3/15/18 Mather Parent Council Meeting Notes
Topic: Student Testing, Mather Partnerships, Traffic Updates
Attendees: Ebony Arvin, Alicia Wedderburn, Lynne Chevoya, Laura Childs, Mr. Ennis, Mather 3rd Grade Teacher
*Mr. Ennis presented information on the Illuminate Testing platform:
-BPS began using it this year for Grades 3-5.
-In the past, different schools in Boston would use varied tests such as ANET to assess learning, and when students changed schools, these scores would not necessarily follow the student.
-Goal to centralize testing so the results are visible to teachers throughout the district.
-Tests are online, though students can use paper to do calculations/notes to help them answer questions
-There is a learning curve for students adapting to online testing formats
-Testing occurs 8 times a year at the end of each unit, for math and literacy
-Results assign a percentage score to indicate proficiency level to the grade/course appropriate state content standards
-Teachers use the results to help them determine which areas they need to focus on more to help their students keep up with the standards
-It is optional for teachers whether they send testing results home to parents to review, but you can talk with your child's teacher if you are interested in reviewing your child’s results
Here is a link to the programs web site for those who would like more info:
*Mr. Ennis also spoke about the “Clever” Digital Backpack which is a portal to a collection of teacher approved curated applications students and educators can use in the classroom or at home
-BPS students age K-5 have access
-BPS assigns each student an email address which is their username, and a password to access the website; your childs teacher has this login information and may have already forwarded it to you
-Examples of apps: Investigations Games for Math ties into classroom math teaching by grade level; Khan Academy links to videos teaching math (among many other things!). Tumble Book Library for literacy. Nitro Type to teach typing skills in a “game-like” way
-Can be a good way to allow positive educational computer time
◦ BPS Digital Backpack Login
◦ BPS Digital Backpack FAQs
About Clever Badges Article & Video
*Ebony updated from Site Council meeting regarding Mather partnerships for the upcoming year:
-With budget cuts we are losing resources in family engagement and reading recovery so goal is to increase support in those areas via partnerships
-Playworks coaching will be back! Facilitates positive play during and after school
-Decisions being made likely in the next week or so for one more partnership, options include City Year Academic Tutoring Program, Citysprouts School Garden Program, Boston Scores Soccer and Enrichment Program, Boston Children’s Hospital Neighborhood Partnerships, Generations Literacy Tutoring.
-Varying costs for each program
*Lynne updated from Wellness Committee:
-Ongoing discussions of traffic patterns and safety (initially reviewed at Nov MPC meeting).
-School based efforts underway to get funding and execution for signage/repainting to make drop off and parking/no parking areas more clear. Barriers are flimsy and often blow around- getting sand to anchor them.
-Need advocacy with Boston Police C-11 for approval on:
--Pedestrian instigated stop light at Adams/Winter intersection
--Additonal crossing guard
**Parents encouraged to take pictures/videos (though not while driving!) of witnessed unsafe parking/drop off situations, and email them to email@example.com or text them to Sierra Rothberg at 617-967-8806. To be used when presenting our requests to C-11, and based on prior experiences, “evidence” can help with approval
-Parent handouts re. traffic updates and healthy food policy in development for spring
-Imajine That Summer Academy: imajinethat.com
Grade K-4 (entering 5th). 7 am-6 pm.
7 week program 6/25-8/10. 2 day ($90/week), 3 day ($130/week) and 5 day ($215 a week) options.
$50 fee to hold slot. Accepting applications now.
Interactive curriculum supporting academics and socio-emotional development.
Locations in Dorchester at the Trotter School and one other Dorchester location to be announced...
-Community Boating Boston: www.community-boating.org.
Learn to sail and kayak, open to ANY child who is between the ages of 10 – 17 and can swim 50 yards independently.
Class options from June 18-Aug 24, 8:30-3 pm M-F.
On Charles River near Esplanade.
Two easy steps to register your child:
1.) Purchase a junior program membership for child. 2018 Summer Memberships available for purchase FEB 1ST
2.) Sign your child up for classes! Beginners should start with the Learn-to-Sail class followed by the Mainsail class. First round of class signup opens on March 1st at 12 Noon. We will be opening more classes on May 1st at Noon.
The fee for Junior Program membership is on a sliding scale based on household income, and ranges from $1 – $325 for the entire summer; all classes included in this fee. Families can find out if they qualify for an income based reduced fee by filling out our form online during the sign up process. A fee within our sliding scale will be generated immediately for those who qualify.
