December 12, 2019

Sir Winston Churchill School Council

December 12, 2019


Attendees: Wanda Mills-Boone, Louise Cesario, Margaret Sambol, Amanda Lancaster, Naomi Elias, Jenn O’Reilly, Carolyn Berezowsky, Harinder Batth, Rebecca Johnston, Philip Mansfield, Katherine Percival, Jason Hinek, Leila Chinaei, Kelly Manweiler, Mark Bylsma, Cindy Chan, Emily Murphy

Guests: Duygu Moremood, Karen Roberts, Tracy Cole, Angela Boudreau,  Donna Blackburn

Regrets: Fiona Warren, Cara Baas, Jillian Ade-Sibbitt, Tim Dietrich, Pam Woolridge, Wendy Mansfield, Olga Blais

Meeting called to order at 5:35 p.m.

Update from our board trustee - Donna Blackburn


The board just had their organization meeting where new duties were assigned to trustees.  There is a new vice chair.   Donna is chair of OSTA (transportation)

Donna is very pleased that the parking lot lighting is improved as this is an issue which she had brought to the attention of the board.

Last year we were fortunate that our districts did not have to make substantial cuts.  This was because

      We have increased enrolment

      Forethought and conservative budgeting allowed us to have money in reserves

It is possible there will be cutting decisions needed this year.  Donna encourages us to write to whoever is in charge when we see something we aren’t happy with.  When more people are engaged there will more likely be a response.

The Board Strategic plan was passed and now in place.

Thank you to all those who attended the yard clean up.  Donna was happy to be here and help.

We are one of Donna’s “Favourite” councils ☺  Lots of participation

Q: What will the labour disruption mean in terms of what we should actually plan to fund this year (if teachers cannot follow through on items)

Wanda: This will not last forever. We should go on the assumption that most of the funding  staff is asked for is attached to the curriculum and can remain in plan. Execution/usage might be delayed but the funds will be used.


Council Business

Council received a lovely thank you note from Bev.  Margaret read it to the group.

Class photos

There will be a composite photo created instead of the typical standard class photo.  Final approval of the composites was given to the vendor yesterday.  The group class photo does not always go well especially in the kinder grades. The teachers decided to go for this alternate options.  No ETA.  This also captures retakes and new students. 

November Minutes

Motion to pass the minutes: Amanda moves – Kelly seconds. Motion passed


Principal’s report

It’s crazy at Christmas time

Next week will be a week of cheer – planned by the Junior council.  Some of the kinders will do only 3 of the five days due to conflicting plans

      PJ day

      Silly hair day

      Comfy dress day

      Red green

      Twin/Triplet/multiple day

There will be a Winter Holiday themed bake sale on Thursday the 19th. Leftovers will be available for sale to parents on 20th. Contributions go to Drama and Tradansa

Huge thank you to Mme. Donna and Ms D’Angelo for organizing Tradansa

We are celebrating 10 days of Les (for Les’s retirement).  The council  donated a box of items to keep Les busy in his retirement.  Classes are presenting him with gifts on different days for 10 days.

Kathy Presley will be the new custodian starting in January.

Still working through staffing challenges.  Mme Johnson and Mme Sonja are both off  on family leave until after the holidays.  Ms. Jenn and  Mme Souad are off with knee injuries.  This affects EDP with a lot of changing faces.

At the January meeting Wanda will present the School Learning plan. Focusing on math  The schools are working together to have a similar path so that all the schools are aligned.   Wanda will also present EQAO results and where we are going with that.

Wanda presented a Thank You card from the Autism department for our support.

There are no staff representative to report due to job action.

We may need to rework the child care arrangement for council meetings because there is a 15 minute period where the gym and EDP room are not available.  Lets move the meeting to the library or staff room and let kids use the maker space.

DECISION: We will move the Parent Council Meetings to the Staff room in January.   The child care will take place in the Maker Space.

Phil:  The boys have indicated they’ve had a couple of subs that don’t speak French.   Happened more than once. There is concern that the French immersion is further eroding when they miss French instruction.

Wanda: This will continue to be an issue for a while.  We are short teachers daily across the system. SWC has a Dedicated Occasional Teacher (DOT) but they are not French speaking.  Furthermore there is a shortage of French speaking subs across the board.     The board is trying to actively recruit more which they have not had to do in the past..    There are also systemic issues with the way that sign ups work.  Half day absences are worse because people don’t want to pick up only a half day.  There is a shortage all over.

Q: How about we take the opportunity to teach more math to kids during the time where subs cannot instruct in French.

