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