WMS PTCO General Meeting
Tuesday, August 30, 2022
WMS in person
Draft – pending approval in Nov 2022
- Call to order
Executive Board members – Kyle Johnson (president), Brian Brown (president elect), Lisa Britt (treasurer elect), Jill Smith (communications), Kara Martin (secretary)
Other Board members – Erika Cheley (slating chair)
WMS personnel: Monica Garcia (principal), Emily Carter (6th grade counselor), Justin Cantrell (8th grade counselor), Ali Holstein (7th grade counselor), Tom MacDougall (psychologist, 6th grade and 7th grade A-K), Sara Mong, LCSW (social worker, 8th grade and 7th grade L-Z), Bryan Terry (7th grade administrator), Timothy Wimsatt (8th grade administrator/campus administrator)
WMS parents, caregivers, and community members
- Notes below taken by Kara Martin
- Monica Garcia update
- 2022-2023 is Principal Garcia’s 5th year at WMS and 11th year at CCSD
- WMS actual enrollment exceeds projections.
- WMS added sections in 6th and 8th grades. Counselors are working on schedule adjustments. Affected families/students will receive notice of any schedule adjustments, intended to ensure classes are not too large, within 48 hours.
- Academic data on CMAS is available. Colorado Department of Education is delayed in releasing the data, which is scheduled to be sent home the week of September 12 and will be shared at the WMS accountability meeting on September 13.
- Students will take Fastbridge Learning assessments in reading and math during class time. This assessment is not subject to opt in/out. Assessment results will likely reveal a lack of mastery because assessments are conducted at the beginning of the year regarding material/skills to be taught during the year.
- Student athletics and activities have launched for the 2022-2023 school year. More than 240 students registered to participate in track, and the first meet is today. Art Club, Steamblazers (a/k/a Girls Who Code) and Yearbook are also starting.
- Partners for Academic Success (PASS) meets September 6. PASS is open to all parents, with a focus on families of color.
- WMS accountability meeting is September 13 and is also open to all.
- Parent/Teacher conferences are September 22, although parents are encouraged to request conferences when desired and need not wait for official conference dates. The second round of conferences will be November 10 and 11.
- PTCO Introductions: Principal Garcia introduced PTCO president Kyle Johnson, PTCO president elect Brian Brown, communications lead Jill Smith, treasurer elect Lisa Britt, slating chair Erika Cheley, and secretary Kara Martin.
- Wildcat Challenge is the WMS fall fundraiser, which will kick off September 12 with grade level assemblies attended by mascot Wesley. The Wildcat Challenge funds classroom-related teacher grants, technology, PBIS behavioral support programs, and other items or services benefitting WMS students for which no other source of funding is available. Students will learn how to create fundraising accounts through the Get Movin’ fundraising platform. Highest fundraisers for each grade level and overall will receive prizes. All students, regardless of fundraising, will participate in two-hour celebrations, separated by grade level and held during the school day on Friday, October 7. Otherwise, October 7 will be a regular school day. The celebration will include Ninja Nation inflatable obstacle courses, a teacher “dunk tank,” “race the radar,” recreational games/sports, and other fun. The Wildcat Challenge fundraising period will run from September 12 through October 7.
- Fall Fest will occur the evening of September 30 at WMS. Fall Fest is a free school/PTCO-supervised student-only event separated by grade level, for 1.5 hours each, starting with 6th Eighth graders will finish at 8 p.m. Fall Fest will offer an inflatable maze, games hosted by Cherry Creek High School honor society students, optional music and dancing, and other fun.
- Eighth graders will tour the Cherry Creek Innovation Academy and will discuss high school planning. WMS counselors will visit WMS feeder elementary schools to talk with 5th graders in February and March.
- Bullying and Social Media Presentation by WMS Mental Health Team and Counselors
To find slides from the presentation, go to WMS website, https://www.cherrycreekschools.org/west. The slides are fund under “Our School”, “Mental Health/Counseling”, then “Resources”: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1j1fLYyA5-8Uzng-rINbJ3FANiRynBjHCMVh0BxWkqbc/edit?usp=sharing.
- Electronic Devices at WMS, 8th Grade Dean/Campus Administrator Tim Wimsatt, former Dean of Eagle Crest High School
- Acknowledgement that schools will never win the fight of abolishing phone usage because phones/electronic devices are a part of our world. The goal is to teach responsible usage. WMS teachers vary regarding their approaches to phone usage, with some allowing phones as an academic tool or for music during study/work time, and other teachers prohibiting them.
- To address the dilemma, WMS convened a cell phone/ECD committee of 12 teachers to produce a 2022-2023 action plan for phone usage. WMS makes decisions based on data and stakeholder input. WMS surveyed teachers and 6th/7th grade students last year. Students and teachers agreed that phones were used in class 1-2 times per week. Students and teachers predictably disagreed on whether phones are a distraction from learning. The survey asked students what guidelines they would like to see regarding phone usage and 70% preferred structure on when phones could or could not be used.
- WMS reviewed past incidents of discipline related to phones, which ranged from 3 incidents in 2018-2019 to 31 incidents in 2021-2022, excluding 2020-2021, when students were not attending in person school full-time. The discipline data did not indicate a large-scale problem with inappropriate phone usage, perhaps because teachers were managing it.
- The committee reviewed the WMS student handbook policy on phone/electronic devise usage, which was clear and appropriate regarding permissible academic usage and permissible times for parent/child communication in ordinary circumstances (i.e., before 8:50 am and after 3:45 pm). The committee discerned that the problem was implementation of the policy, which lacked structure. The committee adopted a stoplight model to infuse consistency and structure regarding phone usage:
- A red battery with one or two bars indicates “no device allowed.”
- A yellow battery with more bars indicates “computer use only allowed.”
- A green battery with full bars indicates “teacher approved devices are allowed.
- Phones use is prohibited in the halls.
- The first week of school, students received a grace period regarding this approach. The second week of school, on August 17, the Deans spoke to the students in Access classes regarding expectations concerning phone usage. On August 18, parents received this communication. In case of a first violation of the electronic device rule, the teacher will notify parents or caregivers. For a second violation, the student turns the device over to the Dean, who secures it in a locked drawer, documents the incident on Power School, and notifies the parent/caregiver. For third or fourth violations, the student receives a consequence, along with steps taken for earlier violations. Subsequent violations could result in a more comprehensive plan.
- Minutes from March 29, 2022: Tanya Rinebarger moved for approval of the 3/29/22 minutes, and Erika Cheley seconded the motion. The minutes are approved.
Nov 8, 2022 – approval of August 30, 2022 minutes.