Board Minutes from October 11th, 2013

WELCOME!

Julee Nunley & Shannon Wright, PC Co-Chairs

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Book Fair:  October 21st-25th  |  Laura Scott & Julia Toone
    • Volunteers still needed!  This is a fun & easy way to get your volunteer hours – still need volunteers in the 10:30-12:30 slot for Tues./Weds./Thurs. and the 1:30-3:30 time slots.   Contact juliabtoone@gmail.com or laurascott74@gmail.com
    • Another need are donations for the scholarship fund.  This is set up to make sure that every child can go home with a book.  If you would like to donate, please give a check to Angela Wise.
    • And Shop!  60% of proceeds go to our Media Center fund to outfit our school with new books.  Also keep in mind that the middle school books will be in the 7th Street Building, please feel free to go to both fair locations!
  • Positive Discipline Workshop:  November 2nd  |  Julee Nunley
    • This is a workshop led by Principal Hollis, and is recommended for great parenting tips.
    • Also gives insight into how the school uses discipline.
    • You can sign up in the front office, the cost is $10 per family, and childcare will be provided.
  • Fall Festival:  November 9th  |  Tommy Priest
    • DATE CHANGE: This event will be held on November 16th from 11-2 pm.
    • It will be held in the courtyard of the 7th Street Building.  If it is raining, the activities will be moved inside the MLK Building.
    • There will be 8 activities – 1 per grade; music; and food trucks, as well as an art supply truck.
    • The trucks will be donating a portion of their proceeds to the school.
    • Whether to open the Festival up to the larger community beyond ABS families is under discussion.
  • Movie Afternoon:  November 22nd   |  Lindsay Beane
    • Movie Afternoons happen 2x per year, on early-release days.
    • $5 for kids to stay longer, watch 2 movies, and enjoy concessions!
    • Volunteer needs include: Set up, selling concessions, hallway monitors and cleanup.
    • Contact Lindsay at lgbeane2@aol.com if you are available to volunteer.

WEBSITE

Jason Ekstein

  • Content Updates & Online Payments
    • The technology team has been working to update the website, maintain it and keep information current.  Please email Jason@ekstein.net if you find errors/discrepancies.
    • They have set up online payments for use in Activity Fees, Capital Campaign & Annual Giving Funds.  May be able to donate to Book Fair Scholarship as well.
    • Still prefer checks, as we lose 2.75% with the credit card transaction.  A processing fee may be implemented next year.

SUPPORTING OUR SCHOOL

Julee Nunley & Shannon Wright

  • Capital Campaign
    • All families will receive mail next week on how you can help.
    • Different from Annual Giving:  Annual Giving is for ongoing projects we do every year, where a Capital Campaign is a singular event for a specific reason.  In this case, to complete the 7th Street Building and add new features to the MLK Building.
    • Suggestions:
    • Possibly including “Building Fund” in campaign to make that more clear.
    • Would prefer all money now except in the case where a 3-year pledge would make a larger donation possible.
    • Currently using Whitney Jones as fundraising company.
    • We are halfway to our goal of donations from corporate sponsors: $201,000.
    • Trying to raise $498,000 total.
    • Please reach out to family members that might be interested in helping.

REQUESTED DISCUSSION TOPICS

Shannon Wright & Principal, Robin Hollis

  • Lice Policy
    • ABS has a “no nit” policy, where if a student is found with nits, they cannot return to school until they are nit-free.
      • The parent usually finds the infestation first, and in most cases the student only misses 1 day of school.
      • The school checks the entire class, and any siblings, and bags up all soft items from a classroom in quarantine for 4 weeks.
    • Other schools have adopted a policy where if the family can prove that they have treated, via a receipt for the treatment or the box top from the treatment, the student is allowed back, even if nits are still present.
      • The concern is that more trouble comes from children having extended absences.
    • This discussion will be brought to the School Leadership Team to discuss further and hear teachers’ opinions.
    • Other concerns:
      • Nits may or may not be viable – some are empty casings.
      • Can be confused with dandruff
      • In some hair, they are very hard to find.
      • CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics cite studies that show that the spread of lice does not come from the presence of nits, but only from direct head-to-head contact.
      • This contact could be through coats being close to each other, a lot of possible transference when kids are in close contact.
      • The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

TESTING                                                                                                     

Robin Hollis

  • MAP Testing, EOGs & Student Evaluation Methods
    • The State has not yet provided our scores for reporting from last year.
    • While they are not our primary focus, we want our students to do well, to show that our methods are effective teaching tools.
    • We want prepared, confident test takers, and in the upper grades translate the lesson as it is taught to the possibility of what questions may appear on the EOG.
    • EOGs do not provide specific data about strengths & weaknesses, only a number.
    • Tests:
      • EOGs – End of Grade tests – 3rd through 8th, tests Math and Reading.  In 5th-8th grade, also has a Science component.  Taken in last 10 days of school.  If a student doesn’t pass, must retake, so that might happen in beginning of summer since the timeline is short.
      • *NEW* 3rd Grade Field Test – at end of year.
      • *NEW* 3rd Grade BOG – Beginning of grade test, to create a benchmark, taken in first 14 days of school.
      • *NEW* 3rdGrade Reading test: Tested at end of year.  If a student is not at grade level reading by end of year, they may not pass to the next grade.
        • Exceptions made for learning disabilities & principal discretion.
      • MCLASS program – now doing reading assessments in K-2, as part of a Comprehensive Reading Initiative.
      • Now also using tests as a method of testing teachers’ skills.
    • MAP Testing:  A program of testing that ABS voluntarily chooses.
      • Taken at Beginning of year, January & April, shows students’ strengths & weaknesses so teachers can help kids reach individual benchmarks.
      • Nationally normed, not just based on NC standards.
      • The tests are self-adjusting by question, so if a student gets a problem wrong, the next one will be easier.  Creates less anxiety.
      • Gives a great deal of information about each subject tested – includes actionable information that teachers us to help each individual child.
  • Tuesday Tutoring
    • 70 kids have been chosen for tutoring based on MAP testing, EOGs, and Teacher Recommendation.
    • 40 minutes long, and it is free.
    • Cannot accommodate all children, but a wonderful service offered for those children with the greatest need for additional help.

UPCOMING MEETINGS:

  • Parent Council:  Saturday, November 2nd, 9am-Noon Positive Discipline Workshop (Sign up required, $10/family)
  • Board of Directors:  Tuesday, November 12th 8th @5:45pm, 7th Street Bldg.