Minutes from the October 2019 Meeting

Prince Street Home and School
Regular Meeting
October 22, 2019

Nine parents, staff, and administrators attended.

PRINCIPAL’S REPORT
Natasha Bromley reported the Terry Fox fundraiser and run were very exciting. The school raised $566, a big increase over previous years. Ms. Coady and Ms. Bromley said they would dye their hair purple if enough funds were raised, so students were really motivated. They also got an extra 15-minute recess on a beautiful day. It was a good community-building exercise for the whole school.

Girls at Bat is starting up. Girls at Bat is a program offered by Women’s Network PEI to girls in grades five and six that teaches baseball skills and leadership skills. If anyone knows of programs for boys with a leadership component, please let the school know. Parents are interested in a similar opportunity for boys. After-school activities led by the youth worker will be up and running soon. These will be for all genders.

In terms of academics, on PD days and the school goals day, staff members have been looking at academic goals. When looking at provincial data (which will be released next week) they did note that writing is something many students at Prince Street find a significant challenge. There will be a whole-school focus on writing conventions such as capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. The October newsletter had a “spotlight on learning” and will continue to do so in newsletters to help parents support their students with specific skills.

Grades K to 3 are going to undertake a “small moments” writing exercise. “Small moments” writing projects retell events that have happened in the past with a beginning, middle, and ending and some effort at bringing the retelling to life with details. Often the challenge for students is coming up with an idea to write about. Tomorrow, K to 3 students will take part in an assembly where our literacy coach Ms. Poirier and Ms. Courtenay will perform a story that can be retold. This will provide students an idea as a backup. They will do a writing exercise in the afternoon. After the writing by students in the afternoon, the teachers will workshop the marking and share ideas and observations together. This will give them a baseline and direction about what to teach next. They will be able to do another session later in the year to see the growth. The writing expectations will be appropriate to each grade level, even though they will all have seen the same “scene” played out.

Next week there will be Halloween Discos in the music room, during class time. If students would like to wear costumes on the day of Halloween, they are welcome to do so, as long as their faces are not covered by masks or makeup.

We did confirm an Indigo fundraiser for books for the school on November 27th from 5:30 to 8:30. We will need volunteers for the evening to greet parents and students and hand out vouchers. If a person buying something at the cash uses the voucher, 20% of the proceeds will go to the school. The school will also get 20% of gift cards purchased online. We’ll have a code to use for the online purchases. There will be more details about the gift cards and purchase details and how to help the school in the next newsletter. The school will also have a wish list of books they really want for the school, in case anyone is willing to purchase books directly for the school. If wish list books are purchased on November 27th then the school will get both the wish-list book and the 20% contribution. Parents asked for a nice long wish list that could be promoted to aunts and uncles and grandparents and friends and neighbours.

The school administration is planning to set up a Twitter account. The Home and School offered the administration our inactive Prince Street School account that is already established. Jane will send the password and account details to Natasha. The account description will need to be changed and updated to make it clear the account is for the school rather than the Home and School.

Scholastic Book Fair dates were too close to the Indigo book night, so there is no Scholastic Book Fair booked for the school this fall.

HOME AND SCHOOL REPORT

Heather said we are still looking for chairs or co-chairs.
Robin Aitken and Keir Lowther offered to co-chair. The vote was unanimous to make them co-chairs. Thank you, Robin and Keir! Heather is treasurer, and Jane is secretary. These roles were confirmed at the last meeting.

The Home and School at the last meeting agreed to support the school with purchase of new or replacement FM systems. These have not been ordered yet. Someone has come in to assess the needs and refurbish systems that can be refurbished. Ms. Bromley is trying to speed up the process to get the recommendations and cost estimates we need to move ahead.

As discussed last meeting, one of our parents has been able to provide tickets to anywhere WestJet flies to use for fundraising. Heather will have raffle tickets in time for parent-teacher interviews. Those present decided the tickets will be $2 each or 3 for $5. Heather will order 5,000 tickets. We may make up a sign to display where we do ticket sales. This could be decorated by a class.

We reviewed the goals we set for meetings, engagement, and events at the last meeting. Heather said former Prince Street teacher and librarian Wendy Poirier has offered a literacy night – hot chocolate and picture books! This will take place in the winter sometime.

For November, we planned to have a movie night. We need to choose a movie and a night.

The movie night will be Friday, November 22nd. The movie will be The Grinch. Ms. Bromley will arrange projector (possibly Keir’s) and the gym has a sound system. Popcorn, juice boxes, maybe some other snack options will be available at low cost. This will be coordinated by Home and School. Heather will test out the popcorn maker to see if it is working better than it had been. Admission will be by donation, but it’s an engagement activity rather than a fundraiser. We will require that children be accompanied by an adult, although one adult may be responsible for more than one child.

The Christmas concert will be held December 10 with a storm date of December 12. We usually do a bake sale. Heather is willing to work the bake sale table. Heather would like us to initiate a sign-up genius and will look into an online app in time for the November newsletter and the Indigo night! We can have in-person promotion and sign-up during the parent-teacher interviews. Keir will be able to be at the school to help with that.

SEMI-ANNUAL MEETING
Heather and Ms. Bromley participated in the provincial Home and School semi-annual meeting, and there was a presentation about vaping they both found really eye-opening. The numbers are rising crazily of students who have tried vaping. Heather and Natasha both learned a lot at the session; neither realized how big a deal vaping is in our schools. Ms. Bromley is having conversations with grade six teachers, especially, and other staff, and there are posters and information about the dangers of vaping in the Grade Six wing. There is an option to have an educational session on this topic, and Ms. Bromley will check in with our junior high schools at Stone Park and Birchwood to see if there is desire to coordinate.

FUNDRAISING IDEAS
There was some discussion of ways to raise additional funds for FM system updates, our fundraising goal. This was a productive discussion of ideas.

If the school lunch order goes to an online platform, a donation option could be added so people could contribute a few dollars.

The meeting ended with a lot of enthusiasm for how our Home and School year is shaping up.

The new co-chairs adjourned the meeting.

NEXT EVENTS:
Family Movie Night, November 22
Indigo book fundraiser, November 27
Christmas concert and bake sale, December 10 (storm date December 12)
NEXT REGULAR MEETINGS:
January 7, 6:30 p.m.
and a March date to be decided

September 2019: Welcome back to Home and School!

Prince Street Home and School
September 24, 2019

Eight parents and staff were in attendance. Each person introduced themselves. Heather had prepared an agenda and chaired the meeting with Ms. Bromley.

1. Report from the principal

Principal Natasha Bromley introduced herself and provided the principal’s report from the first month. There is a lot of new staff in the building this year. The list is available in the handbook. We have three kindergarten classes this year. The classes are small, but it is wonderful to have three classes. Ms. Bromley outlined the staffing for each grade’s homerooms, specialist staff, and resource staff. We have academic resource support for five or six more weeks. We also have a new youth service worker.

Enrollment is down, to 230 students, but we do have an increased staffing complement. This is good news and will be helpful to the school.

Vice-principal Ms. Coady has been coordinating volunteers for the breakfast program. Volunteers are still needed, especially for Tuesdays. A new countertop and new dishwasher were installed over the summer. We also have new dishes donated from Northumberland Ferries. A parent-volunteer said that the new dishes have made a huge difference in tidiness and reduction of waste. Students are less prone to spills with real plates and cups and cutlery. The dishes are also reducing food waste because the dishes are sized for appropriate single portions. The dishwasher makes clean-up really fast. Students are learning to help with the dishes. Sobeys is continuing fruit donations. Ms. Bromley applied to the province for a grant for food programming and was successful, so that is helpful. Donors and supporters are being acknowledged on signage. Longtime volunteer, the late Shirley McGinn, is being specially acknowledged next Friday. Trinity United Church has again made about a $600 donation to breakfast club.
Major donors and supporters are being asked if they would like public recognition.

