Monday, October 8, 2012

Teach Boosters Meeting Minutes October 2012

Meeting Minutes - October 2012 Teach Boosters Board Meeting Room 27, Teach School

October 5, 2012 Attendance: Dan Block, Idona Cabrinha, Nara Clark, Erin Clausen, Julie Feuerstein, Mignon Jones, Summer Kabaker, Deepali Kenjale, Doris Kim, Grace Kim, Pia Laurie, Cheri Love, Marie Neumann, Robyn O'Leary, Alisa Piette, Marie Presnal, Kurt Rightmyer, Paula Sandlin, Lori Shields, Nik Southern

The meeting was called to order at 8:32 a.m.

I. Welcome

Idona Cabrinha welcomed the group and each person quickly introduced him/herself and what grade/school their child(ren) are in. II. Reading and Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting The minutes from September's meeting were distributed and everyone present had a few minutes to review them. Lori Shields motioned to approve them, Summer Kabaker seconded the motion and the minutes were approved.

III. Treasurer's Report

Marie Neumann reported that each grade now has a treasurer assistant. These are Marilou Ubay (4th grade), Carie Stanton (5th grade), and Nell Bennett (6th grade).

Marie then passed out a copy of the operating budget for 2012-13. Idona stressed that this budget has been compiled from all available materials and historical info; materials and info from previous years were not well organized and thorough, but the hope is that this process will produce a clear, comprehensive file for going forward.

Lori Shields asked about the line item for the Chili Cookoff, saying that she didn't submit receipts last year, so it didn't have a cost (budget lists it as a $200 cost). Marie said that she added that into the budget not knowing if there would be a cost this year or not. Someone else pointed out that the figures listed for the calendar appeared incorrect; these will be adjusted to reflect a $600 cost and $1,000 expected income. There were no other questions about the budget at this point.

IV. Principal's Report

Mr. Block passed out a chart detailing enrollment growth over the last several years. He noted that Teach could've easily added a class this year if space allowed, and he discussed his on-going concerns about balancing space limitations and exploding growth in the Bishop's Peak student population. This growth may be attributable -- at least in part -- to an increasing number of families moving into the BP neighborhood, taking over homes that may have previously been occupied by Cal Poly students. In addition, neighboring families are concerned about the impact of traffic from the schools.

Mr. Block pointed out that our campus is the largest elementary school (in terms of numbers of students) with the smallest facilities. Further, he mentioned that 180 of 194 kids added to the district this year enrolled at Teach/BP. Enrollment at other district schools is pretty much flat. Noting that he expects to need two additional teachers for the 2013-14 year, Mr. Block is now seeking input from parents and the community regarding how to address the growth/space issue. Among the options currently on the table: limit the neighborhood boundary of Bishop's Peak (which is not an immediate solution, as siblings would still be grandfathered in), and find a new location for Teach. There don't seem to be any obvious new locations, but he mentioned a few which could be considered and the reasons that they aren't very feasible.

Mr. Block said that he has talked to the staff of both schools and also presented at the school board meeting. During October, he will continue to get info out regarding the issues and will solicit input. There will be two community forums on October 30 (at 1:30 and 6:00) to give people an opportunity to ask questions and offer ideas. Open enrollment starts after December 31, so solutions need to be figured out soon. The school board will ultimately make the decision regarding what path(s) to take.

At this point, the group jumped ahead in the agenda to accommodate two visiting 6th graders, Nadia and Kenzie, who reported on their trip to Catalina. They really appreciated the hands-on learning experiences and presented the boosters with a giant hand-made thank you card. Mr. Block then fielded questions from the group, including whether he prefers to see Teach move (not voicing an opinion on that at this time), how much growth comes from within the district (15% of BP growth), and whether there are estimated bubbles of enrollment (K is much bigger than past years). In response to another question, Mr. Block said that currently, about 2/3 of Teach students come from town while 1/3 come from the coast.

He requested that any ideas be submitted in letter form versus email, so that they don't get lost and they can be included in a hard file in the office.

V. Old Business

The discussion then jumped ahead to the Scrip program, and Paige Wright updated the group on how the program is getting off the ground this year. Robyn O'Leary asked if friends and family can sign up online and link their purchases to a student's account. Paige is looking into that and said that it's likely parents will have to make delivery of first set of gift cards. Paige also detailed the process for setting up an online account. Paige gave out her phone number and said that parents can text her their 4-digit code when they get it so that she can plug it into the system. Her number is 540-4107.

Kate Poeschl suggested that the boosters set up a table to help people get registered at Teach events, and the group agreed that this was a good idea. There was some additional discussion regarding the use of a special card wallet or iPhone capabilities.

VI. New Business

A. Kurt Rightmyer presented a fundraising opportunity in the political "poop mitts" (for pets or as trash bags in cars) and said that he is willing to donate $.20 for each bag sold.

