May 24, 2016 at 6:25 pm #44492
Good Evening, Everyone!
The Manchester School Board committee on Curriculum & Instruction Committee begins at 6:30 PM.
Find the agenda here: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B6cNHOSIYKNZaFIxZ0tuZkdlaWs&usp=sharingMay 24, 2016 at 6:31 pm #44493
All members present.May 24, 2016 at 6:35 pm #44494
Patrice Benard – I saw your agenda for tonight. there’s a grant from a project based company called two revolutions. On their website, it talks about social change and economic free agents. We’re doing this in our elementary schools. I’m not sure we want to make students social change agents. I get standoffish when I see words like this. I was wondering if you could investigate this. The bios of people on here support the common core and have worked with the department of ed. I don’t want this pushed on us. I would like parents to be able to opt-out of project based learning and have classical education. Parents want classical education. I’m not sure we should force students to go with this new way of teaching. I want elementary schools to be focused on the basics and less group work. I don’t want my son to be forced onto a team. THank you very much.May 24, 2016 at 6:38 pm #44495
Robert Baines – I wanted to answer some questions about something last night that came up about a program that would teach computer code to teachers. We might major with MIT. One of the key recommendations of the governor’s task force was to learn code (on a computer). Teachers who are participating are all volunteers. Granite United Way will pay teachers on their payroll. Nonprofits use our schools regularly. The training will now be at UNH Manchester. TEachers will be paid per diem by United Way and get a 1099. STEAM Ahead was formed at an effort to engage business. we intend to raise money. I’ll stay if there are any other questions. Thank you.May 24, 2016 at 6:40 pm #44496
Girard – the item Baines presented is not on our agenda and it was tabled at the board meeting last night. My question was procedural. Others had other questions. It’s not on our agenda tonight.
Baines- we’re just trying to do good things for the students in Manchester and around the state.May 24, 2016 at 6:42 pm #44497
6. Update from Nash Reddy, Student Services Director, regarding special education behavior intervention services RFP.
Dliv – we had some additional questions from others who submitted RFP’s. we’ve also been talking to the Department of Education. At this time, we’re still working with possible vendors and we will bring something forward.
Girard – do you have any idea when the information will be obtained? Is there a timeline?
Dliv – It’s hard to give a timeline because we are setting up some meetings. we’re moving it forward as fast as we can.May 24, 2016 at 6:49 pm #44498
7. Request from Memorial High School to add a skeet shooting club.
Ryan – we thought you might have some questions about it. It’s a competition based program. That’s why we thought we’d bring it forward. Principal Adamakos is here to answer questions.
VH – I feel like this is being sold by Londonderry Fish & Game than being designed by our people.
Adamakos – one month ago, a parent and Mr. Garvey came to me and indicated that they were interested in forming a skeet shooting team. I asked how many programs there were in NH and they said none. I had concerns because the supervision aspect of it is a little more involved. there has to be training involved. Once he told me there was a program. It’s a pretty intense program. there are competitions. none of this will occur on school ground and there are scholarship opportunities for the students. I wanted you to look at it and figure out if this is good for our schools. I don’t even know if it will take flight, but I wanted to bring it to the board for their blessing. Maybe this is an opportunity for our students. There used to be a rifle team. This is structured. It’s an organization that does this type of activity. I f the air rifle went forward, maybe this would be something too. we have a lot of hunters among our student population. I have no idea how many students would be involved. This is in its infancy. I want to know whether or not its a go and if its plausible. A handful participate in the program.May 24, 2016 at 6:51 pm #44499
Avard – I’m glad you brought it forward. If this is successful at Memorial, could other schools create their own teams?
Adamakos – they are interested in expanding the program state wide. I’m sure it would be open to other high schools if it works well with us.
Freeman – I commend you for having an open mind. All of the instructors there are excellent. I would like to open it up to other students in the district. Could this be a citywide event?
Adamakos – I don’t know right now. I’d have to go back and find out. I didn’t expect this reaction. Maybe we could have a co-op Manchester team.May 24, 2016 at 6:53 pm #44500
Avard – motion to amend for it to be city wide
Girard – I think if you want to open it up city wide right away, I’ll support that. If you’d be more comfortable to work it at your school first, I’ll support that.
