SLT Minutes


SLT Minutes

  • SLT Minutes – 4/12/2017

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    Members Present: Kristy Bates (Special Education), Joe Bolz (Math), Pedro Camacho (DCTA), Marcus Lee (Social Studies), Derrick McNeill (Science), Julia Ortiz (Arts), Sarah Ozee (Business/CTE), Dan Singer (English) , Scott Lessard (Administration), SyRae Weikle (Physical Education)

    Non-Members Present: Troy Gonzales (ILT), Stephan Arichea (ILT), Adria Tate (Admin Intern)




    Essential Question: What would you like PD to look like AND accomplish moving forward?

    Bates: One Thursday a month have coordinated/organized time to talk about students and create support structures for kids who are struggling

    • College academic advisors creating norms and structures
      • Potentially 7 teachers leading/creating the structures/norms
      • Provide training for academic advisors to create norms and structures


    Lee: Will not be effective if 9th grade teachers and advisors do not meet.

    • Advisement teachers need to meet with their core teachers (often)
      • Maybe meet before school starts to check 8th grade records, know your kids middle school records
    • Being proactive (9th grade) is crucial


    Bolz: Teachers taking more ownership for the meetings

    • Teachers not focused/ complaining
    • McNeal: Teachers will get more out of PD if we met in small groups rather than whole staff.
      • Creating meaningful opportunities to meet.
      • Creating equity amongst teacher for the time utilized
      • Focus on how do we reach these kids/ taking them to the next level


    Tate: Teacher driven is more effective

    • Teachers finding real value in differentiated teacher PD groups
    • Taking sections of our SPF, UIP and working on these sections in small groups


    Ortiz: Creating norms in the creation of our groups so that groups are being formed based on
    needs/focus rather than camaraderie.


    Lee: Often times, our PD is geared only to our low performing students. When clearly there is also a need to grow our high performing students (data shows they are not growing)

    • How do we get those kids to grow
    • Challenging each other (teachers)


    Dr. Gonzales: One Thursday we are talking about the kid, the next Thursday we meet with the kids/parents


    McNeill: What about the kids on the spectrum?

    • Why not introduce the GT kid to robotics or engineering? Kick him that spark
    • When kids are in clubs they do better
    • We have the opportunity to get kids more involved in extracurricular activities

    Tate: Other resources, How PLCs Do Data Right

    • Allows for the creative slant we are taking on PD


    Dr. Gonzales: Some teachers are going to want to work with teachers, some are going to work with equity… what if we have strands and teachers can pick a strand that they want to work with

    • Gradually release of this
    • McNeill: This has been done before at GW ~ 6 years ago, 2 things missing:
      • 4 topics to choose from (topics were chosen by admin)
        • Teachers were thrown into one of them
      • What was missing back then-> level of accountability
    • Have teachers reflection…part of LEAP


    Bolz: We don’t know what we don’t know, how do we plan for theses PD?

    • Ortiz: Will the same trainings in semester one be offered in semester 2?
      • Tate: Allow some flexibility on what needs to happen
      • Example: should have taken more time to prepare for PSAT/SAT/CMAS training
      • Do not plan too far ahead, do not lock yourself into something that you might have to change


    Tate: Some teachers want to do some work around equity

    • As a school, we are participating in a study called the Opportunity Gap Cohort…..
    • Ozee: Small Groups are definitely required to do the work on equity
      • People are taking it the wrong way. If you want staff to be receptive be careful on the delivery and how it is being perceived. Perception is reality.
      • In small groups, teachers can speak up for clarification


    Arichea: Calling parents is not PD, is not an opportunity for growth

    • Creating opportunities for teacher growth by creating these organic PDs based on what comes up.
      • One teacher said that the Equity PD was racist? Working it out and growing is PD
    • We need to be very good at disagreeing. Right now what we are creating as effective is always agreeing
      • There are times when we’re autonomous (we are king/queen of our domain) and there are times when someone else is the king/queen of my domain
    • When do I get to decide what is better for the collective?
      • These are things we need to embed in our PD


    Bolz: PD happens, then we forget about PD until we meet again in PD

    • How can we apply PD to what we are doing in our content this week
    • How can coaches work with teachers based on PD trainings
    • McNeal: Small groups is important because it empowers the individual teacher and the coach


    McNeill: Accountability piece has to be structured and it needs to look similar no matter where
    the teacher goes.

    Should we plan to have something for SLT?

    McNeill: Topics have to be teacher created…SLT cannot be the only voice in creating topics

    Ozee: Could we ask for topics before the structures are put in place?

