Oct 5, 2016 Meeting

October 5 Minutes

View the slideshow presentation from the Oct 5, 2015 PTA Meeting, including Mr. Kennard’s “State of the School” Address, here: 2015-10-05-SlidesFINAL

Attachments: Sep 2015 Treasurer Report2014-15 CBPTA AuditReport

Charles Barrett PTA

General Meeting

Charles Barrett – Auditorium

Monday, October 5, 2015

7:00 pm

Present (47): Agoston,Kay; Anderson,Jill; Billips,Nichelle; Boyd,Andrew; Boyle,Lynne; Bradshaw,Corine; Brayman,Michelle; Bucceri,Kelly; Butler,Nancy; Cashwell, Kara; Coughlin,Alix; Cruz, Pilar Rivera; Dodd,Graeham; Dols,Lisa; Eile,Julia; Espinosa,Martha; Gannon,Tom; Gant,Jen; Griffis,Sharon; Hall,Heather; Hart, Cindy; Hollins,Christine; Hunton,Mary; Jaeger,Anna; Jennings,Deitra; Jones,Paulette; Kennard,Seth; Kessinger,Stephanie; Knysh,Kate; Leibig,Kerry; Lester,Caryn; MacIntosh,Elizabeth; Martinez,Cindy; McGovern,Suzanne; Montalvan,Aura; Pulliam,Jennifer; Reilly,Patrick; Reilly,Sabrina; Ritter,Nancy; Sadoo,Hilary; Sangaré,Claudine; Schuetter,Maura; Seeger,Ashley; Stackhouse,Alexis; Ullman,Shawn; Waters, Stephenie; Weber,Kristen

PTA President Anna Jaeger called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.

PTA President Anna Jaeger introduced the PTA Executive Committee

Jennifer Abruzzese, Parent Leadership Training Institute

  • Jennifer introduced herself as the site coordinator for PLTI and announced that she is recruiting parents for a free 20-week training program focusing on civics training. The program teaches parents to have a bigger voice within the school system to be sure that parent voice is in the school decision process. The program brings in speakers for students have one-on-one conversations with the city council, the school board, the superintendent and media.

  • Parents interested can apply on the website in just two minutes. The current recruitment process will choose 25 parents for classes that begin in November and last through April. Classes are held on Friday nights at Minnie Howard between 5:30pm and 9:30pm and are available in both English and Spanish.

    • Childcare is provided and provides like education to what the parents are learning each week, adjusted for their grade level.

  • Jennifer handed out flyers that were also left by the front door of the school for those who are interested in applying.

  • Does the program involve members of the PTA since the network is already in place? Or how can the PTA support?

    • A number of the PTAs in Alexandria have graduates of PLTI that hold various positions, including roles as president.

    • Talk to Claudine Sangare for more information.

Kelly Booz, School Board Liaison District B

  • Kelly shared some of her history working with a number of schools in the area and listed this as her first year as liaison with Charles Barrett.

  • Kelly said she also supports the work of the PLTI

  • Kelly provided a quick overview of increased scores in the district within the #greatresults campaign outlining great news and positive movement for Jefferson Houston and accreditation at Patrick Henry and TC Williams. She is also pleased with the results of Charles Barrett.

  • Switching gears to redistricting, Kelly announced that she sits on the steering committee that is currently reviewing the process, how it will work and rules of engagement.

  • This week the School Board will announce the citizen committee, which consists of two representatives from each school, including Barrett. Next Thursday, the School Board will vote on this committee. The Redistricting Review Committee conducts its first meeting on Oct 19.

  • The first official public community forum for the ACPS Redistricting Process will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 22, 2015 at T.C. Williams High School

  • Nothing has been decided yet, but the Committee will be getting to the hard topics in the coming weeks.

  • As far as a timeline for redistricting, there is a final vote slotted for February. The newly elected School Board will conduct the vote.

    • If the vote happens in February, the new district lines will go into effect for the 16-17 school year.

    • The Committee wants to do this right and to be transparent. If it is found that February means the Committee is moving too fast, the will hold the vote and the new district lines will move to the 17-18 school year.

  • There have been a lot of questions about ‘grandfathering’ students in their current schools to finish at their current school. The Committee will look at this, but it is unclear at this point what will happen as the work has not yet begun. The Committee is aware that there is a lot to work out, that there are a lot of topics that will be hard to talk about and they will dig into the data

  • Is this redistricting just for elementary schools?

    • Yes, not middle school

  • Why are we doing this?

    • The last redistricting process was in 1999 and since then the city has grown b 3200 students and the West End is bursting at the seams. While there are 485 at Barrett, one school has 1000 students. The redistricting will allow for children to have access to their neighborhood school, equity across schools and the ability to get to school safely.

