Feburary 2016 – General Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, February 2, 2016 in the school library
Come to two consecutive meetings at PTO and you are a voting member!
Principal: Kristen deFrancisco (KD)
Presidents: Cedrine Bell (CB)
Treasury: Lee Powers (LP)
Recording Secretary: Sarah Evans (SE)
Communications: Jill Swilling (JS)
Meeting called to order by President Cedrine Bell at 6:32pm
Minutes: No motions to approve the January minutes.
6:45p Principal Report
Hour of Code was fantastic. Lots of positive feedback. This year, after event, KD got some Pro Dev stuff she can use next year so teachers can incorporate more code into curriculum during the week.
Enrollment Growth. We are okay for next year in terms of rooms for kids. But we need to make sure we have the staff and that the staff have rooms. For example spec ed, reading support. Do we have enough people for student increases? And do we have enough rooms? Needs to be equitable across district but we need our staff, too.
Playground. Repairs done! If you see anything, let me know. Buddy Bench installed. “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
6:50-7:00 Treasurer’s report (LP)
Not a lot has changed since last month. So I wanted to give an events report - how much each event made.
Book fair: $1400 (three year avg $1600)
Ice Cream Social $180
Supplies $1200 (three year avg $1300)
Appeal $13600. The goal is 15,600. We have collected about the same amount of money right now in the school year but if we take the average for the last three years, we are 2K behind. Metco parents donate to our appeal!
Moya and 5th grade Tiles space and artistic vision.
By next week we will have ideas from the artist friend Moya is working with!
>Ann and Moya thanks for the movie night! Ran out of pizza but all fabulous. Much better viewing screen. Yay!
Recruiting Room Parent Coordinator for 2016-17 from Jill Swilling
New way of recruiting this year – taking it off the plate of teacher and giving to the PTO with a coordinator. Jill looking for volunteer for next year. Contact her if interested!
Literacy Night (March) 1st Grade VP Michelle Marshall THIS IS OUR NEXT BIG EVENT. STAY TUNED!
Dance/Beach Party (Friday, April 1st?) Katie Garrett, Melissa Jacobs, Shannon Guiney.
Everything on target. Décor bought! We have to make sign up geniuses. And so far so good.
Teacher Appreciation (March 28th-April 1st) Jill Swilling and Patsy O’Brien
Everyday different activity. Still working on what happens on what day. One thing – if you are a room parent: start thinking about door décor in the beginning of March.
[PARRC April 25th-May 27th]
Walk a thon (Friday, April 29th?) 4th Grade VPs Eva Bittecker and Darcy Carr
Field Day (potentially, Fri. May 27th) Victoria Arthur and Michael Leen
BBQ (Fri. June 17th) Need committee
(6:47) 7:20-7:35 School committee presentation on budget--Bill Hayner
How is a school budget decided?
1. Principals meet with school councils (SC).
2. SC gives feeback.
3. Budget is changed as necessary
4. Final budget passed – SC budget
5. Budget goes to town meeting for approval.
What is projected increase in costs?
Town figures 3.5% growth of general education spending and 7% growth of spec ed spending plus extra for growth.
What funds the budget?
>Majority - From property taxes.
>Chapter 70 funding from the state. Governor hasn't increased this in state budget.
>Small amount of APS budget from grants and Circuit Breakers which is left over spec ed money or spending.
How can you participate in the budget process?
1. Attend budget subcommittee
2. Formal budget hearing 2/25/16
3. Want information or follow information?
What was cut. What isn't cut.
Support staff for ELL and Spec Ed were cut.
METCO – no one on the SC wants to cut funding to program.
Check out the town budget online!
FY2016 School Budget
School Budget information
7:35-7:50 Report on enrollment issues/overcrowding at Hardy
Jenna Reader and Kate Leary
This information is gathered from the last 5-6 weeks. Bill H and school committee has been great. And we met with the Thompson group which formed a couple of months ago. Their goal: quality and smaller class sizes.
Part of our goal is to figure out where we align and where we differ.
- Hardy Enrollment Google Group – get on!
- Town is funding two modular classroom at Thompson
- Thompson parent Tom L. has article in Warren funding thing in April for a capacity expansion promise from the town. He wants committee/school to specifically make a case at the end of February. This week we are meeting to make sure Hardy goals aren't overlooked.
- Issue: Add six classes to Thompson, redistrict with grandfathering and we are good to go! But is it for Hardy? And does six cover it? One is gym space. Principal = doesn’t see this option as a go. Modulars or permanent is off the table for here at Hardy. Everyone wants to maintain neighborhood schools.
- Ideal: eight classes total. Four at Hardy and Four at Thompson.
Keep in mind with all of these ideas, finance wants to see all the options.
Principal KD: We have enough classrooms next year but with no sensory integration, no teacher space, no breakout spaces, small cafeteria. Even now, intervention is out in the hall. Spec Ed teachers share rooms.
The Gibbs. One proposal is funding feasibility in April for a project at Thompson at Gibbs at Ottoson. Gibbs would be Hardy and Thompson from 6,7,8 or just 6th grade for entire district.
Big push is to fill town meeting seats – bunch of parents are running. Need to get out the vote. March 1 is primary. April 2 is vote day.
February 23 – another big enrollment meeting with a bunch of departments.
Next PTO meeting is on Tuesday March 1 at 6:30p
Meeting adjourned at 7:52