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05-22-06 BOT MinMINUTES OF THE WESTLAKE ACADEMY SCHOOL BOARD WORKSHOP MAY 229 2006 PRESENT: President Scott Bradley and Board members Bill Frey, Buddy Brown, and Fred Held ABSENT: Board members Don Redding and Larry Sparrow OTHERS PRESENT: Head of School Barbara Brizuela, Secretary Jean Dwinnell, Finance Director Debbie Piper, Director of Marketing and Public Affairs Carolyn Sims, and Facilities and Recreation Director Troy Meyer CALL TO ORDER. President Bradley called the meeting to order at 3:32 p.m. 1. DISCUSS PROPOSED ADDITIONS AND AMENDMENTS TO THE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE 2010 STRATEGIC PLAN (SEE THE ATTACHED DRAFT STATEMENT WHICH WILL FORM THE BASIS FOR THE DISCUSSION). President Bradley explained the purpose of the meeting and advised that the next workshop would be held on June 121H President Bradley gave the background of the proposed additions and amendments to the Goals and Objectives of the 2010 Strategic Plan. Ms. Brizuela advised that a senior management team had been formed to discuss issues and for planning purposes. She reviewed the three issues in the Strategic Plan that have been amended and/or added and advised that the MYP consultation was held in January; that the PYP authorization was in March; that a systems expert in TEA and PEIMS has been hired and will be able to translate the IB grades to an ABC scale (1-100) on a 4.0 GPA scale; that student -led conferences have begun; that standardized tests have been given to Kindergarten through Second Grade; and that a PYP newsletter has been started. Ms. Brizuela stated that the school has come a long way, but that they are not where the staff and faculty want to be. She explained "differentiation" and how the teachers were appraised not only by their supervisors but also by their peers. Discussion ensued regarding the availability of tutoring, the response of parents to the newsletter, and the interest shown. Mr. Frey asked Ms. Brizuela to review what we are looking for regarding the PYP and MYP. Ms. Brizuela explained the process to achieve IB authorization and advised that she is hopeful that the MYP authorization visit will come in September or October. Mr. George Ledak explained that he reads the Newsletter each week and stated that he feels it is the duty of the parents to read the information in the folder. He thanked the Board for bringing the school to Westlake and advised that Ms. Brizuela has an open-door policy. Mr. Jim Billington asked Ms. Brizuela to explain the purpose of the Senior Management Team and expressed his concerns regarding the practice TAKS tests. He stated that his understanding was that the school did not teach to the TAKS; however, there had been several practice tests, which seemed to be against the school's policy. Ms. Brizuela explained that the Senior Management Team serves in an advisory capacity only. She advised that the practice TAKS tests had been given a limited number of times, and only for the purpose of acquainting the students with the conditions under which the tests are given. She reiterated that the Academy does not teach to the TAKS tests. Mr. Mike Garabedian stated that once everyone is comfortable with the testing process, the school should invest in football. He also encouraged differentiation. 3. ADJOURNMENT. Mr. Held moved to adjourn. Mr. Brown seconded the motion. The vote on the motion was as follows: Ayes: Messrs. Frey, Brown, and Held Nays: None President Bradley declared the meeting adjourned at 4:40 p.m. Approved by the Westlake Academy School Board on J U 0 2 (p , 2006. 95�&. lja��a Scott Bradley, President ATTEST: (J- 11 -44 Jeo Dwinnell, TRMC, CMC, Town Secretary DRAFT Exhibit 1 Strategic Plan Add Objective F: Educate students and parents about the IB programs and grading system, articulating the benefits and superior attributes of the curriculum in order to improve parental understanding of and participation in the education process. Actions taken: 1. Obligatory meeting was held with prospective MYP students and parents to explain MYP program and grading. The meeting was well attended with MYP Coordinator and present MYP students spoke and answered questions. 2. Similar meeting for present MYP students and parents was held April 25tH 2006. The meeting was also well attended and received. 3. Hired an expert to set up system for equivalencies with local grading patterns (expert will begin working on this in May 2006) 4. New parents for the incoming year received a notice attached to their enrolment package advising them that an obligatory IB Introductory meeting will be held in the fall. 5. Informative meetings will require the attendance of students with parents in order to improve the very poor attendance by parents at meetings in the past. 6. At least one of the two yearly individual parent conferences will be student - led. This gives parents personalized insight into the understanding of and participation in the educational process. Very successful MYP student -led conferences were held in April and PYP Student -led conferences are being held in May. 7. Standardized testing has been slated for all levels of the Academy during the next months. This will give parents and teachers another parameter for comparing students of like ages and grade levels at a national level. Kinderaarten through Grade 2 will use the Iowa Test of Basic Skills during the spring semester testing window; G4-9 (and up in subsequent years) will use the Stanford tests during the autumn testing window. After this initial testing period, the Academy will evaluate how often and at what grade levels these standardized tests should be administered. 