School Parent Council Meeting, Feb 3, 2012

posted Apr 11, 2012, 6:53 AM by Sandy Larson   [ updated Apr 11, 2012, 6:53 AM by JQS Webmonkeys ]
Welcome and Introductions

Principal Update
Mr. Ho spoke about the school budget, the decision making process and the budget he prepared for submission to BPS Administration.
Process: Mr. Ho receives a budget packet from BPS Central. He reviews the funding, makes decisions after talking to teachers, parents, and other staff. Based on this information he develops a budget for approval by the School Site Council.
He presented the budget to School Site Council for their approval at an earlier SSC meeting.

School Budget Summary
There are three strands of funding tied to the students that make up the Quincy School student body:
· General education
· Sheltered English Immersion
· Mobility/Physical Impairment

Money in the school budget is very tied to students’ academic needs, and there is not much flexibility between these strands of funding.

85 – 90% of the budget is spent on direct costs – teacher salaries and operating costs for the school (heat/electricity)

Major Points
· The school’s budget was cut $350,000 from last year
· Adding an art teacher – this will be paid for by eliminating a Mandarin teacher position
· Losing two coaches (math and literacy)
· Kindergarten classes will continue to have a full-time paraprofessional
· Reducing number of Grade 2 classes, which will result in larger class sizes.
· Shifting the G2 teacher slot to a Specialist Teacher position, that will work full-time as a support teacher for targeted students in classrooms – either pull-out students on in-class small groups.
Loss of a Mandarin teacher made several parents unhappy, as Mandarin classes are a big draw for many JQS families. Parents urged Principal Ho to find a way to combine Art and Mandarin.
Parents discussed the idea of creating a sub-committee to discuss ways to increase the rigor of the Mandarin program, and to take more advantage of the skills and opportunities already hear in the school. If you are interested in being part of this discussion email any of the SPC officers.
Agreed: SPC requests that School Site Council also discuss the Mandarin Curriculum.

· Loss of 2nd Grade Teacher and the resulting increase in class sizes disappointed and worried parents.
· Parents felt left out of the decision making process, and want more involvement in these discussions.

Art Program Update:
· Volunteers secured to teach a one hour class in every lower grade class! Parent volunteers still needed to help distribute materials, get volunteers to classrooms, and stay in class to assist as an extra pair of hands.
· Upper classes will have Art Classes April 12, 13 – volunteers are still needed to help teach, distribute materials, and assist with the day.
· Art Committee requested $1,000 from Parent Council to help pay for the expenses of the art days, as well as the costs of materials for the Art Exhibition.
Approved: $1,000 to help pay for Art Day and Exhibition expenses.

Anti-Bullying Discussion
Recent on-line discussions about children being bullied raised many questions about how the school administration responds to and handles these situations. The idea that students may feel unsafe, and not want to go to school because of this is deeply unsettling to all parents, and to the School Parent Council. Parents expressed concerns about how these situations are handled, and want to know more about the process.

Agreed: SPC will talk to Principal Ho, and request a presentation from Administrators/staff on the this topic.

Upcoming Events: Volunteers Needed!

Parent Volunteers are urgently needed for:
· School Dance – volunteer DJ (Many, Many thanks to Mary and Gary Rubin for their years of hard work on the dance!) , set-up, clean-up, and sales crew the night of the dance.
· Teacher Appreciation Day - gather donations, pick up gift cards, help plan breakfast, set-up/clean-up

SPC Budget Review:
Treasurer Sandy Larson presented a summary of funds in the SPC Budget
She has since shared updated figures. These numbers are as of MARCH 11, 2012:
TOTAL FUNDS = $8,604.84
FUNDS EARMARKED for various purposes (art fest, nurse's office, fruit tasting grant, etc.) = $5,427.67
GENERAL FUNDS (total $ minus earmarked $) = $3,117.17

Recent money in includes $391 raised by Mary Rubins “KidsArt” card project, which helps support the Art Committee. We are processing DVD orders and expect to net over $400 through DVD sales.

Minutes Submitted by: Joanne McKenna, Co-Secretary, Mar 13, 2012