Shared Decision Making Team notes, November 27, 2017

People from every sector of our school community have been at the Shared Decision Making Team table: parents, community members, staff, educators, and administrators. While shared decision making and school-based management is mandated by New York State codes, rules, and regulations (8 NYCRR § 100.11), OV welcomes many voices for additional reasons: more points of view and related discussion lead to deeper understanding and better choices.

The next SDMT meeting will be Thursday, Jan. 25 at 6 pm in the small cafeteria, immediately before the Board of Education meeting. Any district residents interested in contributing to thoughtful discussion about making our school better are welcome to attend. 

MEETING NOTES from November 27, 2017, attended by John Gale, BJ Bishop, Jeremy Foster, Rob Berson, Gail Burpee, Loretta Hyer, Colleen Morse, Tracy Straight, Kathryn Rutz. (Dan Henner spoke briefly about turning meeting over to Rob Berson then left). The SDMT meeting included general discussion, small group discussions, and guidance and input from Mr. Berson. Discussion points (by topic, not by order within the meeting):

SDMT strategic plan model to be shared by Mr. Berson at next meeting.

Bleacher replacements and scheduling.

Energy (Solar? Windmills? Generators: propane vs. diesel?)

Tell Your Story: How do we accentuate the positive? Set high standards students want to achieve.

Shared sports: What’s the main goal? Being part of a team or playing time? Part of the conversation is about giving opportunities to students. Need coaching conversations. What can we add? Swimming, riflery, track, bowling? What do others offer? Large schools have state level rifle competitions; OV could do very well! Explore relationship with Morrisville-Eaton.

Building projects: What should be prioritized? Issue with overbuild rubber roof. Explore better refrigeration units (above which classrooms get too warm), ceiling fans fit into the open grid system, NYSED regulations, adding insulation, cooling via controlled roof flooding, white roof, warranties (Mr. Berson to check with architect).

Waiver system/public school choice: Transportation issues, power programming to attract students, able to evaluate and increase available college classes, benefits to a small district are part of “telling our story” which must continue. We won’t attract more students if we remain a Focus school. 

Transportation: Bus leasing is working very well; we get 90% aid on transportation; we have strong drivers with lots of experience; we are in low liability area; will be in a strong financial position when the lease is up.

Principal candidates: Candidates raved about student growth data over the last year, and about the opportunities we offer for being such a small district. Nice to hear. This showed each candidate was invested enough to research OV. They want to be part of it and want to help take OV to the next level. 

Priorities for shared services: More instructional opportunities.

Languages: Any interest in teaching Chinese? American Sign Language?

Capital projects: All-building AC isn’t needed. Pool and track would be a shared service. Conversations are important because we can reexamine what’s possible (manage cooling via changes to the roof?). 

Toilet room doors: Every toilet seat was tested for student privacy. When students are involved we must first ask what’s safe? Historically, doors have always been open; the reasons for staying open now reflect student safety concerns. Door policy at other districts was reviewed, and most have always kept doors open. Can we be more safe? Can we also assess privacy/dignity? Risks during lock down: bathrooms are high exposure.  Suggestions: Key cards? Key pads? Student ID? Per architects, we know the key pad is doable and could increase building safety. Also, student codes won’t work in staff bathrooms. Students who allow others to enter under their code are held responsible. PreK students move slowly but teachers could use their codes to safely move all students to bathrooms. State gives $35K/year for safety improvements.
Feedback: “Dan always had a good, positive outlook.”  “The good thing about this team is that we’re always reflective. Where have we been and where do we want to go? Are we building on what we have or will we shift gears and change direction?”

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