Montclair PTO Meeting Minutes – 7:00 pm – November 19, 2015

Location: Montclair library

Called to order by PTO President Cindy Badon at 7:00 pm.

 

Motion from Cindy Badon: Approve Meeting Minutes from October 2015

Vote: All in favor

Resolved: Motion carried; Meeting Minutes from October 2015 were approved

Minutes are posted in the hallway a few days after the meeting and on the website MontclairPTO.org.

 

Sean Leverty:

Thank you to the PTO and the Harvest Fest Coordinators! It was amazing and fun. The kids had a grat time.

A parent contacted me about the traffic on Vermont St. It’s a problem. It’s a problem for our parents, and it’s a problem for our students who are crossing the street, specifically coming from the Ananda Community. The parents at drop off and pick up are coming and going so fast, but we have to be mindful of our walkers and what position we might be placing them in – slow down and pause and stop to let students cross.

Comment: There are 4 families over there and with the parents speeding down the street are not aware that kids are crossing, it’s a little scary.

When we lost our bus this year, we have done work with the County and they put in markings and some new signs, but I was remiss in looking at Vermont St. I will have them come out and look again. We will see what they can do and what they are willing to do. Reaching out to Washington County is our first step. In the meantime, please be aware that kids are crossing across Vermont.

Parent Teacher Conference attendance. Congratulations! Mostly 100% attendance for Parent Teacher Conferences. We should be very proud as parents with the high number of attendance.

Absenteeism. We want to make sure kids are here and on time and ready to learn. We understand that we’re going in to cold/flu season.

No school next week Wednesday-Friday for Thanksgiving holiday. Monday is a Staff Grading Day.

Report cards go out December 8.

Mr. McKay has been out since October with a medical issue. The PE substitute will be doing the report cards for PE, as he has been with them for some time. Kids have sent Mr. McKay cards, staff provided a basket. He’s recovering and should return in January.

 

Amanda Elliott, Teacher Liason:

Thank you to everyone! Things are rolling…the Harvest Fest was great.

 

Cindy Badon for Stacy Rains Kerwood, Vice President:

Pizzicato Dough for Dollars is on Tuesday, December 1. If you’re not in the mood for pizza, you can always stop in to buy gift certificates. Pizzicato donates 20% of sales that day to Montclair.

We will have a Bambuza night where they will contribute 50%. More info on that when we schedule it.

               

Ali Van Camp, Volunteer Coordinator:

Library helpers: Kathy Terada would love library helpers. If you’re interested in volunteering in the library, please contact Ali or Kathy Terada directly.

Kathy Terada also mentioned that we will need a new chairperson for the Scholastic Book Fair next year. Ideally that person could shadow the current chairperson, Stephanie Solano, this year to make it an easier transition. Please contact Ali, Kathy Terada or Steph Solano if you’re interested.

 

Carolanne Tsai, Volunteer Coordinator:

Lost & Found: We finally found a person to chair the Lost & Found – Jo Tello! Thank you so much!

 

Wendy Rutis, Secretary:

The Spring Fling event is moving to February and changing its name to It’s Snowing Hawkeyes. The event will be on Friday, February 5, 2016 from 6:30-8pm.

Robynn Schillace is the coordinator of the event, so if you would like to help coordinate, please contact her, or any board member. Event specific volunteer requests will go out through HelpCounter.

 

Kelley Stine, Treasurer:

Budget was presented and is attached.

We are so close to our Fun Run goal of $20,000! We’re at $19,892.22. Winter Fundraiser shows a negative only as it hasn’t happened yet.

 

Cindy Badon, President:

PTO Board Nomination Committee will be formed soon for our open positions that are coming up next year. If you are interested in being on the nomination committee, or if you’d like to be considered for a position, contact us at montclairPTOs@gmail.com.

The jobs we will have open for 2016-17 are:

President – less labor intensive

Secretary – more labor intensive

Treasurer – more labor intensive

Volunteer Coordinator – less labor intensive

               Secretary note: read job descriptions at: http://www.montclairpto.org/pto-board-job-descriptions/

Sometimes we don’t have a December meeting, it’s an optional meeting. Unless there are any objections, I would like to propose that we don’t have the optional meeting in December.

Motion from Cindy Badon: Cancel our optional December PTO meeting

Vote: All in favor

Resolved: Motion carried; Optional December meeting canceled. NO MEETING IN DECEMBER.

 

OPEN COMMENTS:

Q from Ali Van Camp:

I hear a lot about school lunches on the Facebook page – I don’t know how long lunch is so was wondering about lunch times?

A from Sean Leverty:

It’s a great question. We have struggled with school lunches, I think all schools do. The district policy is 20 minutes for lunch, 20 minutes for recess.

Last year we were finding that a lot of kids were discarding food…parents complained “my child comes home and the lunch box is full.” So we looked at what we could do to make a difference. Nutrition is important and we want them to be successful. So we switched recess to before lunch. Research says that if kids are eating first, and trying to get to recess more quickly, they aren’t eating their whole lunch. The other thing it says is that we have a decrease in negative behaviors if we buffer the classroom time with lunch. We have seen a huge decrease in behavior problems this year because of that.

Is 20 minutes long enough? For some kids, no. The day is 6.5 hours. If you break it down into required instruction times:

90 minutes reading

60 minutes math

50 minutes writing

45 science or social studies

20-40 minutes RTI or ESL for some students, during which we can’t do core teaching when those kids are out of the room

20 minutes for recess

45 minutes for specials

45 minutes for lunch/recess

We don’t always get all that time, as we’re moving kids through the building, other stud is going on, and that takes time. It’s a struggle to juggle standards, learning targets, instructional time, freedom, play time, running time.

If it were me, I would love year-around school…then we aren’t stifled by only 165 days to get through content. Oregon is one of the lowest states in terms of amount of days that kids are in school – most are at 180+.

Why is that? Part of it is up to districts. Portland Public is looking at redesigning their schedule. Beaverton hasn’t looked at increasing days of the school year as an option. State guidelines and funding are an issue. Even if we extended it by 30 minutes, it affects bussing, increases staff cost, building cost – we only get so much funding in a given year, so we haven’t been able to squeeze more time or days in to the school year.

I know that during the 4th & 5th grade lunch, the one I’m on duty for, we have the students line up before recess ends outside for hot lunch as the lines are long.

The younger kids are a little more over stimulated and seem to take a lot longer to eat lunch.

4 minutes of silence seems to work, it’s hard even for me! 4 minutes is a long time to be quiet. But they do really focus on eating during those 4 minutes.

I don’t know if we can tweak the time we allot them, but we can look at it, do some systems things to improve.

We can look at having two hot lunch lines…see if they can get through faster?

Comment from Amanda Elliott:

I have spent a lot of time with the K and 1st graders at lunch…we’ve implemented 4 minutes of silence. The kids are focused on eating for 4 straight minutes – no talking, just eating. The staff does have to remind them to stop chatting and eat…Parents should remind their kids that they should really focus on eating.

We could have volunteers come in at lunch time to help the younger kids open their juice or thermoses, things like that.

Secretary note: Parents are welcome to come in to have lunch with their kids – check-in in the office. Also, you can come volunteer in the lunch room to help children open items in their lunches, making their lunchtime easier.

 

Meeting adjorned at 8:00 pm

 

Attendance:

Cindy Badon*

Wendy Rutis*

Kelley Stine*

Ali Van Camp*

CarolAnne Tsai*

Amanda Elliott+

Sean Leverty+

J. Phillips Fryer

Teri Holliday

Denise Otani

Kilee Woodburn

Kari Smith

 

 

   * PTO board members

   + Montclair Staff