SLT Minutes 11/30/16

SLT Minutes 11/30/16
December 5, 2016 GWHS


Kristy Bates (Special Education), Pedro Camacho (DCTA), Marcus Lee (Social Studies), Derrick McNeill (Science), Julia Ortiz (Arts), Sarah Ozee (Business/CTE), Dan Singer (English), Scott Lessard (Administration), Yasiris Torres (World Language), TerriLynn Vigil (Counseling), SyRae Weikle (Physical Education), Adria Tate (Administration/Instructional Coach), Kate Greeley (Administration), and Dale Embelton (Technology)




Technology (Mr. Embleton)

Mr. Embleton came in to talk about the “one-on-one computers” program

  • We will not be submitting this application this year until we have more information
  • Current state of technology: several computer labs, chrome books, laptops
    • 18 Chrome Book Carts (just under 600)
  • Might be able to strategically put charts on floors/departments
  • Not all department have carts or access to chrome book carts
    • We are going to check the status of one chrome book chart. If available it will become a Foreign Language Department specific cart. If not, SLT will approve the funds to buy Foreign Language their own chart.
    • Embleton will check with Ms. Jones about the calendars for the Chrome Carts
      • SLT thanked Mr. Embleton for all his hard work on behalf of our students and teachers in regard with technology in GW.


Dates Proposal (Ms. Richason)

Ms. Richason requests 1st Thursday  (January 12th, last ½ of 6th [period) in January: Senior meeting

  • Purpose of the meeting: To communicate Graduation requirements, cap and gown information,     prom information etc.
  • Question: Can seniors have a check- list? A: Ms. Richason will also include a check list in addition to the Senior Meeting
    • Question: Can we have the meeting during Thursday PD? A: Not all seniors will come in the morning

Student Vs. Teachers Basketball game and pep rally

  • Tradition at GW that brings teachers and students come together
    • Half Time 10 minutes ½ time for a dodge ball game (teacher vs students)
  • March 24th Pep Assembly Schedule Approved


Expectations for Final Scheduled – Teacher Concerns (Ms. Oritz)

What are expectations for Final Schedule

  • Are students allowed to leave when they are done?
  • Can teachers give finals early but not give a final during designated finals time
  • Consequences for students who miss their final without a doctor’s note/legitimate excuse etc.
  • Ideas of finals are a way to prepare students for college. We are simulating an experience that they will have I college
    • What will compromise this goal, is if we do not set up expectations/break rules on Finals

Expectations for Finals

  • Students stay in classroom until Final is over…NO ONE OUT EARLY
  • Teachers give finals early—
  • Understand partial finals
  • There should be a legitimate final work on day of final
  • Final does not have to be comprehensive; it has to be something that you feel is important to your class.
  • If a student is absent and the absence is unexcused, the teacher has the right to not allow the student to make-up the final (it is DPS policy)
  • Student not allowed out of the room during finals unless it is an emergency.


Distribution of Teacher Absence List (Mr. Singer and Mr. Camacho)

Several teachers have expressed concern over the distribution of the faculty absence list.  Teachers are wondering about the purpose of sending this list to the entire faculty and are also suggesting that the list violates employee confidentiality.

  • Teacher confidentiality feels breached
  • Purpose is to see who is absent to provide that support to our subs and our absent teachers
  • Question: Can we leave out the reasons for teacher absence
    • Answer: Mr. Lessard will talk to Vigil to see about getting rid of that
  • Proposal to have a department master key to help each teacher within the department out during an absence
  • SLT member statement/concern: Timing. When we first got these emails, we felt chastised with the emails after our meeting with Mr. Mendlesberg and received a “gotcha/ shame” reaction with the intention of these emails.


Frequent Visits to Classroom Concerns (Mr. Camacho and Mr. Singer)

Frequent visits to classrooms are not helping the already low teacher morale.  Teachers are concerned that these visits are not benefiting the teaching and learning environment.  Teachers have expressed wanting to feel supported, valued, and trusted.  These unannounced visits are creating feelings of fear, intimidation, and micromanagement.

  • Suggestion: Can observers introduce themselves or interact with the students and teachers
    • Observations can sometimes disrupt the class atmosphere/ affects student behavior
  • Can Observers see more of the lesson to get a better, bigger picture
    • Suggestion by Ms. Tate: Less frequent observations but also in smaller groups
  • Purpose of observations is to calibrate instructional practices, for admin to get on the same page.

Since administration is committed to being in classes as much as possible, here are some ideas to support best instructional practices and improve teacher morale:

  • When visiting classes, can administrators help support teachers by addressing discipline issues when they arise?
  • Can administrators help support instruction by working with small student groups when appropriate? This would be extremely helpful in large classes and classes with ELL and special needs students.
  • If teachers need/want assistance with instruction, would administrators be willing to guest or co-teach a class to model best instructional practices?
  • Can administrators stop using rigor as a weapon against teachers until we come to an agreement on a clear definition? Rigor looks different in every classroom and for every student.

Defining our own rigor at GW: Rigorous task

Our working definition as a ILT is…

  • Standards based and at grade level
  • Relevant
  • Students will struggle with the task
    • Question: What does “struggle” mean?
      • Healthy Struggle: not so difficult that is not accessible and not so easy that there is no challenge.
        • How do we make students Think?
        • How do we get it so that we get students to think enough and in enough classes so that they are doing this often/ all the time at school?
      • SLT concern about vague language and how that will affect teachers
        • Harbors “out to get you feeling”
      • SLT comment: Specific language may hinder teaching/apply to specific teachers
        • Make a claim and justify reason and evidence with at least one source
        • Critiquing and evaluating each other’s work
        • Not all of these items need to be observed but many should be observed




December 14, 2016