March 2, 2011

Parent Council Meeting Minutes
March 2, 2011
6:30 pm Media Center

Board members present: Julia Janousek (chair), Donna Sanders (vice chair), Amy Orris (treasurer), Lisa Hondros (secretary)
Admin/staff present: Sidney Orchard (parent liaison); Donna Andrews (principal)


I. Introductions

II. Principal’s Report (Donna)
1. Budget numbers came out this week: Donna is hopeful but not yet certain that we will be able to maintain what we have; preliminary look shows no cuts; district trying to keep cuts away from the schools, so they recalculated and reduced cost of staff members ($87,000 instead of $90,000); district added a math specialist for the building (don’t know yet for which age groups); we are keeping our reading specialist and content focus coach; extra district $ for ELL staff; Marcy will receive the projected amount of Title I money - $339,000.

2. Class configurations: Feedback from 1-2 Team that they would like to teach a straight first grade, followed by blended grades 2-3, 4-5 etc. Also talking about looping first and second grade. Some teachers at other grade levels have also expressed an interest in single grade classrooms. This issue came up last year, and staff was evenly split on creating single grade classrooms. Class configurations should ideally be decided before the budget is sent back to the district in three weeks.

Could this concern be coming up now because there are a larger # of first graders this year?
Blended classrooms build community because kids know the kids ahead and behind them.
Students are already separated by grade for math.

III. Plant Sale
Plant Sale committee is inviting student groups (e.g. student council, baseball team, French club, classrooms) to set up booths for fundraising. The committee will ask students to name an adult supervisor for their group.

IV. Music Program (Katherine Tondra and Elizabeth Hawley)
Katharine and Elizabeth have documented a significant drop in students participating in music program (50% less in middle school, less severe in lower grades). Many parents are concerned for future of instrumental music at Marcy and looking for ways to strengthen the program. Major barrier is inability to pull kids out of reading, writing or math to participate in band or orchestra.
Ideas: Music before or after school; A/B schedule in middle school to allow choice of band combined with less time in other centers.
MOTION: Parent Council supports an A/B elective scenario for middle school centers allowing students to choose band or orchestra as an elective.
ACTION: Seconded and passed unanimously.

Leadership Report (Lisa)
1. Leadership meeting start times changed to 5:00-6:30 for rest of the year. No childcare.
2. Class configurations discussion is coming up, scheduled for April 11 but may come up on March 14 if necessary for budget purposes.
3. Leadership reps - we need to replace Leadership liaison Sarah Tittle. We also need reps and alternates on tap for next year (when there may be more than 4 parent spots)
4. Budget Priorities – Discussion of how funds are currently allocated. In the past, Marcy paid for math enrichment (contract with Tricia Bergh). This year, the school lacked funds for Tricia. MAP contracted with her for an architecture program in the lower grades, and PC paid $5000 to Tricia for general math enrichment. In the current budget, there is no line for math enrichment/Tricia. It was noted that perhaps the new math specialist could do some enrichment.
MOTION: Parent Council requests a line for math enrichment in the school budget.
ACTION: Seconded and passed unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report (Amy)
No material expenses or income since the last meeting. Question: what to do about Amy’s request about housing money for funds raised for a French intern.
MOTION: Parent Council will act as fiscal agent for French assistant fundraising.
ACTION: Seconded and passed unanimously.

Special Requests
Marcy Parent: KARE 11 featured a program called “Memoves” to help with transitions for young children. Cost to buy DVDs for 3 Kindergarten classes (3 x $40 = $120)
ACTION: Approved unanimously. (Note: Sidney will confirm that all three K teachers would like the Memove DVD.)

Future of Parent Council
Need to look for new chair and treasurer.
Changing days has not worked very well. Need to choose a day of the week.

Next meeting: Thursday, April 7 at 6:30

Meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Lisa Hondros (serving as secretary)