October 12, 2022
Present: Kristina Gilton, Monica Logan, David Peling, Whitney Sanzo, Sarah Thrall, and Rosemarie Weber
Absent: Donna Nolan, Student Representatives Chase Alexander and Tess Bajek
Dr. Jordan Grossman met with the town regarding the high school track. Many community members other than students use this track. There is some puddling on the track and a consultant will look at what might be causing this.
Creation of the FY24 budget is well underway. Meetings with administrators begin in November.
Schools in the Spotlight
Michael Dunn, GMHS principal, introduced students Kelsi Stickels and Cole Max who participated in the College Explorations Program. This program has run since 2008 and exposes students to colleges and the college process with the goal of designing a financially acceptable introduction to a variety of schools. Twenty students visited eight schools. There was a guided tour at each school and information sessions at a couple of the schools. Kelsi said that having all of the visits scheduled for her was great and that her mom did not need to take time off of work to take her. This trip inspired her to get excited about applying to colleges. Cole explained the tour of schools helped relieve his anxiety about college searches and he felt more comfortable making these visits with his peers.
Continuous Improvement Plan – Granby Memorial High School
Dunn presented his Continuous Improvement Plan. The first goal under Student Learning and Achievement is to increase the percentage of 9th, 10th and 11th graders scoring at benchmark on PSAT. Dunn said students are off to a super start and students had multiple opportunities to practice the PSATs before taking the tests to better understand the type of skills they need. Weber inquired about re-establishing writing tutors. Dunn said the program was available several years ago with students tutoring one another and it will be reinstituted this year.
Logan asked about increasing data capacity to target classroom interventions. Dunn stated after the scores from today’s tests are received, interventions can take place.
The second goal under Student Learning and Achievement is for every student to enroll in at least one college-credit-bearing course while in high school. Dunn said there are opportunities for students to earn college credit while in high school and 89 percent of the 2022 graduating class took at least one college-credit course while at GMHS.
Goal #2 under Community Engagement is to improve communication that captures and celebrates the school community through online resources and platforms. This will be done by reinstituting a newsletter to showcase department/school highlights; increase family and staff input through teams, surveys, and PAC meetings; support the new Advanced Communications course and Broadcast Club; support school-to-career and collaboration with community business; and to increase participation in curriculum nights, parent conferences and PAC meetings.
Goal #3 under Safety and Social Emotional Well-Being is to create safe, inclusive and socially and emotionally responsive classrooms and school environments by training teachers to use the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) instrument. DESSA is an online screening tool to target SEL goals/actions; renew school climate/SEL team implementation of goals/actions; increasing student leadership on action teams including grading and social media; and implement Voice4Change initiatives. Weber asked if parents will be contacted regarding the DESSA. Grossman said communication will be going out to parents and, if red flags are raised, parents will certainly be contacted.
Goal #4 under Budget Development and Fiscal Management is to manage the budget process to maximize efficiencies while increasing needed supports for students who struggle academically and socially/emotionally by communicating developments on the construction project; monitoring class sizes to ensure appropriate learning environments; exploring alternative school structures to address SEL needs; and, continuing to analyze achievement data to ensure adequate supports/staffing.
Goal #5 under Embracing Diversity is continuing to improve systems and practices to maximize equitable opportunities for all students by partnering with student-led groups (Bridges, SAFE, Black and Latino Studies, etc.) to celebrate cultural heritage; continuing to partner with the Granby Equity Team; and continuing to build staff capacity to approach conversations around equity with students during Advisory.
Goal #6 under Professional Learning is to continue to improve staff capacity to clarify outcomes and use data protocols to inform instruction by restructuring PLC teams; developing the capacity of leadership teams to model and use protocols to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of teams; and increase data capacity to target classroom interventions. Weber asked about equitable grading practices. Grossman said that Parsons would speak about grading practices at a future meeting.
Peling said coaches’ monthly meetings have started—over 100 parents attended the Hartford Athletics Game; resilience family training on QPR (suicide prevention) for parents; and rollout of new talent ed system. Also received was reports on the Teachers Writing Project and a pilot for Grade 3 Phonics.
Rosemarie Weber, Vice Chairman