Monday, November 25, 2013

Marshall School Council Meeting 11/23 Minutes

The Thurgood Marshall Middle School Council met on Saturday, November 23rd for its first meeting of the school year. Marshall is currently a Level 3 school with a population that, as of last year, was 63.4% First Language not English, 16.4% English Language Learner, and 17.6% Special Education. Nearly 96% of the student population has been categorized as 'High Needs.' 

Below are the minutes from Saturday's School Council meeting:

Minutes of Meeting 11/23/13
Dr. Cowdell, Ms. Harrington, Ms. Hereford, Mr. O’Connell, Ms. Perry, Ms. Raymond, Mr. Shurtleff
Ms. Castillo, Ms. Quinonez
Meeting called to order at 9:12 AM…No one present for open mic.
-          Brief introduction activity with educator matched with parent/community member for introductions.
-          Discussion on similar format to last year’s structure of meetings: open mic, followed by an agenda-driven meeting with new business being discussed at the end to add items to the next meeting agenda
-          Discussion pertaining to other committees/teams: explanation of various committees/teams with a handout of the members of each team. Leadership Team; PIM Team; Cluster Leaders Team; Lead Teachers Team; also Content Collab (grade level, content specific teams).
-          MCAS results from last year were explained, along with a realization of the sense of urgency that we need to improve our scores; discussion around Marshall being the district focal point and a call to action to push our achievement scores up on the MCAS tests.  Realization that several of the recent evaluation teams have pointed out that student culture and building climate is strong, yet achievement is not.  Specific areas of weakness are math and science. 
-          Initiatives discussed were:
o   A. the district’s data-gathering visit that occurred yesterday and debriefing to occur next week.
o   First-in-Math
o   “Gradual Release of Responsibility” instructional approach: schoolwide transition to push students to take more ownership in the learning.
o   “School Works” action plan as a result of last spring’s visit (Gradual Release of Responsibility…and more valuable participation by teacher teams)
o   School Works principal consultant assigned to all level 3 schools.  Our consultant. Janelle Bradshaw, will be here December 10, 16 and 17.
o   Discussion pertaining to more initiatives to support First-In-Math, especially the students who have not engaged the program.  Subcommittee consisting of (Ms. Perry, Ms. Raymond and Mr. O’Connell) will meet with Dr. Cowdell on an afternoon (TBD) to discuss appropriate levels of incentives to award to students for their achievement levels. 
-          School Council members were invited to come to the school to do walk-through observations.  The parents/community member decided on December 9th (9 AM – 12 PM) as the date for their visit.  Council members were also invited to attend (and observe) any of the team meetings that were mentioned above.  Parents requested a schedule of when those meetings occur.  Dr. Cowdell to forward those dates and times.
-          Kyle Shurtleff was unanimously elected co-chair of the committee.
-          Dates were set for three quarterly meetings for the council: January 11, March 15 and May 10.
-          -Agenda items planned for next meeting are:
o   Open Mic
o   Report out from council members on their walk-through visits on December 9
o   Update on MCAS/Academic initiatives
o   Determination of any additional meetings needed (additional to the quarterly meetings scheduled)
-          Meeting adjourned at 11:10 AM.

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