Loading...
10-04-10 BOT MinWESTLAKE ACADEMY BOARD OF TRUSTEES WORKSHOP & REGULAR MEETINGS October 4, 2010 PRESENT: President Laura Wheat and Trustees Clif Cox, Carol Langdon and Rick Rennhack. ABSENT: Trustee Tim Brittan OTHERS PRESENT: Superintendent Thomas Brymer, Attorney Janet Bubert, Acting Board Secretary & Assistant to the Town Manager Ginger Awtry, Secondary Principal Rod Harding, Primary Years Coordinator Terri Watson, Middle Years Coordinator Tracy Odom, Diploma Program Coordinator Stacy Stoyanoff, Administrative Services Coordinator Ben Nibarger, Finance Director Debbie Piper and Director of Parks, Recreation and Facilities Troy Meyer. Workshop Session 1. CALL TO ORDER President Wheat called the workshop meeting to order at 4:41 pm. 2. REVIEW OF CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS FROM OCTOBER 4, 2010 TRUSTEES REGULAR MEETING AGENDA. Council reviewed the consent agenda and found no discussion was necessary. 3. DISCUSSION OF PLANNING FOR THE SECONDARY EXPANDED BLOCK SCHEDULE "OPTION B" FOR THE 2011-2012 SCHOOL YEAR. Superintendent Tom Brymer introduced the item and turned over the discussion to DP Coordinator Stacy Stoyanoff. Mr. Stoyanoff briefed the Board on the status of the expansion to date. A lengthy discussion ensued regarding the following points: number of credit hours, number of courses, number of minutes per class for optimum classroom instruction, the different options in scheduling and what it means with the IB curriculum, various BOT Minutes 10/04/10 Page 1 of 6 start/stop times of the school day for teenagers and for primary students, effects of different dismissal times to families, optimum class size and various studies, what makes a quality teacher, contact hours, differences in standard level course load vs. higher level courses, Spanish, Math, Science, lunchroom traffic, parking lot use by students and traffic flow, covered outdoor facility, future plan for additional gymnasium, rainy day pick up plan, student turnover rate, teaching/reinforcing culture of the IB learner profile and learning commitment, future orientation for students and parents, new Blacksmith class, possibility of requesting student transcripts with application, new teacher hiring - this school year and the next, possible new courses for DP students, optimum numbers needed, desire for online courses with pros/cons, new block schedule lessons learned and why, courses that colleges/universities look at the most, student lockers, proposed portable buildings, The Board complimented the entire staff for providing excellent work on all of the subject matters discussed, for their research, long hours and the information presented. 4. DISCUSSION OF WESTLAKE ACADEMY'S LEGISLATIVE AGENDA FOR THE 82ND TEXAS LEGISLATURE AS IT RELATES TO PUBLIC EDUCATION AND CHARTER SCHOOLS Superintendent Brymer opened up this discussion by providing background information on the upcoming legislative session. Mr. Brymer referred the Board members to the Texas Charter School Association items that were provided in the agenda packet and directed their attention to the issues already noted in which the delegation plans to address. Discussion ensued regarding specific concerns to share with our legislative delegation. Trustee Cox stated that he would like to see legislative approved this year of funding for facilities. Trustee Langdon stressed the importance of our delegation's diligence for facility funding and how important it is for us to stay active with our delegation. S. UPDATE AND STATUS REPORT ON PARKING, FORMER STUDENT/PARENT EXIT INTERVIEWS AND START OF THE 2010-2011 SCHOOL YEAR. Superintendent Brymer introduced the various updates and then handed the discussion over to Academy staff members Mr. Harding, Mr. Stoyanoff, Mrs. Odom, Mrs. Watson, and Mr. Nibarger to provide detail and answer any questions from the Board. Discussion ensued regarding the new parking lot, the implementation of assigned parking spaces and how any violations will be addressed. Mr. Brymer handed out a draft of the exit interview questions to the Board and discussion ensued regarding how the survey would be distributed and how comments would be tracked. Board members suggested the following edits: 1) add a question about which program their student was enrolled i.e. PYP, MYP or DP; 2) add questions concerning the curriculum e.g. were the requirements being met, were they too challenging, not challenging enough; 3) Move questions 1, 7, 8 to the end of survey since bigger questions; 4) Only list questions 1, 7, 8, and 3 and add question of their year started, the year ended, to see how many years total at WA. BOT Minutes 10/04/10 Page 2of6 The next topic, activities surrounding the opening of the new school year, was introduced by Mr. Stoyanoff, Mrs. Odom and Mrs. Watson, and discussion ensued regarding the following: students handling of the new block schedule, initial start-up of the new schedule and lessons learned, curriculum meetings with parents, teachers adjusting to new block schedule, student assessments, orientation meetings and effectiveness, teacher convocation and prep week, plans for future on -boarding and IB meetings with parents, primary program observations, on-line grading, new teacher appraisal system, administrative office realignment, new buses, Principal Harding's first few months, and upcoming employee survey. 6. DISCUSSION AND REVIEW OF THE ACADEMY MISSION/VISION STATEMENT. Principal Harding introduced this topic, explaining that he needed clarification of the mission/vision statement and the inclusion of the word "well-balanced" as some reiterations and reprints of the mission/vision statement do include this word but others do not. Superintendent Brymer stated that he felt it important to bring this item before the Board to ensure that we have full disclosure because some of the board members were not on the Board when the mission/vision statement was created and approved. Mr. Brymer went on to state that he believes this word was left off of the original statement by mistake. Discussion ensured regarding the word "well-balanced" and also about possible other revisions to the mission/vision statement. Mr. Brymer reminded the Trustees that the mission/vision statement should be revisited every 1-2 years for possible revisions along with the Strategic Plan and Mr. Harding added that there are IB requirements to do so as well. The Board directed staff to include the word "well-balanced" in the mission/vision statement on all publications and reprints moving forward. 