March 2016 – General Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, March 1, 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 6:33pm
Minutes: No motions to approve the January minutes.
6:40p - Principal Report
"Not much to report. Other than I’m concerned about space issue." A lot of ideas have gone to finance and school committees.Right now, Ottoson, Gibbs and Thompson are priorities to committees. KD will be meeting with Kate Leary about some Hardy plans. KD will be chatting with super to figure out what is going on. Her best guess? Modulars for short-term.
PARC is 21 test sessions! 4 sessions of 60 minute math. 3 sessions of ELL (3rd – 90-75-90 and 4th/5th all three are 90 minutes). Timed. Once time is up and that is it. This is all about critical thinking so teachers aren’t teaching to PARC. This year the results are not counted – it is a learning year. Because next year is MCAS 2.0. Keep in mind, kids have never been timed before this test. This is on paper. Chatter about kids learning the program so that isn’t a stumbling block (where is the fraction tool?, etc.) and the district won’t be teaching kids to type.
And making sure kindergarten schedule is ready for the incoming class of 2016-17 - already!
Tiles! Advice from expert via Moya. Framing mosaics are heavy. Get a board, screw it into wall and use contractors adhesive to attach tiles and then put frame around it. Because this stuff is super heavy. And stay away from mortar or grouting because it will scratch tiles.
6:50-7:00 - Treasurer’s report
LP: Not much – almost no activity. I’m ordering a bunch of sweatshirts for those who contributed more that a 100 or more in annual appeal. Lots of enthusiasm for free sweatshirts.
The appeal – after two rounds – we are at $13,000. Our goal is $15,500. This is lower but not by much.
Tree replanting committee—Cédrine (committee headed by Mark Pattin who is a landscape architect, firstname.lastname@example.org). No more trees to be cut. Mark wants to beautify school yard. We can get donations of trees and such. Where can we place trees? Focus on trees that provide shade. Keep in mind the ‘how to fund?’
Billion Mile Walk stencils! So KD would like stencils to be part of it. And keep in mind the modulars would go either go on top of K playground or on the wall by the gym/basketball hoops. And also include the front lawn in plans.
KD: I’m happy to get emails about issues but I’m not a tree killer. The issue is a safety concern for kids both for play and snow removal which impacts emergency exits. The tree people are different than rounder people – they won’t pave until spring but they will remove the rounders.
Recruiting Room Parent Coordinator for 2016-17 Jill Swilling.
We need a new one! Jill is moving to Winchester. A form, a few emails throughout the year. Fairly easy.
Dance/Beach Party (Friday, April 1st) Katie Garrett, Melissa Jacobs, Shannon Guiney
Teacher Appreciation (March 28th-April 1st) Jill Swilling and Patsy O’Brien.
Day 1 : potted herb plant, Day 2 : apples from girl scouts with thank you tags Day 3: lunch Joe Sent Me Day 4 Ice Cream Social after school Day 5 Principal Breakfast for Teachers. We will have a sign up genius for things like drinks, ice cream toppings and some other things.
Encourage the decoration!
[PARRC April 25th-May 27th]
Walk-a-thon (Friday, April 29th?) 4th Grade VPs Eva Bittecker and Darcy Carr
Literacy Night: (Thursday - May 5) 1st Grade VP (Margaret Muirhead). Amy Reese. The theme is Dr. Suess. BOOK the GYM with Donna.
-Claire and Margaret started this four years ago with the hope that the PTO would take it over. Food in cafeteria, setting up/breaking down, in gym. Good bit of organizing so would be great to have this as a grade event.
Field Day (potentially, Fri. May 27th) Victoria Arthur and Michael Leen
Math Week in beginning of June – will be using a bunch of enrichment money. We’ll be doing a two year plan so kids aren’t doing the same activities each year.
BBQ (Fri. June 17th) Need committee!! Field Day (potentially, Fri. May 27th) Victoria Arthur and Michael Leen
7:30-7:40 Report on enrollment issues/overcrowding at Hardy
Kate Leary: A design plan for a thompson addition though they are doing modulars in short term. Putting out bids and will be completed in fall of 2017. Looks like Gibbs for middle school expansion but not before Fall 2019. Though by 2018 could happen if a faster study can happy and say Ottoson can’t be expanded. Super favors townwide 6th grade for Hardy vs east middle school. Thompson expansion is good but doesn’t help Hardy. Though they are pushing the Hardy name in plans, etc. No action items right now.
Teacher PTO rep Jaime Sliney brought in a flyer as requested by the teachers' union who want parents to know about a public meeting on March 23 to discuss idea of more charter schools. The governor has bill where more charter schools can open up but where does the funding come from? Other public schools. From the flyer:
What: Join a Community Discussion about Charter Schools: A Serious Threat to Public Schools in Massachusetts. Please
join SEntaor Ken Donnelly, Arlington School Committee Chair, Paul Schlitchtman and others to discuss legislation and a ballot initiative that would allow charter schools to siphon more money from our public schools and what we can do about it.
Where: Arlington Town Hall 869 Mass Avnue
When: March 23 at 7pm
Who: Community members including educators, parents and students.
Meeting adjorned at 7:45pm.
Next meeting Tuesday, April 5 2016.