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Citywide Parent Council (CPC) Notes, November Meeting

These meeting notes were taken by Christie Gibson, a JQES Parent. She is also JQES CPC Rep and Communications Co-chair for CPC. To view the text in its original format, please use the following link:


Citywide Parent Council Meeting Minutes

24 November 2020 6-8pm ZOOM


  • Very brief overview of CPC for newcomers, and invitation to a more extended separate orientation session

  • Reports from Committees, including the Boston School Committee Citizens’ Nominating Committee

  • Time to discuss reopening/remote learning issues

  • Time for Working Group breakouts

Zoom Roles:

Facilitator: Steve

Screensharing: Gloria

Note Taking: Christie

Monitoring Waiting Room: Ashley

Monitoring Chat: Nicol

Monitoring Raised Hands: Joanne


Christie Gibson, JQES

Gloria West, Henderson Upper

Wenling Ma, BLS

Joanne Freeman, BAA

Ashley Mahanama, Eliot

Steve Lewis, Lyndon

Betsy Yoshimura, Umana

Lauren Margharita, BLA

Suleika Soto, Blackstone

Angelice - Lyon K-8

Anna White - Henderson

Nicol Riley, Sumner

Emily Antonelli - Hale

Sarah Henderson - Lyndon

Sasha Abby VanDerzee - Mendell

Bethany, Perry K-8

Chris Martell, Kenny

Dionyssios Mintsopoulos, EBEEC

Kathy Schraffa, Adams

Erin DiCarlo - Adams

Katrina - Manning

Jun Xie

Jen Douglas - JFK

Jack Keleher, Warren-Prescott

Rafaela Polanco, Blackstone

Meghan Wingate

Kathleen Adams

Nicole DiMaggio, Perry


Elizabeth Meagher, Umana

  1. Welcome, Check-in (~6:00-6:10)

  2. Especially new reps!

  3. Introduce orientation resources, new rep orientation session Sat. Dec. 5

  4. Introduce digital sign-in sheet

  5. Statement of Norms: (6:10-6:15)

  6. Group Norms

  7. Be Respectful: Listen to and be open to the ideas of others; create a safe space to share

  8. Be Mindful: Monitor airtime to ensure everyone has an opportunity to share

  9. Be Engaged: Speak, share your experiences and let your voice be heard

  10. Virtual Norms

  11. Mute yourself when not speaking

  12. Use the “rename” function to add your school next to your name in the participants section

  13. Use the “Raise your hand” feature under “participants”

  14. This meeting will be recorded and possibly shared on web site and social media

  15. Presentations

  16. No presentations this month

  17. Old Business: (~6:15-6:45pm)

  18. By-Laws announcement and statement of elections

  19. Representation out of balance

  20. Election for Finance Co-Chair

  21. Nominations:

  22. Suleika Soto - Blackstone parent

  23. Wenling Ma - Boston Latin School

  24. Election: Suleika Soto

  25. Volunteering for External Committee Representation - no new volunteers at this time, but Wenling Ma volunteered for SQWG later

  26. Volunteering to connect with schools without a CPC rep - no new volunteers

  27. Review Agenda Requests for full-body Supt meeting Dec. 7 (were due Nov. 13)

  28. MCAS discussion - working on statement from parent point of view around testing this year

  29. Announcement about P-EBP benefits (need to be used by end of year) and Staples card (need to be used by end of Nov.)

  30. Committee reports:

  31. External Committee Reports

  32. BSC Nominating Committee - will be meeting Nov. 30; 11 applicants so far; concerns about some applicants were brought to committee around biases of applicants; push for diversity and parents; Interest in making the student rep a voting member of the Committee

