Department Meeting Minutes

Good morning,

I had a school department chair meeting yesterday and a district math department meeting last week and here are the highlights from those meetings.

School Department Chair Meeting:

  1. We have a high failure rate (especially in math).   We discussed the possible reasons for this.  I brought up the main reason students are failing is because they are performing poorly (across the district) on the summative assessments.   I reminded him we are all offering retakes, but if students are doing so poorly the first try, it is not very likely that they will drastically improve their score.  Also, when we have such a large number of failures, tutoring becomes ineffective with so many students.   I brought up the idea of trailer courses and all department chairs agreed it was a good idea and Dr. Renouard said we could do it.   Tom is in on the idea of trailer courses as well.  The question is, how many trailer courses can we offer and for which classes?


  1. The district is looking into large scale intervention ideas.  They recently went to Dessert Edge high school to observe an intervention they have been using.  It is called Power Hour.   I attached a document that describes it.   No decision has been made on whether or not they want to try this at one or all of our schools.


  1.   The district is contemplating starting their own online high school to reduce the number of students who use Primavera high school.


  1.   Nothing was said about today’s PD.  I am assuming we are meeting in room 705.


  1.  The tutor bus now runs after school Mon-Thurs.


District Math Department Chair Meeting:

  1. Kim is still asking that teachers review the unit exams to look for errors.   She thanks Sarah for catching a bunch in the Algebra 2 tests!
  2. Kim asked what we are doing about the number failures.   I mentioned retakes and tutoring.

That’s about it.

Other noteworthy information:

  1. Paul is returning next week.
  2.  A-F school grades come out on Monday.   (I believe the district knows and they are not saying).  The rumors  that I have heard from district about the grades the schools in our district will receive are not promising.
  3. Thanks to Amy, Patrick, Stephen, and Robert for taking on an extra section of ALGEBRA 1!
  4. Thanks for working with admin and coming up with retake policies.  I know it went against some of your beliefs and it caused you more work.  Hopefully now the excuse of no retakes can no longer be used and the discussion about why students are performing so poorly can pivot to issues that have a much bigger impact on student achievement. Time will tell.
  5. The NCTM just released a new document that tries to, “… identify and address some of the challenges to making high school mathematics and statistics work for each and every student.”   It is long, but if you are in to this sort of thing, it is definitely worth a read.

This email was reposted on our website –



More Laptop Carts

We are getting a few more laptop carts for our department.  In order to track the damage and repair issues, every teacher will share one cart with one other teacher. You and the teacher you are sharing with will need to coordinate the schedule of the laptops with one another.  When you get your laptop cart, you should assign each student a specific laptop number and they should use that laptop every single time.    If there are issues that need to be repaired, you should fill out a Trackit or email Jaqcue(and copy  Here are the laptop cart pairings:


Cart #42: Sean Merklin and Wes Clarkson

Cart #43: Zane Neubeck and Kiran Satyavarpu/Steve Farrington

Cart #27: Amy Walker and Nick Kocaj

iPads: Patrick and Brian


Cart #31: Sarah Nicoloff and Paul Valkingburg

Cart #32: Hector Bustamante and Robert McDowell

Cart #33: Stephen Bower and Trevor Degerman

Cart #39: Sam Olderbak and Rob Miller


We will be able to pick up the carts after pre-EOCA testing is finished on Wednesday of next week.   Let me know if you have questions.



Department Meeting Minutes

Good morning,

I had 2 department chair meetings yesterday after school.  One with Dr. Renouard and the WHS DCs and another with Kim and the other Math DC from the other schools in the district.   I want to make it a habit to send out an email after these meeting with all the information that was presented.  So here we go!

  1. This is a survey that we are going to take on Wednesday during PD, but Tom was asking that teachers take it beforehand so we have more PLC time.

TUHSD Teacher Survey:

  1. This week’s PD will have everyone start in room 705 for a short presentation by Dr. Renouard and then will break off into our PLCs.
  2. Dr. Renouard asked that teachers take attendance during the first 15 minutes of class.   He said that the superintendent is running reports every day to make sure teachers are taking attendance on time.
  3. Tom said that a few extra sections are starting to get approved.  Unfortunately, none for math.
  4. Jeff Carter asked that if you schedule a PLC meeting that you include him on the invite.  He won’t be able to make all of them, but he would like to be aware of when they are.
  5. All summative assessments need to be given on School City.   This means we are going to need more laptop carts to make that manageable.   Kim told me it was a site by site decision on how many laptops each department received.    I will come up with a  plan for the minimum number of carts we will need to make this work and then submit it to Tom.   If people have input on this I would love to hear it.
  6. We discussed with Kim that the resources that are provided for each subject are not very helpful.  There are too many, in too many different places, that don’t really match what is on the tests, and it takes too long to figure out what to use.   She said she is working on this and going to make something that she referred to as a “cookbook”.  Meaning, a step by step set of material that could be used by any teacher.   Not sure of a timeline for this.
  7. Lastly, Dr. Renouard had me write an Action Research proposal for the Math Intervention Plan that we are trying in Algebra 1.   I put the documents up on our website if you would like to read it.  It is still a draft and I would like any feedback you might have.

I hope everything is going well.


Pre-EOCA Testing Sem 1 2017-18

Good Morning,

Here is the schedule for the Pre-EOCA.  Dr. Mosco didn’t schedule anyone Tuesday just in case something goes wrong on Monday.  Nothing on Wednesday because it is an early release.  Dr. Mosco also wanted me to let you know that you can check out laptops this week.  You just need to complete the proposal at and email it to BOTH Michele.mosco@tuhsd.orgAND

Also, this email has been posted on our department website ( , just in case you lose it by next week.


Monday, August 21 Thursday, August 24 Friday, August 25
IDLAB Linder McDowell Nicoloff
IDLAB McElhaney Satyavarapu 1,2,3,5,6 LTS Bower
Cart 12 These are the older carts
Cart 14
Cart 15
Cart 16
Cart 17
Cart 25      
Cart 31      
Cart 32      
Cart 33 Austin Centner Kocaj
Cart 34 Guerra  
Cart 35   Van De Wille Brown
Cart 36   Pederson Garett
Cart 38   Iribe Gatti
Cart 41 Chaffee Betancourt Aguilar
Cart 42 Degerman R. Miller Bustamonte
Cart 43 Olderbak Penullar Martel
2 Moses Maldonado  
3 LaCasse Longley  
5 Horner    
6 Cooper Meyers  
7 Petruncola Erekson Touchin
13 ROTC    
26 Merklin Clarkson Neubuck
27 Walker    
30 Clarice Miller    
37 Rydelink McEvoy  
39 Valkingburg Valkingburg Valkingburg
40 Weber Welin  
20 Dundovich    
29 M. Miller