In attendance: Principal Yule, Megan Gutierrez, Brooke Zimmerman, Christine Wirthlin, Alexis Rife, Cassidy Merrell, Kaydee McMahaon, DeeAnna Smith, Shanda Antuna, and Denise White.

  1. Yule motioned to begin meeting Cassidy Merrell seconded. Today’s meeting has parents not on the committee in attendance.
  2. Two computer programs are being recommended to add to Willow Springs classrooms. Mystery Science and Brain Pop/Brain Pop JR and to be purchased using TSSP and Land Trust funds.
    1. Overview of the Mystery Science and Brain Pop
      1. Denice gave an overview of the Mystery Science The program is geared toward use of the teachers to assist in lesson planning. Students do not have an individual account and may possibly only use on an individual baisis when taking an assessment. Lessons could be used every day, has informal assessments, good for review, comprehensive resource for teachers. Price for license per year is $2,000 (if before May $1,300). Will not appear on individual student devices.
      2. Christine gave an overview of the Brain Pop and Brain Pop JR. It covers most subjects, music and art teachers could use in addition to classroom teachers. Student accounts can be made to be used in a small group setting but it is still very teacher directed. It contains lessons, quick assessments, can track data if desired, assessments can be taken on a device or printed and administered, supplement, review, extra practice, aligns with common core standards, price $5,272.50 &
    2. Discussion on the Mystery Science
      1. Cassidy Merrell motioned for Mystery Science program to be accepted.
      2. Megan Gutierrez motioned to amend the motion to say specifically that TSSP & Land Trust money be used to purchase the Mystery Science program to be used at Willow Springs Elementary School.
      3. Deanna seconded the motion.
      4. Cassidy Merrell mentioned that she feels the programs adds a lot of information that teachers could not present with out the program. She likes that it is a whole class learning tool, and that the price tag is reasonable. Overall, she is in favor of the program. She asked what the teachers at the school think of the program. Principle Yule responded that a teacher survey revealed the teachers were largely in favor of the program, that it made it easier for them to search for lesson information.
      5. Christine Wirthlin mentioned that she likes that the program includes a lot of STEM lessons and activities, that it contains higher order thinking questions, and that her favorite part of the program is the experiments.
      6. A vote was taken, and all board members voted in favor.
    3. Discussion on the Brain Pop and Brain Pop Jr.
      1. Cassidy Merrell motioned to vote on the use of Land trust and TSSP funds to purchase the Brain Pop and Brain Pop Jr.
      2. Megan Gutierrez seconded the motion.
      3. Kaydee shared that she had experience with Brain Pop Jr. during online remote learning. The program was engaging and useful and could be useful for Willow Springs especially for remote learning days.
      4. Deeanna Smith asked if this program was to replace another program or be an addition in the classroom, if it is used in other schools in the district and if it was intended for whole group instruction. Principle Yule said it will be an additional program, that it is used in other schools in the district and is intended for whole group instruction. She added that it will not be available on individual student devices. Shanda expanded on how it can be used for whole group instruction.
      5. Cassidy Merrell asked what was lacking that caused us to look at this program? Shanda Antuna responded that right now when a teacher prepares to teach a topic, they are responsible for finding all the resources on their own whereas this program has all the information in one place. Principle Yule expanded further to say that teachers when they are not given a lot of resources and are on their own to find what they need they often look to other sources such as Teachers Pay Teachers to find and purchase a lesson plan that may or may not be high quality. This program is a better way of helping teachers come up with ideas. Christine Wirthlin mentioned that sometimes standards are listed on platforms like Teachers Pay Teachers but the Brain Pop program lists standards for all lessons.
      6. Cassidy Merrell when researching this program felt the information in the program was not information a teacher does not already have and felt it did not add value to what teachers already have. She also feels overtime this program could easily gravitate to individual students on individual devices creating an isolated learning experience because of the nature of the interactive games that appeared very individual rather than whole group. She asked what independent research has been done on Brain Pop? She also mentioned that she does not like that it is “engaging” teachers are what should be engaging.
