School Site Council Meeting – Regular Meeting 2014-2015
Thursday, September 18, 2014
2:45 p.m. – Room 36
- Call to Order: Cherie McDermott, Chairperson, called the regular meeting to order at 2:45 p.m.
- Attendance: School Site Council members constituting a quorum were present: Cherie McDermott, Chairperson; Ashley Parker, Principal/Vice-Chair; Michael Do, Secretary; Sue Zabloudil, Parliamentarian, Beverly Glass, Larry Tynan, Kathy Wien, Bill Hochhaus, Gary Blond, Mark Harelik, Catherine Baek, David Rodriguez and Vitoria Yoon. Mary Melendez was absent. Guests attending were Deborah Glass, Christian Levesque and Catherine Oliphant.
- Approval of Minutes: Cherie McDermott moved to defer the reading of the May 15, 2014 School Site Council meeting minutes to the next School Site Council Meeting (to occur on October 9, 2014) in order to allow the minutes to be proofed and reviewed in advance by the Members.
- Introduction of School Site Council Members and Guests: Members of the School Site Council and guests introduced themselves.
- Review of Official School Site Council Members Roster: Cherie McDermott explained the sign-in sheet and Members and guests signed in.
- School Site Council Meeting Schedule: Members discussed time and dates for the 2014/2015 meetings. Members decided that the School Site Council meetings will occur in Room 36 at Hancock Park Elementary School at 2:45 P.M. on the following dates, all of which fall on a Thursday:
October 9, 2014
November 13, 2014
December 11, 2014
January 15, 2015
February 12, 2015
March 5, 2015
April 9, 2015
May 14, 2015
- Principal’s Report: Ashley Parker, Principal gave the following report:
a. Safe School Plan Vols. 1, 2 & 3
- Principal Parker explained that there were three volumes to the Safe School Plan, which include: Volume 1 – Prevention & Programs; Volume 2 – Emergency Assignments and Volume 3 – Recovery. The Volumes are available in Principal Parker’s office for review and is a project on which the Safety Committee collaborates.
- The annual Earthquake Drill will occur on October 16, 2014 at 10:16 a.m. Parents are encouraged to attend and volunteer to assist. A notice will be sent home with students.
- In response to Principal Parker’s inquiry as to whether there were any questions on the Principal’s report, several individuals raised concerns about the safety of students during after-school pick up and a discussion arose as to various mechanisms that might be explored to remedy some of the safety concerns. Principal Parker resumed her Principal’s report and the issue on safety for school drop-off was resumed during Debbie Glass’ Safety Committee Report (see below).
b. Student Enrollment:
- The School has 816 students and has exceed its general education capacity of 796 students. Notices regarding the Capacity Adjustment Program were previously sent home with students advising that in the event the School exceeded capacity, it was possible that some students would need to attend an integrated school as determined by LAUSD. A new notice will be sent home with students advising that the School’s capacity has been met and that the School cannot accommodate additional students. New enrollees will be directed to Laurel Elementary School and transportation will be provided.
- Principal Parker reported that the ratios of students to teachers is 24:1 for grades K-3 and 30.5:1 for grades 4-5.
- The Members discussed the impact of meeting the CAP on students in connection with magnet school applications. Larry Tynan confirmed that students in 5th grade will receive additional points only if the middle school such student would be attending is overcrowded and not based on Hancock Park Elementary School’s overcrowding.
c. New Instructional Staff:
- The School hired a new kindergarten teacher, Ms. Choi, to replace Ms. Hollis.
- Two new temporary positions were added.
- Parker is in the process of interviewing and hiring long-term substitute teachers to assist this school year.
d. Breakfast Program Update: Breakfast in the Classroom for the 2014/2015 school year is not available. The School will follow the nutrition education efforts of educating students and parents on good nutrition. The School sent home notices with students advising that breakfast would not be provided to students and Principal Parker has only received one inquiry as of the date of this meeting regarding the program. Members inquired as to whether there was a mechanism for determining whether a student has or has not had breakfast. In response, Principal Parker advised that the School is relying on faculty and staff observation of students to determine whether a student has not received breakfast outside of the School and that nutritious snacks are available in Principal Parker’s office in the event a student did not eat prior to arriving at the School.
e. Questions: Principal Parker inquired as to whether anyone had any further questions regarding the Principal’s Report. Seeing none, the School Site Council moved to the next report.
8. Safe School Plan Vol. 1 Overview and Surveys:
a. Surveys. Debbie Glass, Chair of the Safety Committee reported on the Safety Committee and explained the surveys required to be submitted for the Prevention – Volume 1 – Coordinated Safe and Healthy School Assessment Practices. Surveys were distributed to those parent members present at the meeting. The surveys need to be submitted, anonymously, to Debbie Glass by September 26, 2014. Debbie Glass also advised that although the applications are anonymous, that she is available to answer any questions. Cherie McDermott provided additional information regarding her experiences with completion of the application.
b. After School Student Pick Up:
- The discussion on safety concerns for students resumed during Debbie Glass’ presentation and the need for mechanisms to be implemented to address double parking, students crossing in the middle of the street, parents/guardians and caregivers leaving cars unattended, non-students accessing the school building rather than waiting outside for students and blocking classroom doors and hallways, etc. A note was sent home with students regarding pick-up and drop-off safety concerns, but the policies and requests in the notice continue to be disregarded. Principal Parker raised the point that any programs to be implemented will need to rely on volunteers, similar to the morning drop-off program, otherwise, there is not sufficient faculty, staff or resources to assist. Cherie McDermott raised the point that the School has an open campus policy, where the community is allowed on the campus after school and students in grades 1-5 are allowed to leave the campus after school on their own, thereby making it difficult to monitor all of the students without impacting the rights of families.
