May 14, 2019

SWC School Council Minutes

May 14, 2019

Members attending: Margaret Sambol, Fiona Warren, Carolyn Berezowsky, Cara Baas, Amanda Lancaster, Pam Woolridge, Jenn O’Reilly, Jillian Ade-Sibbit, Katherine Percival, Olga Blais

Staff attending: Wanda Mills-Boone, Louise Cesario, Breana Durnin

Guests: Cindy Chan, Duygu Morewood, Jill McIntyre Zainab Abdy

Members who did not attend, but sent regrets: Naomi Elias, Harinder Batth, Rebecca Johnston, Philip Mansfield, Wendy Mansfield, Jason Hinek, Leila Chinaei

Meeting called to order at 5:37

  • Some members are leaving early at 7 due to the General Burns Community Association AGM.


  • Mme LB thanks council for our work.
  • Update from the board: The draft strategic plan feedback survey is open until June 7 (online).
  • Pizza tonight was free from Toppers as a thanks for our loyal business.


  • 3 members have not attended since October, so council decided to remove them from the council membership (Scott Dawson, Susan Johnson, Jeyanthi Sivasambu)

Motion: To approve minutes from the April council meeting. Moved by Olga , Seconded by Pam. Minutes pass.

Principal’s report (Wanda):

  • It has been a busy month at SWC. New jerseys have been used by our basketball teams. There were enough jerseys so that the girls and boys teams did not have to share jerseys. The jerseys look good.
  • NAC brass quintet performance happened, Wendy (parent) was able to attend. Kids liked it although Wendy noticed that the one for brass performance was longer, not as intimate as compared to the woodwinds (shorter, 2 performances).
    • Grade 6’s just went for tour of merivale and “honk and blow” (chance to try different instruments) for when they do instrumental music.
  • Parent night on building resiliency and strength in children went well. Having babysitting is important when doing a parent night. Parents who were there thought it was great.
  • Dates to highlight:
    • Report cards go out June 25.
    • Grade 6 leaving ceremony same day. Wanda would like to set up tables for each family and have grade 5’s serve tea etc. Would parent council be interested in buying the cupcakes?
    • June 7 pd day to work on report cards.
    • Volunteer breakfast (instead of volunteer tea) is coming up. Babysitting would be available, date TBA
    • EQAO dates are May 21-23, 27-29. SWC community has been practicing transitions in hallways to minimize distractions for students taking the tests.
  • This week is Ecoweek . Stuffy day is tomorrow. Eco Club has been working hard. This year they are fundraising for World Wildlife Fund (benefits endangered species). Each student has researched an endangered species. Eco Club members are selling tickets for the chance to pie an Eco Club student dressed up as an animal in face. On Friday during the assembly, the tickets will be drawn and the pie-ing will happen. If over $300 is raised, Wanda will get pied in the face.
  • Yoga
    • Lots of teachers are into GoNoodle. GoNoodle has everything from calming to active activities. Staff would like to keep funds allotted for the yoga and mindfulness initiative until next year and get training at the beginning of next year. Margaret checked and we can use the $1000 set aside in Sept 2019 according to the school council funds management guide.
    • Money will be transferred to Wanda now for use in Sept. 2019. A group of teachers are doing yoga for themselves at lunch.
  • Renos continue, the library is confirmed to move upstairs. Shelves are being painted, there is a long list of schools being reno’d, so painting is happening in a stop and go fashion. Not all books will go upstairs, so the librarian is going through collection. There will be no more library days for students for the rest of the year to allow the librarian to go through the collection.
    • Mr Walker gets to pick $650 of French resources for the library because of purchases made at the Scholastic book fair.

Parent Questions

  • Rope ladder made of chain is gone from the play structure, what happened? Maybe it became unstable over the winter? Wanda will ask.
  • Parent question: what is happening with the library?
    • Gr. 7 and 8’s used the original library as music room. The music room will become the library again. This current library will be repurposed: there is a stage, it will be an all purpose room, autism, kinders, can do DPA here, kinders can have gym, small assemblies here.
  • Question about substitute teachers- is it possible to find a sub for french who speaks french. No, We do try our best, but board is having trouble with OT’s (subs) contract issues.
    • Do school boards work together? Kind of, a teacher can be on multiple lists. But the teacher must get 20 assignments per board between Sept and june 10th-ish to remain on that board’s list.
  • What is the volunteer breakfast?
    • A breakfast provided to parents/guardians who have volunteered over the school year to say thanks! Date TBA.

