PEP Advisory Council Minutes 11-17-2015

Advisory Council / PEP - TCR- Roberson

November 17, 2015



(Minutes recorded by Annette Males)


Progressive Education Program members gathered in the TC Roberson conference room on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 3:30PM.


Members Present:  Larry Weigel, (PEP Administrator) Cheryl Pickens, (PTO President) Mike Mims, (PEP-PTO & AC Member) Jenn Freer, (PEP- Teacher of the Year, Recipient) Dennelle Brown, (AC Member) Bill Davidsen, (AC Member) Ali Tranthum, (AC Member) and Annette Males, (PEP-Estes, Bookkeeper)


Guest: Jill DeMarco


The meeting was called to order at 3:30 by Annette Males



Agenda: PEP “Start of the Year 2015-16”

 PEP announcements:


·       Twenty-eight new students in the program

·       New Lenovo Think Pads for some students

·       “Unique Learning” licensing renewed

·       Teachers coming together to plan instruction , and strategize     



 Items on the agenda that were discussed:        


Curriculum Programs: As we were discussing twenty-eight new students in PEP, Cheryl Pickens asked “Do they have a student cap?” Annette answered, “The cap is usually per classroom.” Ali Tranthum wanted to know if they had also added new staff along with the students. Annette mentioned that new staff hiring is budgeted one year in advance, therefore new hiring of staff might happen in August of 2016; she also informed everyone that Larry Weigel is presently interviewing for one instructional assistant to start as soon as the hiring process is done. Dennelle added she would like to see more classrooms being added to the program, and asked “Is this possible?” Annette answered, “Hopefully for next year, if the budget allows it.” We then moved on

New Computers promised are in the classrooms: Jenn Freer took the floor and spoke about the 27 inch monitored computers that were installed in each classroom at all 3 PEP sites. Jenn said “I love these monitors…they are so big they have allowed the students more participation, the touch screen has worked wonders being that I have visually impaired students. Annette then added that in PEP-Estes two computers were installed in their library as well as in each classroom. She then said “the students are using these at a daily bases which gives them more individual learning time on various learning apps, and or games in which the students are truly enjoying.


New “Lenovo Think Pads” coming: Members were told that the 4th, 5th and 6th grade students will soon receive these in their classroom sometime in January. Cheryl asked; do you think these “Think Pads” can come home with the students? Annette replied saying “If other schools have the approval for this, I do not see why a parent could not speak with Mr. Weigel and ask for an individual approval; this as long as the parent takes responsibility for it”.


“Unique Learning”: Annette spoke about the license for Unique Learning” being approved for renewal. Jenn Freer then mentioned that we had lost it for about two months at the beginning of the year “but we have it again and it’s great.”    


PTO fundraising: The floor was given to Cheryl Pickens who read about the “Hobey Ford” fundraiser not doing as great as last year, due to lack of publicity. Only $300.00 were raised this time. Cheryl also added that the new snowman fundraiser was going well because all were sold. Cheryl then said “I will be making more; if I find the time”.


Jill DeMarco’s Presentation: Jill DeMarco spoke about a research/experiment currently being conducted by Pam Mims, MED/EAL, (a former teacher to the Progressive Education Program) along with ETSU. This experiment consist of an app to teach literacy through a program that uses popular middle school books, such as; The Outsiders, Holes and many others. Jill uses a special iPad that is part of this research, and walked the members through how it works.

Jill also explained that the middle school teachers work in collaboration. She said, “Valley Spring teachers have made a real effort with collaboration. We come together and share ideas teaching with a theme using “Unique Learning” this year’s theme is The Earth. The members made comments on how amazing this program seemed to be.



The meeting was concluded at approximately 4:40 PM.