Because we don’t have plastic utensils, it is important that parents send students with cutlery for their snacks and lunches. There are no longer plastic items that can be taken from the breakfast room if students forget a spoon or fork.

The lunch program has begun. Subway has increased its prices for sandwiches. This was not the school’s choice. Because we don’t have an online ordering system and orders are processed by hand, we only offer one option for toppings on subs. We’re looking into online ordering and what the overall cost of that would be to parents and to the school. A parent asked if two options could be considered, a plain and a fancy option. Having one alternative would be wonderful for some of the students.

Parents expressed a hope that the online order system could be initiated. In the meantime, if there is a parent volunteer who would like to process hot lunch orders by hand, this would be welcome. At some schools, hot lunch orders are a fundraiser for Home and School. At our school, it has been a fundraiser for the school.

2. 2019/202 Executive
Heather introduced the discussion about our need for Home and School executive members. Heather has been treasurer for a long time. We are looking for people to chair or co-chair meetings and who can be mentored into other roles. Jane was elected secretary. She has been secretary in the past but was unable to take this role last year. Both Heather and Jane are happy to help new executive members.
Some people who expressed interest in volunteering with Home and School were not able to attend tonight’s meeting.
Heather said she would write up a blurb about what work chairing would require. This will be included in a newsletter by admin, Ms. Coady promised.

3. Fundraising
Parent-volunteer Charlene was excited to announce that we have a donation from WestJet of one round-trip flight for each of two guests, anywhere WestJet flies!
We will raffle this ticket package off, based on tickets sold throughout the year. For this raffle, we will need a raffle license. Heather will apply for this license. She will make the raffle period long so we can promote ticket sales at parent-teacher interview days, the Christmas concert, and fall or spring family fun nights, if we do those.
Heather asked: What is the fundraising goal we would like to work towards with this wonderful raffle opportunity?
Ms. Bromley said that the FM systems in classrooms are aging, and some equipment is broken. FM systems are microphones the teacher wears and that broadcast to speakers around the classroom so teachers do not need to speak loudly and students can hear more clearly. Replacing the systems is the school’s responsibility. New systems are only paid for in new schools. Some systems may be able to be refurbished rather than replaced. But if they need to be replaced, the costs are especially high.

There was some discussion of other options to fundraise towards, but the general agreement was that the FM system would benefit the most students and staff. This was decided by consensus to be the fundraising goal.

The Charlottetown Executives Association recently provided a donation of $500 for books for Prince Street. A team from the school was very excited to select new books for the school. New books are met with a lot of enthusiasm. Prince Street has many students excited about reading. The teachers were able to take advantage of teacher appreciation savings at Indigo. We are looking to get a November date for a fundraiser night at Indigo.

Regarding the Scholastic Book Fair that usually is set up during parent-teacher interviews, a parent asked that the giftware (toys) not be set out for sale. This will be considered.

4. Schedule for Home and School meetings
It was suggested last year that there be only four Home and School meetings this year, and smaller task teams of volunteers will work on special events. Participants agreed that this is a good idea.
Heather outlined that we have several main events we usually do during the year.
a) The fall family fun night - this year will be a November family movie night.
b) Christmas concert bake sale - December 10 will be the date of the concert, with a December 12 storm date. It will again be at First Baptist Church. There was general agreement we should do a bake sale again this year.
c) Winter game night - family fun for all ages, with crafts and board games, will be planned for February.
d) Staff appreciation week - in the past, we have provided snacks and treats each day, and/or we have had a lunch catered. Some other options would be gift cards to be drawn for and announced each day, or coffee deliveries. Feedback from staff was that even a simple veggie tray is a treat. Staff do like to feel like parents are thinking of them and have appreciated past efforts.
e) Spring event - Last year, we did a school community barbecue and some outdoor games instead of the larger-scale Spring Fling carnival. Everyone really liked the barbecue and would like to repeat it this year. It would be nice to continue to offer the barbecue for free if sponsorship is still available. There were donations of a few hundred dollars. All agreed we should do a family barbecue. If there are other parents who want to start up Spring Fling again, they are welcome to put together a task team.
f) Grade 6 graduation: Home and School coordinates a grade six graduation reception.
g) Parent engagement: Last year we had a parent-engagement grant and hosted several literacy and numeracy events. This year, we have offers leadership for a literacy-themed night that wouldn’t require any grant. Admin will ask Student Well-being team for a mental health-themed night. We will set a goal of achieving these two parent engagement activities this year.

5. Budget
The Home and School has $2,492 in the bank.

In the past, we have provided a grant for school and classroom needs. Administrators said that each teacher’s classroom budget for this year has been cut back for the current year due to shortfalls last year.

Home and School would like to offer $600 towards school and classroom needs. First priority would be to invest in something that would benefit the most students. If there is not one larger purchase, the funds could be distributed equitably across classrooms.

We discussed the efforts to purchase a set of ukuleles to add to the number the school currently has so there are enough for a full class and for ukulele ensemble. Students are very excited about ukuleles and miss the set of extra ukes that were borrowed from another school last year. We discussed some possible funding sources for ukuleles.

6. PEI Home and School Federation semi-annual meeting.

The PEI Home and School Federation semi-annual meeting is October 8, 2019, at Gulf Shore Consolidated School. Heather plans to attend. If anyone else would like to attend, our Prince Street Home and School will provide the registration fee. There is usually a business meeting and a workshop. It is a great opportunity for sharing information and good practices.

7. Other topics

Returning to the topic of the raffle for WestJet tickets, we discussed using raffle tickets as incentives for parent engagement. Home and School will purchase some incentive tickets for meetings and events to encourage engagement. For example, we could give a parent a ticket for attending a meeting or for making a contribution to staff appreciation week, and so on.
Ms. Coady noted that at events where there are ticket sales, it is best to have one staff member and one parent to promote sales. Administration is working on having a promotional poster in the school. Heather will try to line up a graphic that can be used on social media.

Ms. Bromley noted the Terry Fox Run is moved to next week. Ask your student about the fundraising challenge for Terry Fox Run! (Hint: It involves extra recess and administration members dyeing their hair pink.)

After-school programming will begin when the new youth services worker is settled in and oriented.

Heather will be added to the school Facebook page as an administrator to post Home and School notices.

Ms. Bromley said UPEI athletes Reading with Pride program will be coming to the school: student athletes from a variety of sports and different genders coming to the school, reading with students, and promoting literacy. They will participate in some events and at assemblies, so it’s a great partnership.

NEXT MEETING
October 22nd, 6:30 p.m.

OTHER MEETINGS, Date to be decided for January and March

Minutes from the January 2019 Meeting

Prince Street School Home and School Meeting Minutes
January 17, 2019
6:30pm

OLD BUSINESS

Report Card Feedback,
The school received parent feedback from 2 parents; 1 really liked it and the other wasn’t sure what the numbers meant but after Mrs. Bromley explained it to them they understood and liked it better.

Pilot lunch program
The week of February 4th-8th there will be a pilot program done at the Prince Street where there will be trial hot lunches where the lunches suggested price is 3.75 and the parents can pay that or what they can afford to pay for the lunches. It is an initiative to bring healthy hot meals into the school. All orders need to be placed the week before, menus will be going out next week.

Fountain
We were able to get a new fountain donated from the City of Charlottetown and the school board is paying for the installation, which should be installed within the next few weeks. This fountain will allow for the refilling of water bottles.
All bathroom taps are also being replaced to make for easier handwashing as the ones installed now require you to push the handle in to get water.

