Welcome to a New Home and School Year at Prince Street!

Prince Street Home and School
September 20, 2018

There were 11 people in attendance at the meeting.

Kirsty called the meeting to order. She introduced the roles of the home and school executive. She described the help we provide the school with fundraising, including the school carnival Spring Fling, and volunteer work with breakfast programs and lunch orders. Home and School also tries to be a voice for families. Sometimes, a parent does not feel comfortable raising a concern with a teacher or administrator and the Home and School can help with communications between the school and families.

As we were discussing Spring Fling, we found out there are lots of new directives for student safety. These were announced at a recent principals’ meeting. For example, schools can no longer have inflatable bouncy castles! Principal Natasha is looking into the details.

PRINCIPAL’S REPORT

Natasha provided a verbal report.

Donations: The PEI Home and School Federation has donated $108 for the breakfast program at Prince Street. BioVectra’s social committee raised $810 for back-to-school supplies, including items such as sneakers to make sure all students are well-equipped. There was another anonymous donation of about 20 pairs of socks for students. This donor called and asked what kinds of things were needed. Invesco also made a recent donation: a box of backpacks with a package of supplies. Ordinarily, we get students to do thank-you cards for donors.

For future donations, please let people know that socks and small-sized underwear are really good to have a stash of.

Staff: Lots of new staff and new faces. We have a full-time EAL teacher, same teacher (Ms. MacAulay) back as last year. Enrolment is 232 right now. It has fluctuated since school started, but mostly between 230 and 232.

Hot Lunches: We started hot lunches this week, with a few hiccups (a few missing lunches, a pasta dish that was cold). There was really good feedback about the soup. There are lots of options we could try. Parents and teachers checked out a sample and think the food looks fantastic.

Website: Barb is updating the website with the list of new staff and email addresses to make sure parents can reach all the teachers. There’s also a Google calendar on the website Ms. Coady has been updating. When we determine Home and School meeting dates, these can be added.

Breakfast Program: This is up and running. There’s a need for many volunteers to update their police record checks, and Barb is doing up letters the volunteers take to the police to sponsor them so they can receive the check at no charge.

Student Well-Being Team: Representatives from the student well-being team attended Meet the Teacher night to connect with the school community. Chad White is our representative for the School Well-Being Team, and he would like to help with the Breakfast Program. Natasha will put him in touch with Kristy.

PEITF Convention: Please note this is in November this year, on November 8 and 9.

T-Shirt Orders: Order forms for Prince Street t-shirts have gone home. Orders are going well. We started out with just ordering t-shirts but later in the year might order long-sleeve t’s and sweatshirts if it’s possible to have the ordering coincide with parent-teacher interviews and if they can be guaranteed to arrive by Christmas. Maybe at our October meeting we can talk about options.

PROVINCIAL HOME AND SCHOOL FEDERATION NEWS
There’s volunteer training for anyone who does any volunteering through the school Thursday, Sept. 27, from 7:00 to 8:30 and Heather and Kristy are attending. Kirsty will put a notice on Facebook about this training in case others are interested.

FAMILY FUN NIGHT
Typically, we have done a family fun night in October on an evening before a PD day. Kids attend with their families, and there are board games, dance activities, crafts, and a bake sale with chips and juice boxes. It may be possible to get Let’s Talk Science for demos this year. It’s a really simple fundraiser. It’s a pay-as-you-can event, sometimes with a suggested donation. It usually has a fall theme. It will take place on October 18 from 6:00-7:30. Students can bring Pokemon cards or Bey Blades. It’s mostly K–3 who are keenest to come. Jane has run a craft table in the past but will be out of town on the date selected for this year.

Natasha and Aletha will look for a staff member to set up and run
- a dance activity room and
- a craft table.
Otherwise, staff are welcome to help out on the evening of.

FUNDRAISING OPTIONS
Heather would really like to aim to work towards a legacy contribution to Prince Street. One goal she would love to fundraise for would be to have a full Orff orchestra before the end of next year. Heather would like Home and School to contribute over two years.

As it happens, the Public Schools Branch has bought a stock of instruments for every school: drums, guitars, and ukuleles. We don’t know how these will be used by the new music teacher or if they will be used after Sonya, our regular music teacher who is on parental leave, gets back after Christmas. There are more instruments to come soon.

This led to another possibility: Could we do an after school program with the organizers of the Rock Camp? Heather is going to look into this.

Kirsty asked, Are there any big items the school wants? The school has money put aside for smart boards and possibly may have access to at least one from a used source at a discount.

Another piece of play equipment for the kindergarten playground would be welcome - past research revealed the highest expense is the gravel rather than just the play structure.

We haven’t done a larger scale fundraiser for a while and are ready to take something on towards the right goal to benefit the students. :)

WISH LISTS
In the past, the Home and School has done wish lists from teachers, but the last two years we have given a lump sum of money towards specific requests to benefit the whole school. Past contributions have allowed for purchase of outdoor play gear, or tools for gross motor development.

This year, we can offer $1,000. Natasha and Aletha will discuss with staff to figure out what would be the best use of this contribution.

Do we want to do other fundraisers as Home and School or in coordination with the school? A parent who works at the Preserve Company offered  a basket for a raffle. We have in the past done a raffle for Christmas and have sold tickets at Family Fun Night and the Farmer’s Market in the lead-up to the Winter Concert. Kirsty will get a raffle number.

The general feeling about commercial fundraising, such as selling chocolate, is not a good feeling from either staff or parents.

Natasha noted that she is learning her role and learning the school and hoping to work with Home and School over a longer term to make a plan together. Working and planning together will be very welcome.

DATES FOR HOME AND SCHOOL
Participants decided meetings will take place on 3rd Thursdays of each month
- October 18 will be Family Fun Night (no meeting, just fun)
- November 15
- December - no meeting
- January 17
- February 21
- March - no meeting
- April 18
- May 16
- June 7 - Spring Fling

QUESTIONS
Water fountains:
Is there any way we could get one of the nice water fountains that lets you fill a water bottle? The admin is going to look into options. If there aren’t options for subsidy, this may be something the Home and School could help fundraise for. We would want eventually to have one on each floor.

School Supplies:
Would it be possible to have a school-supply fee for the whole school rather just for K-3? One parent noted the Grade 4 list from the Public Schools Branch is particularly bonkers. Another told the story of meeting a parent in a school supply aisle in tears because of the expense of supplies from the list. Natasha noted that Prince Street took a number of items off the Branch lists that were already in supply at the school or that aren’t actually used.

Alternatively, if we don’t move to a flat fee for bulk buying for grades 4, 5, and 6, we could move to one standard list of school supplies for 4 to 6 based on minimum requirements.

It was noted that it is hard for parents to get some very specific items, such as duo-tangs in specific colours. Teachers really like colour-coded duo-tangs, but it can be impossible to get the colours requested.

School dances:
Will there be school dances this year? There were none last year. This hasn’t been decided. There may be an in-school Halloween dance activity during school.

ELECTIONS
Kirsty and Ramona were co-chairs last year. Ramona has stepped down. Kirsty would like to have a co-chair or vice-chair or best friend. Joanne Clarke volunteered and was elected as co-chair.

Heather is going to continue as treasurer.

Jane would like to step back from being secretary or to mentor someone into the role of secretary. Stephanie McKenna would be happy to take this on. She and Jane will sort out a plan for November.
Stephanie was elected secretary.

Congratulations to the new executive!

