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GMCS Partnership Meeting Minutes 12/07/11

posted Dec 16, 2011, 11:28 AM by Corey Haynes
GMCS Partnership Meeting Minutes 12/07/11 

-School Connectedness 101: what is it, why it matters
-What are Gill Montague students saying about school climate?
-Interim Superintendent Nadine Ekstrom- what’s happening in the district already?
- DA David Sullivan: why school connectedness matters
- Discussion

What school is school connectedness?

· School connectedness is the belief held by students that adults and peers in the school care about their learning
· Research has shown that young people who feel connected to their school are less like to engage in many risk behaviors.
· Students who feel connected to their school are also more likely to have better academic achievement in their school.

Audience participation interactive survey on their personal school experiences.

  • Whether they had adults in their school who they could talk to about their personal problems. 
  • Discussed why the results showed that people felt less supported in middle school by adults to talk to than in high school. 
  • In your high school did you feel respected by the adults? Response: 59% yes, 41% no. 
  • Respected by the students in high school: 67% yes, 33% no. 
  • Did adults act quickly when they found a student being bullied: 12% yes, 76% no, 12% maybe.

Jeanette Voas from Community Coalition for Teens - Dimensions of school climate measured in 2011 FC/NQ Teen Health Survey –
Adults are mostly seen as treating students with respect.

· Students see the adults treating them a little better than they treat their peers.
· Why school climate matters. People who responded negatively about overall school climate are more prone to negative behaviors.
· When there are clear School Rules and enforcement, school climate is better. Students perceive clear rules and enforcement.
· Students perceive a high percentage of adults who intervene to stop bullying. People who don’t feel adults intervene enough correlates with being more prone to negative student behaviors.
· Overall, students who were surveyed feel supported by adults in school. Those who don’t hold that perception, tend to exhibit more negative behaviors.
· High percentage of students who feel safe in their school and community. Low percentage of students feel they have opportunities for working with community learning projects.
· Bullying – high percentage of students who think it’s wrong. High percentage of students would try to help the student being bullied. Yet high percentage who say they don’t see their peers intervening in bullying. 

Interim superintendent Nadine Ekstrom spoke about school connectedness in the District.

· Pre-elementary and elementary - Such as responsive classroom – highlights respect and connectedness.
· School spirit days
· Middle school – same, but for middle school
· High School – Activities focused on students at risk. Showing importance of education.

  • 18-22 – transition program. Special needs, learning various life skills outside of school. 
  • Credit recovery program – help students who dropped out to keep going. 
  • Upward bound 
  • Peer mediation program 
  • GAP – time for students during the day where they can receive extra support for various things. 
  • Drop-out rate has decreased. 
  • Summer programs are being offered. 
  • Building a pre-school classroom at the middle school. Opportunity for child development, and many other things for the older children. 

Heard from Jade Barker, co-Director of The Mediation and Training Collaborative about peer mediations.

Heard from Glen Franklin from Community Action Youth Program about their Above the Influence program,
Focusing on being above the influence of not just drugs and alcohol but many different pressures that young people face.

Heard from Faith Kaemmerlen about the credit recovery program mentioned above.

DA David Sullivan spoke.
  • Issues that effect the youth in schools. 
  • Recognize the positives, when negatives are often the focus. 
  • Dropping out of school has a direct correlation to being seen in the criminal justice system. 
  • Truancy is a family issue. 
  • About the importance of partnerships and coalitions. 
  • Importance of community participation related to the DA office. 

-Question to DA about other youth involvement. Very important. White ribbon campaign – against domestic violence, consumer protection, media projects.
-Comments about the term “bullying”.
-Comments about the Nurturing Families program.

- April 12 Conference about underage drinking at GCC
-Youth Conference Friday April 13 GFHS – youth led
-Montague Winterfest – February 11th, weather date week later. 12-4pm.
- Next partnership meeting January 25th.
-Third Place is taking applications
-Brick House is taking Summer Workshop Proposals.
-News into the newsletter for the Partnership – email Cate