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Garden Gate School School Site Council Meeting Minutes February 13, 2008 The meeting was called to order at 3:50 p.m. Attendees: Tricia, Shephali, Megha, Leslie, Nancy and Patti January minutes approval: The minutes were approved as presented. DELAC: o Megha reported that the district is considering translating major documents into five different languages to help parents who are not English proficient. Parents and teachers may meet separately for future DELAC meetings since there is some concern that parents don’t share their concerns when teachers are present. PTA: Commonsense Media gave an excellent presentation at the last PTA meeting, focusing on parental involvement selecting appropriate movie selections, preventing cyberbullying and keeping the lines of communication open between parents and children. Principal’s Report: Learning Day – At the March 7 Learning Day, teachers will score the 3rd and 5th grade CUSD writing assessments. Teachers can later attend peer-training sessions on Google Earth and Kidspiration. Lunch Laps – The ongoing Tues/Thurs lunchtime program is attracting many younger kids, but not as many older students (the 5th graders run the mile twice a week already). Patti suggested instituting lunchtime Sports Day in the fall to attract students from all grade levels. Sports Day could focus on a weekly or monthly choice of games (Capture the Flag, etc.), and/or include lunchtime leagues such as basketball, flag football and soccer. Parent survey – Garden Gate will handle its annual Parent Survey through the website Survey Monkey. The SSC members went through last year’s survey, looking for ways to shorten or simplify the survey. The school hopes to increase response to the survey. Nancy wanted to include some questions on Project Cornerstone. Questions not related to the school or school programs were eliminated. The members discussed how to increase parental response without putting a burden on the students to bother their parents. Student Council elections – The election will take place on Feb. 28, with new officers announced on Feb. 29. Nancy would like the new Public Relations representatives to interview the Project Cornerstone students for the Gatoraid. Jump Rope for Heart – The annual Jump Rope for Heart assembly is set for Feb. 27 and the event will take place on March 14. Other: ♣Prompted by a discussion of Project Cornerstone, Shephali suggested involving all 5th grade students in mentoring and monitoring the behavior of younger students. The meeting was adjourned at 4:55 p.m. Garden Gate School School Site Council Meeting Minutes March 19, 2008 The meeting was called to order at 3:50 p.m. Attendees: Misty, Tricia, Shephali, Dipanwita, Leslie, Sarah, Monica, Nancy and Patti February minutes approval: The minutes were approved as presented. Chairperson’s Report: o Misty discussed preparations for the annual Walkaround. Two 5th grade students from room 12 took top honors in designing the event T-shirts. Gil Maroko is soliciting prize donations. The top prizes are a Nintendo Wii and a Karoke system. o Misty suggested the SSC honor outgoing PTA heads Kelly Takahashi and Agnes Pommier. Nancy suggested a site council representative attend a PTA meeting in which the two will be honored. Principal’s Report: School Plan – The Garden Gate school plan for the 2008-09 school year will focus on the same goals as the current year. The council approved the goals as presented: Reading comprehension Writing Math, with the help of a $5,000 CEEF grant Project Cornerstone . Parent survey – Parents are encouraged to complete the new and improved Parent Survey starting March 31 through April 9. The survey is available online on the school website. Parents without Internet connection can use the GG computer lab to take the survey, from 7:30-8:15am and 11:50am-12: 30pm. The survey is broken down into identifiable areas, including academics, school environment and communication. Nancy is considering some “unprincipal-like” behavior or outfit, such as dressing like a clown, if a specified response rate is achieved. Monica suggested a banner graphically showing how many responses have been received, similar to the red arrow showing the increase in the Direct Donations. . Other: ♣Misty and her family will be leaving Garden Gate and California next year. The council will need to elect a new chairperson for the 2008-09 school year. We will miss you Misty! ♣Nancy defined Work to Rule, which the teachers are enforcing during the labor negotiations. Garden Gate teachers work far more than their scheduled 7.25 hours a day, and are not giving students less during this time. Leslie said