  33. Wellness Committee - no meetings

  34. BuildBPS - no meeting yet

  35. CEAC - canceled meeting, has new dates for info sessions about exam school admissions process

  36. SQWG - needs new rep - Wenling Ma

  37. Internal Committee Reports

  38. Health and Wellness - no news

  39. BuildBPS - no news

  40. Diversity and Inclusion - no news

  41. Communications

  42. Have circulated CPC directory

  43. Coordinating with DELACs and language-specific ELACs - making sure all groups get all info from BPS

  44. New Business:

  45. Full-group Reopening/Remote Learning Discussion (6:45-7:15)

  46. MCAS statement - Leadership Team met with rep from heads of school association (mostly high schools)

  47. Dec. 2 protest being planned? A lot of parents upset that schools haven’t reopened and trying to organize protest

  48. Dec. 12 - silent protest who feel there should be more kids with high needs in schools

  49. Cameras: most teachers requiring that students keep their cameras on? Uneven, but have to participate either on video or in chat

  50. Mixed feelings, lots of hours, burnout, but also demoralizing for teachers to talk to black boxes

  51. Feels like another layer of disciplining students, circumstances different and people might want privacy for home life

  52. Chromebooks can’t have virtual backgrounds

  53. Document from district policy that teachers can’t force students to have cameras on - lots of issues have come up, including unintentional nudity; Gloria will share document

  54. Looking to make remote learning better; keeping kids on task, even if they are home alone

  55. Nervous both about full remote and hybrid - teacher capacities for juggling in-person and on-camera

  56. What is plan for high needs students?

  57. Feels like really big divisions between parents, the BTU,

  58. → Looking to raise questions about parental controls on chromebooks with Superintendent

  59. Are teachers still having PD throughout the year? Support groups?

  60. Concern around students returning to classroom but still being on chromebook

  61. Logistics of having in-person and remote students include less class time

  62. Sudden schedule changes hard for high-needs students

  63. 27 teachers in Canton in one school had to be out on one day - what happens when the teachers are out for two weeks? No subs for that many

  64. Committee Breakout (~7:15-7:40pm)

  65. Communications/Recruitment/Diversity and Inclusion

  66. Possible topics for Information Sessions (ie, Transportation, Budget, High School admissions, etc)

  67. How many per year?

  68. Times of day/week?

  69. High School Admissions!!

  70. MCAS statement review

  71. How would this affect Adams scholarship?

  72. Exam school admissions

  73. Does the CPC want to specifically support a permanent moratorium on standardized test for exam school? Depression, anxiety; anger that some families pay for tutoring; December 12th protest; Does the CPC want to specifically support a permanent moratorium on standardized tests?

  74. → Adding to Superintendent discussion

  75. Equity Roundtables - sometimes characterized as town halls; trying to get more student representation; some principals have been doing it as part of the School Site Council; Lyndon has specifically a closed group for African-American/Black families; Blackstone has been having their roundtables

  76. Health and Wellness

  77. Discussion of current school environments, preparations

  78. Issues around accessing the internet/connectivity - apply pressure to improve equity through Comcast

  79. District should provide summer sessions

  80. More autonomy for schools to talk to parents, with guidance from district

  81. Need for movement to be incorporated in remote school days

  82. Food distribution - EBT cards

  83. Mental Health check ins - don’t seem to be seeing a lot of this in schools; how to deal with increased stress from remote learning?

  84. Overarching need to think out of the box!

  85. BuildBPS - no meetings, so didn’t include this time

  86. Budget Analysis

  87. How to support School Site Councils in their budget processes

  88. Need to know more about budgets and process!

  89. Supplies - not a lot, Staples cards; are EBT cards enough?

  90. Blackstone - only had supplies for K0-2nd grade

  91. Enrollment levels - having gone down due to covid; how will that impact budgets for schools? A lot of students have been temporarily lost

  92. Dates from Gloria:

  93. District Dates Dec. 19th Principals get budget; projected enrollment numbers went out in November

  94. Enrollment Projections - Target Date: November 19

  95. Budgets Released - Target Date: December 14th

  96. Pre-Probable Org Meetings - Between November 30th - December 18th

  97. Budget Collab & Probable Org Meetings (autonomous schools) - Between January 7th - February 1st

  98. Budget Collab & Probable Org Meetings (traditional schools) - Between January 7th - February 7th

  99. Report Back from committees (~7:40-8:00pm)


Things to post at top of chat:

  • Change name to include school

  • One-sheet link

  • Digital Sign-in link

  • Group Norms and virtual norms in full

  • Announcement about recording

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