  • Are we considering building elementary schools?

    • The redistricting will not solve the capacity issue. The capacity discussion will stay with the City Council, which makes this City Council election important. Please look at who supports schools and budgeting. There is a new middle school in the plans.

  • Minnie Howard will not fit the 5th graders from Barrett.

    • This is a situation the School Board is aware of and has been planning for. However, the budget did not fund certain projects. So, some were delayed a school year. 20 new classrooms will be added to Minnie Howard by 2018.

    • Get involved and tell your City Council member that we need funding for capacity.

PTA President Anna Jaeger submitted the minutes for approval.

  • Minutes for meetings on June 8 and 19th, 2015 were approved with no corrections or changes

PTA Treasurer Nancy Butler presented the Treasurer’s Report

  • Nancy presented the Audit report covering last year’s budget. The report includes a bit beyond the fiscal year due to a few late receipts, but the Budget Committee (Michelle Brayman, Kristen Weber and Lindsay Bauer) review the books and agreed they were in order.

  • Nancy briefly went through last year’s receipts, expenses and ending balance of $20, 484 (at end of FY). She also reviewed the aligned items included in the report including review of insurance, taxes, bylaws, payments to the National PTA, etc.

  • Nancy then took us through the current budget, which was posted online. The FY projected income is $59,320, including the Fall appeal goal of $35K. With the carry over of $21,898, the adjusted income for the year is $81,218.

  • Nancy shared that there was discussion about the carry over and that it should be reduced to cover have enough money to get through the first major fundraiser of the following year. The carry over goal for next year is $7k. Expenses are planned at $79,930.

  • A motion was made and seconded to approve the audit, with a full vote of approval.

  • A motion was made and seconded to approve the budget, with a full vote of approval.

PTA President Anna Jaeger ran through a briefing on committee activities:

  • Boxtops have generated $468.40, approximately half of the $1000 goal. There will be another submission drive in February.

  • The Fall appeal has collected $16,000 to date. The drive will end October 31st.

  • The MCM fun run has 53 students running. Registration is now closed. Students will run on 10/24 at the Pentagon at 9:30am.

  • PTA membership is current at 209. The classroom with the most PTA memberships will win the chance to duct tape Principal Kennard to the wall.

  • The PTA is looking for for two new volunteers: 1) a Co-Treasurer who might be willing to serve next year as well, and 2) a GW Middle School Liaison – ideally a parent that has a child in both schools and can keep Barrett apprised of what is happening there.

  • Reflections will be holding an Art Night on October 13th to encourage students to participate in the competition. Students at any stage of the project are welcome between 5:30 and 7:30. This year a 3-D art piece has been added.

  • We will be hosting a Restaurant Night fundraiser at Potbelly on October the 8th. There will be a 25% cut on sales donated to the PTA. There will be another at Potbelly next month and a third at CPK in early December.

  • There are two room parents needed for Ms. Schuetter’s and Ms. Vega’s classrooms.

  • The deadline for ordering Spiritwear is this evening. Orders will be delivered to the schools at the end of the month.

  • Please participate in Walk to School Wednesdays during October. Chalin Smith will be coordinating a ‘walking school bus.’

  • Please visit our website, CBPTA.org, for PTA information. You can join, place orders and donate to the Fall Appeal online. Everything is posted there including calendars and scrolling current information. The site is available in English and Spanish.

  • After School Enrichment started this week. 200 kids are participating in 17 programs. This is our second semester with Baroody and the partnership has been good.

Principal Seth Kennard presented the ‘State of the School’

  • Seth highlighted CETA night throughout his presentation. Charles Barrett was chosen to be one of five schools in the Washington area to continue the program – a reduction from 19 schools last year. This allows for more resources, more attention and more attention to what we are doing. Seth asked us all to join CETA Night on Thursday October 9th so partners can see how supported the school is.

  • Students

    • Seth is in his 7th year. The school has grown with 275 students in his first year to our now 485 students. Nine classrooms have added in six years.

    • Summer construction began before we saw it here at Charles Barrett with off-site construction that would be assembled on-site. The new 3rd grade classrooms were added and are finished inside and the new fire alarm system is in place and working. The space opened on time based on a design with PTA, teachers and students from three years ago. Everything that was envisioned was put into the design. The outdoor learning space is all being built now. There are a few that still need correcting (3rd grade lockers too tall for them to reach).

    • Enrollment is growing with average class sized larger. There are four Kindergarten teachers, each with an aide; four teachers for each grade in first through third and three for each each 4th and 5th .

    • The demographics at Charles Barrett closely match those of the City.

  • Performance

    • Overall test taking is being reduced to:

      • SOLs will continue in grades three through five,

      • Third graders will be tested on math and reading,

      • Fourth graders will be tested on math, reading and Virginia history, and

      • Fifth graders will go through math, reading and science testing.

