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Local School Advisory Team

McKinley Tech High School LSAT Meeting Minutes - October 29, 2018

Agenda:
1. Welcome, Introductions
2. Review Minutes/Updates
3. LSAT Chair's Report
4. Principal's Report
a. Review of PARCC/AP Data
b. SY2018-2019 Comprehensive School Plan
5. Discussion/Questions/Next Steps
6. Public Comment


Attendees:
Sherice Muhammad, Chair
Jennifer Rous, Secretary
Kimbria Jackson
Dr. Jones
Andri White
Theodora Brown
John Hammond
Kenneth Lesley
Guest - Dr. Senegar-Mitchell
Sherry Richardson - absent
Nyah McDaniel - absent
Antonia Brown - absent
Todd Richardson - absent
Valerie Wilson - absent
Tanisha Mason - absent
Alecia Witherspoon - absent
Geri Averytt, PTO President - absent

Meeting was called to order at approximately 6:05 pm.

Discussion:
1. Quorum: Chair asked for introductions of those present and reviewed voting members in order to determine a quorum was present.

2. Minutes: There were no comments submitted for the September 25, 2018 minutes. Rous Motion with Lesley Second to accept as submitted. Vote: In favor. Rous to provide to Dr. Jones for upload to the McKinley Website.

3. Updates: There were no updates to any actions from the last meeting.

4. LSAT Chair's Report: Chair tabled this report until the next meeting due to this being her first meeting as the chair.

5. Principal's Report:

a. Biotech: Dr. Jones deferred to Dr. Senegar-Mitchell to discuss the initiatives surrounding the Biotechnology STEM Focus Area. Dr. Senegar-Mitchell reported that both the NAF Academies for Engineering and IT received Distinguished Classification awards in the first year they were available. The Biotechnology program was modeled after programs in California and the goal has been to make it comparable to a NAF Academy. Despite multiple requests to DCPS for us to be allowed to apply for a NAF grant, it has not been selected by DCPS, so other options are being pursued. Dr. Senegar-Mitchell is working with Trinity University on a new program. The grant program would focus on two approaches: affect changes in the lives of students and provide continuing education for teachers by inviting them to obtain a Master of Applied Science for no cost except for a 2-3-year commitment to teaching. The second element is an investment in multiple years of students by growing the educators. The program would have other potential benefits including opportunities for students to complete internships and research with Trinity. McKinley is also working with Trinity to get access to curriculum and equipment to support Biotechnology for access to advance items. Dr. Senegar-Mitchell is also working to see if Biotech students could get college credit for their senior projects through Trinity and working on developing a new Bioethics course to replace the previous course offered by Howard. This joint program with Trinity is mutually beneficial in that it advances Trinity's commitment to underrepresented demographics. It also encourages additional donations with the inclusion of the teacher element, as many large pharmaceutical companies see teachers as an investment in the future and are willing to donate towards fees, tuition, and summer internships. McKinley has invited the Trinity President to lunch and staff have presented the ideas to Trinity at a luncheon there. Targeted start date is January 2019.

b. Biotech Grant: It was reported that McKinley may received a $20,000 grant from American Association of Medical Colleges. This should hopefully generate additional revenue by other groups following suite.

c. Engineering: Lesley reported that he is meeting with UDC for the Engineering Academy.

6. PARCC and AP Scores:

a. Dr. Jones reviewed the provided information regarding the PARCC scores. Significant improvements were noted across all areas. Hammond commented that the "Writing Initiatives" in all classes was helping with ELA scores, but that there are limited parallel opportunities for math in other classes. Jackson commented that some caution should be exercised when viewing some of the breakdowns due to the small number of students represented in the groups. Muhammad asked if there were hidden messages in the results. Dr. Jones responded that 9th grade teachers are doing very well for preparing the students for ELA and for math, one of the main challenges is that the test subjects are not mirroring the current study materials. By the time students take the PARCC in 11th grade, they are no longer taking Algebra and Geometry. Hammond also commended that Statistics is on the PARCC, but that most students have little exposure until much later. Dr. Jones indicated that teachers are beginning to incorporate review modules in the year to cover the math topics to address these concerns. Jackson highlighted some of the significant positives with the PARCC results were that there was a large drop in African Americans scoring level 1. Dr. Senegar-Mitchell also highlighted the increases in Hispanics who are dual language improvements at the Level 4 and 5 in ELA.
b. Dr. Jones discussed use of RISE resources to track students who are on the "bubble" for failing across all tests and to monitor their progress. RISE will be operating the Saturday Academy for McKinley this year. They will be offering basic math and ELA assistance. Benefits of this are that the funding is not being pulled from McKinley's budget and the curriculum is being designed by McKinley teachers but administered by RISE staff with limited McKinley faculty on-site.
c. Brown inquired how we were to sustain the growth in achievements. Specifically, if outside organizations are providing the assistance to students, how is McKinley working to ensure that continues. Dr. Jones indicated that funding had been set aside in the budget for Saturday Academy this year, but that it would not be used. Dr. Jones stated that funding of $11,000 was needed for SAT Preparation Course all students. This filled in the gap that Transcend needed between their grant money and the actual cost of the providing SAT prep classes for all juniors.

