Minutes 11.16.16/Agenda 11.30.16

Post date: Nov 29, 2016 4:11:04 PM

Agenda 11.30.16

    1. Approval of Minutes
    2. Reports
    3. JCOM Effective Date Bylaw Notification
    4. Religious Holidays Motion
    5. JCOM Trespassing Motion
    6. Notes and New Business

Council Minutes 11.16.16

“There have been times, lately, when I dearly wished that I could change the past. Well, I can’t, but I can change the present, so that when it becomes the past it will turn out to be a past worth having.”

-Terry Pratchett

    1. Approval of Minutes
    2. Reports
      • Mod: No Council next week so enjoy your vacation.
      • Treasurer: Council Fund: $5,816.04, Co-Curricular Fund: $5,013
      • Secretary: Senior and Staff alternate can vote. I don’t see attendance lists so email me if you are going to be absent
      • PR: Talk to your common ground and your peers about mental health
      • Curric: Discussed the Religious Holidays Motion
      • Admin: Discussed working with Inclusivity Ad Hoc to find a relevant speaker for the MLK assembly
      • SL: Discussed important traits for a new superintendent
      • SAC: Discussed Winter Carnival and are considering asking for 3 hours rather than 2
      • Inclusivity: Talked about a schedule for MLK day
      • Exec: Keep CG reports brief and respect the interest of the CGs you are visiting
    3. Community Service Survey Results
      • 206 responses with fairly good grade distribution and staff participation
      • People wanted to participate in service more outside of school than during school
      • People are more interested in service than there are actual participation
      • Over 75% of students are doing less than 3 hours a month
      • The biggest barrier to service was by far not having friends to participate with them
      • Fairly even split with about ⅓ saying service should be a graduation requirement, ⅓ saying no, and ⅓ unsure
      • Overwhelming majority said 4-6 hours per year should be required for those who said there should be a requirement
      • Seemed to be an interest in doing service during common ground and in March Intensive as well as in courses and clubs
    4. Religious Holidays Motion

“I move to add under the new subheading Religious Observance Policy to Section Six of the Handbook the following language: Religious Holidays Homework and Assessment Policies: Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, Good Friday, Additional holidays acknowledged by Administration

No homework will be due on the day after the aforementioned holidays. No assessments will be given on those days. Additionally, no after-school hour curricular activities (concerts, performances, etc.) will be scheduled on the aforementioned holidays. In the case of an extended holiday such as Ramadan, students are encouraged to talk to their teachers far in advance to make amenable arrangements. We recommend that all other school-related functions (a cappella concerts, etc) not be scheduled on the aforementioned holidays. The makeup homework and assessments would follow the usual procedure outlined in Section Eight of the Handbook under the Attendance Policy subheading.”

      • There is unfair stress levels for religious students to observe their holidays
      • Students are choosing to go to school and fast in school over their holiday and students who miss school find their stress impedes their religious observance
      • This list is up for discussion but these holidays are the ones that there have been repeated problems with
      • Curricular activities are ones that would mean it would affect the student’s grade to be absent
      • Sports are an important issue but that scheduling is very complicated
      • Many school districts have Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur off
      • Students have had experiences where their teachers were not respectful
      • Having no homework means that whole class is moved back so it should be individualized for the student
      • Just these three holidays is a lot to ask from teachers and, though other holidays are important it would be hard to add any more
      • If we can’t hold normal class would it be better to just have the day off
      • Good Friday is on a Friday so students would have the weekend to do work
      • For Good Friday it would mean tests couldn’t be on those days
      • For both Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur you go to temple the night before and so there is not time the night before to do work
      • All holidays that students observe should be acknowledged and respected
      • The idea with homework not being due the next day is to make sure students don’t have to work during those 24 hours
      • I think there can be a better solution because having to work your holiday every single year
      • Having school off is great but if there is homework due the day you get back it doesn’t help the issue
      • Could we expand this to all holidays because people choose to place significance on other holidays such as Veteran’s Day
      • We should amend the motion to make the wording clear about when homework is or is not allowed
      • We cannot possibly cater to all religions and holidays and these are the most significant even if that would be ideal
      • It is to much to have the whole school not have homework due to accommodate a few people but there needs to be a way to accommodate them
      • We could create a system where if a student speaks to a teacher within a certain amount of time in advance of the holiday this policy would go into effect for that individual class but that is far more complicated and would need more working out so we could come back to this idea after passing this motion to fix the most major problems
      • We should create space for people to appreciate whatever they want to and find meaning in, be that religion or the environment or something else
      • Students should be comfortable enough to discuss holidays with teachers
      • There are 14 religion holidays during this school year that fall on a school day
      • Teachers accommodating one night off of homework is reasonable by two nights is a lot
      • Teachers who teach multiple sections of the same class would find all those sections affected rather than just the individual class
      • There is no clear process about where we draw the line about the number of holidays this can apply to and we can’t just discount other holidays
      • An individual basis is more inclusive and disrupts the school day less
      • These are the three holidays we have had the most problem with and it raises awareness of the issue
      • If someone gets a golden rod for one day they have one extra day to complete homework after the deadline
      • The golden rod means you are making up homework in addition to any other homework assigned
      • Scheduling problems are created because they just aren’t on the top of people’s minds so it would be good to create a list or a calendar with the holidays during the school year so that people know for scheduling
      • Students shouldn’t have to speak to their teachers about something as personal as religion
      • It was the catching up that causes stress, even when teachers are accommodating
      • Singling out these holidays makes others seem less important even though that isn’t our intention
      • Kids are going to need to learn to speak about their religion to talk to superiors at work why you might take a day off and it should empower people
      • Goldenrods don’t apply to the holding of tests or after school activities included in this motion
    • Meeting Adjourned