Monday, October 27, 2014 6:05 AM


Highlights from Site Council meeting Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Community Partnership Schools - Q & A with Betsy Ohrn, Director, Office of New Schools

Betsy Ohrn was invited to speak to LHCS Site Council about Community Partnership Schools.  See the link below for basic information about this initiative.  Five schools will be piloting this program over the next year.  Applications have already been received.  More than 10 schools applied; LHCS did not apply this year.  Why would a school apply?  The primary reasons for application include autonomy and community partnership.  Increased autonomy allows for greater flexibility in decision-making in the areas of curriculum and assessment, staffing and governance, budget, and time.  Community partnerships might be pursued to help meet the unique learning needs of a student community, or to support specific curriculum themes.  LHCS site council will discuss whether applying for Community Partnership in the future would be a worthwhile endeavor for our school.  

Community Partnership Schools Flier

Frequently asked questions about CPS


Student Based Funding (SBA) - Q & A with Courtney Cushing Kiernat, Executive Director; Tammy Frederickson, Budget Director; and Art Alexander, Director, Financial Reporting Services

As part of a community outreach effort, MPS is visiting area site councils to discuss, take feedback, and answer questions about Student Based Funding (previously Weighted Student Funding).  See the link below for an overview of SBA.  Q & A was lengthy.  Themes in which our site council persists are in the areas of weights for students with advanced learning needs and a 1.0 minimal programming number for all students.  Our site council believes that LHCS is at its minimal program number (or lower) and is advocating that the District provide a minimal program standard for each school, i.e. each school should have a principal, a nurse, no more than xx number of students in a classroom etc.  MPS will pilot SBA in 2015/16 in schools approved as Community Partnership Schools.  District representatives will return with an update and to get further feedback in January.  Parents are encouraged to attend this meeting.

Student-based Allocations Web Page

For more information about Site Council, including access to meeting minutes, click here.


Academics Subcommittee

NEW:  Parents' Book Club

Last year, teachers at Lake Harriet Lower read the book Mindset by Carol Dweck.  The book discusses the concept of a growth mindset - teaching children that they can work hard to learn new things and accomplish their goals, as opposed to a fixed mindset, in which children are given the impression that their intelligence and achievement potential is pre-determined, thus potentially immobilizing their willingness to put forth effort to improve performance.

We would like to encourage parents at our school to read Mindset during this school year, and are making plans to provide a forum for discussion, either through a school-wide meeting, or a blog discussion.  We may add other books to the Book Club idea as the year progresses.  Learn more about the book at http://www.mindsetonline.com

Contacts:  Kristin Benson and Lora Joshi

Communications Update

Where's the bus?  There is a new plan in the works to notify parents when buses are running late. Our administrators have created phone lists for each bus.  The plan is to use the phone messenger system to let parents know when buses are running more than 15 minutes late.  Please be patient as the administration works to implement this plan.

Contacts:  Rhonda Bonnabeau  and Lisa Elliott

Equity Update

Based on data from the school climate survey that was sent to parents last spring, the Equity Subcommittee has identified two priority areas of focus: 1) Student Interaction & Leadership and 2) Cultural Celebrations and Parent/Community related activities.  Subcommittee members have been asked to each choose a project team to join and at the next meeting the teams will begin brainstorming goals and action steps. The Equity Subcommittee currently has 10 parent members and 5 staff members. Additional ad hoc subcommittee members are welcome to join at any time.  We meet the first Wednesday of the month at 4:15pm in the upper campus media center.

Contacts:  Lisa Bigaouette and Tiffany Moore

STEM Update

Stay tuned…a webpage devoted to all Lake Harriet Community School's STEM-related offerings is in the works.

Contacts:  Mike Hess  and Erin Wenz