Wednesday, April 16, 2014

TLSS meets today at 5:30

You can find the agenda here.
Notes as they're needed.

Broadcast capabilities being reviewed at high schools; questions around communications as a Career and Technical pathway (which requires two consecutive courses; challenge is now ensuring that we can ensure that we can provide both classes as needed)

internships and tutoring from college students in our schools; you can find the list here.
Note that these are in response to school needs as well as college availability; not all things work the same everywhere.
Rodrigues: "evolves constantly"
"fluid roster, adds and subtracts over the year"
colleges work with schools that are closer by
schools with specific needs identified; working to fulfill those
supervision of students in the building is necessary (this from Ramirez), isn't always available, need to keep in mind
college access linking, to ensure no duplication of services
continue to work and to match opportunities with schools

List of current chapter 74 and Perkins (vocational) programs
note from Rodrigues that Perkins can be used for vocational programs that are not state certified
early childhood at South, moving in direction of state certification
diesel auto mechanic at South High, needed towards state certification
(Worcester Tech does not have diesel)
Diesel very much needed locally
moving towards (to start) career and technical studies (MassCore suggests having those as electives)
amount of funding under Perkins is tied to number of career technical education paths we offer
(if we don't increase those, no increase in Perkins)

Apprenticeship agreements list here
Biancheria notes that South and Burncoat don't have them listed
Rodrigues: South is focused on service learning: segment of work that they do
bring to principals: how their schools can do this as it fits in their buildings
Monfredo: Common Core, service learning
Rodrigues: in MassCore graduation requirements as well; guidance counselor looking at how that will work; professional development to develop
South High as example of that
report back in June

Chapter 74 funding broken out by program for 2012-13
Biancheria: dollar amount broken out, per student, highest per pupil (under the foundation formula)
"certainly helps our budget numbers"
hope that North High builds up a little more
asks that report comes back as a Friday letter for the 2013-14 year
asking the degree to which those dollars go only into those programs
Rodrigues "that's really a Brian Allen question" but support entire school (note that Tech has double the staffing, due to their one week vocational, one week academic, timeframe)
Biancheria: concern from teachers on supplies needed, equipment needed
"dollars coming in because it's chapter 74 are actually helping with the materials"
asks for a breakdown of the funding and how it's used during the school year for the courses
Rodrigues: classrooms with specialized tools or equipment that is needed, admin looks for requests to fulfill
have been adding as needed and as requested (within parameters)
O'Connell: may be difficult to get a report back on how that goes into the school; how do the funds in those programs reflect the revenue received
Biancheria: "we get this money in, but we don't know what direction it goes in"
"I like to see my numbers in order"
"a good dollar amount, almost $25 million towards what we're doing"
O'Connell: report on 2013-14, report on allocation of chapter 74 into the programs, "perhaps provide relative allocation within the programs"
Rodrigues: not clear on how such a report is possible
Ramirez: requires a different set of resources as the teachers require different requirements
question as to if it should be referred to finance
suggestion (from Novick) that it be referred to budget for the first budget meeting
(so this item is going to budget for discussion with the whole as part of budget conversation)

Bowling clubs: South has one of long-standing, North and Tech have them this year, staffed by volunteers
interest gauged every year: every year is different
are there areas of interest that are not fulfilled?
Ramirez: new energy every year
"kids would love clubs, but the school closes at a particular time, and there's no money for clubs"
motions to request broader information: principals to interact with students
"Principals are very resourceful and they don't usually take no for an answer"
surveying students during superintendent's advisory in the fall

Naturalization exam: Monfredo seeks to tweak item to share link with teachers
opportunities cover civics
Rodrigues: this can become a sensitive issue
as a point of interest, information
O'Connell: curriculum is what we teach; test is what they know
are we concerned if they "won't have the foggiest idea" about these 100 items?
Rodrigues: no, the test is for study purposes
is knowing it and having retention of those items is not reflective of what it means to be a citizen
Monfredo: point that these are questions on the test as part of teaching history
Rodrigues: these are what is used,
Monfredo: knowing
Ramirez: had the privilege of taking the exam, couldn't take it until 18
condenscenes all of this knowledge into 100 questions
part of the process, hard for kids to have it all placed in one place
adult "just cramming to retain that to spit it back to a judge"
"span of information is so wide"
"what I took it, I was more confused; it didn't help me"
O'Connell: "are our students really mastering the basics"
useful for us to know

Ramirez: history, history of neighborhoods, engaging them in their city
"starting with their own neighborhoods and their own cities"
"that's a lot more engaging"
"that would be a better way to demonstrate what they are learning this exam"
Motion: link to test sent to teachers (passes unanimously)
Motion: hold item til March to see how this was handled in the schools
Ramirez asks what feedback we're getting from the schools (passes unanimously)
Motion to move forward to piloting test (motion fails)

meeting adjourn

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