Thursday, June 4, 2020

Minutes from 6/04/20 Meeting

HiCap Parents Council Meeting
via Zoom with Amity Butler, Angie Hancock,
Tamorah Redshaw, Nancy Johnson and Cathi Davis

June 4, 2020
10:00 am – 1:00 pm

  1. Introductions of NSD employees and new Council members. Thanks to outgoing members.

  2. Updates from Amity

    1. Most buildings have had Welcome EAP events.

    2. All teachers from Bear Creek have found a home.

    3. Not all EAP teachers from this year will be teaching EAP next year. They may be able to transfer back to EAP in the future.

    4. Parent survey will go out soon.

  3. Cathi Davis – Principal of Ruby Bridges:

    1. Looked at student data set and vision for the school itself

    2. Will be opening an Authorized Baccalaureate primary years school -- Aged 5-12 level program aligns with IB’s diploma program, but also stands alone as an elementary program. Good overlap with HICap and EAP.

    3. Program of Inquiry – grade-level based.

    4. Inclusive practices vision – Intend to be demonstration site for state of WA.

    5. Single qualifier math students and EAP students have similar scores

    6. Identified EAP teachers for grades 2-5

    7. Trying to avoid split classes for EAP

    8. Impressed with depth of commitment of teaching staff – including for students who not just need support, but also need to be challenged

    9. Positioned to support 2e learners

    10. As demonstration site, invites Council members to visit the school during the year to see the progress

    11. Amity – Excited about potential for the way Cathi plans to serve single qualifiers. Cannot just take a program from one school and drop it in another, but good opportunity to learn about what works.

    12. Inclusive practices – Pushes envelope on idea that best service model around students who have Special Education needs is to ready the environment and to remove pullout instruction as much as possible. Implementing a coordinated schedule for intervention programs to avoid pulling kids out of core instruction.

    13. Still finalizing what will be language focus of PYP.

    14. Ruby Bridges has advantage of having EAP in-house, but still hoping lessons learned can be applied to non-EAP schools as well.

  4. Ideas for serving single qualified students

    1. One of the biggest challenges in the district

    2. ELA is easier to differentiate. Serving Math students is more difficult.

    3. Many schools do it quietly. Some have tried Walk to Math program. Some have tried differentiated instruction. Often depends on their individual classroom. Teachers often get stuck on meeting needs of all the kids in the classroom. Doing 2 grades of Math is difficult to do in a single classroom.

    4. Working on other models for serving single qualifiers

    5. Will continue working with parents so they know what the district is trying to do, in part to avoid surprises when they make a change.

    6. Terri – Told that it was not in teacher contract to provide extra work for HiCap students.

      1. Amity says that is not correct. Not in the contract to teach 2 grade levels of math in one grade. But it is teacher’s obligation to teach differentiated instruction.

      2. Miriam – Has been told similar before. It seems there is no consistency among schools or even among classrooms within a school.

      3. Other Council members agreed with this experience, both directly with their own children and from feedback from other parents.

      4. Amity acknowledges there needs to be more consistency across the district, which is something she is working on.

      5. Austina – Can we get a statement on NSD website about what parents should expect.

      6. Tamorah – Sites says students are to have differentiated instruction, but not necessarily acceleration. Would be nice if district could provide guidelines and extra materials for teachers to ensure consistency.  Would make it easier to get teachers on board.

    7. Hillarie – Does district every confirm students have been enrolled, does the teacher know? Not listed on website. Yes, teachers know and it is designated in Synergy.

    8. Canyon Creek welcome event for new parents – Many parents were not aware their child would be at Canyon Creek. Helped Amity reset their designations and school assignments properly.

    9. Bonnie – Is there a reason why single-qualified HiCap services do not show up on report cards as a special service? EAP does though. Amity – Not sure why. (Does not show up for middle or high school either.)

  5. 5th grade HiCap Math Students

    1. Served a lot of students this year who for the first time were accelerated in 5th grade.

    2. Had multiple ways that teachers attacked the situation. Some teachers tried to compact curriculum from 6th and 7th grade.

    3. Majority of accelerated students passed algebra readiness test, even those with just 1 year of acceleration

    4. Had great success. Not ideal, but can be done. Kids seem to rise to the occasion.

    5. Don’t have to have an EAP program to necessarily have success. But do need a teacher that can do pre-algebra.

    6. Continuing to try to build capacity to serve students. Have tried some things that did not work. Was starting to try other things, but got disrupted by shift to online learning.

  6. Austina – Suggestion for professional development for teachers, especially awareness of 2e kids.

    1. Amity had it placed on PD calendar a while back. Gave it to all EAP teachers last week.

    2. How do we get PD to teachers in general, not just the program from NW Gfited.

    3. Amity – Teachers who have had 2e students are the best to promote it to other teachers.

    4. Tamorah – Would be great if district would put together resources as optional PD for staff. Best if teachers teach it to their peers instead of administrators. Suggestion to collect best practices from existing teachers with experience.