teachers typically put in 60-70 hours a week before report cards are due and before the school year starts in preparation. Teachers routinely put in many hours of planning that aren’t covered in their contract. ♣Misty briefly shared the district 2008-2011 Strategic Plan Draft. Nancy said many of the goals of that plan are included in the Garden Gate school plan. The meeting was adjourned at 4:25 p.m. Garden Gate School SSC Meeting Minutes September 10, 2008 The meeting was called to order at 3:50 pm. Attendees: Shephali, Dipanwita, Megha, Carolyn, Alicia, Marty, Erica, Monica, Jaime, Patti, and Nancy. June minutes approval: The minutes were approved as presented. DAC representative selected: Shephali agreed to represent Garden Gate at DAC (District Advisory Council), a job traditionally held by the SSC chairperson. The DAC meetings this year are scheduled for Oct. 15, Jan. 22, Mar. 19, and May 14. DELAC representative: Megha agreed to again represent Garden Gate at DELAC. The meetings are scheduled for Sept. 24, Jan. 14, Mar. 11 and May 13 in the boardroom at the District Office. Principal’s report: Nancy said school started smoothly, and many of the teachers and parents remarked it was the calmest opening in recent memory. Garden Gate earned an API of 972 on the STAR test, 9 points higher than last year, putting Garden Gate 23rd in the state. The SSC budget is dependent on the state. Most of the money goes to salaries. A focus of the coming year is on reading comprehension and writing. Math continues to be a focus, especially in light of the commitment to have 8th graders take Algebra by 2011. Other The council decided to forgo treats at the meetings, except for the December and June meetings. Monica asked if there was a way to insure that children without money in their lunch account could still get the side dishes. Meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m. Garden Gate School School Site Council Meeting Minutes October 15, 2008 The meeting was called to order at 3:50 p.m. Attendees: Megha, Shephali, Alicia, Dipanwita, Carolyn, Marty, Erica, Monica, Nancy and Patti September minutes approval: The minutes were approved as presented. Chairperson’s Report: DAC o Shephali reported that the state budget dominated the September DAC meeting. The superintendent reported a huge shortfall. CUSD officials are tightening residency checks, even conducting bed checks to insure families live where they say they live. DELAC: o Megha said the district would like more parents whose first language is not English to attend the DELAC meeting. There was discussion of ESL classes for parents. Principal’s Report: Project Cornerstone – There was a half-day training session on Sept. 23 for the 5th grade Cornerstone kids. There is also an adult Cornerstone class in the works. Learning Day – The October Learning Day featured a teaching palette for technology. TEAM Thursdays – The innovative program that promotes staff development by allowing teachers to learn from each other started again in October. Teachers can observe a lesson given by a colleague. Red Ribbon Week – Activities are planned every day to promote drug awareness and education. Teachers will hand out goodies daily – pencils, stickers, ribbons, bookmarks and lollipops. GATE – The first GATE after-school program is Fantastic Physics, which will start in November. Selected non-GATE 4th and 5th graders can also participate. The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m. Garden Gate School School Site Council Meeting Agenda November 19, 2008 3:45 – 5:00 pm The meeting was called to order at 3:50pm. Attendees: Marty, Megha, Erica, Monica, Alicia, Dipanwita, Nancy and Patti October minutes approval: The October minutes were approved as presented. CEEF Grant: The Site Council approved a matching $5,000 check from CEEF. CEEF board member Steve Andrews, a sometime sub at Garden Gate, presented the Site Council with a check for $5,000. Nancy said the school will use the funds for advancing technology. Marty Higgins: Marty Higgins updated the Site Council on the new Science curriculum. The district chose FOSS, a kit-based program. The teachers are comfortable using FOSS. The units are interesting and based on the California standards. FOSS is a local company. There have been little stumbles and some frustrations. The units are so large that teachers can’t get through the whole unit before they must give back the kit. Also there are lots of “critter” activities. The kids love the critters but the critters don’t always arrive in good shape. Some activities aren’t child friendly. Overall the teachers are very happy with the FOSS materials. Principal’s Report: The CUSD budget – The