Minutes from the May 2018 meeting

Prince Street Home and School
May 22, 2018

There were 9 in attendance at the meeting. Kristy and Ramona co-chaired. In past years, we have used the May meeting to select an Executive for the coming year. There was not enough attendance to do so this time. We will need to do some recruitment over the summer, since our co-presidents and secretary would like to mentor new people into these roles.

SPRING FLING
We’re going to need to come to the school next week. Those who are able to plan the setup will meet at 7:30 on Monday to review materials and make final arrangements for Spring Fling.
Jane will get Stephen to ask Keri Ferguson about the sucker pull and plinko games we have borrowed in the past.
Ramona will reconfirm tables and garbage cans.
We still need volunteers for setup, cleanup, and indoor games.
- Janet volunteered for cleanup, as did Ramona.
- Ramona will post reminders online.
- A few things have come in for a raffle and more things are welcome. Let Kristy know!
- Jane will pop popcorn and coordinate the book sale and bake sale. Jane will donate butter, oil, and salt. Kirsty will get popcorn and bags. There will be volunteers to help prince items.
- Kristy is making a run to Kays Bros for wholesale items: anyone who needs wholesale goods should let her know.
- Kristy will get a snack for our student volunteers.
- Heather has coordinated rental of the barbecue and has lined up volunteers.
- Mr. Brown is coordinating dunk tank delivery.
- Last year there was a table outside with lost and found items.
- On Thursday, May 31, Kristy will enlist some grade 6 volunteers from Mrs. Parson’s class for loading and unloading.

GRADUATION: SCHOOL CLOSING
Unless we hear differently, school closing for Grade 6 will take place at 1:00 p.m. on June 26th
They are working around Stonepark and Birchwood timing for their ceremonies.
Typically, Home and School has purchased cake, a fruit tray, and a beverage for an outdoor reception. Sobeys did a really nice cake in the past with the school logo on it, and they did a great job.
We have in the past put out a call to Grade 5 parents to send in snacks - last year, we got two or three.
We have 2 plaques.
- One is for a teacher who goes above and beyond. This has gone to retiring teachers the past few years - it would be nice to give it to someone who is staying!
- One requires teacher input for the Never Give Up award. The student also gets a certificate and a gift card. (Jane can do the certificate when the name is known.)

In the past, grade six students fundraised for graduation hoodies. This was coordinated by a teacher who since retired. It is too late to coordinate graduation sweatshirts for this year.

Could there be an order of the Prince Street logo school t-shirts and sweaters again for anyone in the school who wants one? Several students would like to have one. Last time, the resource team coordinated it.
Should we wait until the fall? Yes, we decided. If we do it now, the students might have outgrown them by the fall!
We’ll wait until September.

DISTRICT ADVISORY COUNCIL
Richard will be attending his first DAC meeting tomorrow. He asked for input on the topics that are planned for the agenda.
- Class composition: Richard is not sure yet what the focus of this presentation will be. Anna said that from the school perspective, class composition looks at what the variety of needs are in the classroom.
- Enrichment: We advocate most strongly for more teacher-librarians with more dedicated teacher-librarian time in our school and in all schools. And more resources for enrichment activities that are available to all students in arts, music, drama, science, math, and physical education.
- Homework: Parents noted they would like more similarity across the board in school and more consistent homework expectations across schools for each grade level. Parents had positive feedback about homework being assigned in a lump at the beginning of the week and then managed at home towards an end-of-week deadline. The case in favour of homework is that it provides extra practice to make a shift from short-term to long-term memory and learning. The case against is that it may limit students in what they can do after school: time for extracurricular activities, family time, other kinds of learning. Around this table, the benefit was noted that homework helps younger children recognize the connection between parents and children and encourages engagement between parents and children. Values that students develop through homework are also important: persistence, discipline, character-building. It is important for parents to have a role in determining homework and reporting back. Having a small amount of homework for consistency is helpful. Just reading for a fixed amount of time every night is not connecting some children to understanding, or to engaging with texts. They are doing some perfunctory reading to finish a mandatory amount of time. The books students bring home (levelled readers) can be painfully awful for students and their parents. Encouraging a child to persuade the teacher to allow free reading, encouraging the child to read the assigned book and a book they are interested in are possible strategies. Is there a way that high-interest books could be given a level so they meet curriculum needs and teachers’ needs without? Students often bring home the same book day after day until the parent intervenes to say, “Don’t bring home the same book again!” Parental involvement is really

Principal’s REPORT
- The Volunteer of the Year plaque in honour of Dana Doyle will be here.
- Field trips for year-end are organized
- Girls at Bat is up and running.
- We have one staff retirement: Rosemary MacArthur.
- Awards assembly in the past has been used to announce changes of staff for next year. That will take place in the last full week of school.
- Jimmy, our crossing guard is celebrating his 25th year this year! It came up in conversation.
- We have a sports day tentatively booked for June 15th. Free pizza, freezies, and water will be part of the day.
- Hot lunches end early this year: the 15th will be the last day. There will be no hot lunches the 18th to the 27th. Kirsty can do a hot-dog day one day to help fill the gap those days.

BIKE RODEO
- This weekend May 26th at Simmon’s. Bike or Walk to School Day is June 8th.
- The draw for Bikes for Books may happen as soon Friday! It has been a great incentive for folks to read.

Erin and Kelly are both taking a second year in their roles.
Natasha Bromley has been hired as Principal.
The vice-principal role has been posted and will be hired soon.

There will be an announcement for students that will be quite low-key.

In the past we talked about having a spring fling coordinator separate from the president - that is still possible as a model. We have just been short of volunteers.

Minutes from the April 2018 meeting

Prince Street Home and School
April 24, 2018

Nine people participated in the meeting. Ramona had drafted an agenda in advance, and Anna had printed it for us. This was the first meeting attended by Natasha Bromley, our new vice-principal, so we welcomed her warmly. Kristy called the meeting to order and invited a round of introductions.

PRINCIPAL’S REPORT

Anna shared her news: she has been offered a position as principal of Souris school in the fall of next year. There were about eight postings for administrator jobs: there will be a lot of movement in schools next year. Anna was torn – she really has found Prince Street to be a beautiful, beautiful school. Anna will stay through staffing and work for the school’s best interest and then begin at Souris school in the fall. Our Prince Street principal position was posted today and applications will be due by Friday.

Richard MacEwen has volunteered to serve as Prince Street’s District Advisory Council rep. We are very grateful. The next DAC meeting for the Colonel Gray district has not yet been set.

Last meeting, we talked about bulk orders for school supplies. It was too late to make adjustments for this fall, so Anna and staff have put it on the radar for next year and Home and School members will plan to have a discussion earlier in the year in September or October with the new principal so it can be considered earlier.

The Book Fair was another hit and sold $2,500 worth of books. This will result in free books for our school.

The annual pancake breakfast at Trinity Clifton United Church raised about $1,400 and was another wonderful event.

The Bikes for Books project was launched. Students earn ballots for all the reading they do. The ballots will be drawn on May 18, so students have a bit more time for reading. Each classroom will get one girls’ model and on boys’ model bicycle and helmets. Parents said this fantastic project has created a lot of incentive for reading.

Anna forgot to mention but asked us to add to the minutes that Prince Street had a great visit with the Easter Seals Ambassador, Brayden White.

Yesterday was a school assembly, and staff went through a review of the history of PRINCE Street values and the school song. Ms. Courtney and Ms. Read did a lot of the legwork. Students spoke very well at the assembly. It was a brief but effective assembly.