B. Marie presented the idea of hiring an accountant/bookkeeper to assist with keeping the financial records clean and consistent over the years. This would make it much easier to maintain consistency and to pass things to future treasurers and board members.

She said that she has identified an option that would cost $100/month for 10 months. There was some discussion regarding Quickbooks and the cost versus budget availability, and there was general agreement that this step would benefit the Boosters organization greatly. There was additional discussion of budget concerns but the consensus was that this is an important expenditure. Paige Wright motioned and Chantal Blanchard seconded and the motion to approve the expenditure was approved.

C. There was discussion of the Applebee's fundraiser, and it was mentioned that Mr. Crabb needs someone to help. There is not a date for this event yet, and the parent helper will not be required to do much. Most of the work revolves around ticket sales. Mignon Jones and Alisa Piette agreed to do this job.

D. Class Booster Reps:

Grace Abroms reported on Mrs. Bailey's class and said that they are working on personal narratives. Tuesday at 2:00 they will be hosting a publishing party. The class is also analyzing the debates and doing science experiments on molecules, and soon they will be doing research projects on famous Americans. She said that while she's not reporting on Mrs. Robson's 5th graders, she believes that it's likely similar in that class. Lori Shields reported on Mrs. Kelly's class and their recent trip to a water treatment facility.

No other class reps were present to report.

VII. Back to Old Business

A. Bylaws: Mr. Block reported that Z. Naccasha is a Teach parent with legal experience who now has all the documents and is looking them over. He also has the committee's input and knows that the Boosters want to simplify the bylaws.

B. Genevieve's: Idona said a thank you to those who have helped with this fundraiser and who are helping with other activities.

Marie Neumann reported that Genevieve's grossed $19,471 this year. About $7,700 of this will go to the school, compared to about $5,000 earned last year.

Pia Laurie reported that there will be LOTS of frozen cookie dough delivered on October 25, so she wants to make sure that parents are ready to take delivery. The group discussed possible options for dealing with dough that is not picked up and decided that Room Parents should send an email to parents to remind them.

C. T-Shirts: Chantal Blanchard reported that these would be ordered today. She asked the group to approve $200 for purchasing add'l pieces (not already ordered by families) so that there will be stock to sell at events and/or give away throughout the year. Idona asked about an itemized budget for this planned purchase, and Chantal said that $200 will purchase about 15-18 pieces and that she would stick to that amount. Kurt Rightmyer motioned to grant the expenditure and Lori Shields seconded. The motion was approved.

D. Communication: Idona reported that people are expressing that they don't know who is in charge of Boosters or how communication is handled. She mentioned Ning and the group discussed whether or not this was a project that made sense to continue funding/running. The old blog format is a cheaper option, as is Facebook. Nik Southern stressed that we should have one communication tool, and he added that Facebook does exclude those parents without accounts. He described his experience working with a site and said that it is very boilerplate. The most important thing is that it is easy to pass on to future volunteers. Mignon Jones volunteered to have her husband look into options.

VIII. Back to New Business

A. Chili Cookoff: Lori Shields said that she is sending out both paper and electronic promotion. She is still looking for a few volunteers. The group discussed judges and a few ideas were suggested (including the student council president, Debbie Duggan, the New Times food columnist, and Dave Hovde from KSBY). Kurt Rightmyer offered to contact the news director at KSBY to ask about availability. Robyn O'Leary said that she'd be happy to photograph the event for the yearbook.

B. Teaberry fundraiser: Summer Kabaker reported that this upcoming fundraiser is simple; Teaberry will donate 20% of profits to the school during the allotted period. If sales exceed $500 gross, they will donate 25%.

C. Scholastic Book Fair: Chantal Blanchard said that she is looking for a co-chair to help. Ideally this would be a 4th grade parent so that he/she can continue to help in the future. Idona stressed that the job is easier than one might expect, and she mentioned that a Teach family has donated a Nook to be raffled off to a student at the conclusion of the book fair. D. Calendar: Idona reported that this fundraising idea is an outgrowth of the cookbook project last year. Rather than do another cookbook, the Boosters are looking to create a calendar to sell during December. Erin Clausen said that she is going to coordinate this and that she just got the details prior to the meeting; she'll look over the info and create a timeline and plan for the project. Robyn O'Leary offered to assist with it. The group discussed pricing and there was general agreement that $12 per calendar is a reasonable price.

E. Winter Social: Summer Kabaker led this discussion. The idea is to do something low-key and fun, perhaps at the Creeky Tiki since the owner has offered to let the Boosters host something there. This possible event might feature heavy apps and drinks made available to those who purchase an entry ticket, and it would replace the Derby event previously held. The consensus seemed to be that the Derby was too much work to replicate. The silent auction might be carried over to the new event.

