December 9, 2018

SWC School Council Minutes

Tuesday, December 9, 2018
Meeting come to order at 5:43

Voting Members in Attendance:  Margaret Sambol, Fiona Warren, Carolyn Berezowsky, Cara Baas, Amanda Lancaster, Pam Woolridge, Jenn O’Reilly, Naomi Elias, Melissa Forrest, Rebecca Johnston, Philip Mansfield, Wendy Mansfield, Katherine Percival, Olga Blais, Jason Hinek, Leila Chinaei, Eman Mohammedsaaid, T-C D’Agostino

Guests: Daphne Cunningham, Cindy Chan

SWC Staff: Wanda Mills-Boone, Louise Cesario, Breanna Durnin

Welcome (Margaret)

  • Celebrating success! On Nov 27,the Indigo fundraiser took place.It was fun, lots of people attended, lots of people buying books.Flipgive has been going well. Please use it if you are not already.

Motion to approve November minutes. Moved by Carolyn, Seconded by Jenn

Treasurer’s Report (Cara)

  • Changes from last month:
    • We are into term two pizza, more income in term 2 than 1,
    • $1,900 from QSP,
    • Parent involvement cheque has come in.
    • Teacher requests are in (motions approved at last meeting)
    • Cara has more info if you have questions

Report from Subcommittee on Finance (Margaret)

  • 5 met in Nov to talk regarding finance issues and make recommendations as follows:
    • We should continue with current fundraising model, because we don’t need to worry about having enough money to pay expenses, know we have money available.This model allows council to have money early in the year when it is most effective.
    • Outgoing grade 6’s don’t benefit from fundraising done in their grade 6 year/jk’s get access from the previous year’s fundraising.
    • Would like to develop a funding plan for the next year in May/June of the previous year with a review in September.This allows for planning of a big project, allows for more discussion regarding council’s goals, allows for clear discussion of goals with other parents.Council will consult with parents/students/staff
  • Question to council from Margaret:Does parent council understand?Naomi-Yes, there is not much change.Margaret-having a spending plan allows for less willy nilly spending.The idea is to have agreed upon goals so that in November we are not discussing everything then.
  • Question from the floor: Do we want to discuss issues in May even though a new councilwill make these decisions?Answer: There was lots of discussion at the deadline this year, moving this discussion earlier will feed parents’ passions.Also if we have a framework guiding our spending we can be more effective.
  • Further discussion:
    • Fiona-Council should have a constitution, this could be part of it.
    • Carolyn-It is important to have the opportunity to discuss and change funding priorities annually(May/June) when there is no rush, in preparation for next year. Emphasizes that these recommendations are guidelines.Suggests aligning our priorities with OSDCB’s learning outcomes/ SWC learning plan
    • Jenn-Wants council to be flexible enough for new fundraising and spending programs.Carolyn-thinks learning outcomes idea is flexible enough to allow for new fundraising and spending programs.
    • Jenn -Would Indigo money would go into next years spending or this years spending? Margaret-Targeted fundraising can be spent in the same year, separate from the main pot.It should be discussed when we start a new fundraiser, is it a general or a targeted fundraiser? It IS an acceptable practice to carry some money over to the next year.
    • Recommendation: Set aside $1000 (debatable) for later in the year requests.If something didn’t come in by May, council would need to choose something to spend it on.
    • Feedback: Rebecca/Katherine-Thanks for doing this.Rebecca- Targeted parental engagement, how do we do it? So that parents are excited about being involved and bringing good ideas.Melissa-Like committee’s suggestions so council can have long term goals.

Library Renewal (Naomi)