NEW BUSINESS

Principal’s Report -

Current enrollment - 238
Staffing news -
● Sonya Wadden Hughes returned from maternity leave January 3rd, 2019
● Karla Willdey will be taking a deferred leave starting January 31st, currently in the hiring process for a replacement.
New Report Card issued in November. Only 2 parents submitted verbal feedback to office. Next report card goes home March 5th, 2019
Parent teacher interviews - most parents were able to attend or have a telephone conversation with the teacher despite the weather interruptions. Next parent teacher interviews are March 7th and 8th. Book Fair -
The book fair was not as successful as it could have been due to the cancellations of the interviews - Booked again for March 4 - 8, 2019
Girls at Bat - Ran from September - December (12 girls participated)
Director of the PSB - Parker Grimmer and Minister of Education and Early Learning - Jordan Brown visited before the holiday.
Continuing with our Respect Assemblies - PRI so far and NCE are to come Spotlight on Learning - new section in the newsletter, the purpose is to highlight learning taking place in the classroom and celebrate student learning.

Upcoming:
Books for Bikes - fundraising and reading launch assembly
OurSCHOOL Survey - Feb.19 - March.15
Food Demonstrations - Feb 4 - Feb 8
Water Fountain
Replacing the sinks in the bathroom

Sobey’s food initiative
We have partnered with Sobey’s for healthy options for the breakfast program. They provide us with produce and other foods necessary for the program to work and also we will partner with their chef and maybe the dietician to provide meal prep guidance for the school.

PEI Volunteer of the year
We would like to vote for Shirley McGinn posthumously as she was a huge volunteer within the school. Kristy asked if the school could write a letter of support

Staff appreciation week is February 11-15
We have a fantastic staff and would love to do something to show them we support them.
In the past we have done gift card draws, walk of fame, volunteers to make treats for each day (we suggest 1 sweet and 1 savory), meals
Suggestions for this year were all the above as well as on Friday we do a bigger meal and maybe do coffee/tea , waffles, bagels and cream cheese and soup and rolls.

Richard spoke about the advisory committee he is on for the province that is made up of 1 representative for each of the schools to provide feedback and try to help make school better. At the last meeting the topic of school bus arrival time came up and other schools felt that the buses have been arriving late, our staff felt very strongly that the buses at our school are arriving on time and often times too early.
They also had discussion on healthy food in the schools and how there is lots of opportunity to use the food from within our own province to provide healthy food in the schools.
The Charlottetown Rotary club is donating 3 maybe 4 stationary bikes to Prince Street School, these bikes will be used to give some children movement breaks when they are needed during class time.

Parent engagement Series
Heather from the home and school put together a proposal for us to be able to put on a series of Parent Engagement Activities to bring more parents into the school
Over the next 4 months there will be an activity planned for one evening through the month. Those activities include:
A Literacy Night (Feb)
Healthy Lunches (March)
Math night (April)
STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math) night (May)

Sweaters
The staff got sweaters before Christmas and they didn’t like them as they felt you could not see the lettering. Going to look into seeing if we can get them in Grey instead and send out an order form for students to purchase.

Meeting adjourned at 7:10pm

Minutes of the November 15, 2018, Meeting

Prince Street Home and School Meeting

November 15, 2018

Location: Staff room 6:30pm

Attendance was average with 11 people in attendance

School supplies: the school is looking into having it so it is one set fee for grades 1-6 instead of having grade 4-6 buying their own.
New Business:
Natasha spoke of the school surveys that were done last spring. Areas of interest in regards to the results were that:

  • There are a large number of students that are experiencing anxiety in regards to social gatherings.
  • Prince Street has brought back the pride assemblies to try to fix the issues in regards to anxiety.

Areas for improvement were:

  • Technology
  • Parent involvement/ interaction

Provincial assessment data
Primary literacy assessment results were:

  • 85% in 2017
  • 81% in 2018
  • Provincial average was 81%

Writing assessment

  • 28% in 2017
  • 48% in 2018
  • Provincial average was 47%

Numeracy assessment

  • 36% in 2017
  • 69% in 2018
  • Provincial average was 60%

Elementary reading

  • 85% in 2017
  • 79% in 2018
  • Provincial average 59%

Elementary writing

  • 65% in 2017
  • 82% in 2018
  • Provincial Average 63%

There were no results available for the grade 6 math assessment.

New report card
Parents will see a new report card coming home on Tuesday November 20th, 2018. It is a learning report, It showcases a system of student achievement. On the old report card there was a lot of blank space as some items didn’t apply, this report card will show a better picture of how your child is doing. Natasha and the teachers welcome any feedback in regards to the new cards.
Mr Brown has been elected mayor for Charlottetown, so as a result he has taken an extended leave of absence until the end of January. Mr. Leclair will continue as the core French teacher in his absence.
Kristy spoke about a new food program.
Morgan Palmer is piloting a new school food program with a few of the city schools and it offers a variety of nutritious meals on a pay as you can system. This is an initiative to help with poverty reduction and is looking like it may run in January for 2 weeks. The meals are $3.75 per meal or pay as you can. When ordering the food it will have to all be ordered at once.
Richard spoke of the district area meeting that he attended. Some of the topics that were discussed were:

  • Class composition: trying to understand the difficulties that teachers face with having a classroom made up of so many different dynamics
  • Homework: Why isn’t there consistency, i.e. some teachers give homework, some don’t. Not all classes in same grade, in the same schools are given the same homework, which can cause problems for some families
  • Enrichment: how can we encourage students and parents to be more involved at school. The student well being program that is being offered at the schools is a pilot program to try to enrich the students.

Semi-annual AGM was held at Central Queens and one of the hot topics was:
RECESS and how can we work towards not using the loss of recess as a consequence of behavior in class. Some schools have an area outside that is designated as a detention area and the students on detention have to stay in that area and play whatever game is being played.

Christmas concert is being held at First Baptist Church on Tuesday, December 11th, 2018 at 6:30pm, storm date will be Thursday December 13th, 2018
The theme is Music from the Polar Express. Students will be encouraged to wear pyjamas. The home and school will have a bake sale and raffle draw during the concert in the church lobby.
Book Fair is November 19th-23rd.

Trinity church will be hosting a turkey dinner for the students and staff of Prince Street School on December 13th, 2018.
Nobody had anything else to add Meeting adjourned at 7:45pm.

Welcome to a New Home and School Year at Prince Street!

Prince Street Home and School
September 20, 2018

There were 11 people in attendance at the meeting.

Kirsty called the meeting to order. She introduced the roles of the home and school executive. She described the help we provide the school with fundraising, including the school carnival Spring Fling, and volunteer work with breakfast programs and lunch orders. Home and School also tries to be a voice for families. Sometimes, a parent does not feel comfortable raising a concern with a teacher or administrator and the Home and School can help with communications between the school and families.

As we were discussing Spring Fling, we found out there are lots of new directives for student safety. These were announced at a recent principals’ meeting. For example, schools can no longer have inflatable bouncy castles! Principal Natasha is looking into the details.

PRINCIPAL’S REPORT

Natasha provided a verbal report.

Donations: The PEI Home and School Federation has donated $108 for the breakfast program at Prince Street. BioVectra’s social committee raised $810 for back-to-school supplies, including items such as sneakers to make sure all students are well-equipped. There was another anonymous donation of about 20 pairs of socks for students. This donor called and asked what kinds of things were needed. Invesco also made a recent donation: a box of backpacks with a package of supplies. Ordinarily, we get students to do thank-you cards for donors.

For future donations, please let people know that socks and small-sized underwear are really good to have a stash of.

