Monday, June 12, 2023

Minutes from 6/6/23 Transition Meeting

HiCap Parent Council Transition Meeting
June 6, 2023

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Via Zoom

1.      Vote for appointed reps that did not self-nominate for the election.

a.       Will do introductions after elections so newly elected/appointed reps can join the meeting first.

b.      Outgoing reps are not permitted to vote, just new reps.

c.       Attendees who are attending on behalf of an elected rep cannot vote.

d.      First time there are 2 people who volunteered for the same position after the election. Council needs to choose between them.  Discussion about the candidates for East Ridge. (Explicitly not documented to protect privacy.)

e.       Bylaws do not permit sharing a position.

f.        Council co-presidents do not get to vote

g.       Appointed positions are only for 1 year. (Elected positions are 2 years.)

h.      East Ridge election winner: Julienne Martin-Vegue  was elected over Nikki Bray.

i.        Canyon Park rep – Faustine Wilkey

j.        Bothell HS rep – Terra Droney

k.      Members at Large: Lyn Trier, Terri Kashi and Nikki Bray. (Bylaws allow a maximum of 4 at-large members.)

2.      Introductions

a.       Beginning with Austina and Carson

b.      Introductions of everyone based on order they appear in Austina’s Zoom

c.       Election of new officers: President, VP, Treasurer & Secretary

3.      How we work with the district

a.       No screaming or running out of the room if you disagree with district decisions. This was tested last month with the newly announced changes to EAP.

b.      Ok to leave room peacefully and re-enter when calm.

c.       Carson will contact members who did not attend tonight’s meeting to ensure they are aware before next week’s meeting with the district.

d.      WHY? District stops listening if you start screaming or are being disrespectful.

e.       Council has no power to make decisions, but district will often give Council information before being publicly released, and sometimes solicits Council feedback before making decisions.

4.      Elections for Board positions

a.       Description of each role by each officer

·   Carson as president

·   VP description by Carson

·   Lyn Trier as treasurer

·   Steven as secretary

b.      President – No self-nominations other than Carson. Austina is willing to be co-president or hand it off to Carson. Carson is willing to go solo. Elisa nominated both Carson and Austina as co-presidents.

·   Discussion about whether there should be co-presidents, whether Austina should be VP or whether someone new should take over to learn the role given that Austina will be transitioning out of NSD in general.

·   Carson is elected unanimously with no objections.

c.       Vice President

·   Liz Paruchuru nominated Austina as VP. Austina declines nomination.

·   According to Carson, Ashley Watts is willing to be VP, but could not be there tonight because of a last-minute PTA meeting at Canyon Creek about the new EAP model. Austina officially nominates Ashley.

·   Unanimous vote with no objections for Ashley.

d.      Treasurer

·   Carson nominates Lyn Trier.

·   No other nominations.

·   Unanimous vote with no objections for Lyn.

e.       Secretary

·   No self-nominations. Cannot move forward without one though.

·   Sriraj Rajaram is volunteering himself, but his wife is the actual rep. But he needs to be an official member of the Council. He could be appointed as an at-large member first, which would work.

·   Question about whether Council has ever had a couple serving on the Council. (No, but not really any contested or controversial votes anyway.) And whether at-large members have same voting privileges. (Yes.)

·   Sriraj was elected as a member-at-large with no objections, and then elected as secretary.

5.      Quick overview of what to expect at next week’s meeting with the school district

a.       Amity and maybe some other NSD employees will be there

b.      About 1 hour of updates from Amity about which schools are implementing the new model, professional development, etc.

c.       Time at the end for questions

6.      EAP Playdates

a.       Vanessa Greek at NSD would prefer that Ashley be the point person for coordinating EAP playdates this summer, primarily about reserving playgrounds.

b.      Goal is to get the proposed dates to Ashley by Friday.

c.       Not necessary for middle and high school because they have WEB day and students are not as interested anyway.

d.      We now have insurance, which was a problem last summer.

e.       Have also had playdates for feeder patterns in addition to EAP. Great for single-subject qualifiers since they are not readily obvious within a class.

f.        Task for elementary reps to come up with a summer event(s) that makes sense. Can be different for each school. Playdates used to be for kids forced to switch schools, but many EAP kids no longer switch schools. If huge school with lots of EAP classes, could be better to have separate events by grade.

g.       How do we find out who to invite? We do not , but we send the events to the school district and they will notify affected families.

h.      Most families prefer events at the school playground so they can check out the new school.

i.        Thoughts about how to do elementary events:

·   Arrowhead is inclusive. Would love to host a large event for the entire school.

