LPCI Parent Council
Minutes Sept 21, 2015
M. Schummer, M. Moncrieffe, M. Cifelli, J. Bragg, V. Ho, D. Boughnar, L. Turkish, M. Gavrilina, A. Voves, E. Devries, M. Finlay, W. Sheremata, T. Kosikova, N. Ketush, L. Sheinbaum, D. Carson, C. Vivash, D. Scherbinsky, T. Pasca, P. Connell/Goslett, G. Wyett, L. Gray, S. Paetkau
Staff in Attendance:
M. Benais, L. Wong, K. Mitchell, S. Kopyto, M. Neag, L. Jovanovic, N. Martins, R. Kellly, R. Mancini, C. Papaiconomou
Welcome by Co-Chairs (L. Gray & S. Paetkau)
Introduction of current council members
Approval of Agenda : J. Bragg, E. Devries
Student Update (Jameson & Josh)
- Focus at the beginning of the year is always getting the Gr 9 students integrated (Moving-on-in-Day before school started, where the buddies were introduced and a tour of the school was given to grade 9, assemblies during the first week along with activity day).
- Football, volleyball, basketball and cross country along with other fall sports have started.
- Spirit week which includes dressing up is next week along with the assembly to introduce all the clubs.
- Oct 5th: Camp Olympia for Grade 9
- Oct 15th: Awards assembly
- Oct 30th: Senior Costume Ball for grades 11 & 12
PRESENTATION BY LPCI STAFF ON STUDENT CURRICULUM
- ACL FOR MATH, MARIA NEAG
She currently teaches grade 9 and grade 12 math and feels we have a current and strong math program at LPCI. The department keeps in touch with grade 8 teachers to help with the transition into LPCI. She also attends meetings with Universities to ensure our curriculum is effective. Currently students are reviewing concepts using mental math without calculators. Text books have not been distributed yet, however this is not affecting the learning, they have all they need as beginning units are review. Each student will receive a text book. A question was raised about how FUNCAL went last year. Ms. Neag responded that the teachers thought it was fine, though the class did add extra work for them, students liked it once they were used to the more rigorous schedule. It was a balance for the teachers and students. The guidance department liked it as it gave students a completed grade at midyear for university applications. We have 342 grade 12 students this year.
- HEAD OF GUIDANCE, KIM MITCHELL
There is a three tier focus in guidance and they wear many hats: social wellbeing focus, academic focus, post secondary planning/pathways focus. They review students at every reporting cycle and there is continuous dialogue with teachers. There are a lot of opportunities for the teachers to get to know the kids with the non-semestered program which helps with student success. Guidance runs homework groups, a new Filipino homework group is starting but open to all. Socially and emotionally….3 nurses are here from York. They visit the classrooms, work on committees and interact with students. Our social worker, Joanne, is here every Friday to meet with students and also staff members. The school psychologist is also here once per week to meet with students. The Health and Wellness Group run by students meets weekly at lunch; they are doing a lot of fun and progressive things. The school Mental Health and Wellness committee is on the last Monday of the month at lunch and parents are welcome to attend.
Guidance counselors will meet with every grade 9 student by the end of October. They work in the grade 10 careers classes, bring in speakers for them and try to get kids focused on goal setting and exploring career options. Post secondary pathways is focused on grade 12 right now, introducing them to the application process and taking advantage of the university visits or contacting the university reps individually. Pathways fair is coming up on Oct 15, all students are encouraged to attend and speak to various universities. Guidance also runs supplementary workshops throughout the year (for example essay writing). They post volunteer opportunities on the board and on the TV outside of their office. Guidance recommends using MyBluePrint for students to start thinking about career options. They also conducted a workshop with teachers to speak to them about incorporating discussions on careers in all courses.
- ACL OF HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION, LINDSEY WONG
Busy athletics program at LPCI with both junior and senior levels in many sports as well as intramurals. The competition is fierce to make a team at LPCI and that is why we do so well. The new curriculum for phys ed doesn’t change what they teach but how they deliver the content: to promote life long living, healthy living and active living. They focus on: invasion territory sports, striking and fielding sports, new wall games, target games. They are incorporation multiple new sports so that kids get exposed to a variety, not only the traditional sports like football and basketball. Health wise, they are incorporating more topics into each grade level.
