Minutes: March 7, 2012

PTO Meeting Minutes

3/7/12, Meeting commenced at 6:32pm. Special guest superintendent Rose is here.

Attendees: See attached list

Title One:

Poverty dollars exist in the Beaverton District and are allocated to middle school and high school. For example, at Sunset High School, they do not have the same amount of poverty that Aloha High has. Sunset HS has no poverty dollars allocated to them while they have 25% of their student body living at or below poverty levels. These decisions on who receives the poverty dollars are made by a team of people at the district, led by Superintendent Rose. The federal amount of funds allowed is determined by the federal government based on poverty levels throughout the county and the region, not actual poverty numbers within the Beaverton School District.

Scattering funds throughout the district idea: create a sliding scale, then the amount of money that would go to each school, would not be enough to buy resources that are needed.  A sliding scale system dilutes the funds to the point of not having buying power to make an impact. The system that we have in place is admittedly not equitable.

No Child Left Behind created a shift in that there became specific criteria to meet and these items became punishable if they are NOT met. If there are two years where the terms of NCLB are not met, there are punitive measures that can be taken.  For example,  an elementary school must publicize that they are not meeting requirements and they must, regardless of district transfer rules, allow children at an underperforming school to transfer away from their school to another school in the district.

 

Achievement Gap:

50% fewer Hispanic students will be prepared for college than non-hispanic student. We have to solve the dilemma of closing the achievement gap with fewer resources, fewer staff or we will end up being an underachieving district overall.

What are some solutions that are being considered at the district level?

The solutions on how to balance the budget for our district now and in future years is a huge challenge. A team of 30 people have been exploring concepts, prioritizing issue and build a system from the ground up knowing that we have a finite budget available. Everything that you place in the school in terms of people resources, needs to be evaluated and prioritized.

Tomorrow night there will be a meeting led by Glen Rutherford to overview what anticipated budget cuts look like to our school. This will be an information session on the impact of this specific to our school.

 

Technology: Dr. Rose has an opinion on technology. I think this district is sorely lacking in terms of our integration of technology into the classroom and into the learning environment. The number of students that do not have the ability to touch and use technology everyday is way too high. We are 10 years behind…. It’s curious that we do not have more technology resources while we are in Beaverton.

We struggle as a district in prioritizing technology into the budget planning. Dr. Rose thinks it’s a priority issue. We as a group need to understand the benefits of technology and how to get the most out of technology. Exposing a student to technology in a lab, once every ten days, then giving a lesson and then walking away is not enough. We need to use technology to teach everyday within the standard classroom, not teach technology as a separate subject. It needs to be integrated into the classrooms. We need to create some solid practices on how to integrate technology.

How are we thinking differently as we go forward? What are you, Dr. Rose doing to encourage teachers to go out and apply for grants, as the teacher at Raleigh Hills did to bring $250K into the school?

We have a systemic problem on how to integrate technology. There will always be pockets of excellence in a district. We want to address this district-wide.

What has the district done to educate teachers on using technology in the classroom? Currently we as a district are doing nothing to support our teachers. We do not have a department to train and support our teachers. It is very important to not only equip the classrooms with technology but to train the teachers so they are prepared to use the tech. to the fullest.

The platform for the district is currently dual: MAC AND PC. By moving to a PC platform you increase your buying power by two thirds.

 

College and Career Ready:

Our district is working hard to understand how to prepare kids for either college or career.

This must mean a lot more than passing an OAKS test and scoring well on an assessment each year. Preparedness is more than academic skills. We want our students to be creative and critical thinkers. These are “contextual skills and awareness” see following attached document entitle FULL OPTION GRADUATE PROFILE.

Studies have shown that success in the K-12 system can be predicted with 80% accuracy by the third grade. Until we have a consistent understanding of what college and career ready means and addressing this in the elementary school years. We need to come together and work in a cohesive system.

 

 

Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s)

What is this specifically supposed to mean and look like when you put them in a room together to collaborate? We don’t have a consistent amount of time to give to teachers to work on PLC’s. When we establish a consistent understanding of how to do this and also create an infrastructure that allows for our teachers to have the necessary time for this.  We have a lot of work to do with this, and there is a plan to create this consistent program throughout the district. The district is creating a “loose/tight” list. Tight means there is little leeway. Loose means there is room for interpretation.  There will be training first for administrators and then in turn they will train teachers. To create equity for our schools we need to create equity among our educators.

 

Reduction of $40M from the budget and how that impacts the district and our school will be discussed tomorrow night.

The amount of money we are receiving next year is holding steady compared to this year. But costs go up. We have not created sustainable means of savings. This year we are spending a lot more money than we are bringing in and have been doing this for several years.

Where are you forecasting the district’s largest cost increases to be next year? Contracts are always the biggest costs. Health insurance costs are going up next year. Beaverton is one of very few districts who have controlled their health care costs. Unfortunately, next year there will be huge increases in health insurance for our employees.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30pm.