Minutes from the October 2015 Meeting

PARENTS OF PRINCE STREET

October 8, 2015

Catherine welcomed everyone and circulated an agenda. There were more than 20 people attending. There were translators present for Nepali and Mandarin speakers. Catherine started the meeting with a roundtable of introductions.

PRINCIPAL’S REPORT
Erin provided updates.

Tee-shirts: The order forms for Prince Street Power tee-shirts will come home very soon. The cost for youth sizes will be $8, and a few dollars more for larger sizes. Buying the tee-shirt is optional, and it is not a uniform. The fee will only cover the costs. It is not a fundraiser. Parents can send money for the tee-shirt order to school with their children. There might be another opportunity to order tee-shirts in November or in the spring or both. It will depend on how successful the ordering is. Kelly showed a sample of the tee-shirts.

New hot lunch ordering system: There were a few glitches and things they are sorting out, and it is going very, very well. It saves a great deal of time for teachers. Kirsty is doing a lot of volunteer counting! Thank you to everyone for cooperating to make the new system work. Whole wheat buns for the hot dogs will not be optional. The hot dogs are not proving popular. There are very good reviews for the chicken pizza.

Website: The Prince Street website should be updated with correct information since last meeting.

Assemblies: The Terry Fox Run was rained out last week so it will take place tomorrow. The “Pride” assembly that was planned to go with the Run took place last week and was great. There will be no second assembly tomorrow.This month is “Respect” month. There will be a “Respect” month assembly on October 30 and this will coincide with some Halloween fun!

The school councillor will be taking a maternity/parental leave later this fall, so Erin and Kelly are working on the hiring of a school councillor to fill her leave.

The staff has a plan for a Halloween theme again this year. There will be fun activities for the students in the afternoon. Also for Halloween, on the evening of October 30 there will be a dance for grades 4 to 6 from 5:45 to 7:00 p.m. that has been organized from start to finish by Grade 6 Leadership students. There will be a notice about the dance that will come home with more details.

Slap cheek: We’ve had two confirmed cases of the virus “slap cheek” in the school. It is contagious before the symptoms show up. This can be problematic in the early stages of pregnancy. Erin has shared the information with staff and will notify volunteers.

Parents were pleased to hear more about the Grade 6 Leadership program and the work that the students are achieving. The leadership group was open to Grade 6 students by application. There are 15 students in the program. Their activities are woven into their day. They are showing leadership in ways that fit their skills and interests.

A parent asked, do we have to buy costumes for our kids at Halloween? Answer: Only if you want to. Some students wear costumes and some don’t. Some make homemade costumes.

WISH LIST

Erin provided the teachers’ wish list to Catherine. The Home and School will use funds raised last year to purchase as many of the “wish list” items as we can. Catherine will coordinate the wish list review and if anyone has questions about it, ask Catherine.

PARENT LEADERSHIP GRANT

There are parent leadership grants available from the Provincial Home and School. The money is available for events that bring parents together for an activity. Catherine is going to do a little bit of research and bring some ideas to the table for us all to consider so we can apply for a grant in the new year (2016).

COMMUNICATION

Catherine asked for ideas about better ways to communicate together with parents to get people involved in school activities, like the Family Fun Night planned for October 21. What are ways we can get in touch with each other the share information and make plans?
Right now, we have a school Facebook page, and parents might wish to bookmark this. It is a very active and very large following. A parent suggested an incentive (prize!) for people to “like” our Facebook page on Family Fun Night.
The Prince Street Home and School has a website. You are here!
Catherine also will set up a Prince Street Home and School email address and will ask parents to sign up for email notices (about once a month) to get news.
Notices about Home and School go home with students. Anyone who has ideas for content they want to see on Home and School notices, these ideas would be welcome.
Parents thought that regular monthly meetings are a really important part of communications. Parents also thanked Catherine for all her efforts so far. There’s a great turn-out tonight, and that is a positive sign.
We can use the Facebook more. Ramona and Catherine will talk about specific messages that might be a good focus. Pictures always help.
There is a Twitter feed that is not active. If someone wants to re-start this, Jane can get them the password. It is more of a way of connecting with the wider community than people within the school community.

IDEAS FOR UPCOMING EVENTS
- Family fun Night
- Parent Engagement
- Bake sale and raffle at winter concert.
 - Spring Fling in spring.
Catherine would love to hear ideas for other events. Catherine is going to consult with other schools’ Home and School leaders to get ideas that have worked elsewhere. VIP seating at the winter concert could be sold by raffle. Front-row seats awarded by raffle. Videotaping and reproducing of the Christmas concert still an option on the table for volunteers.

The date of the winter concerts will be Tuesday, December 8 for K-3 and Thursday, December 10 for 4-6. Both will be in the evening, probably a 6:30 start. We can try to institute a rule for people not to stand up, but this is hard to enforce.

We’ll make sure the winter concerts is on the agenda for the November Home and School meeting! Ideas welcome for that meeting.

FAMILY FUN NIGHT

This will take place on Wednesday, October 21 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Children of all grades and parents will be welcome to come to the school. Some of the activities will include
- Bake sale table, coordinated by Ramona.
   - At least one other volunteer is needed.
   - A notice will go home asking for donations.
- Popcorn and juice boxes
   - The popcorn maker requires coming in very early. It works slowly.
   - This would need a volunteer or two.
   - Granola bars or other snacks won’t be needed with a bake sale table.
- Board games in the gym
   - If anyone has board games they are willing to loan to the school for the evening,
   that would be great.
   - We can’t guarantee all the pieces will go home with your board!
   - There was minimal supervision needed at the board game stations last year.
   It’s very low maintenance after set-up. Last year, we used breakfast room tables. These were great.
- Craft room
   - Jane will coordinate. Another volunteer would be welcome.
- Bricks 4 Kids and Lego
   - We are looking at hiring Bricks 4 Kids to attract some of the older kids. This would require
   pre-registration and include about 30 kids. The project would be about an hour,
   so it would leave time
   - There can also be a Lego free-for-all table in the gym with the board games. This will be with the
   school’s Lego.
- WII dance room
   - Kelly is on this and will get it all set up!
- Karaoke room
   - Keri will loan her machine. Someone will need to set up the TV and hook it up.
   Keri has two or three CDs for the karaoke machine.

We talked about a 50/50 draw but decided against it.

Suggested donation $2 a person or $5 a family.

At the entry booth, Catherine will be setting up information about Home and School and a chance to sign up for email or Like the Facebook page. Catherine will also be sharing information about government grants for your child’s education savings fund for lower-income families (income less than $44,000 a year). There was some discussion about the details of this. Parents will be keen for the information about this. Catherine shared the flyer about it with some parents who were going to ask for more information from the Association for Newcomers to Canada.

Erin will give out Prince Street Power tattoos at Family Fun Night.

If you can arrive at 5:30 to help set up Family Fun Night, please do.

The meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m. Catherine welcomed additional questions and comments after the meeting.

See you all at Family Fun Night! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

The next meeting is ThursdayNovember 12 at 6:30.

Reserve these upcoming meeting dates:

- [no December meeting]
- January 14
- February 11
- [no March meeting]
- April 14
- May 12