IX. Announcements

There was discussion regarding a speaker coming to the Downtown Cinema and funded jointly by a grant foundation and the District. There was a question about whether this was a wise expenditure on the District's part, given current financial strains.

Idona asked that anyone with questions or comments about the Boosters organization get in touch with her. The next Boosters meeting is scheduled for Friday, November 9 at 8:30 a.m.

Kurt Rightmyer motioned to adjourn the meeting and Kate Poeschl seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 10:18 a.m.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Teach Boosters Meeting Minutes September 2012

Meeting Minutes - September 2012
Teach Boosters Board Meeting
Room 27, Teach School

September 7, 2012
Attendance: Randi Barros, Hina Batool, Riana Baxter, Nell Bennett, Chantal Blanchard, Dan Block, Idona Cabrinha, Denise Chot... (illegible), Nara Clark, Erin Clausen, Julie Feuerstein, Lisa Guy, Dondi Hubley, Denise Jenkins, Mignon Jones, Summer Kabaker, Despali Keijale, Doris Kim, Grace Kim, Cheri Love, Rachel Morgan, Marie Neumann, Robin O'Leary, Kate Poeschl (sp?), Kurt Rightmyor, Lori Shields, Nik Southern, Carie Stanton, Paige Wright

The meeting was called to order at 8:32 a.m.

I. Welcome

Idona welcomed the group and thanked them for being a part of the first meeting of the 2012-13 school year.

II. Reading and Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting

The minutes from the June 2012 meeting were distributed throughout the room. At this point, Ms. Robson and Ms. Bailey stopped in to say hello. Following a brief thanks from them, the group assembled took a few minutes to review the minutes.

Idona asked for questions or comments regarding the minutes. Lori Shields asked for clarification regarding the by-laws and elections. Idona noted that there was a question regarding the validity of the elections held in June, based on existing bylaws. She also noted that there were resignations since the election and recapped that piece for the group. Since June, Summer Kabaker had stepped down as president and Chantal Blanchard had stepped down as VP. Idona had stepped in to assume the president position. Summer and Nara Clark had volunteered to be co-vice presidents.

Idona suggested that a small group form a bylaws committee and that the issue be tabled for and clarified at a future meeting. She also gave her recommendation that the bylaws be updated to reflect the idea that everyone present at a booster meeting has a voice and vote. Mr. Block commented on past practice and his other experiences and said that this idea is fairly standard for a group such as the Teach Boosters. Kurt Rightmyor commented that he hoped the booster organization would not become politicized. There seemed to be agreement among those present that this indeed be the case. Lisa Guy, a former Bishop's Peak PTA president, said that it was a good recommendation, allowing for the group's focus to remain on the students.

Mr. Block commented that the tone sounded like it was one of cooperation.
Idona then thanked those who had stepped up to be classroom reps (Dondi Hubley, Lori Shields, and Riana Baxter) and suggested that the following four offices be listed as board members in future versions of the bylaws: president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. She also formally proposed the following slate of officers for 2012-13:

Idona Cabrinha, president
Nara Clark and Summer Kabaker, co-vice presidents
Erin Clausen, secretary
Marie Neumann, treasurer

Idona reiterated that she recommended the bylaws be formally updated to reflect that everyone present have a voice/vote, as well as that positions can be shared if two individuals are willing to work together in one role.
Paige Wright motioned to pass the minutes from June 2012 and Nell Bennett seconded the motion. The motion was approved.

III. Treasurer's Report

Marie Neumann handed out a financial summary. Idona pointed out that we have an immediate need to pay bills and that fundraising will be critical.
Marie reported that we have received approximately $9K in pledges at this point. She said she'll have more detailed and specific info at the next booster meeting. Lisa Guy asked how parents are informed about their financial "requirements," and Mr. Block told the group that he struggles with exactly how and when to broach the subject, as he doesn't want parents' decisions regarding whether to enroll at Teach to be based on money. Lisa said that she believes that the issue can be handled in a delicate way that recognizes the issues involved. Mignon Jones, a fourth-grade parent, said that she felt that information was communicated pretty well from the start. Another parent disagreed and felt that it wasn't communicated well up front. Mr. Block pointed out that a big goal for all of us should be to do fundraising better, rather than do more fundraising.
Nik Southern asked exactly how much money we have and another parent asked how quickly new funds need to be raised. Marie said that the 6th grade trip is covered at this point and that she expects to be receiving add'l pledges in the next week. She gave a quick rundown of bills already paid and mentioned that she'll be creating a solid record/paper trail for future treasurers, so that this info is more readily available.

