Alcott Local School Council (lcs) Meeting Minutes

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Alcott Local School Council (LCS) Meeting Minutesc:\users\jwallace\dropbox\alcott\lsc\alcott logos jpg\alcott logo w name color final.jpg

Date: February 19, 2014, 8:00AM

Location: Alcott East Campus





Jeremy Agulnek


Evelyn Fitzgerald


Kelly Ketchum


Arrived during 1st Public Comments

Elizabeth Thompson


Joe Wallace


Bree Warren


Ernie Toth


Megan Everett


Heather van Benthuysen


Excused due to teaching

Jennifer Vincent



Noelle Cumberbatch


Elias Estrada


Meeting was called to order at 8:05AM by Joe Wallace.

Roll call was taken by Jeremy Agulnek. At time of roll call, 8 LSC members were present.
Evelyn Fitzgerald made a motion to approve Meeting Minutes from January 8, 2014 LSC meeting. Motion carried 8-0. See Exhibit Motion #2014.2.01
Public Comments

  • “Go Lady Alcott basketball teams!” – the 5th & 6th grade team is in the playoffs

  • Request for school to opt-out of the ISAT test

    • “Not possible” – Mr. Estrada

    • Mr. Estrada said principals are mandated by CPS to administer the test because it is a State of Illinois assessment (will be replaced by PARC next year)

    • NWEA is the form used to evaluate students going forward

    • This is the last year that ISAT will be administered (March 3rd week)

    • Will there be a plan for those students that opt-out of test

  • Alcott Field of Dreams committee submitted a proposal to Illinois Green Infrastructure Grant for $750,000 – should hear back in June

  • There are petitions being circulated now to ask CPS to opt-out of ISAT

  • There is concerns from populations of parents over how NWEA scores will be used instead of ISAT scores to evaluate admissions criteria for high schools

    • Private school students must take NWEA test (instead of NOVA assessment)

    • Percentiles within the ISAT test were removed this year

Old Business

  • LSC Elections to be held on April 7th (East) April 8th (west)

    • Deadlines for filling candidate nomination

    • Candidate forum will be the week of March 17, 2014

      • One of the Intervention Specialists will be running the forum with help from Ms. Holly

    • High School received a “robo call” to remind parents of

Student Update

  • Spirit Week: Monday was spirit day, Senior Night for the boys basketball team, and the Homecoming basketball game. Tuesday was Nerd Day. Thursday was Back to the Past and Friday was Twin Day!

  • Pep Rally was Monday which DePaul cheerleaders came to dance and pump up the crowd. The mascot was there to help too. They had tug of war and highlighted the basketball boys.

  • Homecoming was February 14th! The theme was A Night in Vegas. There was Mocktails (mocked cocktails) served, giant dominos, and snacks available! Tickets were $20. You paid $20 you received 4 tickets to spend at the tables that were fundraising.

  • National Honor Society (sold food) and Seniors (sold drinks) fundraised over 100 each.

  • National Honor Society also gave two free tickets and ten free tickets to the game-the ten people had to make a half court shot to win free tickets to the dance.

  • Valentines day freshman sold heart shaped lollipops and the leadership class sold cuties

  • Seniors are beginning to plan their luncheon and fundraisers for prom. In need of ideas.

  • Science Olympiad recently had a competition at Lane Tech and have won some awards

    • Placing 1st in the Circuit Lab, congrats Louis Jenkins and Angelica Zumudio.

    • Placing 3rd place in the Dynamic Planet, hooray to Vianca Zepeda and Angelica Zumudio.

    • Placing 2nd in Material Science, good job to John Shiro and Saul Freidman.

    • Placing 2nd in the Bungee Drop, a round of applause to George Stamatis and Demisha Ramirez.

  • Civics classes ran by Mrs. Marshall had a Voters Registration Contest. Which is registering students who will be 18 or older before November to vote in the upcoming election.

  • Social Justice League had panel February 6th, in the cafeteria at West on effective teaching at Alcott. All teachers were invited.

  • Participating on panels at DePaul with student teachers. Being asked about teaching styles we like.

  • Leadership Class gave free breakfast to freshman. Dunkin donuts and bagels. Because of their high attendance!

  • They put together a What I Love about Alcott video and it's on our Twitter and Facebook

  • Planning field trips to colleges for juniors and seniors

CIWP Update (Strategic Plan for Alcott)

  • Team met with Mike Rendina, chief legislative officer of CPS, and Ginger Ostro, budget director of CPS, to talk about a bill in Springfield to modify the public school funding formula (which is currently disadvantageous to schools in large urban areas).  CPS is looking for Alcott's help to reach out to state legislators about the need to change the funding formula. Beth Swanson, the Mayor's Deputy of Education, was supposed to attend the meeting as well, but wasn't able to make it.

