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Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School School Council Meeting Minutes - 27 April 2010, 7:00PM – Library Present: Lauralee Comeau, Sivas Premjeyanth (Co-Chair), Dave Copeland, Taz Virjee (Co- Chair), Sandi Armstrong, Pam Mosekjaer, Karim Kherami, Dave Rodger, Joel Graham, Tim Hawes, Kerry Roy, Houry Avedissian, Corrine Connors, Dwight Thompson, Sheryl Foran, Kerri Stewart, Rosalina Cornejo-Parriego, Anna Clement, Mona Abuheindy, Andrea Condie, Katy Harrison, Dale Taylor, Christina Gillanders, Travis Wing, Patsy Agard and Carole Wood (Recording Secretary). Regrets: Tania Daminakos Meeting called to order 7:05PM Minutes of previous meeting: Agenda was approved by Dave Copeland and seconded by Lauralee Comeau. Minutes of meeting of 23 February 2010 were approved with minor corrections by Sheryl Foran and Kerri Stewart. Co-Chair Report: Taz Virjee & Sivas Premjeyanth The council would like to thank Lauralee Comeau for organizing the secondary parent/teacher dinner and all the parents who helped make it a success. We hope to expand the network of parents involved in this event. We do advertise in the newsletter. We are looking for a new Chair for this event. Any interested council member should forward their name to Lauralee. Council would also like to thank Lauralee Comeau for organizing the first Cake Auction. Thanks to all the parents who helped and in particular Andrea Condie, Tania Daminakos, Fiona Dobson, Karim Kherani and Carole Wood who supervised the event. There were a few challenges but with help from Patsy Agard, Carey Godfrey and her culinary students and the teachers’ cooperation all went well. The Teen Truth presentation for the parents was very informative but not as well attended (only about 25-30 parents attended). Unfortunately we did not receive details of the workshop in time to properly notify feeder school councils in advance. Coordinators from Berrigan and Farley Mowat were unable to distribute the information to parents in time. We would like to thank Kevin Comeau, Maya Elek and Sivas Premjeyanth for their help with the event. We have received numerous emails from parents concerning some behavioural challenges on the school bus. Additionally, we received a number of emails when the 685 bus did not arrive on Tuesday April 19th to take students home. It was very late (arriving about 3:45PM) and picked up some students on the road but left others waiting for the 171 across the street. The Cafeteria volunteers have expressed concerns regarding scheduling of volunteer hours. Sometimes too many people are scheduled simultaneously and not needed. Often they travel from far away to work so this is upsetting to those who feel their time is wasted. The question has arisen as to who benefits more from the volunteers’ time, Chartwell or the school? Although volunteers may enjoy the work, they want to feel useful and appreciated and have asked us to look into this situation. Lastly, thank you to the council members, Kerri Stewart, Carole Wood, Lea Varvaresos, Dwight Thompson, Tania Damianakos, Katy Harrison, Sandi Armstrong, Thaniath Sidiqqui, Lauralee Comeau, Janet Myers and Taz Virjee and Parents Darlene Mulvihill and Bilhur Khan for providing food to support the Cappies Dinner. Also, thank you Rosalia and Barbara McGuire Clark who came forth but were not needed. It would be nice to get more non council members engaged in such events. I am open to ideas or suggestions. Grade 8 All Boys Class Presentation (Christina Gillanders and Travis Wing) There will be 2 boys’ only classes in grade 8 the next school year. Christina will teach history, drama and English and Travis will teach math, science and physical education. They visited Roberta Bondar E.S. and Ashbury College to observe a boys’ only environment. They explained the reasons behind the proposal linking both the disproportionate number of boys and girls at LDHSS and the various benefits to boys only learning to justify this option: Statistically boys have more behaviour problems and receive more suspensions Boys are also more likely to drop out of school and fewer boys are attending university than girls In EQAO testing boys are outscored by girls in all areas including those at LDHSS They presented various statistics and the numerous merits of a boys only educational environment. Some of these points include: Increasing movement in the classroom as work is blocked into 12 minute increments Involving the boys in more kinaesthetic learning Creating opportunities for more boy friendly tasks and gender specific