May 16, 2013 Leave a Comment
The Upper School students will be enjoying field day on Friday, May 31st. Since many parents will already be at the school to volunteer and cheer the students on, it is a perfect time to get together for the last Open Coffee of the school year. So please join the HBSPA board and parents in the Teacher’s Lounge from 8-8:30 on Friday, May 31st. If you are able to bring a food item or drink, please sign up at http://bit.ly/hbsopencoffee or contact Tamara Gruber at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to see you there!
May 14, 2013 Leave a Comment
Attendees: Molly Mazer, Bethany Sutton, Rema Tomka, Kristin Libutti, Tamara Gruber, Jessica Borges, Susan Gunter, Kathleen Hughes, Machua Millett, Michelle Millett, Dave Leverless, Susan Lillsebbas, Kristen Garabedian, Olivia Milonas, Laura Phillips, Brenda Shannon, O’rya Hyde-Keller, Randi Simon, Neha Raukar
Nancy Martin, who recently joined Rhode Island College to lead Communications, Alumni and Fundraising made a presentation to the HBSPA. She introduced herself, her role, and explained her interest in setting up an alumni association for Henry Barnard. She is hiring staff now and will work on putting together a strategy over the summer. Her goal is to work with HBS and the HBSPA to put together an alumni list in time for an annual campaign mailing in Spring 2014. Mach will work with Nancy to form a committee to coordinate efforts.
O’rya Hyde-Keller discussed the plans for Teacher Appreciation Week. The committee has planned breakfast, lunch, and foot massages for the teachers. A budget of $750 was approved, with an emphasis on recruiting parent volunteers to help supply food. If any parents are available to help staff or provide desserts, etc. please contact O’rya at email@example.com.
Dr. Lou provided his Principal’s Update:
- Parent volunteer and physician Neha Raukar has reviewed the school’s emergency and health policies and procedures.
- The RIC finance committee is looking for a five percent tuition increase. They were first seeking a seven percent increase but that has been reduced as a result of $700K in deficit reductions over the past year.
- The hallways bathrooms in the lower school wing will be renovated during the summer of 2014
- Also during the summer of 2014 all windows, external walls, and air conditioning units will be replaced, along with outside doors and the glass block in the gym.
- The 2013-2014 academic calendar is still undecided. HBS faculty must attend attend two RIC faculty days that occur the last week of August. To avoid starting school for 1-2 days, then being off for 2 days, then having the long weekend for Labor Day, the calendar committee is considering starting the day after Labor Day. This would put the end date around June 18-20th depending on storm days used and how many days are allotted for winter vacation. Based on the results of the survey, the administration understands that the parents would prefer to start school in late August and get out in mid-June, with a February and April break maintained. Dr. Lou hopes to have this resolved my mid-May. Parents expressed concerns based on this schedule due to the timing of the Rosh Hoshanah Jewish holiday, which would cause some Jewish kids to come back to school for one day and then miss one to two days for religious observances. The majority of parents in attendance did not object to getting out in mid-to-late June.
- Thank you to everyone involved in running the 4th grade Pasta night and the school dance.
- Concerns were raised regarding the selection of chaperones for the 4th grade field trip and the lack of information and advance notice provided to parents.
- The Providence Plan is continuing for the 2013-2014 school year.
- Student behavior policies for Anti-bullying and anti-harassment are in legal review. An anti-violence policy is in development to reinforce that aggressive behavior will not be tolerated and to outline a range of consequences based on frequency and intensity.
- Field Day is Friday, May 31st. Parent volunteers will be needed to serve food and assist with activities.
- Fun Day is June 5th
- PawSox tickets are sold out from our pre-purchased block but parents can still get the discounted rate by contacting the box office. See Kristin King for details. If parents of children in the chorus want their child to sit with them (and not alone and unchaperoned) they need to purchase a ticket for that child.
- Family dance was a huge success – many thanks to Kristen Libutti, Lori and Sandeep Jaiswal!
- Parents expressed an interest in holding another open coffee. The Family Activities committee will try to reserve a date.
- Board nominations will be held at the next meeting for anyone interested in getting more involved.
Any other business:
- Brenda Shannon expressed an interest in coordinating improvements to the upper school playground. Need to determine any college roadblocks and discuss possible funding sources including grants, HBSPA, and private donations.