  • We continue to pursue funding for a 2nd Foundation from CPS

  • Committee is preparing a progress report to assess how we are doing against the CIWP / 5-year Strategic Plan. Looking to have a report presented to the Strategic Planning Committee in early March

  • ILT teams were fully attended this past Saturday at both East and West

    • Striving to get as specific as possible to build out an integrated Pre-K through 12 curriculum model that is fully college preparatory

    • Springboard and Capstone are the curriculum frameworks that the teams are reviewing

    • Meeting again this coming Saturday

    • A lot of the thinking around academic rigor is about “task complexity”

Principal Update

(agenda in black, meeting notes in red)

  1. Curriculum and Instruction

  1. NWEA Data analyzing continues. New reports to be sent home. Reports recently sent with some grade levels did not provide enough information. Attached to report will be an explanation of to the various sections of the report and their meaning. Teachers will be asked to review NWEA parent report during report card pick-up.

  2. Computer Science, Physical Education, Library Science; new mandates for the 14-15 school year.
    As of now, the district has not said how funding will be provided
    Need a 2nd gym teacher at East and West + computer science teacher
    Library Science – interviewing someone to update the cataloging system to new version
    There is a $25M CPS budget line item for Physical Education / Health – not sure how this will get allocated to each school
    These 3 FTEs could run close to $250k
    Mandatory Physical Education hours will replace High School elective session
    Mandate is “everyday gym” for 30 minutes at Elementary level (150 minutes per week) – we are looking to find the best way to fit that into the weekly schedule
    We still have to maintain our “core content” minutes – there could be an impact on Art, Drama, Music, Language (i.e., areas not mandated by CPS)
    There has been no formal discussion of extending school day to support extra requirements

  3. Lottery; should be completed and list should be available.
    Goal is to have a 3rd Kindergarten class for SY 2014-15, with goal to increase school utilization
    Does not necessarily mean that subsequent K grades will have 3 classes
    Barbara Byrd Bennett is advocating for students who enroll in a Pre-K can stay at that school for K and beyond
    Unsure if we have enough physical capacity to support 3 classes per grade at East
    Mr. Estrada’s goal is to keep all middle school students at Alcott through 12th grade – he recognizes today that this is not happening and is working with teachers to address
    Anyone in the Pre-K now will be projected into next year’s K class

  4. Student projections for General Ed. And Diverse Learners are in.
    We stand to lose 1-2 positions at West because of decrease in Diverse Learner population
    CPS metric is 13% - 14% Diverse Learner population

  5. Springboard/Capstone advance placement diagnostic to be today at West. Teachers are currently completing surveys.

  6. DeVry Passport to College partnership.
    Trying to identify a cohort of students to pilot this
    There are science and technology classes being offered – students will get credit at both high school and college – will be part of course catalog for SY 2014-15

  7. MISC Library position not filled.

  8. West tentative course catalogue completed.

  9. Joel Baugn/Youth Guidance
    Joel left
    We are interviewing other companies to run after-school programs and recess mgmt., but does not mean that Youth Guidance will definitely be replaced

  10. Student Treasure books have been completed
    All books will be published next week and shipped to school in early March

  11. Dental screening to be completed per parent request.
    This is part of a CPS organized program

  1. Infrastructure

  1. New engineer at West old engineer left to go to another school

  2. Snow removal; additional cost. We privately hire playground snow removal at East

  3. CPS intending to remove Janitorial responsibility from principals. Begins in March
    Haven’t stated exactly how this process will be conducted
    Almost 2x – 3x the available WiFi capacity at West; issues persist with WiFi at East

  1. Budget

  1. SGSA

  • Move $9000 from current recess budget line to:

  • 1. Bucket 488345 Office Assistance $6000

  • 2. Bucket 488294 Clerk Negative of $143.71

  • 3. Bucket 488291 Athletic Director negative of $98.32

  • 4. Bucket 488340 Additional sub $ $2757.97
    This will be added to next month’s LSC agenda

  1. Internal Accounts

  1. Other

  1. Edible Garden committee has met with Christie Weber. Garden will be moved.
    Suggestion is to move it to the front of the school, left of main entrance

  • We are looking into College Board curriculum
    - AP classes for high school  Capstone diploma program (West campus)
    - Springboard for middle school (for Reading, Math, Science)

  • We are focused on assessing what it will take to get all students prepared for college and to have all East Students continue their studies at West

  • Administration and teachers are excited about what a structured framework that Springboard + Capstone brings to how we coordinate teaching across grade levels

  • CPS needs to approve Springboard Math (versus CME)

  • We are in the process of becoming a Democracy School at West

Public Comments

  • Current Parent-Teacher conferences in 4 – 6 grades are just with homeroom teachers; there was a suggestion to modify the process to allow for meetings with all student’s teachers – Mr. Estrada will take into consideration (and has done something similar at previous schools)

  • Students currently enrolled in Pre-K will be enrolled in K next year

  • “Given that students are at different learning levels, will all be in an AP track?”

