LAWRENCE PARK SCHOOL COUNCIL MEETING October 6, 2014
R. Rovan, A. Voves, E. deVires, M. Schummer, L. Addis, W. Sheremata, J. Armstrong, B. Turnbill, A. Mukherjee, C. Kassenaar, D. Heatz, N. MacLellan, J. Jaffary, T.Gong, J. Rother, L. Turkish, K. Dang, Z. Dacosta, S. Paetkau, A. Knutson, K. Eccleston, G. Wyett, I. Kovazev, M. Wyndham-West, L. Gray
1: Welcome by Co-Chair (L. Gray)
- Welcomed new parents and mentioned seeing many new faces at the grade 9 curriculum night and added that she hoped their experiences at LPCI were positive so far.
- Introduced Larry who was prepared to present his presentation on the 2011 LPCI census following the council meeting and thanked him for his work.
- Gave a quick overview of how the meetings are run (i.e. agenda approval, students, principal update…etc)2: Approval of Agenda– First E. deVries
– Second by L. Gray3: Approval of prior meeting minutes
- Approval was postponed until the next meeting.4: Student Update (Katie grade 12 and Ben grade 10)
- Friday night lights at LPCI this Friday, tickets can be purchased at the gym office or at the gate. Backpacks are not allowed at the games.
- Captains from the Junior football team had a chance to go to an Argos practice and meet some of the players.
- Ben gave a nice update on the current sports being played at the school for the fall season.
- Winter sports tryouts will all start in November.
- Swim-a-thon on October 23 to raise money for new blocks.
- Masquerade Ball for Seniors and Juniors on October 24, glow in the dark theme from7pm-9pm.
- Buddies and most of grade 9 just left for Camp Olympia.
- “Because I Am a Girl” is Friday and kids can wear red in support.
- Spirit week was the most successful yet with many students dressing up andpurchasing food items for sale this year.
- Charity week coming up at the end of November, homeform reps will help the classprepare stations of food for the students to try at an extended lunch that day.5: Principal’s Update (L. Jovanovic)
- Welcome to everyone and expressed her pleasure in seeing so many new faces and one of the largest crowds they’ve had in attendance in awhile.
- Discussed how active the school is and how much is going on every single day, she gave a brief recap of those activities that have gone on since our last meeting. (welcome lunches at school, buddy/grade 9 meetings, assemblies and curriculum night, Ontario university fair…etc)
- Asked that parents help in getting students to school on time. They are starting with detentions for students who are late 5 consecutive times. Detentions are in the morning before school.
- Safe and Caring School Committee meets every last Tuesday of the month and they are always looking for more volunteers. The committee does their best to ensure that LPCI is a kind, caring and welcoming school. The committee does varying activities including arranging assemblies when needed to address a problem and dealing with bullying.
- The principal mentioned that at LPCI they do not have any cameras which is rare among the highschools and this is thanks to not having problems that require them. Many schools have issues with students pulling the fire alarms which LPCI does not…she thanked the parents in attendance for raising wonderful kids.
- Music camp in September was successful and more than 300 of the 350 grade 9 students went to Camp Olympia.
- Oct 16, there will be a large assembly for students who have earned certificates for top mark in a subject.
- Oct 20, substance abuse assemblies for each grade.
- Oct 27, Mental Health and Wellness Committee meeting
- Oct 30 Pathway Fair coming up with reps from Colleges, Universities and workplaces.
- The teachers’ rep was not present tonight as his drama duties conflicted with themeeting.Kick off to speaker series arranged by J. Rother
-A respected psychiatrist and speaker has been arranged for the December 1 meeting. Marshall Korenblum will be speaking on mood disorders such as depression and anxiety for one hour , as well as answer questions following his speech for half an hour. The cost is $600. The committee will be arranging more speakers in the future. If parents have questions for Mr. Korenblum, J. Rother would be happy to pass them along to him, so that he may answer some in the content of his presentation. You can email questions to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
L. Gray mentioned that there will be drinks and snacks that night and thanked J. Rother for arranging the speaker. A sign up sheet was passed around to collect names of those who would bring a food item on the speaker night.
- A parent asked for there to be more information provided to parents about the Pathways Fairs before they happen. Discussion ensued that no communication has been received from the guidance department so far this year. The principal said she would look into that.
