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Lawrence Park School Council Meeting Minutes
September 26, 2016
P. Hochmann, M. Wright, A. Richter, D. Carson, D. Boughner, V. Bak, I. Kovalev, E. Lancefield, J. Sole, E. Boone, J.Bai, G. Wyett, L. Hanson, M. Schummer, S. Paetkau, S. Kopyto (Teacher representative), M. Kawale (Student representative), L. Jovanovic (Principal), R.Kelly (Vice Principal) , S. Bibla (Vice Principal)
Welcome by Co-Chairs: (S. Paetkau and M. Schummer)
Approval of Agenda: E. Boone, J. Sole
Approval of May minutes: D. Boughner, A. Richter
Student Update: (M.Kawale)
• There has been a lot going on for grade 9’s, including assemblies and Buddies on Wednesday mornings
• Spirit Week is this week
• Camp Olympia is coming up for Grade 9
• Big (first) win for Football team today!
Co-Chairs Update (M. Schummer & S. Paetkau):
• A draft of the 2015/2016 Annual Report will be posted on the Lawrence Park School Council website and can be found by clicking here
This report provides:
• A snapshot of each meeting held last year
• Issues raised including teacher negotiations, staffing concerns, change in format of curriculum night, discussion of turf, large graduating class causing graduation challenges in the auditorium (Ruth explained that the graduation will continue to be held via live-stream between the gym and auditorium for the next few years now that equipment has been purchased), student underage drinking/drugs at Halloween Costume Ball with the outcome and not having a semi formal in the spring, the football team issue, Buddies program and course selection.
•A review of the 6 presentations made last year during the school council meetings.
It was decided at the last meeting in May that this year school council will return to previous format of holding 5 business meetings and 3 meetings with speakers
• Fundraising review of money raised and money spent. Last year SC raised $12,400.
• School Climate survey high level results were reviewed. Good response was received with almost all students participating, 87% of teachers and 159 parent responses. Please see report for more detail.
• SC met with ACLs – a list of what they would like to see in terms of support (in the classroom, extracurricularly and via fundraising) is provided.
• SC meetings with the Superintendent, Peter Chang
• Michele thanked Gillian (Finance) and Janet (Speakers) for their assistance last year and Nominated the following parents for this year’s School Council Executive:
Gillian Wyett – Finance
Michele Schummer – Co-chair
Erika Boone – Co-chair
Liz Hanson – Secretary
Susan Paetkau – Speakers
Julie Sole – Website
Anna Richter motioned to approve the above noted 2016/2017 school council executive. Eleanor Lancefield seconded the motion.
• Susan presented the idea of our November speaker topic being Youth Resilience presented by Megan Popovic. Megan is faculty at Western University. Susan suggested that Megan could also present a series for parents and students on this topic covering areas such as well being, academics and parent/child relationships. This could potentially take place on Wed mornings during late start. Last year there was great turnout for speakers with 80-100 parents coming out. Susan will seek further feedback from guidance before proceeding.
Motion was made by E. Lancefield to spend $500 of the Pro Grant money to fund Megan Popvic as our November 7th speaker. P. Hochmann seconded the motion.
• Discussion took place on topics for future speakers including stress & anxiety.
• Also discussed was when is the right timing to have students and parents come out for these events. There is concern students will not get out of bed for morning sessions. Lunch times are busy with many other activities and parents cannot get to school during this time. There is merit to having them hear a speaker earlier in the day and then having time to reflect with parents later on what they heard…fosters discussion and might be more effective. Logistically, the need for permits after school and conflicts with outside activities makes this timing difficult.
• Discussion also took place on the timing and possibility of a Careers and Pathways night. The school will be holding a night in October. Parents felt this was more of a School Fair in the past.
• Fundraising is off to a very slow start this year with 46 families donating approximately $5000.00 school year to date.
• School Statement of Needs: This sets the priorities of the parent community and should be done early each fall. Draft will be available on the website and brought back to SC for approval at the December meeting.