district could lose $300 per student in the worse case scenario, which would be a total of $5 million. Nothing is sacred. All who are concerned should write to the governor and their legislators, and mobilize to support education. Other: o Lunch Laps/Game Day – Patti reported Lunch Laps is booming due to the new monthly themed foot charms. The downside – those foot charms are three times the price of the old ones. Game Day is slowly getting more participants. o Zip’s Great Day – The Kaiser-sponsored assembly comes to Garden Gate on Dec. 4. It took two years to book this popular, free program. o Halloween parade rainy day policy - Monica suggested the primary grades go to the GLC in shifts, while the upper grades can snake in through the hallways. Nancy endorsed this idea. The meeting was adjourned at 4:25. Garden Gate School School Site Council Meeting Minutes December 10, 2008 The meeting was called to order at 3:50 p.m. Attendees: Shephali, Dipanwita, Alicia, Carolyn, Monica, Erica, Nancy, Patti and Ada Lee. November minutes approval: The minutes were approved as presented. Ada Lee: o Ada, a 3rd grade teacher at Garden Gate, gave an update on the success of Project Cornerstone, the student conflict resolution program. The goals of the program are to empower selected 5th graders, chosen to be Cornerstone Kids, and to provide a safe environment for the students on the playground. This year the Cornerstone Kids have their own bulletin board near the library. Cornerstone also goes to primary classrooms to answer questions students have submitted anonymously to the Bully Box. Principal’s Report: CUSD Budget – The budget is not looking rosy. All major expenditures have been frozen. “We are keeping our hopes up,” Nancy reported. Staff Page – As Garden Gate transitions from paper to electronic, the school staff can access information on the newly designed Staff Page, curtsey of technology guru Stuart Rosenberg. This is accessible only to the staff. After school policy - Teachers should review the after school policies with students and their parents. Parents need to be on time to pick-up their students. Once students are dismissed, they need to leave campus with their parent or other designated adult. Students waiting with their parents for an older sibling need to wait near the kindergarten picnic tables or the shade structure. Back to School night is the best time to discuss the policy with parents, everyone agreed. Other: Disaster Drill update – Patti reported that the November earthquake drill went very well. Trained city emergency preparedness staff and administrators and staff from the Waldorf school and Bethel Lutheran school observed and participated in the drill. We received excellent feedback and valuable suggestions from the observers. We had parents try to sign out their children and other children who they were not authorized to take home, and our staff responded appropriately. Our Code Red is scheduled for Jan. and the spring earthquake drill will be in March. The meeting was adjourned at 4:50 p.m. Garden Gate School School Site Council Meeting Minutes January 21, 2009 The meeting was called to order at 3:50 p.m. Attendees: Shephali, Dipanwita, Megha, Carolyn, Monica, Erica, Nancy and Patti December minutes approval: The minutes were approved as presented. Principal’s Report: School Plan - Nancy asked the Site Council members to skim through the plan and the goals. In these tight budget times, the goals will be to keep the status quo. Garden Gate will continue to focus on reading comprehension, writing and math, and to keep the art, music and Project Cornerstone programs. Budget update – With the outlook not looking rosy, the district will ask voters to approve a $125/per parcel tax for six years. There will be an exception for seniors. The voting will be by mail-in ballot. The proposal includes a citizen oversight panel. Inauguration – Many Garden Gate teachers took their classes to the GLC to watch President Obama’s inauguration. Nancy said she was greatly impressed with the kids and how they responded to the often drawn-out festivities. Parent Survey – Nancy asked the site council to look over last year’s Parent Survey as well as surveys from two other schools before the council undertakes an update of the survey. The council also discussed ways to increase parent participation. Last year only 40 percent of the families filled-out the survey. DELAC – The meetings have been changed to mornings, and Megha will be unable to attend. Alicia said she might be able to attend the March 11 meeting from 10:30-12. The final meeting this school year is May 13. . Other: ♣Code Red Drill – Garden Gate got two thumbs up from the sheriff’s