- Falmouth High School
January 7, 2019
Present: Gio Borgese, Paula Carlson Cahill, Nina Colon, Deb Coulombe, Michael Feeney, Mary Gans, Grant Leachman, Kathy Martino, Zorianna Petrosyan, Nancy Quigg and Cindy Tran.
The meeting opened at 3:15 pm with welcome and introductions.
NEASC will be visiting FHS on April 25 & 26, 2019 – the team will talk with students, teachers, staff and parents, observe classrooms, review curriculum & course offerings and take a good look at everything we do. This is an ongoing process - our staff gathers a ton of evidence which is uploaded for NEASC review. Our faculty also visits other schools as part of a team – which has already given our folks a brand new appreciation of what we do at FHS and how great our students are. Clipper Time and the Bridge Program (transitioning students from hospitalization back to school) are great additions here. NEASC used to visit once every ten years – now they come for “mini” visit, tell us how we are doing and then return in 3 – 5 years to assess how we’ve done on the improvement plan created. The student have been surveyed (as part of this review) and their responses were good.
Dr. Duerr is putting together a Vaping task force which includes community members. Mashpee is implementing a vaping curriculum as part of their Health/PE program and we are starting to look at that. Part of discipline may include needing to pass an online course. Some of the dangers of vaping are still unknown. Administration is making it clear to students that we want to help – come ask for help. Council members voiced their wish that students receive help not just discipline due to the highly addictive nature of vaping - education and help are critical!
FHS Faculty Council consists of 15 members who meet, review and assess FHS needs. They asked that we take a look at diagonal scheduling. The student members of Council were in favor of keeping the diagonal and gave the following reasons: they like getting the daily break from one class, it gives them more time to catch up, academic support on diagonal is very helpful, diagonal class keeps week different/not mundane, helps with the AP course load, changes up their day. Mrs. Gans was appreciative of the student feedback and mentioned that diagonal scheduling allows for seventh course, which may change if diagonal were eliminated. Freshman teams (considered a drop out strategy by the state) were also discussed with most students not in favor: better to jump right in not wait until Grade 10 to do that, not be restricted to one group, only a small adjustment for the majority, like cross curricular. A student suggested finding a way for teachers to communicate more between them regarding their shared students.
ALICE training will continue next week for FHS teachers – this will be held in classrooms, highlighting different response options, including evacuation, which involve more communication and is more realistic - nerf guns will be used.
Woods Hole Partnership: Deb Coulombe spearheaded an incredible effort working with the district to strengthen and expand our science curriculum. Five years ago Deb began the STEM Boosters because Science and Math needed a booster group like band and baseball have. Our administration has taken a walking tour of Woods Hole - visited the institutions and met a lot of folks who want to help. Dr. Duerr has made this a priority. Deb said we currently have two art teachers who are fantastic at collaborating with the science community and we want to spread that around with tons of opportunities for our students, including science internships. STEM professionals are now coming into FHS to do Clipper Time presentations. However, due to the current government shutdown, this program is on hold until the government reopens.
Mrs. Gans queried student members regarding issues of concern: Gender Neutral bathroom availability was asked about – we are currently working on converting a staff bathroom on each floor to a “community” bathroom – for safety reasons we need to create a stall which locks for privacy yet leave the outer door unlocked. Students mentioned holding homeroom meetings instead of class meetings during Clipper Time because they really like to spend Clipper Time with their teachers. Members suggested that when a text message is sent, could it somehow identify who sent it.
The meeting adjourned at 4:20 pm.