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

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