Community Council Minutes

February 2, 2017 7:00 A.M.
Location: Hillcrest Elementary Conference Room

Sara Doutre Jason Pond
Spencer Holmgren Julie Benson
Kate Twohig Deandra Harps
Korryn & Scott Bernhardt Superintendent Scofield
Kim Kelly DeAnn Lichfield
Debbie Brough Kristy Cooley
Jenna Williams Julie Needham
Rebecca Landa Katie Chapman
Teri Anderson

Public input - Scott Bernhardt - shared concerns about how DLI would affect other items at the school with both the previous school and district administration. In each case, those concerns were dismissed as not likely, but he was promised they would be addressed if the need arose. Over the next few years he did see those affects occur. He and his wife are concerned about the affects as the program moves forward.

Approval of January minutes - We are going to table the discussion on By-laws until March. Motion to approve - Jason, seconded by Deandra - vote was unanimous

Budget update - Total we've spent is $22,087 with a balance of $28,412.67, but it has all been allocated. Clarification that the purchase services line item was for the Mastery Connect Teacher training conference in Park City over the summer.

Superintendent Scofield - Our discussion on DLI hasn't been focused on the efficacy of DLI. We as a district understand the benefits of bilingualism and want to support that. Over the past year we have been gathering data on the challenges that DLI implementation has created. Today I don't want this to be a discussion of possible solutions. I just want you as a council to have clarity on this issue so we can all be on the same page moving forward.

1 - Overall enrollment - DLI was brought to Hillcrest to increase enrollment. The challenge at Hillcrest the neighborhood enrollment is small enough that it only supports one traditional classroom. All new move-ins must go to that class. When you only have one class at a grade level that puts a lot more stress on that teacher and the students in the classroom. That becomes more problematic moving past second grade. That is not a challenge that is affected by DLI enrollment.

2 - Finances - Enrollment issues tie into finances. You can't evenly distribute enrollment across a grade level which causes some staffing inequities. The 10 day count is what the state uses to fund staffing at the school. District staffing ratios shows how we try to staff each grade. FTE stands for Full Time Equivalent which is a full time teacher. Based on the formula it shows what each grade level would qualify for with FTE. Difference is 2 FTE and at an average cost of $75,000 per teacher we had to add 2 additional teachers over the recommended FTE. For the two traditional classes we had to add aide time. The total cost for providing DLI at Hillcrest is $175,000 which paid for additional teachers and aides.

The funding from the state office is for professional development and materials, not staffing. They have agreed to pay some additional for next year, but it wouldn't be enough to maintain the program. Parents have received information that the state funds language immersion Some of the information that has come from Greg Roberts office at the State has been a bit misleading, but they don't understand our budgets, and local needs.

Any dual language program or magnet program leaves some imbalance in funding and all of these have to be subsidized. How do these costs balance with size of the district, etc.

At the middle school we are looking to hire 2 FTE at the middle school. Why do we need 2 at the middle school? This is to fully implement the program. Julie Needham - Wasn't the French teacher at MLMS let go to make way for the Portuguese teacher? No, that position was eliminated due to enrollment. Staffing is tied to enrollment.

We have 40 students coming into the district or school for DLI - 24 come to Hillcrest. They bring their WPU with them. Spanish and Portuguese costs the district $300,000 a year. There are some options to not implement the full program set by the state, example - you leave out the culture program for .5 credit and other optional programs.

Kim Kelly - Before we leave the budget can we look at what the school would lose if DLI was removed? Just the Portuguese wouldn't have much of an effect on the school. If DLI left Hillcrest it wouldn't close the school, but it would have some affect on the school. Mrs. Lichfield - How many students have left because they haven't chosen to be part of the DLI program? Statistically what does that look like? The challenge is that when people leave the schools we haven't been collecting data on why they left. Now we are collecting data on why they are leaving. Sara Doutre - Are you collecting those same data on why they are choicing in? We aren't collecting data on incoming because we are more concerned about why they are leaving. I know that we have a quality program and I would like to know why that family hasn't had a similar experience. Is there a concern that families are leaving? Yes, but we don't know if it is a significant problem yet because we don't have the data.