      7. Megan Gutierrez shared that technology like Brain Pop in the classroom helps to mix up instruction, so it is not just teacher lecture. She went on to ask what training teachers have and what mediation is in place for when technology is used inappropriately in the classroom. Principle Yule responded that instructional coaches as well as herself would spend time teaching the teachers and training them on the specific program and the expectations for its use as a whole group instruction tool. During observations which happen 2 times a year (non-provisional teachers) or 4 times a year (provisional teachers) Principal Yule answers the question each time if technology is being used correctly.
      8. Deeana Smith asked how long the license is good for. Principle Yule responded that it lasts one year.
      9. Shanda Antuna emphasized that the program will not be downloaded on individual devices and instructional coaches can and will monitor that.
      10. John Merrell a parent not on the SCC asked what does the district do currently to provide lessons and resources between teachers in the district? Shanda Antuna responded that there is a curriculum map but as far as sharing lessons there is no official district sharing platform. Some teachers use Facebook Groups.
      11. John Merrell continued that a better use of time would be to make some type of communal platform rather than forcing teachers to technology causing isolation for them as well, but rather push them toward each other creating more community. Principle Yule responded that there are trainings through out the year when there are times when teachers meet together but a pooled resource for lesson sharing is a wonderful idea.
      12. Emily Ord a parent not on the SCC shared that the more technology we get even if it is just  for the teachers, requires more training, which pulls teachers out of the classroom. She would like more transparency with how much her child is looking at a screen in minutes with a consent form when more technology is to be added. Principle Yule mentioned that technology by minutes did go out with a disclosure at the begging of the year but that the school could improve and send that information out more often. She also explained that permission is singed during registration at the beginning of the year for use of technology in school.
      13. Megan Gutierrez clarified that the motion we are discussing today is about the individual program Brain Pop and not the general use of technology in schools. She thanked those for their input an encouraged them to continue to advocate but that another meeting may need to be arranged to address those concerns.
      14. Kristy Wayland spoke as a grandparent and would prefer to have funds spent elsewhere and not on technology.
      15. Megan Gutierrez asked if we are ready to vote today on the purchasing of Brain Pop with TSSP & Land Trust funds.
      16. Alexis Rife had to leave but is in favor of Brain Pop.
      17. Cassidy Merrell motioned to table the discussion until a later date, she would like to have more information to compare non-technology options with Brain Pop. Deeanna Smith voiced concern on a decision needing to happen within 10 days in order to get the discount currently being offered on the program (by March 31st).
      18. Principle Yule motioned to vote today to use TSS & Land Trust funds to purchase Brain Pop. Megan Gutierrez, Kaydee McMahon, Marianne Yule, Shanda Antuna, Christine Worthlin, Denise White, and Deeanna Smith voted in favor. Cassidy Merrill voted in the negative.
      19. Principle Yule pointed out that they are always looking at other non-tech options.
      20. Deanne Smith seconded Cassidy’s original motion to vote on the use of Land trust and TSSP funds to purchase the Brain Pop and Brain Pop Jr. programs (line 2, 3, 1).
      21. Megan Gutierrez, Kaydee McMahon, Marianne Yule, Shanda Antuna, Christine Worthlin, Denise White, Deeanna Smith and Alexis Rife voted in favor. Cassidy Merrill voted in the negative. The majority was in favor, so the motion to use TSSP & Land Trust funds to purchase Brain Pop and Brain Pop Jr. has been approved.
      22. Megan Gutierrez explained to those in attendance that voting process does come down to the council members and is not open to all in attendance. However, all who are interested are invited to run next fall to join the SCC for the next school year.
      23. Marianne Yule mentioned that $30,000 has been spent this year on non-tech programs and supplies to help with lessons and to provide books in the library. Therefore, technology is not the only thing we as an SCC consider and spend money on.
      24. The SCC will set up a meeting via. email to continue the discussion of technology in the classroom.
  3. Megan Gutierrez Motioned to adjourn, Deeanna Smith seconded the motion, and the meeting was adjourned.