Staff: Lots of new staff and new faces. We have a full-time EAL teacher, same teacher (Ms. MacAulay) back as last year. Enrolment is 232 right now. It has fluctuated since school started, but mostly between 230 and 232.

Hot Lunches: We started hot lunches this week, with a few hiccups (a few missing lunches, a pasta dish that was cold). There was really good feedback about the soup. There are lots of options we could try. Parents and teachers checked out a sample and think the food looks fantastic.

Website: Barb is updating the website with the list of new staff and email addresses to make sure parents can reach all the teachers. There’s also a Google calendar on the website Ms. Coady has been updating. When we determine Home and School meeting dates, these can be added.

Breakfast Program: This is up and running. There’s a need for many volunteers to update their police record checks, and Barb is doing up letters the volunteers take to the police to sponsor them so they can receive the check at no charge.

Student Well-Being Team: Representatives from the student well-being team attended Meet the Teacher night to connect with the school community. Chad White is our representative for the School Well-Being Team, and he would like to help with the Breakfast Program. Natasha will put him in touch with Kristy.

PEITF Convention: Please note this is in November this year, on November 8 and 9.

T-Shirt Orders: Order forms for Prince Street t-shirts have gone home. Orders are going well. We started out with just ordering t-shirts but later in the year might order long-sleeve t’s and sweatshirts if it’s possible to have the ordering coincide with parent-teacher interviews and if they can be guaranteed to arrive by Christmas. Maybe at our October meeting we can talk about options.

PROVINCIAL HOME AND SCHOOL FEDERATION NEWS
There’s volunteer training for anyone who does any volunteering through the school Thursday, Sept. 27, from 7:00 to 8:30 and Heather and Kristy are attending. Kirsty will put a notice on Facebook about this training in case others are interested.

FAMILY FUN NIGHT
Typically, we have done a family fun night in October on an evening before a PD day. Kids attend with their families, and there are board games, dance activities, crafts, and a bake sale with chips and juice boxes. It may be possible to get Let’s Talk Science for demos this year. It’s a really simple fundraiser. It’s a pay-as-you-can event, sometimes with a suggested donation. It usually has a fall theme. It will take place on October 18 from 6:00-7:30. Students can bring Pokemon cards or Bey Blades. It’s mostly K–3 who are keenest to come. Jane has run a craft table in the past but will be out of town on the date selected for this year.

Natasha and Aletha will look for a staff member to set up and run
- a dance activity room and
- a craft table.
Otherwise, staff are welcome to help out on the evening of.

FUNDRAISING OPTIONS
Heather would really like to aim to work towards a legacy contribution to Prince Street. One goal she would love to fundraise for would be to have a full Orff orchestra before the end of next year. Heather would like Home and School to contribute over two years.

As it happens, the Public Schools Branch has bought a stock of instruments for every school: drums, guitars, and ukuleles. We don’t know how these will be used by the new music teacher or if they will be used after Sonya, our regular music teacher who is on parental leave, gets back after Christmas. There are more instruments to come soon.

This led to another possibility: Could we do an after school program with the organizers of the Rock Camp? Heather is going to look into this.

Kirsty asked, Are there any big items the school wants? The school has money put aside for smart boards and possibly may have access to at least one from a used source at a discount.

Another piece of play equipment for the kindergarten playground would be welcome - past research revealed the highest expense is the gravel rather than just the play structure.

We haven’t done a larger scale fundraiser for a while and are ready to take something on towards the right goal to benefit the students. :)

WISH LISTS
In the past, the Home and School has done wish lists from teachers, but the last two years we have given a lump sum of money towards specific requests to benefit the whole school. Past contributions have allowed for purchase of outdoor play gear, or tools for gross motor development.

This year, we can offer $1,000. Natasha and Aletha will discuss with staff to figure out what would be the best use of this contribution.

Do we want to do other fundraisers as Home and School or in coordination with the school? A parent who works at the Preserve Company offered  a basket for a raffle. We have in the past done a raffle for Christmas and have sold tickets at Family Fun Night and the Farmer’s Market in the lead-up to the Winter Concert. Kirsty will get a raffle number.

The general feeling about commercial fundraising, such as selling chocolate, is not a good feeling from either staff or parents.

Natasha noted that she is learning her role and learning the school and hoping to work with Home and School over a longer term to make a plan together. Working and planning together will be very welcome.

DATES FOR HOME AND SCHOOL
Participants decided meetings will take place on 3rd Thursdays of each month
- October 18 will be Family Fun Night (no meeting, just fun)
- November 15
- December - no meeting
- January 17
- February 21
- March - no meeting
- April 18
- May 16
- June 7 - Spring Fling

QUESTIONS
Water fountains:
Is there any way we could get one of the nice water fountains that lets you fill a water bottle? The admin is going to look into options. If there aren’t options for subsidy, this may be something the Home and School could help fundraise for. We would want eventually to have one on each floor.

School Supplies:
Would it be possible to have a school-supply fee for the whole school rather just for K-3? One parent noted the Grade 4 list from the Public Schools Branch is particularly bonkers. Another told the story of meeting a parent in a school supply aisle in tears because of the expense of supplies from the list. Natasha noted that Prince Street took a number of items off the Branch lists that were already in supply at the school or that aren’t actually used.

Alternatively, if we don’t move to a flat fee for bulk buying for grades 4, 5, and 6, we could move to one standard list of school supplies for 4 to 6 based on minimum requirements.

It was noted that it is hard for parents to get some very specific items, such as duo-tangs in specific colours. Teachers really like colour-coded duo-tangs, but it can be impossible to get the colours requested.

School dances:
Will there be school dances this year? There were none last year. This hasn’t been decided. There may be an in-school Halloween dance activity during school.

ELECTIONS
Kirsty and Ramona were co-chairs last year. Ramona has stepped down. Kirsty would like to have a co-chair or vice-chair or best friend. Joanne Clarke volunteered and was elected as co-chair.

Heather is going to continue as treasurer.

Jane would like to step back from being secretary or to mentor someone into the role of secretary. Stephanie McKenna would be happy to take this on. She and Jane will sort out a plan for November.
Stephanie was elected secretary.

Congratulations to the new executive!

Minutes from the May 2018 meeting

Prince Street Home and School
May 22, 2018

There were 9 in attendance at the meeting. Kristy and Ramona co-chaired. In past years, we have used the May meeting to select an Executive for the coming year. There was not enough attendance to do so this time. We will need to do some recruitment over the summer, since our co-presidents and secretary would like to mentor new people into these roles.

SPRING FLING
We’re going to need to come to the school next week. Those who are able to plan the setup will meet at 7:30 on Monday to review materials and make final arrangements for Spring Fling.
Jane will get Stephen to ask Keri Ferguson about the sucker pull and plinko games we have borrowed in the past.
Ramona will reconfirm tables and garbage cans.
We still need volunteers for setup, cleanup, and indoor games.
- Janet volunteered for cleanup, as did Ramona.
- Ramona will post reminders online.
- A few things have come in for a raffle and more things are welcome. Let Kristy know!
- Jane will pop popcorn and coordinate the book sale and bake sale. Jane will donate butter, oil, and salt. Kirsty will get popcorn and bags. There will be volunteers to help prince items.
- Kristy is making a run to Kays Bros for wholesale items: anyone who needs wholesale goods should let her know.
- Kristy will get a snack for our student volunteers.
- Heather has coordinated rental of the barbecue and has lined up volunteers.
- Mr. Brown is coordinating dunk tank delivery.
- Last year there was a table outside with lost and found items.
- On Thursday, May 31, Kristy will enlist some grade 6 volunteers from Mrs. Parson’s class for loading and unloading.

