Minutes News

Friends Of Hancock Park School Minutes – December 10, 2014

School Site Council Meeting – Regular Meeting 2014-2015

Thursday, December 10, 2014

2:45 p.m. – Room 36

 

1) Call to Order: Cherie McDermott, Chairperson, called the regular meeting to order at 2:48 p.m.

2) Attendance:

  • Present. School Site Council (“SSC“) members constituting a quorum were present: Cherie McDermott, Chair; Ashley Parker, Principal/Vice-Chair; Michael Do, Parliamentarian; Sue Zabloudil, Secretary; Catherine Baek, Member; Beverly Glass, Member; Gary Blond, Member; Mark Harelik, Member; Bill Hochhaus, Member; David Rodriguez, Member; Larry Tynan, Member; Victoria Yoon, Member; Debbie Glass, Guest; Catherine Oliphart, Guest; and Paul Pattison, Guest.
  • Not-Present. The following Members were absent: Mary Melendez, Member and Kathy Wien, Member.

3) Approval of Minutes: The SSC meeting minutes from November 13, 2014 (the “Minutes“) were received by and reviewed in advance by the SSC members. Chair McDermott noted the following corrections:

  • Correct the spelling of “Cheri” to “Cherie”
  • Kathy Wien was marked absent, but was present at the meeting.
  • The issues raised regarding the physical education program were directed at the diversity of the program and not just dodge ball.
  • Regarding donations from Park LaBrea, the details are being worked out.

Subject to the foregoing corrections, David Rodriguez moved to approve the Minutes and Mark Harelik seconded the approval of the minutes. The motion passed unanimously.

4) Secretary/Parliamentarian: Chairman McDermott explained that Michael Do, as the then current Secretary, would become the current Parliamentarian; and Sue Zabloudil, the then current Parliamentarian, would become the current Secretary. Each of Mr. Do and Ms. Zabloudil accepted the proposal/nomination. The motion passed unanimously.

5) Principal’s Report: Ashley Parker, Principal provided the following report:

  • Common Core State Standards (“CCSS“).   As part of the CCSS program at Hancock Park Elementary School (“HPES“), each grade level has prepared display boards to show the CCSS standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics. These were on display during the Back to School Night and Fall Parent Conferences. The focus will be on the science standards. These standards focus on critical thinking and scientific method. HPES is adept at having those components in its programming, but this will give the parents a chance to see the CCSS requirements.
    • This school year, teachers were not required to implement CCSS for Science, but the fifth grade students will be tested on CA Standards Tests (CST). Mr. Blond clarified that fifth graders get tested on fourth and fifth grade standards. Chair McDermott asked if fourth graders were learning Next Generation CCSS or CST Standards. Ms. Parker advised that fourth graders are learning both during this transition year.
    • Principal Parker advised that all grades will participate in the science fair for this school year, which will be on display in the cafeteria, scheduled for Wednesday, March 25, 2015 in the early evening (previously, the science fair was only fifth graders and was in the morning).
  • English Learners (“EL“)/English Language Development (“ELD“) – Single Plan for Student Achievement. A summary of the annual review, evaluations and recommendations the English Learner Advisory Committee (“ELAC”) was provided with respect to the Single Plan for Student Achievement. HPES is required to participate in an on-line survey requiring HPES to analyze and plan for student achievement. The survey takes into consideration attendance and academic performance and requests HPES determine what additional supports or programs are needed to maximize student achievement. The SSC also uses this in preparation of the budget, together with recommendations from ELAC.
    • Based on the comprehensive needs analysis, the survey inquires as to which subjects and students require improvement, special programs. HPES focused on ELD.
    • HPES was asked to identify the Tier 2 interventions that are in place. HPES has a structure of intervention, including, a Literacy Intervention Program (LIP) which is in addition to what teachers do in the classroom, Ticket to Read on-line programs and Touch Math and other programs. Principal Parker noted that Tier 2 intervention is available for any student that needs it, not just ELs, but that HPES targets ELs.
    • HPES appears to continue to evidence improvement for its ELS and in its ELD programs. This assessment is a result of teacher evaluations, student work samples, report card grades, indicators for literacy and student testing. For example, when HPES took the California Standardized Tests (CST), EL students rated 9.06 out of 10, which is a high score. Also, as measured by the ELD Test, it was determined that 68.4% of HPES’ ELs improved. Although it is difficult to pinpoint the exact reason for the success of the ELD programs, it appears to be a combination of students and work ethic and the contributions and support of parents, teachers and aides. Principal Parker recognized the contributions of both parents and teachers.
    • ELAC recommended that HPES continue its ELD programs and focus on the following:
      • Additional student aides and improved student/teacher ratios. The funding of additional aides has increased intervention programs and HPES’ ability to assist ELs and Tier 2 students in grades K-5.
      • HPES continue to offer ELD programs and incorporate the Common Core State Standards.
      • HPES continue to offer Brain Pop and other computer program, including, having a computer designated in each classroom with shortcuts to Brain Pop.
      • Continued integration/mainstreaming of EL students and not participate in LAUSD “clustering”.
        • Chair McDermott asked if HPES was being forced this year to cluster students, which is when ELs are grouped by EL level in a classroom. Principal Parker advised that HPES was not subject to this requirement as HPES submitted a waiver. HPES is the only school in the district with such a waiver and is being monitored to ensure compliance.
        • Principal Parker explained that LAUSD imposes certain minute requirements and types of instruction for ELs (i.e., implementation of 45 minutes EL instruction daily for EL Tier 1 and 60 minutes daily for Tier 2 and 3). LAUSD wants to see a designated/targeted time period for such students.
        • Ms. Deborah Glass advised that LAUSD’s program of grouping EL students into homogeneous classes is contrary to teacher training and segregates students. Ms. Deborah Glass indicated that before teachers were required to have designated methods/time period, that teachers used a number of tools and that students benefitted from being around, communicating with and working with everyone in the classroom, and raised concerns that EL students are not integrated.
  •  Vice-Chair Parker inquired as to whether anyone had any questions regarding the annual review and the SSC discussed various aspects and raised multiple questions.
    • Chair McDermott questioned whether the teachers felt that there was enough data to allow them to properly evaluate and see the progress of ELs.
    • Mr. Harelik discussed/raised questions regarding the extracurricular options for Tier 2 students. Chair Parker responded that there are options and some students take advantage and some do not, which is part of the problem. Programs during school, like the literacy program waiver during the school day, was effective.
      • Ms. Deborah Glass recommended that where there are students that need Tier 2 additional assistance, that time is carved out for specific computer programs to help build vocabulary and sense of handling pictures and sounds, and as the student improves, the student can integrate more into the classroom. Because of the programs that the school has, students can take a password home and access many computer program tools (e.g., Star Fall and Brain Pop).
      • In response to Ms. Yoon’s question of whether any student, whether EL or not, can access the programs, Ms. Deborah Glass advised affirmatively that all students can have access to the programs. Mr. Pattison can provide the passwords. Chair McDermott advised that there were multiple levels in the programs and encouraged parents to request passwords.
      • Mr. Hochhaus advised that students could also access materials from the library.
  • Chair McDermott asked whether having the waiver impacted any funding from the school. According to Principal Parker, this does not appear to be the case, but we must continue to do testing, track the development of EL students and comply with the LAUSD guidelines.

