Sunday, November 24, 2013

Teach has a new home

At last Tuesday's School Board meeting, the decision to move Teach to the Grand Avenue campus (known as Old Pacheco) was approved.  The move will be coordinated throughout the rest of this year and over the summer, so that Teach can be at that location for the 2014-15 school year.  Teach will be sharing the campus with SLO Classical Acadamy.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Important School Board Meeting Nov 19

Next Tuesday November 19th is the DECISION MEETING on Teach School. WE NEED EVERYONE at the School Board Meeting!

Dr. Prater will make recommendations that the board will vote on Nov 19th. Unfortunately we will not see his recommendations until sometime on Friday. It is likely that Teach will move but the big questions that need to be answered are:

1. Will the campus move to a location where it can thrive, such as the Accelerated Learning Committee's suggestions #1 Old Pacheco or #2 Lizzie campus; or will it move to the Coast where its future is uncertain due to demographics and LOMS starting middle school in grade 6?

2. Will we regain the classroom that we lost last year due to overcrowding? will grades 4-6 remain?

3. Will the board spend the resources needed to move Teach in light of budget constraints?

4. What will this move look like and will the arrangements be acceptable? i.e. will we keep our digilab, library books etc. Remember Teach has not overgrown its space or reached its capacity but Bishops Peak has ballooned both through natural growth as well as open enrollment where 20% of current students are from outside the neighborhood. WE DID NOT CREATE THIS PROBLEM!  We are willing to relocate to secure Teach's future but not at the expense of our children.

It is important to remember that the school board making the decisions on the 19th is composed of the same board members who with few exceptions were against Teach. If the Teach community had not come out in full force last year we currently would be in the middle of a phase out and not looking at the real possibility of having our own campus. We have come a long way, let's finish this - not only for the benefit of our own children but for our community!

Please join us on the 19th and bring along family members and friends who support Teach and/or accelerated learning. The meeting will start at 6:00 and will be held on the Coast most likely at Del Mar Elementary or Los Osos Middle School. I will send out a follow up email once we have confirmation. In addition I will post Dr. Prater's recommendations as soon as they become available on the Save Teach School Facebook page and will also send out an email blast.

Here are actions you can take before the 19th:

Write a letter of support to the school board - here is a link to their email addresses, consider writing a letter to the Tribune and other media outlets, contact your friends and encourage them to come to the meeting and set up childcare and carpools.

Thank you for your support,

Helen Sipsas
Teach Boosters President

Friday, November 8, 2013

Charles E Teach Booster Board meeting

November 8, 2013

Charles E Teach Elementary School – Room 27

Board Members
Randi Barros –Co- Vice President
Dan Block – Principal/Teach School Rep
Mignon Jones – Treasurer
Vanessa Rizzo – Board member at large/4th Grade rep
Morgan Robertson – Board member at large/6th Grade rep - absent
Lori Shields – Secretary
Helen Sipsas – President
Kimberly Wormley – Co-Vice President

Other Guests In Attendance
Jessica Carlberg
Kimberly Charles
Sunshine Cowgill
Alex Dekhtyar
Taffy Gonzalez
Denise Jenkins
Doris Kim
Janine Marion
Nicole Nicholson
Robyn O’Leary
Brian Olson
Alias Piette
Kurt Rightmyer
Joyce Romero
Carrie Stanton
Wendy Sue Sylvester
Altee Vigil

Call to Order - 8:35 am

        I.          Welcome & Introductions

      II.          Review & Approval of Minutes – Minutes from 9/5/13, 9/6/13 and 10/4/13 were reviewed.  A motion to approve all of the minutes reviewed was made, seconded and carried
    III.          Finance Update - Mignon informed the group that we are continuing to receive checks, and Class reps are following up with parents that need to continue with their pledges.