GRADUATION: SCHOOL CLOSING
Unless we hear differently, school closing for Grade 6 will take place at 1:00 p.m. on June 26th
They are working around Stonepark and Birchwood timing for their ceremonies.
Typically, Home and School has purchased cake, a fruit tray, and a beverage for an outdoor reception. Sobeys did a really nice cake in the past with the school logo on it, and they did a great job.
We have in the past put out a call to Grade 5 parents to send in snacks - last year, we got two or three.
We have 2 plaques.
- One is for a teacher who goes above and beyond. This has gone to retiring teachers the past few years - it would be nice to give it to someone who is staying!
- One requires teacher input for the Never Give Up award. The student also gets a certificate and a gift card. (Jane can do the certificate when the name is known.)

In the past, grade six students fundraised for graduation hoodies. This was coordinated by a teacher who since retired. It is too late to coordinate graduation sweatshirts for this year.

Could there be an order of the Prince Street logo school t-shirts and sweaters again for anyone in the school who wants one? Several students would like to have one. Last time, the resource team coordinated it.
Should we wait until the fall? Yes, we decided. If we do it now, the students might have outgrown them by the fall!
We’ll wait until September.

DISTRICT ADVISORY COUNCIL
Richard will be attending his first DAC meeting tomorrow. He asked for input on the topics that are planned for the agenda.
- Class composition: Richard is not sure yet what the focus of this presentation will be. Anna said that from the school perspective, class composition looks at what the variety of needs are in the classroom.
- Enrichment: We advocate most strongly for more teacher-librarians with more dedicated teacher-librarian time in our school and in all schools. And more resources for enrichment activities that are available to all students in arts, music, drama, science, math, and physical education.
- Homework: Parents noted they would like more similarity across the board in school and more consistent homework expectations across schools for each grade level. Parents had positive feedback about homework being assigned in a lump at the beginning of the week and then managed at home towards an end-of-week deadline. The case in favour of homework is that it provides extra practice to make a shift from short-term to long-term memory and learning. The case against is that it may limit students in what they can do after school: time for extracurricular activities, family time, other kinds of learning. Around this table, the benefit was noted that homework helps younger children recognize the connection between parents and children and encourages engagement between parents and children. Values that students develop through homework are also important: persistence, discipline, character-building. It is important for parents to have a role in determining homework and reporting back. Having a small amount of homework for consistency is helpful. Just reading for a fixed amount of time every night is not connecting some children to understanding, or to engaging with texts. They are doing some perfunctory reading to finish a mandatory amount of time. The books students bring home (levelled readers) can be painfully awful for students and their parents. Encouraging a child to persuade the teacher to allow free reading, encouraging the child to read the assigned book and a book they are interested in are possible strategies. Is there a way that high-interest books could be given a level so they meet curriculum needs and teachers’ needs without? Students often bring home the same book day after day until the parent intervenes to say, “Don’t bring home the same book again!” Parental involvement is really

Principal’s REPORT
- The Volunteer of the Year plaque in honour of Dana Doyle will be here.
- Field trips for year-end are organized
- Girls at Bat is up and running.
- We have one staff retirement: Rosemary MacArthur.
- Awards assembly in the past has been used to announce changes of staff for next year. That will take place in the last full week of school.
- Jimmy, our crossing guard is celebrating his 25th year this year! It came up in conversation.
- We have a sports day tentatively booked for June 15th. Free pizza, freezies, and water will be part of the day.
- Hot lunches end early this year: the 15th will be the last day. There will be no hot lunches the 18th to the 27th. Kirsty can do a hot-dog day one day to help fill the gap those days.

BIKE RODEO
- This weekend May 26th at Simmon’s. Bike or Walk to School Day is June 8th.
- The draw for Bikes for Books may happen as soon Friday! It has been a great incentive for folks to read.

Erin and Kelly are both taking a second year in their roles.
Natasha Bromley has been hired as Principal.
The vice-principal role has been posted and will be hired soon.

There will be an announcement for students that will be quite low-key.

In the past we talked about having a spring fling coordinator separate from the president - that is still possible as a model. We have just been short of volunteers.

Minutes from the April 2018 meeting

Prince Street Home and School
April 24, 2018

Nine people participated in the meeting. Ramona had drafted an agenda in advance, and Anna had printed it for us. This was the first meeting attended by Natasha Bromley, our new vice-principal, so we welcomed her warmly. Kristy called the meeting to order and invited a round of introductions.

PRINCIPAL’S REPORT

Anna shared her news: she has been offered a position as principal of Souris school in the fall of next year. There were about eight postings for administrator jobs: there will be a lot of movement in schools next year. Anna was torn – she really has found Prince Street to be a beautiful, beautiful school. Anna will stay through staffing and work for the school’s best interest and then begin at Souris school in the fall. Our Prince Street principal position was posted today and applications will be due by Friday.

Richard MacEwen has volunteered to serve as Prince Street’s District Advisory Council rep. We are very grateful. The next DAC meeting for the Colonel Gray district has not yet been set.

Last meeting, we talked about bulk orders for school supplies. It was too late to make adjustments for this fall, so Anna and staff have put it on the radar for next year and Home and School members will plan to have a discussion earlier in the year in September or October with the new principal so it can be considered earlier.

The Book Fair was another hit and sold $2,500 worth of books. This will result in free books for our school.

The annual pancake breakfast at Trinity Clifton United Church raised about $1,400 and was another wonderful event.

The Bikes for Books project was launched. Students earn ballots for all the reading they do. The ballots will be drawn on May 18, so students have a bit more time for reading. Each classroom will get one girls’ model and on boys’ model bicycle and helmets. Parents said this fantastic project has created a lot of incentive for reading.

Anna forgot to mention but asked us to add to the minutes that Prince Street had a great visit with the Easter Seals Ambassador, Brayden White.

Yesterday was a school assembly, and staff went through a review of the history of PRINCE Street values and the school song. Ms. Courtney and Ms. Read did a lot of the legwork. Students spoke very well at the assembly. It was a brief but effective assembly.

After-school Programs: Game Force is wrapping up. There was very positive feedback about it. Attendance was consistently very good. Students very much enjoyed it. Programming is a great spark for that age group. There were also generous take-aways for the student participants. That program is sponsored through the provincial government.

Yesterday, we started first of four nights of a Chemistry Club, which is another Bricks 4 Kids initiative. Again, it is educational. The cost is $20 per student, subsidized by the school. They will run four Mondays, one hour after school. They do chemistry experiments. There are spaces available if anyone missed the first week.

Ms. Ghiz has a drama club that has started meeting after school. This is for grades 4-6. They met for the first time this evening, and they just got their scripts tonight. There will be some lunchtime meetings as well.

Ms. Donna our youth worker will be running another after-school program for K-3 grades, mostly games and activities in the gym.

Jaime Griffin from Women’s Network PEI has called Anna about a program called “Girls at Bat.” With access to national funding from the Blue Jays Foundation to cover the costs of trained facilitators and equipment, the “Girls at Bat” program will offer baseball skills and running alongside programming for girls for assertiveness, goal-setting, and other positive traits. Parents at the meeting noted that they knew some of the facilitators and that they are excellent.

The Our School Parent Survey will be going out this week. It is only available online. A letter will go home tomorrow in students’ bags. Parents and caregivers can complete the survey online. It is quite broad. We had flexibility to add questions, and Prince Street did add a few questions about the best communication methods to reach people and a question about rezoning and what that experience was like if it affected you. The link for Prince Street School is https://www.ourschool.net/pdqnc
Next week, students and staff will also have the opportunity to respond to the Our School survey.