Once you purchase a junior membership, you will be eligible to sign your child up for classes. The first round of classes will open on March 1st at Noon online. The second round of classes will open on May 1st, at Noon online. Classes will fill quickly! If you want to have options when choosing a date and time, or if you are trying to sign a child up with a sibling or friend it is recommended that you are online at the time of open to sign up your child. Please note, because spots in classes are limited, we cannot guarantee enrollment in class each week.
-Tony Williams Dance Camps: www.twdance.com
Ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, folk (and some art/science)
4 weeks of Summer Fun Camps 6/25-6/29, 7/9-7/13, 8/6-8/10, 8/20-8/24. $325 a week. State vouchers accepted.
2 weeks of Spectrum Camp (more advanced): 7/16-7/20 or 8/13-8/17. $375 a week.
9 am-3 pm, child care 8am-9am and 3 pm-6 pm at $10/hour. In JP.
-OrigiNation Cultural Arts: www.originationinc.org
5 week summer intensive dance camp, 7/2-8/3, 8:30-4 pm, age 8-13. $475.
Applications due by April 15, decisions made by May 1.
30 students chosen, prior dance experience required.
In JP near Forest Hills.
-St. Stephen's Youth Programs: www.ssypboston.org
B-SAFE program (Bishop's Summer Academic and Fun Enrichment), 7/9-8/9 five week program
Price range sliding scale $125-700
8:30-4pm, grade 1-9.
Various locations depending on age, Epiphany School near Shawmut T stop has all age groups, St. Mary's in Upham's Corner has grade 1-5.
-YES (Youth Enrichment in Sports)
Age 9-12 outdoor adventure week long sessions, include kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing, fishing.
Applications open in May, email firstname.lastname@example.org
-Hill House Summer Camp: www.hillhouseboston.org
Kiddie Kamp 3-5 yrs 8:30am-1:30 pm, $305/week. 10 wks.
Day camp (w/ field trips) 5-12 yrs. 9am-4pm $425/wk, extended day 8 am-5:30 pm $595/wk.
Art, swim, sports, etc. In Beacon Hill.
Register now, paperwork deadline June 1.
***Flyers available included these:
At U. Mass Boston. Age 8-12, inclusion camp (50%)
July 5- Aug 3, M-F 8:30-2 pm. Free after $25 registration fee, provides breakfast, lunch, snacks and camp gear; transportation options available
-Download application at www.amb.edu/csde
or email email@example.com
Applications due by March 23.
-Sportsmen's Tennis and Fitness Camp: www.sportsmenstennis.org
6/25-8/24, 9am-5 pm full day (drop off at 8:30 am); also half day AM or PM options. Week cost ranged from $195-295 depending on age +/- level of practice
-"What is Community" program for ESL students entering grade 2-3 in fall 2018, at Blackstone Innovation School in South End, M-R 8:30am-2:45 pm, breakfast and lunch included. Free. Focus on educational field trips and writing a book about their experience.
Applications start ~mid March, deadline to apply May 15
Apply via http://www.ibaboston.org/afterschool-summer-learning/
***Not summer camp but good opportunities:
-YES Track and Field: www.yeskids.org
age 4-14 summer track and field sessions
-Metro Lacrosse: www.metrolacrosse.com
Nonprofit free program, equipment provided, no experience necessary. 3rd-8th grade. At Franklin Field.
Spring season 4/2-6/9. 6pm-7:30 pm, girls Mon and Wed, boys Tu and Thurs
I will put the flyers on the Mather Parent Council bulletin board on Thurs March 1 also
Traffic Patterns/Drop off, Pick up safety
Attendees: Mr. Lucas, Katie Lee, Lynne Chevoya, Lynn Hollenbeck, Sierra Rothberg, Ebony Arvin
Mr Lucas notes that in his five years of outside duty, this year he notices that there are definitely more vehicles dropping off and picking up children.
Council notes that after speaking to families the uptick in vehicles is a direct result of the MIT bus route re mapping. Parents have decided to drive because of the time students are spending on the bus.
There are currently three teachers on outside duty during drop off (in front)
Mr Moy helping to unload buses
Mr Lucas directing traffic to keep fire house entrance clear
Mr B ??
Unsafe conditions in parking lot
Cars backing out into car and pedestrian traffic
Parking out into the intersection after parking horses have been repositioned
Parents creating parking spots
Is it possible to re route drop off to back entrance (excluding buses)?
Can parents pull up to firehouse handicap space to unload?
Teacher parade to assist with getting children into the school without parents walking them into the building?
Should only buses and teachers be allowed to enter Parish during drop off/pick up?
