SLT Meeting Notes – November 18, 2019

SLT Meeting – November 18, 2019

In attendance: Angie Arlia, Cheryl Bennett, Diane Berman, Monica Berry, Jordan Kalus, Lauri Posner, Kelly Ramot, Kazue Takenaga, Michael VandenHeuval, Beatrice Yang

Approval of October’s minutes was postponed till December’s meeting. Michael’s name should be fixed so that there is no space within his last name.

PA Update – Cheryl

Book Fair & Movie Night

  • The Book Fair was very successful. Teachers received $300 to spend on books for their classrooms. $2,500 worth of books will be going to PS 242. Online donations seemed to help. There was an option online to donate to 242.
  • Proceeds from DL Movie Night also went to classrooms at 242.
  • The next PA event is the Winter Celebration, which is scheduled for the evening of 12/13. It is a free event and potluck for the entire student/parent community.

D3 PA Equity Committee

  • The D3 President’s Council has an Equity Committee that is made up of PA Presidents or their proxies. There is a representative from every school. The Equity Committee wrote a letter that made its way to the Chancellor. Committee members will be meeting with people from the Chancellor’s office before the end of 2019 to discuss the definition of equity.
  • Committee members want full disclosure regarding where PA money goes. In some schools there is no accountability. 87’s PA is a 501c3 so it must follow certain guidelines. Some PAs have a “Friends of” account and use money any way they see fit. They do not have to follow Chancellor’s Rules and Regulations. There was also some discussion regarding “dark money.”
  • Prior to Mayor Bloomberg, D3 had a pool of grant writers and money was dispersed among schools within D3. In order to do things more equitably, different ideas are being considered. Perhaps all money should be pooled and distributed among all schools. Perhaps a D3 fundraiser can be held and money can be distributed among schools in need. In an attempt to do more as a community, in addition to individual school PAs, perhaps one PA can be formed to create districtwide events.
  • There was no discussion yet about whether money should be divided per child or per school. 
  • The money raised by some PAs makes their schools’ Fair Student Funding allocation comparable to the amount received per student in Title I schools, but members recognize that in Title I schools, FSF provides necessary additional personnel for children whose families cannot afford outside services.
  • Monica mentioned that although she is a member of the D3 Equity Team, she was unaware that this meeting was even happening. There was some discussion regarding whether or not the PA President Equity Committee might be moving forward without the knowledge and approval of the school communities they represent.
  • Monica also stated that the Parent Equity Committee Meeting was held on a weekday at 10 a.m. and that being able to be present at a meeting is a privilege. She went on to say that there is a great deal of work that still must be done aside from decisions regarding the ways in which money is distributed.
  • Cheryl said that the PA Presidents still want things to be community-based. They do not want someone to step in and turn everything into a business.
  • Members of 87’s SLT felt that the changes being suggested could end up causing problems especially if they are made without input from school communities.
  • When meeting with the Chancellor’s office, the PA Presidents want more guidance regarding what equity means, and want the Chancellor’s Regs to reflect these definitions.
  • D3 now has a Google Group sharing information coming out of the district.

Principal’s Report – Monica

  • Monica shared that the Superintendent, Christine Loughlin, is very interested in equity. She wants all students to be treated with respect and dignity.
  • D3 has partnered with Matt Gonzalez, who does equity work and is part of the Chancellor’s Diversity Committee. There is discussion regarding how to make sure that parent and student voices are heard. Christine wants to make sure that we are fighting for the right things. 
  • Christine has a vision of what she thinks the district should look like and how children should be educated. She believes that the level of teaching across schools should not be so varied.
  • There is a big gap in all schools in the district between how black and Latino children score and how white and Asian students score. How do we address this and close the gap? All kids are making gains, but the lines showing the levels of achievement have remained parallel.
  • Christine is also looking more closely at the math programs being used within the district, and looking at the differences in teaching going on within individual schools and among different schools.
  • Years ago, D3 schools worked together as a district. There are many people thinking we should return to have a district identity. Many people would like schools to come back together and become more unified.
  • Monica mentioned that at 87 there was a great collegial conversation among 2nd grade teachers about a math task and rubrics.
  • Beatrice suggested the creation of a parent book club. Monica could recommend education-related books. Monica said that she will talk to Jessica at WESS to find out how she started her book club. Kelly said that it doesn’t have to be a big deal. The book club could meet once in the fall and once in the spring. Diane suggested that, to be equitable, meetings should be held during the day and at night. Beatrice suggested that summer reading ideas be provided to parents.

SLT Bylaws

  • It was decided that the SLT co-chair is responsible for reporting to the PA.
  • SLT Correspondent will continue to be listed as a separate position.
  • In lieu of a Timekeeper, times will be allotted to each part of the agenda, and all SLT members will share the responsibility of keeping track of the time.

5:30 adjourned