PPS Minutes 3-17-12

 March 17, 2012 


Susie Matzat, chairperson, called the meeting to order at 10:10 am.  Angie Taylor moved to accept the agenda with flexibility.  Marilou Warden seconded the motion.  Minutes from the fall meeting were approved as printed; these minutes are online.   

Members shared positive experiences from this school year.  Mileage is now at $0.555 per mile.  Concerns for committee members needs in lieu of the Henryville tornado were shared.  If any district councils want to assist this area, contact Janet Abrams, UniServ Director, who may be able to share the needs of the area.  Gift cards and monetary donations are needed most. 


The Hoosier Educator Committee excused themselves from the committee as a whole to conduct a phone interview.  (Duska Landry, Brenda Weddell, Susie Matzat) 


Mark Shoup presented a legislative update to the remaining members of the PPS Committee.  ISTA did accomplish many successes during this session.  Over 16 bills did not pass OR benefit teachers. We have a lot to be proud of, but it’s not over.  There’s an election in November.  You can go to keepthepromiseindiana.org  for additional information.  Look under bill watch and legislative update.  The association is NOT broken.  We need to continue to fight for public education.  ISTA is supporting John Gregg as governor in the primary.  Also, read this in the next ISTA Advocate. 

Holly Kirkpatrick asked Mark Shoup about which state contract should be signed.  Mark informed us that teachers  should sign the second copy of the salary contract in regard to teacher contract.  Michelle Lefkovitz informed us that the revised contract came out December 16.   Mark Shoup stated that this revised contract came out through IDOE and was disseminated to the superintendants.   


Committee Update.  What is this committees true responsibility – our true charges?  Are we still professional development or are we more a collaborative learning community?  In the past, there were emails sent out to let people know what was happening across the state.  However, these emails have not  come this year.  Linda Case posed that the PPS and Issues and Concerns should merge as a committee.  This way we could meet more than twice per year.  Perhaps we could meet quarterly.  Steve Tafflinger pointed out that when he was on the board it was recommended that certain committees meet twice per year due to our finances.  Now that we meet only 2 times per year, we have lost vital information to share with our DISCO’s.   Susie reiterated that if we have more than two meetings that these meetings must be beneficial.  We must make sure we are purposeful and that time/money is well spent.   


Ron Curry pointed out that his school corporation has undergone all of the contract changes and pointed out there is so much taken out of our hands.  Nettle Creek School Corporation went through mediation and fact-finding, but no contract settlement was reached.  The sticky point right now for this corporation is compensation for extracurricular duties.  The fact finders decision was thrown out.  IERB board is no longer an entity of its own; it is now under the DOE.    Nettle Creek of Wayne County may have to file a lawsuit – the test case – for teachers in the state of Indiana.  Duska Landry reminded us that school corporations must now pay half the cost of mediation and fact finding with the school board.  All people who are placed on the rift list will no longer be on the callback list regardless of seniority.  The rifting is now based upon teacher evaluation.  With no callback list, rifting is now a new dismissal policy.   


Subcommittee Directives: 


  1. What charges have you met? 
  2. What could this committee do improve or do better? 
  3. What ideas do we have to improve this committee? 
  4. How can we communicate with each other more effectively? 
  5. Each committee reported out as the charges were reviewed.  Each charge has been completed or will be completed in the near future. 


Meeting Recommendations from each sub-committee: 

  • Hoosier Educator Suggestions:  Meet once a year. 
  • Scholarships Committee:  Meet once a year. 
  • Disbursement Committee: If we are only going to meet twice a year, then this committee should be disbanded.  Right now, the office is already approving disbursements without a teacher’s disbursement committee.  The ideal situation is to have teacher review and determination, but this may be able to be done through another avenue.   
  • Professional Learning (Professional Development):  This committee is still important and should meet or communicate a minimum of three times per year.   Ideally this committee should meet or communicate in some way more often if their ideas are going to be implemented.   
  • Special Education Committee: This committee should communicate or meet three times per year minimum.  Locals need to talk to their DISCO representative about their special education concerns.    The DISCO representative person could report to this committee their findings/concerns that teachers have about special needs students.  
  • Teacher Evaluation Committee:  NEW Sub-Committee.  This committee would gather information and disseminate the information on what programs are working, what isn’t working, programs worth investigation, etc.  

Every district sends representatives to these committees.  The local representative then returns the committee findings to the DISCO’s so the information can be disseminated.  Although we have detailed minutes, perhaps we should also bullet point the highlights and email out to all members. 


National Board Certification:  Do we still have a person that reports on how many people are participating in the program?  Glenda Ritz gives information to Mark and it is published in the Advocate. 


Monitor Policy of the State Board of Education:  We need to receive a report from the State Board of Education.  Mark Shoup stated he would speak to Gayle Zeharlis about this issues.  


Monitor the ISTA website:  Mark Shoup reported that the website will soon be revised and will become more user-friendly and a better source of information for all members. 


A discussion about the future of the committee took place.  The PPS Committee will plan to meet twice again next year, but some committees will need to set up phone conferences and communicate information to other PPS members via email.  There are many changes:  districts and service councils changes, new members to the committee, etc., but we have to continue to try to engage younger members.  It is assumed that the first meeting will be on the same date as all other meetings.  PPS Members like this because it allows for carpooling and communication within the district. 

A motion was made by Debby Poole to change the name of the committee from “Professional Practice and Standards” to “Professional Practices and Scholarship”.  It was seconded by Steve Tafflinger.  Members stated that it was confusing to have the term “standards” in the title because that it not the role of the committee. 


Next year, we will plan to have four sub-committees: 


  1.  Hoosier Educator 
  2. Scholarships 
  3.  Teacher Evaluation and Professional Learning:  List topics and presenters. 
  4.  Special Education 

It was suggested that members of the first two sub-committees listed review the applications quickly at the fall meeting and then join one of the other two sub-committees. 


Mark Shoup suggested that Holly Kirkpatrick contact Theresa Meredith about setting up a phone conference to discuss the Teacher Evaluation and Professional Learning topic with her committee. 


The following correction were made to the PPS Subcommittee Document: 

Dan Potter and Angie Taylor were added to the Disbursement Committee. 

Tony Nalley was removed and Ron Curry was added to the Professional Learning Committee. 

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