Monday, May 3, 2010

March Meeting Minutes

Nashwaaksis Middle School
PSSC Meeting Minutes

Don Richardson Tracey Grattan Sherry Thomson Shauna Miller Andrew Rowe
Pat Campbell Alan Atkins John MacKenzie Mitch Claybourn

Tracy Allen Anne Small Heather Touchie-Blakely Carol Coleman (DEC)

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:00pm.
Approval of Minutes

The minutes for the January 11 PSSC meeting were approved as amended. The minutes for the February 15 meeting were approved as presented.
Don identified two updates to the minutes from January. Tracy recirculated the minutes and they were approved via email by Alan and Mitch at the March meeting.
Business Arising from the Minutes
Grade 8 teacher Mike Smith is NMS’ nominee for the Premier’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. An application was filed with the Department of Education in late February.

Alan clarified that funding that PSSC has agreed to provide to support the continued use of the Synervoice messaging service will be provided for the 2010/11 budget year.

Work is progressing on the installation of concrete barriers along the school’s access. To date, 35 new barriers have been installed and 25 more will be put in place by the end of April.
Call for Agenda Items/Approval of Agenda

Additional Items (identified prior to the meeting):
• Report on school budget [ Alan]
• School Awards event [Alan]

Additional Items (added at meeting)
• n/a
Friends of NMS Update

Carry Forward – A Friends representative will be invited to provide a report at the April meeting.
D.E.C Report – Carol Coleman, D.E.C. Rep

Carry Forward – A DEC report will be provided at the next PSSC meeting.

School Improvement Plan Update & Overview – Alan Atkins

• The SIP committee held its first meetings this past week.
• Supply teachers have been engaged so that participating teachers can attend scheduled committee meetings during the school day.
• Teachers are currently reviewing the list of possible objectives to be included under the 2 main goals of the plan (academics and positive learning environment)
• School will be seeking 2 students to take part in review of the Plan. Students are generally chosen from the current grade 8 class, but consideration will be given to involving students from other grades.
• PSSC members will also be given an opportunity to provide input.
• A final draft of the SIP will come to PSSC members for approval at the PSSC’s May meeting.
• The three-year plan is reviewed on an annual basis and can be adjusted based on input from PSSC, parents and staff.
Action Items from Last Meeting
Action Item: Invitation to Fredericton police force to discuss meeting to provide information to parents on drug abuse in youth.

Result: Carry Forward – Mitch will seek to arrange this for April PSSC meeting.

Action Item: Alan to post invitation on school website to parents to see their children’s assessment results.

Result: Carry Forward – Assessment results have not been approved for release by the Department of Education. Invitation will be issued once release approval has been given.

Action Item: Alan to add to the SIP that NMS implement grade level school sports teams.

Result: This is being discussed by the school’s SIP development committee.

Action Item: Development of a school student survey.

Result: Carry Forward – Mitch and Alan to bring forward proposal to April PSSC meeting. PSSC members asked to provide suggestions for this via e-mail.

Action Item: Carol to determine if DEC supplementary funding can be repurposed. The PSSC will move ahead and use this money for our future drug session

Result: Carry Forward – Carol to report at future meeting.
Principal’s Report

School Activities:

• Well-attended meeting on French Second Language program held Feb. 12.
• NMS Grade 8 students visited the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly on Feb. 16, where they were introduced on the floor of the House.
• Local author Peter Clarke visited the school on Feb. 19.
• Teachers participated in Stepping Out training program on Feb. 21-22. This program encourages the integration of language arts skills into all aspects of the school curriculum.
• A student talent show was held on Feb. 24
• A Partners For Youth outing was held on Feb. 25.
• The Winter Carnival Day scheduled for Feb. 26 was cancelled due to weather.
• The first meeting of the SIP committee was held on March 8 with a full morning meeting held on March 11.