  • Plan is to reshape library, make it more elementary-school appropriate.The principal is gungho on this project. The plans is to move the library into the art room upstairs, making use of the existing shelving.The library should be ready for September 2019, pending superintendent permission.The librarian, Mr. Brandy, is 100% into the idea.Books will be moved over the summer by parents and students needing volunteer hours.Mr. Brandy will organize the moving and set up.
  • Positives of this plan:
    • Increased book quality, this is also an improvement that people SEE
    • Proper work space for librarian-room for laminating, gluing etc. (his current space in insufficient)
    • We can also move some of the shelves from the current library up to the new one,
    • Will be a U shaped library with space in middle.The room already has a projector and screen.
    • Can be colourful, cozy,
    • Most kids are already upstairs. would accustom younger kids to going upstairs
    • Library can be locked on weekends, more secure,
    • No overlap between the drama club and library.The current library could be used for small assemblies and small performances.This mean the gym doesn’t need to get used for these things and less gym classes are cancelled.
    • Librarian catalogs school staff resources (math books, gb+ etc) and these could be kept in one place
    • Encourage entrance on one side of library and exit on the other.
    • Encourage a tech space, currently looking for donations of computers and laptops so kids can do research at the library
  • Prepared Questions from Naomi:
    • How does a child with a wheelchair access the library? Answer: Board would solve that problem when SWC has a student that requires a wheelchair
    • How do kinders access library? Answer: Kids can go in smaller groups, have more one-on-one help in picking books OR books can be brought down to kinders.
    • What will the current library space be used for?Answer: Assemblies, drama club etc.There is agym floor under the carpet.
    • Naomi would like council to dedicate $5,000 between 2018/19 and 2019/20.Grants are in the process for new books and resources.
    • What could we spend money on? Answer: Posters, decals, (these would go in top half of book shelves can also display students’ art), furniture that can be moved easily and cleaned easily, carpets to delineate space, pay for librarian’s new desk $1000, Naomi would like council to pay for this so it doesn’t come out of school budget
  • Donation of 4 Apple desktop computers is in the works
  • Parents are supportive of this project, this will have a lasting impact on SWC
  • Question: Fiona- Plan looks good, have we talked to the Board? (Merivale has a nice library revamp)Answer: Wanda- School gets $3,000 worth of books from the book fair.Design and construction comes in to design desk, librarian wants a round desk. Board will supply labour, SWC supplies supplies, painting is done by custodial staff, some things must be painted while students are out.Carpets that kids sit on in classes, are supplied by school ($500- $600 each). Tiles etc. get from district supervisor’s budget, each school makes a list to submit, bigger projects go to a different pot of funds.Pinecrest started their library revamp with a “Love of reading” grant from Indigo. They have been working on it for a long time, since before Wanda was there
  • Question: TC-This school has gotten reorganized again. How do we know board doesn’t have plans for the space that will be the library?Answer: Wanda- A room in a school cannot be repurposed unless you go through a superintendent
  • Question: When will be know if we get approval? Answer: Wanda-shortly after Christmas
  • Discussion: Naomi- SWC gets better use of the school if we move the library upstairs where it was originally and make better use of this room (current library). This change is low cost, but has a big impact.Carolyn- would like to clarify, $2000 from this year’s fundraising and $3,000 from last year’s?Wanda-$100 bought 3 hard cover books in French. Librarian wants hardcover books, but council is not supporting book purchases because there are other fundraisers for books

SWC school Council Spending plan 2018/19

  • Reminder that council approved spending on the 1 percent challenge and staff requests from the November meeting totaling $6,525
  • Food was not permitted to be served at Indigo, so the $50 approved for cake at that event was not spent.
  • Breanna Durnin (teacher) would like to request council contribute $160 to the purchase of Osmobots. They can be used with the ipad and have math and literacy, math applications, etc. They could also be uses for the coding club too.
  • NAC is discussing possible dates for performances at SWC, haven’t given us a price.Has the NAC quoted Wendy given a price?Yes. Now that 2 performances are needed, the cost will be a bit more than $400.The money that was approved to be spent on cake at Indigo could cover the increased performance costs.

Motion: Council to reallocate the $50 previously approved to purchase cake at the Indigo fundraiser to cover the increased costs of 2 NAC performances instead of 1.  Moved by Margaret, seconded by Fiona.  Approved

  • Yoga and Mindfulness-
    • Discussion:Wanda-Need to make sure that we are not spending on what the board already offers.Need buy-in from teachers. From floor-Can we support this as a pilot project as a cost $1,000?Let’s wait to make a spending decision on this.

Motion: Council will contribute $660 to the purchase of physical education supplies.  Moved by Naomi, seconded by  Jenn.  Approved

  • Microphones
    • Discussion: Philip-Thinks funding for these should come from the board, concerned that it doesn’t meet students’ needs.Wanda -Says she is stuck at the podium when using the mic, kids cannot move with the mic, doesn’t work well with more than one child needs to use the mic. Anything like mics are out of school budget, but grants may be available for a new sound system. There is a tendered company that SWC must go through.
    • When financial committee met, as long as council looked at funding items through traditional means and exhausted them, council could still fund an item like this
    • Question: Can council make a gift in kind to the school and then offer a tax receipt?
    • There is a SWC parent who is a Grammy-nominated sound technician, can he recommend something appropriate?
    • Decision reached to postpone spending on microphones because our quote is inaccurate and council needs to do further research 

Motion: Council will contribute $500 in support of recorder and ukulele music.  Moved by Jason, seconded by Amanda. Approved.

Motion: Council will contribute $200 toward the purchase of math manipulatives. Moved by Cara, seconded by Naomi.  Approved.

  • Decision to eliminate individual student support (from proposed $7/student) so council has more money for other things. Reasoning that $7/student is applied equally to all students, whether their family needs it or not. Discussed increasing student discretionary fund due to changing demographics. Student discretionary fund is used at Wanda’s discretion to pay for field trips etc. when a family cannot.

    Motion: To increase the student discretionary fund from a proposed $1500 to $2000.  Approved.

  • Discussion re: gift cards, some parents think that all teachers should come to council to seek extra funds, council does not know how staff is using gift cards. Some parents see gift cards to teaching staff as a way to focus on the whole school, instead of only the classes who have teachers who are able to make time to make a proposal to council for funding.

