Advisory Council meeting notes 2010-11
Matt Meyer Miranda Thorman Peter Rodrigues Nick Pleskac Carol Dorf
Ashley Milton Amy Frey
Spencetta Davila Alex Mackay Toure Sagna Kwame Taplett
Steve McConnell Lori Onderwyzer Barbara Broque Amy Morales-Ambriz
Student leadership: Matt seeking better connection between AC and student leadership (10th grade Dao, 9th grade Nakamoto). Will seek to have leadership reps attend next AC meeting.
Budget requests: Doug Keith (9th grade art) seeks $200 to supplement a $500 grant to buy a drying rack – approved. Available balance in BIHS account is ~$37K, after subtracting for pending expenses.
10th grade info night: Feb. 24, will have four breakout sessions (art, econ, bio, parent volunteers) to share info on potential electives. Will also be a general overview presentation and a discussion of IB diploma pros and cons. AC preference is to have overview be presented first, and have an FAQ or other general info distributed via email list in advance. CDorf suggests encouraging teachers to use some Open House time to provide BIHS course guidance to parents.
10th grade field trip: Trip to UC Davis and Sacto State on Feb. 28 & March 2. Permission forms are being distributed; still need parent volunteers.
Student intervention: Amy is looking at grades, esp. in 10th grade where ~60 students are in some level of academic trouble. There are three tiers of problem students, those with D’s and F’s in a few/some/most classes. Maybe a mentor program involving Cal students? Can BS advisory provide this support? Or an SST meeting (student, parent, teacher, counselor) to asses the issue.
Extended essay: Feedback from students & parents is that summer opportunity is wasted by forbidding work then. Amy & Miranda say they recognize this problem and are working to fix it. If deadlines are skipped, there’s no academic consequence, but personal responsibility (plus the chance to avoid painful last-minute rush) could be enough. Can’t make EE part of English grade. EE advisor process was also spotty and inconsistent, with some advisors seeming not to know much about EE.
Next meeting: March 9. Suggested discussion topic: Helping students learn to study for finals.
Int’l Summer Opportunities: PAG interested in putting on int’l trip fair. Students & staff very interested, esp. if parents willing to do the work, but worried about supporting private org’s. Amy wants parents to join students at a fair. Also worry that this caters primarily to affluent students. Maybe we could invite only org’s that offer scholarships, or could establish our own scholarship program. Fair could be expanded beyond int’l travel to include int’l jobs. If we get too ambitious right at the start, it might never get off the ground.
IB Environmental Systems & Societies: Possible new SL class (pending board approval) for 2011-12, similar to AP environmental science. Would open up IB science to more students, esp. humanities-oriented, potentially increase pool of diploma candidates. Currently only 90 BIHS juniors taking an IB science class. Students love idea. Nick P. recommends 1 lab day per week.
College trip: 10th grade non-local trip would cost ~$4K for buses, + substitutes’ pay; would need to be split over two days. PAG also interested in a local (BART-accessible) college field trip for 11th grade: Laney (or BCC), SF State, CSU East Bay, Dominican, St. Mary’s, Cal. Even “local” options are logistically difficult because of group size. Maybe split into multiple groups going to multiple destinations. Even the very familiar schools have lots that students don’t know about. Maybe reverse the destinations (10th grade local/generic, 11th grade more distant and interesting)
Celebration update: Senior class very noncommittal, plan to use Pauley Ballroom again on June 10. Students want another student performance, teacher performance, recognition of each student in some way. Hope again to have venue+sash costs covered by district, do potluck desserts.
Student leadership: Seniors plan to meet more regularly, Juniors already meeting weekly and eager to help. Freshman/sophomore leadership is combined & very small, recruiting more participants.
Upcoming events: Students of color lunch on 12/10, College night 1/8 College & Career Center w/BIHS grads from last year talking about their experience in college, 10th grade parent info night 2/24 7:00 Library offering course selection info. Would be good to have IB art, econ, bio & math reps to talk about their programs. All-class registration info night 2/2 in Community Theater.
Vision & Mission review: Statement from RFA, small-group discussion. General consensus is that BIHS is doing well with globalization mission, but falls short in providing necessary support structures to help students meet the rigorous expectations, esp. for juniors with the sudden imposition of IB’s more challenging requirements. Idea: Try to incorporate IB-centric skills and standards and workload in freshman/sophomore-level classes. Or get Jr/Sr teachers to reduce homework load & make it more meaningful rather than grueling.
Student support: Would like more bonding w/other students & teachers to build community (size & cost make this challenging), and more peer tutoring (esp. directly matching current and former students in a subject), and some scheduled access time w/teachers.
Budget: Matt has done breakdown of spending categories from 2009-10; curriculum & technology are biggest expenditures. $34K in account right now (-$6K for teacher retreat). Expected major expenses: $1.9K for TurnItIn.com, $2.5K for CAS management website.
- JordanaA will be requesting $200 for food to entice our most struggling students to show up at 7th period academic support class. APPROVED
Freshman info night: How to motivate more parents to attend?
- Extra credit for students would work, but teachers won’t necessarily go along. CAS hours for students to provide child care.
Intros & explanation of AC’s purpose at BIHS, roles at meeting
AC Schedule: Typically 2nd Wednesday each month, 3:45-5:00 in C115
Decision-making: Consensus has worked well in past years, and will be our policy again this year. Retain option of a block if a member believes a consensus decision violates BIHS core principles. Teachers represent both the overall faculty and their subset (humanities, math, sciences)
Homework: Teacher discussions have generated some ideas/guidelines on how to handle homework. Parental/student reactions: Students with most trouble doing HW are probably also those with the most trouble asking for help. Seniors have big outside workload (esp. 1st semester), should have lighter HW load. Desire a mechanism to coordinate/even the HW load across all classes, take into account the out-of-classroom workload as well. Central calendar could be reviewed by someone centrally to see extremes in advance, and could inform teachers of particularly heavy/stressful time blocks (college apps, IB/AP tests, IB external assessments, etc.). Create a mechanism for students to understand before registering what a class’s likely HW load will be. There’s a steep ramp up from freshman year (barely any HW) to heavy upper class loads.
Money: BIHS has roughly $25K-$30K available in account
- AMilton proposes $900 for food for 7 monthly lunchtime meetings, 2 dinner meetings (Feb/March) for teachers (10 per meeting) to discuss IB-related issues, gather info to create a central calendar. Approved.
Advisory: First session was Friday 9/17. Student feedback: Program looks like it will be helpful once it really gets started. Schedule (5-min early start) is a problem w/no apparent reason behind it. Would like future sessions to lay out specifically is expected (college app sked, EE, CAS, etc) and a plan to get there.