Parents asked if there were useful results from last year’s Our School survey. Last year was the first year for this survey and roll-out was a bit rushed so it didn’t provide good school-level data from parents – the sample wasn’t large enough to be representative. The student survey results were good because everyone participated. One example was that there was a question about whether students had a spot where they do their homework at home, and it led to interesting conversations about the routine of homework.

Are we anticipating more rezoning in future with more and more immigrants coming? The school review process calls for regular school review and potential rezoning within five years. The Charlottetown high schools will be rezoned in the coming five years.

At Prince Street, current enrollment is 252; the projected enrollment for the fall is 233. The school is fairly confident that the kindergarten incoming students are all registered. When we last met, there were registrations that hadn’t come in yet.

REPORT CARD MODELS

We talked about report cards in the fall. Anna asked parents how satisfied they are with the report card model that we’re using currently. One parent noted that parents (and students) may need more clarification figuring out if students are placed or promoted in the next year. Parents are still looking for a clear and easy to read statement about placement or promotion, which has not been done recently since we are doing progress monitoring. Staff have been looking at ways the current report card model matches or doesn’t match progress monitoring.

Not all schools look the same in their report cards. Currently, the whole Public Schools Branch in English has about 16 report card models (different models at 5 different grade ranges, then progress monitoring report cards which are called “learning reports,” plus French Immersion models). Anna and Natasha have worked in schools that use progress monitoring in the past, and the progress monitoring model is a better match for what teachers are doing in the classroom.

Home and School would love to look at the  “learning report” model with administration at our next meeting. The current report card is not an easy form for educators to fill out or for parents and students to interpret. It isn’t clear on current report cards what each number means for a particular teacher.

Anna would like to pursue this discussion a little bit more. If we went to a change in report cards, would we change before the end of this year, or would we put it off to November’s first report cards? Parents suggested that changing mid-year may be stressful for some students who are tracking their own progress and looking for established benchmarks for this year.

Anna noted there may be technical issues to sort out with software and templates. Anna will need to look into that part. Anna said the process for change would include parents with an information night and a review of technical changes. Parents suggested the introduction of a new report card model if in the fall could be a good way to attract some parents who don’t come to meet the staff night in September.

HOME AND SCHOOL AGM

Kristy, Jane, and Joanne attended the provincial Home and School Annual General Meeting on April 14, 2018. Prince Street was involved with three resolutions this year. Two passed: one related to school closures for deaths in the school community and another related to communication protocols in the case of emergencies during off-school days.

One co-sponsored with Colonel Gray and related to permission for mental health days being made more explicit in policy received support but did not pass. There was encouragement to work on this resolution for reintroduction next year.

Joanne reported that the food was lovely. There were really useful roundtables on a number of topics. Joanne and Kristy sat with Parker Grimmer and the Lieutenant Governor and the principal from Belfast, among others, at a table looking at communications. Lots of valuable ideas came up. One topic was the value of Teachers’ Federation “little blue cards” with teachers’ email address. Some teachers choose to have the little blue cards and others don’t. Kristy was grateful that Anna this year posted the homeroom teachers’ email addresses on the Prince Street School website. Jane sat at a table discussing school dress codes, because this is a topic her workplace has done some research on.

Kristy noted that the facilitators at the round tables were really awesome.

SPRING FLING

Spring Fling is our annual FUN-raising school carnival. The 2018 date is set for Friday, June 1. The event will be held from 5:30 to 7:30.

Kirstin did a review of what has happened in past years. Students and some teachers have helped with set-up on the afternoon of the Spring Fling day. Much of the activity is outside, unless it rains. Last year, we blocked off the upstairs and that saved a lot of cleaning. There was some discussion of the dunk tank! Kristy outlined some of the main activities: Barbecue, bouncy castle, carnival games in the gym, face painters (already hired), nail painting, cake walk, book sale and bake sale. Heather noted that this year, the karate club will probably do something special.Price of tickets: $0.50. There is usually a roll of tickets given away for free. Ticket sellers need to be less generous giving away additional tickets at the event this year – it is important for us to be able to break even. ☺

The project requires 30 to 40 volunteers. Last year, we put out about $1,200 and brought in about $2,100, for a profit of about $900. We do 50/50 tickets and could do a raffle basket as we did at Christmas. We will need to get lottery licenses.

Home and School will put out a post in the next week with a save-the-date and a heads-up about what we’ll be looking for in donations: books, donations for a raffle basket, think ahead to the bake sale… And volunteer bodies!

OTHER BUSINESS

Heather has been looking at restaurant equipment for her work and thinking also of Prince Street’s needs – she has been looking for a used free or cheap-lease industrial dishwasher.

We’d have to go through the school board to have it installed. It would be prudent to get the specs on something free or something cheap and then find out the specifications for installation and costs. All agreed: this is worth looking into. It may take some time, but it would certainly reduce waste.

The meeting adjourned with thanks to all.

The May meeting will take place May 22, 2018, at 6:30 p.m.

Prince Street Home and School - February Minutes

Prince Street Home and School February Meeting Minutes
February 27, 2018

There were 8 participants in the meeting. Kirsty chaired.

DISTRICT ADVISORY COUNCIL UPDATE

Vinay Upreti gave an update on the work of the Colonel Gray DAC. His family has moved out of zone and he has to give up his place as Prince Street representative. We will try to find a replacement DAC representative through an open call to all parents for volunteers or nominations. If there are multiple volunteers or nominations, it should go to a vote. We may use information from the Public Schools Branch to help promote this opportunity. Anna will request the DAC pamphlet from Ghislaine O’Hanley to include in an email to parents.

Vinery reported that things are moving in the right direction with the Colonel Gray DAC. In addition to issues raised in the minutes (circulated) mental health remains a significant topic of discussion and concern. There is no homework policy for the Province, and the Colonel Gray DAC has asked for a committee to be struck to examine homework policy and give some direction. The DAC has a diversity of opinions about what a policy should include.

Quality of teaching remains another topic and there are varied views on ways to provide feedback to teachers for performance development. This topic has no action points at the moment. School review, class size, and class composition have also been topics of discussion.

The next DAC meeting is not yet scheduled. The commitment for Prince Street’s representative is to attend at least three meetings a year. Terms are two years.

PRINCIPAL’S REPORT

Anna gave the Principal’s report.

We’ve received a lot of new resources lately - including 3 Class Comp awards to the school, which allows staff to work with literacy and numeracy coaches on targeted instruction on language arts and math. This also gives us time for more teacher-led assessment, especially for students who are new to the school and whom we are still getting to know. We also had an itinerant EA assigned to our school 6 hours a day until mid-April. We received an EAL EA, 4 hours a day until the end of the school year.

After-school programming has so far included Grades 3-4 and 5-6 in programming, and now we are running a K-1 and a 2-3 group with Ms. Donna, the youth worker. Game Force is running currently for Grades 5 and 6, through Innovation PEI. Kids work on laptops to learn programming and video game programming. Game Force runs a very popular summer camp.

We recently had students involved in a gymnastics meet with tremendous participation and results. More than two dozen Prince Street students participated.

Book Fair is on this week. We are still looking for parent and grandparent volunteers to help with book fair.

Report cards went home with students today. One of the things we got from report cards was attendance data. There was a high number of students with perfect attendance, even in cold and flu season.

School lunches need some menu refreshment. Orders of wraps have decreased and will be replaced with lasagna and a roll from Green Isle Catering. Anna thanked Kristy for the tremendous job she does every week with lunch orders. It takes at least two hours a week, and staff and parents appreciate it very much that Kristy does this work.

