February SLT Minutes accepted by Alexa Aviles and seconded by Gerson Alvarez
Gymnasium Floor Plans
Erika shared blueprints for the new gymnasium. They sent the plans; in the future erika will sit and discuss small changes we might want. They will clad the building in brick to match current building. There will be some new iron fencing. The building will be all the way to one corner which leaves room for central open play area and playground. The building will be a first floor with a mezzanine level which will house machinery and equipment. There will be restrooms, a staff restroom and office. It is a “stand-alone” gym annex from Mayoral monies.
For safety, Fauzia wants to know if there will be a safety officer. Erika will look at models in the city and
Possibly beginning construction this summer.
SCA going to make repairs and renewals are finished on main building. We are on a fast track list, but this can still mean three years. (new windows, pointing, brick, roof, rooftop, ductwork, ventilation all need to be redone)
Yeidy wants to know about students in winter. They will put their coats on and go outside. Entrance floor will likely be carpeted to protect gymnasium floor. Might there be an awning? (Probably not)
Colleen- moveable walls/ partitions to divide space if necessary? Is there seating?
Thoughts of having future graduations here? Keep a set of folding seating? Bleachers?
Using this as a space for more after school activities?
K, PreK, 5th grade wanting to allow students to emcee events, make more time sensitive. K graduations often take 2 hours- idea of reception in school yard with bubbles, chalk, etc.? Limiting menu for parents to bring- bagels, muffins, juice as a sign-up list so that food/ drinks are evenly spread
Idea to divide grades in half; two k classes per graduation so that they’re not expected to sit as long.
Idea of alternate seating? Bringing casses up one at a time so that all children can be seen? PS 172 purchased a bench for the front of the stage and we are trying to figure out how to make sure every student can be seen. Usually we have to add risers in front of the stage in order to seat all the k students. This way, the children will sit on the sides and only be on stage for their song. Then returning to classroom for certificates and reception followed by outside play together.
Elizabeth asked if Prek and K graduations are a citywide mandate. No- but our parents here like it.
Shanna would like to see reduction in songs. Also she would like to be able to see the students and be able to enjoy the moment. Receptions in cafeterias are messy.
Erika thinks we can streamline the whole thing to make it more enjoyable and less stressful for the kids; make the entire event in the auditorium one hour followed by classroom and outdoor time.
Yeidy is concerned with the high-sugar snacks in the morning.
Erika suggests we ask parents to donate money and our staff does the shopping for snacks.
Concern for how many attendees come to k/ PreK graduation.
5th grade graduation has generally been about three hours long because of many guest speakers (that the students don’t care about); we have a lot of great student speakers- it’s their day, we should let them shine.
March Honor Roll
Missing names on honor roll wall? Came about because grades were being input into two places and we are trying to streamline. We have figured out the issue and it will be fixed.
Yeidy wants to know- we are only giving out honor roll to students with 4s. Teachers want to show when a student is achieving more than a 3 and they add a +; this is not a grade that gets read in the DOE database.
Shanna thought that this process was much better. No one felt left out. Even with mistakes
Talking about parents who are unhappy with kids NOT on honor roll. We are going to make more visible grading systems at the beginning of the year for grades and cluster teacher. Also an awareness that absences/ early pick-ups really affect cluster grades since they are working once a week.
Social Emotional Curriculum
We want to build a prek-5 consistency. We want to have this in place soon so it could be looked at during Brooklyn day PD in June. We want to make this decision at next month’s meeting. We ordered some curricula
Sanford Harmony kit- divided into grade chunks with table of contents, games, thought situation cards, curriculum book, meet-up/ buddy-up Everyday Practices. Some teachers do SH everyday, some 3-4x a week. Generally a 20 minute time expenditure. It is an easy curriculum to implement. It is a school-wide system which allows everyone in the building to speak a common language.
Colleen- state mandates for social emotional learning starting next school year.
Let’s talk to Ivone about curriculum she already has.
