CSC Minutes 12/3/2018

CSC Minutes 12/3/2018
December 3, 2018 GWHS


Henry Waldstreicher, Lucca Raabe, Andrew Schwartz, Ron Sherman, Eric Sherman, Kristin Waters, John Collins, Laurie Buchanan, Jennifer Harkness-Quintana, Renee Raabe, Adam Haynes, Graham Hageman, Michelle Wellman, Kitty Hook


  1. Mural revisited
    1. The mural project we discussed at the last meeting is going to be two separate projects, a mural and updating the garden. We want to create a welcoming and positive environment through the art at George.  We are also looking at updating the inside of the building, looking at murals in the stairwells trying to make the building more inviting.  We want to start a trend of artwork at GW, so the mural and garden would possible be an on-going project, changing with the students of George and what they want to see.  Overall, we want George to be a space where everyone is free to be themselves, where every culture is recognized and celebrated.
    2. We are also looking at updating the look of our gym, starting by installing a sound system and possible taking down the divider. There are plans for repainting the gym and having a more prominent GW logo in our gym.
  2. Re-examining One George
    1. When One-George began, people were divided into various subcommittees based on interest and expertise. These committees were headed by community members, staff members, and students.  Looking back at the original documents, we have made a lot of progress, but there is still work to be done to create a more unified George.
      1. There have been large strides made in terms of teacher involvement in decision making, prior to One-George teachers had almost no voice in terms of what was going on at the school, but now teachers and community members in general are more willing to give input and express their opinions on administrative decisions.
      2. We have also established a weekly correspondence to communicate with all stakeholders in the community.
  • We are looking at how we can increase involvement within the community by volunteering and possibly moving the police car to make the school more inviting.
  1. Has it been as effective as we hoped? There are many things to celebrate and it is a different environment, but we still have lots to improve upon, take previous successes and adding on to them
  2. Has One-George been as effective as we had hoped? While there are many things to celebrate with the implementation of One-George, there are still places that we need to improve upon, taking our previous success and adding to it.
    1. We don’t know exactly what we need to improve, so the first step in this process is figuring out what the community needs, and what we can do to facilitate that.
    2. Next steps will be revisited at the next meeting after Winter Break.
  3. Kelli Pfaff works as an independent contractor, would charge us to lead the facilitation of the next implementation but is almost definitely worth it, not in the budget currently but we did not plan for it, 6000$, she helped to organize the One-George initiative
  4. We are looking at bringing in the independent contractor who originally helped organize the One-George initiative, Kelli Pfaff.
  5. We are looking at something like a class project to help the community or an event like the Black play to open the dialogue.
  1. Review class sizes from October count Roster Verification.
    1. Requirement of the DCTA/DPS Collective Bargaining Agreement.
    2. The classes with 10-15 kids are the ones we need to look at, most classes have between 20-30 kids.
  2. Increasing the amount of mental health support:
    1. Two years ago, we changed from licensed counselors to college advisors with experience in higher-education. There has been an increase in mental health needs, so to compensate we are looking to bring back the counselors.  We are also looking at replacing empty positions with licensed counselors.  We can also look at writing a proposal to get an additional counselor.  We also looked at being proactive to prevent mental health issues instead of being purely reactive, doing something as simple as writing down the three actions a student can take when high school becomes too stressful.
  3. Changing the Freshman social studies courses:
    1. Right now, Freshman take both civics and economics, both of those classes are in the 11th grade curriculum and deal with abstract concepts, so we are looking at changing that to Honors Geography, a class every student would take that looks at more than just maps and locations, but also looks at economics in different countries and the global perspective. Civics is a graduation requirement so we are looking at having students take it first semester Junior year, or letting take a college level civics course such as CU Succeeds.  We are promoting this change because students aren’t finding success with the current curriculum, the abstract concepts in civics and economics that are designed for Juniors are difficult concepts, there are things that the students aren’t grasping.  We also want to create a class where students have an opportunity to be with the other students in the school that are not on the same track as them, giving students the opportunity to look at new perspectives that they might not otherwise get.  This is not a plan to make every class honors, we are looking at where putting all students in a class with the same level of rigor can work, making sure everyone receives the same education.  Currently, there may be some extensions or adjustments but for the most part everyone taking any course, Honors or non-Honors, is learning the same material and even taking the same assessments, as is the case with English I.  The success that we have had in English I has led to more enrollment in an Honors English II course and that has led to more enrollment in AP/IB English courses.  On the Sophomore track we are looking at creating a concurrent enrollment course for US History, so the only advanced option is not just AP.  The goal with these changes is to provide accessibility and to create a place where everyone can be together.  These courses would not be watered down versions of the original course, the success that we have had with English shows that all students are capable of succeeding in higher-level classes.
    2. We are also slightly changing the way Choice of Studies will work, academic advisors will come in on a Tuesday and present the Choice of Studies and different pathways. We are asking teachers to promote their classes, and are possibly looking at a choice of studies fair.  We think that it is very important for students to see the face of the teacher and to ask questions about the course.
  4. SPF Discussion – Dr. Olson written responses
    1. Olson was unable to respond to the questions we sent so we are waiting for her response before we move forward with this discussion.