests & papers – 1 week  decisions  4 weeks to get grades posted.   Quizzes – 2‐3 days;    Test preparation for ACT  Students don’t know how they are  Homework – 1‐2 days   Honors classes for math and science  doing in a class until it’s too late.  This would allow timely feedback to   Course availability   Continuity among teaching staff to  students of how they are doing.   follow Atlas curriculum      Drug and alcohol issues   Proper awareness education    ACT score is very important for     students to apply to college.  How to     improve ACT score?      Dress code      Writing classes – there are honors   Offer writing classes   English but the primary focus is     literature      “Push” communication similar to Alert   Monthly communication that is   Now on key dates like signing up for  pushed out   the ACT     Required classes – quality of teachers    is a concern     Courses for all academic levels of   Look at other high school offerings  students     
  5. 5. Stakeholder Feedback  Middle School    What is working well?  What areas need to be improved? Possible Solutions       Many teachers are enthusiastic &   Consider the type of projects being   Projects should not be of an artistic  engaged. (2)  given to students to make sure they  focus except in Art class.  Allow more   It’s quite refreshing to live in a school  have educational value.  Many are  time for students to work on projects  district where private school is not  very time consuming & often very  in class & computer lab.  greater than the public school system.  little educational value to student.     Teachers are easily accessible via   Communication is lacking.   Hold leadership accountable to post  email.    all information to website timely.   It is obvious to be seen that both   Athletics can be improved    schools make efforts to mitigate   Lack of diversity at both the teacher   The sky is the limit!  issues caused by redistricting schools.  and administrative levels.     Different assessments and using data   The balance between two different    for students’ improvement.  size of middle schools needs to be     Increasing foreign language to 7th  addressed.    grade.   Better guidance to parents on how to   Provide more time at parent‐teacher   Engaging all children.  Lots of  use the data especially when multiple  conference to discuss details.   opportunities.  assessments are sent home.  Conferences today have the tone of   School members work with the    “feel good” and not about being  parents.    specific.      More communication with parents via     email – level of communication is     different from elementary to middle     school.      Continue Arts – Foreign Language   Keep these programs on the list for   program & opportunities.  expansion.    Look at expanding clubs.   Benchmark other schools for ideas.    Provide more diverse environment for   Hire more diverse staff.   students.  o Solicit ideas by sub‐group.       o Create safe environment for 
  6. 6. Stakeholder Feedback  Middle School       students to speak openly.     o Provide metrics by sub‐   groups.  Improvements year    over year.   System needs to be put in place for   Are teachers rated/graded on how  educators to contact parents when  their students are performing, and if  grades of students fall from A to C or  not, why?  When students struggle  C to F.  and grades go down, parents, even    though reports are sent out, should    be notified or contacted as a    concerned educator.   Foreign language placement.  Math  success may not be the best predictor  of success in Spanish.   
  7. 7. Presentation Feedback Community Forum 10/22/12 Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree1. Overall, the meeting was well organized. 1 2 3(3) 4(7) 5(27)2. The presentation included an effective level of participation and involvement. 1 2(2) 3(4) 4(9) 5(22)3. Overall, the presentation provided meaningful 1 2(3) 3(3) 4(11) 5(20) and helpful information4. I was provided with an opportunity to ask 1 2(2) 3(1) 4(6) 5(28) questions and provide suggestions.5. Plus/Delta comments:
  8. 8. Plus Delta(What did you like about today’s meeting?) (What could we have done to improve the effectiveness of the meeting?) • Representation of all Dunlap principals on all levels, Board members, etc. (4) • As nice as the roundtable is – I had a man • Round table set-up; small groups (2) who spoke limited English who was • Breakdown of assessments somewhat combative in our discussions and • This forum was very well advertised seemed somewhat combative in his • Good presentation with the right demeanor. (He needed to address his amount of information (2) concerns to administration.) • Audience participation • I think more conversations & education on • Cookies diversity are necessary. People are a • The improvement of students since the product of their environment and it’s program NCLB important to educate each other on our backgrounds, as to better our relationships • The metrics used to evaluate the and preparing for a global society. students’ knowledge • Cover some of the information about what • Having the opportunity to ask is being done for the gifted students. I questions and get them answered know there is the Enrichment Eagles • Very informative. Thank you! Program, so share what is the vision of that • I appreciated having the data explained program, etc. (2) in a meaningful way • Have the agenda sent before the meeting • The format for conversation with other (3) parents was very helpful • We need to do this more often and maybe • The approach used to share information in each building (2) at each grade level so parents have a • Provided some of the testing information better understanding of the assessments prior to the meeting so we could have been used and how to seek additional prepared with specific questions information • Share blog link with quick “How-to” sign • Well organized (2) up • Wealth of information shared that is • Implore participants to have a take-away, valuable as a parent encourage them to be a cheerleader, if you • Good explanations; clear presentation will, to spread the word, do something for • NLCB vs. DCUSD; 1 snapshot vs. the District, be involved somehow many assessments. Impressive! (2) • Additional notice sent out information and • Sharing of fundamental info of data encouraging all parents to attend gathering process and subsequent use • Ask for topical input and questions prior to thereof forum (2) • Meeting administrators & parents (2) • Try to put information on printed slides for • Information on a variety of means of audience to follow & take notes assessment (5) • Would have had Q&A time before cookie • My son is a kindergartener and this break – that way, people could leave after info was very useful for me to keep my asking their questions eyes & ears open • I think the process was good, but I would • Be better prepared as a parent of my have loved to have seen/heard more from child to help him grow the audience (2) • Continuous maintenance of the child’s • Explain how the different assessments are data used • Showing that more than just the • Lots of the meeting was devoted to students ACT/ISAT & other tests are used to not meeting minimum standards – what access students about the kids that excel? • Thanks so much for pulling it together • Better communication with parents. The in such short notice meeting was not fully understood in terms • Information on how the district was of the reasons for the forum or why this is doing
  9. 9. • It was an opportunity to hear from the being done. Purpose, content & effort leaders of the district needs to be more clean (2)• What the district does in terms of • More focus on results and actions than collecting data & how it is applied to testing further understand and channel the • Communicate more about non-academic efforts in the right direction activities, plans, i.e. music, sports, clubs.• Introduction/ice breaker is excellent How is the district nurturing development way to start meeting. More interaction of social skills? is always better. • Wish to see more parent participation (# of• Location parents attending the event)• Material • Handouts of information is always a plus to• Survey have as future reference• Open to public; discuss information • If questions were asked during with transparency meeting/why weren’t all questions• Asking question to my fellow parents answered? or teachers and staff • Need to address reason for meeting more• Understanding gap in sub-groups vs. subgroups NCLB targets• Broad overview