After-school Programs: Game Force is wrapping up. There was very positive feedback about it. Attendance was consistently very good. Students very much enjoyed it. Programming is a great spark for that age group. There were also generous take-aways for the student participants. That program is sponsored through the provincial government.

Yesterday, we started first of four nights of a Chemistry Club, which is another Bricks 4 Kids initiative. Again, it is educational. The cost is $20 per student, subsidized by the school. They will run four Mondays, one hour after school. They do chemistry experiments. There are spaces available if anyone missed the first week.

Ms. Ghiz has a drama club that has started meeting after school. This is for grades 4-6. They met for the first time this evening, and they just got their scripts tonight. There will be some lunchtime meetings as well.

Ms. Donna our youth worker will be running another after-school program for K-3 grades, mostly games and activities in the gym.

Jaime Griffin from Women’s Network PEI has called Anna about a program called “Girls at Bat.” With access to national funding from the Blue Jays Foundation to cover the costs of trained facilitators and equipment, the “Girls at Bat” program will offer baseball skills and running alongside programming for girls for assertiveness, goal-setting, and other positive traits. Parents at the meeting noted that they knew some of the facilitators and that they are excellent.

The Our School Parent Survey will be going out this week. It is only available online. A letter will go home tomorrow in students’ bags. Parents and caregivers can complete the survey online. It is quite broad. We had flexibility to add questions, and Prince Street did add a few questions about the best communication methods to reach people and a question about rezoning and what that experience was like if it affected you. The link for Prince Street School is https://www.ourschool.net/pdqnc
Next week, students and staff will also have the opportunity to respond to the Our School survey.

Parents asked if there were useful results from last year’s Our School survey. Last year was the first year for this survey and roll-out was a bit rushed so it didn’t provide good school-level data from parents – the sample wasn’t large enough to be representative. The student survey results were good because everyone participated. One example was that there was a question about whether students had a spot where they do their homework at home, and it led to interesting conversations about the routine of homework.

Are we anticipating more rezoning in future with more and more immigrants coming? The school review process calls for regular school review and potential rezoning within five years. The Charlottetown high schools will be rezoned in the coming five years.

At Prince Street, current enrollment is 252; the projected enrollment for the fall is 233. The school is fairly confident that the kindergarten incoming students are all registered. When we last met, there were registrations that hadn’t come in yet.

REPORT CARD MODELS

We talked about report cards in the fall. Anna asked parents how satisfied they are with the report card model that we’re using currently. One parent noted that parents (and students) may need more clarification figuring out if students are placed or promoted in the next year. Parents are still looking for a clear and easy to read statement about placement or promotion, which has not been done recently since we are doing progress monitoring. Staff have been looking at ways the current report card model matches or doesn’t match progress monitoring.

Not all schools look the same in their report cards. Currently, the whole Public Schools Branch in English has about 16 report card models (different models at 5 different grade ranges, then progress monitoring report cards which are called “learning reports,” plus French Immersion models). Anna and Natasha have worked in schools that use progress monitoring in the past, and the progress monitoring model is a better match for what teachers are doing in the classroom.

Home and School would love to look at the  “learning report” model with administration at our next meeting. The current report card is not an easy form for educators to fill out or for parents and students to interpret. It isn’t clear on current report cards what each number means for a particular teacher.

Anna would like to pursue this discussion a little bit more. If we went to a change in report cards, would we change before the end of this year, or would we put it off to November’s first report cards? Parents suggested that changing mid-year may be stressful for some students who are tracking their own progress and looking for established benchmarks for this year.

Anna noted there may be technical issues to sort out with software and templates. Anna will need to look into that part. Anna said the process for change would include parents with an information night and a review of technical changes. Parents suggested the introduction of a new report card model if in the fall could be a good way to attract some parents who don’t come to meet the staff night in September.

HOME AND SCHOOL AGM

Kristy, Jane, and Joanne attended the provincial Home and School Annual General Meeting on April 14, 2018. Prince Street was involved with three resolutions this year. Two passed: one related to school closures for deaths in the school community and another related to communication protocols in the case of emergencies during off-school days.

One co-sponsored with Colonel Gray and related to permission for mental health days being made more explicit in policy received support but did not pass. There was encouragement to work on this resolution for reintroduction next year.

Joanne reported that the food was lovely. There were really useful roundtables on a number of topics. Joanne and Kristy sat with Parker Grimmer and the Lieutenant Governor and the principal from Belfast, among others, at a table looking at communications. Lots of valuable ideas came up. One topic was the value of Teachers’ Federation “little blue cards” with teachers’ email address. Some teachers choose to have the little blue cards and others don’t. Kristy was grateful that Anna this year posted the homeroom teachers’ email addresses on the Prince Street School website. Jane sat at a table discussing school dress codes, because this is a topic her workplace has done some research on.

Kristy noted that the facilitators at the round tables were really awesome.

SPRING FLING

Spring Fling is our annual FUN-raising school carnival. The 2018 date is set for Friday, June 1. The event will be held from 5:30 to 7:30.

Kirstin did a review of what has happened in past years. Students and some teachers have helped with set-up on the afternoon of the Spring Fling day. Much of the activity is outside, unless it rains. Last year, we blocked off the upstairs and that saved a lot of cleaning. There was some discussion of the dunk tank! Kristy outlined some of the main activities: Barbecue, bouncy castle, carnival games in the gym, face painters (already hired), nail painting, cake walk, book sale and bake sale. Heather noted that this year, the karate club will probably do something special.Price of tickets: $0.50. There is usually a roll of tickets given away for free. Ticket sellers need to be less generous giving away additional tickets at the event this year – it is important for us to be able to break even. ☺

The project requires 30 to 40 volunteers. Last year, we put out about $1,200 and brought in about $2,100, for a profit of about $900. We do 50/50 tickets and could do a raffle basket as we did at Christmas. We will need to get lottery licenses.

Home and School will put out a post in the next week with a save-the-date and a heads-up about what we’ll be looking for in donations: books, donations for a raffle basket, think ahead to the bake sale… And volunteer bodies!

OTHER BUSINESS

Heather has been looking at restaurant equipment for her work and thinking also of Prince Street’s needs – she has been looking for a used free or cheap-lease industrial dishwasher.

We’d have to go through the school board to have it installed. It would be prudent to get the specs on something free or something cheap and then find out the specifications for installation and costs. All agreed: this is worth looking into. It may take some time, but it would certainly reduce waste.

The meeting adjourned with thanks to all.

The May meeting will take place May 22, 2018, at 6:30 p.m.

Prince Street Home and School - February Minutes

Prince Street Home and School February Meeting Minutes
February 27, 2018

There were 8 participants in the meeting. Kirsty chaired.

DISTRICT ADVISORY COUNCIL UPDATE

Vinay Upreti gave an update on the work of the Colonel Gray DAC. His family has moved out of zone and he has to give up his place as Prince Street representative. We will try to find a replacement DAC representative through an open call to all parents for volunteers or nominations. If there are multiple volunteers or nominations, it should go to a vote. We may use information from the Public Schools Branch to help promote this opportunity. Anna will request the DAC pamphlet from Ghislaine O’Hanley to include in an email to parents.

Vinery reported that things are moving in the right direction with the Colonel Gray DAC. In addition to issues raised in the minutes (circulated) mental health remains a significant topic of discussion and concern. There is no homework policy for the Province, and the Colonel Gray DAC has asked for a committee to be struck to examine homework policy and give some direction. The DAC has a diversity of opinions about what a policy should include.

