SBDM details Manual updates in October meeting


Reece Gunther

Mandala Gupta VerWiebe (10, J&C) contributed to this piece.

Manual’s School-Based Decision Making (SBDM) Council met on Wednesday, Oct. 3 in the Manual Achievement Center. The October meeting was Principal Darryl Farmer’s first meeting as Manual’s new principal.

The SBDM Council discussed the results of the Collaborative Calibration Visit (CCV), a Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) central office visit that examined Manual’s application of the three pillars of JCPS: Backpack of Success Skills, clear racial equity policies, and a commitment to culture and climate.

Mr. Greg Kuhn announced that Manual will not be housing the Honeycomb Lab, sponsored by Kindred, due to the $29 million JCPS renovation that will be taking place in 2019. Kindred would’ve had to install and then remove sensitive equipment that could’ve been damaged in the renovation. JCPS was not willing to work with Kindred to install the lab, however, Kindred may try again after the renovations are completed.

Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Glenn Baete, the chair of the CCV visit, suggested that Manual better inform faculty and students about the backpacks and senior presentations to defend their learning. They also said that the school must create a plan to prevent students walking in the hallways before and after the bell rings.

“It used to be, five minutes into class, five minutes before the end of class, we shouldn’t see any kids in the hallways. They pointed out that there was a lot of traffic between classes,” Farmer said.

Mr. Scott Williams (Math) suggested that the problem was unique to Manual and YPAS because some students need to visit other teachers, while other students have to walk to and from YPAS and do not have sufficient time to do so. The council agreed and plans to present the issue to the district in the future.

“I don’t know why they’re going up [to see other teachers.] Can they better plan to make that trip? There should be some type of closure in the classroom,” Farmer said.

The central office team also commented on the need for more implementation of standard-based instruction at Manual with the usage of less “I will” statements and more “I can” statements. They also mentioned the need to utilize the televisions around the school to provide information to students.

Around 10 clubs asked the council for approval during the meeting. Student Senate approved each of the clubs before they pitched them to SBDM. The council approved all proposed clubs.

Kathy Fries (Science) proposed Biology Olympiad, which would be a club of students that prepare to take a biology test that would compete with students across the United States.  

Maryanna Watts (English) proposed the Indian Student Association, a club that would promote community and culture between Indian students attending Manual.

Alexis Rich (Science) proposed a club that researches and creates new methods of energy conservation within the school, called E-STEM.

Diane McKim (Science) presented the Manual Physics Club, an organization of AP Physics I or II students that would help other Manual physics students and branch out to new areas of the subject with a possibility of meeting with UofL professors.

Erica Cooper (English) presented her club, Good Clothes, Good People to the council.

“Good Clothes, Good People is actually an organization that is nationwide, so we would be part of a Louisville chapter. Every last Thursday of the month, the students would do a clothing drive for men, women, and children all year long,” Cooper said.

The council approved Unified Sports, a chapter of Special Olympics, which would provide opportunities for kids with intellectual disabilities to participate in sports.

Patrick Stevenson (German) proposed the German Club, which is open to all Manual students, regardless of their language class, to celebrate German culture through holidays, music, and food.

Mr. Kuhn asked SBDM to grant the Intersectionality Board official club status.

“The discussions center around what we can do to support each other, what we can do to educate people, and what we can do to support new membership,” Kuhn said.

Dennis Kuo (Science) proposed two clubs: Launch X Entrepreneurship, a club that allows students to gain experience with starting a business by addressing issues in the community through fundraising, and the Asian Student Committee, made up of East Asian students that discuss culture and community.

The council approved Empowering Ladies Together, an organization presented by Breyanna Dulin that has a main purpose of empowering the mind, body, and soul of young women through discussion, education, and community service.

Michael Starling (Science) proposed the Forensics Club, which allows students to investigate scientific issues. The club had to be re-presented since the former sponsor, Lisa White, retired.

The SBDM Council lastly approved $11,000 from YPAS ticket sales to be sent to the district for safekeeping.

The council voted to adjourn the meeting at 4:08 pm.