Active schools - Families had participated in a first-round survey about active transportation to school. Anna attended a meeting that narrated, with slides, the area around the school and the surrounding streets. Two city police officers, Active Living, and City reps attended. It was a good discussion and people there were interested and able to take information from the discussion back to their groups. Between meetings, conversations are taking place. A couple of survey responses noted challenges with signage about parking, and it was possible to get updates and additional information. Police and City officials are looking into issues that came up on surveys.

Kindergarten numbers: Province is saying there are a lot of students not yet registered across the province, and they estimate based on their data that Prince Street is missing nine or ten registrations. The school will do a Facebook post with reminders about registration. We’re still at just barely two classes (21 registrations). If other students are out there, we really need their numbers. Students entering kindergarten will have EYEs will be April 27th and 30th and the save-the-date information will be in the March newsletter.

After March Break, Aletha Coady will be finished her time as vice-principal and Natasha Bromley will arrive at the school to take up her post. Natasha is excited about coming to Prince Street. Home and School members expressed appreciation for Aletha’s great work as interimg vice-principal.

HOME AND SCHOOL AGM

This year’s provincial Home and School Federation is April 14. We need to register by the end of March and can send up to five voting delegates. Prince Street has put forward a number of resolutions for discussion.

SPRING FLING

We have typically done Spring Fling, our spring carnival fun-raiser, on the first Friday in June, which this year would be June 1st. Kirsty gave Anna an overview of the event. Home and School wlll ask staff to volunteer - their participation last year was excellent.
Heather can coordinate the barbecue.
Joanne can run the indoor games room.
We will request O’Connor Glass to sponsor the cotton candy.
We will request Cox and Palmer to sponsor the bouncy castle.
We talked about hiring Becka Viau to do face paint. We are hoping that will be affordable.

The Cake Walk has always been a popular event, and it was coordinated by Dana for a dozen years.  We will need a new coordinator in her honour.

OTHER BUSINESS

A karate club will be starting here in April. A parent asked if it could run through the summer, but it is not possible at this school. It is mostly students from the school in the club.

BIKES FOR BOOKS

The Masonic Lodge from Wheatley River has sponsored three or four schools a year for the Bikes for Books project, and this year, Prince Street is one of the lucky schools to participate. Each homeroom will have two bikes and helmets to be drawn for in a raffle. Students get ballots based on the books they read to give them a chance to win. There is a spaghetti dinner to support this initiative on March 12. Details in the March newsletter.

PANCAKE BREAKFAST IN SUPPORT OF PRINCE STREET SCHOOL

Trinity United Church’s wonderful annual pancake breakfast in support for Prince Street will take place March 17 at Trinity. This is a great breakfast and a great event.

HONOURING DANA DOYLE

We had talked at the time of Dana’s funeral about recognition and celebration of her contribution. We may also be doing a spaghetti supper in support of Dana’s son, and some of the proceeds could go towards an award in her name.

We could do a plaque with her name on it and present it to the volunteer of the year (an adult who volunteers at the school) at the final assembly of the year. If this were a school award, it could be maintained year to year with a plaque within the school.

SCHOOL SUPPLY FEES

Currently, the school policy on school supplies is that Grades K-3 pay a fee for school supplies, which are bulk ordered, and students purchase their own supplies from a Board-approved list in Grades 4-6. A parent asked: Is there an option to extend the fee for classroom supplies for K-3 to include 4-6? A bulk order would need to be made very soon if this change were being made. An advantage of bulk order is that the teacher can plan for colour coding or consistent supplies. There is a maximum list of supplies that can be ordered put out by the Board, but there is still a lot of variation school to school. Staff in the past have discussed the pros and cons. If you choose to order for everyone, if you then have seven students in one class that don’t pay the fee, it affects the teacher, the classroom, and the school. When there’s a list, very few students come with nothing. They often have enough supplies to get through the year. It was agreed that the current policy is worth revisiting. Parents could be asked to pay their supplies with an option to contribute an additional $10 to the school’s communal pot.

School field trips are coming up in not too long. There was some discussion of destinations. It remains the school’s policy that there are no parent volunteer chaperones.

NEXT MEETING

There is no March meeting. The April meeting is scheduled for APRIL 24.

The meeting adjourned with thanks.

Proposed Resolutions for the Provincial AGM

Our January Prince Street Home and School meeting was stormed out! One of the important items on the agenda was to review and agree on resolutions to submit to the provincial Home and School Federation from our school. Resolutions have to be submitted to the provincial board by the end of January. This year, three proposed resolutions came forward from the school community. They are pasted below. The Prince Street home and school executive would value your feedback at princestreethomeandschool@gmail.com. Unless we hear otherwise from you or receive suggestions for changes to the resolutions, we'll submit these three resolutions to be considered and voted on at the provincial AGM. Thank you! 

Please also watch the school Facebook page or contact home and school executive for opportunities to participate in Staff Appreciation Week, February 12-16.

Next meeting, weather permitting, will be February 27. See you then!

 

PROPOSED RESOLUTION 1:
School Closure for Deaths in the School Community

WHEREAS the people in our schools and on school grounds have a variety of employers (for example, the Public Schools Branch; the French-Language School Board; the Department of Education, Early Learning, and Culture; municipalities) and that students and volunteers on school sites are not there as employees; and

WHEREAS "school communities" should be understood as a network made up of students, teachers, staff, administrators, crossing guards, on-site volunteers, and parents and guardians who all play a role in students' safety and learning; and

WHEREAS some members of school communities have significant and regular interactions with a wide range of students and school staff; and

WHEREAS the death of such members of school communities is an exceptional circumstance; and

WHEREAS a death may be untimely or occur under tragic circumstances; and

WHEREAS it is valuable and important learning for students to understand and have the opportunity to participate in traditions and rituals that accompany death and grieving in the cultural traditions that make up Prince Edward Island;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Prince Edward Island Home and School Federation request that the Public Schools Branch develop a policy for school closure/early dismissal that includes support for closure or dismissal for the wake or funeral of a member of the school community who has had significant and regular interaction with a wide range of students and school staff and/or whose death is untimely or in tragic circumstances, regardless of this person's employment.

PROPOSED RESOLUTION 2:
Communication Protocols in Urgent Situations

WHEREAS urgent issues may arise outside school hours and on weekends and holidays that require quick decisions or timely resolution that may affect students, their families, and school staff; and

WHEREAS each school's Home and School leaders have a role to play in providing valuable input into these decisions and helping to plan for the effects on students, their families, and school staff; and

WHEREAS Home and School members do not have access to clear processes to reach school and/or education decision-makers outside school hours and on weekends and holidays; and

WHEREAS Home and School members wish to respect the privacy and personal time of school and/or education decision-makers;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the PEI Home and School Federation request that the Public Schools Branch establish a clear protocol for communicating with school and education decision-makers when urgent situations arise outside school hours and require timely resolution.

PROPOSED RESOLUTION 3: Mental Health Days

WHEREAS the current attendance policy of the Public Schools Branch states "that regular and punctual attendance at school is imperative for educational success. Students are expected to be in school each day unless ill or unable to attend due to an unavoidable circumstance," and

WHEREAS procedures to address absences include calls to parents and letters of notification that get sent out after five, ten, fifteen and twenty days of missed class, with reporting to child protection triggered by higher rates of school absence, and

WHEREAS this policy limits parental discretion to keep their children home for reasons they consider valid, including students' mental health, which may not be an illness or an unavoidable circumstance, and

WHEREAS mental health issues are prevalent in Prince Edward Island, and

WHEREAS numerous mental health initiatives have been implemented in schools and communities to assist youth and their families, and

WHEREAS taking an occasional "mental health day" for self-care is becoming increasingly acceptable among workplace absenteeism policies, and

WHEREAS many school attendance policies omit or do not expressly refer to absenteeism due to student mental health issues, and

WHEREAS openly talking about mental health helps to reduce mental health stigma,

BE IT RESOLVED that Island schools be encouraged to revise student absentee policies [to better support parents' discretion about their children's best interests and] to expressly include mental health days.‎

 

 

Minutes of the November Prince Street Home and School Meeting

November 28, 2017

Co-chair Ramona called the meeting to order and invited those present to introduce themselves. Again this month, there was a recent newcomer to Canada we were pleased to welcome. There were 11 participants at the meeting, including one language interpreter. Ramona circulated the agenda.