- A parent also requested that the school look into having curriculum nights for each grade, not just grade 9.
- Many parents are very concerned that books may not be available to students, specific subjects identified were grade 12 math and pysics, as well as english Shakespeare play material.. A lengthy discussion ensued with parents concerned with the amount of photocopied pages being given to their children and an apparent lack of books from their perspective. The Vice Principal has not heard from any teachers that they are lacking materials to teach with, although there is a lack of actual text books due to funding. Students should be able access PDF files along with necessary printouts for each class in place of a text book. The Vice Principal will be looking into this matter and getting back to the parents on what books are missing or needed, if any. Parents were told that a list of books used in each class can be found on the school website and that they can always be purchased for the individual student if the parent wishes. There is a transition from traditional text books to books online and the Principal feels this is what is causing concern and confusion.
- The question was posed as to why French Immersion and Extended French students are combined in some courses which makes it very difficult for the students who are not as strong in French. The Principal responded that it is a numbers game and that there are not enough students to be in separate classes and that Geography, for instance, must be combined for French Immersion and Extended French and that she would like to think that the teachers would accommodate the students. The Principal said she can get the numbers next time for how many Extended French students there are in each class, to more fully explain the situation to the concerned parent.
- It was made known by the Principal that there is tutoring available at the school on Wednesday mornings for any students who need help. It is staffed by teachers and assistants. Peer tutoring is also available in addition to teacher tutoring before school, after school and at lunch. Parents would like more information on when tutoring is available, so the Vice Principal will make sure that info is in the EYE.
- Discussion was again brought back to the suggestion that a curriculum night be held for each grade, not just grade 9. The Principal said that if other schools are doing these, then they must not be doing many other things that LPCI is, because it is impossible to get the teachers and assistant curriculum leaders to come for more nights and these are not included in their contracts. Suggestions were made by other parents present that there are other methods to speak to the teachers… by email, by requesting a private meeting and so forth. The VP commented that it was the curriculum leaders at the curriculum nights and not the teachers to speak to individually.
- A question was raised next about teacher contracts. The Principal mentioned here that they are required to attend parent interviews only.
5: Chairs Update (L. Gray)
- Sept 22, L. Jovanovic, L. Gray and L. Addis met with the new superintendent, Peter Chang, to discuss that LPCI is sitting at 141% capacity. They talked about the stretch on staff, admin, infrastructure, health and safety. They are asking to close the optional attendance at LPCI as we are fast approaching the fire safety limit capacity of 1360 as we are sitting now at only 40 students under that. They met for over an hour and presented him with studies and numbers along with concerns. He has pledged himself to start meetings and look into this matter at LPCI. L. Gray is very concerned that there is no plan in place for what happens when we reach the fire safety limit. He will be speaking at the November 3 meeting after he has had time to digest and look into the issues at LPCI. We are hoping for movement here and soon.
- At the meeting they expressed to him that all issues at LPCI root back to the over capacity of the school. There have been no decisions made in the last 5 years.
- Currently there is an issue with school caretakers that is being worked through. There is some confusion here as to what is really going on at the school, but it has been reported that areas are not being cleaned well. Lots of frustrated parents at the meeting on hearing that restrooms may be locked and not being cleaned properly. The VP said that student restrooms are not affected and it is staff bathrooms that are in need of repair, she feels this is not an issue.
- L. Gray expressed that the Admin at LPCI is not to blame and are functioning the best they can under the circumstances of overcrowding. She asked parents to please attend the meeting to show support of the school.
- Sabina Matter who is running for councillor contacted L. Gray about speaking to the LPCI school council. She was directed to instead attend the “All Candidates Meeting”.
- Sailing regatta held Sept 13 where her boys and other LPCI students did very well. She hopes this sport can be recognized by the school in the future.
- L. Addis will no longer be the co-chair and S. Paetkau was elected as new co-chair. All slates were accepted again that were voted on at the last meeting.First: Zillhad Second: Karing6: Other Business
- Other business was covered already in the meeting.
- Larry’s presentation on TDSB student survey had to be rescheduled to a future unknown date as the meeting was too long this evening.Meeting adjourned at 8:40pm