Seeing no other questions, Mr. Harelik moved to approve the recommendations of ELAC, Mr. Do seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimous.

Technology. Mr. Paul Pattison provided an update from the November 13, 2014 SSC meeting regarding technology:

  • Equipment. Mr. Patterson shared that since the last meeting:
    • HPES will purchase 20 new PC laptops that would be used in conjunction with the MacBooks for testing. Additionally, as a result of some donations, HPES will have 16 new computers (i.e., 11 desktop computers and 5 laptops). The new MacBooks will go to the teachers who have failing computers. Mr. Pattison is looking to use some of the higher-end computers donated as servers to support some of the older computers. Mr. Patterson reported he expected the purchases to be completed for January 2015.
    • A parent donated 5 laser printers, which will be put into classrooms.
    • In total for testing, HPES will have 30 desk tops available and another 30-40 laptops available.
    • In response to Mr. Harelik’s questions about mouses for testing, Mr. Patterson said that they will have 30 mouses vs glide pads.
    • Mr. Rodriquez questioned whether the track pads could be disabled and Mr. Patterson said that it could be done.
  •  When the I-pads arrive, teachers can check them out and they can be used for classroom instruction and will not be used for testing.
  •  Patterson is going to coordinate with Friends of Hancock Park Elementary School to acknowledge two families in particular for their generosity in assisting with the donations in technology.

Testing Location. There will likely be one classroom if one can be found for the full time period designated for the testing and then the computer lab.   Mr. Hochhaus offered to be creative with orchestra and allow for use of his classroom for one week of the testing period. Mr. Harelik suggested that if possible, it would be better for the students to go somewhere where the lab is already set up.

Testing Timing. Principal Parker advised that the testing window opens March 4, 2015. HPES advised LAUSD that it will commence testing Monday, April 13, 2015 and conclude testing May 15, 2015. According to Ms. Parker, this will give students the maximum amount of time to deal with testing, logistics and technology. Chair McDermott suggested that Mr. Paul have some volunteers to help set up the computers.

 

Winter Program. Principal Parker provided a sample schedule of the Winter Program and suggestions were made for modifications/clarifications. Because of the number of children, the Winter Program was separated into several days and various programs.

 

Safety.

