Past Governance Proposals

2015-2015 Proposals

Free Time

Item # 1

2014-2015  

Proposal: Classical Magnet should adopt a Finnish policy towards passing time, 10 minutes, taking 5 minutes from the end of every class and adding it to passing time. This policy should be especially adopted in the middle school. Finland has been doing this since the 1960’s with great success.

Author: Ben McGowan (11th grade), Henry Moir (11th grade)

Impact:
The impact boils down to these points.

1) Students have more time to get to their lockers (Middle school only has 3 minutes right now).

2) Students are able to burn off a bit of energy in between classes, leading to better behaved classes.

3) Students are able to relax in between classes, allowing their minds to focus better on the new class, leading to more productive classes.

4) Students are able to learn to socialize easier, allowing better integrated grades and
better students would become better students.

Cost:  $0

Referred to:  Student Life & Curriculum

Questions Raised:

  1. Middle school passing was cut for a purpose – student misbehavior in halls was creating dangerous environment
  2. Can we have high school hall monitors?
  3. How much instructional time would we be losing? Isn't there a standard number of minutes we must have in a year?
  4. Is this a serious proposal? Is this an attempt to haggle via proposal for middle school passing?
  5. Who is monitoring?
  6. Health reasons are unsupported.
  7. Monitor behavior as research?
  8. Peer mediation situations often occur during passing time.

Date

Action

Body

Advisory Only

Amended (must be attached)

Result

Vote

3/25/15

Read

President’s Council

 

 

 

 

 

3/25/15

Assigned #1

President’s Council

 

 

 

4/8/15

Read

Parent Senate

 

 

 

 

4/9/15

Read

Student Senate

 

 

 

4/10/15

Read

Staff Senate

 

 

 

 

4/28/15

Read

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

 

4/25/15

Read

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

 

Read

Governance Committee

 

 

 

 

5/13/15

Vote

Parent Senate

 

 

 

0-7-1

5/14/15

Vote

Student Senate

 

 

10-0-1

5/8/15

Vote

Staff Senate

 

 

0-38-1

 

5/26/15

Vote

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

0-3-0

 

5/26/15

Vote

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

0-5-0

 

Vote

Governance Committee

 

 

 

 

 

Decision

Principal

 

Proposal denied

 

Proper Planning Proposal

Item # 2

2014-2015

Proposal:  To create a subscribed calendar system for the students, staff and parents of the Classical Community. The subscribed calendar will be kept up to date by the staff member who is already receives a stipend to be in charge of the calendar, so it will be at no additional cost. It will be a URL (posted on the school website), which can be pasted into IOS or Google/Android Calendar apps, and will automatically update on these apps when changes are made. The calendar will begin with day schedules, department days, and progress report days, and specialized sports and extracurricular calendars have the option to be added.

Author:  T.J. Noel-Sullivan

Impact: This program will improve the school calendar currently employed, allowing members of the Classical Community to have quick access to their schedule and be notified of any changes, which will greatly improve communication.
 
Costs:  0

Referred to: Student Life

Questions Raised:

  1. Isn't there already a Google calendar?
  2. Calendar stipend, Emily would need training,
  3. Would students have access through Office 365?
  4. Stipend positions - what are the stipends and how much? That is not a zero cost.

Date

Action

Body

Advisory Only

Amended (must be attached)

Result

Vote

 

3/25/15

Read

President’s Council

 

 

 

 

 

3/25/15

Assigned #2

President’s Council

 

 

 

4/8/15

Read

Parent Senate

 

 

 

 

4/9/15

Read

Student Senate

 

 

 

4/10/15

Read

Staff Senate

 

 

 

 

Read

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

 

4/28/15

Read

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

 

Read

Governance Committee

 

 

 

 

5/13/15

Vote

Parent Senate

 

 

 

8-0-0

5/14/15

Vote

Student Senate

 

 

11-1-1

5/8/15

Vote

Staff Senate

 

 

25-6-8

 

Vote

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

 

5/26/15

Vote

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

5-0-0

 

Vote

Governance Committee

 

 

 

 

 

Decision

Principal

 

Proposal approved

 

Opt Out For Printed Progress Reports

Item #3

2014-2015

Proposal:  Parents may “opt out” from receiving printed bi-weekly progress reports at the beginning of each school year.

Author:  Emily Goetz

Impact:  Three times per marking period, teachers at Classical Magnet print and send home an average of 100 progress reports. Each student receives seven progress reports, meaning that about 4900 pieces of paper leave the building three times per marking period (nearly 10 reams of paper). This places a burden on the resources of the building.

With the use of PowerSchool, parents and students have online access to grades and can keep up to date on a student’s progress at their convenience. We can encourage the use of this technology for the majority of families at Classical. Parents and families who use this technology may opt out of receiving printed progress reports. Parent-teacher communication about student progress can take place via email or through PowerSchool.

Costs:  The cost savings for Classical would be equivalent to at least 120 reams of paper (10 reams per progress report period x 12 times per year) and the cost of toner for printers.

Referred toCurriculum

Questions Raised:  

  1. How can you selectively print the only ones?
  2. Can printed reports go away completely?
  3. Will there be a form for documentation, will more than one form be needed if more than one household,
  4. Can we reduce number of progress reports by sending every 4 weeks?
  5. Are parents seeing accurate information? Remember that you need to professionally update your grade book even if this goes through.
  6. Can we look at easier functions to email progress reports?
  7. Parent PowerSchool training available? Communicate technology options better, programs to get computers and Internet, etc.

 

Date

Action

Body

Advisory Only

Amended (must be attached)

Result

Vote

3/25/15

Read

President’s Council

 

 

 

 

 

3/25/15

Assigned
#3

President’s Council

 

 

 

4/8/15

Read

Parent Senate

 

 

 

 

4/9/15

Read

Student Senate

 

 

 

4/10/15

Read

Staff Senate

 

 

 

 

Read

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

 

Read

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

 

Read

Governance Committee

 

 

 

 

5/13/15

Vote

Parent Senate

 

 

 

5-1-2

5/14/15

Vote

Student Senate

 

 

10-3-0

5/8/15

Vote

Staff Senate

 

 

26-6-7

 

5/26/15

Vote

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

3-0-0

 

Vote

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

 

Vote

Governance Committee

 

 

 

 

 

Decision

Principal

 

Proposal Approved

This proposal will be a cost saving to the school. However, it is highly recommended that the school moves slowly and determine appropriate logistics for documenting those families who opt out and determine how to identify in PowerSchool those who have not.