3 - Staffing - Currently there are no licensed applicants now in the Portuguese speaking pool. We hope that in the spring some from the University will become available. Kate Twohig - When we speak of licensed we are speaking of no Utah license not international teaching license? Yes, one DLI teacher is Utah certified the rest are international. Mrs. Earl has completed the requirements to become Utah certified.

4 - Divisiveness - Anytime you have a magnet program you have the problem of haves and haves-not. Another issue is interesting social dynamics when one population is together from grade 1-5. Then people start labeling each other as them/us, etc. We need to have integration of all groups - prep, etc. This must be carefully and thoughtfully addressed to avoid the inevitable. Some solutions could be dividing students into mixed color groups for prep and reading that would mix the populations and integrate them better.

5 - Attrition. Without a fluent Portuguese population we are going to lose numbers and can't refill the ranks. This is a more difficult problem to solve.

6 - Curricular constraints at the Middle School. With the new state CTE (Career and Technical Education) requirements in 6-8 grade it limits the electives at the middle school. The immersion programs and band and orchestra limit the electives available to students. There are a number of things that we can do and ways to approach the problem. In discussion with Principal Guymon at MLMS, We don't think it will be a big problem for our 6th grade students as many of the incoming 6th graders require some reading remediation, but that isn't a problem for the DLI students which opens an option for them.

Point of clarification - At the elementary school basic classes are taught in Portuguese. At the middle school there aren't classes taught in Portuguese, but social studies and advanced Portuguese are the only ones taught in Portuguese. There are some culture classes, etc. Each district does it a little differently. Culture class then would be a core class and language would be an elective.

Mrs. Lichfield How is DLI - Portuguese addressing the core curriculum? Mr. Holmgren - You are taught math, science, and social studies through Portuguese. It is kind of a 2 for 1. Language is a vehicle to lead to the CORE mastery. Our DLI students are learning the CORE curriculum at high levels. Mrs. Lichfield - Is there any deficit to the other side? Superintendent - That is what we are looking at here. It does not impact the ability to teach and deliver the curriculum. Mrs. Lichfield - Regarding statistics are we addressing the whole or are we only taking care of Portuguese? I have an aide for 1 hour doing guided reading. Are we looking at the whole school or are we setting up some of our population to fail? Sara Doutre - We as a council have been looking at the data broken down by traditional and DLI classes and have tried to fund according to that data, but our options were very limited this year. Superintendent - To the committee being formed this could be one of the problems that they could address. Is there really a disparity and if there isn't how can we change the public's perception of that?

7 - Moving forward - Issues to be addressed as we move forward. DLI moves forward next year with no changes. A committee is being formed to study the above issues and recommend resolutions. It will be made of up the Superintendent, Principals at Bridger, Hillcrest, and MLMS, 6 parents from Hillcrest and Bridger, a couple of teachers from each school, and some parents and teachers from other schools (without a vested interest), and then some district personnel. The committee then would be broken into sub-committees. They would meet before the end of February and then meet every other month alternating committee and sub-committee.

Julie Benson - With a million dollar budget shortfall next year, what will have to be cut? We are waiting to see what the outcome of the legislative session is. We don't know where that will fall. We think we will get actual dollars in figures in April. We have identified some non-personnel places we could save some money, staffing at high and middle school reduction due to retirement, we just are waiting, but we are having conversations.

Sara Doutre - Those budget cuts won't affect the building fund for Hillcrest? No, they won't the building is in another pot of money. Kate Twohig - Will the new building affect the future of DLI? You don't have new buildings dramatically change enrollment at elementary level. That usually occurs at middle and high school levels. How will these issues affect the new building? It may change the design and capacity of the new building. As solutions are identified some design changes may be required to make the school successful as a whole.

Deandra Harps - How will Edith Bowen implementing 6th grade affect our middle school population? We may see a small decline this year, but it shouldn't have a long-term impact on the school.

Since you are gathering data with the 238 students decrease between this year and last year what is that tied to? Some is due to aging out, mobility, etc. We didn't have data collection in place so we don't have the reasons. We usually have a small decrease but this year was significant.

Our next meeting is scheduled for March 2 at 7:00 A.M.

We will talk about mid-year data, cafeteria seating, over view of what it takes an elementary school to be a STEM school.

Motion to adjourn - Kate, seconded by Jenna.

Meeting adjourned at 8:05