Last night (1/16/13) we held our first, quarterly SLLIS-wide SAC meeting. This meeting is intended for the elected members of each school’s SAC to meet with me regarding persistent needs that cannot be resolved at the school level.
Thank you to TCS teachers Haoli, Olivia/Shuqi and Eve/Yongluan, TCS parents Ken, Janet and Rochelle, TFS teacher Mme Meghan, TFS parents Lizz, Cindy and Jim, and TSS teachers Laura (also wearing a brief parent hat) and Angela, Arlene for participating in our inaugural SLLIS-wide SAC meeting. Please hold Thursday, April 11, 2013 for our next meeting. Alba will send everyone a calendar reminder and a follow-up as the date approaches.
During last night’s meeting I solicited, and those present, discussed the following topics that are most frequently unresolved at the SAC level and likely need more SLLIS-wide support for change:
- Enrollment Policy
- Outside street lights on Papin
- Revised family handbook
- Buzz book
- Educational programs– RAZ kids
- Diversity in Parental Engagement/volunteerism
- Parent understanding language/how to support student learning in the immersion language + understand student learning relative to grade level expectations
- Clarify what should be school-specific vs SLLIS-blanket
- How to track the 30 parent volunteer hours–sending follow up communications to acknowledge family participation + provide families a menu of volunteer opportunities/expectations
- Realize the newness of our entire community–legacy + neighborhood schools have advantage of external community support for generations. At the outset it’s exciting to think that we have the opportunity to create this community together. Then you realize that you have to create this community together. How do we give ourselves grace and still acknowledge the parent/volunteer/founder burnout potential?
- Progression on school nurse situation
- Supporting + retaining staff
May 5th– family movie night sponsored by TCS in the multipurpose room at Papin. All are invited to attend.
I didn’t respond directly to any of the concerns addressed last night, but wanted to offer a few clarifications here. Enrollment Policy is on the January Board of Directors agenda, so you can expect to hear an update from the board then. There are two other policy clarifications on their agenda that we will add to the family handbook and then e-mail it out to all families and send it to the printers for hardcopies. We definitely need a better schedule for getting the handbook amended and distributed each year. The Buzz Book is a task that gets shuffled around each year and delayed in distribution. We have scheduled the launch of our updated website design and the MySLLIS portal for February 1st. This portal will provide buzz book content for families. We will still have print copies available, but the advantage of the online portal is that families can update their ever-changing contact information directly. We will send out a series of communications to families about what to expect from MySLLIS and how to start using this tool to enhance school-home and parent-parent communications.
We then spent about two hours discussing the language and intent of the parent survey draft with the research team from UMSL. If you were not able to make last night’s meeting, please see your Head of School for more information about the survey. The research team from UMSL will send me the final version for review and then begin distributing it to families via e-mail or postal mail. Michelle, the graduate research assistant for SLLIS this spring, will then follow-up with families in a variety of ways to collect as much data as possible, including parent teacher conferences. Michelle and her supervisor will analyze the data and be the only humans able to link individual parents with their survey responses.
A couple of folks mentioned that they thought/hoped the parent survey would be more specific about school discipline/behavior needs. The faculty survey goes into much more detail about the supports that faculty have to create positive culture and respond to negative behavior in their school. I am still waiting to hear from UMSL what type of text/questioning edits we can make to this survey. Once I hear from them, I’ll let our staff SAC members know how we’ll proceed to refine this tool. The combined data from these two tools will really provide us with a clear perspective about adult experiences in our school community.
Thank you again for all that you do to grow our school community! I appreciate your time, thought and honesty about next steps for SLLIS.