- During the discussion, the following items were raised to be explored further:
- Principal Parker will reach out to the Ross Dress for Less retail store and discuss the possibility of allowing parents, guardians and caregivers to park in its parking lot for a limited time and walk over to the school to pick up students. Larry Tynan suggested that if Ross was not receptive, that the School could consider offering Ross an advertising banner in exchange for parking. Principal Parker will provide an update on discussions with Ross at the October 9, 2014 School Site Council meeting.
- Whether it was possible to use the double gates to allow students to exit rather than the main single gate. Principal Parker raised concerns about sending a mixed message and people disregarding the rules with respect to parking, stopping, etc. near the double gate and interference with the maintenance crew. However, Principal Parker was going to consider this and report back at the October 9, 2014 School Site Council meeting.
- Whether it was possible to divide students alphabetically or otherwise and allow the groups to exit via separate gates. Again, the issue of who can monitor the gates was raised and volunteers will be required. Currently, only one gate is used because there is nobody available to monitor multiple gates.
- Debbie Glass raised the fact that under the master plan, there is supposed to be a master driveway on Ogden.
- Mike Do or Sue Zabloudil will attend the next Friends of Hancock Park Elementary meeting on October 16, 2014 to raise the above referenced concerns and try to obtain some support from parents, guardians and caregivers to volunteer and/or assist in brainstorming for alternative solutions. Mike Do or Sue Zabloudil will report back at the November 13, 2014 School Site Council meeting.
c. Questions: Debbie Glass inquired as to whether anyone had any further questions. Seeing none, the School Site Council moved to the next report.
9. UTLA Update: Larry Tynan, Teacher and UTLA Representative reported the following:
a. MISIS. My Integrated Student Information System (MISIS) continues to have problems. UTLA has requested the elimination of the gradebook component of MISIS.
b. iPads. As a result of favoritism concerns as indicated in the news, Superintendent John Deasy has ordered the contracts for iPads and digital curriculum to be rebid. The impact of this rebidding and the delay it will cause is yet unknown. Currently, the School has 30 tablets that are in storage and cannot be utilized. Members and guests raised concerns about the implementation and use of the iPads in connection with the standardized testing, including, among others, (i) when practice tests were being conducted, students had to continually relog in because of screen saver settings; (ii) one of the reasons for taking the tests electronically was to allow for the system to automatically assess a student’s level and increase the level of testing to be commensurate with the student’s level, but the test no longer does this; and (iii) that there is currently no paper/pencil alternative option. Catherine Oliphant commended the School in the education of her children and the balance of technology vs. traditional teaching methods utilizing handwriting, etc., but was concerned about requirements solely focusing on testing via technology. Parent Members and guests raised concerns about the lack of a plan/alternative for conducting the standardized testing if the iPads are not ready or properly tested. Parents with additional concerns should contact Steve Zimmer, the School’s LAUSD School Board Representative at firstname.lastname@example.org; 213.241.6387 or Ron Chandler, Chief Information Officer.
c. Union Negotiations. UTLA is in the process of negotiating a new contract with the LAUSD. Aside from the MISIS issues, UTLA is also negotiating, among other things, a pay increase. LAUSD’s proposal is a 2% one-time payment for 2013-2014, a 2% permanent increase for 2014-2015 and unguaranteed increases subject to budgetary constraints of 2% for 2015-2015 and 2.5% for 2016-2017. The LAUSD proposal does not take into account the required higher pension contributions of 2.5%. UTLA’s proposal includes a one-time 8% payment to compensate teachers for the salary cuts that occurred approximately several years ago in connection with mandatory furloughs, and an 8.5% increase. There have not been any cost of living increases for ULTA in the last six years.
d. Questions: Larry Tynan inquired as to whether anyone had any further questions regarding the Principal’s Report. Seeing none, the School Site Council moved to the next agenda item.
10. Friends of Hancock Park Elementary Update. Since there was no representative from Friends of Hancock Park Elementary that attended the last Friends of Hancock Park Elementary meeting, this report will be deferred to the next School Site Council Meeting. However, Cherie McDermott supplemented this agenda item by reporting that it was her understanding that the Annual Giving Program has raised approximately $150,000 and reminded everyone that that the International Heritage Carnival will be on October 25, 2014. Beverly Glass reported that parents had approached her with concerns that the Spring Carnival would not be occurring. The economics, including the inconsistency in revenue and dependency on sponsors as well as the need for additional parent volunteers was discussed among the members as to reasons for combining the two events.
11. Call to the Public for Questions and Comments. Aside from a request that the after school drop-off safety issues be included on the agenda for the October 9, 2014 School Site Council meeting, there were no further questions or comments.
12. Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 4: 30 P.M.
Minutes respectfully submitted by Michael Do, Secretary.
Secretary, Michael Do Chairperson, Cherie McDermott
Vice-Chairperson, Ashley Parker