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Board of Education Meeting

December 16, 2017

December 13, 2017 - Lenox Elementary School

 

Meeting called to order at 8:10pm, Pledge, Emergency Exits.


BOE President’s Report, Joel Press (JP): Complimented principal on condition of the school. PTA
for the refreshments. Happy Hanukkah


Approved and accepted minutes of Nov 8th and Nov 30th meetings unanimously.
Friday BOE mailing accepted unanimously.


Shari Camhi (SC):


Russ Randazzo: Fire Safety yearly report. Requirement of NYS. Inspection of all buildings,
Baldwin UFSD is compliant with all codes. Bruce Bigam (sp?) and Assoc. is the district’s facilities
oversight outfit. Toured, inspected, and conferred annual approval July 6, 2017. Was not able
to present approval at last month’s meeting as scheduled.


NYS schools inspections representative: Baldwin UFSD always exemplary. Praised Russ
Randazzo for leadership. Despite furnishing being in the hallways because of summer
inspection, all exits were clean in all of our schools. Remarked that he uses this district as a
model for others in the state. 2018 inspections will begin May 15th and run through the end of
July. He will again work with Russ to get them completed.


JP: Commented that he has been attending BOE meetings for ten years and heard the same
commendable report on schools’ facilities.


Stephanie Boulder (SB) presented, director of the high school guidance program.
Guidance Department is here this evening
Graduation rates are improving: 90% in 2015, 92% in 2016, and 95% in 2017


Advanced Regents Diploma at 94% combined in 2017


Last night was the first AP parent night for the year. Covered Advanced Placement courses and
benefits of enrolling in them.


There will be an AP Student Fair to market course offerings to the students as well. District has
increased AP courses across the curriculum, adding a capstone diploma program.


Baldwin hosts an on-site college admissions fair at the high school. Students have the
opportunity to learn about meet participating admissions offers and even apply and gain
acceptance on the spot.


Scholarships are available from the district as well as colleges and universities.
There will be a freshman orientation for graduating 8th graders in August


FAFSA applications are due earlier so information and counseling about financial aid is
something the guidance department provides.


List additional services the department provides was covered in Dr. Boulder’s presentation to
the Board and the community.


Guidance functions as the hub of the high school for students. They can review their
transcripts, get counseling for shortcomings, strategies for improvement, recommendations for
course selections, et cetera.


SB concluded with some aspirational and inspirational quotes.


Karyn Reid (KR): Are students required to pay for the AP exams?
SB: Yes, but the district pays half.

 

KB: What do students do if they cannot pay the half for which they are responsible?


SB: There are AP exam fee waivers for SATs through the College Board.


KR: When did the on-site interview fair start?


SB: They started two years ago. The interview fair has already grown. District tries to get a
variety of different colleges to participate. Even if the students don’t ultimately attend go to
the schools they interview with, the process provides good exposure and practice for them.


Mary Jo O’Hagan (MO): Guidance provides many events for families or students. What if
families cannot attend? What other outreach initiatives do you provide?


SB: We hold meetings on varying days and at different times of day to best accommodate
parents. We have met with parents individually when they could not be at a family function. If
there is a language issue, I try to get an interpreter. We try to be inclusive. Always willing to
hear suggestions. Always try to avail ourselves.


MO: The role of guidance has grown. What kinds of professional development do you and
your staff receive?


SB: We routinely undertake professional development. Examples include STEM Hub, CTE, the
myriad opportunities in the trades.


MO: Do your counselors have opportunities to go out and observe what other districts are
doing?


SB: Yes. Many such opportunities come through BOCES. When I attend something, I share
always share the information with the department. They do the same after they attend an
outside seminar, workshop, or meeting. They report back to the guidance department body.
There are bimonthly BOCES vocations presentations. Classes on mentoring. Colleges and
universities sometimes sponsor conferences. They often request that a district representative
attend these conferences.


MO: How do you promote the academies?


SB: Last night was 8th grade AP and electives information meeting for parents. Ms. Guidice
(sp?) and Ms. Reese conducted the meeting. Counselors went to 8th grader and followed up
with presentations about different academies and other curricular opportunities at the high
school.


KR: How do our student-counselor ratios compare to the industry standard? With Nassau
County?


SB: At the high school the ratio is approximately 260 students-1 guidance counselor. This is
average in Nassau County. At the middle school, counselors have a higher caseload.
JP: Is Baldwin observing any trend regarding AP exams?
SB: With the new capstone program, we have increased the number of students taking AP
exams. Many transitioned from honors programs to AP programs.


