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School Council Minutes - September 21, 2010

1.  Welcome and Introduction
In attendance -
Principal - Douglas Mintz
Vice Principal - Carmelo Nanfara
Co- Chair - Kevin Hewitt
Co-Chair – Dany Legoaix
Treasurer – Andrea Morizio
Chair of Fundraising - Kelly Banks
Secretary – Brad Cunningham
40 Parents
4 Teachers and Faculty

2.  Review of Enrolment, start-up
update – Enrollment has been more stable this year than in recent years.   School is neither gaining nor losing teachers.  Class sizes reasonable as per board.  2 kindergarten classes have 23 students - part of the  10% exemption within the Board.  All English and French  primary are at 20, except one 2 in a grade 3 French and English  Largest class 27, up to 33 when home school present.  All said, better than last year.

Very close to projection of 535 presently 532
Kindergarten classes above 20 however no room available to create anther class if we could
2 primary classes above 20 (22)
Junior classes good size except English grade 6 – 27 for ½ the day and 33 for the other half
Grade 3 reading down slightly however writing and math up a little
Grade 6 close to last year however a drop in writing
Gains have been made, but how will be continue to make things better.  Look at individual scores, and see what types of questions that kids didn’t score well on, and address the teaching to them.  Not ignore what doing well at, just not change it much.

graduated students will receive reports from new school.

Current board members will remain in respective positions.
Any persons wanting to help out in any area – that would be welcome. Committees that we need help with, please sign up, or contact any board member.
Fundraising assistant would be very helpful, as it is a very big job.

Yearbook committee  – need to start that off right away to get the yearbook going.  Looking for parents of Grade 6 students to chair this committee.Volunteers are still welcome.

Pizza lunch – Going forward, volunteers needed for last Friday of each month.  Only takes an hour over lunch.
Ward Rep – Go to councillor meetings and report back.
Festival of Lights will come up very quickly, need volunteers for that soon.

5.  Selection of Parent Reps for the following positions:  safe and caring schools, eco-school/greening, arts/showcase, curriculum, equity, staffing, ward reps, Spring Fair, Festival of Lights, Halloween Movie Night, pizza lunch, yearbook. – Please contact either Dany or Kevin danylegoaix@gmail.com , kevin@kevinhewitt.ca to get involved.

6.  Update on the Bears Nursery Termination of Lease – Marnie Moreau: Former president of Bears.  Received rental termination last June.  Asked to leave as at Sept. 2011.  Situation is disappointing to Bears staff, parents and children. Thought it would only happen once full day kindergarten started.  Trying to appeal to Board to reverse the decision. Would like to stay and continue to provide the seamless education for children.  Petition online on Bears website.
Contingency plan and relocation being looked at.  Bears is a rent free tenant of the school, and if move will now have to pay rent, so fees may have to go up and program change a little bit.

Q – What was the main driver behind eviction?  Numbers. G6 French stream graduating students will be around 21, but 46 new students coming in to SK French Immersion. Each year 25 or so more students coming in. This will take place for another 4 years.  
Possible solutions:
Portables – Residents’ association has a problem with portables.  Wouldn’t have field space (for sports programs) and safety issues when all students out at lunch with less open space.
Lunch room – not pleasant, no windows, where eat lunch?  
Eat in classroom doesn’t work as only 4 room supervisors.  
Gym?  No lunch time intramurals.
Split music room into 2 rooms – lose steelpan as would have no space to store instruments, and music program would suffer greatly.

With full day kindergarten coming, and 4 years more of extra French students, spacing and crowding will only get worse.  Possibly need lunch rooms, music room and to evict Ascot as well.  Only the beginning of the  space crunch, and we will have some tough decisions ahead. 
Q – What about Ascot – lease will probably be terminated too at a later date.  Bears was chosen because most children are not using it full time.  Ascot full time care, all year. Ascot more comprehensive service, fully functional. They have 2 rooms, so losing one would be limiting their program. Some children using Ascot are receiving a subsidy from the city.
Could we drop French Immersion at the school?  All schools in area are full so French students really have nowhere else to go.  
Q – When does full day learning starting?  Will be held off as long as possible, given space issues.  First schools are ones most in need and ones with space.  Only find out one year in advance.  2015 is final year and all schools must be full day.
Q-  Can we add on to school?  Takes space from outside, so might as well be portable. 100 year old building with some foundation issues. Any reno would first have to deal with foundation issues which would be multi million prior to any additions or renovations.
Q – What of the drainage issues from last year?.  Fixed problem... going forward renos to playground outside should also help.

7.  PARENT LITERACY PROGRAM – Mr. Nanfara  and Andrea Morizio.
1 on 1 reading parents and students. Very successful. Want to continue. Looking for volunteers.  Flexible and can work around schedule, if only 50 min or a full day. Last year, 20 students reading with volunteers, getting that one on one learning to help them.  
Want to create books on CD students can take home to follow along at home. Sign up for that.
Oct 6th at 1045am session in library in greater detail, or contact Mr. Nanfara  via email or phone.
A – as volunteer who has done it 5 years, kids look forward to it.  Great benefit to .  Great programs and has really helped the kids who take part.

