PEP Advisory Council Minutes 3-4-2014

PEP Advisory Council – March 4, 2014

The meeting was called to order at 3:30 by Larry Weigel.  Minutes from the last meeting (12/10/13) were approved.

 Members Present:  Cheryl Pickens, Mike Mims, Larry Weigel, Katie Straub, Janet Smith, Andy Hollifield, Amy Churchell(Roberson District Rep), Cynthia Broaddrick

 PEP teachers Pam Moser and Colleen Robertson were also present. 

Reminder to do online or paper copy of the BCS survey and of upcoming important dates for the PEP family.  Survey open until 3/15

 Spring break 3/31-4/4

Prom at Biltmore Baptist 4/25…for any High School PEP students

Senior trip to Gatlinburg 5/6

PEP Graduation 6/6

Pam Moser and Colleen Robertson presenting information about Unique learning and News-2-you curriculum PEP have been provided with this year.  The whole program started with paper copies of the news-2-you newspapers and has grown to include everything it does now.  News-2-you still provides current event information and unique learning systems is a comprehensive curriculum.  Unique learning systems provides a systematic curriculum from K-12 (and includes information for those working on their transition to post-high school) as opposed to what has been done in the past where teachers have created their own curriculum entirely.  Unique provides a new curricular unit each month with a 3 year span of activities.  Data can be taken right within the system after information has been entered in regarding each student.  It can also give an overview of the student based on what’s been entered as well as ideas of how information can be adapted for that individual student.  This allows all of PEP to be using the same system so that the information being presented to students follows through the curriculum as they move across teachers and sites.  Testing is now also very similar to how teachers are being told the state tests will be presented.  It allows pre and post test data to be taken on the units being taught.  Also facing question of how to best store the information each month, especially what’s been printed.  Looking for this program to be funded at least 2 more years for at least a full 3 year cycle if not more.  Data taken by teachers and staff will help show effectiveness.  Full cost for a year is about $5000 (11 licenses) and comes from special services.  Unique learning has also been a focus on teacher PLC’s.  Saves teacher’s time because cut down on planning needed. 

Best Buy grant has come in since the last meeting.  About 30 iPads and teachers and staff will be trained later in March.  Mr. Weigel shared  a number of apps are listed to be purchased including Dociary which will allow students to control the information on the board with the tablet.

 PEP now has a Safe Schools Plan that is an addendum to the schools’ plans that they are located in.  Nurse Smarjesse was able to follow up on information provided by Mr. Hollifield and get medical supplies for PEP’s emergency “Grab and Go” bags.  Other safe school items include capital outlay items recommended by Dr. Adell including a secure entrance for TCR PEP and additional radios.  Radios link with others within the buildings so that others can help respond as needed. 

Staff changes since the last meeting.  One of the assistants, Angela Smith, took at teaching position at VSMS-PEP.  Two new assistants hired, Melissa and Kelsey, and both are working out well.

Open discussion for items not included on the agenda:

Mr. Hollifield brought up contacting Jerry Vehan (sp?) – director of Buncombe County Emergency Services (and Woodfin mayor) about radios not being used that might be able to be donated for use.      

 Mr. Hollifield also brought up concerns over student issues with two and three hour delays.  He has found that using different types of schedules (i.e. Schedule A=2 hr delay, Schedule B= no school, etc) with his son and explaining the difference depending on what’s been called works best.  Ms. Straub and Mr. Weigel shared that they are in fact very difficult for the students, especially for those with Autism.  Saturday school is also a challenge.  Ms. Smith asked if there would be any more Saturday school and when the last day of school is.  The understanding is that if there is more inclement weather where school is missed, the Saturday of that week will be a make-up day.  June 12th is the last student school day as of right now.  Graduation ceremonies start that Friday evening. 

Ms. Broaddrick asked whether the jewelry that was being sold is still for sale.  Ms. Pickens shared that it is and will be as an ongoing thing.  She also asked if there were more sweatshirts for sale and Ms. Pickens said she will check on that in the morning when she is here for the PTO meeting.  She will check into selling t-shirts as well.

Mr. Weigel also shared that tonight is the second TC Roberson home baseball game.  The baseball team has been big supporters of the PEP program and has a PEP student throw out the first pitch at each home game.  Ms. Smith shared that the Asheville Parks and Recs adaptive sports teams are very nice and great programs. 

PEP program being a part of the other schools has really led students to be included by all, not just peer tutors.  This often lead these people/kids to keep involved in the field throughout their lives.     

 It was noted that the next advisory council meeting is for the whole Roberson District on Monday, April 21, 2014 at 10:00 AM at Valley Springs Middle School. 

 The meeting was adjourned at 4:35 PM.