Principal’s Activities:

• Alan is participating in the school review at Keswick Ridge School. Principals are asked to participate in at least one review per year as an opportunity to learn from other schools’ experiences and integrate best practices.
• Alan will be attending a workshop on “21st Century Learning” being held in St. Andrews during the week of March 22. Encouraging signals are being received from the Department of Education regarding new directions in the use of technology in schools. As a leader in the early implementation of laptop computers in classrooms, Alan said NMS is facing significant challenges to replace its aging supply of classroom computers.

Disciplinary Issues:

• Alan reported on an incident at the February 25 NMS school dance which has caused staff to review current rules regarding cell phone use on school property. An incident arising from the inappropriate use of a cell phone by a student led to police being summoned and a student being suspended from school for disciplinary reasons.
• As a result of this incident, PSSC members agreed to support the principal’s decision to fully enforce school policy regarding cell phone use during school dances. In future, students will not be permitted to carry cell phones into a dance. Students found using a cell phone for calling, texting or photographic purposes will have their phones confiscated. They will be allowed to use them when the leave the dance to contact their parents.
• PSSC also agreed that the school ask the Fredericton Police Force to provide uniformed officers for security purposes at future dances. Mitch will check on prices for this service.
Action item: Mitch will check on prices for the Fredericton Police Force to provide uniformed officers for security purposes at future dances.
• Rules regarding appropriate dress by students and prohibition of non-NMS students will also be fully enforced at future dances.
• Action item: Alan will inform students and parents of the full enforcement of these school policies prior to the next school dance, to be held in April.
• Action item: Alan will provide PSSC members with a description of the threat assessment process at the committee’s next meeting.

Additional Items

School Budget: Alan reported that the school’s budget for fiscal 2009/10 is on target. The fiscal year ends on March 31.

2010/11 enrollment: Alan reported that, based on current projections, NMS will have one fewer grade 6 class next year than in the current year. This would result in the loss of 1 teaching position. This is the result of the decision to offer French Immersion at both northside middle school, which reduced the number of feeder schools providing students to NMS. Overall enrolment is currently expected to decline by 20 students next year, although the long-term outlook is for a return to growing enrolment in future years.

School Awards: Alan invited parents and PSSC members to attend the school awards event, to be held on June 24 & 25. Academic, social and sports awards will be presented to students.

LHHS Theatre: PSSC members agreed to support a letter being prepared by the Leo Hayes High School PSSC, calling the fulfillment of the commitment to construct a school theatre at LHHS.

Next Meeting/Meeting Adjournment

Next Meeting: April 12 @ 7:00pm

Meeting was adjourned at 8:10pm

February Meeting Minutes

Nashwaaksis Middle School
PSSC Meeting Minutes

Don Richardson Tracey Grattan Tracy Allen Carol Coleman (DEC) Andrew Rowe
Pat Campbell Alan Atkins John MacKenzie Mitch Claybourn Anne Small
Heather Touchie-Blakely
Sherry Thomson Shauna Miller

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:10pm.
Approval of Minutes

Don identified two updates to the minutes from January. Tracy recirculated the minutes and they were approved via email by Alan and Mitch.
Call for Agenda Items/Approval of Agenda

Additional Items (identified prior to the meeting):
• Side Walk Barriers [ Alan]
• Policy 703 [Alan]
• Student Survey [Mitch]
• School Web Site [Mitch]
• PSSC Chairs Meeting [Mitch]

Additional Items (added at meeting)
• n/a
Friends of NMS Update – Alan
• Approximately 40 people voted
• New co-chairs are Janice MacFarlane, Cindy Chase, Mary Martin
D.E.C Report – Carol Coleman, D.E.C. Rep

PSSC Chair Meeting
• Well attended
• Discussion of whether the supplementary funding be discontinued due to limited funding and size of requests but the chairs felt that the application for funds was still valuable
o Carol suggested that they will probably have the same amount of money but try to cover one major project per year and then divvy up the remainder between other schools

Premier’s Award for Excellence in Teaching
• Carol encouraged us to submit a nomination for this award
• Members are to forward names to Mitch and Alan by Wednesday, February 17 so they can submit a nomination
School Improvement Plan Update & Overview – Alan Atkins

