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RDLS PTSO Meeting Notes from 04/19/2011

posted May 15, 2011, 11:56 AM by Emilee Lindley   [ updated May 15, 2011, 12:02 PM ]
PTSO Meeting 04/19/2011

Discussion about continuing instruction in Spanish at Richfield Middle School
Guest Speaker: Brian Zambreno, Principal of RMS

  • This year has been about information gathering (Luis and Brian).  Next year would like to get parents more involved in the process with the goal of being able to describe the program by next spring (2012).
  • Questions submitted by parents, addressed by Brian and Luis:
  1. Brian’s background – started as special education teacher in Minneapolis.  Taught ESL in St. Paul.  Worked at district office ESL program and then became assistant principal.  He was AP at Highland Junior High, which had a big immersion program.  Moved to an elementary school that had an immersion school.
  2. Will plan to bring 6th graders into RMS (not increase RDLS to K-8).  It will be more challenging at secondary level because teachers need to have content area license plus language proficiency.  Just beginning to investigate what percentage of the time will be taught in Spanish, how many classes and what types will be in Spanish, etc.  Will be looking at research and getting feedback from parents.
  3. ‘Transition’ to RMS building?  Still trying to figure out what would work best.
  4. Timeline – hoping to have it in place by spring 2012.
  5. Small learning community.  RMS breaks the school into teams (3 6th grade teams, 3 7th grade teams, and 3 8th grade teams).  Works well for a middle school because it introduces the kids into a bigger school environment.
  6. Middle School schedule -- Teaming is around core classes: Math, English, Science and Social Studies. (50 min classes) Then a smart period: specialized math and reading time (1 period) 40-45 minutes.  Last period of the day: 80 min block, exploratory, switch classes every other day (health, PE, computer/technology, Spanish, band, choir), similar to electives.  Band and choir are year-long, others change quarterly.  Could possibly teach a core class or two in Spanish, or exploratory classes.
  7. How do students qualify for honors, ESL, or remedial classes?  We need to be open to figuring out if we can offer both regular and advanced math in Spanish.  It will depend on how many kids need the advanced classes.
  8. Will RDLS students be able to take classes that continue the STEM focus AND the Spanish focus?  Still in discussion.
  9. Any bilingual staff at RMS?  There are some.  They are working to identify who has the proficiency and interest in teaching classes in Spanish.  Enrollment continues to grow, so they will keep that in mind as they do hiring over the next few years.
  •  A year from now would like to have a draft plan for the program.  Hope to get parents involved before then.  2012-2013 need to finalize the curriculum, define the courses, what materials are needed, what staff needs to be hired.
  • Need to put together a parent group to start framing up a plan, researching, etc.
  • Starting in July, we will have a parent liaison, making sure families have information they need, help establish a parent advocacy group, etc.
 Read-a-Thon Wrap-Up & Ice Cream Party
  • Raised ~$3000.  38% of the kids in the school participated, up from 27% last year.
  • Ice cream party is Thursday 4/21 at 1 PM.  Grand prize winner for each grade drawn during PTSO meeting.

Culver’s night fundraiser

  • Tuesday, April 26th from 4:30 – 8:30 PM
  • Need some more volunteers
  • Need a few posters made.  Melissa will talk to Jen about having an art class

 Multicultural Fair

  • Garcia family is coming back with tamales, Glockenspiel will be coming with German food.
  • In the process of trying to get donations for silent auction.  Donation is to PTSO, not RDLS, since we are not keeping the actual items.  Luis has a form we can use to approach businesses for donations.
  • We need 2-liter bottles donated for ring toss.
  • Need volunteers, last year did shifts (1.5 hours each shift)
  • Popcorn popper, beverage selling, food tickets, game tickets, raffle/silent auction, book swap volunteers, people to man the silent auction tables, 10 games scattered throughout the building
  • Need parents to work with each classroom to talk about another culture.  Kids will be presenting for their classroom.
  • Will have professional dancers, presentations in the gym.
  • Each classroom will put together a theme basket for the silent auction.

 Year-End Picnic

  • Veteran’s Park Pavilion – June 3rd­­­­, setup at 4:30, picnic will start at 5
  • Will need volunteers to sit at table and welcome new families
  • Will be inviting incoming kindergarteners

 Other Items

  • Election of new officers - Steve Schneeberger will be taking on non-Spanish co-president role.  All others will remain the same.
  • Reducing number of paper flyers - Possibly give parents the ability to ‘opt out’ of paper flyers and only receive electronically?  Have things available as RSS feed on website, class newsletters available on the website, etc.
  • El Dia De Los Ninos - PTSO did buy the books.  Actual day is April 30th.
  • 4th of July Float - We need to decide whether to rent a float and walk in the parade again.
  • Movie Nights - We’ve been borrowing sound system from the high school.  Do we want to buy our own equipment for these events?  Made > $500 at the last movie night.
  • April 30th – Park Cleanup, RDLS ‘Adopt a Park’ program, Christian Park, 70th and Bloomington

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