Teachers report

  • Kinders have been talking about water pollution, conservation areas etc. talking about taking care of the earth and what we can do at home. Transitioning into planting and what happens under the soil. Vermicompost started today.
  • On May 31 red and yellow kinder classes have a bird conservation presentation.
  • On June 10 Yaki will come perform.
  • Blue and green kinder classes had a librarian visit and have a visit to the Science and Tech museum coming up
  • Mrs. Rae had a student from Queens in the classroom.
  • Proposal-Request for $300 to support outdoor initiatives (forest school: for costco foldable wagons ($180) the rest for tarps, burlap and pots pans, baskets etc. so kids can create their own adventures outdoors)

Louise reading a note from Mrs. MacLean (Gr. 2&3)

  • Many teachers are prepping for EQAO
  • Her class is finishing their media project in English, the link will be shared on twitter.
  • Water walk happens in June with Grandmother Francine, Anishnaabe knowledge keeper.

Fun Night

  • Fun Night is going well. Teacher sign up went live today. Parent sign up comes out to council on May 24 and on May 31 to the entire parent community.
  • Everything will be held in the gym or outside and the book fair will be in the hallway. Lots of new stuff happening in the field and Gym. Colony VR. craft tables, lego etc. will be happening there (gym).
  • If you are interested in planning next year’s fun night talk to jenn soon…
  • The raffle made $1200 last year. It will be held just inside the gym doors.

Treasurer’s Report (Cara)

  • The library fund is at $1677. This does not include the money set aside for the librarian’s desk.
    • (Wanda) We Looked at our options regarding the desk, our carpenter came in and found out what the problem is. The current desk will be repurposed and carpenters will build a counter behind the librarian’s so there is space to work on repairing books. It should cost around $600. It may cost a bit more to bring the electrical etc. over.
  • As per the Balance sheet, council has $1400 left to spend this year.
  • Spending requests:
    • Pizza party for active transportation week, up to $200
    • Cupcakes for grade 6 graduation celebration, up to $200
    • Boulders for side of yard that has no structures or equipment, $1000
    • Gift cards for custodians $200, a $100 increase over what council previously voted in favour of.
    • Forest school proposal outlined by Breanna, $300
  • The yard is still separated by age because play between ages is different and this keeps solution keeps littles from getting hurt.
  • The older kids are using the track and long jump pit. Balls and cones have been ordered for this age group. Sight lines are a problem so older kids can not sit/play in the pit area where the basketball courts are because kids can’t be seen by staff. All kids, grades 1-6, are out at the same time.
  • There is $781 left in council support, we won’t use it all, perhaps we will have money left over to reallocate to some of these initiatives.
  • Spending requests will be put to an email vote.

Pizza program (Carolyn)

  • Next year will be Carolyn’s last year at the SWC. It would be best if a parent could work with Carolyn next year to take over the pizza program.
  • Commitment: It takes few hours to go through spreadsheets and go through orders and communicate with the vendor. Need to keep track of email. Need to be able to react and coordinate if needed during first few weeks. Would be helpful if you were available during the day during the first few weeks to answer texts etc. Time commitment is about 10 hours in the first month of the term. No involvement in between terms.

Other Things to Present for Information (Margaret)

  • Moving meeting dates:
    • Discussion: Thursday nights would be easier for Wanda. Council parents who order pizza for their kids wouldn’t have their kids eat pizza 2x on meeting days if meetings were not on Tuesday. Tuesday overlaps with Merivale HS meetings, Wednesday is a busy days for Wanda. Council decides that meetings will move to the 2nd Thursday of month.
  • Submitted our movie night dates for next year- Oct. 18, Nov. 22, Jan. 17, Apr. 17.
    • Cathy will not be back at SWC next year, so a new movie night coordinator is needed for this event to continue.
  • Fun Night 2020 is scheduled for June 12.
  • Parents would like to see Multicultural night happen next year.
  • Parents would like to see a holiday celebration, such as the dance event at christmas time such as the dance event that went over well in the 2017-18 academic year.
  • Spending update is written, it just needs to go out.
  • Spending plan survey
    • Council is supposed to know what it will spend money on before we fundraise, these parameters do not need to be super specific, but should contain some direction about what we prioritize.
    • We have really enjoyed hearing from teachers
    • Using the categories based on exit outcomes leaves council with lots of flexibility in spending and gives direction to teachers when they make their requests.
  • Kinder info night will be May 28.
  • Council is not holding a Spring clean up event this year.
  • Volunteer walking school bus,
    • Julie (from the Envirocentre) says SWC may be part of a pilot for one trained (paid) person and one trained volunteer to work with that person to run a walking school bus route next year. Wanda will have more details to send to Margaret before the next meeting
  • Computer science project with Jason and Leila is going well. Jason was approved for his sabbatical so he is available to put the work in from his end. Jason and Leila are planning on meeting with the board technical experts at the end of June. They are still waiting for confirmation of funding from Carleton.
  • June council meeting will feature a potluck supper for the adults, pizza for the kids.
  • Staff lunch is June 7, please bring food. Sign up will come out later this week.
  • May 25 is the date of the General Burns fun day.

Meeting Adjourned: 6:55pm

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