  7. Transition events over the summer

    1. How to run zoom-based sessions to help kids transition into new schools so they can meet each other

    2. Can district help us get the word out to incoming families?

    3. Tamorah – Some PTAs are working on this, and a few teachers are working on this. School is working with them to provide information. Also suggesting posting notices to pre-schools and other locations.

    4. Austina – Equity issue. Not all parents will find out unless district disseminates the information to all.

    5. Amity – Should probably work thru principals for site-specific activities. In theory, they are working of the same list as HiCap department. But principals sometimes take July off. Will ask the communication department.

  8. Feedback for online / distance learning

    1. Amity will not necessarily be part of that conversation within the district, but would like to pass on notes to someone who will.

    2. Amity wants to hear what worked well, and what didn’t. But definitely want to know about the good so it can be shared across the district.

    3. Stephanie – Great experience with Seesaw for her kindergartner. Much better than 5th grader and high school student.

    4. Hillarie – Google classroom is great because it centralizes all information, unlike Seesaw. FlipGrid has been great.

    5. Myriam – Has kids in elementary, middle and high school. Regardless of the tools, teachers bringing in outside resources, had variety and engaged the kids makes a huge difference. Not all teachers have done this.

    6. Anja -- Guardian function in Google Classroom is wonderful, especially for 2e kids. But long emails from teachers do not work.

    7. Bonnie – Middle and high school kids have sufficient work and engagement. First grader is on Seesaw, but minimal individual instruction. Teachers are doing a great job collaborating with other teachers. Only individual instruction is i-Ready, which is boring and does not jump them ahead. But has heard that advanced learning is not happening at some EAP sites, i.e., not teaching to the EAP curriculum.

    8. Amity – Has heard about EAP curriculum alignment, but that issue has been resolved. A few teachers have mapped out lessons and shared them with other teachers, particularly for Math via a shared Google drive.

    9. Norma – Special projects are a good thing. But lacks feedback from teacher on kids’ work.

    10. Very teacher specific. Especially based on teacher communication with parents, which is inconsistent. ParentVue does not exist for elementary school.

    11. Lauren – Mini lessons over video work well for middle and high school. Much better than Zoom. Getting feedback from teachers on individual assignments that would not generally happen in normal classes.

    12. Jasmine – Online learning has exacerbating anxiety.

    13. Lauren – Are there offerings for parents to learn math over the summer so parents can help their kids?

    14. Jennifer – What to do about kids not feeling ready for their classes in the fall, particularly for Math. Kids cannot change their registration now.

    15. Stephanie – More instruction for high school would be nice. Would also be nice to acknowledge engagement, but recognize it is an equity issue. Small groups are nice.

    16. Carson – Teachers leave zoom session open for kids to just be social. And Lego club resumed on non-instruction days.

    17. Liz / Austina – 2e kids may be more visible in online learning, which is good.

  9. Next meeting? Will present a doodle poll for meeting dates for an August meeting.

  10. HiCap Logo

    1. Multi-colored values diversity.

    2. Outgoing members cannot vote.

    3. Suggested for a black and white version with shades of gray for printing

    4. Multiple colors looks good for elementary school, but not middle and high school

    5. Proposal to adopt multi-colored version with sun as logo

  11. Letter for PTAs for fundraising

    1. Request that each PTA support HiCap parent council

    2. Discussion of whether letter should suggest PTAs have HiCap liaison position

    3. Questions about how to get the letter to each school

    4. Concerns because PTAs are obliged to fund things that impacts all students, not just a particular group of students.

    5. Concern about being tone-deaf to ask PTA for support considering the current funding issues for PTAs because of coronavirus-based fundraising issues.

    6. Suggestion that perhaps we should hold off on asking this year.

    7. Suggestion to ask existing HiCap parents instead and/or promoting Amazon Smiles (which is minimal revenue right now)

    8. Budgets among PTAs varies greatly, in part depending on FRPL percentages.

    9. Have probably missed the budget window for existing PTA budgets, that many boards have already approved.

    10. Jasmine will revise letter to suggest liaison position.

  12. Feeder pattern history document

    1. Should we be publishing it on the HiCap website? Any reason not to?

    2. Bonnie already posted it to the site on the May blog post.

    3. Will also be put in Files area.

  13. Facebook group

    1. Called NSD HiCap discussion

    2. Bonnie is one of the main moderators

    3. Need someone new to moderate the group

    4. Jasmine, Lauren and Jennifer volunteered to be moderators

  14. New council members need to send their photo for the website

  15. MailChimp – New members can use it for sending to their own schools, but should not send message to all recipients if school or region-specific.

  16. Summary playdate ideas –

    1. Comes down to getting class lists. Should reach out to principals to get lists. 

    2. Pushing the equity issue will likely get them to help.

    3. Council should schedule Zoom meetings for each class.

      1. Concern about too many kids in a single Zoom session.

      2. Schedule multiple zooms to split kids up or just give parents multiple options?

    4. Suggestion for parent meetups in addition to student meetups.

    5. Suggestion to use or other online games as an alternative to just Zoom

    6. Could use breakout sessions in Zoom, but requires paid accounts

    7. Should engage the people who volunteered to help via the survey/voting