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Leadership Council Meeting Update, 4/24/14
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 10:00 AM

Dear Barton Community,

The Leadership Council met on 4/24/14 in the media center at 4:30 pm. Lori Zook-Stanley reviewed parent feedback from the recent Council Coffees and led a discussion about the upcoming endorsement process for next year's Council. We agreed that we are eager for diverse representation on the Council: diversity of country, ethnicity, language, skills, and length of time at Barton. We seek people who are committed to and enthusiastic about informing Barton's values, mission, goals, policies and budget decisions. Furthermore, while it has always been the intention, we are working to find new ways to bring more communication, transparency and accessibility into the functioning of the Council, as well as make it easier for parents to engage in the school community. We hope to accomplish this by: more Coffees with the Principal and Council Coffees; working groups consisting of Council members and non-Council parents; publication of meeting notes; and a  Volunteer Coordinator.

Barton has used the same endorsement process for many years. It was designed to be a process that would be inclusive of anyone who wanted to serve on the Council. The intention was always to welcome anyone with the time, energy and commitment for this type of involvement. Some people have loved this process, while others have experienced it as creating barriers. After consideration, the Council chose to continue the endorsement process this year, but changed the number of ‘votes’ required at 30 people (instead of 50), a low number considering the potential for hundreds of votes. We agreed that we would improve communication about the process this year, striving for a higher return rate.

Kristin Sonquist then facilitated breakout groups with the five proposed working groups for next year: Green and Clean, Fundraising, Student Learning, Community Outreach and Equity & Inclusion. We met to brainstorm on the purposes of these groups which will consist of Council and non-Council members.

Patrick Duffy then gave his Principal's Report. Through the magnet school study last fall and the budget process this spring, he has given considerable time and effort to advocating for progressive education in general, and Barton Open in particular, with the Minneapolis School District. Patrick reported that Barton has received 48 new students since October 2013. He left us with this message: We need to be about all kids.

The next Council meeting will be Thursday, May 15, in the media center at 4:30 pm. Visitors are always welcome.

Warmly, Lori Zook-Stanley, Parent Co-Chair