 

2013-2014 Proposals

Item #1 (Amended)
2013-2014

Proposal: If passed this proposal would allow students attending the high school lunch wave (starting January 2nd, 2014) to order delivery food from approved vendors for pickup and consumption during the high school lunch wave. Students would place their orders before school starts, either online the morning of, or over the phone the night before. They would then pick it up at the beginning of the lunch wave, in the bus lane under the supervision of an adult. Classical would make a deal with local food delivery services in order to make the process simpler. Restaurants would take down student’s orders only before school starts at 7:40. They also would not be allowed to purchase soda, in order to comply with health standards. Deliverymen would then be waiting in the bus lane at the start of the lunch wave with the meals ordered for that time. An adult would be assigned to supervise pickups, standing in the bus lane at the beginning of each lunch wave. Seeing as this would be only a 10-minute duty, one of the many people assigned to cafeteria duty could be assigned to fill it. Also only restaurants receiving an A or above on their health inspection would be allowed to take advantage of this opportunity.

Amendment- This proposal will first be tested in a pilot program. The pilot will last until the end of the school year, to test patterns after the initial wave. Towards the end of the school year, administration will hold forums regarding issues with the proposals. They will then decide if the program should be continued, continued with added restrictions, or dismantled. Since they will witness all the issues as well as the benefits, they will be best equipped to judge the success of this program.

Author: T.J. Noel-Sullivan amended by T.J. Noel-Sullivan

Impact: Due to new federal initiatives, High School lunches must be 750 calories. That is if students eat the entire meal, including the milk, juice and fruits. This almost is one third of the calories required by an average high schooler. Assuming the average high schooler eats three meals a day, this is sufficient. Unfortunately, the creators of this new initiative neglected to take into consideration the students who are not average. A recent study by the University of Illinois found that high school athletes require up to 5000 calories per day. That divides the remaining 4250 calories to breakfast and dinner. This means parents must feed their kids 2150 calories each at breakfast and dinner. That is the equivalent to 2 Big Macs, A large Fry, and A Large Coke. This proposal would allow for the calories to be more evenly distributed. Many wealthier school districts have abandoned the federal mandates and begun allowing deliveries, acknowledging that 750 calories do not fill their students up. In order to compete with these students, on the playing field, or getting into college, our students need more options to fill themselves up. The impact of this proposal would be to level the playing field for our students.

Costs: None

Referred to:  Student Life, Governance committee

Questions Raised: 

Date

Action

Body

Advisory Only

Amended (must be attached)

Result

Vote

 

Read

President’s Council

 

 

 

 

 

Assigned #

President’s Council

 

 

 

12/11/13

Read

Parent Senate

 

Amendment paragraph Read on 12/11/13, Original Read on 11/13/13

 

 

12/12/13

Read

Student Senate

Amendment Paragraph Read 12/12/13

 

 

 

Read

Staff Senate

 

 

 

 

Read

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

 

Read

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

 

Read

Governance Committee

 

 

 

 

12/11/13

Vote

Parent Senate

 

 

 

11-1-2

12/12/13

Vote

Student Senate

 

 

16-1-1

12/13/13

Vote

Staff Senate

 

 

5-36-4

 

Vote

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

12/17/13

Vote

Student Life Committee

 

Vote taken on 1/28/14

 

1-4-1

12/17/13

Vote

Governance Committee

 

Vote taken on 1/28/14

 

2-4-1

Decision

Principal

Proposal Denied

From its beginning, this proposal has been a prime example of the process and procedure of developing and presenting an idea to the school community.  The research and work done by the students who initiated this idea have been impressive, from researching alternative delivery, to meetings with school and district food service personnel, to investigating staff working concerns.  Members of all senates and committees have commented on the professionalism and poise, and especially in the inherent concern for making Classical a better school.

Unfortunately, despite the strong showing, this proposal met with strong opposition, which the administration must bring into consideration.  Ultimately, this proposal would set an unfair allowance for students who have more affluent backgrounds to more easily purchase lunch from delivery sources.  Additionally, there are questions of compliance with state and federal healthy schools initiatives; staff duty assignments and coverage; and school security and cleanliness.

The proposal was laid out as a “pilot program,” with administration being given the task of evaluating the program in May.  Unfortunately, the scale is too large to be considered a pilot, since the length of program (five months), the frequency of the program (every school day), and the scope of students (10th-12th grade students) are all very wide marks that do not really suggest a pilot.

Instead, the administration is implementing a pilot program as a Senior Privilege.  Pending positive behavior by the senior class, those students may order food from approved vendors on Fridays during the fourth marking period, when they are already allowed to sit outside at the tables.  This addresses length, frequency, and scope, and also provides a model for the future.

 

Item # 2
2013-2014 

Proposal: To allow authors or equivalent group proxies to be present at the Senate meetings when their proposal is due to be read and voted on, in order to answer questions. This would expand on the “Proposal Readings Representative” Proposal, which only allowed representatives to be present at the meeting when their proposals were set to be read. Representatives would be able to answer questions before it is voted on, and then leave before the vote in order to secure its anonymity.

Author: T.J. Noel-Sullivan

Impact: If passed, this proposal would allow representatives to fully answer any questions raised before a vote. Under the current system, authors are present to answer any immediate questions that come up when the proposal is first read, but often questions raised in the following month are left unanswered. This proposal would clear up confusion to make sure Senate members fully understand a proposal before it is voted on.

