May 6, 2010

Parent Council Meeting Minutes

May 6, 2010                                   

6:30 pm Media Center

Board members present: Julia Janousek (chair and Marcy Family Network facilitator); Lisa Hondros (secretary, leadership representative); Sarah Tittle (treasurer), Sidney Orchard (parent liaison), Tamara Schierkolk (MAP Coordinator)

Admin/teachers present: Donna Andrews (principal), Pat Bowles (teacher)


1.  Special requests:

a.  Primary Team (presented by Pat Bowles, Room 108)

Request:  $1500 to help defray cost of auxiliary reading instruction to ten classrooms

Pat’s Presentation (with handout) included:

Dyslexia study – 1 out of 5 kids has dyslexia; early intervention important

Marcy Primary Team experience:  Two years ago, group of 6 students struggling with reading; Pat started a Reading Mastery recess group; Julie Pluimer (Experience Corps volunteer in a classroom) observed success of recess group and wanted to learn Reading Mastery; following year, the team increased # of Reading Mastery groups to 3 groups of 6; District’s 08-09 Grade One Assessment showed 20% increase in scores; helping struggling readers also frees up time for teachers to address needs of other students.

Funding:  At matching grant stage of Experience Corps program (matched by United Way).  Last year, school budget had the $1500.  No $ in the school budget this year.  Discussion of Parent Council putting $1500 into Principal’s Fund to cover the cost.

Motion made to pass the request.

ACTION:  Motion passed unanimously.

b.  Amy Johnson Request for a French assistant ($2500)

Discussion of presentation made by Amy at the last PC meeting and consideration of pros (benefit to having a native French speaker) and cons (assistant would only have 10 minutes per week in elementary grades; classes are already smaller in middle school; concern that PC could not afford to add assistants in other classes).

Motion made to deny request on the basis that it doesn’t serve enough students and unfair impact on teacher/student ratios in other classes.

ACTION:  Motion passed unanimously. 

2.  Principal’s Report (Donna)

Kindergarten Round-up was tonight; school popular, long waiting list, concern that district has underestimated how many students will be here in the Fall.

College Day for 5-8 graders went well.

Peace Day went well; students excited about activities.

Staffing Update:

Confirmed that Donna will be principal next year; Susan is retiring, and

Carl Wilson, currently at Cityview, will be our assistant principal next year.  He’s been assistant principal in the district many years.

Teachers:  0.7 Science teacher posted; 2.0 autism teachers; 1.0 ESL/Reading Specialist (currently Marcy has 2 ESL positions, one will become ESL/Reading Specialist and we lose the other position); and 0.4 Phy. Ed.

3.  Leadership Report (Lisa)           

a.  Summary of Minutes from 4-12-2010 Meeting (4-28 Meeting canceled)

Vision Statement

“Marcy Open School emphasizes academic scholarship and personal development, with focus on integrity, leadership, life long learning and active citizenship in a culturally diverse society.”

Treats in the classrooms

  • Parent talked to Sidney about concern over too much sugar in the classroom.
  • Discussed policy over treats, is there one – not specific.
  • Extrinsic vs. intrinsic reward
  • Need for reward or “treat” is individual to each child’s needs and should be determined by the teacher in collaboration with the parent’s desire.
  • Parents can always say that they do not welcome sugar and teacher should be responsive. 

Role of leadership

  • Discussed the possibility of merging Leadership with Parent Council.
  • Would allow more connectivity in school and between parents and teachers.
  • Parents would feel less pull between parent council and leadership as an either/or choice.
  • More connectivity between groups, MAP…etc.
  • Donna will survey to get feedback. 

Field trip to Alfie Kohn – Focus on Open

Began as Marcy, Barton and South Open, Augsburg expanded to the public (seats 500)

  • 9-11:15 a.m. May 10th.  Bus
  • Classification in p.m.


  • Use this year – 3 million + papers.
  • What do we need to do.
  • Donna wanted everyone to be aware.

b.  Discussion at Parent Council Meeting

(1)  Reorganization of Leadership

GOAL:  Inclusion and communication

Seeking a potential forum for all groups (Parent Council, Leadership, MAP) to meet together.

Barton invited us to join them at a Leadership meeting.  Barton does not have separate Parent Council.  Many parents on Leadership.  Barton has a foundation set up to do fundraising.

COMMENTS:  How would this work in terms of legal structure of these entities, for example, Parent Council is currently a separate legal entity.  We should get some advice on governance issues.

IDEA - Research Burroughs, Seward, Barton, Waite Park, etc to see how they are organized

(2)  Wellness Policy

                        Issue:  food as reward for academic work or good behavior

                        District guideline says no; Donna will raise issue with staff

4.  Celebrate NE Parade – Marcy will be in it again this summer

5.  MAP report (Tamara)

Gala raised about $40,000; expenses just a little higher to comply with city food and liquor rules ($6500); city inspector did show up.

Next meeting May 12 at 3:15 (Room 309).  Committee will hear proposals for artist residencies, including an all-school residency for music.

6.  Treasurer’s Report (Sarah)

            Labyrinth will get its own line beginning next year

            Annual fund behind budget

            Plant sale costs not in yet

            Special requests – about $3000 remaining

7.  Board Elections for 2010-11 Board

Chair:  Julia Janousek

Vice Chair:  Donna Sanders

Treasurer:  Amy Orris

Secretary:  Lisa Hondros

Leadership Officer:  Sarah Tittle

8.  Next Meeting will be a Board Meeting on June 3

            Meetings for 2010-11 will be on staggered days


Meeting adjourned at 7:55p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Lisa Hondros (serving as secretary)