department following the drill on Jan. 21. Deputy Pete Robinson said our eyebolts and rope work so well our teachers don’t need to construct a barrier by the door. And he is suggesting other schools install eyebolts. To keep her students quiet during the drill, Monica gives her students Playdough, which they normally can’t use. ♣West Bay Opera – West Bay Opera, out of Palo Alto, is presenting two assemblies on Jan. 27. Students will play musicians and policemen in the opera, The Barber of Seville, and sing the finale. ♣GATE Parent Meeting – Patti distributed copies of the minutes from the most recent GATE Parent meeting. ♣Student Council election – Ms. Che, Mr. Ward, Ms. Schwinge, Nancy and Patti are revising the applications to attract responsible and committed candidates. The meeting was adjourned at 4:35 p.m. Garden Gate School School Site Council Meeting Minutes March 18, 2009 The meeting was called to order at 3:45 p.m. Attendees: Shephali, Megha, Dipanwita, Carolyn, Alicia, Erica, Marty, Monica, Nancy and Patti February minutes approval: The minutes were approved as presented. Principal’s Report: School Plan – Schools received an extension because the district had no idea of the budget. Nancy would like Garden Gate to stay with the goals the site council has approved. The school board wants an emphasis on writing. Garden Gate also wants an emphasis on math and technology, even though there are no dollars. Parent Survey – The yearly Parent Survey will run one week in April. Patti said she hopes the lure of a Gator pencil will nudge parents to complete the online survey. We will also adopt Monica’s brilliant idea of having the kids wear stickers promoting the survey. Budget update - SIP was going to take a 20% cut and block grants were swept up by the district. A major portion of the budget is salary based. Nancy said, “We will see what happens in May.” The GATE funds were released to schools. Language Arts and Math textbook adoptions are on hold. Project Cornerstone – The yearly breakfast for students and mentors was March 19th. Four Cornerstone kids, as well as 3rd grade teacher Ada Lee and parent Alexandra Chong, both Cornerstone mentors, represented Garden Gate. Teacher of the year - Stuart Rosenberg, 5th grade teacher and technology guru, was selected Garden Gate Teacher of the Year. Crossing Guard training – Sheriff Cpt. Calderone and Carol Ozaiki will put together a visual dos and don’ts for our volunteer school crossing guards that will be available on the Garden Gate website. Other: Jump Rope for Heart – Nancy wanted to thank Peter Ward for taking on the big job of running Jump Rope for Heart, which will be on March 27. Disaster Drill Update – Garden Gate’s last disaster drill for the year was on March 13. Because of the frequency of the drills, most of the students are used to the routine and handle the situation. Leprechauns – First graders continue to search for leprechauns following a trail of evidence that must have been caused by the wee little folk. Deputy Pete came to Garden Gate with a police dog to take the report and sniff out the rascals. But as in past years, the leprechauns got away. The meeting was adjourned at 4:45 p.m. Garden Gate School School Site Council Meeting Minutes May 27, 2009 The meeting was called to order at 3:07 p.m. Attendees: Carolyn, Dipanwita, Megha, Erica, Marty, Monica and Nancy. April minutes approval: The minutes were unanimously approved. Chairperson’s Report: Shephali reported orally to Patti (prior to the SSC meeting) that Garden Gate received praise at the recent District Advisory Council (DAC) meeting for the school’s wellness programs, which include Jump for Heart and the twice-a-week Lunch Lap program. Principal’s Report: School Plan – The SSC unanimously approved the school plan, with a focus on three goals – math, reading comprehension and student wellness. Garden Gate has put a lot of effort into math education the last 2-3 years, with Noyce training, the MARS assessment and the Problem of the Month. The district also adopted a new math textbook for next school year. Reading comprehension replaced writing as a goal, since comprehension is an issue at all levels. GATE Plan – The GATE plan was unanimously approved, even though it may not require approval. Garden Gate plans to have parents lead and teach the GATE after-school program next year to reduce costs and to get parents involved. In the Professional Development portion of the GATE plan, math needs to replace writing as a goal. Safe Schools Plan – The Safe Schools Plan was unanimously approved. Erica asked a safety issue question about the number of kinders allowed on the playground. Her thought is the current number allowed