Minutes September 16, 2019

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LPCI School Council Meeting

Next Meeting:  October 28th, 7pm in the library

Attendees: Aiman Flahat, Suzanne Sparrow, Anna Richter, Liz Hanson, Anne Marie Armstrong, Ian Aukema, Julie Sole, Kelly Green, Erika Boone, Ann Moffat, John Hiddema, Resa Eisen, Greg Speirs, Dani Morrison, Jennie Petko, Alexandra Evans, Kate Thurston Dale, Sandra Pritchard, Dorothy Carson, Kristen Glenister, Kyra Kappele, Anne Maenhaut, Gillian Wyett, Jill Bellinger, Haley Overland, Pia Nummi, Veronica Bric, Jen Tse, Sue Valle Connop, Mary Romaniuk, Beth Wilkins, Jenn Harbinsen, Suzanne Duras, Josie Bohm, Tici Butler, Rob Inglis, Jean Choi, Dominca Larkin, Ann McDermott, Karen Barasch, Lily Jung, Mary Reddig, Jennifer Gotleib, Jacqueline Fry, Jennifer Dobson, Jodi English, Catherine Wong, Nicole Spence, Barb Allen, Edna Hussman, Rindy Bradshaw, Jennifer Wilmer, Bryan Seaton, Stuart Lewis, Veronica Bak,

  1. Student Council Update – Samanntha Lee, Ryan Knight
    • Korean delegates were in the school today, a group of students were involved in hosting, they showed them around school and discussed aspects of the school environment, shared
    • Planning now for Spirit week w/o Sep 30 – everyday activities like Orange Shirt Day, Pajama Day etc.
    • Buddies sessions and TOEC training Friday Sep 20th, Grade 9 TOEC Activity Day on Monday Sep 23rd.
    • Universities will be visiting the school in the coming weeks.
    • October costume ball – first big event, more updates in the next month
    • Club Carousel – good way to find out which clubs are available, meet the leaders and sign up, happening in September (date TBC watch for announcements)
    • Volunteer Fair Oct 2nd at lunch in south gym, chance to connect with volunteer organizations if looking for volunteer opportunities throughout the year

PARENT QUESTION – Is there a list of clubs online?

Answer – Yes online (parent/school council website from last year still up), also on social media accounts announced at assembly

PARENT QUESTION – How long do Wed buddy sessions go? Answer – First month every wed and then 1x/month after that

PARENT QUESTION – When is homeform rep elected? Answer unsure – coming soon, new: have to have been a homeform rep for at least one year to be part of Council in grade 11/12 (Steve Bibla commented that this may be reviewed)

Ruth Kelly – VP responsible for students with last names alphabet M-Z & Steve Bilba – VP responsible for students with last names alphabet A-L introduced themselves and then had to leave.

Introduction of Suzanne Sparrow – teacher rep, attends school council meetings, teaches geography/history, coaches field hockey, ice hockey and ultimate frisbee