- ACL OF LANGUAGES, MARIE-HELEN BENAIS
Proud to offer 3 languages: Latin, French & Mandarin. Probably have the largest latin program in the TDSB including a full time teacher. There are 4 streams of french (core, applied, extended & immersion). The school offers many field trips, presentations and shows for the language students as well as bringing a little culture into the classrooms through cooking and art. Every 3 years there is a trip to Greece or Italy with the latin teacher ( Italy 2017). There are exchange programs through french class as well as home-stays with rural families in Quebec. They are currently working on an exchange program to Shanghai. Information about exchange opportunities are discussed in the classrooms, at curriculum nights and in the LPCI newsletters.
Ms. Benais pointed out the the french teachers all have various backgrounds and accents, giving the students more depth in their studies. Course outlines for all classes in every subject will be available on the school’s website soon. There is a french homework club each Wednesday at lunch in room 203, for one-on-one help. Certificates are given out for students who take 4 courses of language and advanced certificates if they take 6 courses. The languages offered at LPCI are based on surveys of what the students are interested in. TDSB does offer other night classes in more languages, though they can be hard to access.
- ACL ENGLISH AND LITERACY, ROB MANCINI
Mr. Mancini administers the literacy tests for grade 10 as well as handles updating the department books. Students in each grade will be bringing home a novel soon, each grade has a theme to encourage reading and literacy. He and Mr. Laidlaw (prior ACL of arts) will be proposing a co-curricular drama/english trip in 2017 to visit war sites in Normandy and France…more details to follow. A parent raised a question about cursive writing and if it is required. It is not required, as it is no longer taught at the elementary level. Note taking on either paper or computers is allowed in class. A question was raised if kids receive an actual grade on the literacy tests. They do not, just a pass or fail. The school only receives an average and not individual grades for students.
- ACL SCIENCE/PHYSICS DEPT & ATTENDANCE, CHRISTINA PAPAICONOMOU
Thanked the parent council for providing funding for a new freezer for the science department as well as Labquest equiptment to make the department more mobile. They are incorporating more technology and doing a lot of lab work. The department is also incorporating flip-classrooms, where students watch a lesson at home for homework and then are able to do the activity in class and ask questions if they did not understand the lesson they watched at home. Most classes have their own text books, but some only have them in the room as of now and pages are copied when needed. Everything they need to be successful in the class will be provided to them. Imbedded in the curriculum is discussion on careers. There is a chemistry club, physics club and environmental club. A parent asked if there were any events or programs geared specifically toward keeping girls interested in science classes. Ms. Papaiconomou explained that she does not see an issue at LPCI with at lack of females in the science courses. Grade 11 and 12 students take part in science contests in the spring each year in physics, biology and chemistry. A parent inquired if destination imagination, a science competition, is active at LPCI. It is not currently, but if a student is interested, they can make a proposal and ask a teacher to sponsor.
She also monitors attendance and investigates if students are missing class without parent permission. She asks that parents call-in well ahead of time when students will be absent. Some parents expressed their displeasure and problems with the phone call system. This year, she spends an hour each morning on attendance and will do her best. There is an extended absence form available on the school website and in the office, if parents can fill these out it will help with errors. There has also been a lot of turnover of office staff, which contributes to the errors and extra calls. If students need to visit the guidance dept, they need to first check in with their teachers. The late arrival policy has changed: students now have a grace period of 30 minutes before they have to get a late slip at the beginning of the day.
- PRINCIPAL, L. JOVANOVIC
Welcomed parents and thanked everyone for coming tonight. Commented on the amazing job the school did with timetable pickup this year, 95% of students collecting them before the first day of school. Mental Health and Wellness Committee and Safe and Caring School Committee can always use more students and parents. Cameras were installed in the school over the summer break. They are recording currently, but as of the meeting they could not view the footage. This will be in place very soon. Keith Singer spoke to Grade 9 and 10 students about substance abuse at the assembly on Monday, Sept 14. It has been reported that some students from LPCI and Glenview are drinking alcohol and doing drugs in the ravine during lunch hour. They are monitoring the situation and concerned. One of the teachers has taken the organizing of clubs under his wing, we have 21 clubs currently. Every single staff member is involved in some club or committee. The Wednesday morning late starts give teachers and staff time to plan lessons, do moderated markings together and other essential team sessions.
