March 23, 2021

Meeting Minutes


  1. Welcome
    • Special welcome to our newest member, Kimberly Hill
      1. Welcome to our newest member Kimberly Hill, thanks so much for joining on this adventure.
      2. Kim:  Absolutely!
  2. Approval of the Minutes
  3. Future Meeting Dates (April, May)
    • Ms. Ali can’t make the next two meetings. Should we change the dates to Thursdays or Fridays for those two months, or have her continue to send her designee as we agreed in December
      1. Ms. Chong, Principal Ali and Ms. Flores have to be here or they have to have a designee.
      2. Ms. Ali’s options are Thursday/Friday @ 4pm or 3 Make up date options: 5/31, 6/2, 6/9
      3. Ms. Chong can only do Tuesdays, Ms. Bolotin can not do Thursday either.
      4. Ms. Ali gave another option to do two make up days in June.
      5. SLT already has a meeting on one of her dates and then we have no meetings in April which might not be ideal.
      6. Ms. Chong suggested we keep it as it is and have a designee.
      7. Ms. Renovales said she will be happy to participate and know the info, but I can not make decisions on the spot – She will have to get her feedback before we get any definite decisions.  So everyone should keep that limitation in mind when deciding.
      8. Agreement to keep current dates and have Ms. Renovales as Ms. Ali’s designee.
    • We cancelled the last meeting and this was supposed to be culturally responsive focused- should we reschedule that?
      1. It has been pushed back so many times and we need to proceed with it.
      2. Does April 27 work?
      3. Wanda said she will look into it
      4. Jessica wanted clarification on how many meetings she would need to be at as a designee, it would be 3 more meetings after this.
      5. April 27 works and new schedule will be sent out
    • From Lorrie Ayers: You are invited to the March 2021 SLT Training: What Does it Say in Your Bylaws? When: Mar 25, 2021 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
      1. Not a requirement but you are welcome to join.
      2. It is mentioned especially for Ms. Hill since she is new to the SLT.
      3. Not clear how this is different from the online training
    • School Leadership Teams (SLTs) should update and/or develop at least one SMART goal for each required Area of Concentration (AOCs) in April.
      1. Schools can access and update their Action Plan/Progress Monitoring Builder in iPlan on May 3.
      2. Schools should use iPlan to submit their preliminary 2021–22 CEP, inclusive of the Language Allocation Policy (LAP), the 2021–22 Title III application (as appropriate), and the 2021–22 Language Translation Interpretation Plan for Parents (LTI), by June 15.
      3. Principals should complete their online attestation in iPlan, stating that the annual goals align with their preliminary school-based budget, by June 30.
  4. Outdoor Learning (Leah Vickers and Ms. Renovales)
    • Overview of the outdoor learning scheduling and restrictions
      1. Parents have lots of questions about kids not getting outside, no recess and a lot of interest in what is being planned moving forward, now that it is warm, for getting children outside.
      2. We are working on a schedule for cluster to be outside and theoretically let classroom teachers use it as well.
      3. Working on using Underhill.
      4. Ms. Vickers and Ms. Cathy Griffith scheduled for how outside and Underhill usage was going to work, but then the CDC changed their guidelines- so everything is at a stand still.
      5. It may not be as scheduled as we hope.
      6. Discussed Teachers owning it more but the problem is clusters have a hard time doing their best work being outside all day long. Art is especially hard cause they are sitting and it might be cold and they are just sitting there. Dancing is easier and so is gym, but it is still not perfect. They don’t feel like they can teach the kids as well.
      7. One time that might work is during the SEL for grade teachers. And that can be done at any given point of the day.
      8. Ms. Renovales is not a huge fan of closing Underhill – not as safe and harder to manage. Needs to be a lot more planning and parental volunteers.
      9. Gym and dance clusters are still going to be outside.
      10. Recess is brought up a lot and makes sure kids get some free time.
      11. Observations are starting again using the Danielson framework, which can be problematic since they will be teaching in less ideal circumstances. But there is not a change that will allow for clusters to actually have their own teaching period rather than a lunch.
      12. Ms Codrington and Ms Ruiz:  the distraction as car, rodents and it super distracting.  It is hard to have enough materials for all the grades and it is hard to make sure we have everything we need.
