Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Teaching, Learning, and Student Supports notes

The agenda is here

Regarding Mandarin Chinese: currently Level III and IV being offered at Doherty
surveying regarding students being eligible for an AP level course
for any course, take into consideration: MassCore, student interest, staff certification, enrollment capacity
number of students actually prepared to take on an AP level course
don't have student interest or numbers for an AP level course
for those wishing to advance themselves in language
looked at virtual school, online: not at level of AP course
colleges around: teaching Mandarin? could use dual enrollment
that's the best viable option today to see what schedules colleges will have
right now Holy Cross will have Mandarin; should that be scheduled, could enter agreement with college for dual enrollment
Monfredo: students who started in grade 7, at Doherty: have a commitment to those parents to continue with those parents
Rodrigues: Mandarin will phase out next few years, Level III & IV, then Level IV (no new rising students)
Holy Cross due to course selection?
will be offering Chinese as a course next year; could consider dual enrollment
Monfredo: would hope that we would encourage more languages in our system, essential, job market
Rodrigues: though phasing it out at Forest Grove and Doherty, will start elsewhere; no interest at those schools, despite recruitment efforts by schools
Ramirez: offered only at Forest Grove?
Rodrigues: started at Forest Grove, but phased out due to lack of interest, followed students to Doherty
then can use teachers to start at different schools
Ramirez: what languages are offered?
Spanish, French, Latin...differs from school to school
Rodrigues: not only keeping it, have to increase it
students have to have two years of a foreign language in high school
Ramirez: has there been a dual language effort?
Rodrigues: not yet, but we're getting there; currently rising fifth graders
can't be typical foreign language class, "has to be something way more advanced"
that's how get perhaps high school offerings into middle schools
rising students taking AP already
planning for that, not there yet
O'Connell: disappointed Mandarin not attracted more interest on part of students
would like to see that enhanced
noticed that Stanford has an online sequence in Mandarin, as does virtual high
would like to see students offered either what is at Holy Cross or online
would Holy Cross prepare students for AP?
Rodrigues: would be a very challenging step, but feel level of learning would be equivalent of AP
parent speaks in favor
teacher comments that interest is growing and growing very fast
question level of students taking classes at Holy Cross
Monfredo: do you see more of an interest?
agrees that there will be
parent wonders if its a self-fulfilling prophecy
O'Connell: do we flag on course selection sheets courses that will be offered subject to interest?
Rodrigues: couldn't find interest
no interest in Chinese in terms of fulling a full classroom
perhaps just move to a new school where there will be greater interest
O'Connell: have Mandarin at Claremont?
Yes, and plan to continue at all levels
Rodrigues: to clarify, if we had student enrollment, we would be offering AP next year
not enough students to make up a class
teacher speaks of students perhaps being "scared off" from due to rigor of courses
Rodrigues: commitment to any advanced course necessary
already emphasizing that engagement with languages
O'Connell: worth surveying students regarding language interest?
broader point on languages, asking what they'd like
Rodrigues: could ask for preferences for course of study, for next year
in terms of capacity, students have to take two years of the same foreign language
courses become more and more compressed for the individual student
motions on Holy Cross dual enrollment, survey of middle & high school of what they'd like to have included, included foreign languages
item is filed

Summer reading lists are here
taking into consideration the "Worcester the City that Reads" momentum
question around pages read versus books read
discussion if aligned twenty minutes a day with number of books, very confusing
particularly with WPL, students have very many questions
have many statistics
much more tangiable job for parents if you read "these books"
Monfredo: disagree
kids who may want to read longer books, gives more flexibility by giving pages and books
Rodrigues: if summer reading is to be a pleasurable activity, conversely your theory applies as well
allow for student choice, choose an activity, show my interest
need to entice those who don't typically read
go to premise read these three or five books by level, think we're in better shape in getting kids in the habit of doing so
Colleen Kelly: what sorts of suggestions can we make for families who may not be involved in education make good choices with their children?
This current research is showing that reading twenty minutes a day every day of whatever they want is what's really going to move children forward.
Phyllis Goldstein: two things to empower parents: simplified what it looks like
all very inviting and very consistent
applaud book choices: modern, diverse, gender balanced, every genre, "all kinds of interests here"
partner with Worcester Public Library
kids thought if they were doing the work through the Worcester Public Library, that they somehow weren't doing work for the Worcester Public Schools
Ramirez: really impressed with just the marketing
Gribouski: share with other places where kids spend time
O'Connell: doesn't use "suggested" this year on front page this year
objects to taking out (basically) Western canon
Kelly: students survey on books that they would recommend to peers for summer enjoyment
teachers asking that such books be taken out for classes to work through together
the input and the number of sources that were consulted to create these lists
wish for student voice to be made
Ramirez asks if we ever looked at what was listed and what was read
"As a Latina, looking at these lists and never seeing" something for herself
need to refresh
may see students carrying around three very rigorous books in the summer
Monfredo need to look at and evaluate what works and what doesn't
O'Connell argues again for books that have stood the test of time...and so forth
Rodrigues: try to find ways of providing a different look and side
first thing we did was survey kids
the assumption is that we know what good readers are and what they need
asks how many books Mr. O'Connell
Novick: concerned about some sort of misguided defense of the Western canon here
children need to find themselves in books
troubled by use of term "politically correct" in speaking of changing of lists
Monfredo: honest debate about what's in the best interest of our children
Ramirez: can make recommendation to summer reading committee about concern
committee should be empowered to change it
O'Connell: request administration to prepare and present to School Committee
Gribouski suggests referring to WPS site for additional choices
then could move this to translation and production
daunting task on this...
O'Connell: approve list as presented, link to additional suggested books online
Gribouski: don't really know if there are books that really rise to the level
get a sense of what children are reading
so motion to approve list as presented, with note that others are available online

survey of principals here on when it's taught
motion to file

New courses
you can find them here
Ramirez: new English are for Goddard Scholars in South?
Rodrigues: pre AP work, essentially
"a more advanced English I and English II"
Diesel automotive (through Perkins) applying for Chapter 74
really going to enhance options
"This is unique"
motion to approve all

Monfredo: weekly monitoring
shared civic responsibility
asking guidance for more information

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