7. Budget: White reviewed the budget for the year. There is approximately $206,000 budgeted for non-personnel expenses this year, with approximately $120,000 allocated to departments. Based on the FY18 budget load of approximately $272,000 plus additional EtE plus of $12,000 and custodial plus of $2,400, this projects an approximate reduction of $85,000 from FY 18 to FY19.

8. Mouse Abatement: Muhammad inquired about the mouse abatement efforts. White responded that DGS is notified every time a complaint is reported and DGS comes to address it. Contributing factors of food outside of the cafeteria and excess paper in locations were identified. Muhammad will contact DHS to inquire into consistent eradication efforts, but wandered if additional policy regarding cleanliness may be needed at the school.

9. Comprehensive School Plan: Dr. Jones stated that the SY18-19 Comprehensive School Plan had been submitted and initial feedback is that it is approved. Differences from last year include expansion of Social Emotional Learning and use of Marzano has added rigor. Overall school suspensions were down and attendance was improving. AP and SAT scores were not significant improvements but improvements. Dr. Senegar-Mitchell highlighted that although the 10-point gain in average SAT score was not significant, the jump above 1000 points would open up new tiers of schools. The next tier and additional funding for scholarships is above 1200 points, something to continue to work towards.

10. Attendance: Muhammad inquired how attendance is recorded. Dr. Jones identified that it depends on when the teachers record attendance, field trips, and tardiness. Teachers are encouraged to provide pre-submit list for field trips to minimize false absences, as is the athletic director encouraged to make the same effort for athletic events. The school is sending daily reminders to teachers regarding who has not submitted attendance, so that the school can be better about sending 5-day and 10-day absence letters and conducting home visits. Substitute teachers are also provided rosters to allow them to conduct attendance and this is given back to the office to be recorded in Aspen. Rous commented that the bus schedule from Rhode Island contributes to tardiness. That even when students take the 8:15 bus, they are often late due to the lines at security and most definitely late from the 8:30 bus. McKinley has made efforts to reorganize the front entrance to speed processing, but issues with students removing jackets and belts and trying to sneak in cell phones remain. Dr. Jones and White will address to see if the schedule can be compressed to get the students to McKinley earlier. White also commented on working on the CASS system to ensure it is reading the DCOne cards better.

11. Delayed Start: Dr. Jones asked what the parents thought of the delayed start. Rous commented that she did not like that it was optional. It should be mandatory, as the students find excuses to dally on the way to school since they know they are not being monitored. Parents can insist that students attend on time, even on Wednesdays. We do have work and assignments students can do.

12. Other Discussion Items:
a. AP Exams: Rous expressed concerns regarding the requirement to take AP classes and the poor results. Feedback provided by staff was that it takes approximately 3-5 years to be good at teaching to the AP Exam, and the lowest passing rates are from new teachers. Rous asked and Muhammad seconded that if additional resources were needed, parents may be willing to purchase those as gifts through the PTO. Dr. Jones will inquire. Dr. Senegar-Mitchell stated that many universities are no longer accepting AP exams as credit and that there is a general movement away from them. Dr. Jones will report out at next meeting any input from central office.
b. Additional Benchmarks: The AP Exam resource discussion led to a follow-on discussion about if there were additional benchmarks of student progress we should be reviewing. Dr. Jones agreed to discuss with DCPS, but the group was interested in having the regional representative from the College Board, Mr. Igoudjil (faculty with highest passing rate on AP Exams), Wilson, and Mason present for additional discussions.

Chair discussed adjourning the meeting. Jones Motion with Brown Second. Vote: In favor

Meeting adjourned at 7:35

Proposed Agenda for Meeting #3
1. Review and approval of previous meeting notes and approval to post on Website
2. Review of Comprehensive School Plan
3. Review of last year's PARCC and AP Data - Are there resources needed by the teachers to improve on these results?
4. Review of measures of success - Are the PARCC and AP Data the best measures of student success?

 

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