There was additional discussion regarding what, exactly, is covered by the boosters budget. Marie said that the boosters cover assemblies, trips and parties. She also said that the 4th grade parents will attend an info meeting re Astro Camp next week and that she should receive add'l pledges after that. Lori Shields highlighted the importance of getting pledge sheets returned, regardless of whether they're paid in full at that point.
A parent asked what the shortfall was last year (pledges/payments versus actual costs), and Marie said that she was unable to answer because of inadequate documentation from previous years. There was discussion regarding the CD listed as an asset and how liquid those funds are. There was agreement that the CD is a back-up option and that fundraising avenues will be aggressively pursued. Another parent said that many people want to help but require clear info regarding what, exactly, is needed. She suggested that we have a parent treasurer rep for each grade to assist Marie in communicating with parents. This could be incorporated into the new bylaws. Mr. Block suggested that we share a list saying "here's what we do and how much [total] it costs per student."

Marie said that 16-17 scholarship forms are currently out. Lisa Guy said that Bishop's Peak had to take a "good look" at wording on their scholarship forms and suggests that we do the same. Idona pointed out that at this point we need to table the financial discussion so that we can get to all agenda items in the allotted time.

IV. Principal's Report

Mr. Block reported that growth in both schools has been significant and that space is a huge issue. Figuring out how to manage this is a big part of what he needs to address this year and beyond. He'll keep the boosters informed regarding his efforts and progress.

He mentioned that the Catalina trip is right around the corner, and he thanked those parents who donate their time and energy to chaperoning the major field trips. He also mentioned the importance of those trips in building a sense of community within the grades.

V. Old Business

There is no old business other than what has already been discussed.

VI. New Business

A. Payment Pledge Plan forms: These are due 9/12. Idona has talked to the teachers about the idea of an ice cream party for the first class to have 100% of their forms returned, as there is leftover ice cream from the Ice Cream Social and it wouldn't require an add'l expenditure.
B. Ning Web Site: Idona described the new social networking site and Chantal Blanchard reviewed the site in detail. Nell Bennett commented that it was well set up and Grace Abroms said that teacher bulletins could be included. Another parent suggested that EBlast should be utilized as well and incorporated into the site.

C. Fundraising: This is Paige Wright's fourth year running the Scrip program at Teach. She reported that she was personally able to bring in $300 last year, but the program only had a small number of families participating. She suggested that more families might get involved if they had a legitimate personal stake in how much was raised, and she proposed a program by which 50% of what a family brings in through Scrip goes directly to their child's/children's account. She said that it isn't an accounting or logistical nightmare, as the tools are already in place.

There was discussion regarding when this program might start, and whether the money raised would go toward balances for next year. The question was raised regarding what would happen to money raised by families of sixth graders. One idea was that sixth grade families could donate the funds that would otherwise have gone into their account.

There was widespread interest in this program idea, and several people felt that it could be a big answer to the boosters' fundraising issues.
Paige pointed out that October 5 is the first order date for this year. Lisa Guy said that she felt people needed to conduct personal outreach to get others involved in the effort. Lori Shields suggested a link on the Ning site to make it even easier for people. Grace Abroms described the Scrip program at Old Mission School and said that she felt this was a "no brainer." Others agreed.

Paige also mentioned that cards could be refilled online, eliminating the need to go in and pick up orders in the school office. She also said that she'd be willing to look into how we might enable standing orders that automatically refill.

Kate Poeschl said that parent reps should/could communicate with other parents and rally them for volunteering opportunities, etc. She emphasized the importance of communication and said that the boosters needs to generate a more inclusive dynamic.

Denise Jenkins motioned that we approve the 50% program, and Kurt Rightmyor seconded. The motion was approved.

D. Volunteers: Mignon Jones was introduced as the volunteer coordinator. She stressed that she can use help rallying add'l volunteers.

Going back to fundraising, Summer Kabaker reported on Genevieve's and said that 40-50% of what is raised by kids goes to students' accounts. She said that Friday, September 14 is the deadline for orders, and that she'll need help tallying the numbers that morning. She said that Wednesday, September 19 will the date for late packet counting.

Summer also mentioned that she would like to see a committee formed to organize a fall fundraiser.

T-Shirts: Chantal Blanchard reported that order forms were going home to kids and that profits went to the booster organization. There was discussion regarding the fact that orange is no longer offered among t-shirt options.

VII. Announcements

Nara Clark reported that Teach has been recognized by the CA Department of Education as one of the top 35 schools in California, aka a Blue Ribbon School.

Denise Jenkins reported that there is a garden meeting coming up on September 17 at 1:15 p.m. She said that Ms. Bailey did a comprehensive lesson involving the garden and that her class is harvesting food for the Food Bank.

Denise also reported that she is assembly coordinator and is looking for ideas for International Day.

Idona asked that anyone with questions or comments about the boosters organization get in touch with her. The next Boosters meeting is scheduled for Friday, October 5 at 8:30 a.m.

Idona motioned to adjourn the meeting and Doris Kim seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 9:54 a.m.