Minutes of the February 2016 Meeting

Prince Street Home and School Meeting
February 11, 2016
6:30 p.m.

WELCOME/ROUND TABLE

Catherine welcomed everyone to the meeting. There were 10 people in attendance, including a family that is new to Canada and new to Prince Street School. We offered them a special welcome. Grade Six student Prabin again translated into Nepali.

PRINCIPAL’S REPORT
Erin gave a report on events from the past month.

Gymnastics club is going very well, and there is a competitive gymnastics meet at St. Jean’s school tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the second art blitz of the year. All afternoon, other subjects are suspended and all students will do art. The theme will be Valentine’s Day.

The after-school technology group for Grades Five and Six started today with 18 students. The focus is on computer coding. It will run for six weeks and is being facilitated by teacher volunteers from the community.

Ms. MacKinnon will be leaving soon for a maternity leave. The posting for a teacher to fill that leave will be out soon and hiring will follow.

On February 25 for the “Never Give Up”–themed school assembly, the Island Storm Basketball team will come to the school. The basketball team loves the school, and the school loves them.

Report cards will go out to parents on March 8, and parent-teacher interviews are in the evening on March 10 and in the morning onMarch 11.

An afterschool baseball program run by the Boys and Girls Club and called “spring training” will begin later in the month, after school on Mondays until 4:00 p.m. This is open to Grades Three to Six. Today was the first day for permission slips. Students who wish to sign up can get a permission slip from the office.

The coupon book fundraiser is underway. The order forms have gone home and all parents should have seen them by now. This fundraiser brings in a few thousand dollars each year for classroom needs.

The new Prince Street Power jerseys for the athletics program are ordered, and it is hoped they will be here for the track and field season. They are very fancy.

The Arts Smarts program to make a school video will begin next week. Kelly Gillis and others involved have been planning, planning, planning. A parent asked if the video will be sold on DVDs like the school song was sold on CDs last year. Brian Sharpe, the artist involved, will help teach the students involved to upload the video to YouTube or another free platform and to learn about media literacy at the same time as they learn the technical parts of this. There are ideas about how to promote the video as well.

In the next few weeks, there will be some university students here doing internships and learning in our school.

There are four new iPads in the school that are attached to new programs in Core French, but there may be other opportunities to use the new iPads in other programs as well.

Erin recently attended a meeting about the province-wide wireless program to put wireless in all schools. There is wireless available in the school already. The TeacherNet we have in place is an independent project. It will be replaced by the system that is the same as the system that will be installed in all other schools across PEI. We’ll be wired into the new system this summer, and all teachers will have a laptop. A parent asked how students will be prevented from being on the wireless. It will be password protected (as is the current system), and there will be firewalls.

The last Professional Development day on February 2 was focused on progress monitoring in our school, and it was an excellent day. Charlene Matthews and Erin led it. The school is in its first year of progress monitoring, and people are really running with it.

Erin invited questions. A parent offered a reminder that since last year’s afterschool special programs were almost all for Grades Four to Six, and the art program this year was for Grade Two and Three and the computer programming is for Grades Five and Six, the group that is in Grade Four this year has missed out on most opportunities.

A parent asked for more details about track and field. Competitive track and field is typically for Grades Five and Six and usually starts in May. It would begin as an intramural club and students with a particular interest and ability would have the chance to develop more skills and compete with other schools.

DISTRICT ADVISORY COUNCIL

Jane described how the District Advisory Council fits into the new structure for the education system. Prince Street School has a seat on the Colonel Gray family of schools district council. Jane Ledwell is sitting on that committee for Prince Street. The first meeting is on February 18. Jane asked if anyone had issues they wanted raised at the first meeting or put on the agenda for future meetings. Meeting participants did not have suggestions, since the advisory council’s mandate and scope are not well known yet. Everyone is looking forward to learning more after the District Advisory Council’s first meeting.

STAFF APPRECIATION WEEK

Staff appreciation week is next week. There is no school on Monday, but we will make plans for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday to show appreciation for staff.

Catherine said we are encouraging parents to sit down with their child with a form we will send home to fill out to say something they really appreciate about a teacher or staff person in their life. The form will include the prompt, “I really appreciate __________________ because...” Forms will go home with students tomorrow (Friday, February 12).

Please also encourage children, parents and guardians, and volunteers to express their appreciation with a few kind words or a card or whatever feels like the best.

If you are able to contribute a snack for staff on one of the days during staff appreciation week, please let Catherine know.

SPRING FLING

At the end of the year, we have a community party and barbecue in the school and schoolyard with lots of activities. It is like a school carnival. This is the Spring Fling.

Our next meeting is April 14 and will need to focus on Spring Fling.

There was some discussion about the pros and cons of having Spring Fling on the same day as the Environment-a-thon. They were the same date last year. This year, the most likely date for the Spring Fling (June 3) is the rain date for the Environment-a-thon. The group decided it was a good idea or not a problem to have the two events on the same day.

The group confirmed that Spring Fling will be on Friday, June 3, 2016. It normally takes place from 5:30 to 7:30. At the April 14 meeting, we will spend the majority of the time planning for the Spring Fling. Since many volunteers will be needed, we’ll work hard to get a good turnout for the April 14 meeting.

Booking a bouncy castle might need to happen right away, and we will have to make sure that it has a supervisor. We may have more options of which castle to choose from. Catherine will try to get the details.

MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS PRESENTATION
Spring Park and Prince Street schools are together organizing a mental health and wellness presentation next Tuesday, February 16, at 6:30 p.m. at Spring Park School. This presentation will focus on helping parents with children 0 to 12 support their children to develop coping skills for dealing with anxiety or stress. The presentation will be led by the Triple P Positive Parenting Program. The event will be in Spring Park School. Parents can go in the front doors, and there will be signs directing you where to go.

There will not be childcare or translators available for this event.

ROUND TABLE: OTHER BUSINESS

For any parents of students in Grade Six who are considering late French immersion in Grade Seven, the meeting about Birchwood French Immersion is 7:00 p.m. on February 17.

We had talked about licensing movies and planning a movie night. Did this prove workable? Catherine and Heather are looking at ways to make a movie night part of parent engagement for next year. There will not be a movie night this winter, but we will look into this again in September. Licensing rights are expensive. Catherine and Heather have been working on parent engagement grant proposals for this year and next year.

The next school dance will take place on Thursday, February 25, for students from Grades Four to Six. There is sometimes a sock hop during lunchtime recess for younger grades. It is a great source of fun, mayhem, and exercise.

The last round of Christmas concert DVDs has been ordered and will be ready to distribute when they arrive.

Catherine thanked everyone for participating and invited people to stay after the meeting if they had any questions. There is no March meeting, so we will see everyone on Monday, April 14!