Site CouncilSite Council is a committee that involves parents, staff members, and community members. It meets monthly for 30-45 minutes in the morning. They work together on various school related endeavors and advise staff members on issues and concerns community and families have. This year, we are using Site Council as a forum for discussion about the Bridge and Bowman renovation project. The council is also going to review the school improvement plan periodically and determine how they may further support the education of the students. We are looking to expand the membership. Please contact Meg Colella if you are interested in joining, and/or check the calendar for our next meeting.
Sometimes called “School Councils,” Site-Based Councils were mandated by the Education Reform Act of 1993 as part of the Act’ s decentralization of decision-making. At every Massachusetts public school, the Council is composed of equal numbers of elected teachers and parents, together with the principal and a community representative. Generally the representatives serve staggered terms. The role of the School Council is to advise the Principal, notably in creating and evaluating the School Improvement Plan. As the Council works with the Principal on matters concerning the school as a community, members of all Bridge constituencies are invited to convey ideas and concerns to any council member. The feedback can be brought before the School Council for discussion. For more information please visit the Department of Education website.
The work of the Site Council reflects the results of the needs assessment survey administered to our community every three years. The results of the last survey identified enrichment as a need. In response, our Site Council has spent the bulk of its time this year exploring ways that we can increase enrichment opportunities for our students during and after school. The in-school part is ongoing as the faculty continues to look for ways to differentiate instruction in the classroom or between classrooms. Several grade levels have experimented with regrouping students across a grade level regularly or periodically to provide challenge, remediation, or practice learning activities for students.Differentiation of instruction is a priority for the school and the district and efforts will continue. We found that parents are very interested in after-school club-type enrichment activities for their children.
The Site Council is exploring ways to provide interest-based enrichment. One avenue we have accessed is what is called an extra duty stipend supported by the school budget. These stipends are available to teachers who provide activities such as drama, sports teams, math clubs, etc. mostly at the high school or middle schools. Since the positions are budget-based, they are limited.This year, there are only funds for five new positions for the entire district. We applied for two positions: Math Club (directed by Dan Garland, Grade 5) and Primary Drama Club (directed by Jill O'Reilly,Grade 1). Currently we have one extra duty stipend position(Shakespeare Players, Leslie Colby, Grade 5). Interested in getting involved? Please email bridgePTA@gmail.com if you would like to serve on Site Council next year.
The other idea we have is for a parent-run volunteer enrichment program. We have asked the PTA Board to consider identifying a new position:Enrichment Program Coordinator. This person would elicit parent interest in sharing their talents with a group of interested students, liaison with the office for space, advertise the offerings, etc.Volunteers would develop their own plan (# sessions, # students, day,cost for materials, etc.). This could be a wonderful opportunity to involve parents in school as role models and for students to see parents in a different light.The 2017-2018 Site Based Council Members are:Co-Chairs: Meg Colella and Kimberly Hensle Lowrance
Parents/Community Members:Lucia BrowerAmy KvaalHuan LiuBeth MurnaghanMelanie TanionosSejal Petal
Bridge Staff Members:
Allison Gullingsrud (non-voting member)
Deirdre Schadler (non-voting member)Kristen Gray (non-voting member)
Meeting Dates for 2017-2018:
Location: Bridge Library
October 26, 2017
December 1, 2017
January 26, 2018
March 2, 2018
April 27, 2018
June 1, 2018
October 6, 2017 Meeting
The SBC kicked off its first meeting with a review of the purpose of the SBC, and a discussion of topics that the SBC can focus on this year. Suggestions included ways to welcome new families to Bridge, communication methods between the school and families, and the district’s new homework policy. SBC members raised concerns about the way announcements are sent home from school: notices are sent to all children in a family, often multiple times, and can be repeated via email. Can this be streamlined? Bridge leadership agreed to look into this question. Next, the SBC was asked to provide input on a draft dress code from the superintendent. The new policy gives each school’s leadership discretion in applying the policy, which is helpful, as compliance with the dress code is not an issue at Bridge.
October 27, 2017 Meeting
At the SBC’s second meeting of the year, the new Patriot Post system was presented. Through this new system, which was developed in response to concerns raised at the last meeting, flyers and announcements will go home one-day per week (Wednesdays) to the oldest or only child in a family, instead of every day of the week. (In the case of twins, the announcements will go home with the child who is first alphabetically.) This new system will eliminate duplicates and streamline what goes home. A spreadsheet tracking who is the oldest and only in each family has been created and will be updated as new students enroll at Bridge. The Patriot Post applies to printed notices only; some announcements, including Ms. Colella’s principal update, will still be sent electronically. The SBC also discussed Bridge Learns, which is scheduled for November 15, 6:30-7:45 PM. This educational session will feature 11 presentations by Bridge staff, covering topics such as reading and writing skills, behavior management, and digital citizenship. Bridge Learns, which is unique to our school, was first held last year and was modeled after Lexington Learns, a professional development training for teachers and Lexington Public Schools staff. Finally, the SBC next discussed the revised district-wide Homework Policy, and will continue its consideration of this topic at the next meeting.
December 8, 2017
Bridge School-Based Site Council (SBC) met Friday, December 8. The SBC includes school administrators, teachers, and parents. During the most recent meeting, SBC members discussed LPS’ new homework policy and its impact on Bridge students; parent concerns about snow piling up near the new modulars and efforts that can be implemented to keep the area safe and clear; concerns about distracted drivers during school pick-up and drop-off; and school start and end times. All Bridge parents are welcome to attend SBC meetings. The next meeting will be held Friday, January 26, 8:00-8:30 AM in the Bridge School Library. Other meetings will be held March 2, April 27, and June 1. For more information, please contact Meg Colella, Principal and SBC Chair, email@example.com, or Kimberly Hensle Lowrance, Parent Representative and SBC Co-Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit https://lps.lexingtonma.org/