Costs:  $0

Referred to:  Governance Committee

Questions Raised:

Date

Action

Body

Advisory Only

Amended (must be attached)

Result

Vote

11/19/13

Read

President’s Council

 

 

 

 

 

11/19/13

Assigned #2

President’s Council

 

 

 

12/11/13

Read

Parent Senate

 

 

 

 

12/12/13

Read

Student Senate

 

 

 

12/13/13

Read

Staff Senate

 

 

 

 

Read

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

 

Read

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

12/17/13 Mtg. was canceled

Read

Governance Committee

 

 

Read on 1/28/14

 

1/8/14

Vote

Parent Senate

 

 

 

14-0-0

1/9/14

Vote

Student Senate

 

 

12-2-3

 

Vote

Staff Senate

 

 

35-3-5

 

Vote

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

 

Vote

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

1/28/14

Vote

Governance Committee

 

 

 

7-0-0

 

Decision

Principal

 

Proposal Passed

This proposal makes a minor change to an already positive addition from 2012-2013.  The most valuable source of understanding in any proposal is the original author; this allows for Senates and Committees to directly understand the purposes and implications of a proposal without making too many guesses.  This additional proposal would allow for Senates or their members who have remaining questions after the initial reading—or for Student Senate members to speak to their constituents—before voting.

 

Item # 3
2013-2014

                                                        

Proposal:  Proposals must be voted on within the same school year that they are discussed and inquired.

Author:  Shamar Mahon

Impact:  This proposal will allow the current members of the senates and committees to vote on proposals that have been presented, within the same year they are introduced to the respectful chambers. When a proposal is proposed and discussed but the voting is forced to happen in the following year it forces this cycle of asking questions and discussing to unnecessarily repeat itself. Instead it is by far easier to vote on proposals within the same school year they are inquired and discussed, due to the knowledge that has already been obtained from the proposal and answers to questions.

Costs: $0

Referred to:    Governance committed

Questions Raised

Date

Action

Body

Advisory Only

Amended (must be attached)

Result

11/19/13

Read

President’s Council

 

 

 

 

11/19/13

Assigned #3

President’s Council

 

 

12/11/13

Read

Parent Senate

 

 

 

12/12/13

Read

Student Senate

 

 

12/13/13

Read

Staff Senate

 

 

 

Read

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

Read

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

12/17/13 Mtg. was canceled

Read

Governance Committee

 

Read and voted on 1/28/14

 

1/8/14

Vote

Parent Senate

 

 

14-0-0

1/9/14

Vote

Student Senate

 

17-0-0

 

Vote

Staff Senate

 

32-6-5

 

Vote

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

Vote

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

1/28/14

Vote

Governance Committee

 

 

7-0-0

 

Decision

Principal

Proposal Passed

This proposal addresses an issue inherent within our Governance structure: when using a deliberate process for introducing, reading, amending, voting, and approving a proposal, the time constraints make it difficult to introduce something at the end of the school year.

Any proposal submitted after the March Presidents’ Council meeting (the fourth Tuesday in March) would be read, but would automatically be tabled for discussion until the September Senates meetings.  The principal may enact any proposal on an “emergency” basis, but would still return the proposal back to the process when the calendar is able to allow it.

 

Computer Lab Access
Item # 4
2013-14

 

Proposal: If passed this proposal would give students access to a computer lab with a working printer in the mornings as early as 7:15

Author: Martyna Srebrna

Impact: As of now the only computers available to students in the morning are the six found in the library. The library opens at 7:30, only giving students 10 minutes in the computer lab before they have to get to class. On days when there is an essay or a project due, many students need access to a working printer and computer. This creates chaos and students leave the library without printing their work and often end up being late to class. If this proposal were to pass it would allow students to use a computer lab early as 7:15.

Costs:  $50 per week. $1800 for the whole year.

Referred to:  Governance Committee, Student Life Committee

Questions Raised:

Date

Action

Body

Advisory Only

Amended (must be attached)

Result

1/28/14

Read

President’s Council

 

 

 

 

1/28/14

Assigned #4

President’s Council

 

 

2/12/14

Read

Parent Senate

 

 

 

2/20/14

Read

Student Senate

 

 

2/21/14

Read

Staff Senate

 

 

 

Read

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

2/25/14

Read

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

2/25/14

Read

Governance Committee

 

 

 

6-1-0

3/12/14

Vote

Parent Senate

 

 

15-0-0

3/13/14

Vote

Student Senate

 

16-1-0

3/20/14

Vote

Staff Senate

 

19-13-4

 

Vote

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

3/25/14

 

Vote

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

6-0-0

 

3/25/14

 

Vote

Governance Committee

 

 

 

6-1-0

3/25/14

Decision

Principal

Approved

    

MLA Handbook

Item # 5
2013-14

Proposal: The Classical Magnet School will purchase one copy of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers: Seventh Edition for each member of the class of 2015 and each senior class thereafter. A research paper is one of the five major components for the Senior Capstone Project. The research paper conforms to MLA style. Students need the handbook because it has extensive information on all aspects of the research paper process. Each copy has a key that will provide the student with on line access to the electronic version of the handbook. The MLA does not have a site license.

Author: J. Pezzulo

Impact: Seniors will have a vital and necessary school to write a research paper. It is difficult to follow MLA style with the limited information provided on line. The students will have proficiency in the use of a style handbook. This skill will help them in the next stage of their education.

Costs:  Approximately $2000.00 for the next school year.