      13. Ms.Flores offered art and science teachers space in the PTO shed to keep materials, so it could be easier to teach outside. PTO and parent community wants to figure out best way to support the teachers in teaching outside.
    • In past years, we have had a garden educator and the garden committee is trying to do smaller projects to provide for the teachers that can help them get outside more. It will be about getting projects, possible seedlings,  that help them get outside with the kids with an actual activity to do.
      1. What do teachers need to be aware of and how can they be involved? How do they need support
  5. Wellness Proposal Update (me)
    • The Wellness Committee distributed a brief workshop info sheet to the PS9 Community after connecting with Ms. Ali. We also shared two Google surveys (one for caregivers (25 responses so far)/ one for staff members (15 responses so far)) to understand the interest and preferred time better. We’ll send a reminder about the survey by mid week as we would like to order all materials and get started with the workshops in April.
    • Ms Ali offered to add mindful communication comics to the monthly staff newsletters (we’ll provide the content). In addition, we are in communication with Ms. Darress to get workshop facilitation support from a teacher. We are happy to facilitate staff workshops as well, but feel it might be sensitive and better to have a teacher taking over this role.
    • A survey for caregivers and staff has been distributed.
      1. Hopefully we can get plenty of interest and responses for this workshop
  6. EDI Update
    • Ms. Nia Hooper Mason and Melissa de Leon
    • EDI is a collaboration between parents and teachers. We have the distinct pleasure of having 2 teachers as co- chairs- Ms. Burgos and Ms. Codrington.
    • EDI started late this year but still has significant goals and priorities.
    • The goals are :
      1. BHM – EDI used Nizingah’s excellent slide show to help them really lead this month of celebration. Students got to do a daily morning announcement teaching the kids about a new African American visionary
        1. EDI would like to keep building this out so we can continue to add to this with Women’s history month, Asian history, etc.
      2. Diversify the Library:  Ms. Bolotin and Chris Phillips are teaming up on this project.
      3. We are trying to figure out to bring more book diversity into the classrooms, while also finding places that will help our community: Green Light Book Store, Cafe Con Libres
      4. Starting with a smaller lift to finish out this year, EDI is looking to create monthly book lists for families and teachers, with opportunities to access these book and hopefully purchase some for the classrooms, as well.
    • Now EDI needs to update and revise our vision and mission statements. We want to make sure that it matches with the PS 9 vision and mission statement as well.
      1. Ms. Ali- has taken the old statement and she is reworking it and we are looking to make it more relevant to the school now.
    • CRSE 365: EDI has taken on quotes of the women’s history month to share daily with the kids.
      1. Looking at ways to infuse our everyday curriculum that we can add more culturally relevant materials and books.
      2. There are ways to do it within the curriculums that are open ended and we can be more culturally responsive.
    • EDI is going to apply for the Walentus grant to help with reading and math intervention. They are meeting with Ali this week to see what the priorities are and how we can make this grant fit into the vision of reading intervention for the school, figuring out how this can help or support the literacy piece that Ms. Ali is asking to be funded from the PTO.
    • Anti-Asian Hate Forum: EDI, along with the SLT and PTO, sent out a message this week about what we are seeing and how we can help other families. EDI is in the early stages of planning a forum to help the community heal and talk with and teach kids about being an anti-racist.
    • Jessica (Flores) shared a conversation at the district level around equity and twice exceptional children, about how to identify them and who we see a twice exceptional.
    • Achievement Gap changes name to Equitable Excellence.
  7. TC and Cultural Responsiveness (Laura Caito)
    • Is it possible to maybe push back on TC and have them write a more CR curriculum.
      1. Ms Hewitt said there are other schools that are doing this, how can we lean on this and use what they are doing.
      2. Do teachers have the bandwidth to do all this on their own? Teachers are putting on a lot of work planning with these changes. TC is getting paid a lot of money and is in a ton of NYC schools, and they all deserve more culturally responsive curriculum.
      3. We could do some Piloting across the grade and using what we are doing to challenge the CRSE of TC. This could help push the whole school.