Quality of teaching remains another topic and there are varied views on ways to provide feedback to teachers for performance development. This topic has no action points at the moment. School review, class size, and class composition have also been topics of discussion.

The next DAC meeting is not yet scheduled. The commitment for Prince Street’s representative is to attend at least three meetings a year. Terms are two years.

PRINCIPAL’S REPORT

Anna gave the Principal’s report.

We’ve received a lot of new resources lately - including 3 Class Comp awards to the school, which allows staff to work with literacy and numeracy coaches on targeted instruction on language arts and math. This also gives us time for more teacher-led assessment, especially for students who are new to the school and whom we are still getting to know. We also had an itinerant EA assigned to our school 6 hours a day until mid-April. We received an EAL EA, 4 hours a day until the end of the school year.

After-school programming has so far included Grades 3-4 and 5-6 in programming, and now we are running a K-1 and a 2-3 group with Ms. Donna, the youth worker. Game Force is running currently for Grades 5 and 6, through Innovation PEI. Kids work on laptops to learn programming and video game programming. Game Force runs a very popular summer camp.

We recently had students involved in a gymnastics meet with tremendous participation and results. More than two dozen Prince Street students participated.

Book Fair is on this week. We are still looking for parent and grandparent volunteers to help with book fair.

Report cards went home with students today. One of the things we got from report cards was attendance data. There was a high number of students with perfect attendance, even in cold and flu season.

School lunches need some menu refreshment. Orders of wraps have decreased and will be replaced with lasagna and a roll from Green Isle Catering. Anna thanked Kristy for the tremendous job she does every week with lunch orders. It takes at least two hours a week, and staff and parents appreciate it very much that Kristy does this work.

Active schools - Families had participated in a first-round survey about active transportation to school. Anna attended a meeting that narrated, with slides, the area around the school and the surrounding streets. Two city police officers, Active Living, and City reps attended. It was a good discussion and people there were interested and able to take information from the discussion back to their groups. Between meetings, conversations are taking place. A couple of survey responses noted challenges with signage about parking, and it was possible to get updates and additional information. Police and City officials are looking into issues that came up on surveys.

Kindergarten numbers: Province is saying there are a lot of students not yet registered across the province, and they estimate based on their data that Prince Street is missing nine or ten registrations. The school will do a Facebook post with reminders about registration. We’re still at just barely two classes (21 registrations). If other students are out there, we really need their numbers. Students entering kindergarten will have EYEs will be April 27th and 30th and the save-the-date information will be in the March newsletter.

After March Break, Aletha Coady will be finished her time as vice-principal and Natasha Bromley will arrive at the school to take up her post. Natasha is excited about coming to Prince Street. Home and School members expressed appreciation for Aletha’s great work as interimg vice-principal.

HOME AND SCHOOL AGM

This year’s provincial Home and School Federation is April 14. We need to register by the end of March and can send up to five voting delegates. Prince Street has put forward a number of resolutions for discussion.

SPRING FLING

We have typically done Spring Fling, our spring carnival fun-raiser, on the first Friday in June, which this year would be June 1st. Kirsty gave Anna an overview of the event. Home and School wlll ask staff to volunteer - their participation last year was excellent.
Heather can coordinate the barbecue.
Joanne can run the indoor games room.
We will request O’Connor Glass to sponsor the cotton candy.
We will request Cox and Palmer to sponsor the bouncy castle.
We talked about hiring Becka Viau to do face paint. We are hoping that will be affordable.

The Cake Walk has always been a popular event, and it was coordinated by Dana for a dozen years.  We will need a new coordinator in her honour.

OTHER BUSINESS

A karate club will be starting here in April. A parent asked if it could run through the summer, but it is not possible at this school. It is mostly students from the school in the club.

BIKES FOR BOOKS

The Masonic Lodge from Wheatley River has sponsored three or four schools a year for the Bikes for Books project, and this year, Prince Street is one of the lucky schools to participate. Each homeroom will have two bikes and helmets to be drawn for in a raffle. Students get ballots based on the books they read to give them a chance to win. There is a spaghetti dinner to support this initiative on March 12. Details in the March newsletter.

PANCAKE BREAKFAST IN SUPPORT OF PRINCE STREET SCHOOL

Trinity United Church’s wonderful annual pancake breakfast in support for Prince Street will take place March 17 at Trinity. This is a great breakfast and a great event.

HONOURING DANA DOYLE

We had talked at the time of Dana’s funeral about recognition and celebration of her contribution. We may also be doing a spaghetti supper in support of Dana’s son, and some of the proceeds could go towards an award in her name.

We could do a plaque with her name on it and present it to the volunteer of the year (an adult who volunteers at the school) at the final assembly of the year. If this were a school award, it could be maintained year to year with a plaque within the school.

SCHOOL SUPPLY FEES

Currently, the school policy on school supplies is that Grades K-3 pay a fee for school supplies, which are bulk ordered, and students purchase their own supplies from a Board-approved list in Grades 4-6. A parent asked: Is there an option to extend the fee for classroom supplies for K-3 to include 4-6? A bulk order would need to be made very soon if this change were being made. An advantage of bulk order is that the teacher can plan for colour coding or consistent supplies. There is a maximum list of supplies that can be ordered put out by the Board, but there is still a lot of variation school to school. Staff in the past have discussed the pros and cons. If you choose to order for everyone, if you then have seven students in one class that don’t pay the fee, it affects the teacher, the classroom, and the school. When there’s a list, very few students come with nothing. They often have enough supplies to get through the year. It was agreed that the current policy is worth revisiting. Parents could be asked to pay their supplies with an option to contribute an additional $10 to the school’s communal pot.

School field trips are coming up in not too long. There was some discussion of destinations. It remains the school’s policy that there are no parent volunteer chaperones.

NEXT MEETING

There is no March meeting. The April meeting is scheduled for APRIL 24.

The meeting adjourned with thanks.

Proposed Resolutions for the Provincial AGM

Our January Prince Street Home and School meeting was stormed out! One of the important items on the agenda was to review and agree on resolutions to submit to the provincial Home and School Federation from our school. Resolutions have to be submitted to the provincial board by the end of January. This year, three proposed resolutions came forward from the school community. They are pasted below. The Prince Street home and school executive would value your feedback at princestreethomeandschool@gmail.com. Unless we hear otherwise from you or receive suggestions for changes to the resolutions, we'll submit these three resolutions to be considered and voted on at the provincial AGM. Thank you! 

Please also watch the school Facebook page or contact home and school executive for opportunities to participate in Staff Appreciation Week, February 12-16.

Next meeting, weather permitting, will be February 27. See you then!

 

PROPOSED RESOLUTION 1:
School Closure for Deaths in the School Community

WHEREAS the people in our schools and on school grounds have a variety of employers (for example, the Public Schools Branch; the French-Language School Board; the Department of Education, Early Learning, and Culture; municipalities) and that students and volunteers on school sites are not there as employees; and

WHEREAS "school communities" should be understood as a network made up of students, teachers, staff, administrators, crossing guards, on-site volunteers, and parents and guardians who all play a role in students' safety and learning; and

WHEREAS some members of school communities have significant and regular interactions with a wide range of students and school staff; and

WHEREAS the death of such members of school communities is an exceptional circumstance; and

WHEREAS a death may be untimely or occur under tragic circumstances; and

WHEREAS it is valuable and important learning for students to understand and have the opportunity to participate in traditions and rituals that accompany death and grieving in the cultural traditions that make up Prince Edward Island;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Prince Edward Island Home and School Federation request that the Public Schools Branch develop a policy for school closure/early dismissal that includes support for closure or dismissal for the wake or funeral of a member of the school community who has had significant and regular interaction with a wide range of students and school staff and/or whose death is untimely or in tragic circumstances, regardless of this person's employment.

