PAC Meeting 2014 09

P.A.C. Meeting 1 Minutes, Sept 29th 2014

  1. Welcome from P.A.C. Co-Chairs
    • Jane Pike & Karen Wood welcomed everyone. Attendance: 27 parents, 3 administrators/teachers (Margaret, Nancy, Alison).
    • Introductions Activity - Find Someone Who...
    • Motion & Vote: Adopt June 14 Minutes & Other Items. Proposed: Ingrid, Seconded: Nicole, Carried unanimously.
    • Other business was noted for later discussion.
  2. P.A.C. Overview (Karen)
    Karen outlined the PAC’s work, covering a four slide handout:
    • Celebrating Our 2013 Successes - There were increases in attendance at PAC meetings and membership of committees. Our kids are now in a seismically safe environment, although there has been lots of disruption with the move. PAC will continue to work with VSB, Principal, teachers and parents to advocate for the best outcomes to benefit every child. There have been separate meetings regarding toilets and rain puddles. The playground committee is well-established, and grants are being applied for. Parents thanked Beth and all the playground committee members. Karen noted that playground fundraising is a big stretch for us.
    • Our Vision - We will embrace the two different communities we have joined, while fostering our own community. Communication is critical. We will continue to advocate for the best environment for our kids, ahead of budget constraints. We will have a fundraising focus for the new playground.
    • Summary of PAC Structure / Financials - The budget is on our website, but Karen
      • PAC held a float of $34.4k from previous year, carried forward $37.3k to this year, and donated $28.3k to the school: $7.6k from the gaming grant to author visits, performances, sports equipment and clubs; $7.7k from funds raised to smart boards, classroom equipment, books etc; $13k to landscaping and playground funds, noting that $135k has to be raised by 2016.
      • With approx. 410 children at the school, each child benefited by approx. $69 from PAC donations, up by $11 from the year before.
      • PAC currently has about $17k available for investment, while $20k needs to be held in the account to manage cash flow.
      • Summary of Funding Activities - Karen highlighted some expected differences from previous years: there will be no funds from bottle recycling or a Welcome BBQ; and pop corn sales will be from our machine at the Main school only (the QE Annex has their own machine and funds raised go to their PAC for their playground). The lunch program with Eric at C’est Mon Cafe will start at the Annex when lunch times are synchronized and issues are worked out. Total revenues are expected to be down by about $3k.
    • Parents asked about the popcorn program: volunteers are ready when the logistics are sorted out.
  3. Annual Calendar & Key activities (Jane)
    • Jane showed the calendar on the back of the agenda.
    • Direct Drive fundraising will go ahead but be lower key. It has the advantage of not needing huge efforts to organize. We plan to use it to fund Spirit of Math workbooks (which are subsidized by PAC), school performances, music and sports equipment, and umbrellas and stands for all classes. We have purchased a 3 metre square pop up shelter for PAC events, such as coffee mornings to keep the community together.
    • PAC has prepared a brochure to be handed out at parent interviews instead of the usual letter. The centre of the brochure is a Direct Drive contribution form. Contributions can be made via PayPal.
    • Playground Committee - Seeded with $10k last year. $135k needs to be raised over three years. The key gala event is to be held February 12th. To support, please contact Beth Calkin (bcalkin[at] The Sun Run is another fundraising opportunity. Last year just four kids raised $650. The Sun Run this year is on April 19th.
    • Seismic Upgrade – PAC executive are requesting an update from the VSB Seismic committee to present to PAC. A meeting was held during the strike but information was hard to obtain. VSB said the strike has delayed the project a bit but it is not behind schedule. The demolition is out to tender. Once the demolition company is selected, removal of hazardous materials could take three months. The actual demolition could begin in December. The plan to push back the fence into the gravel field to make more space at the bus stops has not been carried out yet due to the strike, but should happen sometime. Ingrid asked when the site will be fenced off, because plants from the butterfly garden will need to be rescued before that happens. Nancy said that the fence will likely go up as soon as hazmat removal starts. Karen noted the buses don’t fit the current bus stops very well, and is asking for another meeting with VSB to get an update.
    • Food - The lunch program is to be run by C’est Mon Cafe as last year. It is proposed that funds raised at the Annex will go to the Annex PAC for new playground equipment. Popcorn details are to be agreed. The Welcome Tea is scheduled for Wednesday October 1st 3.15pm at QE Main, rain or shine. Please bring a plate to share. Ingrid and Jennifer are organizing. The aim is to bring the community together. Margaret said that the lunch program at the Annex can start Monday October 6th, using the same menu as the rest of the Annex. It was noted that Sushi Sushi want to supply food but the advantage of C’est Mon Cafe is that Eric takes care of the money. Margaret added that at the Main school, food would have to be delivered to the classrooms but Eric needs some space. The logistics need to be sorted out.
    • Margaret said that goal setting will take different forms for different classes this year, but is a chance to meet the teachers. Notices will be coming home soon. There will be another chance for goal setting later (in February) with the child present.
    • Body Science - Delivery is to be confirmed. Jane noted that PAC has paid in past years for one or two presentations per class. There are some on staff now who are able to present. Some teachers like to do it themselves, while others prefer someone to visit from outside. Karen liked the idea of kids being able to build a relationship with someone in the school other than their teacher. We can use Jessica Wollen again.