JP: I saw in one of your slides that last year 74.2% scored 3, 4, and 5.


SB: Yes, we are seeing an upward trend for mastery.


JP: Only one person took the physics AP exam? How many are in the class?


SB: The class is combined with other subjects.


JP: Is there a class size minimum where if not met a class would not run?


SB: It has to do with scheduling. We try to recruit. We have never before not run a class for
low enrollment.


SC: We have combined classes to increase class size. We have considered staggering offerings,
running course on alternating years.


SC: We also offer dual enrollment programs in partnership with Molloy and other colleges and
universities. Participation in these programs has already increased. These are in addition to AP
courses.


KR: How are students notified that classes are being offered?


SB: We meet with every middle school department supervisor to inform them of all of our
course offerings. There is a course offerings book and an electives sheet. We informed parents
at last night’s meeting as well.


KR requested a list of the course offerings.


JP requested a breakdown of the scores on the AP tests to discern any trends.


SB responded that she would provide them for the Board.


JP: I wish to be able to Identify AP courses where our students are struggling and how we can
improve that.


SC: Because we offer open enrollment in AP classes, the numbers may not fairly reflect
students’ success on the tests. All the research is supportive of the decision to offer them to
any student who wishes to take the courses and the tests. The benefits of taking AP classes and
struggling outweigh the detriments of not taking them at all. We have had students return to
Baldwin and report how prepared they were for college. Some have remarked that college was
easier than high school. We can share the data, but I’d be cautious about interpreting it.


KR: Do you find it difficult getting students to take AP classes?


SB: We always encourage students to take the most demanding classes they are comfortable
taking. It is usually the student’s initiative to take an AP class. If a student does not take that
initiate and should, we actively encourage them to, sometimes call the parent to recommend.


Annie Doresca (AD): Please explain the Capstone Program.


SB: There is an AP Seminar through the English Department and AP Research. Students
graduate with the AP Capstone diploma. Develops deep thinking skills.


SC: It is comparable to the I International Baccalaureate Program. A number of districts have
adopted the Capstone Program. It is sponsored by the College Board; it is their response to IB.
Differences. The IB Program and the IB Diploma. The IB program is deep into content. The
program culminates in an exam and is graded by an international panel of people. The College
Board wanted to complete. The College Board’s Capstone Program has been adopted by
Hewlett, Massapequa, Plainview-Old Bethpage, and a couple other school districts.


AP Seminar is two years’ worth of work. Sophomore year. Very demanding.
AP Research, students create a thesis. Both are rigorous programs.


The IB is an extraordinarily expensive program. The College Board Capstone Program is new,
but it because the College Board is a reputable outfit, the program is credible. And it is being
implemented In addition to the AP program. Adds a level of rigor for college preparation.


SC asked Mr. Mignella to elaborate on Massapequa’s iteration of the Capstone Program:


Mignella: There are 12-15 other Long Island school districts who have adopted the Capstone
Program. Students working together in groups, in collaboration. Asked to find and provide
evidence of their hypotheses. Meeting deadlines is critical to the program. Participating
students have to read approximately one hundred evidence-based articles. More World
History Course. Students also have to present both as a group and individually. Presentations
are recorded, uploaded, and assessed by the College Board. Very rigorous.


Programs prepares students for the Regents.


Students who participated in the program scored better on Regents and AP exams than those
who just took regular AP courses.


Massapequa’s participation in the Capstone Program has doubled since it started.


MO: Since it’s part of the AP program, I am assuming parents were informed of it?


SB: There will be a separate information night; it will be families of 9th graders. We will inform
them of their eligibility as well as the program’s rigorous deadlines and demands.


SC: The stakes are higher on Capstone Program tests. If the Seminar class aligns with the
Regents exam. Although some students the Regents exam in 10th grade, we may want to be
selective as to enrollment the first couple of years of the new program.


JP: Is it only for 10th graders?


SC: No, it is for students going into English 2. We would need to know who the kids are.

Superintendent’s Report:


Shari Camhi: The NYS Chancellor visited Baldwin. She was wonderful, charming, impressed by
what she saw in Baldwin. She observed a mock trial in civics class. She was impressed that
FIOS, News 12, and Newsday reported on our redesigned learning spaces/classrooms. Other
districts have also seen the publicity and are interested in replicating what we are doing.
Even C. W. Post is interested in some of our initiatives with regard to instruction. Planning a
visit to Post.


Asking for the community’s help with voting in contests. Math Department photo is 4th place
nationally. HS concert choir is up on News 12. Echele May is up for principal Best of LI.