Referred to: Governance, Curriculum, Student Life Committee

Questions Raised:


Date

Action

Body

Advisory Only

Amended (must be attached)

Result

1/28/14

Read

President’s Council

 

 

 

 

1/28/14

Assigned #5

President’s Council

 

 

2/12/14

Read

Parent Senate

 

 

 

2/20/14

Read

Student Senate

 

 

2/21/14

Read

Staff Senate

 

 

2/25/14

Read

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

2/25/14

 

Read

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

2/25/14

 

Read

Governance Committee

 

 

 

3/12/14

Vote

Parent Senate

 

 

10-3-2

3/13/14

Vote

Student Senate

 

7-8-2

3/20/14

Vote

Staff Senate

 

12-23-1

3/25/14

Vote

Curriculum Committee

 

 

3-2-1

 

3/25/14

 

Vote

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

0-4-2

 

3/25/14

 

Vote

Governance Committee

 

 

 

1-6-0

3/25/14

Decision

Principal

Denied

 

Teacher Student Interconnectedness Proposal
                                                                                
Item # 6
2013-2014

Proposal: To equip all students and teachers with SkyDrive accounts in order to share files. These accounts are through Microsoft, which most teachers already have, and students would be equipped with and given basic training. Teachers would then be taught how to set up folders on their computers, so they could simply drag assignments into them in order to share them with students. Although it would not be required, it would be recommended to teachers.

Author:  T.J. Noel-Sullivan

Impact: This proposal would have a positive impact on the school in many ways. Teachers that choose to participate would be helping their students, the planet, and themselves, in a simple way. Students would be able to go online, either on their mobile devices, at home, or in a computer lab through the computer access proposal. This means not having the piece of paper does not prevent them from completing the assignment. Also teachers would not have to waste paper making extra copies in anticipation, students could obtain it when necessary. This of course also saves teachers time, who are often bugged for extra copies. The little time necessary to drag the assignment into the folder would quickly be saved, making this a beneficial proposal.

Costs:    0

Referred to: Curriculum, Student Life Committee

Questions Raised:

Date

Action

Body

Advisory Only

Amended (must be attached)

Result

Vote

1/28/14

Read

President’s Council

 

 

 

 

 

1/28/14

Assigned #6

President’s Council

 

 

 

2/12/14

Read

Parent Senate

 

 

 

 

2/20/14

Read

Student Senate

 

 

 

2/21/14

Read

Staff Senate

 

 

 

 

2/25/14

Read

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

 

2/25/14

Read

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

 

Read

Governance Committee

 

 

 

 

3/12/14

Vote

Parent Senate

 

 

 

15-0-0

3/13/14

Vote

Student Senate

 

 

7-5-5

3/20/14

Vote

Staff Senate

 

 

26-6-3

 

3/25/14

 

Vote

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

1-4-1

 

3/25/14

 

Vote

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

4-0-2

 

 

Vote

Governance Committee

 

 

 

 

 

Decision

Principal

 

Passed

 

School Store
Item # 7
2013-2014

 

Proposal:  Propose to establish a school store in the Classical Magnet main lobby under
the stairs.

Author:  Jeff Larson and Luz Fraticelli

Impact:
With the help of Ms. Luz Fraticelli, Classical Magnet’s Projects and Programs Support Facilitator, we will construct a school store in the main lobby.  The store will be constructed during Classical Magnet’s Beautification Day which is April 26th, 2014.  The purpose of the school store will be to sell uniform items and school supplies during scheduled business hours.  The school store will also be used to sell concessions during Band, Theatre and Athletic events.  The school store will be governed by Hartford Public Schools School Store Policies and Procedures Manual.

Before the school store can be opened a governing policy would have to be established by the school principal to regulate its use.  All budgetary and items to be sold will be in this policy which will coincide with the Hartford Public Schools School Store Policies and Procedures Manual.

 Costs: $600 to complete.  Hope to have the majority of goods donated and there would be no cost to the school.  Plan to get the approval of our custodial staff, to assure that there is not a union violation.

Referred to:    Governance, Student Life Committee

Questions Raised:

Date

Action

Body

Advisory Only

Amended (must be attached)

Result

1/28/14

Read

President’s Council

 

 

 

 

1/28/14

Assigned #

President’s Council

 

 

2/12/14

Read

Parent Senate

 

 

 

2/20/14

Read

Student Senate

 

 

2/21/14

Read

Staff Senate

 

 

 

Read

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

2/25/14

Read

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

2/25/14

Read

Governance Committee

 

 

 

3/12/14

Vote

Parent Senate

 

 

14-0-1

3/13/14

Vote

Student Senate

 

17-0-0

3/20/14

Vote

Staff Senate

 

28-5-3

 

Vote

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

3/25/14

 

Vote

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

6-0-0

 

3/25/14

 

Vote

Governance Committee

 

 

 

4-1-2

3/25/14

Decision

Principal

Approved

 

Student-Led Conferences
Item #8
 2013-2014  

Proposal: Parent-Advisor conferences currently held with the parent(s) and the advisor, will be changed to Student-Led conferences, between the parent(s), the advisor, and the student.  Using current grades, discipline and behavioral information, and the Student Success Plan (SSP), the student will explain his/her current standing as a student, and then outline goals for improvement for the remainder of the year.  Future conferences will allow the student to address those goals, with input from parent(s) and advisor about strategies to promote success in school that will lead towards success in college and in life.

Author:  James Motes

Impact: Students will practice skills of preparation and presentation; students will also be fully aware of their standing, and become a part of developing solutions for academic, social, and behavioral success.  Parent(s) and advisor will have a clear understanding of the student perspective, and can advocate both to the student on behalf of teachers, and for the student to teachers. 

Costs: $0

Referred to:   Student Life Committee

Questions Raised:

Date

Action

Body

Advisory Only

Amended (must be attached)

Result

Vote

 

1/28/14

Read

President’s Council

 

 

 

 

 

1/28/14

Assigned #8

President’s Council

 

 

 

2/12/14

Read

Parent Senate

 

 

 

 

2/20/14

Read

Student Senate

 

 

 

2/21/14

Read

Staff Senate

 

 

 

 

Read

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

 

2/25/14

Read

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

 

Read

Governance Committee

 

 

 

 

3/12/14

Vote

Parent Senate

 

 

 

4-9-1

3/13/14

Vote

Student Senate

 

 

5-9-3

3/20/14

Vote

Staff Senate

 

 

24-11-1

 

Vote

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

 

3/25/14

Vote

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

1-3-2

 

Vote

Governance Committee

 

 

 

 

3/25/14

Decision

Principal

 

Approved

 

Expanding the TA program to the 9th Grade Core
Item #9
2013-2014

Proposal:  
Propose to allow 9th Grade Core classes eligible for Teacher Assistants, through the Teaching Assistant Program

Author:  Jeff Larson and Kate Howard- Bender

Impact:   Currently the ninth grade year has the largest amount of transfer students and is one of our biggest struggle areas academically.  Most of our SRBI interventions focus on the middle school.  Allowing a TA in the ninth grade will put another set of eyes on students while increasing one-on-one instruction time. The TA program will not expand past the ninth grade core subjects.  All other rules for the TA program apply.