    • Fund Raising - Cash Cards provide PAC with a rebate on face value - contact Sheila Kirby (sheilakirby[at] The Clothing Bin will remain at the old General Gordon site on Bayswater St. The Sun Run this year is on April 19th. Sheila summarized the cash card program. She had forms and blank IGA cards. The advantage of the IGA cards is they can be reloaded by credit card so you can benefit the school and get your credit card points. The program raises about $100 a month and about $1.5k a year with only 10 active families. The logistics are currently uncertain but Sheila will make it work.
    • Clothing Bin - Jane noted that it made $550 with no ongoing work. We can donate books which being heavy are a nice earner.
    • Partners for Inclusive Education (PIE) – contact Denise Edwards (edenise[at] PIE meets every other month. Denise briefly described PIE’s objectives. They have speakers and meet to support each other. Anyone with an interest is welcome. Margaret noted PIE is a great chance to support each other, talk about our kids, and eat pie.
    • Jane noted we will have a speaker at the November PAC meeting from the BC Teacher’s Federation on the subject of advocating for your child.
    • Poinsettia Fundraiser - Carmen is organizing this again and will roll out when some issues have been resolved. We need someone to help with the plant fundraisers this year and carry on in future years as Carmen will be moving on at the end of the year.
  4. P.A.C. Positions (Karen)
    • Karen thanked all existing PAC contributors.
    • Karen described the roles urgently needing volunteers:
      • QE Annex PAC liaison - two people with children at the Annex are needed to attend the Annex PAC meetings. Two people is good for backup.
      • Parent Coffee Mornings (first one October 17th, time to be confirmed but likely 7:45 am to 8:45am) - A coordinator is needed for the coffee mornings at the bus stop. Jane said all sorts of suggestions have been received. The purpose is to provide a hangout for parents. But we need a coordinator. Coffee is currently provided free by PAC, but it was suggested we should charge or have a donation box to raise funds. We need to try a Coffee Morning to judge the turn out.
      • PAC speaker coordinator (November 24th PAC meeting speaker from BCTF: Advocating for your child). We have some funds for speakers, to a maximum of about $300 per speaker. BCTF are free.
      • Baby sitting coordinator - Need a grade 7 parent to organize grade 7 babysitters for PAC meetings. Margaret said some grade 6 students are being trained too. Babysitters must be accredited, and Margaret keeps a database of accredited kids.
      • Class Reps - Karen said that class reps are the glue between parents and teachers. We need a couple per class to support field trips, E-mails specific to the class (but not mass mailings, now that E-mail can be sent centrally), communications with teachers, and to arrange seasonal and end of year gifts.
    • Please use the link on the website to volunteer for all other roles.
    • Elke suggested pub nights for parents.
    • Alison Sharpe, grade 4/5 teacher, is now attending PAC meetings, and was welcomed.
  5. Principal Update (Margaret)
    • Margaret thanked parents and Nancy for coordinating students catching the buses. Approximately 250 students out of 350 are using the buses. There are issues, but the kids seem to be having fun. We will see how it goes for the rest of the term and revisit with the bus company to resolve the issues. The biggest issue is the capacity of the 8:25 bus to the Main school. The schedule to the Main school needs adjustments. The Annex is okay because all the kids are together. See the updated information on parent responsibilities on the website. Student name tags have been proposed, to help make sure students catch the correct buses. Parents raised the issue of buses sometimes not carrying student’s scooters and skateboards, and requested clarification of the policies operated by the bus company.
    • Work on building a wall in the open classroom at the Main school was held up by the strike, and is now scheduled for the winter break.
    • The schedule at the Main school was discussed. Queen Elizabeth school does not want to overlap schedules because of issues with supervision, not knowing the Gordon students, and student safety.
    • The effects of rainy days at the Main school were discussed. It would be helpful to obtain umbrellas and rubber mats, and ensure students have indoor and outdoor footwear.
    • The September ProD day has been moved to October 14th, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, to make a long weekend. Nancy reminded everyone that Friday October 10th is Photo Day. There is another ProD day on October 24th.
  6. Motions & Votes
    • Vote – Motion raised in June to allocate $2,000 of DD funds to Spirit of Math Program. Vote: one abstention, rest in favour, motion carried.
    • Motion & Vote to purchase umbrellas for all classes at QE Main and Annex (totalling less than $1,000). This also includes other simple supplies on a list from Admin, such as two sets of walkie talkies for communication between bus stop and office; whistles for recalling students, and buckets to keep the umbrellas in.
      Proposed: Elke, Seconded: Sandra, Carried unanimously.
  7. Other Business
    • Parents asked if there could be more rain cover at the Annex and Main. This is an issue for VSB.
    • Elke suggested the benches at Gordon should be moved to the bus stops.
    • Sheila asked if the buses to Gordon will run early on early dismissal days. Nancy answered yes.
    • Parents asked if the bus driver will keep students on the bus if no one is there to collect them on return to Gordon. Margaret said this is certainly supposed to happen on the Annex buses, but may not be happening consistently. Margaret will talk to the drivers.
    • Denise asked what parents should do if their child will not be catching a bus. Nancy said to E-mail, ideally in the morning. Tell Nancy for kids at the Main and tell Margaret for kids at the Annex. In the afternoon, it is critical for staff to know if kids are not catching a bus. Nancy has a check list of students expected to be on each bus. The support workers are also helping. There have been some incidents of kids catching the wrong bus or not catching the bus, but these were resolved safely.

The meeting ended at 20:35.