 

  • Officer Gonzalez was requested to come to report, but was unable to attend. He is addressing traffic intersection issues and issuing tickets. Certain parents have complained that HPES is calling upon the police and ticketing parents. The SSC discussed these concerns and the consensus was that having a police presence is positive for the children and a good safety measure.
  • Parents and teachers need to continue to encourage parents to follow the traffic laws, including the no U-Turn to get to the drop-off. Mr. Do suggested putting a temporary sign during drop-off indicating “No U-Turn.” Officer Gonzalez is approaching the City about putting up additional no U-Turn signs.
  • Chair McDermott reported a near accident where a driver ran a red light and nearly hit a family. Mr. Harelik suggested that we have the police target violators on Fairfax.
  • Mr. Do raised concerns about the deep dip on the corner of Fairfax and Colgate. Principal Parker advised that parents have complained about this before and suggested parents contact the Department of Transportation to complain. Chair McDermott suggested also calling the Bureau of Street Services. Mr. Rodriguez requested that once Mr. Do contacts DOT to provide the information to room parents.
  • Ms. Beverly Glass raised concerns about double parking and parents/students walking through the teacher’s parking lot. Ms. Deborah Glass suggested sending a note that students/parents not walk through the area.
  • Mr. Rodriguez inquired about whether there was any approval to extend the no parking area, but Principal Parker indicated that she has not received a response to this request.
  • Mr. Rodriguez suggested requesting an additional crossing guard. Principal Parker did not think this would be granted.
  • Principal Parker spoke with Brad Smith at the LAUSD Office of Environmental Safety and Steve Zimmer and his field officers. Ms. Ramirez will contact the City to see what else can be done. Mr. Smith suggested creating a “Safe Moves” Assembly for the children re crossing etc.
  • Chair McDermott suggested offering a driving education program. Ms. Yoon suggested that people would probably not attend.

 

Questions. Vice-Chair Parker inquired as to whether anyone had any further questions regarding the Principal’s Report. Seeing none, the SSC moved to the next agenda item.

 

6) Native Plants Project. Member Mark Harelik gave the following report:

  • The Native Plant Project Update. Angie Klimeck, an original creator to the garden area, has supported the removal of the three trees, but suggested leaving the rose bush and the lemon tree. Mr. Harelik is in agreement and Ms. Klimeck will be partnering with Mr. Harelik on the redevelopment of the welcome garden area. The three trees being removed will be replaced by five Catalina Ironwood trees that HPES already has.
    • Chair McDermott asked if there was a budget for the project. Mr. Harelik indicated that the FOHPS budget for beautification is greater than the cost of the project and it will all be achieved within the beautification budget.
    • Vice Chair Parker moved to approve the redevelopment of the garden area. Mr. Do seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

 

  • Grape Vine Trimming.   Mr. Hochhaus asked about the grape vines and inquired if it should be trimmed. Member Harelik indicated that it does need to be trimmed and will look into it.
  • Whole Foods. Vice Chair Parker recommended requesting Whole Foods be contacted. Mr. Harelik advised that he had already been in contact with Whole Foods. The Whole Kids Foundation is dedicated to edible gardening so once HPES has its school farm installed, there could be additional funding potential.
  • Questions: Mr. Harelik inquired as to whether anyone had any further questions regarding the Native Plants Project. Seeing none, the SSC moved to the next agenda item.

7) UTLA Update: Larry Tynan, Teacher and UTLA Representative reported the following:

  • Rally. ULTA had five rallies with about 1,000 participants at each site. The nearest one to HPES was at Hamilton High School. Generally, the items being raised include:
    • Salary – Teachers have gone eight years without a raise, plus had a pay cut. LAUSD’s latest offer was a 2% raise and two-one time lump sum payments of 2% increases by the end of this school year. ULTA is still asking for a 10% increase.
    • Class Size – Class sizes need to be reduced in middle and high school. One teacher had 48 students in a high school.
    • Staffing – Fully staffed schools. For example, HPES only has a nurse once a week, counselors at high schools and middle schools have about 800 children each.

 

  • Strike Steps. www.ulta.net has a graphic of the steps to a strike, which include:

 

  1. Step One: Sun shining (i.e., where the parties present their proposals)
  2. Step Two: Negotiations. As indicated in the press, these are not going well.
  3. Step Three: Declare an impasse, in which case, step IV will automatically occur.
  4. Step Four: State Mandatory Mediation.
  5. Step Five: Fact Finding – A fact finding panel will audit the finances of f LAUSD to determine financial availability, etc.
  6. Steph Six: If no agreement can be found, the last final proposals are given and if not accepted, then it is a Strike.
  7. Step Seven: Strike.

 

If parents want to contact anyone at the District level, School Board, Steve Zimmer and any school board members.

  • FBI Investigation The FBI has opened an investigation on the IPAD situation.
  • Questions: Larry Tynan inquired as to whether anyone had any further questions regarding the Principal’s Report. Seeing none, the SSC moved to the next agenda item.

 

8) Friends of Hancock Park. A representative of FOHP was not present. Chair McDermott announced that the walk-a-thon pledge forms would be distributed before winter break.

 

9) Call to the Public for Questions and Comments.

  • Parking Lot Lighting. As a follow up to the last SSC meeting concerns raised by Member Kathy Wien over the lack of any outdoor lighting in the teacher/staff parking lot, Vice Chair Parker indicated that it had been raised with the plant manager who is looking into the matter. Member Yoon volunteered a ladder for the plant manager.
  • Closed Play Structure. The closed parking structure is still waiting for the new chains.
  • Physical Education Curriculum. Principal Parker discussed with Coach K the need to diversity the physical education program.

 

10) Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 4: 51 P.M.

 

Minutes respectfully submitted by Sue Zabloudil, Secretary.