Kittery PTA Website

PTA Minutes for January 6, 2016



Attendance: Ally Hutton, David Foster, Eric Waddell Traip Academy Principal, Michael Roberge Traip Academy Asst. Principal / Athletic Director, Sandy H., Carol L., Cecilia G. plus 24 others


Sandy H. calls the meeting to order at 6:05 pm


Administration is here to speak about the upcoming year with admin from all three buildings. One of the topics is proficiency based learning (PBL) is more of a community effort so to include the entire district seemed relevant.


Allyn Hutton (AH): The plan for the year is to get more events on Channel 22 - the Mitchell Holiday concert was broadcast and in the future basketball games will be shown. More will be done with that so coordination is key, more need to be trained, including students, to be a part of filming the events.


We are halfway through the school year, so we pause and see where we are at with our goals: what have we done and what still is left to be done. This year has been very busy with many major initiatives coming at us from the Department of Education - a lot is being asked of teachers, support staff and admin and we need to give them the time and support they need.


The Kittery School Committee sets 3 broad goals at the beginning of the year - we will turn these into action steps and set them into goals. This meeting will talk about this and talk about how community members can be involved. Where does the community voice come in? This will be clarified tonight.

We want to expand and involve the Community much more.


Going over District Goals from handout provided by AH the back side with diagram:


Provide a Safe and Respectful School Culture:

Kittery Youth Group - working hard to get students involved, looking at the mental health concerns of young people in our community and how it affects their work in school. We need to recognize that students come to school with these burdens and we need to help students with these burdens they carry into their school day. This cannot be ignored. Several things are underway on how we can move forward on this. HIgh school gets anonymous input from students about what they are facing in a survey. Eric Waddell (EW): The maine integrated youth health survey has been around for more than 10 years. THe survey is given statewide to 6th grade and up. Traip’s results are in today. The plan is to work with Choose to be Healthy Coalition (they work with seacoast schools) to help with education and prevention efforts. Two events: one for general public to do a presentation on results and give a comparative analysis of the data, also doing a session with students. The survey itself is a large variety of questions.


AH: Adult perceptions could often be quite different for the students. So we need to take care of our students as a community and this information helps.

At Shapleigh, 7th graders demonstrate an activity showing their individual strength. The students showed very unique accomplishments they were able to share. This creates a great culture in our school.

We also will address bullying issues, do children feel safe in our schools.

AH addressed the group and asked them to brainstorm answers to “What role should the community play in helping with this issue?”

  • Mentoring - have more high school mentors at Shapleigh and Mitchell, more high school mentors at Traip, Ensure National Honor Society students are given opportunities to mentor and all schools, perhaps more adult mentors at homework club at Shapleigh and at Traip

  • Send emails out to students about all events at all schools

  • More access to all events for community

  • give parents information to get to know what’s happening in other schools that their children don’t attend, parents find it helpful to know about the many school meetings

  • No missed opportunities when a problem comes up in one of the schools, address to all students and the community when the time is appropriate

  • Keep up with current issues that have already been addressed like cyber bullying

  • Youtube video with an age appropriate topic

  • Allow parents access to what students go through in their day (and what they are being exposed to)

  • Increase opportunities for parents to go and feel welcome in Shapleigh and Traip

  • Parent Survey about the school culture

  • More events that include all the family and community on a weekend so family time is not lost if some are excluded

  • List of people versed in PBL so smaller groups can come together and get information they need about PBL

  • School Committee Meeting minutes - the minutes are very thin, there is not enough detail to explain anything, the level of detail is inadequate

  • A district wide calendar of events that is kept updated with all three schools events


Develop and implement a K-12 PBL:

AH: A huge initiative last year - PBL advisory committees came out of that. The PBL family guide came out at Traip (available under the information tab on the Traip website) and there is a work in progress for each of the other schools.

A suggestion from an attendee - It would be great to have a calendar of District events that holds all information for every event or create something you can subscribe to whether you want the info from a certain school or not. Mitchell and Shapleigh does a Friday folder so something similar to that but for all the schools. Parents of younger students would be interested in learning about PBL if the high school ever has meetings about it.

AH: We are planning to have more meetings and students voices talking about PBL.

Competencies document will be completed by mid march

Grading and reporting looks very different at the high school and Shapleigh, Mitchell the math competencies are all revised

Student support systems are in place - Friday Intervention Blocks and the Success Center at Traip - we are always looking into it and do more or less of it, make any necessary changes.

EW: Shares a reflection on lessons learned from last year to this year on PBL - PBL at the fundamental level is best practice in teaching and learning that is researched based. Beyond that we need to make sure that we are articulating to our students exactly what it is they are to do. Also students learn at different rates. Learning is the constant, time is the variable - we believe learning is constant and we can be flexible with time. The lesson from last year is that students need boundaries, they need and request a set time, they want deadlines. So we changed it and put in parameters. We went in with something and realized from our students that changes needed to be made. Traip Academy website has the PBL family guide on the website.

AH - hold a session on PBL in each school. AH was asked if PBL is here to stay? Her answer is the PBL is a law in the state of Maine. But AH said we were headed down this road before it became a law. Kittery School District said we are committed to this no matter what, this is the direction we are headed with or without the law.


Ensure and Support quality teachers in every classroom:

PE-PG plan is a teacher evaluation system, high standards are expected, peer observations are done by teachers, administration observation of teachers. The focus is on quality teachers in every classroom and that teachers are working together and supporting one another to make all teachers better. Piloting that this year, as well as PBL implementation, is another large task.


Next meeting we are trying to go to community center and to have it broadcast -

tentative date February 10th, location to be decided

Adjourned at 7:36pm



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