PTO Meeting Minutes-11_13.docx

PTO Meeting Minutes
November 13, 2012

In attendance: Vanessa Beauchaine, Dyan Bhatia, Trish Blais, Catherine Burke, Trish Blair Choyce, Sandy Costello, Sandra Davidson, Emily Dolbear, Jayne Bennett Friedberg, Angela Galanopoulos, Teresa Gallo-Toth, Shalini Kasida, Vicki Klein, Kate Leness, Rosemary McElroy, Elvira Perez, Jen Reed, Karla Schallies, Ian Sklaver, Jim Stoddard, and Gabriella Strecker.

Emily Dolbear kicked off and welcomed the meeting.

Halloween Fair Update from Jen Reed:

  • Feedback from families was very positive.
  • The new building was challenging, but they figured it out.
  • The Fair made approximately $1000 profit this year.  This will be reinvested towards next year’s event.
  • Karla Schallies and Jen Reed will be taking over the event next year.
  • Families from other Brookline Schools also attended.
  • There was a suggestion that volunteer time slots should be reduced in time from 90 minutes next year.
  • The cupcake walk, held in the gym was too noisy and did not need 3 volunteers.  Rebecca Sneider recruited 8th grade volunteers for this so numbers were manageable.

Update from Dr. Beauchaine:

  • Still no Permanent Certificate of Occupancy (C of O). The temporary C of O has no time limit and the punch list is being worked on everyday. With the permanent C of O, there is a time limit on getting the punch list completed. The Final C of O is slated for sometime in December.
  • November is Family Literacy Month.  Marcy Bienen and Maria Marrero are creating a program for Poetry with a focus on family named voices of Poetry and Languages. A question was raised as how this was being done? They will start with teacher recitations and then move on to student recitations.
  • A new item for English Language learners has been put in place called RETELL (Re-thinking of Equity for English Language Learners). These students have higher needs, esp. in higher grades where there needs to be more equity of access to the curriculum. Teachers will take 4 categories of training and then be grandfathered in. There will be a World Class Instructional Design Assessment (WIDA) and a new access test that replaces MEPA. Runkle has about 34 students (7-8%) that are in this program. Mindy Paulo, the town-wide ELL Program Coordinator, is putting on a series of workshops to train teachers.

Mr. Stoddard Update:
Two Math Clubs have begun at Runkle:

  • Math League (started Monday, Nov. 12) is a townwide program. This group is run by Saeed Ola for 5-6th graders and they have 3 meets a year in Jan., Feb., and March.
  • Math Counts is a national program for 7-8 graders with Eric Lass and runs at lunch.

Susanna Stern introduced the Bullying Prevention Program:
OLWEUS is being implemented town-wide.

  • Susanna Stern is the parent rep on the Bullying Prevention Coordinating Committee (BPCC) for this program, who helps with parents’ perspective on training materials and how to get the program out, as well as to help teachers.  Jim Stoddard is the Co-Chair of the BPCC.
  • The program provides a clear definition of bullying and roles within a bullying situation. It defines clear procedures and accountability for teachers. It is an approach vs. a set of rules.
  • All staff and RED staff went through Olweus training on Nov. 6.  The training involved roleplaying: how it is being addressed with the recipient, looking at the array of behaviors, how to communicate with parents.  Every school in Brookline is part of this program.  Extra staff training will be run for cafeteria staff, custodians etc. This will be run by Jen Schultz.
  • The kickoff event is scheduled for the first week of January: Parents will be given clear guidelines.
  • Susanna was looking for suggestions for materials that should be sent home for clear guidelines. Fridge magnets, laminated cards were suggested.
  • Training will be done in clusters with each grade. A guidebook will be available and Parent Informational Talks will be held. Suggestion for teachers to reach out to parents to let them know what was coming was made, also announcing during K-2 morning meeting and information in the Runkle News, Back-to-school night. Parent training is not mandatory.  A parent informational coffee will be held in January.

PTO Updates:

  • The Annual Fund kicked off this week.  Goal for this year is 65% participation to raise $55,000.
  • The ECS Coffee to be held at Runkle on Nov. 20 with Debbie Mercer and Mies Boet-Whitaker the town-wide coordinator.
  • Music in the Morning will start on Nov. 21. It will be held once a month in the Runkle main lobby. Mini Kolluri, Marva Tomer, and Paul Smith are organizers.
  • Astronomy Night on Nov. 28 will be for 4th and 5th graders and one parent.
  • There is a SEPAC informational coffee being held on Nov. 28. at Gabriella Strecker’s house
  • The Runkle Ribbon Cutting will take place on Dec. 1 at 1 pm.
  • Gingerbread House Making needs volunteers and will be on Dec. 7 at 2:30 pm. Kate Leness is organizing.
  • The Race to Nowhere event was discussed. The PTO has purchased the DVD for unlimited showings. Questions were raised: Should the events be organized by grades? Should the showing be separate from the discussion with a guest speaker?  It was suggested that the PTO Board should view and then discuss how the showings and events should be run. Trish Blais to follow up with a date for the PTO Board to view the movie.  The event is slated for February.
  • SEPAC updates: Many transitions in place town-wide.  More will be discussed at the SEPAC coffee on Nov. 28.

Librarian’s Brief Update: Giles Laroche will be coming to third grade to talk about structures.




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