Can Fair Foods not unload during drop off/pick up?
Short term solutions
Kid alert visuals (Katie Lee will order)
Flexible stanchions installed in front of small playground
Use of channelizer cones
More no parking signage for island (needs to be more visible)
No parking signage on the side of First Parish
Teacher parking only signage
Designated visitor parking
Repaint directional arrows & no parking area in front of school (more durable paint, obtain quotes)
Video documentation of drop off/pick up conditions for safety advocacy purposes
More communications with basic safety language (release guidelines to parents)
Long term solutions (with support from City Council)
Petition for right turn only out of Parish
Crosswalk installation from firehouse handicap spot to hydrant on opposite side
Petition for pedestrian instigated stop lights at Winter & Parish, East & Adams
Petition for additional crossing guards
Communications with plowing company regarding where snow is being pushed
MPC meeting minutes 9/28/17
Welcome and introductions, several new members present!
Sierra, co-chair, facilitated meeting
Parent Profile forms -encourage all to fill out annually so parents can identify their areas of interest in collaborating with MPC
School Site Council: Alicia (parent and site council member) reported that they are looking for additional members of Vietnamese or Haitian Creole background to better represent the diversity of families at the Mather
Health and Wellness: Randal (parent) raised concerns about the temperature in the building on hot days and lack of ventilation. Potential solutions reviewed including fans (some concern they may stir up dust), opening windows, HVAC (larger more expensive solution which would require BPS buy in). Katie and Lynne (wellness council members) will review this with the council at our first meeting of the year and consider prioritizing it as a focus for the coming year.
Fundraising: Mather has obtained its own 501c3 status and bank account is in process of being set up.
Brown Fund outdoor renovation project update, from Katy Gall (parent,excerpted from her MPC Facebook page update): I wanted to provide an update about the Mather Green Space project. Many of you will remember that last year we had a small grant to solicit designs for this little patch of grass alongside the back of the school. Parents and community members voted on the design options, and the winning design highlights the history of the Mather with a lovely walkway and community table. AND if we are able to get this project built, we will also have a fully accessible walkway to the back school yard! The estimated cost of construction is about $200,000 In the spring, we applied for and received $140,000 from the Brown Trust that covers much of the cost of construction (we will receive the actual money when we begin construction, we don't have it in hand). Over the fall I will be applying to a few more foundations that fund public art projects. I'll be at the Parent Council meeting tonight and if anyone is interested in working on this project, DM me. We'll be organizing meetings with foundations and some corporations to solicit donations. Many thanks to Sierra Rothberg and everyone else who has brought us so far. You can see a little overview of the process and the winning design at this link - http://www.urbancultureinstitute.org/mather-school-green-sp…
Katy also notes they are looking into other grants and fundraising to cover the $60K of funds still needed to finance the remainder not covered by the Brown Trust (such as the Henderson Foundation, application due in 2 weeks, can provide up to $40K). Suggestion made by Laura (parent) that we could consider looking into grants for wheelchair accessibility, and Katy noted that since this project is considered “public art” rather than infrastructure project, that may limit our ability to be considered for accessibility grants.
Any parents interested in participating in school/parent council committees (Family Engagement, School Site Council, Health and Wellness, Communications, Fundraising) can email firstname.lastname@example.org and will get you in touch with other members of the committees.
Brainstorming session for this year meetings, schedule being coordinated by Alicia and Liz, interest expressed in having some meetings more informally (such as an outdoor cleanups):
Transportation, drop off and pick up, traffic patterns
Pathways, middle school options
Testing/assessment: explanation of tests given to grades and their purposes
Before and after school options - Ms. Marshall; question about whether any of these programs could be attended by children not in the after school program
Service/volunteerism within school: school yard cleanup in November, One Boston cleanup in April
January meeting: summer camp, include scholarship info (e.g. BMC has scholarships, DDS and DMH have scholarships - program called Flex Funding)
Homework (norms, policies) and ELT (extended learning time) considerations- plan for review via School Site
Information on the Summer camps that participated in last month fair at the Mather is available to download.
5:30 meeting begins
Speakers: Rochelle Nwosu, Jana Sunkle, Barbara Owens, Katie Lyons, and Karyn Stranberg
Topic: Vision for the Mather School
Instructional focus at the Mather: Teachers will facilitate student academic discourse to develop students’ skills in using evidence to support their arguments in discussion and in writing.
Vision of the Mather
Instructional Structures at the Mather
Parent Discussion: Survey rate focus
Future meeting ideas: Mather becoming a K-6 school in the future - can MPC have any impact on the plan for this change?