PAC Meeting 2014 10 29

  1. Welcome from P.A.C. Co-Chairs
    • Jane Pike & Karen Wood welcomed everyone. Attendance: 17 parents, 4 administrators/teachers (Margaret, Nancy, Graeme, Alison)
    • The minutes of the Sept 14th PAC meeting were adopted.
    • Karen described the challenges of running PAC in the new environment. With three communities, the work has trebled. Both QE and QE Annex have PACs we want to work with to pressure the school board on common issues. We have a large fundraising need. There are fewer opportunities to request help from other parents. The co-chairs asked for help and suggestions on how to hold the community together. With technology? Possibly a trial of www.classmessenger.com might be considered. But there are different standards amongst teachers. The PAC website has been improved recently with a move to a better platform. Possibly we need an online community for fundraising. Basically, we need ideas and volunteers.
    • Dennis briefly described Class Messenger, which is run by Scholastic, and keeps teachers and parents in touch. Facebook was suggested as an alternative that many people already use.
    • Jane noted that class reps have managed communication to parents in past years, but they are not yet organized this year. The volunteer forms remain to be tabulated. In past years, the paper signup form went out and the information was manually entered into a database. This year an online signup form was tried, but only 12% of parents have responded so far.
    • Ingrid suggested sending an E-mail just about volunteer sign up.
    • The responsibilities of class reps were discussed. This year there should be less work because E-mails to all parents can be sent centrally.
  2. Volunteer Positions (Jane)
    • Jane described the PAC roles urgently needing volunteers:
      • QE Annex PAC Liaison – Erin Arnold has volunteered but we need another volunteer with a child at the Annex.
      • Parent Coffee Mornings Coordinator – The next coffee morning is Friday Nov 14th, 8:00 till 9:00. For the first event, 40 to 50 parents turned up. Help is needed: it takes four people to setup the tent. Nicole can help setup. Sheila sold lots of cash cards.
      • PAC Speaker Coordinator - Typically, one or two of our meetings have speakers. The first speaker is already arranged for the Nov 24th meeting, from BCTF on the subject of Advocating for your Child. We are invited to attend the QE PAC’s Nov 18th meeting in the QE auditorium where they have a speaker on the subject of Raising Children in a Digital World. There is no need to tell anyone if you plan to attend, just turn up, but we don’t know if there is childcare. We have invited the QE and QE Annex PACs to hear our speaker. There will be no PAC business. The possibility of also inviting the Bayview PAC was discussed, but there may be an issue with space.
      • Class Reps & Class Lists – Currently lists are being divided, ready to send out to classes.
    • Please use the link on the website to volunteer for all other roles. Only 12% have responded so far.
  3. Winter Festivities (Jane)
    • Jane outlined what we typically do for the Winter Fair. Traditionally PAC has decorated the hallways, but what can we do this year given the walkways are outside? Lights were suggested, but there may be objections from the school board.
    • Jane suggested the focus should be on baked sales at the concert. Margaret said the Gordon kids at the Annex would do something with QE Annex. QE Main does not have a concert, but the QE auditorium is the size of old Gordon’s gym, and there would be fewer kids performing without the youngsters. Graeme said that to prepare a concert, we would need to take over the whole auditorium for more than
      a week, and have to give up other time to compensate. It needs to be coordinated with QE. The concert date would be Thursday Dec 4th. Carmen noted the usual poinsettia sale is arranged for that date, but will need a place to setup.
    • Jane passed round a signup sheet for concert volunteers after school.
    • In previous years, the baked sale was run while parents queued for the concerts.
  4. Playground Fundraising
    • Karen noted this was a hard target. The Winter Gala at the Yacht Club in February was to have been key, but analysis suggested that given our demographics it would not be likely to raise more than $3k in profit for a lot of effort, so it has been cancelled and we need to rethink.
    • We need focused ideas and volunteers to support them, such as bringing in business support, and creating and running fundraising activities online.
    • The Sun Run is on April 19th. We should push for as many people as possible to take part.
    • We still have the opportunity to use the Yacht Club date as a community building event, instead of a fundraiser.
