Minutes of the November 12, 2014 Meeting

Parents of Prince Street
Home and School Meeting
November 12, 2014

Home and School Website: http://princestreetschool.ca/
School Website: http://www.edu.pe.ca/princestreet/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/princestreetschool

President Laura Bird shared an agenda and called the meeting to order.

PRINCIPAL’S REPORT

Erin Johnston shared highlights of her report in writing. It has been a busy month!

Voting for the Prince Street mascot is at round two, and the finalists are Power, Canines, Rocket, and Predators. The classes are talking about what they like about each mascot idea, why they like it, why it has value or meaning to them, and what it might look like. Each class will offer its top reflections, then there will be an assembly and student forum on it before they have individual student votes.

So far this year, there have been two school assemblies for Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day, both with strong kid-centred activities and huge commitment by the music teacher, Ms. Wadden-Hughes.

The first school-wide writing prompt took place: every child wrote to a specific prompt. These were moderated/marked by teachers working as partners, against a provincially accepted rubric. Teachers analyzed data and reviewed it with a literacy coach, to determine next instructional steps to take to meet students’ needs. Now, they are putting the plans into place and addressing the needs towards improvement on the next writing prompt. A similar process is taking place with school-wide reading data.

An activity afternoon freed up teacher time for focus on marking. Prince Street is fortunate to have enough specialists and non-homeroom teachers to facilitate activities while classroom teachers focus on marking. The non-homeroom teachers developed and led school-wide learning activities connected to curriculum. Kids enjoyed it.

After school activities led by Mr. Stanley have been very popular. There have been flag football and chess activities and now up is basketball, which will last into December. The activity will switch up again after Christmas. There have been about 16 to 20 kids participating in each age group.

Prince Street “brought back” Halloween celebrations with an afternoon of activities. The staff “Despicable Me” theme with principal Gru and her minions was a big hit. It was so fun. Every single staff member in the building dressed up in some way – there were 27 minions. A photo is on the Facebook site. Anyone who is interested is encouraged to “like” the Facebook site. Charlene Rogers-Bourdon and Erin are updating the page at https://www.facebook.com/princestreetschool

Kindergarten’s Garden Buddies had their first visit to the Farm Centre. There was a report on CBC Radio’s Island Morning by Lindsay Carroll this morning.

If you know a family with a child who is school age and ready for kindergarten next year, please have them register for kindergarten the week of November 17, since registration is a huge factor for hiring staff for next year.

Winter Concerts: Please note there are different dates from the ones in the original handbook. The dates and weeks have changed as a result of scheduling changes. The K-3 concert will be Thursday, December 4. The 4-6 concert will be Thursday, December 11.

Next meeting, Erin will present on school effectiveness data and goals. She has now received our part of the provincial data and has the school-wide data as well. We have the general idea of the goals for this year, and as soon as the data analysis is completed, the focus will be confirmed, but the direction is looking like it will be reading comprehension in literacy and the number strand in numeracy.

Look for Prince Street Elementary to be featured this month on the ELSB Website. http://www.gov.pe.ca/edu/elsb/.

The Book Fair was a big success, and profits will allow the school to purchase some books for classrooms. Chip the “Elf on the Shelf” from last year will be back and will deliver books as gifts to the classrooms. There will be a repeat of Chip delivering some of the presents to kids who are in the adopt-a-family program.

MLA Doug Currie’s pancake breakfast was a success and 1/3 of the profits from the pancake breakfast go to our breakfast program. Min. Currie also gives afterschool programming funds and has an additional $1,000 from another source headed for the breakfast program.

For afterschool programming, drama is running now, and after Christmas we will look into martial arts or yoga. Another idea that came up at the meeting is Video Animation. Whatever the activity is, it has to be low-maintenance and need no supervision. Erin has a lead on a yoga instructor.

Practice teachers: We will have one from UPEI, a 2nd year student who will work with Eileen Higginbotham and the resource team.

FAMILY FUN NIGHT

The notice for the Family Fun Night planned for Thursday, November 20th will go home tomorrow. There is no school on Friday the 21st. Laura explained we decided to have a family fun night instead of a movie night because it is now too expensive to buy the license to show films. The cost of a license would be more than we typically take in.

Ideas for family fun night activities included karaoke, dance, board games, science activites, and a craft. There will be concessions as we would usually have for a movie night. The gym and kindergarten rooms will be the only spaces we can use.

Admission will be by suggested donation of $2 per child or $5 per family. The
event starts at 6:30 and ends at 8:00. There will be a request to teachers if there are any who would want to hang out. Their presence is always welcome: they are aware of students’ names, needs, and potential issues.

