Minutes News

Hancock Park School Site Council Minutes – December 3, 2015

Los Angeles Unified School District, Local District-West

Hancock Park School

School Site Council Meeting

Thursday, December 3, 2015

2:45 pm – Room 32


I. Call to Order:

  • The meeting was called to order at 2:55pm by Chairperson Mark Harelik.

II. Attendance:

  • Members Present: Mark Harelik, Ashley Parker, Karen Hollis, Christine Choi, Beverly Glass, Deborah Glass, Larry Tynan, Laurie Assael, Barbara Gallen, Alice Shin, Eunho Lee (the “Members”)
  • Guests Present: Reyna Hadar, Kathy Wien

III. Approval of Minutes

  • Harelik asked the Members if there were any changes to be made to the minutes from the Thursday, October 15, 2015 SSC meeting. A motion to approve the SSC meeting minutes was made by Larry Tynan. Laurie Assael seconded and the minutes were unanimously approved by the Members.

IV. Friends of HPS Update (Reyna Hadar)

  • Harelik suggested that Reyna Hadar from the Friends of HPS report first before the Principal’s Report. All agreed.
  • Thursday, December 10, 2015, is Staff and Teachers Appreciation Breakfast and all were invited to join.
  • The only fundraiser remaining for the school year is the Walkathon on the 100th Teachers will receive free t-shirts. Flyers about the Walkathon will go out to all students a week before the winter break. The envelopes for donations will be distributed to students on the Monday when school resumes.
  • Computers were distributed to all teachers. If teachers require assistance with setting up their computers, they should contact Ms. Hadar so that volunteer parents can assist.
  • Books for the Classrooms will take place soon. The Farmers Market donated $15,000, which will be used to update the school’s library.
  • Chairperson Harelik asked if distribution of the computers is going smoothly. Ms. Hadar answered that as far as she knows it has been going well. The computers have been distributed and are currently in the process of being set up. The second phase of the technology update in the classrooms will take place soon, which includes overhead projectors and other small items.
  • Vice Chairperson Ashley Parker thanked the Friends of HPS for providing the updated technology that will help our students to receive technology enhanced instruction and allow the students to access required assessments using computers with more confidence.
  • Ms Hadar also shared that she will be meeting with Park La Brea to receive the full amount ($100,000) of their donation.

V. Principal’s Report

  • Attendance Targets: Mrs. Parker shared that she once again reviewed the Attendance Target, which is used as a measurement criteria for school performance. Annual daily attendance is utilized to determine what funds will come from the State of California. If students are not physically present at school, the school district loses funds and in turn the school site. They also allocate a certain amount of funds to a school for staff attendance. This amount will remain at the school site as carryover funds for the upcoming school year if the staff uses less than 7 days of absences. In the past year, this significant carryover amount was used to pay for certain personnel. She shared that she was informed that both student attendance and staff attendance were assessed as borderline. Our current attendance percentage is in the 90’s but is below the benchmark of 96%. She asked if there are any questions or any suggestions on how we can improve our attendance.
    • Assael asked about the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (the “FMLA”).   A qualifying FMLA leave is a protected absence, and it is not counted against the school’s attendance targets. FMLA packets should be filled out ahead of time before the need for the absence. It is not retroactive. It is unpaid leave. Mrs. Parker will discuss it further at a faculty meeting.
    • Beverly Glass suggested giving out some sort of rewards as incentives for attendance. She suggested a drawing of prizes for student and staff attendances. Karen Hollis shared that she and Ms. Hadar will start quarterly perfect attendance rewards for students.
    • Guest Kathy Wien suggested informing parents about the monetary costs to the school for student absences. Mr. Harelik added that parents are generally unaware of: 1) the monetary loss to the school in terms of reduced state funding; and 2) the fact that attendance is taken at the beginning of the day.   Ms. Hollis shared that there will be a trimester newsletter going out to parents and these two points will be included.
  • Lockdown Drill (presented by Ms. Hollis): A lockdown can happen at anytime and to prepare for that, today’s lockdown drill took place at 12:40pm. Kinder and 1st graders just came in from lunch, and 3-5th graders were at lunch.  A chart of all four emergency drill procedures will be redistributed.
  • Protocols:
    • Officer Jones informed the school that the supervision staff must lockdown as well. They are not to walk around to look for students or to secure the school but to lockdown where they are located at commencement of lockdown.
    • This school year, the 4 designated classrooms that are close to the yards to receive students who are outside during lockdown: room 26, 29, 31 and 1. The back door of the cafeteria will also remain unlocked to receive students who are in the lunch pavilion and handball court area. If you are in the auditorium, stay and lock the doors. The library will not be available to receive stduents during lockdown because the library is not open everyday.
    • Doors must be locked, lights out with everyone silent, down on the ground and away from windows and doors. Doors should not be opened for anyone, including students, once lockdown has commenced.

VI. Multiple Assessments (Kathy Wien)

  • Guest Kathy Wien made a plea for parents to help with an issue that many teachers are frustrated with – the amount of instructional time taken for testing. CELDT is given at the beginning of the year individually. There are also 6 interim assessments, which prepare students to take SBAC assessments. She is especially concerned with the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy (DIBELS).   DIBELS is given three times a year. It is a one on one assessment with each student, which ends up taking about 15 minutes per student. The DIBELS assesses students’ fluency and reading comprehension, and it is useful in determining the students’ needs at the beginning of the year. The frustrating part of DIBELS is that even though a student has surpassed a benchmark for his/her grade at the beginning of the year, the teachers are required to give the assessment 2 more times; such assessments provide little useful information/data about the students to the teachers.   The amount of instructional time taken for testing is absurd. We are one of the few schools that do not have Breakfast in the Classroom because of the assistance provided by parents. She came to share this with SSC to see if there is any way from a parental perspective to resolve these issues related to DIBELS. Mr. Tynan also shared that it is frustrating to give these 6 online interim assessments and not get the detailed results.   The language arts portion of the 6 interim assessments must be scored and inputted by the teacher for each question for each student to receive results. These are all mandated and take tremendous amount of instructional time.
  • Harelik requested a page of talking points from Ms. Wien that he and Barbara Gallen could use to start the conversation on this issue with other parents. Mrs. Parker suggested that this issue be presented at the upcoming town hall meeting on Monday, January 25, 2016, at 6:30pm at Hancock Park Elementary School. We will have direct access to School Board President Steve Zimmer. We need lots of parent support.

VII. UTLA Update

  • Tynan, the school’s UTLA Representative, reported that at the next School Board Meeting on Tuesday, December 8, 2015, one of the board members will bring up a vote about Eli Broad and the Walton Family Foundation’s plan to fund non-union charter schools that could draw away half of the students in the district.

VII. Public Comments / Open Floor Discussion

  • There were no questions or comments.

VIII. Adjournment

  • Assael motioned to adjourn the meeting and Ms. Hollis seconded at 4:15pm.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Christine Choi, Secretary.