PROPOSED RESOLUTION 2:
Communication Protocols in Urgent Situations

WHEREAS urgent issues may arise outside school hours and on weekends and holidays that require quick decisions or timely resolution that may affect students, their families, and school staff; and

WHEREAS each school's Home and School leaders have a role to play in providing valuable input into these decisions and helping to plan for the effects on students, their families, and school staff; and

WHEREAS Home and School members do not have access to clear processes to reach school and/or education decision-makers outside school hours and on weekends and holidays; and

WHEREAS Home and School members wish to respect the privacy and personal time of school and/or education decision-makers;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the PEI Home and School Federation request that the Public Schools Branch establish a clear protocol for communicating with school and education decision-makers when urgent situations arise outside school hours and require timely resolution.

PROPOSED RESOLUTION 3: Mental Health Days

WHEREAS the current attendance policy of the Public Schools Branch states "that regular and punctual attendance at school is imperative for educational success. Students are expected to be in school each day unless ill or unable to attend due to an unavoidable circumstance," and

WHEREAS procedures to address absences include calls to parents and letters of notification that get sent out after five, ten, fifteen and twenty days of missed class, with reporting to child protection triggered by higher rates of school absence, and

WHEREAS this policy limits parental discretion to keep their children home for reasons they consider valid, including students' mental health, which may not be an illness or an unavoidable circumstance, and

WHEREAS mental health issues are prevalent in Prince Edward Island, and

WHEREAS numerous mental health initiatives have been implemented in schools and communities to assist youth and their families, and

WHEREAS taking an occasional "mental health day" for self-care is becoming increasingly acceptable among workplace absenteeism policies, and

WHEREAS many school attendance policies omit or do not expressly refer to absenteeism due to student mental health issues, and

WHEREAS openly talking about mental health helps to reduce mental health stigma,

BE IT RESOLVED that Island schools be encouraged to revise student absentee policies [to better support parents' discretion about their children's best interests and] to expressly include mental health days.‎

 

 

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.

PRINCIPAL’S REPORT
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.

FINANCIAL REPORT
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.

DISTRICT ADVISORY COUNCIL
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.

FROM THE PEI HOME AND SCHOOL FEDERATION
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.

ACTIVE ROUTES TO SCHOOL
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.

GARDEN BUDDIES
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.

SCHOOL LUNCHES, BREAKFAST PROGRAM
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.

AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS
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.

CHRISTMAS CONCERT
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.

OTHER BUSINESS
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

Oops! Meeting Dates Correction!

Sorry, friends! We listed the date of the November Home and School meeting incorrectly. The fourth Tuesday of November is November 28, not November 21 as stated at the last meeting.

We will meet on Tuesday, November 28, at 6:30 p.m.

Here's the corrected list of future Home and School meeting dates scheduled for the rest of the year:

November 28

December - no meeting
January 23
February 27
March - no meeting
April 24
May 22

Past minutes have been corrected retroactively.

 - Jane

 

October Home and School Meeting Minutes

Prince Street Home and School
October 24, 2017

There were 18 participants and 2 translators in attendance. Ramona called the meeting to order and invited people to introduce themselves around the table. There were several newcomers to the school – and several newcomers to Canada. Welcome to all!

BUS DRIVER INFORMATION
Karla shared information on behalf of her husband, a bus driver in Stratford, who was not able to attend. He is chairing a health and safety campaign about stopping when bus lights are flashing, and he has information to share, including a ten-minute presentation that he would like to present at a future opportunity. Karla shared a brochure that has been developed about stopping when buses are flashing their red lights.

Every year they bring out a new fleet of buses and new buses have more red lights and safety features to signal when they are about to stop. Every year, they try to do more to improve visibility and safety, but people still pass buses more often than you would think.

PRINCIPAL’S REPORT
Principal Anna MacKenzie gave a verbal report.

School Activities: Younger grades have gone apple picking, and Grade 3A is planning visits to the seniors’ residence Geneva Villa. Bricks 4 Kids got off the ground with an after school program, with the first of four Wednesday sessions for Grades 1 to 3. They had hoped for 20 registrations but got 14. Their next session will be for Grades 4 to 6. Youth Services Worker Donna MacDonald will start an afterschool activity soon for Grades 4 to 6, so all grades will have had a chance for at least one afterschool activity this term. Dance Club is starting up on Thursday mornings and is being coordinated by Grade 5 teacher Amanda Killorn. This club helps students round out their day, get some exercise, and enhance social skills.

Academics: Math and reading goals for our school are in the process of being updated. Rezoning happened after June assessments of math and reading, so the June to September data has changed. The school is just in the process of getting reshuffled data for the current school population.

Book Fair: A book fair is scheduled for during parent/teacher interviews November 17 to 18. The school will likely get some advertising out soon. We will probably need some parent volunteers to support the book fair. Please let the school know. Heather can do Thursday evening; Jane will check with her mom about Friday. Volunteers can let Anna know.

Wish List: Principal Anna thanked the Home and School for its contribution of $800 towards “wish list” items to support the school. The school has started to do some shopping for behaviour resource materials and outdoor activities equipment, the priority items selected. The staff voted on resources that would benefit the most students. If you know people with woodworking skills with routers or sanders the school would appreciate some help with some outdoor equipment. Kristy will check with a parent. Ramona has a big log in her yard!

Questions: Could the afterschool and morning activities be posted to the Facebook page, please, because students don’t always get messages home to parents.

SEEDLINGS
Updates on the Seedlings program are a standing agenda item this year. There was no update from Marilyn Carey this month since she wasn’t available, but the program is getting great reviews – “It’s amazing!” said one of the kindergarten participants.

FINANCIAL REPORT
Heather gave the financial report. The current balance is $876. There are fundraisers coming up – the family fun night and Christmas fundraisers.
We spent some money on food treats to welcome new teachers and a new principal at the beginning of the year. (These were very welcome.)
Home and School Federation dues have increased this year from $100 to $200 based on our school’s size, but we only paid $100. We will pay the higher dues when this becomes financially possible for us. We had let the Home and School know at the Annual General Meeting that we could not meet the fee increase this year.

DISTRICT ADVISORY COUNCILS (DACs)
Jane has been the Prince Street representative on the District Advisory Council for the past eighteen months, since the Councils were established, but she cannot continue this year. She described the work of the Council. Our district, the Colonel Gray family of schools, was working towards a project to do some research and assessment around appropriate amounts and kinds of homework for students in primary. The DAC also discussed other themes and topics. The Department of Education has hired a new coordinator for the DACs who began work last week. She will be assisting DACs to get going for the new year. The time commitment is three meetings a year. The DAC’s role is to advise government. Jane is happy to share information from last year’s work with a new Prince Street representative.

Vinay Upreti volunteered. He is a recent newcomer to PEI from Turkey and has experience with teaching and education systems in other parts of the world. Jane said that the contributions of people with experience from other countries was very valuable on the DAC last year.

LEARN DAY GRANTS
The deadline is November 9 for small grants, $500 to $1,000, that support lifelong learning. Heather presented an idea – Nellie with Bricks4Kids is an engaging educator with a strong background in math who has done many presentations to students and adults about math. She does one presentation about what some call the “new math” to take away parents’ apprehension about the way math is currently being taught. Heather proposes a two-part application, for a parent engagement grant and a learn grant, to bring Nellie in for a presentation to parents and an additional presentation. Heather will develop a proposal and Jane will help edit.