Heather said Bricks for Kids (who use Lego for STEM curriculum) will send someone for an hour or a little more to give a partial demonstration. We looked into accessing the Robotics Kit, but this is booked to May. It could be booked for a night late this year or even next year. Heather also approached “Let’s Talk Science” from the university and will confirm soon. They will need a dedicated space. Heather is coordinating Bricks for Kids and Let’s Talk Science.

Anything we need to restrict to an area can be joined every 15 minutes, with 5 minute transition time. Some activities (board games) can be more flexible. Some students will stick with one activity for the full time. There was a call for ideas for crafts – such as a tongue depressor snowperson. Laura and Jane will work on a family-oriented craft.

Parents are a little concerned about the turnout because the date for the family fun night was not in the calendar or newsletter. For supplies, we’ll plan for about 75.

Is there anyone who can coordinate the YouTube Dance or a karaoke machine? The Fergusons have a karaoke machine and will look into whether it would be possible for the home and school to borrow it. Another option is the guessing game “mafia.”

People who have board games, please loan them for the night if you can. Does the school have any games? We will ask Kenny Stanley.

Kristy may be able to pick things up for the concessions at Costco this weekend. She will be leaving Friday.

We will need to check the popcorn supplies. Heather knows how to make the popcorn with the popper we have.

WINTER CONCERTS

For the winter concerts – we will have a bake sale table at each, and parents can drop things off on the day of the concert at the staff room. There were lots of volunteers from the meeting to set up the two bake sales.

There was a discussion about having a raffle: Should it be for a basket or a cash prize? When there was a raffle for $1,000, it raised about $1,000. But students had to do a lot of sales outside the concerts. Shelley has gotten stuff donated for past baskets from Shopper’s Drug Mart, with odds and ends picked up from other donations or purchased to the tune of $30 or $40 at Wicker Emporium or spots where she found little things on sale.

There was a discussion of the contents of the basket and whether there should be wine in it. It is an adult-focused basket; however, it is sometimes an issue for families where alcohol is an issue.

Shelley will get the raffle license.

If we want to sell raffle tickets at the Farmer’s Market, December 6th and November 29th we would need three shifts. It has never been a problem to get permission to sell tickets there. Usually, it’s a parent and a kid or a pair of older kids. There were a few volunteers to take shifts.

Raffle and bake sale proceeds usually total about $700 to $800.

There was discussion of promoting fundraisers and concerts on Facebook. Anything that we want Erin or Charlene to post on Facebook, we could send. However, we decided to request a representative from Home and School to be an admin on the Prince Street Facebook to post occasional items from the Home and School. Ramona Doyle offered to do this. She will approach Erin about it.

SCHOOL HEALTH GRANT

A Canadian Tire fund has provided the opportunity for a new school health grant with a very tight deadline. The application is due on Monday.

Erin will provide the school SHAPES data tomorrow (Thursday). This is needed for the application.

Laura and Kelly Gillis will complete the application for the Monday deadline or request an extension if it is almost but not quite complete. We’ll need to identify equipment needs and also personnel/leadership needs and will be able to build a program around it. There were some good ideas for possible programs. The application has to come from parents and school and community. The participants in the meeting were keen for this to go forward in whatever form it needs to.

OTHER BUSINESS

Website updates

Is there going to be a heritage fair this year? Kelly said they might be doing something else. The school Website will need to be updated if neither of these is happening this year.

Superintendent Meeting

The executive had a very polite meeting with the Superintendent, Cynthia Fleet, about the cancellation of the puppy project. The Superintendent indicated there is a news release in the works to outline the concerns behind the cancellation.

The only "ask" at the meeting was for concerns. Laura asked if Home and School members want other information. There was no immediate response.

The other focus of the meeting was policy and procedures, since the program was cancelled due to a gap in policy and procedures to support it. As the executive understands it, any policy that has to be done will be done through the School Board staff and trustees. Staff will help board develop policies; staff will work on procedures. Policy on animals in schools is not at the top of the queue. The queue is very long. Some development of policy and procedures is far behind schedule because of the challenge of integrating school boards. Beyond the puppy project, a lot of the meeting’s focus was on how schools and teachers can develop innovative programs when there are gaps in policies and procedures. It is still not clear what the hoops are to jump. There is no clear role or process for parents or schools to contribute meaningfully to the policy-making process.

Next steps: As a home and school, we could make a presentation to the trustees as a parent group to emphasize that we want this to move faster.
We can also develop resolutions to put forward at the provincial home and school. Resolutions have to be submitted in mid-January.

The executive will draft resolutions to discuss at the next meeting and will explore whether or not to present to the trustees. Meeting participants asked for contact information for the executive.

Contact information for the Home and School Executive:
laurakbird@hotmail.com
s.muzika@hotmail.com
h_and@hotmail.com
janeledwell@gmail.com

NEXT MEETING

2nd Wednesday in January – January 14, 2015