literature beginning with a collection of boys books The use of competition to motivate boys and increase personal organization emphasis Increasing the access to technology Develop realistic goals and an opportunity to overcome any shortcomings using regular positive feedback There were questions asked of the presenters as follows: Q: What criteria would be used to select boys for boys’ only classes? A: A little bit of everything so that the widest possible range of students would form a class noting that currently, 85-90% of parents consulted have rejected the idea Q: What happens in Grade 9? A: We will wait and see how well the first year goes before deciding (per Patsy Agard) Q: Can the boys’ literature collection result in an increased gender gap? A: Unlikely. The goal is to get the boys reading and current statistics show that boys in grade 7 and 8 don’t like reading at all. The idea is to help them find a style they like and get them reading. Q: Will a passive boy fit into this boys’ only class? A: Yes, this class won’t look any different from any other class except it will only contain boys. Q: Will there be recommendations on report cards for specific boys to be included in this class? A: No. There are no negatives here. There is no down side to being in a boys’ only class. Q: What will be the ratios of boys and girls next year? A: It will be even in the mixed classes once the two boys’ only classes are established. Student Council Report: Anna Clement Student Council elections will be held. Grade 10 representative Co-presidents will be selected. A dance will be held 14th May for both grade 9 and grade 8 together. We are planning a Coffee House. There will be a walk at Vincent Massey Park to promote a pink day to stop bullying. Fundraising: Joel Graham (presented a slide show) In grade 7/8 there are four 50 minute physical education classes weekly and the senior grades are offered daily during the semester in which the course is selected. Across the Board there is only 57% retention of students in physical education beyond grade 9 although the statistics at LDHSS appear to be much better. The physical education department is working to instil a culture of health and encouraging involvement with the following initiatives: Leadership development through the athletic council Offering standard PE classes, Fitness PE classes, Outdoor Education (in grade 11/12), Leadership (grade 11) and Exercise science (grade 12) Activities including ski club, annual canal skate day, snow shoeing, reaching out to partners at Merivale H.S. to help mentor students using more senior students in grade 11/12 Intramurals are organized by Athletic Council Tuesdays and Thursdays at lunch Fun events like the Turkey Shoot are created to encourage fitness challenges LDHSS offers an affordable recreation program but fees do exist. They are needed to provide transportation, entry fees to tournaments, uniforms, equipment and championships. When operating at full capacity, LDHSS will have 36 teams and 500 students in athletics at a cost of $120,000. Currently there is a fee of $20 for grade 7 and 8 students and for grade 9 and beyond the fees are $45 for a minor sport and $65 for a major team sport. A school with a true emphasis on sport instils principles and values of physical education and uses teacher coaches who have played at the university level. Fundraising initiative is to raise money to ensure that all students can participate in sports at LDHSS. On Friday June 11, 2010 at 7PM there will be a charity auction held for parents only in the Atrium of LDHSS. It will be a night to get together as a community and raise funds to establish a scholarship and to establish a right to play fund. We are extending an invitation to attend a live auction and we are looking for items to give as prizes and for donations. All information regarding the event is on the website. Please direct any questions to Joel Graham, Head of Athletics. Principal’s Report: Patsy Agard Please consider what should be included in the School Mission Statement for the next meeting. Also, should there be a change in our code of behaviour; i.e. our cell phone policy? Thank you everyone for your efforts with the science fair, the cake auction and the dinners for the Cappies and for the Secondary teachers. OC Transpo was contacted to address a problem on the bus 682 when students were ejected by the driver. The actions of the driver were not policy. The driver was upset. Usually an OCT officer is called but this did not happen. OCTranspo administration has addressed this with the bus driver and in future they