ACTIVE ROUTES TO SCHOOL PROJECT
Ramona talked about Recreation PEI’s offer to pilot their active routes to school project with our school and Sherwood School. They will provide resources to the school to encourage more kids to walk and bike to school. The coordinator Jamie Gosbee met with Anna, Kristy, and Ramona. The pilot project would begin with an assessment of how many students are bussing or being driven to school who could be walking or biking. Ramona noted that for safety reasons, walking is the better option for our city streets rather than biking.

To determine how many students are bussing that could potentially walk, the possible first step would be a survey in classrooms and/or a survey to families. Next they would come to the school in the mornings and afternoons to look at the traffic patterns and make observations. Results of the survey plus observations then would be presented to parents and the school to set goals. They would have some practical suggestions and resources to encourage active routes to school. The project would then assess at the end of the project if there had been any change in students using active transportation. Ramona and Kristy thought the project seemed worthwhile.

Anna also thought the proposal was very interesting – there are a number of Prince Street students bussing or being driven to school. Is there potential to change that behaviour to walking? She wondered, besides health benefits, does that also work to relieve congestion in the immediate area of the school and offer a safer area around the school? She saw potential health, safety, and environmental benefits. Of cours,e maybe we will find out we have a lot of walkers already.

A parent asked if they would assess students’ habits in more than one season. The factors affecting active routes are very different in winter than in fall or spring. Yes, the pilot would assess students’ routes in multiple seasons and weather.

Anna would like a few weeks to get a response from staff before a final decision about participating in the pilot. Home and School has positive feedback and will support participation if staff agrees it is a good idea.

FOOD PROGRAMS
Checking in about breakfast programs and hot lunch is a standing item on the agenda this year. Feedback about school food programs was positive.

There was a request from a parent that the menu on the order form specify what kind of meat is in “meatballs.” Kristy confirmed the meatballs are beef, but the group acknowledged that “meat” is unclear and could cause confusion for families that do not eat some kinds of meat. The meal order form can be updated to specify “beef meatballs.”

FAMILY FUN NIGHT
Family fun night is scheduled for Thursday, November 2, from 6:00 to 7:30 in the school. Families are welcome – parents, grandparents, guardians, and children. Admission is by donation.

The family fun will include a bake sale, board games in the gym, and a craft table. Can anyone volunteer to have a room for Just Dance? Kristy or Heather will check with Ms. Killorn.

A Pokemon tournament was very popular last year. Is there someone who could coordinate this?

The youth services worker formerly set up particularly popular games. Can the new youth services worker access these same games?

A teacher passed on a student’s request for a Beyblade Battle.

Anyone who is able is welcome to donate baking – please make sure that all baking is free of the allergens that are banned at the school this year. Drop-off for baked goods is welcome before the end of the school day or when you arrive for family fun night. Kristy will also get chips and juice boxes.

RAFFLE BASKET
Karla’s goal is to have the raffle basket done up for Family Fun Night on November 2 so that people can see what’s in the basket. It can be on display as well at the book fair and then the winter concert. Tickets will be $2 each or 3 for $5 – and the draw date will be the December 18th in the last week of school. Kristy and Heather will get the lottery license number. Ms. Coady will help manage the tickets.

Items so far include crafts, toys, and services. If there are late items to the basket, these can be accommodated.

A parent noted that Grade 6 students like to have a role in selling tickets or other tasks at events!

ANY OTHER ITEMS?
When is the Christmas concert? The concert will be held December 12th at 6:30 p.m. for all grades. The concert will again take place at First Baptist Church, where it was held very successfully last year. The church has been very welcoming and kind.

A parent asked about the evacuation location for Prince Street School in case of an evacuation of school grounds like the one that happened last year. Our evacuation location is also at First Baptist Church. One benefit of having the concert there is that it creates a safe and positive experience of that space for the students.

Anna shared a poster about an upcoming presentation to learn about ways to create a healthy community. “Ensuring the future health of our children & grandchildren… it takes a village” will take place at 7:00 p.m. on November 2 at the Irish Cultural Centre (BIS Hall). This is unfortunately at the same time as our Family Fun Night.

Teachers who participated in the meeting reflected that Prince Street got off to a great start this year despite all the changes to school zones and the student population – as well as staff. There has been a really good transition for new students into the school. It “feels like they have always been here,” the teachers agreed.

NEXT MEETING DATES

November 28 (note: this is the corrected date)
December - no meeting
January 23
February 27
March - no meeting
April 24
May 22

Welcome to the New School Year!

PRINCE STREET HOME AND SCHOOL
September 26, 2017

Ramona called the meeting to order and introduced herself and Kristy as co-chairs.
Ramona had drafted an agenda, which the new principal Anna distributed.
About 16 members of the school community and 1 translator attended.
There was a roundtable of introductions of all participants. 

This year's executive:

- Ramona Doyle and Kristy Phillips - Co-Chairs

- Heather MacEwen - Treasurer

- Jane Ledwell - Secretary

START WITH A SEEDLING

Marilyn talked to the Home and School about the Start with a Seedling program, which is back this year for Kindergarten. She shared a handout about the program. It began in 2014 as a research project and was very successful. Last year, there was a lack of funding and volunteers, but it’s exciting that it has been able to return this year.

The program includes field trips to the Farm Centre and Legacy Garden, to connect kindergarten children to intergenerational mentors and also to hands-on learning about food production. The program goal is to increase food literacy. A grant from the Seniors’ Secretariat has helped ensure the program could run this year.

There is a hope among organizers that this project will grow. Is there a possibility that Prince Street could be a site where this could scale up? Home and School members were hopeful that it could.

Last year, there was an after school cooking program that was quite successful. Chris Sallie, who organized it, has moved away from Charlottetown, but the nutritionist who worked with him on the program is interested in continuing these after school classes.

Marilyn explained that scaling the program up could include a component for grade three as well as kindergarten and the after school cooking.

Anna MacKenzie reported that the kindergarten teachers are really excited about the program. It meets many curriculum outcomes. Grade Three has an agriculture curriculum outcome and would be the best fit from teachers’ perspective. Current Grade Three students were part of the first group that participated in the Start with a Seedling program when they were in Kindergarten.

Parents spoke very favourably about the program. They were disappointed it didn’t continue up from kindergarten to higher grades. Parents also spoke highly of the after school cooking program.

There is still room for more volunteers for Start with a Seedling!
Please share the call for volunteers, if you can. Please contact startwithaseedling@gmail.com. The call for volunteers can be found on Facebook or here it is in the e-newsletter from Jane’s work: http://mailchi.mp/60d678a514f4/pei-status-of-women-enews-sept-14?e=36104...

PRINCIPAL’S REPORT

Staffing: Anna MacKenzie is the new principal this year. (Home and School was very pleased to meet her!) The school lost Kelly Gillis as vice-principal but gained her as literacy coach. Aletha Coady is acting as vice-principal and has been a great support in the transition, with great knowledge of the school and of student academics. Natasha Bromley will arrive at the school as vice-principal after she finishes a parental leave. She comes from a background of a school with progress-monitoring and other programs familiar to Prince Street. Ms. Wadden-Hughes, the music/library teacher will be beginning a maternity and parental leave soon. Anna hopes to have someone hired to fill her leave in the next two to three weeks.