Wanda: Generally the teacher leaves specific activities for the children to do in their absence.

Phil: Will we apply for another DOT?

Wanda: We applied for 2 DOTs we got one


Treasurer’s report

      Flipgive funds raised has come in – these were mostly raised last year, so have been allocated to the library fund. Any money raised going forward will be put towards the general pot.

      Donations from schoolcashonline has raised about $230

      Equator Coffee raised about $300

      MacMillans cookie dough raised about $680

      Term 2 pizza appears less than term 1 pizza because this is to end of Nov, so does not show money that came in in Dec – Carolyn says actual income is about $7700

      Grade 4-5-6 movie night raised about $120 (will be transferred to school)

Phil: For the school cash online direct donation that appeared - there was not a notification – was this something the council discussed and voted on, should we have had a motion?

Naomi: It seemed a bit harsh the way it suddenly showed up- next time should have better communication and specific decision and transparency around these decisions.

Eg. Could align with Giving Tuesday with media blitz etc.

Can we have a retroactive email go out? 

 Kelly volunteers to draft something and work with Margaret to send to parents

      List what we already did

      Make funny options  for school cash online

      Add a reminder to other council’s school cash on line items that direct donation is an option

      Emphasise pay for another child option

Wanda notes that since school cash online is in use, more parents are not paying – so we are losing money.  The physical act of collecting money keeps it more top of mind.  This feedback has been given to School cash online.

There was a snafoo with the cookie dough.  They are giving us some free items that perhaps we can raffle off or use in some other way.

Pizza sales down very slightly but seems to be correlation with slightly declining  school population


Spending Requests

Katherine and Naomi have decided no longer to run movie nights therefore, they are removing their requests that was previously approved more gym mats.

Movie nights make over 1000 but they are more stressful to run. 

Naomi makes a Motion to release the $1000 allocated to gym mats back into general funds to be spent this year. Kelly second.  Motion passed

New Item Laughologist - $1000

Albert Neerenburg  (Naomi’s cousin) is a movie documentary producer/director and a Laughologist to promote wellness and mental health through the art of laughter.  He has worked with many schools and runs workshops.  This proposal will address entire rest of the school that is not covered in the other wellness program (Kinder Yoga) and will provide a special workshop for staff.    Timing would be end of Jan early Feb.  Clinics will be run for grades 1-6 (divided by appropriate cohort) as well as staff.   Cost $1000

Amanda: Has this been discussed with Wanda and is there staff buy in. 

Naomi: Yes she has spoken to staff and understands this is wanted

Margaret: can staff participate during job action.  What is the curriculum tie

Wanda: Staff cannot collect money. We will find a curriculum tie.

Naomi: Albert would be capable of incorporating the teacher value portion into the day time portion


BIP program request - $1000 (8 students)

      2 headphones with mics sets for computer work - $250

      2 swivel stools on wheels for movement - $100

      8 sensory seating disks -$200


      These students are not yet assessed so they are not getting their accommodations which should cover this stuff – it can take a couple of years

      Propose council buys the items for the school – BIP

      Having the students feel they are part of the community is shown to be beneficial to their behaviour.

      These students have some funding that has already been used.

      The behaviour issues can interfere with the ability to be assessed.  Equipment that has come from board funding moves with the students. 

Micro exercise equipment

      under desk peddler (roaming) $50

      mini elliptical (bolted into the break room) $130


Margaret found a 150$ option

Souheir  may have the code to the old safe

Kelly has written to Costco to see if they can donate a safe?    Kelly please go ahead!

Please leave $150 in case we need to buy the safe


Classroom support

      22 classrooms and 32 teachers (does not include 12 ECE or 8EA)

      Teachers request 32 gift cards at $35 each


o   There is no accountability for this money.  It’s not enough to make a difference.

o   The teachers really appreciate the cards to offset their out of pocket expenses

o   We’ve been spending on individual items that don’t last.  We might think about spending things that will carry on the school

Proposal to remove all the books from the funding requests and use the Indigo money to account for this request


Rocks and minerals

Naomi has found a large number of rocks and minerals. 30% are properly labelled.   (25 labelled ) and random rocks.   Oops these might be contaminated rocks.   The kits will support science and learning year over year



We haven’t got feedback yet on the program, why add more money

This program will be difficult to implement on the older grades


Motion  to approve for spending by Margaret

      Rocks and minerals - $400

      BIP Requests - $500

      Laugher workshop - $1000

      1% challenge - $150

      Classroom support $1300 (52staff x25$)

      Staff luncheon  $150


Seconded by ?

Motion passed


Meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.

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