Principal’s Update (L. Jovanovic): Lillian extended a welcome to all and a special welcome to parents of Grade 9 students. She reviewed the Principal’s message sent out to all LPCI parents via email earlier in the day:
• For September, the first month of the 2016-2017 school year, we have accomplished much, and I would like to share a few of these activities with you.
• At the end of August, we had a week long LPCI Prep Course to help our Gr. 9 students make friends, acquaint themselves with the LP surroundings, procedures etc. to make the transition easier and more enjoyable. We received much appreciation and positive feedback from students and parents and hope we can continue this tradition.
• On Wednesday, August 31st, our Administration team, staf and LPCI Buddies welcomed our grade 9 students. They had the opportunity to spend the morning with our Buddies from Gr. 11 & 12 and enjoy a BBQ as well. Our LPCI Buddies work with our Gr. 9 students throughout the year assisting them and helping them cope with the transition and high school. The Buddies even accompany them to Camp Olympia to make them feel comfortable.
• Camp Olympia is our yearly event, where all grade 9 students get the opportunity to socialise and learn more about Lawrence Park and their peers. It is a 3 day trip (October 17, 18 & 19), and the Gr.11 & 12 Buddies and approximately 25 teachers accompany them. We encourage all Gr.9 students to participate in the event as the bonds and relationships they build could help them through high school or even last a lifetime. Information has been sent home with Gr.9 students, but parents are free to contact us should they have any concerns or need more information.
• We have had an excellent start to the new school year. Lawrence Park was picked as one of the pilot schools to implement the School Cash Online System and more than 75% of our students registered/ paid their activity fees online. As with any new system, there are a few glitches and the Business Services Department at the TDSB is doing their best to solve these issues. We are looking forward to give you the opportunity and the convenience of being able to pay online for uniforms, fieldtrips and other LP activities.
• During the first week of September, we also had a Pizza Lunch to welcome our new Gr. 10, 11 & 12 students from other Boards, provinces or other countries. They were pleased to share their experiences with others and build new relationships.
• During the second week of September, we had an Assembly and Activity Morning for our Gr.9 students. It started with a welcome assembly, where the LPCI rules and regulations were reviewed. The students spent the latter half of the morning with their Buddies and got to know each other through numerous activities. The morning ended with a BBQ lunch.
• A ‘Welcome Back Assembly’ was organized on Thursday, September 15, for our students from Grades 10, 11 & 12 to refresh their memories, where the policies were once again reviewed.
• ‘Picture Day’ at LPCI took place during the 3rd week of September, and our LPCI students received a photo ID card that will permit them to borrow library books, attend numerous LP events, etc.
• Every Wednesday, during our late start, all grade 9 students work with our Gr.11 & 12 Buddies, on diferent projects and activities. During this time, our staf work collaboratively in their faculties, to ensure the curriculum is covered across all classes, plan lessons, do moderated marking and numerous other activities to ensure student success.
• Every Wednesday morning, from 8:35 a.m. to 9:35 a.m. in Rm. 108, we also ofer extra help to students who need assistance, or have made prior arrangements with their teachers to write tests/quizzes, etc.
• During these late starts on Wednesdays, our Guidance Department has arranged with diferent Universities to make presentations to enlighten our LP students on careers and opportunities. All our LP students are welcome to attend.
• On Friday, September 23, we had two Spirit Assemblies for all our LP students, where they were introduced to numerous clubs, teams, councils, that are run by students and supervised by Staf Advisors. All the information on clubs is posted on the Bulletin Board by the Guidance Ofce. Please encourage your child to join a club, team, or any extra-curricular activity and become an integral part of LP.
• A Substance Abuse Assembly was scheduled for September 26, but unfortunately had to be postponed to a later date.
• A Curriculum Night is planned for our Gr. 9 parents on Thursday, September 29th at 5:30 p.m.
• In addition, the Athletics Faculty has started selection for numerous sporting events and Fall teams, and practices have commenced for the same. Our first football game took place on Monday, September 26th.
