Board Work Session Minutes November 12, 2018

All attachment in pdf

November 12, 2018 Work Session
Panorama Village Administrative Center
Room B - Immediately Following the Regular Meeting
240 Villa Crest Drive
State College, PA  16801


II.       PURPOSED DISTRICT GOALS for 2018-2019 (attachment)

III.      PUBLIC COMMENT Each individual will be limited to comments of three (3) minutes as time permits for items on this agenda or related to Board business.


November 12, 2018 Work Session Minutes
Meeting Room B - Immediately Following the Regular Meeting
Panorama Village Administrative Center
                   Approved Minutes
240 Villa Crest Drive
State College, PA  16801

Ms. Concepcion called the State College Area School District Board of Directors Work Session to order at 8:29 p.m. and turned the session over to Dr. O’Donnell.

II.       DISTRICT GOALS and PRIORITIES for 2018-2019
Dr. O’Donnell explained he had three items to check in with the Board for clarity. These are not an Action Item area, just where people stand, and what they think are clearly priorities. The three are: Sustainability, Homework and Dress Code. He asked if there were any others that need checked on so we all knew we were on the same page and what we want to know. Board Members suggested/discussed:

  • Going back to the School Day Changes - paraprofessionals at recess, implementation of homework policy and recess policy (elementary) and how they implemented and the process, and owe to the community but nothing formal. Dr. O’Donnell noted to reflect on a discussion on all the student day changes and where we are. Vern could report on how things are going for recess, the music ensembles, PLC, Homework, and Title I interventions, etc. for elementary. Dr. Stout could speak to the 0 period, athletics, transportation, etc., for secondary and collect data from first period teachers and students to see if they are more alert. Dr. Stout noted that tutoring is available in the 0 period and lots of students are coming in and utilizing this; and first period teachers are feeling they are getting more done. Dr. O’Donnell added if survey would be done, it should be tight. There has been no check-in for PLCs in the High School and also would like to hear about the Learning Communities.
  • Discussion occurred regarding the impact (psychological) of safety drills, the long-term impact of danger and what we are expecting in the world. Spoke on the Delta Drill, School Safety at PSBA addressed this concern, students may not show, but have different levels of trauma, do not want to contribute to fear un-necessarily. More than knowing what to do, they expect a level of violence and needs to be a balanced approach with other parts. Board member spoke on CAC for Safe Schools and noted the High School SRO was there and explained this has never been done before so all is trial and error and a Right way or Wrong way is not known, and thinks kids can handle everything. Elementary schools have a different approach, could come up with a philosophical approach that could help guide, and looking at 100% safe physically but really looking at 100% safe wholistically. Spoke on all-hazards, give an update on what is done, need to do due diligence, add Mental Health people to the list, look at who is part of the Traumatic Events Team, work now for ten-years from now, really liking the debriefing part of the Delta Drill, and have kids be a part of the planning, take responsibility and be intentional about it.

  • Sustainability - Dr. O’Donnell noted it would be hard to engage Mr. Poprik or Ms. Schaper in this area for this year. A study or inquiry could be doable at the Board level. Board member spoke with Dr. Buckland on how this would happen and an audit would be the starting point for a multiple step process. Could start with buildings not under construction, would need to understand what the audit would look like, and plan the process well. Could be Step 1 of a five-year goal. Dr. O’Donnell added having an external group do something, not include District people, could work with faculty experts at PSU, and this not being a data collection year.
  • Secondary Homework - Dr. O’Donnell suggested doing a Regulation to bring to the Board. It would not be a full blown process that involve faculty but more at the middle level Faculty Handbook that is different than the High School. Elementary said no homework but could do this with Student Council. Look at reasonable homework with a maximum amount of time for homework outside of class and could do cumulative over two-days of time due to block schedule. Parameters need to be put in place and discussed respectful and non-respectful tasks, being tied to curriculum and not “busy” work, and should have a purpose and consequences. Dr. O’Donnell spoke on Tom Murray and envisioning process. They will be reaching out to him and hope he can help us to look at deeper.
  • Dress Code - At this point, it was noted it is pretty non-restricting but at different levels, it is different. There is inconsistency with K-5. The policy is broad so the issue is not there with policy, but in the handbooks. Opinions were the Elementary Handbook needs revised, as well as the Middle Schools and High School due to not being gender neutral. There will need to be communications done. Board member suggested handing this over to students for student voice at the secondary level, knowing this would be a process. It was noted that change begins at younger ages and the handbook should be updated. Dr. O’Donnell added that Mr. Bock could start K-5 with Principals and is doable, but not a systemic change.
  • RECAP - Will need to be communicating all the change, and on how it is handled. Work on Secondary homework this year; also talking about Elementary dress code with length of shorts and width of shoulder straps - need revision in the handbook; things need to be refined to be consistent District-Wide and the handbook consistent with Policies; and Strategic Plan - audit is on the radar screen for this year and need to continue to plan around. Dr. O’Donnell added we are trying to tell the story better, need to reflect on each thing we put on, each initiative we are working on and need to prioritize. Board member noted there are so many things and long-term, and need to say “this is a Goal,” who is doing, then evaluate, and note if it is achieved or not. Challenging to create a list and the need to impact for Strategic Plan. Most are multi-year.

There was no public comment.

Ms. Concepcion adjourned the State College Area School District Board of Directors Work Session at 9:59 p.m.

Submitted by,

Mary Jenn Dorman
Board Secretary