McGilvra PTA General Meeting Minutes
Wednesday October 19, 2016
6:30 – 8:00 pm McGilvra Library
Childcare provided in cafeteria
Meeting opened at 6:30p. Welcome by Phoebe Sade Anderson and Heidi Ob’bayi, Co-Presidents
May General Meeting minutes were approved with a unanimous vote.
Phoebe and Heidi gave an introduction:
• Explained the role/purpose of the PTA. We serve as a bridge between community, parents, teachers and school staff
• Introduced the 2016-2017 PTA Board
• Please check out our PTA website for updates and information.
Maria Breuder principle report:
• Noted that there are mixed feelings in the room around the ALO communication and changes. Presented the Mood Meter from Ruler. Explained how to read the mood meter and explained how everyone might be feeling.
• Ms. Breuder stated that she asked Ms. Battison not to attend because she received personal attacks through email that called for her to be fired. Explained that Ms. Battison did not feel safe or protected. As a principal she was to make sure her staff was safe and protected. Maria said she owns her part in this by not communicating enough to the community. She said she was very disappointed to take Ms. Battison off the agenda.
• Parents commented and said she has created a rift and there is a lack of trust. Parent asked Maria to provide more contexts around the decision to take Ms. Battison off the agenda.
Maria repeated that there was an email suggesting her to be fired and that is why she asked Ms. Battison not to be present.
Parent said they did not see or hear of any negative emails or texts regarding Ms. Battison. In fact, they said they all adore her and wouldn’t want her to leave.
Maria said she received many emails directly and felt attacked.
Parent said there needs to be more communication from the principal and the school as that is why many parents came to the meeting.
Parent said they are frustrated with Ms. Breuder and not Ms. Battison.
Parent said the email that was sent out to the entire school from Ms. Breuder earlier in the day was very confusing and the tone was also confusing.
Parent asked what the plan was going forward from the email?
Ms. Breuder asked that she be able to get through her agenda and will make time for questions afterwards.
Ms. Breuder shared her Core Beliefs Slide. (copy and pasted from slide)
My Core Beliefs:
• I believe ALL children are learners.
• I believe in equitable access for ALL children to high-quality instruction and programs in our public schools.
• I believe ALL teachers have the right to high-quality professional development, support, resources and tools necessary to teach our children every day.
• I believe in the power of collaboration, teamwork and partnerships to benefit the learning of our children and of each other.
• We will engage students in a challenging curriculum that is enhanced with multi-arts experiences and builds a strong academic foundation for future success.
• McGilvra students shall thrive in a safe environment that promotes academic achievement, develops problem-solving skills, and fosters a sense of respect and appreciation for oneself and for others.
• Seattle Public Schools is committed to ensuring equitable access, closing the opportunity gaps and excellence in education for every student.
SPS Vision: Every Seattle Public Schools’ student receives a high-quality, 21st century education and graduates prepared for college, career and life.
• The McGilvra Mission and my Core Beliefs align with the Vision and Mission for Seattle Public Schools.
• All decisions are made by looking through the lens of our mission and vision.
CSIP (Continuous School Improvement Plan)
• We are working as a staff to increase the academic achievement for all students in the areas in Reading, Writing, and Math.
• We are also working together to support the social-emotional learning for all students at McGilvra.
• Measurable goals to be done by November 15th
• The staff is still working on the action items within these goals, which will then go to the Building Leadership Team (BLT) for approval.
• Seattle Public Schools vision is shared on our school website.
School Improvement Plan:
Professional Learning Community, Rules and Responsibilities
• Made up of teachers, specialist, special education, counseling support, academic staff, office staff, Ms. Battison (master teacher)
• We don’t work in isolation
Summer professional update:
• Our teachers, and Maria attended multiple conferences. Conference take a-ways are being integrated into teaching and staff to enrich our community.
• All conferences funded by the PTA.
• Focus on reading, writing, math and safety/security
• We are in our 3rd year of the Ruler program
• Action items are up for BLT approval
Safety & Security:
• We are conducting drills once a month. They include fire, earthquake, shelter in place.
• Earthquake comfort kits information coming home soon
• We want to create a safe environment and take preventative measures
• Will hold another meeting with safety group to discuss. Parent stated that new procedure to release Kindergartens outside was decided last year and voted on and is concerned is isn’t being followed. Ms. Breuder stated that it was decided to release in school, from the classroom as a result of conversation with the K teachers who felt it was more safe to keep the students in their room until the designated adult could be identified. Parent stated that it was a security risk because unapproved visitors could enter into the building. Parent asked that protocol be taken seriously. Heidi and Phoebe said that they would be following up on the safety issue raised.
• SIT process includes principal, teacher, reading specialist, school psychologist. There are many pathways and interventions explored.
• A service not a place
• 504 family group
• Advanced Learning is the top 2% (included in Special Education department for the first time at SPS), Currently uses Cogat Tests, and teachers recommendation for decision making.
ALO questions & Dialogue:
Ms. Breuder: New method is mixed ability grouping based on research to support
• Strong belief to keep community together in the classroom
• Meaningful content in the classroom/all kids can benefit
• Pull out method is no longer being used
• Shift came from district and state
Parent asked what are your goals for the ALO program and students? How will you measure these?
Maria responded the goal is to move everyone forward. We have skilled teachers and we want to leverage their skills. I have goals for everyone. Common Core is rigorous and we will deepen and enrich what they’re learning in the classroom. This is different from how we were taught. This is to support all range of learners. We want to connect and communicate and not make this competitive for kids.