·   Suggestions for bingo cards to force you to speak with other kids and find people so you can check each box. Otter pops, often as a reward for completing the bingo card.

·   Council has posters and easels. Not a huge budget, $25 or less. Otters pops are worthwhile. Names tags are highly recommended for both students and parents.

·   You do not need to run it all yourself. You can find other parents to help, especially if there are multiple playdates. You do not need to be at each one.

·   Can publicize via PTA email. Council will send a single email to the mailing list once all dates are scheduled.

·   Otter pops will not freeze overnight, so give them at least 2 nights. And do not just put the box in the freezer since center pops will not freeze. And bring scissors to open them. Baby wipes are also good for sticky hands.

7.      Back-to-school Fair

a.       At Pop-Keeney field on August 10, 4:30 – 5:30 pm

b.      NSD will send invite to Council in a few days.

c.       Will need 3-4 people to work the booth and answer questions for people, especially K-1 parents.

8.      Hot Topics on the minds of Council reps

a.       Are there any initiatives or priorities that the Council has been working so that new members can get acquainted on those topics and help with the advocacy?

·   Recurring issue: single-subject qualifying kids get screwed every year

·   Professional development

·   Writing as a skill

·   Getting all high schools on the same page and talking to each other, especially a common course catalog.

·   With changes to Algebra I and II, not a good way to handle skipping Algebra in 6th grade without essentially repeating work from 5th grade in EAP.

b.      Carson has been pulling together resources and documenting knowledge like playdate docs, etc.

c.       Council is a volunteer organization, so nothing gets done unless someone volunteers. So if something is important to you, step up and get it done!

d.      Is the meeting with Amity next week the proper forum to raise parent comments, concerns, feedback, etc.? YES.

e.       One insurance requirement is that someone who does not have access to the accounts look over the books each month and sign off on the statements. So Lyn Trier will be asking someone at each meeting to do so.

9.      Myriam is running for school board!

10.  Question about new EAP model

a.       What is the feeling about feedback from kids going thru the new model?

b.      Austina is working on a survey about the new model. Hopefully we can capture that feedback. District will likely be sending out the survey to every 2nd and 3rd grader both this year and next year to provide comparisons.

c.       Current 2nd graders in EAP going back to their home school for 3rd grade are a unique test case since they will experience both models.

d.      Is new model working for ELA and in general? Does it meet their social-emotional needs?

e.       Austina’s 3 big requests for Amity in the new model:

·   Clear plan for professional development for all affected teachers

·   A firm plan for how ELA will work

·   Capturing data to measure whether this new model works

f.        District knows this is an experiment and may not work, or may need to be adjusted. It is expected that adjustments will be necessary.

g.       It is possible that experience for GenEd students will go down because having HiCap kids in your class may be discouraging instead of inspiring.

h.      This plan does solve some core problems, especially about keeping kids in their home schools and providing interaction between HiCap and GenEd kids. But there are many concerns.

i.        Ask each school – will the teachers be required to attend training, all of them? Only principals can require the training. Not Amity, although NSD superintendent could, but has not yet. Each building has to make a commitment about the training, and make it required, not optional.

j.        Concern that parents are not necessarily informed about the issues and the changes, and whether their child is affected.

k.      Terra Droney: Superintendent Tolley is not at the point where he feels he can require specific PD. But he believes some PD has to come from district level, some has to come from building level, and some has to be based on the teacher’s individual needs. At the beginning of the year, there is a lot of training for new teachers. Don’t want to overwhelm them with too much too soon.

l.        Mandatory training is a bargaining issue with the teacher’s union. They have historically pushed back against mandatory training.

m.    Council could present their opinion to the NSD Board, but it is not clear that the members of the Council have a unified opinion on the matter at this point.