Friday, June 18, 2010

May Numeracy Committee Meeting Minutes

Six Nations District Numeracy Committee Meeting Minutes
Thursday, May 27th, 2010
JC Hill (2:30 – 4:00)

Present: J. McNaughton, S. Hill-Bomberry, A. Anderson, L. Martin, J. Restoule General

Absent: C. Froman, J. Thomas

Review minutes from last meeting: Approved

Committee for 2010-2011: It was discussed at the strategic planning meeting that committees will strike a member terms of reference for the 2010-2011 school year. This would explicitly state roles and responsibilities of committee members.

L. Martin asked about who would draft the terms of reference and what the process would be. The answers are as yet unknown.

J. Restoule General asked if the committee would like to elect/appoint a chair for the committee. Members stated that the way things are currently run is fine and that J. Restoule General continue to act as chair.

Members in attendance were polled to determine if they would be returning as committee members for next year. Most felt that they would be hoping that someone else take the role as Numeracy rep at their school, as they “would like to see someone new” in the position.

S. Hill-Bomberry mentioned how she appreciated A. Anderson’s commitment to the area of Numeracy and commented on how A. Anderson’s expertise and knowledge (as a Math Specialist) is extremely valuable to the staff, the committee and the district. J. Restoule General echoed those sentiments. Both hoped for A. Anderson’s return to the committee next year.

Math Assessment Tools PD planning for Numeracy Nets (GEDSB opportunity): No one from Six Nations was in attendance at the GEDSB Numeracy Nets session. J. Restoule General did contact Cam MacDonald about the session and will share any pertinent information as GEDSB continues to roll out Numeracy Nets.

Poll staff for ideal PD time/style: In relation to this, it was discussed when is the ideal time to offer PD for teachers. S. Hill-Bomberry mentioned that the calendar committee is discussing dates and PD timetabling. Committee members discussed and concluded that a survey of staff be drafted to assess preferences of PD delivery times. This would be a ranked survey. Options to appear on the survey were discussed. These will appear on the survey, which will be drafted by J. Restoule General, passed through the Numeracy Committee and PAC, and then distributed to education staff.

One suggestion of “during school time” was brought up. L. Martin felt that we should not include this on the survey, as it may not even be an option realistically, and including it on the survey would set up expectations that would summarily result in disappointment. S. Hill-Bomberry felt that we should include it anyway, and mentioned that we may have to get creative in how PD is delivered within the school day.

The option of “during prep and/or lunch periods” was also brought up. Committee members felt this could be an option, though any PD offered during this time would certainly have to be on a volunteer basis, and could not be deemed mandatory.

CAT/Insight Testing (ILT/ECG) Comments: ECG members relayed comments from the staff, which included the opinion that conducting the testing at this time of year was poor timing and overwhelming, what with EQAO coming up and curriculum content to cover, as well as other classroom testing.

Some teachers thought the testing would occur earlier, some thought it was just going to be math testing. A question was raised about doing standardized testing instead of criterion based testing. Other concerns were that the data would take too long to return to the school in order to inform programming for next year. Another comment was that there seemed to be some strands missing in the math portion of the testing.

***It is important to note here that though the following facts did not occur at the meeting, follow up on some of these concerns prove some of the issues to be inaccurate or oversights. The CAT4 is both norm based and criterion based. Data from the CAT4 will be received in 20 business days, and the Math portion does in fact include all 5 strands.***

No ILT rep was present to offer their viewpoints on the testing.
The committee discussed examining the future use of these tests in the district based upon receipt of the data and subsequent feedback from teachers and education staff of the usefulness of the data.

J. Restoule General indicated that it is anticipated that the CTC will be offering the schools 50% off the testing in the near future, and expects that a decision will need to be made regarding the district use of the test at that time. The various options will be discussed at future committee meetings, with the aforementioned plan of using the CAT4 in grades 2 and 5 (and possibly 7), in order to focus efforts in advance of the EQAO testing years of grades 3 and 6 as one avenue to explore.

Further discussion and review needs to be done regarding this and other forms of math assessment for the district.

First Steps in Math PD Proposal Update: Any district staff inclusion in the First Steps in Mathematics Facilitator Course offered by GEDSB was “not approved based on feedback from principals,” as stated by Acting Superintendent K. Hill. S. Hill-Bomberry was asked about the feedback that principals provided to K. Hill. She did not recall discussing the proposal. Previous conversations that J. Restoule General had with J. Reuben indicated that she did not recall the proposal being discussed either. When J. Restoule General met with D. Dunnigan in advance of the proposal submission, D. Dunnigan seemed to have a positive response to the First Steps program and supported the initiative.

J. Restoule General will continue to work with GEDSB Intermediate Mathematics Coach Cam MacDonald to receive info and feedback about the program/course.

