We are happy to have had our second Community Meeting of the year last night. The meeting was well attended and we thank all of the parents, guides and board members who came to voice their opinions, ask questions and participate in the meeting.
The meeting was facilitated by Sharon Main and scribed by Jodee Anderson. We had 5 topics: school updates: Secondary I building and Lottery/Applications, MPTO structure/discussion, sports, time of the community meetings and communication/responses from last meeting.
We are excited to announce that we have finalized the preliminary stages of financing for the Sec I building and will be asking the Board for approval to proceed at the next meeting. Another great announcement was our receipt of 105 applications for lottery. We discussed lottery, the fact that openings will only be in Kindergarten and slots in the upper levels will be placed on a waiting list which may be filled after lottery, depending on our school’s attrition. We also announced we continue to have a healthy waiting list of over 80 students this current year.
The largest portion of the meeting was spent talking about the PTO. The current structure was discussed, bylaws reviewed, history discussed briefly but most importantly next steps were determined to ensure that the parent, teacher, administrative and board communities feel successful in contributing in the best way(s) they can for the school.
This morning we spoke with the guides and staff at our regular morning meeting and notified them of an upcoming poll regarding their wants and needs in response to last night’s meeting. While we do this on the school’s behalf on an ongoing basis, this includes activities, tasks, projects, materials, or anything else the parents would be responsible for. After we receive the final results and have discussed them with the levels and/or rooms, we will forward them to Theresa Deleon who has volunteered to be the parent coordinator. Additionally, we will re-institute the volunteer list at the front office. This will allow any parent or community member to come into the office and immediately know what the guides’ and staff’s needs are. We will use the same process we have in the past and look forward to the participation in making our school the best that it can be. Please allow us one week to have it implemented.
We also discussed the importance of parent and community involvement and Darla and I referred to the parent survey that will be distributed within the next month. While impersonal, it is a great opportunity for you to provide feedback to us if you are unable to schedule a meeting with us, attend one of our Weekly Morning Open House Meetings, or meet with your child’s guide.
The discussion ended with the community reiterating our shared vision of an environment in which the school, guides, administration, and Board can support our students to reach their fullest potential.
The discussion continued to athletics, questions regarding our partnership with TEACH as well as the future of basketball. The partnership with TEACH is not planned as an indefinite partnership. When it was determined that there were issues in regard to fielding a basketball team(s) this winter, TEACH was contacted to see if we would be able to offer our students the opportunity to participate with them. This is the same model we plan to use if other sports are unable to be fielded at the school. As mentioned previously, we will attempt to field our own teams if we can; but if we are unable, we will work to ensure the students have that opportunity. We are grateful to TEACH for their partnership and this opportunity for our students.
There were comments made that the parents did not receive notice regarding sports and opportunities at the school, and we will continue to work on distribution channels to get that information to parents.
A brief discussion was held regarding the time of the meetings, and we decided to poll the community on the community survey to find what times are most convenient for our families.
Lastly, the school was acknowledged for implementing the Lower and Upper Elementary after-school art program and working to increase communication. We will continue to offer all the opportunities that we can if they are feasible in our environment and do not place any additional financial constraints on the school.
Based on this meeting, we will also be hosting an Administrative Parent Ed in the month of February or March to address and respond to the Who, What and Why’s of the community. As in the classrooms, if you do not understand why something is done or important, there is frustration. Our goal is simple: to serve your children in the best possible way. In service of your children, we offer parent education and discussions so you can support their growth and development at home and in our community.
As a couple of quick reminders:
Please do not forget about the Parent Education: “Role of the Planes of Development” next Tuesday at 6:30 pm in your child’s classroom on January 15th, and the Board of Trustees Meeting next Thursday, January 17th at 7:00 in the Secondary II Community Room.
Darla and Austin