7. DISCUSSION OF BOARD OF TRUSTEE GOVERNANCE AS ILLUSTRATED IN DR. BRIAN CARPENTER'S CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD UNIVERSITY.' AN INTRODUCTION TO EFFECTIVE CHARTER SCHOOL GOVERNANCE; CHAPTERS 5-7. Trustee Carol Langdon introduced the agenda item and led the Board through a review and discussion of Chapters 5-7. Mrs. Langdon presented each chapter's review and follow-up questions using creative visuals e.g. bingo -type cards, specific role cards (hats), and board member directional arrows. 8. BOARD RECAP / STAFF DIRECTION Board members directed staff as follows: 1) research a possible outdoor facility and report back to the Board on the findings 2) include a facilities plan when the strategic plan is revised BOT Minutes 10/04/10 Page 3 of 6 3) provide updates as work progresses on growth plans 4) provide a post -lottery update regarding status of new teachers the expanded block schedule and future student enrollment numbers and hiring Trustee Rennhack asked for a future agenda item regarding the financial forecast and whether it is focused on academic excellence. 9. ADJOURNMENT There being no further business before the Board, President Wheat adjourned the workshop at 8:29 p.m. Regular Session 1. CALL TO ORDER President Wheat called the Regular meeting to order at 8:30 p.m. with all Trustees in attendance except Trustee Tim Brittan. 2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE President Wheat led the pledge of allegiance to the United States and Texas flags. 3. CITIZENS' PRESENTATIONS AND RECOGNITIONS Marla Goode — 1405 Lizzy Court, Keller; Mrs. Goode addressed the Board by stating that she is a strong supporter of the school and a parent of a senior student. She went on to state that she is only coming before the Board tonight because of the urgency of the matter for senior students with their college applications and the timing of the next Board meeting. Mrs. Goode expressed her appreciation to the school counselor and teachers for meeting with her but stated that she is still very concerned and confused by the answers she has received. She reiterated again, that because of the short time frame between now and the college application deadlines, that she is before the Trustees only because she feels it important that they are aware of the differences in the grading system, the weighting of grades that the Academy uses versus all the other schools (including IB), and the urgency to clarify the confusion for the senior students and parents. Mrs. Goode stated that she feels we could be under representing our students' grades and not valuing our students' work properly, allowing for an uneven playing field in college admissions for our graduates. Mrs. Goode handed out documents that she has been given regarding the grading scale and the weighting/non- weighting of grades and stated that she feels it is being applied differently by various teachers at Westlake Academy. She requested that the Board consider forming a committee to review and clarify this issue as quickly as possible. BOT Minutes 10/04/10 Page 4 of 6 Rebecca Rollins — 13239 Roanoke Road, Westlake; Mrs. Rollins addressed the Board by thanking them for their focus on academic excellence and how it relates to charter schools. She went on to state that she would like to see more fiscal responsibility with more focus on student outcomes, hiring more teachers that inspire the students, and on the number of students earning the IB diploma and going on to colleges. She stated she does not see enough indicators of academic excellence at the primary level and feels that TAKS testing is not enough. Mrs. Rollins asked to see more evidence of how the students are doing in math and science and how they compare with other IB peers and she asked the Board to provide a timeline on when these indicators will be put in place. Ange Bumgarner — 1700 Imperial Springs, Keller; Mrs. Bumgarner addressed the Board and expressed her confusion in understanding where the Board stands on the addition of 80 students next year for a full expansion versus the addition of bringing certain grades to 20 students this year with the addition of the block schedule. She spoke of her support and love for the school but also of her concerns with the growth in adding such a large number of students next year. She stated her belief that Westlake Academy will grow organically with the continued success of the school and then, can afford the ability to add more choices for the students. 4. CONSENT AGENDA a. Consider approval of the minutes for the meeting held on September 13, 2010. MOTION: Trustee Rennhack made a motion to approve item a on the consent agenda. Trustee Langdon seconded the motion. The motion carried by a vote of 3-0. S. BOARD RECAP / STAFF DIRECTION Board members asked WA staff to gather additional information along with data provided by Mrs. Goode and get back with her regarding her concerns of weighting grades. Superintendent Brymer added that staff will pull the grading policy that was recently passed by the Board and look at it in context to the concerns and documentation presented. Board members asked WA staff to ensure that the block schedule additions added this school year do not compromise our charter requirements. 6. BOARD CALENDAR - Westlake Arbor Day Celebration (rescheduled date) October 16, 2010; 4 pm -dusk; Glenwyck Park - WHPS Living History Presentation - Texas Frontier Forts Trail October 26, 2010; 7:00 pm; WA Performance Hall - Board of Trustees Meeting November 1, 2010 - Staff Development Day- (No school for students) BOT Minutes 10/04/10 Page 5 of 6 November 17, 2010; 8:00-3:30 pm at WA -Dr. Marsha Tate Seminar School Holiday — Thanksgiving Break November 22-26, 2010 Texas Charter Schools Association Conference November 29 -December 1, 2010 (contact Ben N.); San Antonio 7. FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS - None 8. ADJOURNMENT There being no further business before the Board, President Wheat asked for a motion to adjourn. MOTION: Trustee Rennhack made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Trustee Cox seconded the motion. The motion carried by a vote of 3-0. President Wheat adjourned the meeting at 8:56 p.m. APPROVED BY THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES ON DECEMBER 6, 2010. ATTEST: Kelly dwar' , Board Secretary Laura Wheat, Board President BOT Minutes 10/04/10 Page 6 of 6