March 1, 2011
In attendance: Jenny Cianciola, Kate Dodge, Frank Twarog, Patti Drew, Elisabeth Garvey, Renee Durochia, Lindsay Hay, Jen Prue, Alyssa Lasher, Joyce Wright, Sue Hoeppner, Bob Goudreau, Ali Douglas
1. Follow up from speaker last meeting (from Middlebury Bank).
• Diane Barber and Eunice Branch (plus Danielle Pheeney) expressed interest.
These classes will be in contact with Middlebury Bank and take that project on.
• The idea will be to see how this project goes starting with the kindergarten,
and then let the program grow organically.
• Middlebury Bank suggested that this program is ideally for a K-5 population.
• Bob reminded us that the annual district meeting is next week and also kindergarten
• Some students will be taking the youth-risk survey (letters will go home to parents of children participating). Past responses have helped lead to education and prevention programs in grades 5-8. This is not mandatory, but it is part of a statewide program and grant money helps support this effort.
• Parent-teacher conferences are coming up in March.
• Best practice in servicing will be done with teachers. K-4 teachers will focus on the Bridging Math Program.
• Grade 6,7,8 Report
• Tom Darling talked to Sue about student access to books at school. By the 8th grade, some students are looking for more mature or challenging reading. Wanting to start this conversation at an upcoming PIE meeting.
• Jen Prue reported that Steve Heney is looking to have some time at the next PiE meeting to talk about graduation. Jen will follow up on this conversation.
• Grade 3,4,5 Report
• Joyce reported that the 5th grade has their own smaller student council. (6th grade is now combined with 7th and 8th grades)
• The 5th graders just completed a grade specific talent show and are working on fund raising efforts.
• The process of student government is sometimes complex, but is a great learning lesson.
• In May, there will be a US History fair for the 5th grade. All students will have an opportunity to view the student’s presentations.
• Pre-K, K, 1, 2 Report
• Kindergarten registration is coming up next week. They are starting Mo Willams for the next 2 weeks.
• The new classrooms are wonderful.
• The idea of outreach to incoming kindergarten parents came up. In the past the Friends of Family group has hosted events in the past.
• An estimate of incoming kindergartners may be smaller than the outgoing 8th grade class.
• Unified Arts Report
• Reading is an Investment program started and supported by library. Program will finish in March.
• Art fair at Saint Mike’s will have art items for sale to support the Humane Society. (Artists are from grades 6-8)
• District music festival (chorus and band) had 10 HCS students representing the school. Children’s honor choir will start in May (2 students will be representing HCS at this event)
• Taiko drummers came before the February break. Talked about potential for a bucket-drumming group to be formed (perhaps an after school program?) for those not participating in chorus/band.
• 5/6-grade chorus schedule is changing, but increasing in numbers.
• Another night has been added to the play this year in hopes of making it a more financially successful event. March 31, April 1st and 2nd are the dates for the play. Ticket prices will be slightly more than last year.
• Jenny was hoping to consider a 3-4 chorus in the future. This may help increase the interest/participation of students as they get older.
• Playground Initiative:
• Kate Dodge reported that the big grant from Lowe’s is ready to go out. Ben & Jerry’s grant will be the next to go out.
• $9,000 is in the playground checking account (which is a good start toward the next step)
• The playground grant group is chatting mostly via e-mail. Contact Kate Dodge if you are interested in helping out.
• Nutrition and Enrichment initiatives did not have representatives at this PIE meeting, will look forward to learning more in April.
4. Open Issues from last meeting
• Parent Representative Job Description
o Patti shared her draft of the representative roles.
o Joyce asked for a similar job description for teacher representatives to be created. (See action items)
• Communication between PIE and the larger HCS community
o Discussion was had about the low parent response/interest based on publication on the Blog and in the Viking. Wondering if this is telling on how effectively communication is being shared. Frank pointed out that the word of mouth and teacher sharing seem to be the most effective and successful mode of sharing PIE information.
o Bob suggested that sending minutes from PIE meetings to all of the HCS staff might be the best way of sharing information back from the PIE group.
o Talked about using the Viking to provide information/link to a parent representative (both on-line and in paper formats)
o Talked about best way to share information once students no longer have homework folders. One idea being that information can be passed to the teachers to print out (and send home), distribute via e-mail, etc.
o Elisabeth talked about creating a PIE server space for PIE to link to so that PIE parents could have access without the constraint of school protocol. This would allow a parent (not just current staff) to have access.
o A side conversation was had in which parents expressed some frustration with the inconsistencies of communication home. This led to another conversation about that SnapGrade system in place for older students.
o The requirement this year for teachers is to do report card grades on SnapGrades. Whole faculty training has not yet happened and each teacher is using this technology in various ways and at varying frequency.
5. Next Agenda items
• Increasing parent-teacher communication in a mutually beneficial way (and how PIE can help facilitate this conversation)
• Review bi-laws and teacher/parent representative job descriptions
• Plan for May PIE forum (choosing roles for next school year and engaging more parents to join the group)
6. Action items
• Alyssa will e-mail Gina VanHook regarding her past interest in starting a welcoming resource for new kindergarten (and/or HCS) parents.
o Additionally, Alyssa will draft a letter to go home to current kindergarten parents to collect names of parents willing to be parent-mentors to incoming kindergarten parents.
• Jen will work on an introductory letter (Alyssa will review) to send out to parents (unsure of whether to send out now or in the Fall).
o Will follow up with Steve Heney to see what information he would like shared at the next PIE meeting.
• Patty and Joyce will work together on drafting a teacher representative job description.
o Patty will create a template to insert in the Viking (parent information, link to the Blog, and either a few sentences or a paragraph on the weeks after the PIE meetings). Patty will e-mail this to Elisabeth/Kelli (and will add the PIE logo
• Sue will bring PIE parent/teacher information (once template is designed) to Deb for weekly insertion in the Viking newsletter.
o Sue will also continue working on condensing and simplifying on-line PIE resources (including info on the Blog and links from the HCS website)
Next PIE meeting is slated for April 5th at 6 pm.