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December 12, 2007


DECEMBER 12, 2007



The Education Committee of the Board of Education of Rich Township High School District 227 met on December 12, 2007, in the Board Room at the District Administrative Center, Olympia Fields, Illinois.


Mrs. Brookins called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m.


Present: Brookins (Chair), Imoukhuede (Member), Moten (Member)


Also Present: Mrs. Owens, Mrs. Norwood, Mrs. Treichel, Mr. Hunigan, Ms. Waite, Ms. Sokol, Ms. High, Mr. Veazey, Ms. Smith, Mr. Mnyofu, Ms. Muhammad, Mr. Morgan, Ms. Anderson, Mr. Rainey, Ms. Nelson, Ms. Pawluk, Mr. Yarborough, Mr. Craig, Ms. Thomas, Ms. Carter, Ms. Birts, Ms. Madison, Ms. Bassette, Dr. Kirkwood, Dr. Leak, Mr. Durley


The Guidance Departments at the three schools gave presentations. 


Ms. Nelson, from Rich South, talked about the Horizon Program.


Mrs. Moten asked if the Horizon Program was specific to Rich South.  Ms. Nelson responded that it was.


Mrs. Moten asked if parents are kept aware of what is taking place.  Ms. Nelson responded that everything is sent home to parents.  She noted that individual meetings are recorded in PowerSchool.  Group meetings are not yet recorded in PowerSchool.


Mrs. Moten asked if parents and students review the Horizon Program together.


Ms. Nelson responded that Rich South does have meetings with parents and students.


Mrs. Brookins asked about exit surveys.  Ms. Nelson noted she has been in the District for five years, and they have been doing them during that time.


Mrs. Moten asked about advisory periods.


Ms. Anderson responded that the first thing done in advisory period was the PSAE results.  Next survival skills were worked on in two increments.


Mrs. Brookins asked how often the counselors are in advisory with the different grade levels.


Ms. Anderson responded the counselors are there as needed. 


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Mr. Imoukhuede asked how parents and students are informed of what is happening in the Guidance Department.


Ms. Nelson noted the Guidance Department just finished Financial Aid night.  The Guidance calendars are put on the web site.  Parents are informed.


Mrs. Moten asked for a copy of the Rich South Guidance Calendar and the Horizon Book.


Ms. Nelson noted that every counselor has an alpha slice of the students.  That way they each get a cross section of every grade level and move with the students.  The students are guided into the graduation requirements.  Students have the biggest opportunity for electives in their senior year.


Mrs. Moten asked about a nursing program.


Ms. Anderson responded that students were interested in the nursing program and then there was no nursing program for them to sign up for.


Mr. Hunigan stated that the District was working on getting a certified CAAN nursing program.


Mrs. Brookins asked about parents’ input on the 4-year plan.


Mrs. Anderson said the 4-year plan is curriculum driven.  It is shared at parent meetings. 



Ms. Pawluk talked about the Rich East guidance program.  She noted the Rich South program was much more mature.


Mr. Imoukhuede asked if Rich East had a 4-year plan.  Ms. Pawluk responded that the 4-year plan is done second semester as part of registration.


Mr. Yarborough stated the Rich East plan was put together in the summer of 2006.


Mrs. Brookins asked how it is different from Horizon.


Mr. Yarborough noted that Rich East counselors don’t meet with groups as often as Rich South because Rich East doesn’t have the facilities.  In addition, counselors can’t send passes for the first 15 minutes or last 15 minutes of a period.  Everything the counselors have to do in group settings is done in the auditorium.

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Mrs. Brookins asked why Rich East isn’t following the best practice.


Mrs. Pawluk responded that Horizon is a wonderful program, but Rich East is not of the same mind set.  If the counselors tried to take students out of class at East, the teachers would look at it very differently.  In addition, Rich South’s Career Center is three times the size of the Rich East Career Center.


Mr. Hunigan added that counseling is an area to be addressed in the next school year.  A common counseling program needs to be set. 