Last year was a great fundraising year. Made 8k more last year than had budgeted for, thanks Kelly for a great fundraising year. QSP was new, and brought in over 4k unanticipated revenue. 
Revenues were healthy.
Expenditures: Need to do better job of using the money we are providing, as some money went unspent. 
Healthy amount going forward, so will be looking at additional items over and above what we usually cover. Need 10k going forward for spring fair. Have committed to outdoor classroom, 2500, and 1k toward parenting support group (workshop that Integra presents – LD children in class, and how to help.) bring Workshop here to help, and resources for library for parents, on LD, how to parent and find support etc.  First meeting Oct 20th, with guest speaker.  No agenda set, more of an open discussion.
Q – are we getting resources for gifted students as well? Trying to get stuff to satisfy all students, as all have strengths and weaknesses. Looking at some books geared towards kids to help them understand and deal with LD etc.
Summary of Net Revenues:
Spring Fair                $5,645.69
Raffle                        $6,777.62
Dance-A-Thon                $4,876.23
QSP Magazine Drive        $4,320.81
Pizza Lunches                $4,844.24
Halloween Movie        $   362.80
Mabel’s Labels                $   234.80

Pizza lunches go smoothly, so long as we have volunteers...45 min last Friday of each month, except December and May.  Can sign up at later date for later months if missed sign-up form.
QSP – will be able to sign up again soon, will send out notice when that is active.  On the assembly part – didn’t go over well and don’t want again.  Might impact our revenue, so we will look into it.
New budget will be worked out and will be presented at next meeting.

Spending -  Some spend items provided by teachers, some from parents.  Go through, if obvious things missing, let us now.  Want to spend money.  If have issues with any items, or ideas, let us know. We are in the business of raising money to spend it on improvements tothe learning environment at the school.

Smartboards – last year our school was behind in introducing new tech,  so we went from 1 to 8 Smartboards  to catch up.  Huge touchscreen hooked up to classroom computer, with software and resources built in.  Teaching tool and interactive.  Incredibly Happy with results.  Demo on fractions and other uses of the devices.
Feedback from teachers was generally good.  Advantages being seen by all teachers.  10-12 want it all day every day.  Currently have draw for time.  Kids sad when it leaves.  Kids like the interactive nature.
Q – is school funding any more?  2 previously.  School budget is 10K less than 4 years ago.  Probably buy some this year, but not right away.  So we will take into consideration on what we propose.
Q – how easy for teachers to use? – small learning curve.  Great support in the school from Mr. K.  Having to help out less as year goes on.
Q – other competing products?  Some, yes.  SMART has biggest market with add ons, but all basically the same tech.  Bonus with Smartboards, the best software, most in depth etc.  Cheapest costs.
Hook up to desktop that is in the classroom.
Q – Greening committee questions, how has energy consumption changed?  Need to turn off when not in use.  Does consume more.  No sleep mode, off or on.
Q – does TDSB offer workshops?  Yes, but most is after school hours so need extra personal time commitment.  
Q – who is using it on teacher side?  It has less to do what teaching, but more who the teacher is and how comfortable they are with tech.  3rd floor teachers with older classes using most.  Software is good right from kindergarten, but movement started on 3rd floor.
Q – French mode? – yes.
Q – more than just drag and drop etc.?  Ya, what we saw was only small % of what it can do.     Really quite comprehensive.
Q – saves paper?  Yes, would, as may lessons can be done on it instead of handouts.
We are behind vs overseas, and upper years in Canada using them lots.  Giving them good intro to the tech.

Document  camera, allows students to follow along while reading, as image projected on screen.  Better view of demonstrations etc, instead of students huddling around teacher.

Response devices.  Survey taking.  Assessment on the fly. Test taking. Have data to see who is falling behind etc, as all geared towards.  If 90% got it right, can move on and give extra help to those who need.  If 10%, going to spend more time.  Helps those students that fear what their friends are doing/think, being anonymous provides for more accurate.
Helps provide more accurate assessment of children, to address potential issues and not let kids slide by.
Doesn’t have to be hooked up to Smartboard, can be on any computer that is running the software.

10.  PARENT LINK – Karen Beattie
List of parents in class, voluntarily provide info. Form received by students to add info. Get info from parent council and school info, plus other parents in class. Helps work out play dates, birthday parties, homework. Good way of connecting parents and kids.
Get emails from school council through parent link.  Helps parents keep connected if not dropping students off or picking up.
Q – is list shared with everyone in class?  Yes, even those who didn’t add their contact info.  To remind and encourage, not penalize those who weren’t wanting to share.
Q – start an after school program here.  Where to do it?  Gym – lose sports teams.  If we can coordinate space.  Could be rotating classrooms. If this program brings their own stuff, that would be fine.  Are a lot of kids who go down to Wallace, so may be interest here.
No other business
Meeting adjourned at 8:48 Pm
Susan Docker,
Oct 18, 2011, 8:18 PM