is too small. Nancy will get an answer from the district office. SSC Elections – Parents will pick three new site council members next week from among the four candidates (including two dads). The newly elected candidates will join the site council at the final meeting of the year, June 10. Math textbooks – The newly adopted textbooks have arrived. Other: Project Cornerstone – Megha asked PC advisor Alexandra Chong to have the Cornerstone kids promote personal hygiene (which would include bathroom cleanliness) next year. Alexandra said she would work on this. The meeting was adjourned at 3:50 p.m. Garden Gate School School Site Council June minutes June 10, 2009 The meeting was called to order at 3:50 p.m. Attendees: Shephali, Dipanwita, Megha, Carolyn, Alexandra, Xiaoyin, David, Marty, Monica, Erica, Jamie, Nancy and Patti May minutes approval: The minutes were approved as presented. Principal’s Report: Welcome to new site council members, parents Alexandra Chong, David Hodgkins, Xiaoyin Liang and teacher Jamie Butcher, Others members introduced themselves. Alicia was elected SSC chairperson. Carolyn or Alicia will attend the DAC (District Advisory Council) meetings. Nancy welcomed the new SSC members – some I’ve worked closely with (Alexandra) and some seen on campus (David and Xiaoyin) and thanked the outgoing members: Megha, Dipanwita, Shephali and Monica. Other: Nancy addressed the budget cuts saying the district should be able to get through next year because of the parcel tax, but no one knows after that. Adjourned at 4:15 p.m. Garden Gate School School Site Council minutes Sept. 23, 2009 The meeting was called to order at 3:50 p.m. Attendees: Alicia, Alexandra, Xiaoyin, David, Marty, Roxanne, Erica & Patti June minutes approval: The minutes were approved as amended. DELAC and DAC representatives: David agreed to represent Garden Gate at the meetings scheduled for Oct. 7, Jan. 6, March 3, and May 5. Alicia or Carolyn will attend the DAC (District Advisory Council) meetings scheduled for Oct. 6, Jan. 19, March 2 and May 4. Principal’s Report: (Patti filled in for Nancy, who was attending a funeral) The start of school went well. We welcomed a new kindergarten teacher – Elana Trop. Elana has taught kindergarten in the East Bay and in San Diego. She is also the cousin of a former Garden Gate teacher, Charlene Lebowitz. To keep the lower grade class size at 20 students, we reconfigured the lower grades and added a new first grade teacher – Hilary Kuhn. Hilary is a graduate of UC Davis and St. Mary’s. Program updates: Lunch Laps: o Fifth grade parent Shephali Payne, a former chairperson of the SSC, now supervises Lunch Laps. Lunch Laps are now on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The monthly charms are wildly popular. New for October – glow-in-the-dark pumpkins. Walk/Bike/Carpool Day: o We are encouraging everyone to walk, ride a bike or scooter or carpool to school on Oct. 7, as part of national campaign. We give everyone special thumbs-up charms to reward participation. Student Council: o The Student Council election made history as the 4th and 5th graders voted online. We plan to have 3rd graders vote online in the spring. The Student Council officers will continue to help with Lunch Laps. Council advisors hope to have the officers participate in more community service activities. Project Cornerstone: o The Cornerstone kids introduced themselves to the K-3 students at an assembly. Roxanne pointed out that the Cornerstone classroom lessons are too long for the younger students. Alexandra said she would talk to the Cornerstone parents about shortening the lessons. Alexandra said she was concerned there would not be enough Cornerstone classroom parents. Xiaoyin asked if two or more parents could share the job. Alexandra said that would be fine. STAR/API: o Garden Gate students continue to excel at the STAR test. The school’s overall score was 980, up from 972 last year. GG is ranked 17th in the state. Other: First grade teacher Roxanne Wolff replaced Jamie Butcher on the SSC. Jamie had a conflict with her master’s program. Xiaoyin asked about precautions at school for protecting students from the H1N1 virus. Patti said staff is well versed on what to do and what to look for. Every class and the office have hand sanitizer. Children are told to wash their hands and do the Dracula cough (cough into the crook of their elbow). Sick children are sent home. A child must be fever-free (without medicinal help) for 24 hours before returning to school, and then must have his temperature taken at school before going to the classroom. The meeting was adjourned at 4:15 p.m.
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