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School Council Minutes - November 10, 2010 (7-8:30pm)

23 parents, including 2 teachers, Mr. Kozaris and Mr. Kaufman

1.  Welcome and Introductions – Kevin Hewitt

In attendance:

  • Principal – Douglas Mintz
  • Vice Principal – Carmelo Nanfara
  • Co-Chair – Kevin Hewitt
  • Co-Chair – Dany Le Goaix
  • Treasurer – Andrea Morizio
  • Fundraising – Kelly Banks
  • Secretary – Brad Cunningham  
  • Angela Reid introduced as new treasurer
  • Andrea Morizio introduced as new communications chair.
  • Susan Docker introduced as webmaster.  Website looks great.  Lots of information.  Calendar with all events. (http://www.regalroadschoolcouncil.org)
Notice from TDSB of equity forum.  Dec 11th.  If interested in going, please contact board or school for more information.  Looking at equity within the School Board and what parents should be aware of with respect to school activities. Looks as gender equity, anti-homophobic behaviour, classism, ableism, racism.  Discussion of Board programs and getting feedback from Board members and to educate on these issues.  Information will be on the website.  

2.  Fundraising Update – Kelly Banks
  • Movie night did well.  Netted over $500 – great, as not meant to be fundraiser.  It was held in gym this year, as weather did not allow for it to be outside. 
  • QSP is up and running.  Thanks to Catherine Araujo and Mary Rameos...great amount of work.  Over $2600 so far in sales.  Cut down on commercialism this year.  1 week left with our promotion, but able to renew throughout the year and school still gets credit. Q – why is the QSP money being used to by the response tools?  Not really, just to give the kids an incentive.  Money will go to council revenues and allotted accordingly.  
  • Last pizza lunch of 2010 is November 26th, then into Jan.  No pizza lunch in Dec as it is a busy enough month already. Q – Pizza lunch...great fundraiser, but should be way to make it more inclusive.  Can we subsidize those who can’t, or do it as a pay what you can?  A - Logistic problems with this in trying to decide who is in need vs just not wanting their children to have pizza.  Get Cherry's input on number of kids wanting but not able. Q - Could do pizza without the juice to lower the cost of the program, but not take from the revenues of the fundraiser. Mr. Mintz – people who aren't purchasing are usually those who are not able to get their form in on time, or lose the form etc.  Doesn't seem to be a financial issue, but more an organizational component, and often the kids that missed the pizza lunch, often the parents bring something else on those days. Q – What is cost per child of the pizza?  A - Not sure, we will figure it out.   Q - Could we add some fruit or something make it more substantial?  A - Hard enough logistically to hand it all out all the pizza and juice in small time, let alone additional food. Q – Why do we get breakfast snack program from Board if not a lot of families hard off.  A – Financial demographics of the community only affect the % of grant back from the government.  Scholastic book club.  Looking for parent volunteers for each class.  Teacher gets % of sales back to their class to purchase more scholastic material for their class.    
3. Budget update – Andrea Morizio

Came into this year with a good surplus.  A list of items were purchased by School Council.  No vote took place as we had enough to purchase everything that was reasonable and allowed.

End of last year we were in a healthy position..  Carry forward = 21K , usually around 10K buffer and to be able to spend money in advance of main fundraisers. Projecting revenue similar to last year.  40K vs 41K last year.

Expenditures in line with last year, with adjustments for HST. Targeted items (where we spent most of our surplus, items to benefit most students)  Circulated wish list to teachers as to where they think money would be most benefit.

Outdoor classroom, 2nd instalment of 2500 being spent this year, committed to this last year. Also parent support group committed to last year, totalling 1K -  Parent issues and children with learning disabilities and gifted children.  Learning materials, forums and guest speakers. Sports equipment – new jerseys for sports teams when playing against other schools, additional phys-ed stuff.  Visiting athletes – have a speaker come in and speak to the children.  Local athlete. Learning resources – last meeting of year last year, approved giving each teacher lump sum to purchase stuff for their class $100 per teacher (2500 in total).  

Other stuff including replacing TV sets (sound doesn't work on sets 2nd and 3rd floor sets), computer for resource room, room 10, which is used for French resource and special ed support.  School is purchasing one for room 10A.  Have to be ordered through TDSB as they are plugged into network and using their software.  

Allocated funds to response tools and document viewer, as demonstrated last meeting.  French level based readers to be shared throughout the school.