    • Test results

      • Charles Barrett showed increase testing scores in math, social studies and science resulting in 90 percent plus in call subjects.

      • In math, testing was higher compared to Alexandria City and VA state scores

      • In English, increases were showed a 10-21 percent increase with special education reporting higher than ACPS and state scores.

      • Charles Barrett met both state and federal accreditation, which is a great win as those schools not accredited acquire a huge workload to get back to this status.

    • Student Behavior

      • Charles Barrett tracks student behavior

      • CB has the lowest suspension rate in the City

      • The school tracks learning by tier in reading levels and math and does the same with behavior through referral tracking by tier with levels at one referral, two to five referrals and six or more

      • 94% of students do not come to the office.

      • CB teaches the behavior they would like to see, including active listening, teach kids how to have a discussion about a topic, how to work together, ignore distraction and stay on task. And, the school celebrates the people who follow the rules with reward programs and student highlights.

    • Student Reading Levels

      • Reading assessment is measured by a system from Columbia University.

      • The assessment includes targeted intervention and grouping with monthly and quarterly reporting and a larger re-assessment at the mid and end points of the school year. This allows for teaching on each students’ level so that all are challenged.

      • Last year, 81 students were below their average reading level and within one year, these students moved from three levels below to .6 below – a huge jump in one year.

    • Student math

      • A similar assessment is done during math lessons. For example, a lesson will be taught and a few short questions following will help to determine grouping for that lesson. The mini-lessons are then differentiated to the application level of the student.

    • Peer Comparability

      • Research compares Charles Barrett to identified like schools including George Mason, Lyles-Crouch and Douglas MacArthur within ACPS. There are a slightly larger set of comparable schools within Loudon and Prince William Counties as well.

      • Charles Barrett is within the top 15% of the state and we top our peer comparability study. Division-wide, we are seen as the top or second school across all views.

      • Success of the research doesn’t capture great enhancements like the CETA program, the PTA, the great staff or the after-school enrichment programs.

    • Points of Pride

      • 88% of students who failed math SOLs in prior years have now passed.

      • 96% of students who began below reading level showed growth

      • The longer students attend Charles Barrett, the higher the pass rate of SOLs

      • CB surpassed division and state pass rates in all areas

      • CB has the most pass advanced rates (above level) in the division

    • Focus Areas

      • Subgroup performance

      • Recovery time for new students who enter below level

      • New testing standards and formats

      • Use of data in tailoring instruction

      • ELL student reading performance

      • On-going strategic planning

      • Staffing/services

        • The staff growth has increased diverse needs and our staff was not build to match this growth factor. For example, seven years ago, there were two reading specialists and a math specialist. Following the growth, there remain only two reading specialists and 2.6 math specialists. We are underserved in this particular area.

      • Student surveys

        • CB asks their students to complete a private survey two times a year. The students take it seriously and the teachers use it for self-improvement in the classroom. The data is very valuable.

      • Redistricting

        • The set of needs for the school could change. The students change, but not the staff. The staff have been designed to meet the students currently enrolled in the school, but the situation is being watched closely.

      • There are new progress reports

        • CB is introducing a new and simpler report card

        • Parents will be able to access grades online

        • The system will be introduced in an upcoming PTA meeting and within your first parent teacher conferences.

      • Homework policy

        • A research review of homework and its effectiveness was conducted resulting in a change of the homework policy

        • Homework will focus on independent reading practice and applied practices of lessons.

          • Independent reading is essential for success

          • Independent math practice will be short

          • Long-term projects will be limited to two per year

        • Homework is not graded, the school does not take away recess and the number of minutes needed to complete homework will be limited by grade level. A ‘Mercy Rule’ will be in place where a parent can write the teacher if they cannot complete the assigned homework in the maximum time.

          • Students graduating from Barrett have shared that they felt Barrett was harder than there middle school.

        • Communication is important. In some cases, there isn’t a place for a student to do work at home and these students are coming to get help from the teachers. CB is asking parents to let us know if students can’t do the homework – write a note to the teacher.

      • Can private funding fund teachers?

        • CB does not want to get into a situation where they are hiring teachers and then firing them at the end of the year. However, there are grant options, but certain limitations are in place.

      • Should we consider an enrichment after-school activity to help with reading and math support?

        • CB has intervention funds – used to run the Panda Learning Club (tutoring) that runs for several week and teachers are paid an hourly rate to do it.

CBPTA President announced what was upcoming at the November PTA meeting:

  • Tush will present on Screen Free Week

  • Redistricting Update


The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 pm.

Next meeting:

November 2, 2015

Submitted by: Suzanne McGovern, PTA Secretary

Approved:   Nov 2, 2015