May 14, 2013 Leave a Comment
Attendance: Karen Ng, Molly Mazer, Michelle Millett, Mach Millett, Jessica Borges, Rema Tomka, Kristen King, Olivia Milenas, Brenda Shannon, Lori Jaiswal, O’rya Hyde-Keller, Wendy Rodgers, Kara DiSandro, Kristen Garabedian, Rachael Caiati, Frank Steever, Susan Lillsebbas, Lou Lloyd-Zannini
The meeting opened with a community project presentation by Kieran DiLello, Sarah Meg Malloy and Olivia Bush. Fifth grade students and their teachers (Ms. Hess and Ms. Percoco & Mr. Arango) have been collaborating on a project to give something back to HBS before they graduate. They propose a redesign of a loft in Ms. Orton’s preschool class, focusing on safety concerns. They have worked with Mr. Arango on design issues, written letters to four area Home Depot stores in search of funding, among other educational activities surrounding this project. They are seeking $1500 in funding from the HBSPA. The presentation was well thought out and the students are committed and enthusiastic about the project. The HBSPA invites them to submit a more detailed written proposal that could be reviewed at the next meeting. Funding may also be requested from the HBS Aesthetics Committee. Many thanks to to Kieran, Sarah Meg and Olivia for an excellent presentation.
Dr. Lou spoke with parents about the Providence Plan. Unfortunately permission from Dr. Lucie, Superintendent, to go ahead with a lottery for students meeting Providence Plan criteria who are entering kindergarten came after HBS kindergarten screening lottery occurred. Currently there are no Providence Plan students accepted for kindergarten 2013. A list of children who would qualify under the sibling plan is being created. All students currently at HBS and covered by the Providence Plan will remain. Discussion also took place regarding the financial compensation given by the city to fund Providence Plan students. Alternative sources of funding are being sought. Investigation regarding expanding the Providence Plan to a larger area, including Cranston, Warwick, Johnston & Pawtucket took place and would expand the talent pool. Other ideas include creation of a charter within HBS for low income students.
Currently $180K in unpaid tuition is on the books and HBS is attempting to collect this money. It amounts to an extra $695 per tuition paying student for this year.
Discussion with interim Development head, Nancy Martin has resulted in permission from RIC to create an alumni association for HBS. Further news to follow.
Project Explorations is advertising for their summer program.
HBS website will undergo renovation with assistance from RIC tech sources.
Tuition: letters of intent have gone out and as yet there is no tuition set. The increase will likely be in the 5-7% range. Tuition proposed will be voted on in May. Currently HBS operates in a deficit situation and it will be under $1 million this year. Next year it is anticipated that the figure will be under $800K. Ways to increase revenue at HBS include adding classrooms. Each additional class would yield $100K to the revenue stream.
The parent survey yielded 156 responses. The school calendar has not been set as yet. Discussion about when RIC will open, faculty convocation, etc. will enter into the decision.
Dean Sasha Sidorkin, School of Education, will be leaving his position in July. He will be founding dean at University of Sciences in Moscow.
Laurie Parkerson, Librarian, submitted her resignation. Ms. Jane Allard will remain in this position next year in a hybrid teaching/librarian role.
Physical plant improvements update: bathrooms are not finished; Dr. Lou has been in touch with RIC about this, no timeline given. The door and window project will not take place this summer. A second access will be created to classrooms that currently only have one door. Doors will require key lock to get in the room and also have the ability to lock from inside. The office suite will be reconfigured to better serve faculty, staff and families. Rodent problem is improving with utilization of outdoor traps. There is no evidence of inside infestation.
NECAP reports have been sent. Staff is working on HBS specific information. Focus will be on student performance and growth in mathematics. Current HBS math curriculum meets common core standards and HBS is working on formal documents that will still leave the classroom teacher plenty of room for creativity.
FACULTY LIAISON: Jessica Borges mentioned that that help with seed ball creation for Earth Day was needed. Please contact Kelly Mullally ( ) if you are interested. Celebration of the Arts Night will take place 5/29; more information to follow. The Little Free Library project was spearheaded by Lorraine Downes – stop by and check it out!
O’rya Hyde-Keller, parent of a preschool student, brought up concern about transition from preschool to kindergarten life and asked about ways to learn more about the kindergarten curriculum and day to day concerns. Discussion regarding ways to disseminate information were brainstormed. O’rya will serve as kindergarten grade coordinator beginning for the next school year. More information to follow.
Wendy Rodgers updated members about the Miss Representation screening. HBSPA purchased the dvd and curriculum for the school. Plans for a possible teacher viewing were mentioned.
Mach Millett read results from the Book Fair that were submitted by Jannette Rey. Gross sales from the Scholastic Book Fair were $4900. Of that amount, $1240 were earned by HBSPA, $300 Scholastic Dollars and 80 books were donated. A special thank you to Jane Allard for her assistance in setting up the book fair. The last book fair will be the very popular BOGO and will run May 7-9. No cash is earned at this book fair, but Scholastic Dollars are generated.
A request by Kristen Vito, first grade, was made in the amount of $300 for scientific study and is supported by Lou Lloyd-Zannini. Funds would be used to purchase an incubator, eggs, webcam to provide real time viewing of the eggs hatching and partial funding of a field trip. HBSPA is not able to provide a bus subsidy and would like further information with regards to how the class plans on sharing their study with the HBS community. This request was not voted on at this meeting.