|Mark T. Sheehan High School
Minutes of Meeting: September 4, 2014
In Attendance: Ms. DeVince, Mr. Dirkson, Ms. Duthie, Ms. French, Mr. Marciano, Mr. Parkhurst, Ms. Palange, Ms. Raccio, Ms. Riley-McCracken, Ms. Nation, Ms. Schlick
The meeting convened at 6:35 p.m.
After the welcome and introductions, Mr. Parkhurst, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, gave a presentation on System-wide PTAC. The goal of this committee is to have representatives from each school in the district who will meet on a regular basis to share ideas and challenge the status quo. Sheehan has been well represented on this committee, but some schools do not have representation. Mr. Parkhurst shared that parents have played a vital role in some recent changes and initiatives. The implementation of lacrosse as an interscholastic sport was given as an example. System-wide PTAC meets the third Tuesday of each month at the Hall Elton building beginning at 6:00 p.m. The first meeting is scheduled for September 16, 2014. These meetings are open to the public. It is hoped that school PTACs can share best practices with one another and possibly move toward joint meetings by level (i.e., elementary, middle, high school). The committee members thanked Mr. Parkhurst at the conclusion of his presentation and then continued with normal business.
The minutes from the June 2014 meeting were read. Motion to accept—Ms. Riley-McCracken; Second—Ms. DeVince.
Ms. French asked if anyone was interested in serving as the representative to the PPS PTAC committee since this position is now vacant. There was no interest at this time.
Ms. French continued by providing the members with an update on her efforts to raise funds for school technology needs. Over the summer, she met with the Wallingford Education Foundation (WEF) at their request. This group is very interested in offering their support and raising funds for teacher professional development on how best to integrate the new technology in their classrooms. A meeting will be held on September 10, 2014, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Hall Elton building. Those in attendance will discuss how best to raise money to purchase the technology items suggested by the district’s technology committee. It was suggested that Ms. French provide Ms. Duthie with a brief statement concerning this meeting that can be sent as an email blast to Sheehan parents. A P.A. announcement will also be made to invite student participation in this venture.
The next topic of conversation was the ninth grade parents meeting that will be held on September 18, 2014. This program will feature a new format consisting of a large group presentation and breakout groups to facilitate questions and answers. Ms. French, Ms. Ryan, Ms. Raccio, and Ms. Riley-McKracken have volunteered to assist with the Q & A portion of the program and Ms. French will speak at the large group presentation concerning PTA/parent involvement. It was recommended that Ms. Duthie reach out to other groups (MPA, sports boosts, school counseling) and invite them to participate as well. Mr. Marciano distributed a FAQ booklet that he plans to distribute at the parent program and asked for feedback. Additional items—parent conferences, Hope Group, PowerSchool daily bulletin—were recommended for inclusion in the publication.
Towards the end of the meeting, the group suggested topics for future meetings. These included: the college application process, scholarships, and update from the Innovation Team, and a presentation by a college admissions officer. Ms. Raccio asked for an update on the Honors Committee. The only action taken was a change in the requirements for varsity scholar status. Other changes were put on hold since the district is moving towards a mastery-based diploma, which typically makes use of the Latin honors system.
Mr. Marciano shared that Diane Ravitch will be speaking at Quinnipiac and encouraged everyone to attend this free public forum. (Diane Ravitch, a research professor of education at New York University, will lecture and discuss her latest book, “Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools,” at 7:00 p.m. on October 8, 2014, at Burt Kahn Court on the Mount Carmel Campus.)
The meeting adjourned at 8:08 p.m.