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Flintridge Preparatory School
Parent Association Meeting Minutes
April 11, 2017
La Canada Country Club 

The meeting was called to order at 8:40 am by Parent Association President, Jeanne Case.  Jeanne welcomed parents in attendance and introduced Headmaster Peter Bachmann.

Head of School:  Peter Bachmann.   

Mr. Bachmann started by mentioning that he had breakfast the other day with a group of 7th grade moms.  He shared that it was a good discussion about 7th grade, as well as, about 8th grade and the future.  At this time of year, 8th graders are imagining what it will be like too have a class that is double in size.  The 9th graders are choosing their courses, wondering if they should challenge themselves with AP classes.  The 10th graders just finished with their retreat where they were asked to imagine the next two years of high school.  The 11th grade retreat  asks each of them how they will be leading the school next year. 

Last week there was an alumni reunion for alumni who graduated between between 15-60 years ago.  At the event, we had an opportunity to celebrate 100 years of science at Prep by three legendary science teachers: Rob McLynn, Joe Maggio and Glenn Beattie.  It was a reminder that there is a proud heritage of science at Flintridge Prep.

Mr. Bachmann turned to introduce Laura Kaufman who he characterized as an astonishing person, and an astonishing scientist with “almost supernatural poise and perspective.”  She has taught in the middle school as well as, high school and is now head of the school science department.  She, along with the rest of the department, is implementing a new scope and sequence for science, which is gradually being put in place. 

Speaker:  Laura Kaufman, Science Department Chair.

Mrs. Kaufman started her talk by praising the Prep community and how much she enjoys working with the students and colleagues at the school.  She talked about the changes happening in the Science Department and what to expect in the years to come.  Specifically: 

7th Grade:  Life Science. In this grade the kids are learning who they are and learning about their own bodies.  They do a lot of  “self science.”  There are a lot of creative science projects during 7th grade.

8th Grade:  Science expands from the individual to the community during this year.  They study for instance, the carbon cycle, but they don’t just study the carbon cycle.  They figure out what their role is in this cycle within the larger world.  They do a community impact project in 8th grade. This is where they are tasked with a community service project where they use science to answer tricky questions.

9th Grade:  This is the first year where we will implement the new science scope and sequence. Students will be in 9th grade Biology.  Here, we are trying to get them to see biology everywhere around them.  They learn for instance, about wheat as it spans from botany all the way through nutrition. 

10th Grade:  Next year, 10th grade students will be in either AP Biology or Physics.  These courses are in the process of being further developed.  For Physics, the department is going to approach the class from a modeling perspective; which is well documented and supports a deep understanding of physics.  We also want to find a way for the grade to be more involved in the STEAM and Service Fair.  In AP Biology students will be equally engaged.  They will be reading actual scientific research about what is happening right now in the world of science; in addition to conducting experiments on the world around them.

11th Grade:  Student will likely have either Chemistry or Honors Chemistry.  In both of those classes there is lots of ways of getting engaged through hands-on labs. 

12th Grade:  Students can take either Physics  (AP or Honors), or they can take Anatomy.  In Physics, students are pushed to find answers on their own, which is real- world science.  In Honor’s Physics, students are doing crime labs using physics.

In Anatomy, they run their own muscle and balance tests and then design programs to help correct imbalances.

Behind the Scenes:  The department is going through a transitional period.  We have three long-time science faculty, who are retiring at the end of the year.  We are doing everything we can to make sure we get as much guidance as we can from these wonderful mentors as we shape and guide the new curriculum. New faculty are coming on board.  They are spending time on campus to get a real feel for how we teach and how wonderful our community is.  Next year, we are prioritizing classroom visits so we all have a good sense of what is going on in each other’s classes.  We are expanding more opportunities for science outside of the classroom, such as, in the areas of research and robotics.  This year we had eleven projects go on to the LA County Science and Engineering Fair.  We also had a team that was accepted to the state science fair in May.  The Robotics program is doing very well.  We have a lot of younger team members, so we know the program will grow.

Question:  Is Robotics an after school program?  Yes. There are two programs for robotics.  One is a competitive robotics team.  The other is called Sand Box Robotics.  Sand Box students can just drop-in.  They do not have to be committed to the program or to competition.  The Robotics team is competitive.  They go to competitions around the area with other schools. 

Question:  Can you talk to us about the reasoning for changing the science sequence? We decided to change the curriculum not because we weren’t happy with the program we had, but because we want to make sure we are preparing all of our students, whether they have a passion for science or not.  The current 10th and 11th graders will continue the sequence, as it was originally set-up.  Having students do a full year of Biology in 9th grade, better prepares students to advance in Biology or Physics and then continue on to Chemistry. In their senior year, they can take a senior elective if they so choose, or they can take a more rigorous science class. 

Announcements:

Ms. Case thanked our Senior Horizons Chairs – Allison Dickey and Yohanna Chmait who put on a wonderful two-day event for our seniors.

Thank you to Bettina Rosenfeld and Kandace Jaffrey who chaired our Grandparents and Special Friends Day.  It was a great success! 

Thank you to all the parents who took the recent parent Survey.  We had 239 people complete the survey.  It brought in a wealth of information and we will be reviewing the surveys and propose changes as a result.

Business:

Parliamentarian:   Susan Rossi presented the slate for the 2017-18 Parent Association Executive Board. 

Proposed Slate: 2017-18 Executive Board, Parent Association

President:  Jeanne Case
Parliamentarian:  Debbie Pitts
V.P. Book Day (2 positions): Abigail Deser, Juliette Harrhy
V.P. Hospitality: Michelle Lytle, Annette Starks
V.P. Community Speaker Series:  Laura Campobasso, Kirsten Harbers
Treasurer: Jennifer Stetson
Recording Secretary: Susan Rossi

Susan motioned that the slate be brought to a vote and approved.  Terri Miller seconded the motion.  There was no discussion brought forth.  The vote to approve the slate of officers was unanimous by those present.

Co-Chair Spring Luncheon:  Pamela Taylor Gunning reported that the Spring Luncheon will be May 9th at the Brookside Country Club.  It is a great opportunity for parents to get together and honor the senior parents.  She encouraged everyone to attend.

Treasurer:  Susan Au reported that we are about two-thirds of the way through all our Parent Association events.  Spring is a busy time, with a lot of big events coming up with the Spring Luncheon and graduation.  So far our event chairs and GLC’s have done a great job staying within budget.  Currently, we are coming in on budget.  We do not yet have the results from the benefit in yet, but we are looking forward to seeing those numbers.  

Recording Secretary: Karen Enzminger presented the minutes from the last meeting, which was in March.  Minutes are posted on the school website.  Mrs. Enzminger asked for a “motion to approve” the minutes.  The motion to approve was proposed by Monique Stevens, with Terri Miller offering to second the motion.  The motion carried with unanimous approval of those present.

Performing Arts:  Jeanne announced that Comedy Sports would be May 5th.  There is a Visual Arts celebration at the end of the year will be held on May 18th.  The Spring Music Concert is April 12th.  Student Independent Study projects will be presented on May 15th. 

Jeanne case thanked everyone for their updates and encouraged parents to look at the school’s calendars online for more information

Meeting Adjourned: 9:20 am

Minutes recorded and submitted by Karen Enzminger
 

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