BOGO Book Fair Update

What a great week at the Book Fair!

  • Over 250 books were purchased and it was great to hear students talk about their favorites!
  • For a second book fair we featured some favorite ‘picks’ selected by “Student Critics” during a special Preview – thank you Student Critics for really helping some of your fellow classmates and their parents decide on some good summer reads!  (A big thanks as well to those teachers for sending them – Borges, Capraro, Nonis, Sanford, and Thompson)
  • We were able to have on hand for purchase 8 of the 22 RI Children’s Book Award Nominations for 2013!
  • All teachers who made selections for their Classroom Wish Bins received all books either from parents as a Teacher Appreciation gift or on behalf of the HBSPA via our Scholastic Dollars earned as bonus for having this fair (44 books across 14 teachers/classrooms totaling approximately $330 Scholastic Dollars)
  • Thank you HBS Parents/Guardians:
  • ……to the 15 Parent Volunteers who either donated goods for the Teacher Preview or helped to cover the 25+ hours needed to run the Fair…..these functions cannot happen without parent helpers
  • ……to everyone who took the time to visit the Fair and make some purchases! (including Beth and Mark at Explorations who helped remind parents about the special afterschool hours of the Fair as parents picked up their kids)!

Looking forward to our next Fall, Winter, and Spring BOGO book fairs!

Jannette Rey Todaro, Book Fair Chairperson

May Meeting Minutes with New Board Appointments

HBSPA Meeting Minutes – Thursday, May 10, 2012

Attendance:  Kristen Libutti, Sandeep Jaiswal, Lori Jaiswal, Carol Damiano, Steve Damiano, Karen Ng, Molly Mazer, Michelle Millett, Machua Millett, Brenda Shannon, Kristen Garabedian, Susan Gunter, Iris Tong, Kara DiSandro, Sandra Chiang, Rachel Caiati, Frank Steever, Tamara Gruber, Laura Phillips , Susan Lillsebbas, Lou Lloyd-Zannini, Susan Lillsebbas and Jessica Borges

This meeting opened with many thank yous, given by Michelle Millett:

  • Many thanks to the Auction Chairs, Lori & Sandeep Jaiswal and Kristen Libutti, and their committee for the successful Spring Gala held at Cafe Nuovo May 5th.
  • Jannette Rey Todaro and Tamara Gruber for their work on the popular May BOGO Book Fair.
  • Mollie Mazer for the Earth Day seed ball takeaway.  Seed balls were created by HBS students and each student and faculty member received a packet to take home.  Some packets were donated to RIC and others to an apartment building for people with developmental differences.
  • Charlotte Taylor was thanked for organizing the Spring Bulb fundraiser.
  • Kristen Garabedian was recognized for coordinating Teacher Appreciation week activities, including the luncheon as well as the May Day parent coffee. Rich Brittingham of Chilis was also thanked for his generous contribution to the luncheon.
  • Susan Lillsebbas for organizing the Mad Science Program and the upper wing’s “Minute to Win It” festivities.
  • Outgoing parents, Steve & Carol Damiano and Sandra Chiang, were recognized by HBSPA for their many years of contributions of our school community.  Their children presented them with flowers and their names will appear on the HBSPA honored volunteers plaque, which is displayed in the foyer.  Thank you to Heather Ross of coordinating and organizing.