    • Beth said that fundraising for the playground could be a 10-year effort. Details of the planned playground are on the website. To replace old Gordon’s covered areas like-for-like would cost $500k, as they would have to be like a building without the sides, with sprinklers and lighting etc. Kitchener is trying to raise $500k to build some. All we will have with the new Gordon is small overhangs. Umbrella-like coverings are possible and cheaper, and trees are proposed, but will still cost up to $70k. Grant applications will be made in the final year of the new school construction. Grants have to be used quickly.
    • Elke suggested crowd-funding, and Carmen will research.
    • Jane said we would discuss further at the January PAC meeting.
    • Sheila said we need a banner at old Gordon, to attract community support.
    • Nicole said it seems too early for letter writing for a direct drive. We can ask for money twice a year, but not during the current direct drive.
    • Nancy said that money and news matters now have to be separate in PAC communications. This is to be discussed at the January PAC meeting.
    • Jane suggested a parent social event on the night of the cancelled gala: a volunteer would be needed to organize this. Displace at 4th and Blenheim was good last time.
  5. Current PAC Activities (Karen)
    • Direct Drive - Currently running Oct 15th to Nov 15th. The target is to raise $10k, and Kevin reported the total so far is about $2500. We need a reminder to go out near the end.
    • Seismic upgrade – The PAC co-chairs are to be updated by the VSB on Friday October 31st. There was a meeting in September, but we have been woefully under communicated with. The last decent meeting was in January. We are told the project is still on track but we are not getting the whole story. We may need additional action depending on the outcome of this meeting. Promised upgrades at QE have not been delivered. There are QE Annex fence safety issues. At the portables, rats have damaged one classroom, and the class has moved to the library while the damage is repaired. That has meant other classes and teachers can’t use the library. The PAC co-chairs will advise resolutions from the meeting.
    • Hot Lunches at QE Main - Hot lunches are to be run by C’est Mon Cafe as before. Denise is meeting with Eric. The logistics of delivering meals to classrooms are to be determined. Jane noted we should proceed with caution with hot food in
      classrooms. Margaret noted there are difficulties supervising all of the classrooms during lunch.
    • Gardening – Plants and herbs have been recovered from old Gordon, and are being held by neighbors to be replanted when the time comes. Raised gardens at the portables are being planted by Gordon grade 9 Alumni thanks to Liane Ross.
    • Wet weather purchases for Teachers - $900 has been spent. Thanks to Alison who bought two sets of walkie talkies, rubber mats, boot racks, ponchos and whistles. However umbrellas are still required at further expense, likely about $600. They can’t have logos. Kids have advised Alison that more umbrella stands are needed for the washrooms and library etc. Alison thanked the parents on behalf of the teachers for providing the wet weather gear.
    • Cash Cards provide GG with a rebate on face value - contact Sheila Kirby (sheilakirby@gmail.com). The Clothing Bin will remain at the old Gordon site on Bayswater St.
    • Partners for Inclusive Education (PIE) – Meeting Nov 13th - Erica to co-chair.
  6. Principal Update (Margaret)
    • Margaret quickly covered many issues that have been resolved and some that are still outstanding:
      • The rodent infestation is being dealt with. Graeme’s classroom needed substantial repairs.
      • On rainy days, we now have the use of the auditorium and the JKC space for board games etc.
      • Lunch needs have been figured out.
      • Admin cover - Margaret is meeting her bosses to discuss the administration workload.
      • Activities on report cards will look different to previous years. The kids have been active but not so much in the gym - there will be no gym mark for the first term, instead a note about other activity outside.
      • Outstanding: Wall & windows to separate 2/3 classes in the Main building.
      • Outstanding: Grounds safety - We are receiving an extra supervision aide at the Annex, but maybe only for a month. At lunch there are only two supervision aides at the Main, one aide going through all classrooms in turn; teachers have been finding big messes.
      • However, kids seem happy; for example, there are 30 keen girls for volleyball at 7:45.
    • Karen thanked Margaret and Nancy and the teachers. Despite the facility issues, the kids are happy, which is the most important thing (they love the buses).
    • Body Science – Delivery to be confirmed - Not discussed.
  7. Motions & Votes
    • Motion & Vote to purchase umbrellas for all classes at QE Main & Annex for a further $600. Proposed: Elke, Seconded: Jane, Carried unanimously.

The meeting ended at 20:40.