February 2016 SAC Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Marie opened the meeting and welcomed everyone. Everyone introduced themselves.
- Report cards were sent home and interviews are this week. Generally in the 2nd term, the interviews can be limited to those students who are struggling however everyone is welcome!
- Great news! Jane Chapman won a 40 ukuleles through a contest from the Makala Waterman ukulele company for the schools ukulele program.
- Regarding the Kindergarten snack program: 3 food groups are offered as a “Kindergarten meal”; the program introduces foods to children that they may not otherwise see/eat, etc. In order to reduce the amount of preparation by volunteers, moving down to 2 food groups or some other change is being considered
- The spring concert date will change to May 19
- Regarding the Eco-schools program: the auditor came into the school and was impressed with the progress in the school. Fundraising has already started for a second water bottle filling station. There will be a contest for the water bottle logo. The results from the auditors will be provided to the school in a couple of weeks so the school can keep moving forward with eco initiatives.
- The Forest of Reading program continues to move forward. There is a smaller but very eager reader group who have already read enough books and will be able to vote and attend the gala. In the classrooms, there is a vibrancy to this reading program with many small groups.
- Sternig is doing an art project with her students giving them the option of using a brush or a slide. On another note, she is looking for 90 of the same item for an art project. If you can assist, please contact the school.
- Parent Conference coming (went out by the network today) Visit: http://www.torontopiac.com/index.html
- 100th day of school – there are activities in the classrooms related to this milestone day!
- School dances, character assembly “teamwork” will take place this week
- Lion King is progressing well. There are over 20 teachers involved in this huge undertaking!
- Basketball, volleyball, hockey, badminton are all underway
- Ski day is next Thursday, February 18
- Mr. Hyatt is interested in starting a coding club at lunch
Items for Discussion
Speaker: John Tancredi, Central Coordinating Principal, TDSB – French Immersion and French Extended at Second Street School.
There have been some changes in the program, the French immersion program in Southern Etobicoke has been extremely popular. Some of the students last year were redirected to Islington, and next year the French Immersion students (extended) are being redirected to Second Street School.
John explained that the TDSB is an English language board and as such, there is a necessity to provide a space in each school for the English stream students in the catchment area. French programs are therefore optional.
He then went on to explain with the use of maps of the area, how the catchment areas work, how planners in the TDSB can predict how many students will be enrolling in the various schools. He stressed that while the TDSB is committed to giving every student who applies (on time) to the immersion program, they will provide a spot somewhere within the board (as close as possible). John explained the reasoning behind the new sites that are being opened in 2nd Street School (early and extended).
Question from a parent: there is only one high school in the catchment area; are there thoughts to opening another high school site? There is a study underway to monitor the need for a new high school in the Etobicoke. John showed some statistics on enrolment across primary, elementary, and secondary school in both immersion and extended French. There was some good discussion about how students are placed, which schools lead to others, attrition in the programs etc.
Regarding bussing: the application process must be completed before the transportation applications can be made. Bussing between John English and Second Street for siblings has not been determined as yet.
In all, the discussion was quite enlightening and gave the parents present good information on all the complexities of running these programs and school population management as well as how the Board makes decisions.
Grade 6 student parent asked about the amount and access to technology at John English. She asked if there was a BYO device program at the school. Last year her son (Maker project) made a video game through a program called “Scratch”. They can also be used for storytelling, projects, etc. They started a lunch hour program (grade 2 – 5) at 7th street, teaching the students and wondered if something similar could be done at John English.
Craig’s response: we have a computer lab. Classes have access to it as part of their curriculum. Grade 7 and 8 students are currently using Scratch. A lunchtime coding class sounds good. Mr. Howe would need to find a teacher to supervise that program. The school has two carts with iPads on them that move around from class to class. Kindergarten classes have 3 iPads each, and a Cosmo screen. Grades 1 – 3 classes have 10 iPads that they can share each. Grades 4, 5, 6 has another cart of 30 netbooks and there are two carts shared by Grades 6, 7, and 8 that have 30 netbooks. There are interactive projectors and Smartboards in the school presently. Some are used for sharing information, some for presentations and some for creating. There has been a lot of advancement in Craig’s time here at JE. They constantly add to the inventory. There is a policy of the board that there is an approved BYOD policy. There are security issues, and of course, there are equity issues but students are allowed to bring them. The use of them is up to the teacher in each class.
- Treasurers Report by Terry – See below
- A discussion on whether we would make our budget this year ensued but there are also some expenses that may not be needed (some needs have changed). A review of expenses took place with Mr. Howe to ensure that the list was up to date. Some adjustments have been made to show a more realistic view of the upcoming months.
- Movie Night is now April 22
Next meeting is April 13
Last meeting of the year is May 11.
|2015/16 SAC Budget|
|Indigo FlipGive and Samko||100||46.39|
|Movie Night and Basket Raffle||3,000|
|Fresh from the Farm||1,500||1556|
|Total Budget – Actual||23300||10,447|
|Scientists in the School||4000|
|QSP Class Winners||100|
|Dance-a-thon pizza lunch||100|
|Fresh from the Farm prize||200||282.22|
|Total Budget Expenditures||22050||9165.82|
|Bank Balance as of Feb 10, 2016||$16,851|