Hillside PTA/SATp Meeting Minutes
*approved in the 1/12/2023 PTA meeting*
November 18, 2022 – 9:30a
Meeting began at 9:37a (Hybrid – in person @ Hillside + virtual via Google Meet)
- Approval of minutes from October 20, 2022 meeting – minutes approved unanimously
- Special Guest – Mr. Edwyn Acevedo, New Hillside Assistant Principal (starting December 2022)
- Principal’s Report (Dr. Anlign)
- In transition to new assistant principal, goal is consistency, which I can’t guarantee this year, so will work really hard to maintain transparency.
- 95 candidates, 3 finalists, 4 rounds of interviews for Mr. Adamo’s vacancy. Acevedo responded well to how to support families, students, how he would learn the culture.
- Anglin due Feb 10, papers in to work through January. We’ve planned through the end of the year. Interim principal position was publicly advertised, there have been applicants. Superintendent’s responsibility to hire. Top candidate has gone to a different district but process is underway. Leave is until end of May, want to be back in June
- Mr. Martire in his role has been closely involved with longitudinal student data and sitting with teachers to consider student’s growth. Trying to keep Tier 3 students from needing to be evaluated, trying different interventions to support students. Interim position was advertised. Mr. Martire was the top pick. FIlling in until Dec. 19 when Acevedo begins.
- Pre-PTA meetings are important to discuss hot topics in the school and district overall. Let’s work from space of everyone has good intentions, proactive mindset.
- Transition: asking for trust in systems, protocols that we have in place at Hillside. Acevedo should come in and observe and make assessments about our climate and culture in spirit of collaboration, being proactive. As a new admin, he has been hired to be a new team player, not to fix anything. E.g – Scheduling: already complete for the year, so focus will be on add/drop and necessary adjustments.
- IEPs, G&T – these are systems that are up and running
- 3rd graders starting aesthetics. Can only offer # of classes that we have adults to teach. Offerings are dictated by teachers available to teach them. Students will have to make choices. Something that we’re always assessing is our goal is to meet students’ needs – driven by qualification for certain classes. We are aware of challenges, asks, needs – classes change from year to year based on that feedback. Won’t always work out but we’re trying our best.
- Nish/Hillside conflict: Dr. Anglin will change bell schedule by 10 minutes to accommodate families with children at both schools.
- Lighting in auditorium – assessment done last year – stage lighting is nonexistent. Needs complete overhaul. We have $15k, will see what company can do for that.
- Winter concert is Dec. 5th (day for students/staff) and 6th (evening for parents)
Q: Is child study team fully staffed?
A: Still hiring a psychologist. Have a counseling psychologist, but can’t manage testing in house until we have a psychologist. Case loads are larger than typical school. Every child in this building has a case manager, but only divided among 2.
Q: Will Spanish be offered?
A: Status is that we don’t have an applicant. Off the schedule, though still in Genesis. There’s a teacher shortage to fill world language positions.
Q: When will the gym floor be finished?
A: Construction team is pouring cement on Friday, 11/25. Demo is done, takes 2 weeks and then finishing process. Don’t foresee being in double gym until the new year. Following that, auditorium and dance studio will have work done. Feel confident that our director of buildings and grounds is honest, straightforward. Keep in mind, this work impacts Explorers for winter session.
Q: How is Hillside responding to data from district regarding achievement/testing?
A: Students who are proficient or exceeding proficiency aren’t excelling either. We are digging deep with teachers. Waiting for building-based data, will present that to community. Testing information is to inform instruction. Data tells us which standards we are below or on grade level with. First line of attack is to look at other standards where we were outperformed by other schools in the district. Teachers need to consider scope and sequence of instruction – how many days were spent on topic, was there enough homework. We have PLCs with teachers once every 6 days. Teachers meet with admin once/month where we discuss every kid who is demonstrating below grade level proficiency. Each child has an RTI form, teacher is responsible for identifying specific goals and plans to meet those goals and assess whether the strategy is working. If we’re seeing progress, we keep going. If things are stagnant we ask questions to consider what to change, whether additional evaluation is needed. Involving families – if gap is greater than half grade level or year’s worth of proficiency to find out what’s going on at home to get full profile of the student, so that we know we’re working efficiently to support their needs.
Q: Is RTI form shared with families?
A: No, it’s internal data that’s used to inform the conversation with families. Just shared between teacher, administrator.
Q: Are there any plans for field trips this year?
A: We don’t micromanage field trips beyond saying one grade level field trip per year. PTA supports each grade level with $1k. Districtwide 3rd graders have a field trip around the town. 5th graders across district go to planetarium at Glenfield. Should be separate from what teachers are planning. Trips need 90 days notice for approval.
Q: Is there still a requirement that someone has to be on the bus who knows how to administer an epi pen?
A: District requires nurse or designee who can administer epi pen. School nurse works hard to have a designee. “NARCAN” policy K-12 that requires certified person on every field trip has been the challenge. Solution is problematic because it can’t interrupt instruction, adds extra hoops and roadblocks. E.g.: Mr. G and Mrs Bartol have taken it upon themselves to get NARCAN certified because they take students on trips often.
- Are morning school classes being offered for extra support?
