Minutes from the January 7, 2020 Meeting

January 7, 2020
Happy New Year! There were 9 people in attendance at the meeting.
Christmas concert: There are pros and cons regarding the location of the Christmas concert. We have had it at First Baptist Church for the past several years. When it was located at the school, it was necessary to divide the concert into two performances, but students were able to go to their classrooms between performances and managing students – including pickups and drop-offs – was much easier. It was also an opportunity at pickup time for parents to interact with teachers on a really positive note. On the other hand, the audience experience is much better at the church. Managing pickup at the end of the concert went much more smoothly this year than in the past. If we go ahead at the church next year, we should restrict taking in food and drink from outside the church. There was a lot of garbage left behind this year. Do parents feel unwelcome at the school because the concert is being held outside the building? No, parents felt very welcome in the school community, even though they were in another building. Parents reflected the concert was EXCELLENT this year. The students put on a repeat performance at the school for their classmates a couple of days after the show.
Hot lunch program: To move hot lunch orders online, we would need to run two programs, Bambora for the money and www.hotlunches.net for the hot lunch/menu orders. These services would cost 2.7% plus $.25 per transaction. Subway orders, for example, would total $4.36 if ordered as a single transaction. You can order for a week or month or more at a time with one $0.25 transaction fee. You do need to have a credit card, and this would be prohibitive for some families.
Could the school perhaps place an order for families who could only access cash for orders. Can we do a half-year pilot with a hybrid program, where the school places the cash orders who require it? Then we would be able to assess if it would be possible to shift to just electronic orders in September. Parkdale School used this transition strategy. The group decided the pilot will begin without advertising the cash option but that cash transactions will be set up with families that contact the school identifying a need.
Westjet tickets: Ticket sales are going very well. We had printed 3,000, and we have distributed 2,671 for sale. Do we need to print more tickets? We have a permit to print up to 5,000. People are keen to purchase them. However, we won’t order more tickets until we know that the tickets that have been distributed are mostly sold. The draw date is February 28th.
Do we want to do something special when we do the draw? February 28th is a PD day. Perhaps it could be broadcast through Facebook live. Some neighbourhood children could come in for a photo opp or for the drawing.
New staff: The new custodian is named Randy. Joan took a leave to go to another school for a period of time but then broke her ankle! We wish her well and a speedy recovery. Mr. E, Eduardo, is a new youth worker. He has been organizing soccer on the playground during recess. A new EA, Mark Campbell, is also in the building.
Afterschool programming: Bricks 4 Kids want to do an afterschool program here for eight weeks. The registration cost would be $80 for the full program. The theme of the program would be “A Galaxy Far Away.” They would require a minimum of 8 and maximum of 20 students, and they would need a parent helper. A parent asked that if there are students coming who usually have support in the classroom, the program coordinators will need a heads-up and a plan to be in place to ensure the success of the program for all participants.
Robin and Keir reported.
Robin said the provincial Home and School Federation is looking for resolutions for their annual general meeting (AGM) in April. Ideally, they would like each school to propose a resolution. Did we have any themes that could lead to an effective resolution from Prince Street?
One thing that might be useful would be to have more consistent report cards across the province. There are about 30 different models across the province. Some differences are a result of grade levels at a school but others are not. When students move schools mid-year, they often face a new report card model, and they may not understand how to compare reports and understand student achievement. There has been study of this at the Public Schools Branch level but it has not yet resulted in a policy change or a standardized model. We at Prince Street now use a model that matches the learning program we have in place, the System of Student Achievement (formerly called progress monitoring). The model we use is very clear, but it is very prescriptive what can be included in the report, and it is not parent-friendly. (Parents still liked it better than the previous model, as reflected in previous years’ home and school discussions.) A parent suggested it is not particularly descriptive or personable; it also doesn’t give a sense of where the student’s achievement sits within a class. In the junior high schools our students move on to, Stonepark and Birchwood, both use different assessment models and report card formats!
We clarified that if we put forward a resolution, we would not be in a position to propose a model, but we could, if we wish to, propose a resolution for a report back to the Home and School of progress on research and some evaluative analysis based on the research.
We agreed we should draft a resolution. Jane will draft up a potential resolution for consideration.
Keir reported that the report for the PEI Home and School Federation book of reports. He and Robin were grateful for last year’s report prepared by Kirsty and will take care of the report for the current year.
We had set a goal of having four Home and School meetings this year, and of hosting a literacy event, a family games night, and at least one other learning opportunity for parents.
Heather confirmed Wendy Poirier will do a read-aloud night here in the library for children and families. It could possibly coincide with Family Literacy Day on January 27th, if Wendy would be available. Otherwise, we will find a date in February.
Family game night could then be held February 19, with a storm date of February 20.
Is there another theme night for parent engagement we would like to host?
We have access to an occupational therapist who would be willing to host an evening about how to support children at home with activities to help develop gross motor skills and fine motor skills. She’s a terrific presenter.
We had also talked about a presentation by the Student Well-Being Team. An introduction to Triple P Positive Parenting would be very welcome.
These events could be scheduled for late April and May. In June we will have a family barbecue and the grade six closing to look forward to.
The next Home and School meeting will be April 1 at 6:30 p.m. We will then finalize plans the rest of the year.