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April 9, 2019

SWC School Council Minutes

Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Meeting called to order: 5:35

Voting members in attendance: Margaret Sambol, Fiona Warren, Cara Baas, Amanda Lancaster, Pam
Woolridge, Jenn O’Reilly, Naomi Elias, Rebecca Johnson, Wendy Mansfield, Jillian Ade-Sibbit,
Katherine Percival, Olga Blais, Jason Hinek, Leila Chineai
Guests in attendance: Cathy Kyeremontery
SWC staff in attendance: Wanda Mills-Boone, Louise Cesario, Breana Durnin
Voting members not in attendance who gave prior notice: Carolyn Berezowsky, Harinder Batth, Philip
Mansfield

Eco club

Motion: Council will give $150 to Eco Club to support environmental initiatives. Moved by
Naomi, Seconded by Jill. Motion passed.

Update from Donna Blackburn (School Trustee)

  • Donna is always available by phone or email. OCDSB Board was sworn in Dec. There
    are 3 new trustees and a new director of education. Provincial budget coming up next
    week. Donna has been working hard on the autism file, she participated in the 22km
    march to Parliament Hill. The Minister of Education has currently paused autism plan.
    Schools don’t have resources to move children with autism into integrated classes
    Donna brought a motion to ask Minister MacLeod to meet with the chair of OCDSB to
    discuss the issue.
  • Donna was concerned about lighting around the school. Issue has been addressed.
    New rules on school consolidation coming. Donna will come to the winter walk.

School travel planning update with coordinator Julie Gorley from Enviro Centre

  • Enviro Centre runs the Active Transportation program. Enviro Centre is an
    environmental non profit. The program is funded by OSTA (Ottawa Student
    Transportation Authority) and the City of Ottawa. The team is trying to improve
    infrastructure, the school is working on education events, such as walk to school day.
  • The aim of the program is to increase the percentage of children (within the 1.6km walk
    zone) using active transportation and to calm traffic around the school. The program is
    NOT to change school bus use.
  • Stats say that 9% of Canadian kids are getting recommended amount of physical
    activity. Physical exercise is linked to improved mental health. 25 % of kids using active
    transit in Canada. Walking to school causes the brain to be more active and ready to
    learn.
  • Bus positions, kiss and ride, signage changes, traffic challenges exist especially in
    winter. We would like to reduce traffic around the school. The city often finds that the
    current situations do not warrant a change, so it is important to do our best to increase
    active transport users without additional infrastructure.
  • 35% of kids came to school by car over 1 week in May 2018, the program is looking to
    reduce that number.
  • Parkwood hills lot will not be available next year. School board will not plow the lot.
    • When Wanda and the Board met earlier in the year, the Board said they wouldn’t
      be plowing the lot this year, but Parkwood Hills is being used and it did get
      plowed this year. This will be something we need to push for every year. 9:15
      a.m. is the time to go on a walk to demonstrate safety issues.
    • The Board knows SWC as a grade 7&8 school, from before. Now that we are a
      K-6, there are more traffic issues, challenging supervision wise also. Parents are
      coming in through the Meadowlands parking lot and dropping kids off then going
      back out. Rain days give an indication of how dangerous our transportation
      situation can be. It takes a team effort to get kids in safely.
  • A family survey of SWC parents/guardians was done last year, 60% thought it was safe
    for a child to walk to school. Reasons for driving a child to school include: convenience,
    parent on their way to somewhere else, weather etc.
  • It is helpful if parents can report traffic violations when they see them (not stopping at
    lights/signs etc). The more violations get reported, the more it raises awareness that
    there is an issue. Requests around safety concerns can be directed to 311, traffic
    violations can be directed to Ottawa police.
  • Walk to school day is April 11. There is a pedestrian safety presentation to come next
    week. This is important as a way to introduce families to walking. Many parents find
    that driving to school/work time is a time to talk to their children.
  • Several families lack sidewalks in their neighbourhoods. Is there mapping so that the
    safest route can be used? OSTA prepares walk maps.
  • What is the bus capacity for the school? We have 3 buses. Buses can take about 72
    students depending on age of child. Buses are pretty full right now.
  • Discussion around increased access to bussing in order to create safer roads, but Julie
    says that it will not be allowed for one school to have a different bussing standard and
    access to more funds earmarked for bussing than other schools. Carpooling would be
    encouraged. Would SWC be interested in car pool and/or walking buddy system? For
    parents with kids in car seats, it is not going to happen. For parents with older kids it is
    already sort of happening. Car pool/walking buddies will not solve bus access problems
    for kids at the edge of the walk zone.
  • Parents expressed that the City could take more time to clear the side walks and side
    streets in walk zones of schools. Side streets narrow to one lane in winter. Julie says
    the the City is currently rejigging clearing priorities, perhaps will get better clearing.
  • Winter and summer have different barriers to active transportation.
  • Walking schoolbus, where are we on this?
    • The program is at capacity? Currently looking at how to get more volunteers.
      Now there are two paid employees/walking bus. OSTA is looking into feasibility
      of having one paid employee and one volunteer per walking bus.
    • Are there walking schoolbuses on streets without sidewalks? Julie thinks no, but
      a parent thinks yes, Julie will find out.
    • Will OSTA train volunteers so they can run a completely volunteer run walking
      school bus? Julie will find out.
    • What is a walking school bus? The Ottawa ones have two adults with reflective
      vests. Parents sign up for a spot for their child. The “bus” follows a route with
      times. The waking school bus is for before and after school travel.