Motion: Council will give $75 in gift cards per class to classroom staff in support of student learning for a total of $1,575.  Moved by Cara, seconded by Carolyn. Approved.

  • Outdoor bin renewal
    • How are they used?Lots of bins are depleted. Can we use old physical education equipment to put in the outdoor bins? Yes it works well to use old PE equipment outside.Council will not spend $200 on outdoor bin renewal and will refill bins with old PE equipment instead.
  • Did outdoor learning kits work out last year?Jenn-No, we missed getting supplies on sale then it was too expensive.

Motion: Council will spend up to $150 on supplies for a staff appreciation lunch. Motioned by Naomi, seconded by Jenn. Approved.

Motion: Council will contribute $2,000 toward the SWC library renewal, subject to the library renewal being approved by the superintendent. Moved by Katherine, seconded by Jenn.  Approved.

  • The money from the Flipgive fundraiser (intended to benefit the library) is being disbursed in the 2019-2020 school year.

Motion: Council will contribute up to $240 toward replacing the learning circle in the kinder yard.  Moved by Naomi, seconded by Melissa. Approved.

  • The learning circle will be made up of low benches made from 6x6 posts 4 feet long.Each bench costs $60 including tax and labour. It is expected to take 3-4 benches to replace the learning circle.
  • Buddy bench cost council $875 +tax a few years ago.Does council want the buddy bench to go outside as originally intended? A bench to replace the buddy bench in front of the office would cost $250.Answer: No, the Buddy Bench is quite popular in its current location outside of the office.Also Buddy bench has some rust on it.Decision made to leave the buddy bench in place
  • Question: What is the buddy bench?Answer: It is an empathy program. Lonely kids sit there and other kids are supposed to see someone is there and befriend them.

Motion: Council will contribute $1,000 toward a new librarian desk. Moved by Naomi, seconded by Jenn.  Approved.

  • Discussion: Our librarian is ½ time, do we need a new desk?Answer: Yes, the current space is not sufficient for book repairs.People often put food on the desk etc.

Motion:  Council will contribute $160 for the purchase of Osomobots. Moved by Fiona, seconded by Olga.  Approved.

Computer Science outreach with Carleton university

  • Jason- ThanksWanda for checking with the Board for the okay to pursue this activity. Plan is to start a small outreach program between Carleton U and SWC.Carleton U reps come to Gr. 3 classes 1x/month and do some computer science.Plan is to use microbits with an 8x8 grid of LEDs. Programing LEDs, can get as advanced as desired.If it goes well, next year have grade 3 and grade 4 etc. The hope is that CarletonU would pay Carleton students to come when Jason has less time (after next year).Jason needs to talk to Carleton U and Tech coach from BNLT and discuss with Grade 3 teachers regarding meeting curriculum requirements.Whole plan hinges on Grade 3 teachers being interested in this idea.
  • Question: Why grade 3?Answer: Jason-It was arbitrary
  • Discussion: Carolyn- Doesn’t think computer programing is necessary at this time, there are other ways to support logic and programing without a computer. Wanda-Curriculum is big, so inclusion of this program must align with curriculum, i.e., lights into names-procedural writing can get connected into curriculum.Teacher has to buy in!This is where curriculum coaches come in to help, be part of program set up.
  • Question :Fiona-Have you thought of doing it as a club as well or instead of doing it in class time? Response: Jason - Wanted it to be part of everyday class instead of only catering to those who are already interested.Would like to encourage girls to be engaged with tech, only 15% of students in his (university) classes are females. Thinks onlyboys would come to a club and doesn’t t want to make tech special, just a normal part of learning with the hope that people who wouldn’t have thought of it, will be interested.Also wants to hire women students (especially, but also guys) to present this material.
  • Melissa- My daughter was in STEM camp this summer, she loved robots, she wouldn’t have thought of programing before this camp.
  • Margaret-What do you need from council? Wanda- Carleton could supply a set of microbitsfor when they come, but if SWC wants a set, council could support that.We have a small coding club and would like to expand, but the club is still too new to know how councilcould support it.
  • Question: What isa microbit? Answer: It is 16 lights the size of your hand costs 25-30 dollars.
  • Question: Is it like raspberry pi?Answer: No it is more basic, lower level.
  • Discussion: It may be possible to deal with Virtual Adventures, an engineering organization at Carleton U, they do lots of not programming things and maybe could come in? Wanda-Technology-it is all what you do with it, Breanna-It could be really exciting. Kinders have been doing coding (robots make letters, follow lines)

Teachers report

  • Thanks for the white boards

Movie Night

  • Scheduled for 2nd or 3rd Friday in Jan, Wendy will help with food, Melissa and Cathy will help with organization and set up.

School Grounds update

  • Moved to January meeting

Meeting adjourned, 7:51

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