The following are the minutes from the LSAT meeting in March 2016…
Stoddert Elementary School Local School Advisory Team (LSAT) Meeting
March 2, 2016
4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Mr. O’Beirne’s Classroom
Administration – Bryant, Villegas
Faculty/Staff Representatives –Choi, Guaraldo, O’Beirne, Moore, Stevenson, Turmail
Parent Representatives –Clark, Loughlin, Oppenheimer, Russell
Local Community – Fiorillo
Other—Maria O’Donnell, PTO Co-President
Fillmore Arts Center Abrupt Closure
- Bryant reiterated his support for continuing Fillmore, with increased transparency for supplies, administration, and transportation costs.
- Bryant estimates a $128,854 gap between funds available and funds needed for Stoddert to “pay as we go” for Fillmore next year, under the cost structure identified by DCPS.
- DCPS identified March 4 as the deadline for the 5 Fillmore feeder schools to commit to paying for Fillmore themselves, or abandon the arts program and plan for pursuing arts in the five separate schools.
- Press coverage on NBC4 was one-sided and misleading, as is the letter to parents from DCPS administrators.
- Best hope may be a “political solution” – from the City Council, if enough pressure is brought to bear (Ward 3 Council Member Mary Cheh supports, but needs support of other Council Members/Mayor).
- DCPS is unyielding, despite questions raised about bus contracts, “equity” argument, and the lack of planning.
- Budget/Staffing needs identified in Stoddert’s current site-based plan for art and music education:
- Adequate start-up budget (Music = $15K-$18K, Art = ?)
- Hiring art and music teachers
- Create art/music classroom space
- Art and music in demountables???
- Math resource in coach’s office & World Language on a cart???
New (unfunded) LEAP (LEarning Together to Advance Our Practice) Program for Ongoing, In-School Professional Development
- Sounds ideal, but planning appears to be lacking (especially given accelerated implementation and unfunded staffing requirements)
- CONTENT IS KEY – Deep knowledge of content pedagogy has become more important than ever. LEAP is about building that knowledge and helping teachers apply it.
- SCHOOL COMMUNITIES ARE THE LEVER FOR CHANGE – If we’re going to make big changes in how teachers are developed, it has to happen at schools, with largely school-based capacity.
- IT’S TIME FOR AN ADULT LEARNING CURRICULUM – School leaders shouldn’t have to figure out how to support teachers all on their own. DCPS is developing a PD curriculum that school leaders and coaches can use with the teachers on their teams.
- LEAP Content Teams –
- All core content teachers (including Special Education and English for other-Language Learners teachers) will be on a LEAP content team at their school – either English/Language Arts (ELA) or Math – led by a content-specific leader.
- Special Subject Teachers will be on cross-school LEAP Content Teams.
- LEAP Team Meetings:
- School-based LEAP teams will meet weekly for at least 90 minutes to focus on lesson planning, content knowledge development, and student work/data analysis.
- Cross-school teams will be led by District Course Chairs and meet at least once per unit.
- LEAP Observations/Feedback: Teachers will receive regular, formative observations/feedback from their LEAP Content Leader (not part of the IMPACT evaluation system).
- Stoddert is required to provide:
- 1 full-time (or equivalent) content-specific ELA LEAP coach
- 1 full-time (or equivalent) content-specific Math LEAP coach
- Stoddert expects to meet these requirements (for which no new funding was allocated) by hiring one new staff person and re-distributing workload among school leadership and instructional personnel.
- Brainstorm creative ways to absorb new coach FTE requirement with minimal detrimental impact to instructional time.
- Wide-ranging discussion
- Submission due March 7th
- Narrative will include a statement expressing the LSAT’s concern that Stoddert simply cannot recreate a commensurate art/music education program in-house because of lack of start-up funding, timing of the DCPS decision vis-à-vis the SY2017-2018 funding availability, and space in our over-crowded school.
- Personnel Spending (PS) and Non-Personnel Spending (NPS) are both insufficient to meet needs.
- Numerous solutions were considered in an effort to preserve instructional offerings, especially for Stoddert’s struggling students, and to continue Stoddert’s unique and beneficial programs (Science, EPASS).
- Stoddert supports finding a way to make Fillmore sustainable, and is strongly opposed to the method in which DCPS has abruptly announced it is pulling support for this cost-effective, established program without any apparent planning for creating viable arts options in the five elementary schools affected.
- The Stoddert budget submitted on March 7 for SY2016/2017 will reflect the need to plan for developing “art on a cart” strategies to serve students next year at Stoddert, but the LSAT is holding out hope that Fillmore funding will be restored.
- Stoddert should strive to:
- Preserve existing instructional offerings as much as possible.
- Engage in new LEAP program to further strengthen Stoddert’s teaching in the English-Language Arts (priority) and Math areas, with minimal impact to instructional offerings available for students.
- Ensure we are meeting resource needs of the most challenged students, with a special focus on math resource teaching given the relative decline of math resource support as the Stoddert population has grown.
- The LSAT supports approaching the PTO for specific funding that would allow Stoddert to use more NPS funds to support instructional positions next year, in light of the latest DCPS unfunded staffing mandate (LEAP).
Action Items (Ongoing, unless otherwise noted):
- Communicate within LSAT about final budget submission on March 7, 2016 – Bryant (completed 3/7/16)
- Support Friends of Fillmore efforts to save the arts program:
- Friends of Fillmore blogpost: http://friendsoffillmore.org/
- Stoddert website coverage: http://www.stoddert.org/2016/02/20/save-fillmore-arts/
- Look for ways to improve understanding and communication about space/resource challenges and their wide-ranging impacts to broader school community – All
- Investigate “trusted sites” and other computer resources previously available on the Stoddert Website – resources not yet added to site
- Continue investigating possible PTO-funded improvements to the West Wing – O’Donnell and Villegas
Upcoming LSAT-Related Dates
March 7 Stoddert submits 2016/2017 Budget