Community Council Minutes

May 4, 2017 7:00 A.M.
Location: Hillcrest Elementary Conference Room

Attendees
Jenna Williams Deandra Harps
Debbie Brough Kate Twohig
Sara Doutre Jason Pond
Spencer Holmgren Julie Benson
Shelli Field Kim Kelley

Attendance: Jenna Williams, Deandra Harps, Debbie Brough, Kate Twohig, Sara Doutre, Jason Pond, Spencer Holmgren, Julie Benson, Shelli Field, Kim Kelley

Motion to approve - Jason, seconded - Deandra - minutes are approved

Star Talk - When is it? July 26-28.

State mismanagement of DLI funds by state director - Mr. Holmgren worked with Jamie at the state office to do Star Talk for another year, but there won't be ongoing funding in the future. What is Star Talk? Summer program for DLI students to get familiarized with Portuguese and the program moving forward. Star Talk is the state grant that gives the program funding.

Melissa Richards and Jed Grunig are moving to the district office. Are they contributing more to administration by creating 2 new positions? Title II funds are for teacher training and for instructional development. Due to potential funding shortfalls in the future that office is being eliminated. Currently Teresa Hough is moving to New Mexico. The other 4 are being eliminated - Deanna Stallings and Jolyn Herzog are going back to schools, one is retiring - Barbara Child,

Budget - We may have some extra funds, but we will have discussion later. We can only carry-over about 5%. We want to carry-over whatever we can and make thoughtful decisions about the best way to spend this money. Is the district going to come back at collect the funds they used to bail us out of the science specialist debacle at the beginning of last year? We aren't sure about how that is going to work.

DLI Committee update - Emotional connections within the community committee - At Bridger the DLI classes had more aide time than the traditional classes - At Hillcrest it is the opposite because Mr. Holmgren has allocated aide time to English Language learning across the school. Data shows that traditional classrooms need more support. We have split students up by reading ability and during that time they gather with like students to focus on individual needs. Aids get assigned to those with the lowest ability. When we have aides we have to leverage the time as much as possible. Didn't come up with many solutions, but had a good discussion

Non-DLI classes have very high enrollment - At Hillcrest that is about opposite, it varies across the grade levels. As a principal I spoke to the fact that enrollment is high in nonDLI schools as well. Across the district every school has lost teaching positions - we are losing 2.

There were other things that we discussed but I looked at the things I could pull data for because I like to look at data to make decisions.

Sara - I'm confused - our committee is discussing the same things and we didn't have data and we were narrowed down to these problems. Sounds like we need to have better communication. We spent a whole hour having a discussion with no data to back things up.

Jason - our finance committee - we had good discussion with Jeff Barben. Principal Guymon has $10,000 and possibly $20,000 to spend on teacher supplies. He has had good experience looking at candidates by looking at both native and expatriate teachers and comparing like qualities and certifications. We are adding an FTE but Jeff said that shouldn't be a problem for the coming year.

Besides this meeting is there any other way that parents can find out what is happening in these committee meetings? I could send them out to the general community. Paul DeMorgan met with me and I gave him all this information and he said he would disseminate it. That hasn't happened. Paul hasn't attended the past two meetings should we look at finding a parent to fill that spot who will be able to attend because we selected parents who could provide representation. Enrollment for DLI is now done at the school level - this hasn't been widely publicized.

Trustlands is tied to community council and comes on WPU (weighted pupil unit) Title I is federal funding and is tied to WPU but more tied to the socio-economic status (SES). On this funding we report to state, they report to Feds and then funds are given out based on reported needs.

Trustlands audit - We had to provide a lot of data for them to look at. Always make note of where the funding is coming from - PTA funds, Title I funds, etc. We need to get approvals and purchases done in the same fiscal year. We spent $9,000 for Chromebooks that could be a problem because it wasn't approved by the board. Essentially it looks like the former principal went out and spent the money without board approval so they could come back and collect that money because we didn't go through channels. They will take it to the state school board and they could reprimand us.

I think this is a district problem because Jason serves on another committee and they had a similar situation. It shouldn't come back on this community council group because the district should make sure that all the approvals are in place before the checks are written. Title I audit - Hillcrest wasn't involved it was just a district level issue. Current title I students is 45% (meaning they receive free or reduced lunch). ELL (English Language Learning) students are high with low number of Title I funds. Usually that is reversed so we may need to check with the ELL families. Race/ethnic minority - 29% and ELL - 17%. We can't receive more funds than the school with the highest need - Ellis - 78%. While Federal funds increase it doesn't necessarily change things for Hillcrest. For 2017- 2018 we will lose 24 aide hours or about 5 full time aids.

Utah has good economic situation so they will receive less Title I funds and it trickles down to our district. We are taking a big hit at Hillcrest. We've used aides to enrich or intervene across the district. We have about 63 hours of aide time a day and the cut will be 24 hours/day of aide time.

I met with my school leadership team (leader from every grade level and special ed) and asked them to go back to the teachers and to find out their feelings about things moving forward. We can do this, but it will require us to think outside the box and utilize aide time more effectively. We also discussed the benefits of science and dance and the teachers came back and listed they would rather have dance and science rather than more aide time. What is the difference between an aide and a parent-volunteer? Training and expectations. We train para professionals to give standardized tests and give training on how to do reading/math interventions. Always the teacher is the instructional lead in the classroom. There are tasks that they can assign to a para professional and then monitor them to make sure that teaching happens. They have to be here when I need them. I think we could go back to parents and say we are volunteering 200 hours a week, but can we increase it by 100 hours. If we went back to parents and make them aware of what is needed and when. We'll take this to the PTA as well.

Debbie - Power hour was fabulous when my students was in 1st -2 nd grade, but it hasn't been great for my students this year. Could parents come in and help to make sure that power hour is working as it should be?

Thanks to Julie for everything she has done for Hillcrest over the past several years. She won't be here next year.

Parent openings - I propose that we vote to add Sheli and Debbie to the community council. We will still have space to do elections in the fall. Do you two have any objections? We are here. Motion - Julie, seconded - Jason. Vote was unanimous.

Should we meet? I'll find out about funding. Can we prepay for things? What are the maximums we can save for next year? I don't know. I will find out.

Meeting adjourned at 8:20 A.M.