9/12/12 Family Council Meeting Minutes

Sept. 12, 2012 Family Council Meeting


Getting to know new families activity

School News:

Upper School Co-Lead teacher Betsy Drinan announced that the school year is off to a smooth start in year 4. With all the new teachers she feels like there is a strong team. The school adopted the mustang as its new mascot which came out of the school climate group. Along with the mustang, the school is adopting a new motto: the 3Rs: Respect, Responsibility, Rigor.

The staff made a video with a song written by Johnny Mac about this positive theme.  The school is going to make a “High Five” ticket board . Teachers and staff are giving out these tickets as positive reinforcement when they see worthy behavior. The staff is looking to have “buddy classrooms” where reading buddies will be assigned to the scholars.

Betsy also told us that the Boston teachers settled on their contract today. They got more nurses in school, more social workers, and smaller class size. She explained that the school has enacted  “Circles of Justice and Fairness” which is designed for students to take responsibility when a problem arises. This is different from “open circle” in the lower school.  It teaches kids to get along with others and advocate for themselves.  It is an intentional teaching of social-emotion curriculum.

She spoke about the Common Core curriculum (adopted by 48 states, modeled on Mass. Curriculum) and the National tests called the “Park” test.Mary Lewis-Pierce announced the Fall Community Event, new this year. She asked if anyone wanted to help organize. It is on Oct. 13 from 3-5pm at Parkman Playground.  It’s potluck so bring a dish to share.


Maggie Barrios said the fundraising committee is comprised of governing board members, teachers, and families. They met and worked out a plan for this school year. Key events: Annual Appeal where they will ask for funds from external parties, the silent auction/community event, and grant writing.

Also, she mentioned the sales driven fundraising: KidsKreation, Equal Exchange, Stop&Shop, box tops.

Rich Gargulio brought up a concern that all the fundraising funds got turned over to the school and he thought that this process should have been more transparent. Betsy and Carolyn Shannon explained that at the end of the year the governing board and administration and fundraising committee decided to give the money up front so the school could prioritize their needs. Betsy felt that the FC could not know the priority of the school to make this sole decision. She also explained the Silent auction/Community event was an effort on part of the entire school community: families, teachers, union members, and others.

There will be an election for the executive positions of the Family Council at the October meeting. You need to be present to be nominated. Descriptions of the various positions will go out to families beforehand, but listed below is a snapshot of the duties for each elected position:

1. Participants of the Fundraising Raising Committee will plan a yearly schedule of events and delegate responsibilities and partake in grant writing.

2. Co-Chairs plan an agenda for monthly meetings and facilitate them.  They help people communicate with one another.  This position involves a lot of email and it’s a unique opportunity to understand what is happening at the school.

3. The Treasurers make monetary transactions and update the FC with an itemized list of expenditures.

4. The secretaries take minutes, create a summary, and post it on the school’s website.  They are also responsible for creating the monthly flyers which go home in home/school folders.

The Governing Board, which at other schools is known as School Site Council, need four parents.  They especially need an upper school parent to sit on the board.  See Carolyn Shannon for more details.

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One Response to 9/12/12 Family Council Meeting Minutes

  1. Russ says:

    leslie bNovember 9, 2011I consider mylesf to be a professional in this field, and I never use this kind of approach. It is intimidating and controlling and is not effective. If a child is not responding to me in an appropriate manner, I find it much more effective to gently but firmly remove them from the problem situation, make sure my face is at their level but not in their personal space, and ask them quietly if they understand why I removed them. The answer will probably be no. At that point, I will explain what the problem is and what the consequences are. Consequences may be simply that the child needs to choose a new activity, or they may need to return to the situation and correct the problem. For the adult to lose their composure is unprofessional and accomplishes nothing. A teachable moment is lost, and that’s the biggest problem I see with that approach. Make sure that your own behavior in these situations is under control and effective and don’t worry about how others are behaving. Perhaps they will see that your approach is much more helpful and the children respond better.

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