- Falmouth High School
November 8, 2021
Present: Paula Carlson Cahill, Mike Feeney, Mary Gans, Cheryl Giardi, Rebecca Gonzales, Sanjay Govindarajan, Ginny Irving, Tom McManamon, Zorianna Petrosyan, and Paula Smith.
Meeting opened at 3:30 pm - we introduced ourselves and were welcomed by Ms. Gans.
Mrs. Gans reminded us that Mr. McManamon will be leading the Council from January - June as Interim Principal upon her retirement. Ms. Gans reviewed the purpose and objectives of a School Council School Councils Questions and Answers - Education Laws and Regulations and introduced Mr. McManamon as FHS Interim Principal starting January 3rd. Co-Chair: Paula Smith volunteered and is our co-chair for this year.
Agenda Items: Email Mr. McManamon or Paula with any agenda items you’d like to see addressed at future meetings. We were reminded that all adult members of the Council must complete the Conflict of Interest requirement using the link in the agenda.
Return to School Update: All students are back in person this year and we’re seeing amazing covid protocol cooperation from our students who are working to keep everyone safe and in school. Our numbers have remained low - we had no covid reported after Homecoming and just one student case since then. Sanjay asked where are the statistics for testing: the district posts a covid dashboard. Sanjay asked if we have vaccination data: we have approximately 70% of FHS students and higher for FHS staff vaccinated and the numbers are increasing. Mrs. Gans mentioned that if we were to hit the required 80% vaccination rate, eliminating the mask mandate it is not automatic, district approval would be required, and even then, unvaccinated students and staff would still be required to wear masks which is challenging to manage and could be like a “scarlet letter.” A “vaccinated cafeteria” option was mentioned (since outside is not a great option in winter) and again - that would be problematic to implement, manage and enforce. We are using “Test and Stay” which is keeping many more students in school.
Our Decennial NEASC visit took place October 3 - 6. Dr. Gould - Sandwich’s Superintendent - served as the chairperson and spent the visit at FHS in-person while the rest of the team was virtual. Dr. Gould was able to get the feel of the school and relay that to the team which was helpful. The FHS team did a great deal of work to prepare for the visit and Mr. McManamon and Mr. Feeney were instrumental in this effort. NEASC had given us some priority issues to address and were impressed with a lot of our growth, and Dr. Gould is looking to implement Clipper Time and the Bridge Program in her district!
The shift to Restorative Practices is ongoing - Rose Moran and Tom McManamon are working hard on this change from behavior with automatic consequences to restorative circles. While it’s a slow rollout, we’ve done a few and they’ve been very productive.
Handbook - Council members were asked to please review the Handbook - we’d like your questions, comments, and valuable feedback which help us immensely - we have implemented Council suggestions in the past, so it is important! - please also think about if the handbook language matches what you see happening. Cheryl Giardi mentioned the “In The Know” document Lawrence publishes at the start of the year as a helpful tool, suggesting the Council could review in June so it’s ready to start the new school year. (continued on reverse) Page 2, FHS School Council Minutes: November 8, 2021
#IAmAClipper - Over 90% of the faculty approved. We did a student survey of what the letters represent and the results were terrible - which shows us we have work to do! Feedback is essential to this process. Suggestions: Use art to change the culture, market it, make everyone stakeholders & have it transcend everything we do, make it more eye catching because it’s easy to tune out, everyone help spread the word - school email not effective so perhaps tiktok, snapchat, a song, highlight it in the morning news. FHS Graphics students are continuing to work on art for display around the school.
Co-Teaching: Co-teaching works best when the two teachers have a good relationship and work well together as a partnership - some still haven’t been trained in it. Comments: continue!, it makes special ed less specialized/stigmatized, a student mentioned that in their science class, both teachers teach and it’s wonderful. Mrs. Gans mentioned that the strategies and skills are helpful to all students, not just special education students.
Clear Touch Boards are/have been installed and are replacing SmartBoards - which are older and breaking down. These are part of the technology plan. Sanjay mentioned some teachers are not yet using them and wondered how they are paid for. Mrs. Gans said they are part of the district tech budget allocated.
Falmouth is very lucky that our town is very supportive of our schools. The Budget Presentation for next year’s budget will be on January 3rd at 6:00 pm in a joint meeting with the Lawrence PTO and Council. FHS Council will meet for a short time prior to that presentation and we will send out that information as we get closer to the date.
The School Improvement Plan is now made up of district/school goals so that we all are moving in the same direction and the goals match up with the NEASC umbrella: ➢ Goal 1 = Equity Through Cultural Proficiency ➢ Goal 2 = Woods Hole Partnership ➢ Goal 3 = Safety, Student Engagement, & Learning
Yearbook and School Picture Information was requested - students received a flyer with a QR code on it to submit and to order. We’ll be happy to send that to anyone who needs one, or they could email Larisa Hart, Yearbook Advisor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming Meetings: We have planned four meetings this year (Nov 8, Jan 3, Mar 7, May 9). If we find we need more meetings, we can always add them.
Mrs. Gans thanked the Council and let us know how much she appreciates our participation.
Meeting adjourned at 4:08 pm.