PRINCIPAL’S REPORT
Acting vice-principal Aletha Coady made the principal’s report for Anna, who was not available.

Book Fair: The book fair raised $2,200+. Thanks to teacher Shannan Young for organizing and to volunteers and students who helped.

Wraparound School Goals: At the September meeting we talked about the wraparound school model that Prince Street is part of but had not set the goals for this year yet because our data no longer matched the actual students in the building, as a result school rezoning. Now that the data is updated, the new goals will be set in the coming week by the wraparound team.

Heritage Fair and Science Fair: Parents had asked for staff to discuss Prince Street participation in Heritage and Science Fairs. Staff had a discussion about it, and teachers do not want to go back to running heritage fair or science fair projects in the classroom. It takes too much time away from the regular curriculum and distracts from school goals. Philip Brown plans to do something with his group of students. Parents expressed that they would really like to know the registration dates in case their students want to do an independent project. Can the school send information home to parents about registration dates? Aretha said they will put registration details in the newsletters.

Staff update: The school hired a new grade five math teacher last Thursday, and she has 18 students from the three grade five classes, and she will also teach humanities to Ms. Joudrey’s class. Her name is Katie Hicken. She taught in Saskatchewan last year but has roots on PEI.

Andrea Read has started as music teacher and is busy, busy, busy preparing for Christmas concert. She has a background in music but is not a “music teacher.” At the concert this year, each class will sing a song. There won’t be a play or theme that ties everything together, but lots of songs and carols are ringing through the halls.
School Festivities: Staff will decide on a school classroom contest for the holiday season - last year, classes decorated their classroom doors.
The Christmas Concert on December 12 will include all classes and all students from grades K-6. Every classroom participates, but if a parent does not want a student to participate they can let the school know. Parents clarified that the concert is more of a holiday concert than a religious concert.
Chip the Elf on the Shelf will come out of hiding in December. Gifts for students from Chip have been purchased.
The date for the turkey dinner offered by Trinity United Church is December 14, but that is the Christmas concert storm date. School administration will talk to Trinity to see if it’s possible to switch to a different date.
There will be a Christmas assembly with special recognitions, and there will be a special guest at the school at some point before the holidays.

Questions: A parent asked about donations of coats, snow pants, and boots. These are welcome at the school at any time. The school needs spares on hand for when outdoor clothing gets wet or dirty, as well as items for students in need to take home as their own. A parent asked about donations of toys or Christmas gifts. There are lots of community groups or businesses that want to support a family at Christmas, and Ms. McMillan matches groups and families with needs whenever possible. If there are money donations to the school, the money funds grocery story gift cards that would go towards a family.

FINANCIAL REPORT
Family fun night brought in about $300. We have $1,000 in the bank and in reserve.
About $60 in raffle tickets sold at Family Fun Night. 
ADL will be making a donation of coupons and discounts for their products for the breakfast program.
The school (not the Home and School) recently received $2,200 from Trinity for the breakfast program, and another $1,000 came from CIBC.

A parent asked the current school population. Prince Street has 248 students.

DISTRICT ADVISORY COUNCIL
Jane provided Vinay Upreti’s name and contact information to the coordinator of the District Advisory Councils and sent Vinay minutes and documents from last spring’s meetings.

FROM THE PEI HOME AND SCHOOL FEDERATION
Ramona and Kristy noted some upcoming dates:
- Resolutions for the provincial home and school annual general meeting are due January 31
- Staff appreciation week will take place February 12 to 16
- The deadline for the Extra Mile Award is January 12 and Volunteer of the Year is March 9

Regarding resolutions, Jane noted that her work, the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women, has been researching best practices on school dress codes, and that the Council might ask the provincial board to consider a resolution coming out of their research, or they might see if a local school would be interested in putting a resolution forward, in which case Jane might bring it forward with Prince Street in January. Members said they’d be happy to hear about the research in January either way.

ACTIVE ROUTES TO SCHOOL
Shannan Young (a grade 1-2 teacher) has agreed to sit on the committee as the teacher representative. Jamie Gosbee, the Active Routes project coordinator, was looking for a teacher rep but also looking for confirmation that it would be okay to do some classroom surveys. Aletha said staff discussed this and it was okay. There will also be an online survey for parents and community that Home and School will take the lead on. The Active Routes project would get back to the school to discuss results and make plans to increase active transportation. Home and School members considered it an advantage, not a disadvantage, that the Active Routes consultation would happen in winter.

GARDEN BUDDIES
Charlene Rogers-Bourdon provided an update. Volunteers were in today to prepare for a Thursday morning cooking day with kindergarten classes. Everyone thought this sounded wonderful. Ramona noted that Spring Park is doing a community support agriculture (CSA) fundraiser - veggie boxes as the school fundraiser. This is being run by one of the garden buddies, Jenn Whitaker.

SCHOOL LUNCHES, BREAKFAST PROGRAM
The menu will be changing in December! Spaghetti has been waning as a preference, so the school will swap it out, and go with Green Isle catering for a lunch box special for $5 (a wrap with real, not processed meat, two cookies, veggies and dip, and a juice box. They will try a couple of weeks to see how it goes. Another option from Green Isle was a pizza sub, which we may try in the future.

AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS
Youth services worker Dawna is running a multisport program. There have been a couple of cancellations due to unforeseen circumstances. Next week is the last week.

The 4-6 after school program has been too many kids, so will probably need to be divided into grades 3-4 and 5-6. The school will have to reevaluate after Christmas.

A parent volunteer for the recent Bricks4Kids noted that if there is a child who usually has extra help who signs up for an after school program that it could be discussed with organizers in advance so coordinators and volunteers can make a plan to meet the child’s needs.

What options would people like to explore for after school programs in the new year?
- Bricks 4 Kids for older kids would be great.
- Cooking class would be popular again.
- Arduino might be a great option for older grades (or just grade 6).

Ramona will follow up on those three options and get back to school admin.

CHRISTMAS CONCERT
Aretha said the school needs help with videotaping the concert and taking pictures.
Lori has offered to take pictures with the school camera, so now we only need help with video.
Last year it was recorded by Marlene Harding, who is a parishioner of the church. The school has a video camera. We could ask the church if they have someone on stand-by who helps with video recording? We could also ask Holland College photography students as part of their program.

We are not planning to copy or distribute a DVD.

Will we raffle off VIP seating again? Yes, this is a simple and fun raffle. Someone will need to scout out the church to determine the number and placement of the VIP seats. Two seats will need to be reserved for Lori as the photographer as well.

Home and School will run a bake sale again. We will also need a spare table for the raffle basket. There will not be room among the baked goods!

The raffle basket looks amazing and has a $450 value. Karla did a terrific job gathering donations for the basket. Many thanks to her!

“Concert best” is the dress expected at the concert. Any props or costumes that the students require will be provided at the school.

OTHER BUSINESS
We will need to set a spring fling date at the January meeting.
2018 meetings will continue to be the last Tuesday of the month.

December - no meeting
January 23
February 27
March - no meeting
April 24
May 22

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