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MINUTES OF DEAL LSRT MEETING – 1/11/07
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Administrators: Ms. Kim, Mr. Dacoba
Teachers: Cynthia Mostoller, Sharon Purcell, Ginette Suarez, Guy Brandenburg, Robert Geremia
Parents: Sarah Whitener, Margot Berkey, Tom Israel, Charles Lawrence, Alison Wylegela (PTA Liaison),
Community Representative : Mary Podesta
Guests: Malin Kerwin, Mary Lord
Enrollment Committee & Feeder School Outreach
Approval of the Minutes of the December Meetings
Citywide Middle Schools & SHAPPE Meetings
Discussions with DCPS about Program & Staffing Planning for 07/08
Parents Meeting for Updates on Modernization & 07/08 Planning
1. Enrollment Committee & Feeder School Outreach
Intensified efforts are continuing to gather more accurate data from feeder schools on the number of students coming to Deal next year. Deal staff are now in their second round of contacts with feeder schools to update their projections. Deal staff combines this information with the data available through the DCPS ‘STARS’ student database system.
Outreach to feeder schools is continuing as well. Parent information sessions at each feeder school have either already been held or have been scheduled. The same is true for 6th grade ‘Buddy Days’ for each feeder school. Ms. Kim is still working to confirm the few remaining sessions to be scheduled.
The LSRT discussed and approved the idea of sending a Deal mailing to each 6th grade family at our feeder schools. The mailing will include a letter from Ms. Kim inviting them to consider Deal, the Deal brochure describing our school’s programs, as well as a note from an active Deal parent from that feeder school. The principal’s letter will also explain the enrollment process, and likelihood, for out-of-boundary students enrolled in Deal’s feeder schools. Ms. Berkey will finish the updates to the Deal brochure. Ms. Kim will arrange to have it translated into Spanish, and will prepare the principal’s letter. Those present volunteered to arrange for the parent letters, and compiling the mailings, for their respective feeder schools. Ms. Wylegela will solicit Deal parents for the remaining feeder schools. Ms. Lord will pursue the feasibility of also sending the mailing to 6th grade parents in charter schools within Deal’s feeder school boundaries.
2. Approval of the Minutes of the December Meetings
The minutes of the December LSRT meetings were reviewed and approved.
3. Citywide Middle Schools & SHAAPE Meetings
Ms. Berkey reported on the December 19th citywide meeting of the Middle/Junior High Schools and Senior High Alliance of Parents, Principals and Educators. DCPS has made the decision to phase in the conversion of junior high schools to middle schools. Unless exceptions are agreed upon, citywide 6th graders will not be moved to middle schools for the 07/08 school year. However, as planned, the remaining 9th graders in junior high schools will be moved to high schools. The significance of this for Deal is that it makes our projected ‘down-sizing’ issue one which now impacts most other junior high schools in the city. This is positive news, as it broadens the constituency that will be asking DCPS to provide temporary supplemental funding for schools downsized during a junior high school to middle school transition. Ms. Berkey also reported that discussions are underway within DCPS and within the Weighted Student Formula Advisory Committee on this very question: what kind of temporary supplemental funding is needed to support junior high schools that experience a short-term drop in student enrollment during a transition to middle school.
4. Discussions with DCPS about Program & Staffing Planning for 07/08
Ms. Whitener reported that the letter from the LSRT to Superintendent Janey requesting a meeting to discuss Deal’s staffing needs for 07/08 was sent before the holidays. (It will be reprinted in the next PTA newsletter). Ms. Kim reported that Area Superintendent Pat Tucker had let her know that Dr. Janey had asked her to follow-up, and that she was more than happy to meet with the LSRT. Ms. Whitener will contact Dr. Tucker to schedule a date and time.
The LSRT discussed the overall issue of pursuing discussions with DCPS over our staffing needs for 07/08, and agreed that it was appropriate for us to continue to pursue a direct meeting with Superintendent Janey as well. While we recognize the value of meeting with Dr. Tucker, and appreciate her advocacy on behalf of Deal, we understand that she does not have unilateral authority over the budget. As the LSRT of one of the District’s best performing junior high schools, we believe it is appropriate for Dr. Janey to meet directly with us to hear directly from parents about the needs of our school as we enter into the junior high – middle school transition. Ms. Whitener will follow-up with Dr. Janey’s office to schedule a meeting.
Ms. Whitener also agreed to work with Ms. Kim to draft a clear and specific ‘needs statement’ that outlines Deal’s specific staffing needs for 07/08 based on our projected enrollment.
5. Parents Meeting for Updates on Modernization & 07/08 Planning
The LSRT set Thursday February 22nd as the date for an Information Meeting for Deal families to provide updates on the modernization, program and staffing planning for 07/08. The LSRT will convey to Dr. Tucker and Dr. Janey our expectation that we will have clarification on our staffing for 07/08 in time to communicate with Deal families on the 22nd. This date will be advertised in the PTA newsletter, on the website and on the listserv.
The next LSRT meeting is scheduled for 7:30 am, Thursday, February 8, 2007.
8:40 am - Meeting adjourned.
Submitted by Tom Israel