Limit the TA program to 15 available seats, allowing students to TA in 6-9 Core and 6-12 Electives

Allow seniors who have met the necessary requirements for graduation and fulfilled the training and application process an opportunity to:

  • Become an integral part of the classroom
  • Allow students to receive training from the best teachers in Hartford
  • Gain valuable work experience
  • Increase one on one instruction time
  • Become another set of eyes, ears and support to the teacher and students in the class
  • Be a positive role model
  • Give back to the Classical Community

Costs: 0

Referred to:    Student Life, Curriculum Committee

Questions Raised:

Date

Action

Body

Advisory Only

Amended (must be attached)

Result

2/25/14

Read

President’s Council

 

 

 

 

2/25/14

Assigned #9

President’s Council

 

 

3/12/14

Read

Parent Senate

 

 

 

3/13/14

Read

Student Senate

 

 

3/20/14

Read

Staff Senate

 

 

 

Read

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

Read

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

Read

Governance Committee

 

 

 

4/9/14

Vote

Parent Senate

 

 

16-0-1

4/10/14

Vote

Student Senate

 

15-1-1

4/11/14

Vote

Staff Senate

 

9-32-4

4/22/14

Vote

Curriculum Committee

 

 

5-1-0

 

4/22/14

Vote

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

3-0-1

 

Vote

Governance Committee

 

 

 

5/20/14

Decision

Principal

Approved

 

Opt In For Printed Progress Reports
Item # 10
2013-14

Proposal:  Parents must “opt in” for receiving printed bi-weekly progress reports at the beginning of each school year.

Author:  The 11th Grade Team

Impact:  Three times per marking period, teachers at Classical Magnet print and send home an average of 100 progress reports. Each student receives seven progress reports, meaning that about 4900 pieces of paper leave the building three times per marking period (nearly 10 reams of paper). This places a burden on the resources of the building.

With the use of PowerSchool, parents and students have online access to grades and can keep up to date on a student’s progress at their convenience. We can encourage the use of this technology for the majority of families at Classical. Parents and families with limited access to online resources would opt in for printed progress reports at the beginning of the school year.

Costs:  The cost savings for Classical would be equivalent to at least 120 reams of paper (10 reams per progress report period x 12 times per year) and the cost of toner for printers.

Referred toStudent Life, Curriculum Committee

Questions Raised: 

Date

Action

Body

Advisory Only

Amended (must be attached)

Result

Vote

 

3/25/14

Read

President’s Council

 

 

 

 

3/25/14

Assigned #

President’s Council

 

 

 

4/9/14

Read

Parent Senate

 

 

 

 

4/10/14

Read

Student Senate

 

 

 

4/11/14

Read

Staff Senate

 

 

 

 

4/22/14

Read

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

 

4/22/14

Read

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

 

Read

Governance Committee

 

 

 

 

5/14/14

Vote

Parent Senate

 

 

 

20-1-0

5/8/14

Vote

Student Senate

 

 

5-7-3

5/9/14

Vote

Staff Senate

 

 

18-17-3

 

5/20/14

 

Vote

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

3-0-0 ?

 

5/20/14

 

Vote

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

0-5-0

 

Vote

Governance Committee

 

 

 

 

 

Decision

Principal

 

Denied

 

Improving ID Versatility
Item # 11
2013-2014

Proposal: To include date of birth on the student ID.

Author: Sanjay Batson, Nicholas Serrambana

Impact: By including date of birth on the school ID, students would be able to use their ID cards more frequently and in a greater variety of situations. The benefit of the proposal would come into play when riding the city bus* or registering for contests, at the movie theatres or the library, or in other venues where one must verify their age and identity. In addition, the increased use of the student ID in public situations might serve as free advertising for our school. For those who have never encountered a situation where a photo ID with date of birth would come in handy, the proposal does no harm.

* There is a discount for passengers under 18

Costs: $0

Referred to: Student Life

Questions Raised:

Date

Action

Body

Advisory Only

Amended (must be attached)

Result

Vote

 

3/25/14

Read

President’s Council

 

 

 

 

 

3/25/14

Assigned #

President’s Council

 

 

 

4/9/14

Read

Parent Senate

 

 

 

 

4/10/14

Read

Student Senate

 

 

 

4/11/14

Read

Staff Senate

 

 

 

 

Read

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

 

4/22/14

Read

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

 

Read

Governance Committee

 

 

 

 

5/14/14

Vote

Parent Senate

 

 

 

16-5-0

5/8/14

Vote

Student Senate

 

 

14-0-1

5/9/14

Vote

Staff Senate

 

 

32-2-3

 

Vote

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

 

5/20/14

Vote

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

5-0-0

 

Vote

Governance Committee

 

 

 

 

 

Decision

Principal

 

Tabled

 

High School Dance
Item # 12
2013-2014

Proposal: As of now, all high school dances are grade-based. Although all grade levels are invited, each dance is planned by each grade level within their assigned month and students predominately attend the dance for his/her grade with little cross over. This results in only a few dances that take place during the year with fewer students attending each dance.  Instead of having grade-level dances, there should be 3 High School dances over the course of the year: Homecoming, Snow Ball, and Spring Fling (or equivalents). A dance committee with representatives from each grade level would oversee the planning of each dance. For every ticket sold, the corresponding grade would take a percentage of the profits, enabling each grade level to participate equally in the dances as fundraisers. Therefore, each grade will be responsible for selling tickets with receipts coordinated by each Team Leader.  If passed, this proposal would give all high school students the ability to fund raise collectively as well as strengthen the Classical community through larger social gatherings. This proposal would not take away from the 8th grade semi-formal or the Junior and Senior Proms. This proposal does not address the issue of concessions being sold at the dances.