suggest parents call them directly if a bus is late or is a no show. Staffing 8 intermediate teachers will be hired due to the increase in enrolment for next year and due to the retirement of Dale Taylor 17 teachers will be hired in the secondary panel as our senior school populations will double (there will likely be 30 or 40 more teachers in the next couple of years as LDHSS grows in size) The Dress Code was reviewed. No straps and no bare shoulders are allowed. Shorts must not be too short. We are asking parents to help with this dress code standard. Next year there will be Secondary Timetable Change. Five minutes added at each break. There will be no change at lunch. This will delay the dismissal time to 3:15PM in an effort to ease congestion with other area schools dismissal times. On June 24th there will be a Grade 8 Celebration dinner for students with their parents and the students will have a dance to follow to celebrate the completion of the intermediate program. This is currently being organized. Questions can be directed to Lauralee, Taz, Sophia and Melissa. Academic Awards will be held early in the next school year. There will be building changes with the influx of a new grade 10 next year, we will be adding a new music room and a new third floor art room. Grade six students visited for the day last week and saw the “Little Shop of Horrors” musical while here. On Thursday May 6th students and parents will come for a visit and the Council will have a booth to welcome them from 7:45 to 8:30. A Pass the Baton meeting will be held next week. This idea was discussed for a possible Year End BBQ or Open House but it was generally decided that it was best to wait till September so as not to draw interest away from the Athletics Dept. Fundraiser already scheduled for June. Vice Principal’s Report: Tim Hawes There has been an alarming increase in bad food choices by the students since the warm weather arrived. We’ve seen a large number of energy drinks and “Blizzard” type items being consumed. We are asking parents to speak to their children and discourage the regular consumption of these unhealthy items during school. Financial Report: Dave Copeland We have switched banks to the Bank of Montreal but we are still receiving fee notices from Scotia Bank which Dave will correct with officials. Bank balance is $2,500 plus the earnings from the cake auction will be coming in. Cake Auction: Lauralee Comeau Parents and staff contributed 30 cakes which were auctioned in a silent fashion and earned a total of $590.25. Thanks to Cary Godfrey and her culinary students for their cake contributions and thanks to the volunteers. Next year we will probably repeat the silent auction plus add a raffle next year so the event is more affordable for all students. QSB: Lauralee Comeau Decision should be made regarding continuance of the program in September. We made over $2,000 this year and Lauralee is willing to keep the initiative going. OCASC: Dwight There was no meeting last month but Cathie Curry gave a presentation regarding meeting special needs students program and Sandy Richarson (Principal of Berrigan E.S.) gave a presentation on the balanced school day. Elmvale P.S. Council has three presentations coming up. On April 28 - healthy eating, on 12 May – anxiety and on 26 May – Why won’t my child do as I say? The OCASC annual AGM is next month. There is a cold cup school fundraiser initiative available. Thermos type cups are available for purchase to decrease the amount of plastic water bottles in use. Intermediate Report: Dale Taylor Multicultural Night is on Thursday, May 13th from 5:30 until 8:00pm. Everyone is welcome and is encouraged to bring in food from their culture to share with others during the potluck. (Rochelle Desjardins) Teacher Appreciation Snacks: Thanks to the parents who contribute to the teacher appreciation snacks on Friday (and to Barb Troutman for coordinating it.) It makes my Friday. Whether it's a good day or a bad day, the treats in the mailbox give me a little pick-me-up and I always pass on the mood to my students. You probably don't hear it enough, but thank you for the treats. (Michael Fuchigami) Intermediate English Public Speaking competition is Wed May 12, 1:45-3:25 PM. 16 classes are doing speeches in their LA classes. Best person representing their class at the school competition Wed afternoon. Parents are welcome to come out to hear the best of the best in Grade 7 and 8 English. (Michael Fuchigami) “Little Shop of Horrors” – Today and yesterday many grade 6 students from our feeder schools had the opportunity to attend our