  1. Chair & Executive Report – Anna Richter, Liz Hanson, Julie Sole, Ian Aukema, Kelly Green,
  • Approval of May 2019 minutes: Bryan Seaton motioned to approve, seconded by John Hiddema
  • LP School Council Executive Nominations for 2019-2020 year:
    • Liz Hanson – daughter in 2nd year and daughters in gr 10 & 12, nominee for chair, looking for co-chair and vice chair!
    • Anne Marie Armstrong, daughter in gr 12 & son in gr 10, nominee for secretary
    • Ian daughter in gr 10, treasurer
    • John Hiddema, vice treasurer and special treasury sub-committee – donations to be tax deductible
    • Julie Sole – daughter in gr 12, communications
    • Welcome Committee chair – Liz
    • Kelly Green – Wellness, son in gr 11
    • Ann Moffat daughter in gr 11, and daughter in gr 8 – Equity committee is new this year, Ann will be co-chairing with Alex, daughter in gr 11
    • Erika Boone – former chair before Anna, daughter in 2nd year, gr 12 and one in gr 8 – ward rep, will be attending meetings with Shelley Laskin, collaborate with other councils
    • Anna – community member and past chair, over previous 6 years had 2 children graduate from LP, parent commented thanks for great job last year
    • Resa Elsen – son in gr 9, Safe and Caring School Committee
    • Greg Speirs – Facilities committee, daughter in gr 9
    • Positions available – parent engagement, fundraising, French as a second language
    • Motion to acclaim positions: Dorothy Carson, seconded by Rindy Bradshaw
  • Welcome Event (Liz)
    • for new parents to school on Thurs Sep 12 – 150 parents, chance to meet new principal Aiman Flahat,
    • tips and tricks on being a parent at LPCI posted on school council website
  • Communications (Julie)
    • Please sign up for emails, encourage others to sign up
    • Looking to get Facebook page more active
    • Website traffic increased causing issues, migrated to new supplier, hoping this will allow more people to visit and we can build it out – looking for suggestions on what information parents would like to see
    • Sign up for Myschoolday app – using instead of agendas, looking to add a parent channel to communicate through this – download for free from app store, input kids schedules in manually, may be opportunity for school sports teams to use this as well, student handbook is in the app, announcements will be on app.
    • The Eye has been going out on Fridays, if not receiving send email to office
  • Treasurers Report (Ian)
    • report is on website
    • $15,806.47 provided to the school in the past year
    • Current account balance is almost $10,000
    • more funds to be allocated from carryover including $2500 for students in need (need identified by principal now- transit passes- will be released soon), probably over $5,000 for student enrichment; SC waiting to get funding request from principal
  • Wellness (Kelly)
    • has Council status aligned to board priorities.
    • Active student voice 60 students led by Angela Papanicolaou
    • Goal is to increase education, and information on mental health and reduce stigma. Planning right now for Terry Fox Run, sign up forms sent home, 15 minutes to walk the field with music, more of mental health initiative vs. athletic. Happening on Sep 27th periods 1 & 2.
    • Opportunity to join committee, they meet once/month.
  • Ward 8(Erika):
    • Ward is larger,
    • Building a relationship with Shelley Laskin, only go to when needed.
    • Oct 7th first ward meeting, will be here at LPCI.
  1. Follow Ups from Last Meeting (Anna):
  • Funding Request: request from Mr Ho made after the last meeting, additional items allocated on May 17 (theodolites or digital transit stations for Math curriculum), funding allocation summary from last year is posted on SC website under tab “Your Donations at Work”
  • was approved: digital transit stations, details on
  • Facilities improvement (field and triple gym) passed board initial viability review, update phys-ed facilities with focus on physical and mental health – discussion with new principal to determine how and when that may go ahead
  • Special Treasury Committee has been working to obtain tax deductible receipts for school council, initially outside board, then dialogued with TDSB to work towards establishing a suitable method, pending support from principal
  • Teacher Hiring Practices – school council submitted a letter May 30th on Reg 274 (letter on school council website). Provincial government reviewing hiring practices, we generally support provincial changes:
    • good for LPCI
    • to permit greater teacher mobility between boards,
    • to get the right teacher for the job i.e. best qualifications instead of seniority;
    • to simplify the hiring process and avoid unnecessarily interviewing of less suitable candidates
    • reduce bias in teacher hiring practices
    • address diversity and equity in hiring decisions towards a more representative teaching staff
  • Recommendation re Timetable changes- to semestered system           
    • Should be an open process if it is going to be pursued, delivered recommendation for a more open process to the principal and superintendent at start of this school year as SC promised to parents previously in May;
    • Parents comments as received by school council over a 7 week period were shared with the principal
    • read August 24th emails from Shelley Laskin and Andrew Howard Superintendent, will try to post these on SC website – change is now on hold pending the Secondary School Review this year. Anna read part of an email response from Shelley Laskin stating that no decision will be taken until system wide review complete. The procedure is on hold until board receives report. Trustee Laskin commits to start open process from the beginning. New superintendent Andrew Howard also emailed indicating once report comes out then will discuss with school and process will start from the beginning.
  • SC Equity Rep– Following Equity presentation by staff at last meeting, as requested LP School Council exec has now introduced the Equity Rep role into the executive to support one of the board’s 3 foci (student achievement, equity and wellbeing). Important liaison role with the board & school, similar to Wellness Rep. (thanks to Ann & Alex for coming forward)
  • Parent Ilene Hyman – has raised a concern. Based on The Freedom of Information and Education Act: once a student turns 18 school staff must request the student’s permission to contact the student’s parent/guardian for all matters – academic, behavioral, health. This situation applies to half of the students in Grade 12 who turn 18 during the school year. The concerns:
    • Students in Grade 12 are not explained that once they turn 18 during the school year they are entitled to keep all information private and the implications of this ‘adult’ status.
    • Since the Acts only apply to half of Grade 12 students (turning 18 during the school year), this is an equity issue, as in situations where parental involvement and collaboration could improve academic success and access to appropriate disciplinary measures and mental health /addiction treatment services.
    • Ilene’s position is that while a student is in the secondary school system, students should be requested to sign a consent form allowing the school to share information with the parents to ensure student success and wellbeing. The TDSB legal department has developed a consent form for Adult students, but it is the discretion of each Principal to decide whether or not to implement it in individual schools. Ilene would be happy to speak to the Parent Council on issues related to information sharing once a student turns 18 and the potential consequences of having this information withheld.
    • Anna asked for a show of hands – there was interest from parents to know more.
  1. School’s Report – Principal Aiman Flahat
  • Aiman had a school pin designed, have to earn the pin, when graduate can wear it proudly
    • Thank you to Anna for her time and effort as Chair, she was earned the right to wear pin and wear it proudly – first parent to receive!
  • Aiman shared his impressions:
    • Has felt very welcomed.
    • Proud of our students, for example just today delegation of 20 superintendents from Korea here, students took charge, panel opportunity for many student leaders to present – confidence, engagement, pride in school, shared stories of how school has helped kids to participate, take risks, student voice as the driver to the programming (course selection)
    • Student voice very important, will be working with students and staff to make this central
    • Very confident kids, approach in hall, introduce themselves. This comes a great deal from parental support and engagement.
    • Great parent engagement, ~50 people here tonight and ~150 at Welcome Event – fantastic.
    • LPCI perceived not to be diverse but looked at data: we have students in school from 50 different countries. Equity, inclusion very important. Want to create an environment where kids can be who they are. Take risks, practice gift they’ve been given. We want to work with kids to help them develop those gifts. Create environment – students feel like they belong “I am in that curriculum” – in classrooms , students should experience culturally relevant pedagogy.
    • Fundraising – we become better when we look beyond ourselves, school wide campaigns about making a difference (in school, communities, city, country but also globally). How do we learn from other places that don’t share our life experiences or our values?
    • Aiman’s philosophy on school improvement planning: Research most impactful ways. By far most impactful way was collective teacher efficacy– for teachers to enter the school each day feeling that they can make a difference in the lives of kids. Most schools, there are disconnections, not everyone feeling engaged at same rate – how to build this? How do we engage our teachers? Empower through professional learning. Alignment is key across the community (home, school, admin, parents, teachers) approach as a team. Talk about division, challenges but remember always part of a team. We need to teach our children responsibility as well to deal with situations as they/if they arise.
    • Staffing: challenges – surplus teachers with more seniority have come to the school ‘bumping’ others out and are teaching subjects they may not have taught in years. There are some staff on medical leave, supply teachers covering but not necessarily qualified in subject. Working on improvements. If major concern, contact school.