Author: Tiffany Moyer-Washington

Impact: With the grades working together on a fewer number of dances it is more likely a higher percentages of students would attend building more of a social community between the grades.  With the grades working together on a fewer number of dances it is more likely all grades will begin to add to their class fund (for example, freshmen rarely hold a dance due to lack of ticket sales).

Costs: $0.00

Referred to:   Student Life

Questions Raised:

Date

Action

Body

Advisory Only

Amended (must be attached)

Result

Vote

3/25/14

Read

President’s Council

 

 

 

 

 

3/25/14

Assigned #

President’s Council

 

 

 

4/9/14

Read

Parent Senate

 

 

 

 

4/10/14

Read

Student Senate

 

 

 

4/11/14

Read

Staff Senate

 

 

 

 

Read

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

 

4/22/14

Read

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

 

Read

Governance Committee

 

 

 

 

5/14/14

Vote

Parent Senate

 

 

 

21-0-0

5/8/14

Vote

Student Senate

 

 

7-4-4

5/9/14

Vote

Staff Senate

 

 

12-14-13

 

Vote

Curriculum Committee

 

 

 

 

 

5/20/14

Vote

Student Life Committee

 

 

 

 

0-2-3

 

Vote

Governance Committee

 

 

 

 

 

Decision

Principal

 

Denied

 

 

2012-2013 Proposals

Vote tallies are recorded as: Yes-No-Abstain

Proposal #1: Exemplary Students Exempted from Finals

  • “To allow students in grades 6-12 who have maintained an A+ in a core class for the full year to be exempted from the class’ final."
  • Vote Results:
  • Parent Senate: 0-24-1
  • Student Senate: 8-8-6
  • Staff Senate: 24-17-0
  • Curriculum Committee: 0-6-0
  • Principal’s Decision: Proposal rejectedAlthough the staff favored the proposal of exempting students with exemplary marks from taking their final exams, and the students were evenly split; I have sided with the parents’ and curriculum committee’s unanimous decisions to reject the proposal. While recognition of our students’ achievements is a core belief in our school that we continue to develop, we must balance these good ideas with our responsibility to ensure quality student learning, a safe school atmosphere, and an adherence to rules and policies set forth by the state, district, and school policies.When analyzing the statement “students will be exempted," the question that naturally arises is “to where" If students are not at school, in assigned classes, then the school has a responsibility to provide educational opportunities to those students in other ways. And while it may be a common practice in other schools throughout the district or state to simply dismiss students outright on those days, Classical must be cautious just accepting other school’s policies before considering the potential safety ramifications.

    The administration appreciates the proposal, and its stated goal of recognizing and rewarding students for their excellent academic progress, but the concerns of safety take a necessary precedent. We would like to see a similar proposal that accounts for both the positive celebration of student achievement and the necessity of providing a safe and secure school atmosphere.

 

Proposal #2: Elimination of Looping

    • “In order to adequately prepare students for the transitions from 7th grade to 8th grade and beyond, looping will be eliminated.  Students will have a different team of teachers each year that they are in middle school."
    • Vote Results:
    • Parent Senate: 8-11-9
    • Student Senate: 16-5-1
    • Staff Senate: 42-6-0
    • Curriculum Committee: 2-3-0
    • Student Life Committee: 4-1-1
    • Principal’s decision: Proposal passed

The original intent of looping was to accommodate the new student’s integration into Classical Magnet by allowing them to maintain the same core group of teachers for the first two years. It was hoped that students would be comfortable with those teachers and the transition from 6th to 7th grade would be smoother, due to one less variable.

Unfortunately, over time it has been noticed that several factors have shown looping to be less successful than initially intended. Removing these factors will provide students and teachers with greater opportunity for learning.

Currently, students do not have the opportunity to experience education from all the core teachers at Classical; with looping in place, students skip over an entire team of teachers. Optimally, all members of the teaching community should have experience with each student by the time they graduate. This builds community connections, identifies avenues of support and advice, and creates a stronger school climate and culture.

Students become complacent over time without visible progression. While students may advance upward by a grade number, when they return in September, they have the same classrooms and the same teachers. Advancement is not as noticeable, and the success of passing from 6th to 7th grade is muted.

By traveling from 6th to 7th grade—and back again—teachers have to continually flip curricula. The workload associated with changing materials, essential questions, age-appropriate lessons, and other course-specific items can be challenging in itself. Teachers who may have confidence in the coursework one year, may feel that the successive year is just an interim period before they can return to their original passion. Additionally, materials which the teacher works so hard on are put on hold, and the teacher must spend that amount of time creating materials, rather than reusing successful lessons, worksheets, and assessments.

The elimination of 8th-9th grade looping a few years ago accomplished some of the same results which we are hoping for with this proposal. Overall, teachers and students seem more comfortable with the current year-by-year outline of teams.

This change will take place in 2013-2014. In order to enact it properly, the administration will meet with the teachers on the current 6th and 7th grade teams to allow for as much teacher determination of placement as possible.

 

Proposal #3: The Green Act

    • “To insert recycle bins in ALL classrooms as well as the "
    • Vote Results:
    • Parent Senate: 28-0-0
    • Student Senate: 20-0-2
    • Staff Senate: 47-0-1
    • Curriculum Committee: 6-0-0
    • Principal’s decision: proposal passed

The decision to improve Classical’s capability to recycle paper, cans, and bottles is a quintessential “no-brainer." After analyzing the current state of recycling in the building, it is a relatively easy and inexpensive process to provide recycling containers in each classroom or other public area. Additionally, large bins for “single stream recycling" have been placed in the front foyer and in the upper floor hallways. Additional bins may be purchased for the cafeteria to supplement the bins currently there. The custodial staff is handling disposal, along with some volunteer student groups. These student groups are also considering plans to increase awareness of the benefits for recycling, and the senior class may be given the opportunity to collect cans and bottles with refunds in order to supplement fund-raising.

