Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Minutes from 12/01/20 Meeting

      HiCap Parents Council Meeting

via Zoom
December 01, 2020

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm


1.    Updates on assessment & screening plan for this year

a.    Assessments are currently taking place, though not simultaneously.  So it is important for families to know that assessments will happen in their schools just not all at the same time.  Communication being worked out.

b.    Devices are currently being delivered given that old chrome books need to be updated in order to take the NNAT 3. 

c.     Currently, there is no timeline for kindergarten to 4th grade. 


2.    Services to Math Single Qualified Students

a.    Implementation of EDGENUITY is an overall success.

b.    258 elementary students are being accelerated though EDGENUITY; only 4 students chose not to continue. Currently, 4 teachers are meeting with these students.

c.     Some students enjoy this program, some students are struggling, and some are working through it 

d.    A positive side effect of remote learning is that in online learning, students can join their appropriate Math level (a different class.) 


3.    Cathi Davis: Ruby Bridges

a.    There are 460 student at Ruby Bridges:

1.    112 students: holistic/single/EAP = 24% of the school

2.    2nd through 5th is 22%

b.    Implemented ‘Walk-to-Math’ online:

                                      i.     6 students in 2nd grade join the 2nd grade EAP class for Math

                                    ii.     12 students in 4th grade join the 4th grade EAP class for Math

c.     ELA Challenge: text more advanced than Benchmark or others. It is working well for EAP learners. 

d.    To further support students and to create community (for example, ‘buddy program’, lunch room, etc.) schedule has proven to be a challenge.  In January, they may have a new schedule that can support this effort. 

e.    Feedback from a parent: 

                                      i.     Grateful because the student is currently experiencing challenge for the first time; the student is learning to push through challenge. 

                                    ii.     Parents are happy about building this capacity for students. 

f.      Adding rigor to the class curriculum is a matter of educational justice. It is a responsibility to challenge students early on and expose them to a rigorous curriculum so they are prepared for Middle and High School. 

g.    Leadership program: no voting or elections; all students that were interested in this leadership program were allowed to participate; 19 students shown interest. 


4.    Council questions / updates:

a.    High School: Course catalog, consistency among schools, clear and accessible classes syllabi

                                      i.     Course registration is very important and will take place very soon. Need to make it better for next year.

                                    ii.     There should be a consolidated course catalog across the district. Not sure what's the benefit to have separate class catalog. Need to provide enough info for families to make informed decisions, mainly because students cannot change classes.

                                   iii.     Course description: how many books the students must read in that class; how many reports the students might writhe in that class; etc. 

                                   iv.     Course catalog: having an accurate course catalog for all High Schools. Only 1 year, there was a single course catalog for the whole district, and it did not happen again. A single course catalog for the 4 comprehensive High Schools in the district. It improves transparency, completeness.

                                    v.     Elective classes may be different, but core classes need to be the same.

                                   vi.      If you have to teach an AP class, you have to teach the same syllabus in all schools. 

                                 vii.     The syllabi students are given do not include what will be covered in the class, but how they are going to be graded. 

                                viii.     NEXT STEP: write a letter to Dr. Michelle Reid asking some very concrete requests and specific timeframe. Volunteers: Myriam Juritz, Brenae Brix, Audrey Kozel, and Jasmine Lee.

b.    Middle School: some schools have very good AAP classrooms but some barely differentiate among Gen Ed, Challenge and AAP classes.

                                      i.     Some teachers are differentiating. Some are doing well; some are doing nothing. It is very frustrating. It does depend on teacher.

c.     Differentiating is important but extremely difficult. EAP classroom needs more differentiation than a Gen Ed class. And, an AAP class does not mean that all students are at the same level; they usually aren’t.

d.    The solution may be to have some specific curriculum for EAP and AAP. 

e.    A council member shared how different the experience of her students was in different schools, even though they were in the same district. So, how are teachers selected?


f.      HiCap Teachers: What are the requirements for a teacher to teach an EAP class?

                                      i.     None in particular.

                                    ii.     Council suggested having a requirement of PD clock hours in order to teach an EAP or AAP class. This is very difficult to implement. 

                                   iii.     Currently, not much can be asked in terms of training.  Given the pandemic, all PD has focused on moving teachers to teach online. There was a huge learning curve, professional training, for some teachers so everything else became optional. 

                                   iv.     Professional development is a long-term issue, not short-term issue.