      4. We will continue this conversation at our meeting on April 27
        1. How can we push back on TC to be a more CR Curriculum?
        2. How can we make social studies more CR and specifics to our school and kids.
  8. Reading intervention/support plan for next year
    • Principal Ali’s plan and request for funding from the PTO
      1. After school, 10 students per class
      2. Staffing with PS 9 teachers at $60+/hour
      3. 2 hours a day, 3 times a week for 10 teachers (Grades 1-5) for 24 weeks
      4. Total = $86,400
      5. That doesn’t include the cost for her preferred intervention program, i-Ready. $30/student. So that’s potentially another $4,500.
      6. There are a few areas she says that can be adjusted:
        1. Hiring outside help, for a lower rate
        2. Only providing support for grades 3-5
        3. Only doing 2x week
      7. Curriculum would be some sort of workbook, possibly iReady, that would be separate from what is happening in the class.
      8. Use the Exact Path data, to get the kids that need it most and open it to others as an option.
        1. Problem with Exact Path: not all kids are working on their own and have help from families and should also include teacher feedback
      9. Small groups, so it can be more intensive and not just whole grade getting help.
      10. This would start next year.
        1. The counterpoint is this program is still not addressing the kids that really need more help than simply teaching a standard or teaching points from these workbooks.
    • Some teachers said they could envision small groups and guided reading. We don’t have enough Guided Reading text or sets in the school.
      1. What would the teachers like to do and are teachers willing to man a reading program:
        1. Not sure the teachers would want to do the afterschool. But the iReady does not seem to address all the readers and the various levels of needs that kids have. It will not help the lower level readers
  9. Opt-In Period and New CDC Guidelines
    • Admin doesn’t  know anything more than the rest of us know, still waiting for guidance.
    • Opt survey starts tomorrow on March 24. You have to complete the survey by the 2 week period. If you need help filling in the survey call 311
    • If you come back you need to agree to COVID test.
    • If there were 15 kids it does not mean that there are now allowed to be 30 kids, depends on classroom size and room size and number of adults in the room.
    • If we see we can not accommodate all the needs of the new opt in, we are to reach out to the Superintendent, which most likely means more money for subs so we can split classes.
    • We have no clue what the numbers will be, but admin doesn’t believe a ton of people will opt back.
    • 3 ft social distancing is the new DOE guideline for kids and it is mostly about measuring the space.
    • What about when you take the mask off to eat- guidelines require 6 feet while eating and most classes eat 2-3 times a day? No guidance on that.
  10. State Testing
    • NYSLEAT is ready to go.
    • PS9 has about 16-18 remote students at this point who are opting to come in to take the test. Students cannot take the test remotely, so coming into the school is required if you want to take the test. Remote students will take the test in the gym and be released to the auditorium.
    • There will be no penalties for not taking the test, to the school or for the students. Clarification was given that students are not penalized for opting out already.
    • Tests are untimed and testing accommodations are being honored.
    • Only multiple choice questions and not field tests. There will only be one day for each ELA and Math test. The expectation is the test will take roughly 80-90 minutes.
    • Dates:
      1. ELA Cohort A: April 20, Make up 21 and 26
      2. ELA Cohort B: April 22, Make up 23 and 29
      3. ELA Remote: April 21,  Makeup April 23
      4. Math Cohort A:  May 4,  Make up May 5 and 10
      5. Math Cohort B: May 6, Make up 7 and 14
      6. Math Remote: May 5, Make up 7
  11. Fifth Grade Graduation
    • Looking for an alternate site but having difficulties finding one. The committee is meeting again soon to discuss rentals for the school yard.
    • Project to have Outdoor Art Gallery construct 2 banners for the ceremony of 5th grade art.
  12. Circus Field Trip (Ms. Flores and Ms. Renovales)
    • It is coming at the beginning of April, need to schedule the logistics and have grade team decide on days for each grade.
    • Helping support remote teachers to share with their classes and the logistics of in person classes participation.
  13. Achievement Gap Data
    • Will be available for next month’s meeting- does SLT want to go over it? Wasn’t specific interest, but the EDI committee definitely wants to see it and it may be relevant to our CRSE conversation on 4/27.
  14. Pen Pals (Laura Caito)
    • Meeting this week will get back to you as soon as I know more.

Meeting adjourned at 6:14.