Helen reviewed the proposed budget for FY14 - The original “Proposed” budget was not accurate due to various reasons, but now that we are further into the year and have a better sense of the activities and needs for the year, it was appropriate to review and amend as necessary.  Helen, Kimberly and Lori met to review the numbers, and come up with a new proposed budget. Taffy noted that the CCG income line item needs to be removed from the proposed budget.  We no longer have a connection to the donor that allowed us to receive the income previously.  A motion to approve the budget for FY14 was made, seconded and carried.
    IV.          Battle of the Books - Kimberly Charles has been in contact with all of the teachers to find out what books they still need to add to their supply.  Jessica was not aware that in previous years we only purchased off of the short list.  She will need to take another look at the list to see how much the books needed from the short list will cost.  Parents could be asked to donate books, purchasing from used book stores, amazon, etc.

      V.        Principal's Report –  Mr Block discussed the Language Arts progression being an easy adaptation to the Common Core curriculum.  Writing is harder to put grades to.  The focus needs to be less about a graded assignment, and more about kids progressing from where they are at.  Report cards in the current format are 23 yrs old, and they need updating; there is a committee working on it.  Teachers are struggling to make old ways fit to the new way of teaching, including accurately reporting results.  He has been working on Parent Teacher conferences as well - Lucia Mar conferences are 1 mo before grades come out.  The parent conversations currently are more about grades, instead of an evolution of growth.  The goal is to have parents walk away feeling like they know where there kids are "going" in the school year with their learning.

    VI.        Grade Rep Updates -4th grade – Vanessa was not available, but members in the group reported there was a 4th grade social that was well attended.   5th grade - Kurt R had no report. 6th grade  - Morgan was not available

  VII.         Events -
Teacher Work day - BP approached Helen regarding providing lunch for the teachers for the work day on the 15th of this month.  Helen asked for help with bringing food.  Several people offered to assist.  A list was passed around.

Craft Fair – Randi announced the event is happening on Dec 6th - 2:30 pm - 5 pm.  This is a Kids' fair, in which the kids make crafts/foods and sell them for a 50% split fundraiser between the Teach Boosters and the individual.  The fair occurs in the MPR.  Randi is trying to partner with Bishop's Peak, and would like to advertise to the public.  It is recommended that a parent be at the table with the kids.
Dinner Auction – Taffy announced the date will be April 12th for Derby Days at Cafe Roma.  Taffy asked for help with putting on the event and obtaining auction items.  Discussion was held regarding whether or not we want to put the Tax ID letter on the website, so parents have easy access to give letters to people that they solicit donations from.

VIII.          Other items:
Task Force Recommendations - Helen discussed the recommendations that were presented at the School Board meeting.   The recommendation by the Task Force was made that Teach be moved, and several options for locations were presented.  Mr. Block said that he was in a meeting yesterday that talked about assessing the costs of a move - one time and recurring, janitors, white boards, etc.  Discussion was held among the group re: the benefits of various locations, how to get letters out for people to use in support of the recommendation, how to let people know about meeting, etc.  Redistricting has not been discussed.  May be a need for a new school site in the next 5 - 10 yrs due to new housing developments in process and proposed. Recommendation was made to have another meeting, to work on a formal letter on behalf of the Boosters/School to submit to the School Board.

Secondary Math Acceleration – Helen discussed the School Board’s plans for math progression going forward for all students.  A recommendation has been made to discontinue offering 7th grade math in 6th grade, and test incoming 7th graders for placement in one of two Algebra classes, in order to accommodate further “in depth” learning in Algebra.  If approved, this plan will be implemented with next year’s 7th graders. Algebra I will become a 9th grade standard, instead of being available in 7th or 8th grade.  Testing will determine placement in one of the two tracks of math learning.  There is concern that due to a lack of implementation of several elements of the Math Common Core at other schools across the state, that our students here won’t be able to compete when they are trying to get accepted at colleges.   There is also concern that parents will have few options to contest the decision if they believe their child should be placed on the accelerated track for math instruction.

Open Forum – discussion was held re: possible library needs for next year if Teach is moved to its own campus.  Robyn suggested talking to Mrs. Beaton re: IMC books that may be available.
    IX.          Adjournment – 10:15am