Minutes 9.7.16/Agenda 9.14.16

Post date: Sep 13, 2016 3:18:20 PM

Agenda 9.14.16

    1. Approval of Minutes
    2. Reports
    3. Activity Period Switch Motion
    4. Basketball Hoop Money Allocation
    5. Bylaws Roll Call Motion
    6. Notes and New Business

Council Minutes 9.7.16

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” -Lao Tzu

    1. Approval of Minutes
    2. Reports
      • Moderator: Freshmen coming to Council next week so meeting will be in the Auditorium
      • A-Mod: Committee attendance was already shared with everyone so let me know if you can’t access it and share it with me so we can get that circulating.
      • Secretary: Junior alternate can vote
      • DSB: Board met last Thursday and passed a version of our Gender Motion which can be read on their website. It uses a lot of our wording. Its very clear and has a lot of legal wording. I would recommend going to read it.
      • PR: After a suggestion about using Schoology more a school-wide page was made with the approval of Mr. Campbell that everyone could access to discuss Council issues. All the students and staff have been added and hopefully it can be a forum for discussion. There are several Admins for the page to oversee the conversation.
      • Curric: Elected official chairs for this year; Elizabeth Napier remained a chair and Henry Mackall was elected chair. Decided to focus on getting the homework motion passed before moving on to other issues this year.
      • OEC: Started on new/tuition elections and sent out a Common Ground Announcement.
      • SL: Discussed goals for this year
      • SAC: Discussed Quidditch and general goals for this year
      • Admin: Discussed goals
      • Gender Ad-Hoc: Will be offering sign-ups at the Activity Fair
    3. Roll Call Bylaw Notification
    4. Homework Communication Motion

“I move that all homework-assigning teachers institute regular (monthly or at the end of each

unit), anonymous check-ins regarding the quality, effectiveness and duration of homework to

create a dialogue between students and teachers regarding the value of and time spent on assignments. In order to make this process more efficient, the Curriculum Committee offers the following sample questions. Proposed Check-In Questions: 1) On average, over the past month, how long did you spend on assignments for this class? 2) Did the assignment improve your understanding of the material? 3) Were the assignments sufficient to understand the material? 4) On average, how long did you spend studying for this class’ tests this past month, outside of assigned review?”

      • End result of a survey conducted last year and a compromise between accountability and the importance of homework
      • Can force teachers to think about the homework they are assigning but also force students to think about the purpose of what they are doing every night
      • For teachers who use assignments multiple years this will be redundant information
      • To much to do it at the end of every unit, teachers should have more flexibility
      • “I move to amend the motion to add “assignments” rather than “assignment” in point 2; to strike point 5 completely; and to strike the word “assigned in point 3”
        • 4 and 5 created a redundancy and 2 and 3 make it clearer
        • Amendment Passes
      • We could just add these questions to the evaluations already in place
      • Wording about monthly or the end of a unit is unclear, there should only be one option
      • Yet another evaluation and for semester classes that already offer one a quarter
      • It’s hard for teachers to find time to read the surveys and implement changes before the class ends already
      • Not all teachers are approachable and this gives students a chance to speak
      • It is a good conversation to have but this is not necessarily the best way to handle a difficult topic between teachers and students
      • These check-ins don’t need to be a formal evaluation, they could be a teacher having students write down on slips of paper how much time they spent on homework at the start of a x
      • Offering this type of survey at the end of every unit might be repetitive and not result in more information but regular more informal check-ins may be beneficial
      • Face to face conversations that are uncomfortable are a skill students should learn and students should bring these problems to teachers rather than require anonymity
      • I think the current amount of evaluation is sufficient
      • Surveys are a very subjective way to gather information, students may respond differently and some staff may not put much credit in the results
      • Personal issues with homework are different than classroom-wide trends and anonymity means the whole class will be heard from which will yield better general data
      • Questions could be in the form of an optional survey online
      • End of quarter or semester assessments make it hard to bring up specific examples of things from months ago and those specific details about assignments are important
      • This needs a conversation piece and it could be the teacher looking at the anonymous survey and coming back to the class and explaining why an assignment is important, otherwise it won’t matter to everyone
      • The staff may be less receptive to this change if it is a mandate coming from Council than if Council brought it to them as a suggestion of a conversation to have
      • “I move to refer this motion to Curric”
        • We are asking the right questions but this isn’t the right answer and with more work and communication with staff we could come up with a great solution
        • Motion Passes
    • Notes and New Business

“I move to have a discussion about a suggestion from a Community Member about changing the name of the Student Handbook to the Hanover High School Handbook”

    1. Meeting Adjourns