Minutes September 16, 2013

LPCI School Council Meeting

In attendance: K Rein, C. Poole, D. Strathdee, W. Williams, D. Boughner, E. Boone, M. Cotterclio, J. Gore, J. Bragg, P. Trenton, S. Kopyto, M. Wyndham-West, H. Coady, C. Kielly, S. Paetkau, J. Armstrong, L. Addis, M. Yuyitung, L. Turkish, A. Cohen, W. Sheremata, J. Rosher, M. Freel, P. Sweeney, G. Wyett, L. Gray, V. Becic, L. Jovanovic, M. Gurgol, K. Mitchell, A. Fonseca

1. Welcome by co-chairs Alain Cohen and Gillian Wyett

2. Review and approval of agenda

3. Approval of June 10th 2013 council meeting minutes
– Moved by L. Gray
– Seconded by K. Rein

4. Student Update
– no students were present to make a report

5. Principal Update

  • Introduced Kim Mitchell, ACL for guidance, who spoke of efforts school is making to support students. Working on executive functioning and self regulation, which are skills around organization that can lead to successful students.
    • Muskoka woods will be held from Oct 23 – 25 for all gr 9 students to help them get to know each other, get to know buddies.
    • Gr 9 curriculum night will be held Sept 19, outlining expectations for the year.
    • Can contact guidance dept by email or call the school
    • Updates will come from school newsletter
    • Students are divided by alpha for guidance assistance (3 counsellors)
    • EQAO results were excellent. Improved from 48% – 67% in applied math, 91% – 92% for academic math, and 98% pass on gr 10 literacy test.
  • Close to $100,000 has been raised for the auditorium, board added funds to complete the project: fixed ceiling, painted ceiling, removed chairs, patched holes, carpeted aisles. Planning for grand opening in Oct/Nov. Hope to have it ready for Remembrance Day. Families can still donate and $300 donations will entitle donors to put their names on chairs. Still need drapes, house lights and sound system. Donations can be made through website. Last year, student council donated $6000 to the auditorium project that will be used for sound system.
  • 3 welcome assemblies were held outside on the bleachers. Students were very well behaved. Gr 9 activity afternoon very well run. Gr10-12 assembly will be held on Friday.
  • An awards assembly is usually held before Thanksgiving to recognize students who had the highest marks last year. This assembly will be held will be held later this year when the auditorium is ready.
  • The office staff has been reduced to 4.5. Guidance department is feeling the strain. Guidance secretary only there in afternoon. 1 person is on medical leave so 1 person on supply makes for difficult transition. Office is busy – be patient!
  • TDSB has approved a research program from Sunnybrook and Princess Margaret Hospitals on breast cancer. Doctors will be coming to LP to talk about prevention. They will be looking for volunteers, girls aged 15-18, to be in the research study. Study participants will earn 10 community service hours or $50. Waiting to hear date for presentation at the school.
  • In last 5 years, student population has grown from 900 to almost 1300 this year. School is at 148% capacity. There are not enough seats in the cafeteria, in 5 of 8 periods every classroom in the school is in use, may have to take classes to cafeteria or library. Many other high schools are losing enrolment. Must accept any students in LP catchment area. May need to either look at double lunches or a change to the semester system. Staff will consider, then bring recommendations to School Council, then to board. Double lunch would require change from a 4-day to a 2-day cycle. Would be issues with extra curriculars that are held over the lunch period. Now, classes are between 23 for applied courses, 26 for college courses, 30 for academic courses, 31 for university courses and 37 for gym. Only in music classes may be slightly larger than these numbers. If any students do not have a desk in their class, school administration needs to know. School has until end of October to balance classes, ensure teacher-student ratio is 1:180. An option may be to get more teachers. May need to re-timetable some students to reduce numbers in some classes. However doesn’t look like school as a whole will be re-timetabled at this time. Council suggested that the Superintendent and Trustee be invited to a future School Council meeting to address the issues of space and capacity and future plans for LPCI.
  • The school runs a late room for students who are late. If late for more than 3 classes, will have to go to late room on Wed morning from 8 – 8:30 am or Friday afternoon. Attendance has been fairly good so far this year but need to get all kids here on time to improve learning.
  • The school had hoped to streamline the student activity fee this year by moving it online and letting people pay in advance. This would save a lot of time for the office staff and would be more convenient that dealing with cash during registration week. However, parents paying through PayPal were charged an admin fee that is not allowed under board policy. So parents will be (some have already been) refunded the $2.40 convenience fee charged by PayPal. Hope there will be a way to use online payments again down the road. No student was denied receiving their timetable if the fee had not been paid in advance.
  • Teaching staff has been increased to 66. There are 19 new teachers who had been surplused from other schools.
  • No resolution to the person who called in the bomb threat last June during exams. Advice from the police to reduce the threat of false bomb threats in the future is to let students know that exams will not be cancelled, just postponed until later in the same day.
  • After question from a parent, school will look into alternate ways to picking up timetables in August without students having to pick them up in person. Could it be emailed?
  • Students needing extra help will have access to peer tutoring, which begins at the end of the month. Use senior students, who can gain community service hours. Each dept has its own schedule for extra help. Student should speak to their teacher. Online help also available through TDSB.

6. Chair Update

  • Constant Contact is the company used to host the school council website and send emails to reach parents directly. Cost is $250/yr. Council needs to pass motion each year to pay for this.
    • Motion moved by D. Boughner
    • Seconded by K. Rein
  • Council submitted and has been approved for a PRO (Parents Reaching Out) grant from the ministry through the board to help pay for a speaker on the topic of mental health. Looking at having a speaker in December and another one in April. Events would be open to all parents and be free. PRO grant helps pay for it. Second speaker may be about social media issues.
  1. 7.    Council Executive for 2013/14
  • A number of people have volunteered to be part of the School Council Executive. If others are interested, openings are available.
  • Alain will be looking after the website this year, but it is his last year at LPCI so we need someone to help him this year and take over next year.