Welcome (Margaret):

  • Council is keeping tracks of regrets now. If you are not coming to a meeting, sent an
    email please. Allows us to keep track of quorum.

Motion: To approve the SWC Parent Council meeting minutes from February. Moved by
Cara, seconded by Jill. Motion passed

Principal’s update (Wanda):

  • Jerseys are in. basketball crew will be first to wear them. Jerseys will be unveiled at a
    future assembly.
  • Movie night huge success, it brings school community together. Thanks to organizers
    and volunteers.
  • First musical performance from NAC, Winderful music. Presented in two sessions, K-2,
    3-6. Consisted of storytelling through musical instruments. Parent feedback: It was
    amazing. Kids have been talking about it. Well worth it to have programs like this in the
    school. The next NAC performance is April 23.
  • Paper bag Princess show will take place Apr.17, for grades k-3.
  • School learning plan has been completed. Focuses on using curriculum, essential
    discipline skills for classroom discourse. How do we have rich conversations and build
    on that every year. Next step for teachers is to ask students, what do you want?
    Collaborative discussion took place in each classroom.
  • April is autism awareness month. Purpose is building understanding surrounding
    autism. There is a tree in ramp with kids “leaves” about what makes them special in
    support of autism awareness month.
  • Wanda-We are waiting for final go ahead to move library upstairs.
  • Drama will be having 2 performances, 4:15 and 6:30-8 June 18, 19-20th.
  • Grade 6 leaving ceremony June 25th.
  • Mme Perry is picking up microphones this evening.
  • Mme Perry has a personal set of recorders she has been using for music classes. She
    would like school to have a set of recorders. She would like to spend money that had
    been approved for online ukulele program on a school set of recorders. Council is okay
    with this.

Me to we club

  • Would like to do a prototype bracelet that they would like to sell for Mother’s day. If it
    works, then next year they would like to sell them. UNHCR would be the benefiting
    charity. Me to We club is asking for $200 for beads, needles, looms, etc.

Motion: Council will give $200 to the Me to We club so that they can purchase supplies
for their bracelet fundraiser. Moved by Naomi, seconded by Jenn. Motion passed.

Trivia night

  • Is anyone interested in organizing it? Wendy and Philip are not. May 31 was the
    original date. No one was interested in organizing it. Trivia night will not happen.

Teachers Report

  • Tomorrow kinder A and B start the second part of their nature school initiative. After 3
    visits to General Burns park, we should be able to take other classes to General Burns
    park, but it won’t all happen this year.
  • Merivale high school invites all parents to a workshop on social media to better
    understand how kids are using social media. Tues April 16 at 7pm. Child care provided,
    no meal provided.
  • From Mme Perry, Kids are loving ukuleles. They have a uke band. Can buy a uke
    online. Her class is covering Champlain and Cartier, and learning about New France.
    Her class will be re-enacting first contact between Indigenous and European peoples in
    drama. Her class has also been working on annotation and human body projects.
  • Ms Maclean, Mr Felix, Mme L-B, Grandmother Francine visited. She has walked around
    the Great Lakes, and classes will walk the Ottawa River for a day. Ms Maclean’s class
    will be working on a website to promote and educate about river uses.