Parent stated that the old way was working.
Maria responded that it wasn’t working for everyone. The old method was not equitable to all students. Kids feel badly about themselves and about math when they see their peers leaving for more rigorous work.
Parent stated: We need better/more communication
Parent stated: my concern is that you are focused too much on hurt feelings.
Parent stated: Do you have research to back this decision up? There is research that says small groups work. You are not exposing kids to the real world.
Maria stated: We need to work together. Our world is not homogeneous. We are meeting kids where they are, accessing content when they feel bad about themselves.
Parent: My child likes the new method, showing a different way of solving problems, my child was happy to help another kid solve a problem and if felt good.
Parent: How does this model work in the classroom to ensure everyone is being challenged to their potential?
Ms. Breuder: Teachers do a great job of knowing every child. This is teacher specific learning and student centered learning.
Ms. Breuder: I will schedule a meeting at a further date during evening hours. There is not enough time tonight to answer all the questions.
Fund Raising update from Cathy Davidson, Fund Raising Chair:
• Thanked the community for all their hard work and support. Kids ran over 900 miles. All kids received a water bottle; prizes were handed out to kids.
• To date, we have raised over $60K, and have met our goal. We expect to exceed it.
• Magician from last year is coming back, assembly date to be determined
• Will send out communications in the next week. Explained the back-to-back fundraisers will allow families to claim donations on tax returns, and to allow the PTA time to plan and forecast future years budget.
• This will be the last ask of the year
• Held on December 12th from 6-9 in Madrona
• Will provide glassblowing experience (need a minimum of 8 people to rsvp in order to book this)
• 10% of sales will go to McGilvra
• Will send out a link for friends and family, will be posted on PTA website
Amazon Smile and other info:
• Reminder to shop through the link and need to start promoting as this is a non-auction year.
• Your support is giving to the whole community
• Leverage corporate matching in money and volunteer hours.
• 5th grade holiday trees and wreaths drive in December
Treasurer update from Brian Connelly, Co-Treasurer:
• Provided handout of the Balance Sheet and P&L
• Quick run through. We use Cash Accounting system. Balance sheet provides information on how much cash we have on hand. We have a savings and checking account with Wells Fargo.
• We currently have $680K with liabilities on the books of $260K.
o This money is to pay teachers
• We want to be very transparent with our financials. Please send an email if you have any questions. We only have records that go back to 2008. The auction is every other year with a profit recorded every other year. Our accounting year is from July 1st through June 30.
Standing Rules – Andy Jensen, Legislative and Advocacy Chair
• PTA cannot advocate for presidential elections, but can advocate legislative changes.
• Survey went out on state PTA legislative agenda. There was a 10% participation rate
• Will be attending the PTA General State meeting on October 21st & 22nd in Olympia and will be voting.
Kids Time Update – Ginger Plaster, Kids Time Program Chair
• Enrollment has been good, there were a couple of enrollment hiccups, but those were resolved. We have received good feedback and especially on the language classes.
• Will be sending out a survey for families to provide specific feedback.
• Registration for Spring will be in December
Volunteer Update – Leslie Bobeck, Volunteer Chair
• Harvest Festival is scheduled for October 28th. Will send out a sign-up genius for families to help volunteer. We will have the same photographer.
• We are still in search of a Co-Fundraising Chair to assist with Cathy Davidson.
• 5th graders need volunteers for the holiday wreath/tree fundraiser
• Ms. Pederson needs one more volunteer for room parent
• Still looking for volunteers forSound Partners
Outreach Update: Yumi Pick, Outreach Chair
• Will continue the Wildcat Pantry this year. There will be a total of three drives for the year.
o First one in November, December and in spring.
• Communications will be in the Paw Print – please donate
• Parent asked that it would be great to have a priority list for the Wildcat Pantry. Will consider putting a flyer in the folders to go home.
Operations Update: Max Wurzburg, Operations Chair
• Emergency backpacks for all the teachers are complete and have been distributed (thanks to John Madris and Safety Committee).
• Place of refuge will be Park Shore. Formally through SPS, it is Meany, but community agreed to Park Shore based on closer proximity to the school.
• Security grates on the first floor are in process.
• We want to bring in Seattle police and fire for a safety presentation but want to make sure it aligns with how safety is being shared with our students – working on this.
• Parent coffee was a good turnout
• Reader Board is up and running, please be sure to stop by and read it.
Special Education Committee Update: Megan Davidson
• 20 families are participating. We are a group you can reach out to and talk to if you have any questions about your child and want a parent to discuss with. We have trained specialists on our team.
• District wide, we are reaching out for more inclusion, partnerships and will communicate more to get the message out to parents.
• We will have a meeting on November 10th
• Will have a page on the PTA website.
Families of Color Committee Update: Hillary Hoover
• Survey went out and there were 72 responses. Will hold a parent education event with a facilitator to go over survey results.
• Will have a planning committee meeting on November 4th. Ice cream and pizza provided.
Art update: Julia
• Julia brought her art cart and gave an update on what kids are learning. She shared portrait art that kids are working on that is based on a specific artist.
In closing, Phoebe will track and follow-up with topics and there will be a future date for the community to come together regarding ALO. Thanked everyone for coming.
Meeting Adjourned at 8:00pm.