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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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