    • We will still be focused on differentiated learning

    • We would like to see students push themselves and have additional support available to make sure they can keep up


  • CIWP - ILT has been meeting with East.  Our first meeting was very productive, marked improvement with every meeting.   We left feeling encouraged and excited about this Saturday's continued collaboration.  We feel that this success is attributed to our (East and West's) continued work towards our common vision for ACP, and Leadership's encouragement of teacher leadership in the process.

  • ILT - Continuing our work on Task Complexity and Student Engagement.  PD on Wednesday will focus on using Bloom's taxonomy to differentiate developmental vs. mastery tasks.

Teacher Update

  • Our now yearly student panel on teaching and learning was very successful!  We had many West teachers in attendance and teachers from 3 other CPS schools on the north and west sides in attendance.  I am overwhelmingly proud of Elle and her team.  Elle led the whole thing - her mature leadership and creative planning made that event the success that it was.  A few teachers didn't believe me when I told them she was a high school student - they thought she was a teacher!   I'm sure she'll tell you all about it!

  • West has been honored by Mikva Challenge this year with the Democracy in Action Award.  Alcott West is the first school to be honored on the North Side of Chicago.  We are very proud of this distinction and look forward to building youth voice activism on the North Side.

  • East is getting ready to finish our Student Treasure books.  They are due tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014.

  • First grade is going to Walter Payton College Prep today, Wed. Feb. 19th to celebrate Chinese New Year.

  • We opened up the 8th grade trip for the class of 2015 to Boston.  So far, we already have 19 children enrolled.

  • We have 17 8th grade students going to NYC and DC for the first 8th grade trip in May.  We are working on a White House tour, a tour of Madison Square Garden, and a tour of NFL headquarters. Raised $3,300.

  • The teachers at East are putting together a team for the Talent Show.

FOA Update

  • Approval of Upcoming Events

    • Approval for kindergarten aide funding will be requested at March meeting.

    • Auction-Online auction is going on now. Please go to the website and bid. There are lots of great items available this year. Auction party will be on Feb 22 at John Barleycorn. FOA and LSC members need to lead by example so please purchase tickets to event.

    • Talent show auditions are planned for Feb 25 and 26 and the Talent show will be March 13 from 4-6.

    • Box Tops submission date is February 25.

    • Mentoring committee is gearing up to welcome our new Alcott families. Please consider volunteering.

    • Mother/Son Dance is planned for May 9. $20 per family for entry fee with DJ and craft activities.

    • Committee is starting plans for walkathon to be held at the end of May or beginning of June. Approval for funding will be requested in March or April depending on status of committee.

  • Financial/Community Recap for Last Event/s. Report profit in terms of donation to the school (and if slated toward a specific goal)

    • $10,229.75 grant #2 made to school for Kindergarten Aid (expect another grant of $6-7K to be made before year-end)

    • Very preliminary Daddy-Daughter dance #s - Revenues of $2,250 -costs still to be totaled (DJ, Flowers, crafts, decorations)

    • Pledge Drive - 82% collected so far of $246.5k for 2013-14 pledge drive

    • 97% collected so far of $211k for 2012-13 pledge drive

    • Thanks to committee who put on Daddy/daughter dance.

  • Total Money Available for School Goals/Toward to School Plan

    • $362k total in funds - $75k for FOD, $20k for reserves, leaves $267k for
      general funds available

Diversified Learner Committee Update

  • All materials purchased under the Oppenheimer Grant are being set up

  • Cookbooks are being auctioned off – all funds will be funneled back into this program

  • Setting a meeting with Mr. Ladas, the new Head of Transition for the department

  • Next meeting is 2/24 8am @ West

Principal Evaluation Update

  • Work with Ms. Elena, 7th & 8th grade Social Studies teacher, to get student feedback

  • LSC Principal Evaluation forms due 2/23

  • 2nd State of Alcott meeting will be used to get parent feedback

Public Comments

  • We were contacted by Northwestern University to come back to school and share results from the Health study that we participated in last year; meeting time tbd

  • 8th grade graduation date will change because of additional snow days at end of year; decision will be made by end of this week

  • As data about how to present NWEA data becomes more clear, suggestion to have this be a topic at a Friday morning coffee talk meeting


  • Jenny Vincent made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried 10-0. See Exhibit Motion #2014.2.02.

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