IPAC Minutes – Nov. 1, 2017

Instructional Program Advisory Council

November 1, 2017 Minutes

Welcome and Introductions

Guidelines: Benchmarking and Community Feedback

  • In conversations with co-chairs contacting agencies in an effort to gather data from those agencies that may help you, Dr. Tangorra would like to bring some organization to that process. Request that sub-committee chairs come to Dr. Tangorra for guidance in outreach and gathering data (approval)
  • Might result in information being gathered
  • Question about contacting a superintendent who was mentioned in a NYT article- do individuals reach out? No- ask Dr. Tangorra and he will reach out on a committee’s behalf.
  • Ron asked people to “sign in” and check to make sure that contact information is correct.
  • Google Docs and Communication Update, District Calendar entries, Distribution list, Scribe for IPAC meetings
  • Cynthia Gagnon has created a Google folder for IPAC with individual folder that are “owned” by each subcommittee co-chairs. Subcommittee members can share information with other members of IPAC within their folders.
  • Matt Leon shared that all of the Superintendent’s advisory committee meetings will be shared on the district’s calendar.
  • Cynthia Gagnon is creating a distribution list for all IPAC members to use for mass communication.
  • Discussion of maintaining minutes for IPAC meetings and are looking for a volunteer for the upcoming meeting(s). (Thank you Erin!)
  • Shared upcoming dates for meetings: (12/6/17, 2/28/18, 5/2/18). Committee agreed that meeting times for each of those dates will be from 6:30-8:30pm.
  • Matt shared that the district will be setting up a webpage for both ECAC and IPAC for sharing communications with the greater community.

Sub-Committee Report Outs

School Start Times

  • Shared membership list which includes several students, teachers, parents- anyone who was interested was invited to join
  • Identified potential problems (not getting enough sleep, late or absent, academic performance, accidents, mental health, stress, behavior issues, discipline issues)
  • Stakeholders identified: students, teachers, parents, transportation, etc
  • Case studies and research on known start time shifts, problems that existed, benefits they expected to see, what criterion is being evaluates and what problems are being attempted to be solved.
  • Benchmarking- looking at other high performing districts and start times to see correlation and/or benefits identified in making a transition to an altered start time.
  • Review BOE meetings in other districts to see if they are also considering a change

To do:

  • Sleep survey- are our MS/HS students getting enough sleep?
  • Mental health survey- review
  • Using the metrics identified from benchmarking, research and case studies what data can we collect to examine if any of the “problems” identified at other districts are a problem in Niskayuna.
  • Find a co-chair
  • 3 groups meet Nov/Dec, meeting as a larger group in Jan to review progress and share info
  • Meetings with stakeholders in Feb 2018


Gap analysis: Redefine Success by identifying existing pathways at Niskayuna High School for analysis:

  • Assess what pathways already exist. (completed)
  • Assess the extent to which the pathways are understood and recognized by the students, faculty, and community based on how they match up to the National College and Career Readiness Indicators. (completed)
  • Based on gaps that have been discovered, define which indicators within each existing pathway need to be better met and which do not need further examination.(shared “heat map” which can be found in Pathways folder) (12/21/2017)
  • Based on gaps that have been identified, determine if the creation of any new additional pathways is necessary. (12/31/2017)
  • Create same gap analysis using other schools as comparison. (3/1/2018)
  • Using research data gathered, make case to facilitate earlier exposure of students to pathway discussions & opportunities. (Due date 2018)
  • Current pathways currently offered in Niskayuna:
  • local diploma: (career path/military path/ 2 yr college/4 yr college)
  • Regents diploma:(career path/military path/ 2 yr college/4 yr college)
  • Advanced regents diploma: (career path/military path/ 2 yr college/4 yr college)
  • Shared readiness indicators by pathway in regards to readiness/opportunity for students


  • Access to information on additional schools chosen to examine for gap analysis
  • Access to community partners for collaboration on how to meet career and life readiness indicators that gap analysis identified as lacking.
  • Questions regarding “career clusters” that exist at NHS- topic to be further explored.
  • Need for students to be a part of this committee.

Homework Subcommittee

  • Shared membership (14 members currently) which include several teachers from district elementary/middle school. (Still need a VA 6th grade teacher
  • Clarified that the focus is on K-6.
  • November 13th is the first meeting date for the group.
  • Agenda is shared within the Homework sub folder and includes meeting objectives and some articles to be discussed regarding homework.
  • Looking to form and facilitate focus groups

Enrollment Study and School Configuration Subcommittee

  • Met on 10/26 with Dr. Seversky who is completing the enrollment and capacity study for the district.
  • Enrollment study piece is still a work in progress.
  • Building capacity is “at capacity” and does not allow for flexibility in programs.
  • Four biggest employers within the district are in STEM related fields.
  • What does all of this mean for the buildings, enrollment, and programs?
  • What questions does the enrollment study generate from the leadership team and subcommittee?
  • Dr. Tangorra will work with the subcommittee in reviewing the data and discussing the next steps as we need other committee’s information to help guide this process.

Summarize, Final Comments and Proposal for Next Meetings: Dec 6, Feb 28, May 2 (6:30-8:30PM):

  • Any needs or feedback please contact Ron or Jess.
  • Adjourned 8:17pm.