Sound equipment – $1500 – to be used, portable, used for performances, school fair, etc.  Bad acoustics in gym, hopefully this will help (QSP lady had wireless mike that we are looking into, as it provided great sound.)  

Full list will be posted to the site to look at, and please raise any issues or complaints. Some items not chosen – curtains and carpeting and paint and shelves for library.  Board replaces blinds, and are doing so depending on need and available funds.  Some will be replaced this year.  Would have been $3000 for the blinds.  Didn't get couch, as was requested by one room.

Q – Any way to get the blinds in the library/school faster?  Mr. Mintz – always put in requests for needs, providing all info needed to expedite purchase.

4. – Mr. Mintz

The TDSB has a Board Improvement Plan, each Family of Schools has an Improvement Plan, and each individual school has its own Improvement Plan.  There are 4 pillars to the Improvement Plan

1.  Literacy
2. Numeracy
3. Pathways
4. Community, Caring and Culture

Look at EQAO scores....when look at achievement of students, can print out analysis....is there a pattern where students are consistently not doing well, or doing well.  Teachers plan what they are going to do for year, but then develop strategy (Teaching-Learning Critical Pathway) to focus on specific things that students didn't do well on.  Improve scores and become more competent in those areas, and hopefully maintain other scores.  The TDSB also uses standardized reading assessments – English primary is DRA, Junior English is CASI, French Immersion primary is Alpha-Jeunes and French Immersion has a new French version of CASI.

Q – Both English and French getting help equally?  Yes, whole school doing same approach, as it is a school based order.

Q – Is this info available?  Yes, teacher has this info, and you can ask for it from them to help  CASI OR DRA

Q – Did school get extra money to do this....A – yes, our plan is funded by the board (superintendent  distributes to schools on as need basis)

Q – EQAO – board data, board wide.  At standard if you are a level 3 or 4.  68% of students in Toronto actually reading at a grade 3 level.  Can go to EQAO website to view this data.  Board moderately concerned about this and are putting in place .....

Q – It seems like it is all literacy and numeracy.  Where is the art and science focus, etc? A– this is from the TDSB policy, down to school level.  Up until now, 3 reports.  School year now 2 terms.  Feb and end of year. Progress report....how things going so far with student.  No grades, just progressing with difficulty, well or very well.  This with more meaningful comments from teacher.  Learning skills (how approach learning...is student eager etc.).  Not having to be nailed down on certain marks etc, when teachers might not have a great feel for the students yet. Allows for more dialogue.

Q – Should you bring your children to interview?  We encourage it, especially for older children, but not mandatory.  Helps keep parents/child/teacher on the same page.

Construction – finished a week ago.  Outdoor classroom is being used by some teachers.

Q – sand for sandbox? A- spring.

Dufferin side of school – severe flooding in basement last year, sewers backed up.  Excavation in basement to correct.  Found problem where line out to city line on hill going down to street.  Dug out, replaced pipes and cleaned out blockage.  City inspected.  Only sodded half, but seeded other half.  Outdoor classroom has been tagged already, so looking at doing a mural etc. to discourage tagging.    

5. Eco-schools Committee  – Kathryn Walter

Initiated the east playground renovation and does work on other 'green' projects including litter-less lunch campaign, waste audit and garden table at Spring Fair.   Eco-schools is a TDSB project that certifies its schools based on environmental efforts.  Last year Silver, up from Bronze the previous year.  This year committee plans to work closer with school and Green Club (student group led by Mrs AC) to develop more 'green' infrastructure such as better signs for garbage in lunch room, move away from bottled water, and try 'bring your own plate' or plate rentals for school events to reduce waste.  Looking for new members.  

Q – what happened to the extra trees that were to be planted.  Board wouldn't fund non-necessary renovations and landscaping.  Trees can be donated.

Q -where should kids be or not be dropped off, during 'supervisory time'.  Students go to their appropriate door.  Parents should not be coming into the school during school hours without signing in.  Gong to look into it the wording of the paragraph in the school newsletter.  

Parent support group workshop on 24th of November.  Integra coming to give workshop.  Info on parent link but please advise prior to if you are coming to ensure seating and childcare available.  Will be on the website.  What children with learning disabilities experience while in the classroom.  Festival of Lights is Dec 7th.....need volunteers


Susan Docker,
Oct 18, 2011, 8:17 PM