school musical, “Little Shop of Horrors”. The musical will run from tomorrow night until Saturday night. It has been so great to witness the involvement and contributions of the grades 7 & 8 students. As part of the Cappies Steering Committee in the program’s first four years, I have seen dozens of high school shows, usually performed by mostly senior students. However, our grades 7, 8 and 9’s have really come through with a highly entertaining show. Congratulations to Evan Mochizuki, the show’s director, and his team of volunteers. I have really enjoyed being a part of this inaugural effort. (Dale Taylor) Cappies (Dale Taylor) – One of our Cappies critics, Kristen Thibodeau, had an excerpt of her review of Cairine Wilson’s “Annie” published in the Ottawa Citizen last Saturday. Our seven critics will be voting on May 8th for 33 different award categories. Nominees will be announced on May 10, and the Cappies Gala will take place on June 13th in Southam Hall at the NAC. Stay tuned for information about ticket sales. Thank you so very much to the parents who have volunteered to provide food to our visiting critics on Thursday night for our musical! Many of us teachers are back stage helping with the Musical, so it is so great of you to come forward to help out. Next year, it would be great to have a parent fill the role of “Cappies Booster”, leading a small team of supporters of our school’s involvement in the program. Secondary Report: Dave Rogers Year Book Sales Books can be purchased on line through the school website. Parents and students can submit pictures through the website to be included in the book. The cost is $30. Some were pre-paid in September. Check with Mrs. Russell in the admin office to be sure. Summer School LDHSS program will run from 5 July to 28 July, registration forms are available and include: Grade 9 and 10 Reach Ahead courses, Grade 8 – Get Ready for Grade 9 Math, Grade 7 and 8 Language Arts and Math, Grade 7 and 8 Language Arts for English Learners (ELL) LDHSS will offer Reach Ahead courses (full days): Introduction to Business BBI20 (open to grade 8’s) and Career Studies and Civics (English and Immersion) There are some on line courses (Careers/Civics) but students must be extremely diligent and autonomous if they choose to take those courses as the workload is heavy. LDHSS will offer Make Up courses (half day): English – Academic, Math – Academic, Science Academic Some courses will not be available at LDHSS. Reach Ahead Geography or Math will be offered at Merivale H.S. Make Up courses in applied subjects English, Geography, Math or Science will also be offered at Merivale H.S. along with academic Geography. Option Sheets These all be completed (deadline has passed). Parents are encouraged to review results from student report cards to determine if changes to next year’s course choices should be made. Changes can be made any time but may not all be accommodated due to availability. For students who fail a grade 9 subject and do not manage to make up the course in summer school, they must repeat the course again next year. Every attempt will be made to ensure the course is scheduled in September but this too cannot be guaranteed. Extra help for students Some students who have had difficulties academically have been attending extra help outside of class time and this has made a significant difference in their results. Parents should encourage their children to seek extra help with classroom teachers as it is available. Pascal Math Contest Results 33 Students wrote the test. The average for this year’s contest was 87 and the average for our school this year is 88. Tina Zhang will be receiving a medal and the top 6 students will receive a certificate in the mail and we will have a formal celebration when they arrive. The top 6 are: Tina Zhang (116), Tony Wang (114), Amy Situ (109), Rhian Meaney (108), Caleb Turcotte (108), Viyashini Vijithakumar (107). Congratulations to all these students. Sports-a-thon The event will be held at LDHSS in the gym on Friday May 7th from 4-10PM. Students can compete in a team setting for fun at a cost of $10 each. Application forms are available and there are prizes for various categories. Fundraising Update: Taz Virjee Taz is still working with Dwayne to launch the discount card program in September. We must sell 1400 cards. We are looking at one major event to accomplish this and meeting with department heads to discuss. All Other Business: Taz Virjee None The next meeting is Tuesday 25th May in the library at 7PM. Meeting adjourned 8:50PM.
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