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.

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