Friends of LACES – Meeting Minutes – September 14, 2011

Co-President’s Maggie Scott and Lauren Garza called the meeting to order at approximately 7:05.  After welcoming everyone back to school and brief introductions of the board, it was decided that we would have our Principal’s report before approval of the June minutes.  Maggie introduced our new Principal, Mr. Boger.

Principal’s report:

Mr. Boger gave thanks to everyone for his warm welcome into LACES.  He is impressed with our amazing students and faculty and all the support that is there.  He acknowledged that all change is difficult, but what makes the difference and what makes LACES what it is – is the active participation by the parents.

API: Our API scores increased this year to a 895 which was an increase on every subject area, we are one of the highest performing schools in the district.  We also had 37 more students taking the AP exams last year and our percentage of passing also increased.

Tech upgrades:  We are receiving a tech upgrade by the district.  We will have fiber optics and wireless access throughout the school.  Unfortunately the project will not be completed until next fall.

School calendar: The new Superintendent does not want all schools on an early start date next fall, but the school board voted against him and passed an early start date of mid-August for next year.  School will then end in early June.  Furlough days can’t be decided until the spring.  This is not final yet, however it looks like the early start date will remain.

A parent asked if the Tdap was a requirement for 6th graders as the original information called for 7th grade and above.  Maggie explained that the reason for this was it was assumed 6th graders would be current with their inoculations from their regular vaccinations, whereas 7th graders and above may need boosters.

Approval of June minutes: Phyllis Kory moved to approve the minutes from the June meeting, Caryn Dalessandro seconded the motion and the minutes were approved.

Math Department:   Mr. Vriesman gave a presentation about the math department at LACES – He spoke about the math progression at our school and how it is different than at other schools (i.e., Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and then Geometry).  He informed parents they will place kids in classes at their math level, rather than just grade level.  He spoke about Calculus camp and how that program has grown and encouraged more kids take calculus at LACES.  He talked about the after school study groups on Monday and Thursday afternoons and that there is also a chess club during that time.  He explained that the math teachers like the idea of study groups rather than tutoring, saying that study groups promote independence whereas tutoring promotes dependence.

Librarian: Linda Roche, our Librarian introduced herself and said how great it was to be here – especially in light of the fact that her job was reinstated after being eliminated as part of the budget reductions.  She said how the AP Psychology is an on-line computer class that takes place in the library, but she would like to see the computers have more equal access time for other students.

Treasurer:  No report other than we adopted the budget as proposed last June.

We had 2 funding requests:

1.   Quim Perez, our tech support person requested a $3 per hour raise.  We acknowledged how underpaid and the increase was unanimously passed.

2.  Andy Rogers, one of our students working on an Eagle Scout Project wants to clean up, renovate and replace our bike racks.  He is asking; LAUSD and the City of Los Angeles to pay for the new racks but if they don’t he would like FOL to foot the bill.  We have some extra money used for campus beautification so if LAUSD or the City won’t pay, FOL will.

Fundraising at LACES: Elise Sandiford spoke about scrip at the markets and the holiday shopping kick back program at the Grove or other malls.  Trish Garone spoke about recycling ink cartridges and cell phones; Teri Lutsky and Elizabeth Dennehy talked about the direct donations and what the money we raise actually pays for.

E-Group Sign Up:  Maggie and Lauren invited everyone to join the egroup and explained how it works.

Student Body Liaison: Zack Robinson, a senior this year spoke about leadership at LACES, the Big Brother/Big Sister program and the upcoming 6th grade social.  Zack will post monthly updates on the yahoo group.

Lockers: New upper level students are assigned lockers first, then the 6th graders will begin to get their lockers.  They are assigned in the Academic Literacy class.  Also, until they have lockers, they will not be dressing for gym.

Hospitality: Susan Robinson spoke about the Coffee Stops on the last Friday of every month and the other things hospitality provides (such as snacks at the math study groups).

Other news:  October 6 is Back to School night.  Although some kids will be on campus selling food for their clubs, it is really not an event for the kids.  Volunteer opportunities: our cafeteria staff was cut and we are looking for parents to volunteer one lunch hour every other week.  If you are planning to volunteer at school this year, please stop by and have your picture taken on either September 21 or 22, the day they will be taking the student’s pictures.  LPO and KPO meet on Saturdays.  The meetings are in Spanish (LPO) and Korean (KPO) and they go over the information provided at the FOL meeting.

Good and Welfare: Ms. Mendoza is about to have a baby!  We wish her much happiness.  Welcome back everyone!

Meeting was adjourned.

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