Hopefully by the next meeting all the curricula will be here. Teachers will preview and then SLT will look at materials as a team.
d. Snacks for upper grades
Shanna- concerns about lunchroom. Some children feel very rushed. Perhaps we can offer children a longer time to stay inside and eat if they are not yet done.
We will create a list of “approved” snacks, or allow kids to come in with their own snack. We need to be clear with parents about unhealthy snacks being sent home at the end of the day.
We don’t necessarily want large donations for storage/ bug purposes. We can create options and let parents know ASAP.
e. Online Grading system- Pupil Path
Parents have a password and login. They can see everything that their child is doing in school We have a meeting with a Pupil Path representative next Friday. We will bring the information back to the next SLT. We have to look at the cost and see how it will fit into our budget. Do we want to keep DOJO? Keep both for photos? Each additional service from PP costs money.
Elizabeth- does Pupil Path feed into STARS? No. Pupil Path will definitely be more work. Do teachers use some kind of electronic grade system? Yes- a google drive with documents on it. It is just for teachers/ not for parent access. Elizabeth knows parents who love it.
It tracks quizzes, HW so everything is accounted for by the end of the marking period.
Fauzia would love to see grades/ homework/ additional work
Teachers would like PP in order to communicate with parents.
Yeidy/Shanna- likely parents that participate in DOJO will be the same parents who will participate in PP
Erika explains that the grade tracking system that will then self-calculate a grade.
Perhaps for clusters there would be an ipad with a quick tap system for inputting grades
Report cards will still exist as will parent teacher conferences
f. Students fasting for Ramadan
Christine mentions parent concern about fasting children having to sit and do nothing. We now have board games. It will be up to the child and family to decide if child goes out for recess.
Fauzia- case by case- fasting is not mandated until puberty. Parents will share wishes for the parameters of their child’s fast.
This will be a tricky part of new snack time idea because of other children eating in front of fasting students.
Yeidy- can a school aide pick up fasting students for the 5 minutes of snack time? Perhaps they can just go for a walk?
f. Dual Language
Shanna- there has recently been a press release about more dual language programs in the district- how does this get decided?
Erika- we are interested- it is very difficult to have good quality teachers for all grades. We also have 25% of students with IEP and they need consistency. Based on IEPS and limited space, it does not seem like a system that can work for us. Next year, 4th grade might be entirely ICT. How would we it a dual language there? PS 172 has a higher percentage of students with IEPs than surrounding schools.
Students with IEPs in other schools are not in dual language programs. Other school- ELA and math in English, all other content areas in other language.
This is not something we plan to look at closely because of our limitations at this point. We also have students at PS 172 who have left dual language programs and test 1-2 grade levels below where they should be. We also don’t know what our student population will look like in the future.
Yeidy shared that her experience in dual language class was negative.
g. Health Education
Mandated program with classroom teacher in order to not lose movement period in physical education. This will likely be 10-15 days of lessons starting after state exams.
Erika will share the mandated items with SLT. It is easier for us to fit it in at the end of the school year. June is often our experimental time because we have finished other mandated curricula.
SLT wants to know what unit consists of; it is age appropriate
3. PTA Updates
Yvette Montes- Surgery on shoulder- she understands if we would like to find a replacement for her because she can no longer attend.
Club dismissal- what time is dismissal? We will communicate with teachers to dismiss students at the time the enrichment program ends.
Yeidy shared treasurer summary report. Parents are now charged $50 to help cover costs of enrichment clubs. This doesn’t begin to cover costs. Parents may not understand that these are expensive clubs and the PTA is subsidizing the cost. Shanna shared idea of stating actual cost of club on sign up form. Perhaps differentiating cost based on expense of club. Parent volunteer taking photos of after school clubs this week to share on DOJO.
Fauzia- is it possible to get help from Spatola’s Federation? Soccer? They have a comprehensive after school with HW help, soccer, English, etc.
Creating PTA Newsletter? Changing time of PTA meetings? We can advertise in advance and let parents know what will be on the agenda.
Can we add after school language? Fauzia volunteers to lead an arabic club. We can do research and find an organization to partner with for language instruction.