September 13, 2011 Minutes

September 13, 2011
Parent/Site Council Meeting

In attendance:

Site council meets monthly to decide on program goals. Anyone may attend but only official members can vote. We work to improve student achievement and review the budget as far as compensator money is spread out. Our goal is to get more families involved in what is happening at Marcy.

• Approval of Agenda – approved
• Approval of Minutes from August 19, 2011 Meeting – approved
• Committee Reports –
o MAP – Scott Bean represented committee, K-Folk dancing, ½ music with Katie Brown and visual design, ¾ might be doing comics, 5th Bridges with Children’s Theater, 6th grade spring Children’s Theater event, 7/8 French Moroccan dance. They meet the monthly in 309. Anyone is welcome to attend these meetings. This group raises money to support the arts in Marcy Open School. Teams work together to find opportunities for their students. Sometimes there are whole school art functions. The Gala is their large fundraiser.
• New Business
1. Welcome and Introductions
• Introduction of Lisa and the Leadership committee and Elizabeth introduces the parent council. Anyone and everyone are welcome. There are elected officials to Site council and Parent council Talking about the merger of Leadership and Parent Council into Parent/Site Council. We are hoping this will streamline things for parents and staff.
• Went around and everyone in the room introduced themselves
2. Elections of co-chairs, secretary, and time-keeper
• Jean has volunteered to be co-chair and Lisa has volunteered to be the co-chair. Sara has volunteered to continue to be the recorder and we still need a timekeeper. We will take other nominations.
3. Marcy 101
• Donna has been contacted to work on Marcy 101. The goal of this is to create an explanation and documentation of what we do at our school. This will be used to educate new families to Marcy. The hope is to have this document completed by next month.
4. Proposed Peace Day joint venture between MOPSC and Minnesota Int’l Center
• Will be on May 4th, 2012. We are an International Peace Site and celebrate this day each year in a variety of ways. The Minnesota International Center could possible work with us on getting speakers from various countries to speak to our students. Would talk with Student Council to get their feelings and buy in. The speakers would come in are adults that are trained to do this. They provide us with a Global Culture Day Speakers. What has been done in the past for Peace Day? All school assembly singing peace songs, Peace March, Peace booths, and other things.
• It was voted to move forward with this and Eve will take the lead.
5. Nat’l Honor Society winter “walk-a-thon” at school for science and math enrichment
• Each year students complete a service-learning project. They would like to do a Marcy Walk-A-Thon to raise money for Marcy Open Science and Math enrichment. Eve would possible work with an outside group to help with collection of money via credit cards. This would happen on a Saturday in the building. The Walk-A-Thon would be sponsored through the National Honor Society but the whole school might be involved. Armatage does this in the fall and raises a lot of money for their building. This might be a good contact.
6. District regulation 6690C: Food in the Classrooms
• We are used to having birthday celebrations and food that relates to curriculum such as Feast Day, Mardi Gras, and other such events.
• The food that relates to the curriculum is okay. “The decision to serve food in the classroom as part of the curriculum shall be made by the teacher.”
• No treats? No snacks?
• Our district has pages and pages of policies to cover themselves or others. There has been a wellness policy in place for years. The district decided to take away chocolate milk. Our students eat fairly well.
• As a school we are going to use our best judgment. We are going to have snacks at Marcy. Some classrooms have parents bring in snacks for the whole group, some students bring in their own snacks for snack times.
• Can parents send in treats for birthdays? Does it have to be store bought?
• Thoughts on snacks? Should snacks be more defined? Younger grades classrooms sometimes do whole group snack times.
• Thoughts on birthday treats? Not everyone can afford to bring in a birthday treat for their children. It would be nice to have no hard candy but a cookie or cupcake would be fine. Some families cannot afford a birthday party but do send in things for school so the child has a “special” celebration.
• Can we legally have a policy about food that differs from the district? Can we right a policy that doesn’t focus on food
• Value getting things that are commercially prepared so they can see the ingredients in items.
• 5th and 6th grade team is working with the specialists to provide a time for this team to have a snack. A letter will be going home to the 5th and 6th grade families about this by the end of the week.
• No treats is not just for birthday celebrations but also holidays. Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and other events. If it is part of the curriculum we can possible use food in the classroom.
• Not opposed to having snacks or celebration treats.
• We can move forward as a school, knowing that this policy exists and we will work as a staff. Donna will talk with staff and we will figure out how we are going to present this. We will put something out to families.
• It might be great to not have candy as a reward or incentive. No candy as incentive except for students with this on their IEPS.
• There are a lot of ways to celebrate individual celebrations.
• This could maybe be brought to students for their input.
• Snacks in Minneapolis Kids can be an issue for some.
• Food is often used to bring people in and build community. We often have school/family events that include food. Many things that deal with building community is the use of food.
7. Review of Hopes and Dreams – What do we want to work on this year?
• Read through the Hopes and Dreams that were created last year. It would be nice to renew our Hopes and Dreams and figure out what things we might want to work on for this school year.
• Every classroom works with students to create their Hopes and Dreams for the school year.
• This will be evident in the classrooms on Open House night on September 22, 2011.
• Small groups talk about reactions to the Hopes and Dreams and what we might want to work on as a team this school year.
• Open school experience has been and what we value about Marcy and the open school philosophy
• Getting a wide representation of families to these committees and expiring all children to learn and grow
• Filling the membership gaps in councils, advertising about the vacancies, family nights with speakers, what are other schools doing about lunches, are there any cool school lunch pilots happening in the districts or other areas
• More representative group for our councils, encourage everyone to speak to who they know at school we might be able to build our group. Make it personal.
• A lot of people rely on the teacher website and some websites are not up-to-date but it should be a useful tool for families. Families rely on this information. We do have a renewed commitment to this.
• Finding ways to improve communications to families so they don’t have to attend meetings. A online bulletin board or other vehicles for communication.
• Marcy 101 with what the precepts mean, lunch and recess being longer to support academic growth. Kids in K get a ½ hour for lunch and a ½ for recess. 1-6 gets 20 minutes for lunch and 20 minutes for recess, and middle school gets a ½ hour for lunch and recess.
• Responsive classroom is very important. We know that everyone has been trained but we don’t see this happening everywhere. We are working as a building to put this into action. Parents need more education on what RC is and what they can be looking for.
• Families feel free to contact Donna about RC
• We are over 19 children in 1st and 2nd and over as a building by 34
• We might get another teacher to move with the bubble.
8. Identify committees/task forces to work on specific items

Next meeting is October 11, 2011