    Lee: I need clarification on what you mean by structures?

    What does it look like to “gradually release?”

    What does it look like for teachers who actually want to lead?


    Other questions we attempted to address through our discussion/brainstorming session:

    Guiding Questions:

    1. Reflecting on this year’s PD, what went well?
    2. What specific parts of this year’s PD should be leveraged moving forward?
    3. Reflecting on this year’s SPF data, what topics or areas of interest ought to be included in next year’s PD?
    4. How might we use the UIP to create a teacher-centered and teacher-driven PD Plan?
    5. What structures would that include?





  • SLT Minutes 4/5/17

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    Ms. Bates, Mr. Bolz, Ms. Vigil, Mr. Camacho, Ms. Torres, Mr. Lee, Mr. McNeal, Ms. Ortiz, Ms. Weikle, Ms. Ozee
    Presiding for Mr. Lessard: Ms. Adria Tate
    Non-Members Present: Mr. Celine (Custodial Representative)




    Cleanliness of Our School

    Concern: Trying to attract prospective students, but our campus is disgusting and dirty

    • Not being clean on a daily basis/ weekly basis
    • Trash does not get picked up/ cleaned up
      • Small sized “winkie” drawn on the 2nd floor (towards English side), has been there all year. Very obvious.
    • Staff need to request cleaning on a daily basis but does not happen
    • Pool area has not been cleaned all year (lots of traffic due to swim team/swim dog swim team)
    • Especially in the basement level (1st floor always looks great)
    • No paper towels, soap in the bathrooms/necessary classrooms
    • Celine will bring our concerns to Mr. Salazar


    Textbooks for Social Studies Department

    District might buy new textbooks

    • Waiting on economics books
    • Economics not a widely offered class…hence wait period from district
      • Try to make it one more year without Econ books while we wait
    • Definite need for AP History
      • Do not know our numbers/ how many sections of AP there will be
      • Try to just order class sets
      • 132 sets, 2 teachers
    • World History cancelled last year because of numbers
      • Coupled with geography in order to have a year
      • Do colleges look at World History?
      • Colorado universities do not required
      • Out of State universities do accept
    • How does this affect our students?
    • Does this affect our IB kiddos?
    • We want pairings, no singleton classes
      • Difficult because we do not enough teachers to teach the classes hence “off periods” in schedules


    PDU Journal

    Clarification around the requirements for the PDU

    • PDU Journal is not separate, the power point that we are doing could be our“PDU Journal”.
    • Monday List was a list of possible evidence to turn in your for LEAP
      • List was given to staff so that the message of what forms of evidence is
      • Expectations from evaluators was not consistent
      • Hopes that no one is penalized for attempted evidence demonstration
    • Adria will bring these concerns to the rest of the Administrative Team


    CMAS Testing Schedule

    • Not enough training, everything was done via email
      • Teachers searching through emails trying to figure things out
      • Small group/ collaborative teams most effective in CMAS training
    • Teachers felt unprepared for obstacles
    • Many steps, would be helpful to use Monday as refresher training
    • Could we embed CMAS Testing protocol in Thursday PDs
    • Technology was not reliable
      • Both computers and internet



    Ms. Greeley took on the UIP and got input from several teachers to help start the process: Mr. Lopez, Ms. Ortiz and Mr. Bolz

    CMAS Indicators

    • Indicators are broken down into sections (i.e. students of color, students with disabilities etc..)
      • Indicators found from SPF
    • We need to start prioritizing 9th Grade in order to make those colors shifts
      • Biggest indicator of student success is how they do their freshman year.
      • Supports PARCC & CMAS measurements
      • Increase 9th grade passing rate
      • Starting next year, credits are not enough. Students need to show competence in math and English.
      • Options to demonstrate competency is: ACT, SAT, AP, IB, CAPSTONE (portfolio), CE, ASVB
    • Push for concurrent enrollment classes in math and English in order to meet indicators
      • Will be a graduation requirement in the future

    Eliminate Historical Barriers at GWHS

    • Why Equity?
      • Not just indicators, but inclusion into our academic programs
      • e. enrollment in science-> Pre-IB/ honors classes
    • Concern: classes lack diversity
    • Increase student ownership of personal academic growth and futureplanning
      • WHY: Post secondary readiness indicator
      • College remediation rate decreases (need remedial classes in college)