Mrs. Brookins asked if Rich East had data on individual meetings.


Mrs. Pawluk responded that they do not have that data with them.


Mrs. Moten noted that the committee wants that data.


Mrs. Brookins asked about evaluations for counselors.  How often do they occur and are they based on data?


Ms. Birts answered that the counselors are on a 2-year cycle if they are tenured.  If they are not tenured, they are on a yearly cycle.


Dr. Leak added that there is a specific evaluation tool for guidance counselors.



Mr. Rainey from Rich Central was introduced.  He noted that Rich Central counselors are putting an emphasis on academies.  Ms. Thomas is the freshman guidance counselor.  She has 419 students at Rich Central.  Rich Central provides information for students to take with them.  A plan is devised for each individual student.  Parents sign the plan.


Mrs. Moten asked how many students bring back the signed plans.


Ms. Thomas noted she did not have the statistics. 


Mrs. Brookins asked if Rich Central had data on the number of meetings counselors conduct with the students.


Ms. Thomas responded that she did not have that data with her.


Mr. Imoukhuede asked if each freshman is seen by a counselor.


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Ms. Thomas noted that she went to the social studies classes and met with the freshmen.


Ms. Moten asked if Ms. Thomas would be staying on as the freshman counselor.


Ms. Thomas responded that she prefers to remain a freshman counselor.


Mrs. Brookins asked if there was enough time in the advisory period.


Mr. Rainey responded that 45 minutes would be better. 


Ms. Carter noted that the Rich Central counselors used the Horizon book two years ago and took out the items that would best fit Rich Central.  Parent meetings have been conducted.  The counselors cannot always stick to their original plan.


Mrs. Moten stated that counselors need a plan where they meet with students on specific issues by a certain time frame.


Mr. Hunigan added that the advisory period has more purposes than just for the counselors.


Ms. Carter stated that the counselors need to meet in a class at least 3 times a year.


Mr. Craig added that the counselors love meeting with the students.  Things happen that they can’t control.  He said he spends more time with the schedules than he does with the students.


Mr. Hunigan stated that is why the District purchased PowerSchool.  Counselors should be seeing students.


Mr. Veazey was recognized.  He said the Rich Central PTSO was very concerned about the counselors at Rich Central.  There are not enough counselors.  They should be able to meet with students. 


Mr. Hunigan stated that he was totally opposed to adding additional counselors until their roles and expectations are defined.


Ms. Sokol was recognized.  She stated she feels a tremendous inconsistency among the schools.  She felt the Horizon Program should be looked at for all the schools.  Data is critical.



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Ms. Anderson added that the counselors at Rich South have a schedule every day.


Ms. Thomas noted that the counselors at Rich Central need additional help.



Dr. Leak brought up Advanced Placement.  She noted she requested all data from 2002 to do comparisons.  It is an option for students to take the AP test.  If they do take the test and receive a 3, 4 or 5, the students get their money back for taking the test and also receive college credit. 


Mrs. Brookins asked about the certification for teachers teaching AP classes.


Dr. Leak noted that if a teacher teaches secondary math, he or she can teach AP classes. The District does send teachers for training.  The District made major adjustments in AP classes due to the AP audit.


Dr. Leak added that a tutor comes in and meets with students in AP math classes. 



Dr. Leak gave an update on the English curriculum issue.  She stated that the curriculum is aligned to the college readiness standards.  She passed out a list of the books currently used.


Mr. Imoukhuede noted that he had made a request at the October Education Committee meeting to have a 2.0 graduation requirement.  He stated he has not seen anything on it.


Mrs. Brookins responded that the administration has begun the research process on collecting data.


Mrs. Brookins said the agenda for the next Education Committee meeting will include advisory periods, freshman academies and curriculum, and data on clustering students from foundation schools together.


Mr. Rainey noted he will present the guidance department data from Rich Central. 


Dr. Leak asked Mr. Rainey to send it to her.  She will include it in the Board packet.


At 10:15 p.m. the meeting adjourned.