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Mark T. Sheehan High School

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Mark T. Sheehan High School

Minutes of Meeting: October 2, 2014

In Attendance: Ms. DeVince, Mr. Dirkson, Ms. Duthie, Ms. French, Ms. Jordan, Ms. Koepfer, Ms. Murphy, Ms. Palange, Ms. Raccio, Ms. Riley-McCracken, Ms. Ryan, Ms. Nation, Ms. Penczynzyn
The meeting convened at 6:35 p.m.
The minutes from the September 2014 meeting were read. Motion to accept—Ms. Murphy; Second—Ms. Ryan.
Ms. French provided the members of PTAC with an update concerning Project One Fund Wallingford. The first meeting of this group, which was held in September, was well attended by parents, a student, administrators, and a representative from the Wallingford Education Foundation. Ms. French acknowledged that, in addition to herself, Ms. DeVince and Ms. Penczynzyn were present. This group decided that they would host a Picnic in White some time this spring to raise funds to support technology purchases in the school district. The location of the event would be kept a mystery until released through social media on the afternoon on the day the event is scheduled. Attendees would be encouraged to dress in white and bring a picnic dinner with them to the event. Project One Fund Wallingford will next meet on October 7 at Lyman Hall High School’s Vo-Ag Community Room to formalize plans for the Picnic in White. The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. and is scheduled to end at 7:15 p.m.
Ms. Duthie next shared that she and the assistant principals felt the Ninth Grade Parents Meeting was successful. The new format allowed the parents to receive important information, get a glimpse into school life, and have their questions answered by school staff as well as parents. Ms. Duthie thanked the parents who participated in the program and all in attendance complimented Ms. French on her presentation to the parents. Ms. Duthie also solicited suggestions for improvement. The group thought that taping off the rear rows would encourage the parents to sit in the front of the auditorium and were pleased that suggestions made at last month’s meeting were incorporated into the FAQ booklet that was distributed at the program. The video appeared to be a hit and will be updated annually for maximum impact.
Information was distributed concerning the facilities/maintenance budget and reviewed by Ms. Duthie. This included the current three-year plan and a list of new items that should be added.
Ms. Raccio provided the group with an update from System-wide PTAC, which included:

  • Some schools are sending negative messages to parents concerning evening conferences. Parents want to support the efforts of teachers and partner with them for the benefit of their child, but do not always feel welcomed at the school. It was hoped that all principals could be more inviting when advertising parent conferences and that the teachers would meet with the parents even if they had few requests for meetings. The wording on Sheehan’s FAQ sheet for parents (distributed at the ninth grade parents meeting) concerning evening conferences was cited as a positive example for other schools to model.

  • Elementary parent representation at System-wide PTAC is poor. Parents were asked if they knew anyone with children at the elementary schools to encourage their participation in this district committee.

  • Parents expressed interest in charting the many initiatives (i.e. Common Core, SBAC, Capstone) that are currently impacting our students’ education

  • A draft of the Strategic Plan was reviewed. In the area of curriculum and instruction, items of interest included full day kindergarten, time for science on the elementary levels, and exploration of high school reform/structure, i.e. one high school. The members of Sheehan’s PTAC expressed concern that “one high school” was listed in the plan and felt strongly that moving in that direction would have a negative impact.

Ms. Duthie indicated that she would seek clarification on the statement concerning high school reform/structure and report her findings at the group’s next meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

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