100 staff, 72 teaching staff with 70 teachers in place (2 vacant)
Ms. Jovanovic went on to explain the reasons for one of the vacant positions. On August 31 a letter of resignation was given by one english/music teacher. The school process is then to submit a vacancy notice to TDSB, which the school did immediately. Out of 100 surplus teachers, the TDSB could not find one teacher who was qualified to teach both english and music. The school has worked hard and adjusted the timetable to accommodate at least an english only teacher at this time. This of course has caused a ripple effect and many students had to change classes. They are currently interviewing for a band teacher who can also teach an english class. Hopefully this will be resolved by Thanksgiving. The other vacancy is for senior math an sociology, the teacher that was lined up came for one day and never returned. They are trying to find a teacher who can cover both. Another timetable change was caused when many students dropped grade 12 math in the first week of school. They were able to combine two grade 12 classes and add a grade 9 math class. The principal asked parents to be patient as they are working on these issues and it is still the beginning of the year. A parent expressed his opinion that the school does not recover from long term absences well and his frustration with the lack of information.
A question was raised about support staff labor action – the principal explained that there is constant change daily in who comes to the office and they are having to learn each day their jobs. It is very concerning and there is nothing the school can do.
Curriculum night will be for all grades, in response to parent requests.
Total enrollment is 1304 with Gr 9: 290, Gr 10: 337, Gr 11: 335, Gr 12: 342
The closing of optional attendance reduced the incoming grade 9 class by 50 students. Optimum attendance for the size of the school is around 1000.
- VP RUTH KELLY
Curriculum night is Thursday with ACLs and also staff who have volunteered to come in that night to speak to parents. Parents can ask questions about course outlines and curriculum while visiting classrooms like a fair. There will be handouts provided by departments. It is not mandatory for teachers to attend, so having parents meet individual teachers is not possible. the school is open to ideas for future curriculum nights and a few ideas were discussed.
Approval of June meeting minutes: M. Moncrieffe, N. Kotush
Co-Chairs (L. Gray, S. Paetkau)
An annual report of the parent council was handed out at the beginning of the meeting on each table along with a breakdown of revenues and expenses. L. Gray spoke about all the work that went into the closing of the optional attendance during the last couple years and also about keeping the school as a non-semestered school. S. Paetkau spoke about the upcoming meeting agendas and asked for volunteers to speak to students about various careers at the career fair on January 25th. The guidance department and School Council both need help from the community in order to provide a great conversation about careers for the students and expose them to professionals in various fields in a format where they can ask questions. So far, only one parent returned the form that went home with all students saying they would help.
Executive Committee elections:
Positions available: co-chairs, treasurer, secretary, web-master, intercollegiate and speaker liason
M. Moncrieffe volunteered to be secretary
M. Schummer volunteered to by the co-chair
S. Paetkau volunteered to sty on as co-chair
G. Wyett volunteered to stay on as treasurer
J. Bragg volunteered to be the intercollegiate and speaker liason
M. Schummer will continue as webmaster and there were no volunteers
A vote was not required as there was only one person volunteering for each position.
Other Business: TURF
L. Turkish gave a brief update on his research into installation of turf onto the LPCI field. He looked into what it would entail to have turf installed as the field requires constant maintenance and is not in good shape, in is opinion. He spoke with the manager of the North Toronto Soccer Club recently. The manager had met with the TDSB and was told there was not overwhelming support from the school or the trustee to change the field at this time. L. Turkish asked parents who were interested in progressing the cause to speak with him personally. At present the TDSB does not feel that there are a large number of parents that want turf installed. L. Turkish can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
W. Sheremata requested that the council review the agenda going forward during the next meeting as other business. The agenda was passed at the June meeting, however it was agreed that we will again review the content in November.
N. Kotush asked for school communication to be included on the agenda as other business at the meeting in November.