Adamakos – I think the second one is the proper course. I haven’t even talked to the other principals. I don’t mind being the pilot. If it is successful, then it will be available to the other schools.
MOTION TO APPROVE
All in favor – motion carriesMay 24, 2016 at 6:57 pm #44501
8. Discussion regarding non-academic surveys in schools.
Martin – I sent you information about the get moving Manchester logs. This was clearly a log. If you noticed in the handout, the directions were to keep the logs at school and collect them weekly. This was volunteer. THere was a graded activity that we have managed. I did not send you the RSA Girard referenced. That does speak specifically to surveys looking for information. I would characterize this as a log.
Girard – Were the schools in any way encouraged by the district to participate or to have a high participation rate.
Martin – the Granite United Way provides each school who participate with $100. The purpose was to encourage physical activity. I have discussed those issues with those principals. No one has been prevented of being a part of the extra recess. The pizza party was well-intentioned but may be reconsidered.May 24, 2016 at 7:00 pm #44502
Martin – this has been an activity for 15 years. I’m not sure if there are other surveys.
Girard – are there any other surveys that are non-academic in nature that the district sends home?
Martin – I’m not sure.
Girard – I heard about a survey before I raised the issues. I decided to let it lie even though parents thought it was invading family life. I wonder how many other surveys are going home and might have parents wondering whether or not they are optional. This is one of the reasons – they don’t think the district intends to be noisy, but it comes across that way especially at how this was done at Highland Goffs Falls School. I would like to know what we are sending home and asking kids information about. Those are my concerns.May 24, 2016 at 7:03 pm #44503
Dliv – I’d say we’d have to talk to principals. It might help to have a policy to bring clarity around this for principals. If you disagree with an assignment, an alternate assignment can be made.
Girard – are you referencing the policy on assignments as a parallel policy?
Dliv – no. If you’re calling these things surveys, I don’t agree that it was a survey. The information was not put together. It was a worksheet where kids can talk with their families about habits. In this case, some things were done with the survey that were not appropriate. Our job is to make sure that there is clarity on how to use it.
Girard – I think the safe place to start this discussion is for things of this nature to not have it be considered an assignment. It was upsetting to children and families. Thank you.May 24, 2016 at 7:08 pm #44504
9. 2Revolutions Proposal for District wide Project Based Learning.
Motion to table
Y Freeman, Girard, Langton
N Avard VH
Girard withdrew to allow for discussion.
Langton – I know we are waiting for PACE information that you’re going to bring it forward at our June meeting.
Dliv – I don’t believe so. We have Adam from 2Revolutions here to answer questions.
Freeman – I requested at the last meeting that the material presented would be written in English. I find the material prohibited to someone who is not an educator. I cannot vote on this proposal as I have not received information.May 24, 2016 at 7:12 pm #44505
Girard – it seems here that grants are driving policy not policy driving grants. The district should see what it wants to do and look for ways to fund it. I’m concerned about the grant coming forward and seeing what it wants to do. It seems to me before we approve the grant with the policy with it is to discuss policy first. 2 Revolutions has been integral at Parker Varney in the PACE program. They are working on PACE according to the documents that I read. I want to make sure that we’re not doing something that is going to backdoor the methods and practices of the PACE program before we decide what to do with that.
Dliv – principal Amy Allen is here. I would hope you would bring her forward so she can speak to it.
Avard – 2Revolution was integral in creating the MST program. two different things are going on at Parker Varney and I think we should keep them separate. PACE is a whole different program.May 24, 2016 at 7:17 pm #44506
Langton – OUr school assessment tests don’t show that we’re doing so well. I’m not a fan of these tests. Currently, the tests don’t show that they have done well, but they are winning awards.
Allen – we have multiple data points. We are making great growth in other data points aside from SmarterBalanced. Being a priority school, we give way too many assessments.
Avard- Girard referred to policy, but it’s not policy, it’s curriculum. This isn’t new, it’s a modification of curriculum.
Girard – My concern is that we are accepting a grant about expanding project based education without knowing what that would look like. at least one reference on page 147 shows that 2Revolutions is a part of PACE. I want to be certain beyond any doubt that if this is involved with PACE and expanding it that we hold off on this until Dliv presents in June and we decide whether or not to continue with PACE.
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