Treasurer’s report (Cara)

  • Movie night revenue is not included in this month’s update, as the update is only to
    March 31. Profits from 2nd and 3rd movie night are going toward the school library.
    Motion: Profits from first movie night will be go toward the school library and can be
    spent in this year or next. Moved by Cara, seconded by Fiona. Motion passed.
  • Council has raised $14 500 for next year, which includes funds raised for the library to
    be spent this year.
  • Kinder benches must be built to school board standards, it will cost more than initially
    expected.

Motion: Council will spend up to $350 to build benches in the Kinder yard that meet
school board standards. Moved by Rebecca, seconded by Katherine. Motion passed.

  • There has been no action on Yoga and Mindfulness so far, if we don’t do it right away,
    can we have money available to use right away in September? We can talk about yoga
    and minduflness funding at a later meeting. The woman with whom we’ve been in
    contact with (Victoria from Little Souls Yoga and Mindfulness) will be at our PD session
    on Friday. It takes time to get the training set up. This should happen next year.
  • Yard improvements, fence panels can we talk about this next meeting.

Movie night update (Cathy):

  • Record breaking numbers for attendance to Peter Rabbit.
  • The event raised $1297 and there were 278 paid attendees. Cathy has learned lots and
    is happy to take on movie nights.
  • Jack (student) can set up AV. Grades 5 and 6 are now leaders of the school and are
    stepping up. Older students could volunteer at movie nights
  • Could plan for 4 movie nights next year. How do we pick our dates? In May council
    picks some dates and emails them to the principal. In the past, May movie night had low
    attendance, there is lots going on at that time of year.

Fun Night Update (Jenn):

  • Fun Night happens Friday, June 15th, from 5:30pm to 8pm.
  • Attractions include: horse wagon rides, reptiles, photo booth, dr kaboom stilt walking and
    balloon art, bouncy castles, new carnival gaines, Colony VR (not free), storm troopers,
    take a book book fair, raffle,
  • Small toys are being collected as prizes for fun nights. If you have erasers, McDonalds
    toys etc.
  • All access bracelets will be sold for $11 in advance, $10 on the day of, because it is hard
    to manage all the coin if it is $11 at the door. Please purchase in advance.
  • May 26 volunteer sign up begins
  • Starting June 12 bake sale items needed,if you can not bring it in contact Jenn.

Motion: Council will spend release up to $5000 to Fun Night organizers to spend on Fun
Night with the intention that the event breaks even. If there are profits from Fun Night,
they will go toward the library. Moved by Jenn, seconded by Naomi. Motion passed

Library update (Naomi):

  • Council purchased new books at Scholastics warehouse sale at prices 50% or more off
    with council money allotted to library improvement. The school will use Scholastic points
    for things council would have purchased, such as plexiglass stands.

Pizza (Carolyn):

  • Term 3 reminder resulted in $1200 more in orders.
  • School cash online has some issues where is still shows you can buy something even if
    you’ve already paid, we can communicate that parents should check their buyer history.
    We do not have direct contact with parents. Suggests aligning pizza and milk terms.
  • Wanda: School is having trouble collecting money, parents are not necessarily paying
    for field trips etc. It is not really saving teachers time as they are needing to email
    parents etc. She will send out email reminders and next year also.
  • If you would like to be involved with pizza in the future, talk with Carolyn.

Constitution (Margaret):

  • Council should be comprised of 9-25 voting members, we can continue with less than 9,
    but lose insurance etc. Don’t lose insurance at 8 voting members, but do when staff
    outnumbers parents.
  • All parents/guardians are allowed to attend as non voting members.
  • Parents/guardians can also gain membership part way through the year by coming for
    two consecutive meetings, if membership has not yet reached 25 and current council
    members agree. This will be its own item in the constitution.
  • Article 11 allows for decision making outside of consensus.
  • Where does the number 25 come from for the cap? It can be hard to get quorum if
    number get too high.

Motion: To approve and adopt the constitution. Moved by Amanda, seconded by Jill.
Motion passed.

Update on communications:

  • Margaret took a survey of which classes were represented, an invitation went out to
    parents/guardians of unrepresented classes.
  • Pam designed flyer for parents attending kinder info night. Date of first council meeting is
    currently undecided. Discussion around possibly changing days of the week and
    whether the first meeting should be on the second Tuesday of September.
  • Margaret sent out a one page outline about what council has spent money on this year.
    Please provide feedback.

May/June meetings will look at council’s spending plan development.

Motion: Council will spend $100 to purchase gift cards for custodians as thanks to
cleaning up after movie night. Moved by Fiona, seconded by Cara. Motion passed.

Meeting Adjourned at 7:30.

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