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USD #322 Site Council Minutes for September

By Wilhelm, Mike

September 22, 2011

USD #322 Site Council
Minutes for September 7, 2011

        The Site Council for the Onaga Schools was called to order by Chairperson, Roy Duer, at 6:35 in the school library on September 7, 2011.  Those present were Roy Duer, Debbie Berges, Jeanette Eisenbarth, Robin Kolterman, Daun Krohn, Mary Pennington, Amy Spoonts, and OGS Principal Sandra Hill.  Minutes had been approved previously via e-mail.  In reviewing the minutes, there were no items for continued discussion from the last meeting.
        Under old business, Mrs. Hill reviewed the “Healthy Smiles” program with the Council.  Under the program, those children who are on free and reduced lunches are eligible for dental care given at school by a registered dental hygienist.  The funding is provided for by a grant that is in response to the State Department requiring schools to provide dental screening.
        Kristi Hutfles has been contracted through the Community Hospital as the school nurse, providing health services to the school two hours, four days a week.  She will be handling the forms and scheduling for the Healthy Smiles program.  
        Mrs. Hill complimented the churches and other private individuals in the community for the $100’s of dollars worth of school supplies donated this August.  Much of these supplies have already been given out to students.
        Enrollment for the grade school has remained at status quo, losing 19 students but gaining another 19 students this fall in grades Preschool through grade Eight.  Many of the students gained were in the seventh grade, resulting in the need to split this class for several of the subject areas.  Two additional paras have been hired for the grade school this year.  Onaga Grade School received school-wide Title status this year, allowing for paras in the Title program to work with all students.
        The change in junior high eligibility was explained.  No longer will D’s be considered in the junior high eligibility policy.  A student will now be ineligible with an F. KSHSAA policy is more lenient with eligibility granted by a student passing 5 new courses in a semester
        Cell phones seen during the school day will be confiscated as per student policies.
        A change in the lunch program this year of not offering butter for rolls nor salt on the serving table is a result of state guidelines for lunch programs in schools.  More whole grain products will also be served as well as using less sodium and fat in the preparation of foods.  Only skimmed milk is being served with meals beginning this school year.  
        Teachers in the grade school are being requested to use the student agendas more aggressively this year.  The agenda is also serving as the hall pass for the students.  
        Lisa Trostle, Title I teacher, will be hosting several Parent Involvement Nights this year.  The goal is to provide a method of communication about school between staff and parents.  Additionally, these meetings will provide the opportunity to education parents and the public on new programs in the school system such as MTSS (Multi-tiered Systems of Support).
        Mrs. Hill explained the junior high schedule changes and the need for collaboration time.  The elementary and jr. high schedules need to align as much as possible with the high school schedule since there are a number of shared teachers.  The collaboration time is used to test students, disaggregate the data, then interpret the resulting data in order to place students in their corresponding reading program, be it an enrichment group or a skill specific remediation.  Students are expected to meet grade level reading skills.  If they do not, they are put into the appropriate group to work on the deficit skills.  Often these intense groups have only a few students in them, as the group is skill specific.  Once a student shows mastery of the skill, they are then moved to another skill group.  Mrs. Gerek is the head of the junior high MTSS, while Mrs. Trostle heads up the grade school MTSS program.  However, almost all teachers within the grade structure are involved with helping with the MTSS groups in some way, including the art, physical education, music teachers as well as the counselor.  Several questions were brought up concerning how large some of the enrichment groups were and the variation in the skill levels within those groups.  It was pointed out that in these groups, all students had met grade level expectations. In regard to challenging students in these enrichment groups, materials chosen for their enhancement need to be research-based, otherwise may not have enrichment with integrity.  It is hoped that next year MTSS for math skills will be set into motion.  Reading was chosen as the first area of MTSS to implement since it is difficult to be successful in other classes if you cannot read with comprehension.  Mary asked if parents could contact teachers to find out what skills their child is working on at any given time and, perhaps, help at home with that skill.  Mrs. Spoonts assured the Council that teacher would welcome the contact and encouraged them to do so.
        The Onaga schools made AYP in all sub-groups on the State Assessments for 2010-2011.  Common Core Standards are being put into place in the Kansas schools.  These Standards will be reflected on the State Assessments in the future.  
        In other discussion, the rigor of the high school curriculum was questioned.  It was noted by several members that the junior high curriculum seems more stringent than what they are seeing their children faced with in high school.  Concern was expressed that the school web site is not updated and current on many issues.  Mrs. Hill will check into the information that is and isn’t posted on the site.  Powerschool is still available to parents for checking grades, lunch balances, etc.  Letters have gone home with the elementary children with passwords in them.  Bus messages should still go to Carol and she will then deliver them to the bus drivers.  
        No report was available in regard to high school activities.  Arlene Jacobsen, Board of Education representative, had e-mailed her report to the Council. Darlene Niehues is the new Board of Education member.  Paul Zidek has been elected president of the board while Rusty Helget is vice-president.  Mark Haefke has resigned as technology coordinator and Darrin Reith has been hired to fill that position.  The Board has hired an architect firm to help determine how to fix the roof and advise other structural building needs.  Randy Kufahl will be replacing Arlene as the Board representative to the Site Council for the 2011-2012 school year.
        Debbie Berges reported that the Lego field trip to Mulvane Art Gallery on the Washburn Campus in Topeka, Kansas went well.  In order to pay for the trip, students were asked to donate $2.00 for the bus ride while adults donated $4.00.  Mileage and bus driver salary need to be covered by any organization not affiliated with KHSAA.    At this point in the school year, Lego Club, R-Squad, and Culture Club will be offered for students’ enjoyment.  The Character Education focus this year will be on different aspect of respect.
        In new business, Mrs. Bartel’s position will need to be filled.  Debbie will contact high school teachers for a volunteer.  Several people from the community were recommended for the council.  Various council members will be contacting them concerning their interest in serving on the Council.  There is no specific term to serve.  Jeannette Eisenbarth moves up to the chair position.  Vice-chair was tabled.  Debbie agreed to remain as secretary for another year.  
        The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.  The next Site Council meeting will be November 2, 2011.

Respectfully submitted,
Debbie Berges, Secretary Site Council

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