March 13, 2007
RICH TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT 227
EDUCATION COMMITTEE MEETING
MARCH 13, 2007
The Education Committee of the Board of Education of Rich Township High School District 227 met on March 13, 2007, at 6:00 p.m. in the District Administrative Center, Olympia Fields, Illinois.
Mrs. Brookins called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.
Present: Brookins (Chair), Moten (Member), Cohn (Member)
Also Present: Mrs. Owens, Mr. Hunigan, Dr. Leak, Ms. High, Mrs. Treichel
Mrs. Brookins brought up the first agenda item - Academies (freshmen and honors). Mr. Hunigan noted that he was hoping to have the principals at the meeting, but they need a little more time in the planning of the academies. The freshman academies will start in August. All components won’t be in place in the fall, but the major ones will. There will be a counselor and administrator assigned to each academy.
Mrs. Brookins asked about the possibility of grouping all the freshmen together in one building.
Mr. Hunigan responded that is something the District can look at down the road. To talk about closing a building to make a 9th grade academy, the District will need a whole year of lead time.
Mr. Hunigan stated that the buildings are going to look differently. Freshmen who are honors students would be in the honors wing. There will be less movement with freshmen, and more flexibility; it will meet their social and emotional needs. Joint planning can occur and joint curricular work. With the honors academy, field trips can be planned. There can be flexibility of periods - extended lab time. They can break into smaller learning communities.
Mrs. Moten asked about the average student.
Mr. Hunigan responded that the District needs to start somewhere. The District is hoping what it learns from the smaller learning communities will be able to be used throughout the building.
He noted that with the School Improvement Plan, a District has to show that it has restructured the building. By law, the District needs to address subgroups. In each of the buildings, a core of teachers has stepped up to help make the academies a going concern.
Mrs. Owens asked if this model had been researched successfully.
Dr. Leak responded that staff have been a key part of the research. They have been trained.
Mrs. Owens noted that the administration needs to be careful in implementing the changes. It is important for staff to know what the concepts are and to see the academies in operation.
Mrs. High added that the District will be able to identify the students early on who are interested in specific careers.
Dr. Leak stated that at the April meeting, the administration will be able to give some of the bigger picture of what next year will look like.
Mr. Hunigan noted that the PSAE scores have been released. In the Board packet, he will put a comparison with the other schools in the area.
Dr. Leak passed out a sheet which noted the Honors and AP Courses offered this year and the number of students who had signed up for each course. She added that it has not yet been decided how the District will handle courses for which only a few students signed up.
Mrs. Owens noted that there used to be a formula for these students. She would like to see that formula.
At 6:45 p.m. Mr. Cohn left the meeting.
Mrs. Brookins asked when the master schedule for each school would be completed. Dr. Leak stated that it will be completed by Spring Break.
Mr. Hunigan noted that many hours had been devoted to the creation of the new Bell Schedule. Students will have an advisory period and a lunch period. There will be no split classes. The school day will begin at 7:45 a.m. and end at 3:05 p.m. and will be increased by 20 minutes.
Mrs. Brookins asked about students who need help in the morning before school. Dr. Leak responded that there will still be after school help and the advisory period for help.
Mrs. Brookins asked who is going to monitor the Advisory Period. Mr. Hunigan responded that someone will be assigned the responsibility of the advisories.
The Professional Growth Plan was discussed. Mrs. Owens suggested that a form be added which would indicate that a staff member is either recommended for continued employment or not recommended for continued employment.
Dr. Leak noted that the Board needs to set a meeting to discuss Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) scores. The Board needs to understand the scores before a meeting is held with the public.
Mrs. Owens suggested a Committee of the Whole meeting. She said the Board needs to make sure everyone can be there.
Dr. Leak suggested saving the explanation until the new board members are seated.
Mrs. Moten asked about summer school. Dr. Leak noted that a brochure will be in the packet this week. There will be a discount for people who register early.
Mrs. Brookins asked about the regular school calendar and whether it could start later. Dr. Leak responded that we have the schedule in place to allow ultimate instruction time with the first semester ending before winter break.
Mrs. Moten suggested the District Administration to work with the foundation schools on the calendar.
At 7:33 p.m. Mrs. Brookins adjourned the meeting.