Explore Learning Teacher Passwords/PD Comments/concerns/feedback: Very little feedback regarding teacher use of this resource. Some teachers have asked for their passwords again, so there must be some utilization.

PD opportunity update: J. Restoule General shared the proposal that was written and submitted to K. Hill back in March. There is no indication that this has been discussed with PAC. J. Restoule General will ask to present to PAC on the second Tuesday in June.

He shared the Explore Learning materials he received at the OAME conference and indicated that Stephen Lippa continues to be interested and available to offer PD to teachers. The only cost would be his travel, which would be $150.

Understanding Math Proposal for Six Nations Proposal Update: The meeting and free trial period for software piloting of the full Understanding Math resource that was tentatively scheduled to occur in April with Rudy Neufeld of Neufeld Learning Systems was terminated by K. Hill and 3 of the 4 principals.

J. Restoule General returned the Professional Learning materials that Mr. Neufeld had lent us for the district’s perusal and will not continue any further on this venture based on principal feedback.

Math contest (Caribou) Classes involved: Committee members did not know if any classes participated in the latest Caribou contest, though it appears that no classes registered from the four schools.

Proposal to be approved at PAC for 2010-2011: J. Restoule General will ask for future participation in the contest to be approved at PAC. Clarification of what contests need to be approved and through what channels was discussed by the committee. It seemed that there was some indication that these are dealt with at a school level, while also needing to be presented to PAC.

S. Hill-Bomberry indicated that she was unaware that students were participating in the contest at her school and expected that it be communicated better by the District Numeracy teacher (and all other District teachers excepting for the District Literacy teacher). She indicated how R. Staats keeps her up to date whenever entering the school via an e-mail. Committee members discussed the responsibility of informing principals of activities going on at schools and who was responsible and what the process was and how it could be best developed in order to be effective and yet not time consuming or prohibitive in nature.

J. Restoule General will commit to increasing communication of activities within the schools to the principals.

Key Math 3 C. Froman to share Jamieson’s kit: C. Froman was absent and will hopefully share the kit with the committee at June’s meeting.

L. Martin shared the frustration she’s had when attempting to order or inquire about the kit through Pearson. Representatives seem to not know what the item is or deny having it for sale. There are other barriers to receiving it regarding Special Education or similar qualifications.

J. Restoule General met a Pearson/PsychCorp rep at the OAME conference and can arrange a presentation for principals should they wish to see the latest resources that go along with the Key Math 3. This contact has been shared with J. Reuben, as OMSK was looking into ordering the new materials. Issues surrounding the difficulties ordering the kit were also discussed with the Pearson contact, and he offered to be personally contacted so as to correct and prevent any issues we may have.

OAME conference items to share: J. Restoule General shared the resources and materials from the OAME conference and offered to photocopy or loan any of them to committee members for their schools. He strongly encourages Numeracy leads in the schools (or any staff) to attend next year’s conference in Windsor, May 12th-14th, 2011. It would need to be included on staff learning plans, which S. Hill-Bomberry mentioned “could be amended at any time” to include this conference.

L. Martin took the opportunity to discuss the Rethinking Mathematics text that was part of a workshop on “Teaching Social Justice through Mathematics” at OAME. She spoke of the “warm heart, active mind” concept that we should hope for in our students and recommended the text for all staff in the district for its examples of pulling local issues into the Mathematics curriculum and planning of teachers.

GAINS Math CAMPPP 2010: J. Restoule General shared info on the CAMPPP which occurs from August 16th to the 20th at Kempenfelt Conference Centre in Barrie. Info can be found on the GAINS website; there is a link to the EduGAINS website available on the Six Nations Numeracy blog.

He has been in contact with the organizers and they have informed us that we are applicable for the Ministry funded CAMPPP, paid for in full (accommodations, meals, registration and travel) by the Ministry of Education Math GAINS initiative.

Spaces are available for teams of up to five until May 31st (this would be at least one principal, one math coordinator, and three teachers). After May 31st, spaces are on a first come, first served basis, space permitting.

Wish List for future purchase decisions: Committee members will focus on this agenda item for the June 17th meeting and are asked to bring their ideas/examples to the meeting.

Review 3 Year Plan in Final Draft Form with Electronic version Teacher/staff comments: This is still a draft and still needs to be presented to PAC for approval. The next committee meeting will involve reviewing the plan for next year. Committee members spoke of the need to emphasize the importance of focus area two; the professional development and learning of education staff in the area of Numeracy. Questions always seem to arise concerning math PD, such as when it will occur, how it will occur, and how teachers and staff are to be supported in their learning. Concerns about putting time and resources (human and financial) towards Math PD seem to continually arise.

Numeracy Committee Goals for 2010-2011: These will be on the agenda for the June meeting as well, in relation to the review of the 3 Year Plan, and concerns about PD.

Meeting adjourned

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