School Goals: School goals have been mapped out from 2016 to 2019. They are goals that are very specific. The whole province is working on reading as a goal, and every school also has a 4-6 writing goal and a 4-6 math goal. Results of assessments from May and June of last year will be available and will go public in October. These will help us see how well we are doing towards our goals.

Prince Street School’s School Effectiveness Goals 2016-2019
1. K-3 Reading - Increase students meeting expectations in reading in 2016-2017 from 65% to 72%.
2. 4-6 Writing - Increase students meeting expectations in writing in 2016-2017 from 58% to 65%.
3. 4-6 Math - Increase students meeting expectations in math in 2016-2017 from 65% to 72%
4. Public confidence - Increase in the development of partnerships with parents to support academic student success.
5. Well-being - Increase in students’ ability to persevere and “never give up.”

So, updates will be forthcoming on academic goals. From what Anna has seen, the non-academic goals are in good standing. Programs such as breakfast program and lunch have volunteers. This and other parental support has been very good this year so far. Anna observes that students use “never give up” in their language.

In other learning goals, the workshop model, learning plans, and coaching support to staff are all continuing for language arts and math goals. We are also still part of the wraparound program which offers many resources.

A parent asked for more information about the “wrap” school model. Anna explained that 5 to 6 schools in the province, including Prince Street, receive additional resources (more than other schools) to bring student achievement up: for example, more/longer access to math and literacy coaches. Research says a model with an embedded coach really increases results — it is good for teachers and for students to have more access to resource people to help them get past hurdles or beyond plateaus with new strategies.

PD Day: The Professional Development Day on October 6 will be focused on refining work on school goals with literacy, numeracy, and administrative coaches.

Literacy Materials: Anna drew attention to new literacy materials. “Lucy Calkins kits” are a resource for teachers that is a highly reputable, research-based program for teaching reading and writing. There is a set of K-3 reading resources in the school already, and a 4-6 writing set to come. The Lucy Calkins kits are so much in demand that there is a three-week waiting list to access the kits at the Public Schools Branch, and we have our own set.

Allergies: There are Prince Street students with allergies to tuna, peanuts, nuts, and shellfish that are considered life-threatening allergies. Please help avoid these in student lunches. Anna clarified that fish other than tuna and shellfish are okay.

Breakfast Program: The program is up and running on school mornings from 8:00 to 8:20. Kristy provided an update from Tanya. Volunteers are in place, but it would be helpful to have two more, specifically on Mondays and Thursdays. (Since the additional volunteers would be a third person helping those morning, it might be possible for them to start at 7:30.) Donations of food or money are always welcome. The program has lots of jam. Gift cards to Superstore would be helpful; most gift cards are for Sobey’s, and this lets the program access only half the sale items. Always welcome: quick-cooking oatmeal; popular dry cereals without too much sugar, such as Shreddies, or Mini-Wheats.

Hot Lunch: The hot lunch program is up and running. The Executive of Home and School met with Anna before the school year and this was one topic of discussion. A new item was available today: Taco Tuesday from Green Isle Catering. Kirsty said it was the biggest lunch order she has ever put through. The only challenge was that the gluten-free taco shells were not labelled for the child’s name. One child with celiac disease didn’t get lunch today. People did not seem put off by the $5 price this week.

Bussing Support: Some issues have come up with students out of seats and talking too loudly. Parents, please reinforce with children who take the bus that it is important to sit in seats and using indoor voices. One bus was overcrowded; this required some shifts in buses, and now the buses are evened out but both are very full.

Students Achieve: The Students Achieve system is the system Prince Street uses to collect attendance and keep records. There is an option to use mass email to parents to send messages. Anna would like to try this this winter. It would not be overused or overwhelm people’s inboxes. Parents were supportive of this idea.

Website: Anna would like to update the school’s official website http://www.edu.pe.ca/princestreet/ but has not yet had the chance. She asked for patience — and for feedback about what people would like to see. A parent noted that the link to “Enter the website” requires scrolling down too far. Could this please be fixed? Parents expressed a wish to have a listing of staff email addresses. Is there a way to include this on the website?

The Terry Fox Walk is coming up on Friday.

Orange Shirt Day is also coming up on Friday. This is a movement to recognize the legacy of residential schools. Parents wanted to know more. Could Ms R-B or someone from the school please post an explanation on the Facebook page? Parents commented that this topic requires a lot of sensitivity. Parents would like to know how to support students on this topic.

After-school Programs: Anna and Aletha would like to know Home and School priorities for after school programming. We discussed a list of options before discussing priorities.
- Recreation PEI would like to implement a cycling project. The project coordinator would like to sit down with the phys-ed teacher, the Principal, and home and school representatives to see what it would mean.
- Blue Jays Camp - Baseball, traditionally held in the spring. Students enjoy this.
- Bricks for Kids Lego program could run any time of year, but it comes at a cost. It costs $50 per student for 4 weeks, 1 night a week. At a past school, Home and School was able to subsidize. Kids love it. There is a cap on enrolment. It would be worth exploring some options for funding so that it could be kept at a $20 registration. This program may be an option that includes students from K-6.
- Red Cross Home alone program is a one-evening course for 10 and up.
- Game Force is a one-week free program, usually two hours. The project coordinator brings in laptops loaded with software and students learn animation. Grade 6 might be a good fit for this.
- Cooking Skills courses ran last year November-December for Grade 5 and after Christmas for Grade 4. The hope is that the expanded funding for the Seedling program will expand this program as well. Marilyn will be the parent-liaison for this program.
- Traditionally, the youth service worker did soccer, dodgeball, and other sports activities after school. The new youth service worker is working on getting programming planned.
- Might there be interest in a Chess Club this year? We’ve sent students to competitions (12 last year) but they have not had the benefit of a club to learn tournament etiquette. Heather and Richard are willing to run an evening a week.
- There has been art program sometimes in the past, in some years with Ruth Lacey. Parents with experience at other schools also recommended Maurice Bernard as a resource person for this.
- Students who took part in dance club are missing this. It was run by Kelly Gillis, who cannot run it this year because she is not always at Prince Street first thing in the morning. Someone will check in with Dance Virtuoso about possibilities of an experienced teacher or even a well-trained high school student who could come and gain volunteer hours while working with the children.

Parents noted it is nice to have something as inclusive as possible for as many grades and as many kids as possible.

PRIORITIES
The group set priorities for after school programming:
- Ramona and Kristy will check in with Recreation PEI about the bikes program.
- Bricks for Kids is likely to be a hit if it can be subsidized.
- Something sport-related with the youth service worker (some kind of organized game to learn the rules but also get a chance to play) - A parent noted Rugby PEI is doing outreach and could be enticed to run a program. Heather will check into this.

FINANCIAL UPDATE
Heather is treasurer and shared a report on how much money came in and how much we spent last year. We will probably bring in another $1,000 or so between Christmas concert bake sale, raffle of best seats at the Christmas concert, and a family fun night.

Usually we do a “wish list” for teachers to supplement classroom supplies. This year we will work with the principal to decide on one purchase (about $800) that will benefit a wide range of students or the whole school. Anna and Aletha will bring this to the next staff meeting to start selecting a purchase.

DISTRICT ADVISORY COUNCIL
Jane has been Prince Street’s representative on the District Advisory Council since its inception, but she has new volunteer commitments this fall and won’t be able to continue. She would like parents to think about taking on this role and selecting a District Advisory Council representative will be on next month’s agenda.