• A committee of 9 school staff members was finalized February 15
• Monday, March 8 will be the first meeting of the committee
• PSSC & students will be invited in after this meeting
• The final SIP will be no longer than 3 pages
• Alan will review the current SIP to see if there are items to carry over to the new plan
Principal’s Report

• Alan is requesting that the PSSC budget be used to cover the cost of synervoice
• This is very valuable, especially in terms of calling home regarding attendance
• The proposed school magnets are cost prohibitive
• Mitch asked the group if we support synervoice – all present agreed
Miscellaneous Items
• Hoping to replace the lights in the theater
• The school raised $4500 for ‘Help for Haiti’
• Discipline numbers are down significantly from this time last year. Alan feels this is directly related to positive things happening in the school
• Position for Grade 6 Math teacher has been filled
• Grade 7 classes going to the Legion
• January 26/27 – teachers attended ‘Stepping Out’, language arts program aimed at integrating LA into all subject areas, training 1/3 of the staff each time
• January 28 – school social, 150 in attendance
• February 1 – meeting with the City Police to work on development of a ‘Policemen’s Challenge’, looking at doing this in May
• Junior Achievement presentations
• Geography challenge
• Haiti talent show & other fundraisers
• Interim Reports went home on Friday, February 12
• Teacher’s Appreciation lunch last Friday put on by Friends of NMS
• Students are participating in a UNB Wellness survey

Computers in the class
• Alan expressed concern over the aging computers within the school
• He is encouraged by positive talks about the 21st century learner
• Anne expressed a desire to see a provincial-wide IT strategy
Action Item Follow-up

Action Item: Alan to arrange for communication home reminding folks about the designated sidewalk area.

Update: See side walk barriers discussion below.

Action Item: Mitch will contact the police to invite them to come to the next PSSC meeting to facilitate planning this event.

Update: Mitch indicated that Jan couldn’t make this meeting but hopes to make the meeting in March. Carry forward.

Action Item: Alan will speak to teachers regarding the proposal to share year plans with
parents and will bring back recommendations to the PSSC at the next meeting.

Update: Looking at rolling out the sharing of the year plans in September. Mitch also requested information on the sports schedule be sent home at the same time.

Action Item: Alan to post an invitation on the school website for parents to see their children’s assessment results.

Update: There is still an embargo on some of the results, so Alan can’t share these results at this point in time. Carry forward.

Side Walk Barriers

• The district had extra money and agreed to purchase the requested side walk barriers to line the school driveway
• 35 new barriers are already there and we are expecting 50 extra in April to extend the barriers from the street to the school
• Tracy Allen asked if we had ever heard anything back on our request to the city to investigate having a crossing guard at the bottom of the school driveway
• There has been no word so Anne will follow-up on this request with the city

Policy 703 – Positive Learning & Working Environment

• Available on the District website
• The school is required to produce another report related to this policy
• Anne expressed appreciation to Alan for attending a school basketball game
• Anne also asked Alan to pass on praise for Alex Yaychuk in his role as athletic director
• Mitch requested that Nasis implement Grade level teams instead of the mixed levels
• Anne requested that Nasis find more opportunities for students to participates in athletics
Student Survey

• Mitch would like us to implement a student survey to compliment our new SIP
• Mitch & Alan are going to work on developing this
School Web Site

• Nasis was granted DEC supplementary funding to redesign the school website
• Mitch reported that the district is going to be providing support for school websites in the coming school year
• All members present agreed that it doesn’t make sense for us to spend the time and money for the web design since we will be able to receive support from the district in the near future
• Carol will look into whether the DEC supplementary funding can be repurposed
PSSC Chairs Meeting

• 21st century learning discussed, student voice considered as part of this
• Recycling programs are inconsistent, some schools do, some schools don’t
• STEM expo coming up in March, Alan will speak to Science teachers to see if there is interest
• April 16/17 - Educating Today for Tomorrow
Agenda Building

• Tracey Grattan requested that Alan report on the school budget at a future PSSC meeting
Next Meeting/Meeting Adjournment

Next Meeting: March 15 @ 7:00pm

Meeting was adjourned at 8:25pm