PTO Meeting Minutes
November 15, 2011
8:05 a.m.-9:30 a.m.

In attendance: Vanessa Beauchaine (principal), Jim Stoddard (vice principal), Mark Allyn (teacher), Jayne Friedberg Bennett, Sandy Costello, Emily Dolbear, Scott Murphy, Elvira Perez, Jen Reed, Alison Reeves, Gabriella Salvatore, Margaret Schwarzer, Jennifer Shapiro, Eugene Shih

Please click on links for more information.

Principal’s Update

  • Teachers are adopting the BAS (Benchmark Assessment System (http://www NULL.heinemann NULL.aspx)), a series of texts that can be used to identify a student’s current reading level and progress along a gradient of text levels over time.  Teachers in grades 6-8 will adopt the program in January.  Based on the BAS, teachers are able to provide small-group, supplementary interventions and powerful, daily, small-group instruction for the lowest achieving children in the early grades.
  • Today will be the first meeting of the 7-person Literacy Team, which has completed 2 days of literacy collaborative (http://literacycollaborative training.  Future plans include expanding the literacy library.

Renovation Update

  • August 15 is the new completion date to ensure “punchlist items” are completed, says Dr. B. (The school must get a certificate of occupancy from the town in order to move into the renovated building.)  Although there is a need for a contingency plan, says Dr. B., “a move can happen in a weekend.”  Planning is to start in September 2012-2013 school year on Druce.
  • Pictures from the most recent “walk through” will be posted on soon.
  • In response to “Will mechanicals impact anything?” from parent, Dr. B. responded that the building renovations are proceeding as planned, despite complaints from some abutters while the Building Committee investigates options.
  • In response to “Is it important that the public show up to meetings?” from parent, Dr. B. responded that there was parent presence at the most recent meeting and that the committee recognizes the parents desire to start school in September in the renovated building.
  • In response to “Do you have any insight about the delay to Aug. 15?”, Dr. B. responded that maybe the rain delayed the timeline and that the plans are for the building to be completed on August 15.
PTO Coffee: Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan Update, by Dr. B., Nov. 16
  • Will include an overview of the Brookline Bullying Prevention policy, new information based on the town-wide survey of bullying, and how Runkle compares district wide.
  • Will include an introduction to the Olweus program (http://www NULL.brookline NULL.k12 NULL.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_details&gid=868&Itemid=279) using a “train the trainer model”

Room Parents Coordinator Update
Room Parent Coordinator Gabriella Salvatore shared:

  • Final room parent list is complete as of 11/15/11.  It will be published in the directory and will be forwarded by email to all room parents.
  • A successful K-2 cluster meeting, with room parents from those grades, was held last week.  The 3-5 and 6-8 cluster meetings will take place over the next couple of weeks.
  • The final potluck takes place on Saturday.  For the future, it’s a good idea to cultivate volunteers for room parenting and potlucks in June for the following year due to the busy nature of the start of the year.

Comment from Mark Allyn: It would be great for room parents to reach out to teachers with ideas about ways they could offer help.

Annual Fund Update

  • Annual Fund appeal letters have been sent out.  Postcards will be sent in December. Plan to have an update in the Runkle News soon.

Librarian Update, by proxy

  • Giles LaRoche (http://gileslaroche NULL.html), award winning author/illustrator, will be returning to Runkle on December 9 to work with the library/3rd Grade Classrooms/and the Art Room on the 3rd grade curriculum theme of “Structure.” His new book, If You Lived Here: Houses of the World has already received a starred review and is a Junior Library Guild selection.
  • Grace Lin (http://gracelin NULL.php) will be returning to Runkle on Thursday, January 26 to present to K-2. We are working out the details of her presentation, in which Lin shares how a story becomes a published book as well as her illustrating techniques.  Lin has numerous picture book awards, a chapter book to her credit, and a Newbery Honor for Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

PTO Events Recap/Update

  • Thanks to Mini Kolluri for organizing Astronomy Night on November 9. Jim S. attended and reported that attendees were spread evenly across grades 4-6.  Highlights included the telescope (viewing moon, Jupiter, etc.), Galileo presentation, and learning about (http://www NULL.stellarium Note that this event, which cost about $700, funded by the PTO Annual Fund, was free for Runkle parents and children in attendance.
  • PTO Coffee: Bullying Prevention & Intervention Plan Update with Dr. Beauchaine, November 16, 8 am (see above)
  • Gingerbread House Decorating will be on December 9 after school:  Save the date and bring double rinsed orange juice or milk half gallon cartons.

Middle School Activities

  • Alaina (Birden) Ortiz will be offering a six-week, drop-in art, middle-school “club” starting in December.  This is funded by the PTO Annual Fund.
  • Thanks to Scott Murphy for the idea of Gym Night; no availability for gym this year but we should plan early for next year.
  • Improv class: Jenn Vento submitted a proposal to lead this middle school activity.
  • “Glee” class: Jenn Vento submitted a proposal to lead a “glee” class after school.  It may be a R.A.S.P. offering.

PTO Board Share

  • There was a parent concern re: hallway monitoring from 7:52 am until first grade doors open.
  • Chinese Ribbon Dancers are scheduled for December 7.
  • Techsploration is coming for grades 3, 5, & 6 on December 16.
  • Scott Murphy and Alison Reeves, who were heavily involved in the Brookline Teen Center (likely to be named “the garage”).  They helped organize food and music (former Runkle student Bella was a star performer from High School) as well guests. The BTC Open House had some 700+ visitors and was considered a success.

—Submitted by PTO Co-Chairs Sandy Costello and Emily Dolbear, November 28, 2011


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