8. A PYP Newsletter will be written at regular intervals. The first issues have already been distributed. This will help families understand the fundamentals of the program. Actions planned: 1. Workshops and meetings for parents on specific subjects or aspects of the PYP, MYP and Diploma programs will be held. Plans already are underway for: a. Family Math Night; b. the Learner Profile; c. Parent Education Night; d. a week-long celebration of Public Education Week. 2. Make articles more readily available to the wider community published in the IB World and other publications that focus on IBO. 3. Have more parents become involved in Community Service hours. 4. Publish curriculum documents on line — the MYP Matrix and the PYP Program of Inquiry and the PYP Grade level Handbooks. 5. Publish (now underway) IB Assessment guidelines for both PYP and MYP 6. Invite University representatives to speak about IB Diploma applicants. Amend Objective G: Establish consistent reliable conduits of communication between teachers and parents utilizing technology, personal meetings and the criteria used in IB assessment tools. Actions taken: 1. Weekly newsletters are now being issued by all teachers in hard copy or electronically. a. MYP will continue to issue a section letter, but more input concerning specific subjects will be included. b. PYP section newsletter will be issued regularly. c. MYP subject criteria and rubrics are in student binders and posted in MYP classrooms. d. PYP students use rubrics regularly and these are posted before an assignment is done. Actions planned: 1. Reinstate more frequent Breakfasts with Head of School. Room parents and any others interested will be invited. 2. Encourage parents to seek out ways to meet with the appropriate staff when they have questions or need information. Also encourage parents who do have a good understanding of the program and its benefits and opportunities to share that with other families. 3. Survey all parents regularly to see where their major concerns lie and use them to help direct Academy goals within the framework set. This could be accomplished by expanding the survey sent to all parents after the Blacksmith Apprentice Program drive; the survey sent this year to all parents did include many topics that have to do with satisfaction and dissatisfaction with school programs and policies. 4. Post sample grading criteria and rubrics on the school website. Add Objective I: Provide parents with access to resources and materials used by the students to encourage participation and support at home. Actions taken - 1 . aken: 1. PYP Class newsletters all include information on current Units of Inquiry and suggestions for activities to be done at home. 2. PYP newsletters often include educational websites that reinforce subject specific activities that are conceptually based (math, language, science), as well as websites that are particularly useful for research for young people. 3. Assignments are usually set out clearly on the homework page of the school website and in the student agenda. Actions planned: 1. Include more subject news in the MYP newsletter. 2. The Academy website is being redesigned. A team of teachers is working on the contents and recommendations that include creating a parent page with links and resources that will be valuable to helping students at home. Actions taken to address other concerns expressed by staff, students or parents — differentiation and teacher appraisal: 1. In core subjects, work is differentiated. It may be differentiated by: a. Outcome: there is a general assignment; the criteria and rubrics set and shared with students outline what is needed for the highest mark. Thus students work to their ability. b. Task: students are assigned different tasks according to their level of conceptual understandings. i. In MYP math classes there are differentiated groupings. These are fluid and when one concept is mastered a student may move into another group. ii. There are also individualized computer math programs currently being used for math to further help meet individual needs (Success Maker and Renaissance Math). c. Tutoring is offered by most teachers after school or during the day for help in core subjects. d. The very nature of IB offers many of these differentiation concepts incorporated into the plans. Actions planned for differentiation: a. Plans are underway for implementing long-distance learning to advance students who are years above their age group or who have knowledge and talent in subjects that are not on offer at the Academy. b. A study group made up of teachers parents and HOS all of whom have had extensive study or involvement with students of high ability have been meeting for two years and after much study are now working on policies and identification means to assure that students with all types of special needs are served to the best ability of the Academy. c. Increase staff development plans to include more courses on differentiation. 2. Teacher Appraisal Actions taken: a. Teachers have been appraised during each of the two completed years to date. Appraisals during the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 year were based on teacher self -appraisals using a standardized template. Teachers then had an appraisal interview with the Head of School and set up an Action Plan with goals, means to achieve the goals, time frame, and evidence that goals had been achieved. These appraisals form part of the teacher's file. b. During 2005-2006 school year the Academy implemented a peer - appraisal system. Peer appraisal, new to schools, has been proven to be an extremely successful tool that improves knowledge, performance and managerial skills for both the appraiser and the appraised. These appraisals will be completed by year's end. Actions planned: a. Share the template with parents and include the procedures for carrying out appraisals in the personnel policies.