Friday, September 4, 2009

Teach Boosters Meeting

Sept. 4, 2009

Attendees: Jen Flachman, Susmita Gupta Pal, Ahmad Amir, Jocelyn Leonard, Christina Gigante, Crystina Giuffrida, Lori Olson, Helen Sipsas, Jill Chan, Kathryn Eisendrath Rogers, Jessica Napier, Belinda Morrill, Cheryl Clark, Derek Gragson, Andrew Schaffner, Sunshine Cowgill, Bonnie Achugbue, Anika Clements, and Taffy Gonzalez

Meeting called to order at 8:35 a.m. The approval of the minutes from the last meeting (June) will be done in October. Booster club meets one time per month on the first Friday of the month. The meetings are limited to one hour. A recap of each meeting will be sent out to all Teach parents on an e-blast.

The Booster Club officers were introduced. Jen Flachman will be our President. Susmita Gupta Pal will be the Vice President. Ahmad Amir will be the Treasurer. Jocelyn Leonard will act as Secretary.

The financial report was given. We are doing well financially. The costs of the study trips for the year were announced, $400 for the 4th grade, $500 for the 5th, and $600 for the 6th grade. Statements will go out in the mail to let families know what they owe. They will go out about once a month. There was a question about how the gift-wrap sales affect students study trip accounts. Approximately 50% minus taxes of the sales go to the balance of the individual student. If someone doesn't want to buy, but would like to make a donation to the student, they would make the check out to Teach Boosters. That money would go into the student’s individual account. Ahmad wanted to also let parents know that there is a scholarship fund to help students go on the study trips. There is a confidential application process. You can contact your child's teacher, the principal, Mr. Block, or treasurer, Ahmad Amir to find out more about that.

Mr. Block gave the Principal's report. Enrollment is way up. The fourth grade has a waiting list of 4-5 kids. In future years, if the classes keep expanding, we have the ability to grow into a larger school. Back to school night was a success. Kim Kelly is our new teacher in the 5th grade. She is doing great. Mrs. Pudlo is going to retire at the end of January, and the school will be working toward getting a good teacher for her replacement. Mrs. Pudlo is very dedicated to making the transition work. The 6th grade trip is coming up soon--Sept. 20-25. They will be going to Catalina. Next will be the 4th grade, going to Astrocamp in October. The 5th grade will go to Yosemite later in the year. A question was asked as to how parents can be chaperones on study trips. Mr. Block said that you must have fingerprint clearance and volunteer clearance; otherwise communication is through the teachers. Another question came up about fingerprinting. You must be fingerprinted if you will be alone with any students. If you are helping in the classroom with the teacher present, you do not need to be fingerprinted, you would just need to have turned in the volunteer form. This form is new this year and is available in the office.

For the teacher's report, there wasn't much news as school has just begun. In the future, each grade's representative would give information about each classroom. The student council papers have been sent home, and the students can get involved by running for a position.

Volunteers are needed for many of the committees. Since Teach is such a small school, volunteers are very necessary so that we can offer our kids all of the wonderful opportunities that makes Teach so special. The Genevieve fundraiser needs some volunteers to help right now with coordinating the order and getting it sent in. Also, a coordinator is needed for this for next year. Helping out this year can be great training for the person who would like to take it over for next year. Another big fundraiser is the dinner/dance auction. We have lots of people signed up to be shift workers; we need a coordinator and people to solicit businesses for auction items. Taffy Gonzalez offered venue help due to her wedding planning experience. There will be a separate meeting to start working on this.

A question was asked as to what the fundraisers are for. For each study trip the Boosters pay 1/3-1/2 of the actual costs. The actual costs are much higher than what the parents are charged. Also, money raised goes to the scholarship fund, and to buy supplies such as computers, camcorders (for digital media), books, etc. In addition the money raised pays for electives, the 6th grade play, and field trips. The dinner/dance/auction is the biggest fundraiser, with $15,000 in profit raised last year.

New business:

1. A 4th grade representative is needed to be a liaison between the Boosters and the teacher. Helen Sipsas (Emily Ramirez's mom) volunteered for the position. All present were in favor. Thank you Helen!

2. The ice cream social was very nice. Someone will need to take that on for next year, as Kathryn Rogers' son will be moving to Junior High next year. Kathryn has been handling this for the past 2 years. Thank you Kathryn!

3. Teach Pizza Nights--fundraiser, social time at Village Host Pizza. A percentage of the sales go to Teach. Make sure to let the cashier know you are from Teach when you purchase your food, so Teach gets credit. The Pizza nights are the first Tuesday of each month. The first one will be in October. Take out counts too. Jen Flachman will talk to Village Host to try to negotiate a higher percentage for Teach. Someone suggested we make fliers to be passed out to friends and family, so that we can get more coming in for Teach. It was also suggested that we could do a drive-through BBQ like Bishop's Peak does, as that raises a lot of money with not too much work. We will look into all the options.

4. E-Script--Mary Amir will head this up again this year. There were some questions about which grocery stores participate, and if Target works for this. We will have to look in to this and try to get more information out as we get it. Thank you Mary!

5. Box Tops--Jill Chan has been handling this and reported that the box tops expire, and that it is sometimes hard to collect the money for these. She will research to see if it is viable to continue and she will report back in October.
Thank you Jill!

6. This year Teach will be hosting the Spring Book Fair.

7. A potluck coordinator is needed. We will have our annual Chili Cook-off in November. This is a social event, not a fundraiser. The fire department comes in to judge the chili. There will be a sign-up sheet for desserts/salads/breads. It will go out closer to the event.

8. A yearbook coordinator is needed right away to start collecting pictures. If you are a new parent to Teach this year, ask to see the yearbook from last year. It is beautiful--better than my high school yearbook.

9. You do not have to be present at the Booster meetings in order to volunteer for different positions. Just keep the communication open.

10. Kathryn Rogers suggested either a 6th grade school beautification project or a Teach wide beautification project such as planters, or painting. Mr. Block suggested that maybe we could coordinate that with Bishop's Peak.

11. More help is needed in the school garden. Mavis Wong is the coordinator. Let her know if you would like to help out.

12. This year both schools will have a Science Fair, which we have every 3 years.

13. International Day will be held in March. Each classroom in our area will be hosting a different country. The kids get to sign up to "visit" different countries, learning about them, and enjoying a sampling of their food. They each have a "passport" that gets stamped as they enter each country. It is a very fun event, put on by the parents.

14. Teach Electives: 5-6 weeks long. Parents sign up to teach the classes. In the past there have been cooking, instruments, debate, yoga, art, knitting, and a class about animals taught by a person from Woods Humane Society. The offerings change each year based on the skills of the people who volunteer to teach them.

15. School T-shirts will be coming in the future. They are good to wear for spirit day, and fun for the kids. Jen Flachman will check with J. Carroll for options on different shirt styles for girls.

16. Taffy Gonzalez volunteered to be our Assemblies coordinator. Thank you Taffy!

Meeting was adjourned at 9:35 a.m.
Next meeting will be October 2 at 8:35 a.m.

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