A: Hillside, Glenfield and Nish have Title 1 funds (derived when families complete lunch application form) to support “at risk students.” There’s also ESR 2 funds in district (COVID relief funds) Still waiting to receive Title 1 funds. We have a very small tutoring program. Based upon proficiency demonstrated through class assessment, HW, students were invited Tues – Fri morning for 1 hr. 2 certified teachers for main instruction, 2 paras who lead students through work.Title 1 funds will allow us to triple the program. SATp working to get MHS students in to help with program. Ms. Morrisroe is interviewing HS students this month.
Q: What are we doing to support students who are at/above proficiency?
A: Piloting two other literacy programs in district. Teachers are adamant that writing in CCC curriculum is not rigorous. We’re working on resources we’re giving teachers. Not requiring math workshop model. Sometimes necessary to be cautious to mandate initiative that district won’t back. Rolled out worksop model for math teachers – requires them to work everyday with groups of 4 to be able to differentiate when children know the material. Strategy is to get half teachers on board so that they pressure colleagues to get on board with targeted instruction.
- Remarks from Acevedo:
- Appreciated the interview process. Will focus on getting to know the building, culture of Hillside. Want to make sure we’re working together and collaborating. Has over 20 years as educator – 8 in admin, 15 in classroom – resource, LA, computer, testing coordinator, before going into admin. Has 16 yo child. Spend 23 years in Paterson
- Accomplishments (Justin)
- Boogie Bash – 10/28
- Big success, a lot of learning, limited in space we had. Kids loved it
- Upwards of 1000 people who came. That hard number helpful for food, space planning in future
- Grossed $12k, netted $9k which goes into general funds to support teacher stipends, field trips, etc.
- Collected feedback among folks who chaired committees: Biggest pain points were congestion, food sales.
- Cast of Characters Parade – 10/31
- PTA offered coffee and cider for children and families which was well received
- Election Day PTA Bake Sale – 11/8
- Raised $200, had Glenfield and MHS students volunteer
- Beautification Committee – 11/14
- Continued its work on the Hillside grounds – planted 150 bulbs
- Explorers (Committee)
- Fall program raised $5800 Covered all scholarships through parent donations including one extremely generous donation of $1k.
- Trying to settle invoices for Explorers instructors.
- In process of sourcing ideas, instructors for new classes. Will make Facebook post to canvass parent community.
- Looking for instructors for Winter, Spring. Want to add new programming. No response yet on Google form that went out to Hillside teachers to gauge interest in teaching a class
- Recommendation made to reach out to MSU for ideas, work with specific companies
- Christina will include in Dr. Anglin’s e-blast.
- If a child needs a para to help support them in Explorers, PTA will help support
- Have had some issues with behavior in classes. Will include parental behavior agreement in registration process. Mr Jarvis is admin. He has agreed to give instructors his cell phone number if there are any issues in classes
Q: Is there an orientation that instructors have?
A: No, just basic instructions
Q: Are morning classes being offered?
A: Not in winter, maybe in the Spring.
Q: Can we do a Spanish Explorers class – this year or next?
A: Let’s consider it
- SATp Updates (Stacie)
- 11/3 Curriculum night was great. Morrisroe, Bongiovanni presented – Do we need to do a better job of advertising it?
- Coat drive ends today. Goal was 190 to donate to Montclair Police Dept. Community Service unit
- Upcoming events:
- 11/19 – Lenape Trail gratitude hike – 9:30 – 11a
- 11/21 – Native American Heritage Month – Redhawk Council. Coming to speak to students at Nishuane – collaboration with Nishuane SATp.
- 12/5 -9: Book purge – week before Hillside Book fair (starts 12/12). Donating books to MFEE Navegadores program
- Extended day tutoring program – looking for MHS students from NHS, Key Club
- 12/1 – Next SATp meeting – determined conflict with Nishuane PTA meeting
- 11/24 HIllside CARES Holiday meals – Families in need supported anonymously. Funded through PTA, managed through SATp
- Make A Wish coordinated by Ms. Best
- SEPAC Update– Alixandra Gould
- SEPAC – Special Education Advisory Council – volunteer run. Goal is to connect, support network of parents, caregivers of children who have IEPs, 504s, focused on inclusion. Do advocacy work, meet with district, school admin and PTAs, anyone can receive support.
- One of the challenges – parents don’t know what services are available, trying to raise awareness. How to build accommodations when there are so many different needs? – Collaborate with SATp
- Sam Chipitz, Caitalin Cade are other coordinators.
- Make sure non-academic opportunities are supportive for students as well (i.e. Explorers, sensory breaks at school events)
- Monthly meetings – 11/28 @7p via Zoom. firstname.lastname@example.org. Also have a FB group.
Q: How can we raise awareness/educate about inclusion, acceptance. Want to work with parents who have neurotypical kids to understand how all students benefit.
A: “The Big Picture” Film screening – 11/30 at Nishuane could be an opportunity to promote SEPAC’s work, build community
- Other Updates/Announcements (Justin)
- PTA needs Need help for:Committee members needed: (5 mins)
- 5th Grade Committee – t-shirts, celebration, field day, graduation
- Nominating Committee needed by Dec 2022 – identify slate of new board members
- Hospitality (to plan upcoming Staff Holiday Luncheon and other events)
- BOE/PTAC updates
- PTAC – 100% focus on bond referendum. Guess on next push is implementation on Bond referendum
- BOE/PTAC – focus on achievement gap and pressuring district to close achievement gap
- PTA needs Need help for:Committee members needed: (5 mins)
Sarah (Last name no captured)
Dawn (Last name no captured)
Meeting adjourned at 11:05a.