December 6, 2006

  1. Call to order
  2. Flag Salute
  3. A quorum was confirmed.

4. Minutes approved for November 2006 with changes
5.   Student Reports—
a. Justine Medina- students are preparing for Powder Puff, which will take place on December 14th
b. The class Christmas tree decorating contest will take place on December 12th
c. The Christmas show will take place on December 13th. The theme for the show is Happy Feet.

  1. DAC –
    1. Ms.Paez shared the information for the DAC meeting on October 18th. The focus of that meeting was the roles and responsibilities of DAC and site councils.
    2. Information included PowerPoint presentations. Ms. Linares will make copies to bring to the February 2007 SSC meeting.
    3. Ms. Mejia shared information from the DAC meeting held on November 15th. The Robert’s Rules of Order were reviewed. In addition, it was mentioned that the school site council chairperson should be the regular attendee at the DAC meeting. Ms. Mejia stated that she would attend all the DAC meetings until the end of the school year and Ms. Villon agreed to be the alternate.  Ms. Mejia also stated that while the previous DAC meetings were only for the purposes of disseminating information, thanks to Ruth Narro, they are much more interactive. The purpose of the current DAC is to educate parents.
  2. Special Ed
  3. Title 1
  4. GATE
    1. Mr. Angelo asked how students at the high school are identified for GATE and how are they serviced. Ms. Linares explained that most students are identified by using standardized test scores. She also said that most GATE students take advantage of the advanced placement courses offered at El Rancho.
  5. Administration  -
    1. Julie Ellis said that these year schools were awarded a one time discretionary block grant. This particular grant requires approval from the School Site Council. The plan for the money will be outlined in an addition to this year’s School Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA).
    2. El Rancho High School was awarded a total of $191, 688. Ms. Ellis explained that she would like to carry over a portion of the money to the 2007-2008 school year.
    3. Ms. Ellis shared a rough draft of the plan for the use of this money. Among the items are TeleParent, a multilingual communication service that allows teachers to send customized messages to students’ homes. Ms. Villon commented that Montebello schools use the service and that they are very happy with the results. Ms. Paez said that TeleParent eliminated the need for parent conferences at Whittier High School. Mr. Castanon inquired as to the accuracy of our database to make phone calls to correct and updated phone numbers. Ms. Ellis replied that she believes that our database is about 70% accurate and that we will continue to make adjustments the minute we become aware.
    4. Another purchase outlined in the draft is Link Crew, a freshmen orientation and transition program. Ms. Ellis said that she feels strongly about the need to focus on the 9th grade class. We started this school year with a Freshmen first day. This orientation included a welcome rally, a short visit to students’ classes, a club/sport fair and lunch. Each 9th grade student also received a school planner. Link Crew will train staff how to take the concept we started this year and use it as a springboard for a yearlong high school transition program. The estimated $20,000 will include a one-time training for staff and the student planners for the entire 9th grade class. Ms. Paez asked if this orientation also included special education students and Ms. Ellis replied that it did. Ms. Villon asked how the teachers working and planning Link Crew would be compensated. Ms. Ellis said that administration would wait until they returned from the training and let the teachers tell administration what they need. Ms. Paez asked how it would be built into the day. Ms. Ellis said that Link Crew activities would be scheduled at lunch, just like clubs and sports’ meetings.
    5. Ms. Ellis also explained that money would be set aside for staff development. This is quite costly for schools to maintain. In the past SB1882 would financially support staff development, but it no longer exists. The plan is to put money aside for national department conferences. This is a good opportunity for teachers to bring back the latest information back to the campus. Any money not spent in this area would be put into carry over for the 2007-2008 school year.
    6. Technology upgrades and purchases were also outlined in the draft. Among them is a purchase of Video Streaming. This is a digital video-based learning resource from Discovery Education.
    7. Ms. Ellis also explained that while this is admittedly a tough sell, she would like to visit the possibility of using some of the funds to add on to the wrought iron fencing at the front of the school. She mentioned that right now the school has no other money to use for the fence. Mr. Moreno asked if the school could shop around to get a better price for the fencing. Ms. Ellis explained that as of now the district has only one company contracted for these type of jobs. Ms. Villon asked if there were any beautification monies that could be used instead of the block grant. Ms. Ellis said that since the district is paying for a new school gym, it does not seem appropriate to ask for the fencing as well. Ms. Villon inquired as to whether there might be some classroom related items that might be purchased instead. She also mentioned the need for an SAT prep course for students. Ms. Ellis said that the college career counselor needs to look into ways to bring an SAT prep course to the school for students at little to no cost. Ms. Ellis said that she would look into it for the next meeting.
    8. Ms. Mendez stated that she thought that some of the carry over money should be used to improve the inside of the campus including restrooms, windows and curtains.
    9. Mr. Castanon asked if there was anything that was being eliminating that could be purchased instead of the fencing. Ms. Ellis said that the proposed spending plan included all that was necessary and that is why we were able to carry over money into the next year.
    10. Ms. Villon asked if the school could look into purchasing in headsets to be used for translating purposes at meetings such as SSC. Segregating the meeting is not a good idea and at times, it is difficult for Spanish speaking parents to keep up with all the information even with a translator. Ms. Linares will look into this for the next meeting.
  6. Separate or Action items
    1. Ms. Mejia invited Lynn Warner from the 33rd district PTSA to give a short presentation on starting a PTSA at El Rancho High School. Ms. Warner explained that the purpose of PTSA is to help support the school. It provides legislative information, parent education and training and encourages parents to get involved in their child’s school. Ms. Villon inquired as to the differences between a PTO, a Booster Club and PTSA. Ms. Warner replied that the biggest difference is that there are no guidelines for a PTO to follow. However, the PTSA organization has guidelines that must be followed. These guidelines are created to protect all the individuals involved. Ms. Armenta asked if the PTSA meetings are in Spanish. Ms. Warner said they were available in Spanish.
    2. In order to begin a PTSA, the school administration sets a minimum number of members and then voting takes place. The cost of membership on average for a high school is $10.00 per person per year. Most of the money raised through PTSA goes to scholarships.
  7. Public Comment
  8. Agenda—next meeting will be Wednesday, January 10, 2007.
    1. Only item on that agenda is the revision of the 2006-2007 School Plan for Student Achievement.
  9. Meeting adjourned at 6:49 p.m.