 

Proposal #4: Lesson Program Proposal

    • “Classical shall implement a Group “pullout" lesson program during the school day for middle school band students only."
    • Vote Results:
    • Parent Senate: 13-5-8
    • Student Senate: 5-10-7
    • Staff Senate: 38-8-2
    • Curriculum Committee: 1-3-1
    • Student Life Committee: 4-1-1
    • Governance Committee: 5-0-1
    • Principal’s decision: proposal passed

In a time when other schools may be cutting their arts programs, it is heartening to reinforce the Mission of Classical to educate the whole student: academically, physically, socially, artistically. Many schools use similar structures of lessons to support the learning within the classroom, as a means of individualizing the learning and improving upon the music community’s success.

The dissenting voices in this proposal also bring some important caveats to consider, and as a school community we must guard against possible abuses of this program. We must assure that a student’s academic success comes before all else. We must protect the integrity of the core teacher’s lessons and not sacrifice them needlessly. We must remember that participation in the arts, while challenging and stimulating in their own right, is dependent on successful participation in the classroom.

Classical has had great success in its music, theatre, and arts programs, and the adoption of this proposal demonstrates our continued commitment to that success. With clear minds and strong intentions for overall improvement, let us move forward together to continue that upward momentum.

 

Proposal #5: Varsity Jacket Proposal

  • “Athletes should be allowed to wear their varsity jackets on game days. Athletes should be allowed to wear their varsity jackets during the day."
  • Vote Results:
  • Parent Senate: 3-16-2
  • Student Senate: 8-18-3
  • Staff Senate: 8-32-1
  • Governance Committee: 0-5-0
  • Principal’s decision: proposal denied

While the proposal’s intention to improve school spirit and support the athletic endeavors of our students is noble, the senates and committee firmly indicate that the disruption caused may be more of a challenge than the increased spirit can account for.

One specific concern that was voiced is regarding the cost: a jacket costing over $100 may be a hardship for some families.  A student-athlete unable to purchase that Varsity Jacket may be inadvertently viewed as lacking spirit and could be singled out despite his or her actual talent, drive, and accomplishment.

This proposal also does not take into account students who participate in theatre, music, or other activities.  An equivalent allowance is not made for those students to wear a similar item promoting spirit for their own activities, but instead focuses solely on the athletes in our school.  Classical is very proud of its mission to educate all students and to educate students in all aspects—academic, physical, and social; and we must be cautious about creating divides among our students when we should be unifying them.

 

Proposal #6: Readings Representatives

  • “Students or proxies should be present in senate meetings to read their proposal."
  • Vote Results:
  • Parent Senate: 12-7-4
  • Student Senate: 27-2-0
  • Staff Senate: 31-9-1
  • Governance Committee: 6-0-0
  • Principal’s decision: proposal passed

The purpose of this proposal, as explained by the authors, is to allow for the senates to ask clarifying questions directly from the source of the proposal, rather than make assumptions of intention.

One item of contention is the use of the word “should" in the proposal.  The disagreement came regarding whether or not the authors would be mandated to be present; this could dissuade more timid people from creating proposals, knowing that they could be subject to a battery of questions about their well-intentioned idea.  The administration’s interpretation is that the authors would not be required to present on their topic, but rather that the senates would invite the authors to the meetings to present the proposals.

Another point of concern is the uniformity of answers that an author and his/her proxy would provide.  Without a single voice, the questions may be answered differently for the different senates.  However, through proper planning and discussion, the presenters should be of a common voice about the proposal, and any unanswered questions could be dealt with either by the senate(s) immediately or after further consultation with the original author.

The intention of this proposal is to improve clarity and increase communication between our three senates in order to provide stronger policies for our entire school community.  With this intention firmly in mind, the administration approves this model for transparency, support, and community awareness.

 

Proposal #7: Sweater/Vest Proposal

  • “We propose to add a black with white lettering and or white w black lettering Classical sweater and sweater vest as a part of the student uniform."
  • Vote Results:
  • Parent Senate: 25-0-3
  • Student Senate: 22-0-2
  • Staff Senate: 32-6-7
  • Student Life Committee: 4-0-1
  • Governance Committee: 6-0-0
  • Principal’s decision: proposal passed

The uniform at Classical Magnet School emphasizes a professional and practical outfit, or what is often termed as “business casual" in the professional world.  The use of khaki or black dress pants, and the black or white polo or dress shirt, demonstrate a level of comfort that does not focus on fashion, and allows for students to dress appropriately and sensibly.

 

Currently, the uniform also allows for students to wear either fleece jackets or sweatshirts—with the Classical logo, of course.  Both of these items, while comfortable and appropriate, are not fully considered professional dress.  The option to wear a logo sweater (either pullover, cardigan, or vest) would improve the professional appearance of students, allow for more diversity of dress, and still maintain the high standards of our current dress code.  In fact, some staff members currently have applied the Classical logo to black or white sweaters or sweater-vests, which demonstrate how they complement the existing uniform.

The following items will be made available for purchase for the 2013-2014 school year through our approved vendors:

  • Black or white pullover sweater, with opposite color logo
  • Black or white sweater vest, with opposite color logo
  • Black or white cardigan sweater, with opposite color logo

The uniform fleece jackets and sweatshirts are still acceptable until further notice.

 

Proposal #8: Cultural Outreach Night

  • “To create a cultural outreach night, hosted by the class of 2014, in the evening of a night during spring of 2013"
    • Vote Results:
    • Parent Senate: 17-0-1
    • Student Senate: 20-1-3
    • Staff Senate: 36-2-7
    • Student Life Committee: 5-0-0
    • Principal’s decision:  proposal accepted

The opportunity for school-community relations to be improved is nearly always a benefit to both the image of the school, but more importantly the deepening education of our students, staff, and community members.  This proposal will create an evening to celebrate the culture—whether the food, the music, the dance, or other customs—of the various cultures within our Classical and Hartford communities.