Jane told parents about Learn Day, coming up this Saturday, to discuss and create a vision for education in PEI. Jane is not able to attend because she is travelling for her work this weekend.

FALL FAMILY FUN NIGHT
Parents explained that Spring Fling is our biggest annual fundraiser - a barbecue in June with carnival-style games. Family Fun Nights are smaller and simpler but lots of fun.

Last year, the fall family fun night was very successful. The event is easy to run and tends to be well-attended and well-enjoyed. The “fun” typically includes board games, a craft table, just dance and/or karaoke, and a bake sale table. Parents come with their children. Entry is by donation at the door, with a suggested donation of $2 person or $5 a family.

Parents who are new to Prince Street were asked for ideas for events that have worked at other schools or that they would like to see. One parent offered that at her child’s previous school, a math games night with different math games in different classes was a great success.

Kirsty shared an idea from CHANCES program ”Activate Your Family” with Gord McNeilly. He is very dynamic and fun — and he is willing to do fitness/activity sessions with schools. This could be a really fun night with parents and kids. Could this be a program to apply for a parent engagement grant? Heather will see what the price would be and look into a grant. We will try to line up an Active Fun night with Gord in October. As a fundraiser, we could sell milk or chocolate milk and apples. Perhaps we could get apples donated.

It was decided that a Family Fun Night will be planned for November. The date will be determined.

Raffle Basket: It was decided that we will assemble a raffle basket in time to display it at November events, such as parent-teacher interviews/book fair, and family fun night. We will sell tickets on the basket until the Christmas concert. Carla will coordinate. Tickets will be $2 each or 3 for $5. Kristy and Heather will help line up the raffle license. Several parents offered items for the basket. Donations welcome!

OTHER CONCERNS
Candy rewards continue to be a concern for parents. Last year the treats were greatly reduced. Could this be addressed again? Anna and Aletha took note of concerns. Aletha provided some historical background about this problem to Anna and new parents.

A parent also expressed a concern about helping students to prepare for quizzes, but never seeing the quiz results, so we don’t know about progress. Anna encouraged parents to have conversations with their children’s teachers directly. Sometimes teachers are creating a portfolio for parent-teacher interviews. Progress monitoring is great for the teacher — but it would be great to have more information to parents. Feedback from teachers confirms that progress monitoring is not parent-friendly.

REGULAR MEETING NIGHT
The regular meeting was set for the 4th Tuesday of each month except December and March. Meetings will take place at 6:30 at the school, with childcare and translation.
2017-2018 meetings:
October 24
November 28 (Note: meeting date corrected)
December - no meeting
January 23
February 27
March - no meeting
April 24
May 22

The meeting adjourned with thanks to all.

Minutes of Our March SPRING FLING Planning Meeting

Prince Street Home and School
March 2, 2017
MINUTES

* Many apologies that we forgot to post these in March! *

The March meeting was a special meeting dedicated to advance planning for the Spring Fling.

PRINCIPAL AND VICE-PRINCIPAL’S REPORT

There was a question about recyclables and whether the school is able to collect bottles and cans for return. Before retiring, Mr. MacFarlane ran the program to collect and return recyclables. There are some challenges to the collection and retention, including smell. For things to be recycled, it would require someone to coordinate the program. It could be very time consuming.

Staff appreciation week was very short because of storms but very much appreciated. Staff enjoyed prep time and catch-up time during February storms, but they are glad to be back with the kids and back into a routine.

Book fair is open during interviews next week, and if you’d like to volunteer that would be very welcome.

Art Blitz was postponed during storm days and rescheduled to “winter carnival” time.

Math manipulatives have been ordered to support school goals and new books to support independent reading and mentor texts. The Home and School will be adding money to this effort. Wraparound team and curriculum resources also contributed to the new resources.

Math reading and writing professional development with coaches  — additional half days and full days in classrooms in wraparound school = lots of extra PD.

After school groups will begin after the break with new youth worker Barry O’Brien.

For the Love of Family Fundraiser was very successful — over a thousand dollars.

Never Give Up school goal — 2 behaviour resources teachers, lessons on zones of regulation. to help all students have a frame for problem-solving. That is with all classes, all grades.

Snowboarding program in the school is a big hit.

HOME AND SCHOOL AGM

This is coming up in April - Prince Street can send up to 5 voting delegates.

FAMILY FUN NIGHT
Is now planned for April 6th

SPRING FLING

Date: Friday, June 2nd

Last year Spring Fling brought in $800.
Family Fun Night in the fall brought in $300+ ($150 after cash expenses).

Spring Fling is a community event. Meeting participants took some time to evaluate spring fling components. Please note that where “someone” volunteered efforts below, Jane has notes about who signed up for what but didn’t want to post names on the Internet in case people’s ability to volunteer changes.

Dunk tank: the most popular event. Someone will look into getting this again.

Indoor Games: Have 6 to 8 games, fix them up. Someone will review the games a few weeks before.

The Sucker Pull is popular and will be available.

Fish Pond: Relied on McDonald’s toys and may need to be retired for the year.

Pokemon tournament: Successful part of family fun nights, but maybe too static for Spring Fling and too high a risk of losing cards.

Bake sale: Very popular.

Popcorn: Also popular. Will be made on the stovetop again. Last year 5 pounds popcorn and 1 pound butter yielded 130 bags sold at bake sale table.

Cake walk: Already has a volunteer!

Barbecue: Someone offered to look after that.

Fruit Kebabs: Sell well. No volunteer attached yet.

Candy Kebabs: Net loss on cash return, but they make the kids happy. Someone volunteered to do this again.

Inflatables: Pros and cons. If we could get a local company to sponsor the dunk tank or the inflatables, that would be ideal. Someone volunteered to scout prices and sponsorships — and also ask about cotton candy.

Outdoor Games: It would be good to have at least one this year. Ideas included 3-on-3 Hockey. Basketball challenge. Football through a tarp. Three-legged race or potato sack race. Tug of war. Jump rope - new skipping ropes are coming - someone to teach skipping rhymes. Hula hoops if run by someone who knows what they’re doing and can teach hoop tricks. Garden game? Someone offered to check with the Wild Child program of the Sierra Club.

Bingo: Would require a lottery license, even if there were small prizes.

Seed Table: Not enough people participated. Perhaps do an outdoor game.

Soccer or other sport team: Get a recognized player to run a challenge.

French Cafe: Run by Grade 5s with Mr. Brown but not part of the new curriculum. Not sure this will continue.

Book Sale: Could be in a corner of the gym. Also the bake sale. Leftovers were reviewed for library or passed along. Leftovers could go to PEI Literacy Alliance for distribution at food banks.

Selfie Station/Photo Booth: Went well last year. Could maybe be in the fish pond space. Very helpful to have a staff support.

Fortune Teller: Someone offered to ask Wendy Poirier to come back as a fortune teller.

Face Painting: Bought stuff for it last year, but it didn’t happen.

Tattoo a Teacher: Tickets to choose which teacher would get tattooed. No recollection of if it got followed through on!

Guess how many (jellybeans or other small items) in a jar: Pay a ticket and guess? Expensive to fill a jar.

Balloons: Heather will check with Erin about this.

Craft table: Not enough people chose to do this when we tried it two years ago.

Remember that cost-neutral things are still expensive in time and effort sometimes!

Many kids love to have a task. Amy MacKinnon will be back and doing leadership and we could connect with her about student volunteers.

PARENT ENGAGEMENT

Proposal went in since the last meeting!

NEXT MEETING
April 20, 2017 - see you then!

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