  • SLT Minutes 1/25/17

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    Members Present: Kristy Bates, Pedro Camacho, Marcus Lee, Derrick McNeill, Julia Ortiz, Sarah Ozee, Dan Singer, Scott Lessard, TerriLynn Vigil, SyRae Weikle,

    Members Absent: Joe Bolz, Yasiris Torres

    Non-Members Present: Kate Greeley, Samantha Smith




    Co-Location School

    • There is not a co-location school that is not 80
      • Start small, we’re not going to get an influx of 100 kids
    • Career academy – grabs kids that are old and far and helps them get caught up – “over aged under credited”
      • What kinds of kids are they? How are they going to affect our culture?
    • Greely presented her experience of students working with kids from pathway school/ career academy as being Calm, more mature (Not kids being kicked out of school form other schools)
    • Boasberg changed vocabulary today and called it an “education center and careeracademy”
    • Question (Ozee)- CSC meeting with staff introduced this pathway school not as an “old and far” but as an alternative school for the students who are not being successful in school and are failing. Need clarification, what is the intention of this school/pathway/center
      • Answer (Bates)- It is a pathway school because there is nothing offered to these kids on this side of Denver Public Schools
    • Lessard: sent a pre-emptive letter asking for a pathway school in GWHS instead of having the district place a school at GWHS and put up walls
      • Students that are typically not graduating from our school so that we don’t transfer them out
    • Greely- Career academy/engagement centers, are within schools, are “old and far” and not being transitioned out for behavior management.
    • Lessard- would probably have 16 year olds here (vs. Emily Griffin who has 17-21 year olds)
    • Vigil- I don’t see how the environment is going to change for these 17-21 year olds while they are still with these 14,15 year olds, when they are still here with the same friends and influence.
    • Greely- our decision, would they go to the engagement center here or would they be transferred out? It will be the decision of the school.
    • Question (Weikle)- will it be considered a “choice” school
      • Answer (Greely)- it is not part of the choice process although it is a choice where you go
    • Question (Vigil) – will be they separated or integrated in the same class rooms?
      • Answer (Lessard)- Not in same classrooms, They will have their own principal,their own wing in the building. Probably have a separate bell schedule, maybe start later
    • Question (Ortiz)- Can we send you (Mr. Lessard) and CC all of SLT questions that we and the teachers we represent have? That way everyone has a chance to see what are the concerns and fears of the staff?
      • Answer (Lessard)- provide support, so we don’t have a drop out on our record since often they don’t enroll elsewhere they just drop out. As long as another school picks them up. In the pathway school, we can get our kiddos to graduate.


    • 2017-2018 school year has projection of 1,232 students
      • This year we had 1286
      • $200-300k to adjust
      • Compromises 4 positions- nothing decided
      • Add on to budget tech money and money for mental health services
    • Bond
      • GWHS is getting 11 million dollars/ spread through 3 years
      • 6 million district directed heating/cooling mitigation, lighting to LED
      • 5M is school directed/specific school goals
      • Money used to pay for facility needs not teachers
      • Replace windows (2M) to dual pane with a blind inside
      • Locker rooms renovation
      • Replace all chalk boards with dry-erase
      • Projectors mounted on ceiling instead of having on carts
      • Smart Boards
      • Adequate up-to-date furniture
    • Mill Levy
      • Is for instructional stuff/materials
      • Adding money for technology (~$100,000.00)
      • Adding Money to Math supports & other instructional supports for other(~$300,000.00)
    • Question (Ozee)- Can Mill Levy help alleviate RIBS?
      • Answer (Lessard)- Some places can relieve some stress but some can’t be used for people. For example Math, the levy if we need to could potentially keep the same number of teachers
      • Proposal to get an additional DDI for a total of 8
      • More structure, content specific DDI
      • Working directly with 9th & 10th grade teachers
      • $66k can be used for a new ELA/ Special ED person

    Choice of Studies

    • School-Wide responsibility
    • Strong Staff Culture around picking right classes
    • More info at tomorrow’s PD (1/26)
    • Part of distributive leadership, hopefully, last week in April