We look forward to the efforts and results that the Class of 2014 brings, and the celebration will hopefully become a part of Classical’s important customs and history!  Classical’s first such celebration is being held on Friday, April 19th, 2013.

Proposal #9: Middle School Athletic Eligibility

  • “Propose to establish academic standards for middle school students participating in athletics."
    • Vote Results:
    • Parent Senate: 16-1-8
    • Student Senate: 24-0-0
    • Staff Senate: 35-4-6
    • Student Life Committee: 5-0-0
    • Principal’s decision: proposal passed

Currently, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Association (CIAC) is the governing body for all schools in the state of Connecticut who wish to participate in competitive sports on a state-wide basis.  However, the CIAC only governs sports at a high school level, and the standards which they have set, both on the court/field/track and in the classroom, apply only to high school student-athletes.

To this point, middle school sports have been organized and operated primarily within the district, and without an overseeing entity such as the CIAC.  The athletic standards have been modeled after best practices by the high school counterparts, but a specific academic component has been absent.

The students moving from middle school to high school should not be subject to a new set of standards within the same building, but should be expected to perform successfully both in athletic competitions and academic discourses.  Our school’s vision to educate students in all aspects—mind, body, and spirit—should not be separated for only the high school students to participate in.  Instead, we should expect the best potential from all of our students, and then provide both the opportunity and the support to help those students achieve.

Proposal #10: Teacher’s Assistant Program

  • “This proposal is to establish a teacher assistant program at Classical Magnet."
    • Vote Results:
    • Parent Senate: 23-2-4
    • Student Senate: 14-2-8
    • Staff Senate: 26-16-3
    • Student Life Committee: 4-0-1
    • Governance Committee: 5-0-1
    • Curriculum Committee: 5-1-0
    • Principal’s decision: proposal passed

The opportunity for students to learn in authentic settings is a cornerstone to the Classical Magnet School’s philosophy as expressed through its mission statement:non scholae, sed vitae discimus.  Scientists who study the process of learning estimate that learners who engage in activities of teaching tend to retain approximately 90% of what they teach, compared with 30% of what they see or a mere 10% of what they read.

By engaging our students in peer assistance, seminar leading, and even didactic instruction, we are providing a higher level of opportunity for those Teaching Assistants to learn the materials that they are presenting.  Additionally, the students within those classes have shown greater success in retaining the lessons, as evidenced through improved grades and demonstrated student focus and interest.

Some peer schools have implemented similar programs, and reported back universal success, for TA’s, for students, and for teachers.  Scores have improved, rapport has increased, and behavioral disruptions have dropped significantly.

Within our own school, several students have applied their Capstone project in a manner similar to that described in this proposal, and have reported back success for themselves and for their students.  Students who choose to use the TA program alongside their Capstone would not be exempt from Capstone requirements, but would have a focus to work with, and would still be required to complete both sets of requirements.

Several concerns have been raised about the program that, if unchecked, may create difficult scenarios.  Some have voiced the opinion that this will erode our school’s Paideia philosophy; indeed, Paideia is focused upon all students having a similar curriculum, but recognizes that some students learn at different paces.  The TA program, although it offers a credit for the students  acting as TA’s, is truly an extension of learning for students that uses an enhanced method—that of instruction—to hone in the skills and learning of the TA.

Another concern is that paraprofessionals may lose positions because of this program.  This is not possible, due to the specialized nature of the position which paraprofessionals hold, and a student would not be able to replace position that—legally or practically—within the classroom.  Our true hope is that the TA will be able to work with paraprofessionals as well to gain a truer understanding of all instructors.

A third concern is that the TA will only be used as a lackey by the teacher: grading papers or making copies.  Such a use of a TA does not serve the purposes of this program, which are to assist students in learning.  Due to confidentiality issues, TA’s should not be allowed to grade.  Nor should the TA be relegated to menial tasks, when their true purpose is to assist fellow students within the classroom.

Operation of the TA program should result in improved levels of achievement, decreased levels of behavioral disruption, and a more supportive school climate.

Proposal #11: Exemplary Students Exempted from Finals (Revised)

  • “To allow students in grades 6-12 who have maintained an A+ in a full-year core class for all four marking periods to be exempted from the class’ final."
  • Vote Results:
  • Parent Senate: 8-8-2
  • Student Senate: 16-0-2
  • Staff Senate: 20-8-8
  • Curriculum Committee: 6-0-0
  • Principal’s Decision: proposal passed

The re-write of the proposal addresses the concerns initially brought through the discussion of Proposal #1 earlier this year.  Students who have earned an exempt status would be given the opportunity to focus their efforts upon the areas of study in which they feel less confident.  A student who has “proven mastery�? in a subject should not be subject to spending time regurgitating materials which he/she has already shown untainted success upon.  By demonstrating consistency (95% or greater for all marking periods), that student has earned exemption.

For the exempted exam periods, students are still required to attend school, but will be allowed self-directed exercise of their studies.  The suggestion of an additional seminar will be examined, as this is truly an extension of their learning, and one that supports both our Paideia philosophy and our mission statement of learning for life.  This proposal is in effect for the current and future years.

 

 

Proposal #12: Governance Committee Community Member Addition Proposal

  • “In order to be in compliance with the district’s structure for School Governance Councils, the governance committee will add two (2) members from the Hartford or surrounding area community who are neither current parents, students, or staff members."
  • Vote Results:
  • Parent Senate: will read in April and vote in May
  • Student Senate: will read in April and vote in May
  • Staff Senate: will read in April and vote in May
  • Governance Committee: will read in April and vote in May
  • Principal’s decision: will be announced in June

 

Proposal #13: Governance Document Review Committee Proposal

  • “In order to review, update, and improve the Classical Governance Document (CGD), a committee will be created representing all parts of the community."
  • Vote Results:
  • Parent Senate: will read in April and vote in May
  • Student Senate: will read in April and vote in May
  • Staff Senate: will read in April and vote in May
  • Governance Committee: will read in April and vote in May
  • Principal’s decision: will be announced in June