• As you may be aware, we have been deemed a closed school for Optional Attendance. We are currently operating at 143% capacity and are trying to reduce our student enrolment. Our current enrolment is 1,222 student: Gr.9 – 297 students; Gr.10 – 285 students; Gr.11 – 285 students and Gr.12 – 320 students. Parent V. Bak posed a grave concern with regard to decline in music. Ruth Kelly explained that there has been declining enrolment in music and that is what drives the staffing. The number of business courses has doubled and the school is ofering a total of 9 cooking courses in French and English this year. She reiterated that the music program is exceptional, but enrolment drives the decisions.
• There was also a question as to why Music camp is not being ofered. R. Kelly said this is Mr. Brown’s choice. Discussion continued with regard to Olympia and Music camps being scheduled at the same time in the past and students having to forgo music camp. Parents should continue to check the website for the Eye on LPCI for updates on news & information.
• At the moment the school cannot send out the Eye without doing so in batches of 100 emails at a time, which is very onerous for the staff.
• Discussion is ongoing as to whether the Halloween Costume Ball will take place on October 28th in the gym at LP. The dance would be from 7-9pm. Students have been asking teachers to chaperone. Parent D. Carson supported the school having the dance as these events build community. The staff are reluctant to supervise given previous poor student behaviour with regard to drinking. Students are not bringing alcohol in, and are not admitted if they are noticibly under the influence, but at times they have been binge drinking prior to the event and become ill once inside.
• A parent question was asked with regard to grade 10 advanced math. Are the expectations higher? Do the marks drop? The answer was yes, the expectation is higher and the load is heavy. No definitive response with regard to comparative class averages.
• L. Jovanovic discussed some work that was done to the school this summer. LPCI was used for summer day camp and as a result experienced some wear and tear. The Board receives the money from the rental, not the school. Painters were in for three days and painted the washrooms before school opened. All school improvement needs are listed on the TDSB website. Issues around being able to fulfill simple requests continue. The school needs to have elevator keys. They put in the request and wait… All the clocks in the school were removed and now the school is receiving them back in slow, small batches of 10 at a time. A few classrooms received them in June, but currently there are no clocks on the 2nd and 3rd floors which is frustrating for teachers. Parents suggested we could buy clocks, but we are not allowed as they have to be clocks approved by the board and the issue is then that the board has to come in to install and that could take months… There are no blinds or curtains on the east side of the building. This makes it hard to show video or PowerPoint in any of these classrooms and adds to the issue of heat in these rooms. Blackboards are 20-30 years old – chalk dust is an issue. White boards needed, but again cannot be installed by anyone but the board…hands are tied. All these issues have been brought up with Superintendent Peter Chang who said he would follow up. The Superintendent who is replacing Peter, Vicki Branco will be made aware of the issues. Her first priority is on School Safety. As a SC we are trapped in many of these situations with the board and unable to provide assistance. Parent suggestion made to start a petition…. Answer was not the right course of action at this time.
Staffing Update (S. Kopyto):
• She has sent a note to staff asking for feedback on student responsibility and parent support
As staff representative at these meetings she acts as a liason between parents and teachers.
Reiterated the desire to have guest speakers available for classrooms within the different departments
• Brought up that there is a new concussion policy. Will need to be signed before students participate in school activities.
• Raised concern of teachers having to deal with dogs (and their mess) on the field. Also glass on the track/field is a concern to staf.
• Phone calls should not be made to Homeform teachers from parents looking for information on their children. These calls should be directed to guidance or individual subject teachers.
High school is time to facilitate the idea of independence, severing the cord a little.
• Motion made by G. Wyett to approve School Council Annual Report. Seconded by A. Richter. • Advertisement for Glenview’s 50th Anniversary Celebration on October 1st.
• Follow up discussion on Costume Ball student behaviour. What are the consequences? A letter, or “contract” will be signed by all students prior to the event. Consequences for poor behaviour are in place including possible suspension.
Fundraising – resend the donation link and bring it to the top of the letter in order to provide more visibility
• Terry Fox walk is coming up. All students will do a lap. Donations can be made directly to the Terry Fox website.
• Parent request for the 2016/2017 teacher list to be posted to the school website.
Next Meeting: Monday, November 7 Speaker on Youth Resilency/Well-being