    UIP Focus for the Remainder of the Year

    • (Weikle) How do we make the tests important and create a testing environment that emphasizes that importance?
      • (Greeley) Making changes to testing environment already in the works after
        teacher input
    • (Ozee) How do we calibrate growth of the high kids?
      • (McNeill) Growth compare to caliber of other schools
      • (Greeley) Being compared to your peers, “apples to apples”
    • PSAT used this year as growth factor
      • SAT growth factor tool 9th, 10th & 11th
      • It won’t be just 9th grade CMAS
      • Khan Academy PSAT Practice 10th & 11th
      • No differentiation between PSAT & SAT, it’s ALL SAT
    • (Greeley) In regards to UIP Focus worksheets In February, come back with ideas or things that you’ve seen that we can continue to use and expand.
    • Testing dates/ environment- Planning on General SAT, PSAT testing all on the same day 9th-11th still on the works/draft form. Will get back tonus about building schedule.
    • QUESTION (McNeill): What percentage of student population are taking AP classes?
      • ANSWER (Lessard): Good Question, can look into taking practice AP tests

    Friday Blue/Green Day

    • Morning until about 10-ish is reserved for PD/staff meeting
    • 10-ish afterwards, independent work

    Problem Solving & Data Analysis (Singer)

    • Clarification on implementation of strategies in a lesson by February 1st
    • Nothing is due on February 1st only to please get to Ms. Greeley by this timeif you are interested in submitting evidence of implementation of instructional techniques.





  • SLT Minutes 11/30/16

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    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

  • SLT Minutes 10/26

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    Mr. Lessard, Mr. Bolz, Ms. Ozee, Ms. Ortiz, Ms. Bates, Ms. Weikle, Mr. McNeill, Mr. Singer, Mr. Lee, Mr. Camacho




    Policy Regarding Department Allocations:

    • Mr. Lessard in charge of supply line.
    • Anything less than $5,000.00 does not need SLT approval.
      • Big ticket items (i.e. department budgets would not be able to cover)
      • Anything above $5k needs to be approved by SLT
    • Impact of students and value to students needs to be part of proposal.


    Department Needs:

    • Mr. Lee mentioned economics & civics textbook needs
    • Mr. Lee is going to submit proposal for next SLT
    • Everyday line needs of Science department approved by Mr. Lessard
    • Ms. Torres expressed Foreign Language (F.L.) Needs: Chrome books cart for the Foreign Language (F.L.) department.
      • Suggestion to check inventory of chrome books before ordering a chrome books cart for F.L.
      • Once inventory has been completed, it will be assessed whether we have a cart to give to F.L. or if we need to buy a chrome book cart for F.L.

    Mill Levy Tech Thinking:

    • Confidence in Mill Levy & Bond to pass
    • Representative reached out to Lessard about options to spend funds
      • $200/student or choose to be in a “pile up” $300/student
    • “Pile up” $300/student→ one chrome book per student
    • No flexibility in spending…must spend on chrome book for each student
      • Students will be able to take Chrome books home
      • Is the cost of a textbook cheaper or more expensive than a digital textbook with a 4-7 year license.
    • $200/ student
    • flexibility of spending
      • Can spend in specific needs not limited to Chrome books


    Parent Teacher Conferences:

    • Documentation of 24 contacts (phone or in person) of different families and logged into Infinite Campus
    • Will take place in our own classroom
    • Date & Time: November 4th from 7:30-3:30 pm
    • If a phone conference occurs the week conferences are to take place, it can be counted as part of the 24 contacts.]
    • Recommendation to follow up with the parents who came to our first Parent- Teacher conferences.


    Patriot for a Day:

    • 20 teachers
    • Recruitment efforts to grow our numbers


    SPF Issues and Data

    • 42% gone up to 48% Overall
    • Need a 51% to be a Green School
    • 45% based on 9th grade CMAS scores
    • 51 I.B. students who’s scores were not counted in SPF
      • discrepancies with some IB students who’s scores were counted
    • Mr. Bolz looking into data


    Pathways/ Co-location of Schools Clarifications:

    • There has been a conversation of possibly co-locating a school at GW
      • Have not heard back after initial conversation/ mention
      • Mr. Lessard has been sharing this information to make us aware
      • Option instead of co-locating a school is a Pathways (RFP) option
    • With creativity in the master schedule, Pathways option is preferable to co-locating (which would be a completely different schedule/ school etc.)
    • Example: If Mr. Singer is teaching seniors, it would be difficult for him to teach seniors who attended 2-3 days a week while participating in internship
    • With Pathways, Mr. Geisel has a teacher who can teach seniors while they are also working with their internship


    Elevator Codes:

    • Concerns over too many students knowing the elevator code and using the elevators when they are not authorized
    • Change of elevator code is in the works


    Chaos in Hallways:

    • Hallway “walk through” having a positive impact on our hallways
    • Still kids in hallway…what do we do about that?]
      • Open to suggestions
    • Ask security to please do walk-throughs during identified “troubled” periods/areas