PARENT QUESTION: having kids take responsibility is great but what about saying we were wrong.

Answer – it’s not always the student, human beings will make errors, please come to talk to us.

PARENT QUESTION – concerned about Grade 11 math, LTO not moving at same pace as last year, kids have to teach themsleves, no physical math books and access codes don’t work for online textbook

Answer – Mr Flahat will follow up.

PARENT QUESTION – math in general is an issue, teacher is struggling to teach. .

Answer: some supply, we can’t hire anyone we want, working with teachers to improve; call the school to discuss individual concerns.

PARENT QUESTION – can we move some of the stronger teachers from grade 9/10 to 11/12.?

Answer – it’s already all mixed up, few teachers teach only one grade. If have specific concern, please call and share.

PARENT QUESTION – impression on use of cell phones in classroom? Is there a role for parents? .

Answer – prefer kids not to be on phones, however opportunity to use them creatively in the classroom (e.g. websites, Kahoot etc). Teachers to manage, set the classroom rules and reinforce. Policies have not been made by the board yet regarding government’s ban of phones in the classroom. Parental involvement – will learn more about community before responding.

PARENT QUESTION – grade 9 parent, late calls for 4th period yet student didn’t know they were late, couldn’t physically get from gym to English. .

Answer – some teachers are on attendance right away. Will raise at staff meeting, be mindful particularly for grade 9’s

PARENT QUESTION – is attendance electronic?

Answer – no. .

PARENT QUESTION – (follow up to prior cell phone question) is it up to teachers to set cell phone rules?

 Answer – Aiman: haven’t had time yet to talk with teachers. Teacher Rep: we follow TDSB policy, at the discretion of the teacher. Every teacher handles a little bit differently.

PARENT QUESTION – new school agenda app training?

Answer – we will post on school website, and send out with the Eye, maybe do a demo next meeting.

MEETING ADJOURNED motioned by Bryan Seaton, seconded by Suzan