January 2016 – General Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, January 12, 2016. Meeting started at 6:34 in the school library.
Come to two consecutive meetings at PTO and you are a voting member!
Principal: Kristen deFrancisco (KD)
President: 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 6:34pm
Attendance: Recording Secretary Sarah did not take attendance.
No Guest today.
Minutes: No motions to approve the December minutes.
Treasurer REPORT 6:35p
12,890 82 families with two donations of $1,000.
About 500 less than last year but more than 2013 and 14.
We take donations year round.
Q: Are new families and residents receiving appeal letter?
A: All come home in backpack mail. Both in pack back and in PTO post.
Thank you letters are combined with tax information for charitable giving. The first batch of letters go out today for anyone who donated in 2015.
Q: Dalin uses Go-Fund site for more donations? Dalin uses it. May try something like it.
A: Treasurer will consider it.
Principal Report: 6:45p
Mr. Chris death. Rough couple of days at school. Boston families affected the most but rest of kids know their friends are sad. People dropped their schedules to help us – like the crisis team. From our youngest TA, “I need to be with them”, she said and adjusted her schedule to arrive on an off day.
We are trying to figure out between Bishop and Hardy what to do with/for the family. Maybe support the family – he leaves behind longtime girlfriend and yet-to-be-born baby.
Kristen talked to 2,3,4,5 grades (no METCO in 5) – with Allison Pratt. Kids were thoughtful and asked thoughtful questions. Also instructed to not use “passed on” “no longer with us” but just say dead. Other words sound like you are on vacation. Biggest question? = Where was he? At home? In bed? Key. Be as honest as you can to your comfort level. Kids were concerned about their Boston friends. Would they be safe on way to school?
Playground. Done. Replaced all the necessary stuff from reports. Took only two days of caution tape. Moving forward with Hardy we have other plans for playground. But we are done.
PARC. We are doing PARC instead of MCAS. MCAS only will be Science and Tech since that doesn’t exist in PARC. This year paper/pencil.
Tile Display. 5th grade has tradition of painting tiles. They are around main hallways. We have about 5 classes backlogged. And we have this year’s class, too. So we want to make frames and hang them in various places.
Question: how can we find a place to mosaic? Is this something the PTO as a legacy? Or is it worked into graduation fees? Maybe the 5th grade committee decides if they want to use their extra money for the tile design?
Two questions from parents.
Q: What is the temp cut off for outdoor recess?
A: We go by real feel temperature. Below 17-20 degree windchill factor, stay in. Less a strict temperature and more a what does it feel like. We do an indoor recess when possible. Responsive classroom and movement – keep kids moving. Sliney does 3-4 class activities that allow for movement breaks. Important for social/emotional purpose.
Q: Is pledge of allegiance recited or not?
A: Not over PA but recited in classes.
Tuesday dismissal. Recess backs up to 1p which is unique to Tuesday. Parents pickup at the same time. So tough for Captain Recess to figure out what parents are arrived and what are not. Right now, she thinks best solution on Tuesday is for parents to wait outside the gate until school is released. We might put cones out front. Teachers will also be sending out an alert to their class emails.
ALICE. Crisis protocol reserved for intruder in the building. One of the Sandy Hook moms became an advocate to help prepare staff, kids and building. While we are safe here at Hardy, we also need to be mindful of the times we live in.
The sitting and waiting idea isn’t the best according to studies. Intruders are crazy and want to be in control. You thwart that controlled plan and may help to change the intruders’ plan. For example, going over PA and announcing intruder in building, where is and what looks like. Last year at Bishop they piloted an ALICE drill with fire and police departments.
Hardy police liaison, Cindy, will do two teacher trainings, a parent QA night and she will visit to the PTO. After all that, on drill day it happens. Parts of building leave, and part stays in and then switch. About 45 minutes to do the drill in school with kids.
Larger part of ALICE, evacuate building at the same time. Boys/Girls club is the evac location so at some point, that will happen on the same day. Parents will know the date. Please don’t show up and watch by the fences
Cedrine thanks the parents who helped light the lights at the Gate Lighting Ceremony.
Movie Night – Capitol is donating popcorn. Screen - renting. Movie starting a bit after 6:30p. Cash box and petty cash being exchanged tonight. Anne and Moya are coordinating efforts. Second grade parents encouraged to help! Slots still available to help on the night of the movie! Volunteer!
Dance Beach – Feb 26, 2016 on a Friday.
Teacher Appreciation March 28- April 1. – Patsy is here to talk about Teacher Appreciation. We are meeting this week to chat more about it and will make a sign up genius.
Enrollment issues. Kate Leary, Alex Bilsky, Jenna Reader, Palomi XX, Marca have made a committee for Hardy.
Range of options include adding addition at Hardy or Thompson. Option also about the Gibbs Middle school. Middle school is overcrowded now. So can we have a smaller one at Gibbs? Lesli Ellis moving out in fall 2017.
Thompson wants to be the one to build out. Our reps are there at the meeting tonight at the enrollment task force. They will request that options are studied. You have to ask for funding to do study about expansion. One parent asked whether METCO program is maintaining priority status in the plans.
Thompson has a survey about the middle school option at Gibbs. Look for the Thompson website for the report about overcrowding.
One plan includes a kids shuffle.
50 from Stratton to pierce for spec ed kids
130 from bishop to Stratton (may not be equitbile grade disbursement)
120 thompson to bishop
80 from hardy to Thompson
Keep classes under 23
disruptive to neighborhoods
model doesn’t realize we aren’t adding rooms
long commute to schools
only short-term solution
separate students now and then later harder to come together as a district student
More discussion for about another 15 minutes and then the meeting was adjourned.
>Next meeting is on February 2 at 6:30p
Meeting adjourned at 7:55p