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October Summary
28 May,2015By: Diana Guzzi
October Meeting Summary

This month the Bowen School Council reconvened for the new school year.  Every school is required by Massachusetts general law to have a School Council. The Bowen School Council serves as an advisory body to the Principal and is composed of parent and staff representatives as well as a member of the community.  The Council meets approximately once a month. Our meetings are always open to the public and we encourage you to participate often.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has defined the responsibilities of the School Council as the following “The school council shall meet regularly and shall assist in the identification of the educational needs of the students attending the school, make recommendations to the principal for the development, implementation and assessment of the curriculum accommodation plan, shall assist in the review of the annual school budget and in the formulation of a school improvement plan.” (Chapter 71: Section 59C. School councils; members; meetings; duties)

Below is a brief summary of the October School Council meeting agenda items, including:

Welcome & Introductions
This year we welcomed new members to the School Council, including Jess Burns (Parent), Renée Cebra (Teacher), Nicole Davis (Teacher), Angela Halliwell (Parent), Sol Nasisi (Parent), Jane Walsh (Teacher), Jocelyne Wong (Teacher)  Our returning School Council members include Diana Guzzi (Principal & Co-Chair), Greg Wellenius (Parent & Co-Chair), Ainsley Brockmeyer (Teacher), Ellen Carter (BASCP Director & Community Member), Caryn Chapler (Teacher), Dana Elisofon (Parent), Sharon Lipman (Teacher), Andy Sokatch (Parent) and Lisa Terrizzi (Parent).

This Year’s Focus
This year our goal is based on the Community Goal in our School Improvement Plan to “Increase communication strategies that will promote stronger community engagement, including: regular home school/home communications from classroom teachers, specialists, and administration; use of digital signage; translate documents when possible; implement kindergarten family introduction to Bowen program; attend & organize meetings in Boston for families enrolled in the METCO program. Administration will regularly collect feedback from the Bowen community, including, students, staff and families, in order to identify potential areas of growth” as we work to “Create a stronger and more engaged school community that welcomes the voice of all members and recognizes the strength in our diversity.”  

In order to establish a baseline we will be gathering information from the community to identify what is working and areas for improvement.  To being the process will be inviting families to complete a brief survey that is being developed by the School Council. We hope you will participate in sharing your feedback and providing feedback to the School Council.  More information will be shared later this fall.     

Other topics that will be addressed during our subsequent meetings include reviewing the annual district budget, reviewing the Bowen School Improvement Plan, as well as other relevant topics from the school year.

Proposed Meeting Dates
The School Council will meet monthly from 7:30 – 8:20 a.m. in Diana’s office.  Please mark your calendar with the upcoming meeting dates.  We hope you will join us!
        November 4     December 2     January 6         February 3       March 3           April 7   May 5              June 2 (hold, if needed)


Next Meeting
Our next meeting will be November 4, 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. in Diana’s office.  At this meeting, we will be finalizing the family survey and mapping out a timeline to implement the survey, interpret and summarize the responses and identify next steps.  We invite and encourage you to attend this meeting.  If you are unable to attend this meeting please keep yourself informed by reading the School Council Meeting Summary, which will be posted after each meeting.

Contact the School Council Co-Chairs
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions for the Bowen School Council.  We are looking forward to working together this year and hope you will join us.

Diana Guzzi, Principal                                         Greg Wellenius, Parent    
Diana_Guzzi@newton.k12.ma.us                             gregory_wellenius@brown.edu



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