  •  Dr. Lou began his comments with a number of thanks: to the Gala Committee for a magnificent event, to the 2011-2012 HBSPA for improving the quality of student life at HBS, and very special thanks were extended to outgoing President, Michelle Millett, for her two years of service.
  • Tuition Updates: Tuition at HBS will rise 10% for the coming school year.  Efforts have been underway to reduce operating expenses at the school.  This year the HBS operating budget was $4.2 million; expenses for the 2012-2013 year will be reduced to $3.7 million.  Currently the tuitions of the 290 students enrolled for the coming school year will be $3 million.  RIC expects HBS to be a “financially neutral” part of the campus.  Dr. Lou is proposing a number of ways to become more solvent, including reorganizing and re-appropriating space at HBS, increasing student enrollment, including adding a third 4th grade class for the coming school year.  Currently 5 students have been granted provisional acceptance for this class.  In order for the class to be added a minimum of 12 students are needed.
  •  Also, examining the extracurricular activities that are not currently paying for space used at HBS and working with Providence Public School Superintendent, Dean Sidorkin and Controller Forte to have Providence Plan tuition reimbursements reflect actual costs.
  • Lunch changes (basic preparation at Donovan Dining Commons, finishing in HBS kitchen) have resulted in $185K savings
  •  Proposed class sizes are capped at 24 students/class in grades 1-5.  Preschool will continue with 8:1 student/teacher ratio; K is 16-18:1.
  •  Teacher appointments: There are currently 4 open positions at HBS (3rd, 4th, 5th grades and guidance counselor).  Eight candidates have been identified for these positions, including 4 applicants currently at HBS.  There are 5 applicants for the guidance position and plan to interview the top 3 candidates.
  • Congratulations to Bonnie Ripstein for achieving tenure this year and promotion to Associate Professor.
  • A request was made regarding flyers to go home in backpacks.  Please submit draft to office a minimum of 2 days in advance.  After approval, please have copies for distribution available a minimum of 1 day ahead of time
  • Calendar for 2012-2013 is being finalized.  The first day of school will be either Friday 8/24 or Monday 8/27.  The first day will be a mandatory, full day of classes for all HBS students.  The last day of school will be June 6, 2013.

Please feel free to contact Dr. Lou ( to provide information or feedback regarding candidates.  Parental thoughts are always welcome and written documentation (emails or letters) are particularly helpful.  Also please feel free to contact Dr. Lou ( to provide information or feedback on calendar, such as if this is too early a start or too early an end date.  Parental thoughts are always welcome and written documentation (emails or letters) are particularly helpful.


  •  Jessica Borges extended a thank you to the HBSPA for the Teacher Appreciation luncheon this week, as well as all the other treats offered this week.  She also mentioned creation of a poetry coffee house that was not able to be coordinated this year, but is in the plans for the coming school year.


  • Congratulations to Lori Millett, assistant teacher, who is expecting twin boys in September.
  • HBS Parent Supply closet has been reorganized.
  • Biodome door and shelves have been installed.  It will be exciting to see how this structure will be utilized in the coming school year!
  • HBS at PawSox tickets have sold out.  General admission tickets are available from the PawSox.


2012-2013 Slate of HBSPA Board and Committee members was presented by Susan Lillsebbas, Recording Secretary, reviewed and approved by meeting attendees.  There are still some positions available (those without names).  If you are interested in volunteering for these please contact Iris Tong:  The slate is as follows:

President: Machua Millett

Vice President: Rachael Caiati

Treasurer: Frank Steever

Secretary: Susan Lillesebbas

Parent Volunteer/Nominations Chair: Iris Tong

Executive Adviser: Michelle Millett

Family Activities: Tamara Gruber  & Susan Gunter

  • 4th Grade Pasta Night: Kate Bosch
  • Kids Choice Dance: Lori Jaiswal
  • Pizza Night: Volunteers open
  • Paw Sox: Organizer Open

Children’s Activities: Karen Ng & Molly Mazer

Global Awareness: Kristen Garabedian & Kara DiSandro

Media: Sara DeMille & Rema Tomka

Health & Wellness: Rachel Colaiace & Kathleen Hughes

Fundraising: Kristen Libutti & Sandeep Jaiswal

  • Art to Remember: Kate Bosch
  • Book Fairs: Janette Todaro
  • Bulbs: Charlotte Taylor
  • Apparel: OPEN
  • East Side Market: OPEN
  • Box Tops: OPEN

Grade Coordinators

  • PreK: Leslie Kane
  • K: Cilla Donatelli
  • 1: Sandra Schenek
  • 2: Kristen King
  • 3: Rebecca Kirwick
  • 4: Marita Wo
  • 5: Amy Boch DiLello

Miscellaneous Committees/Volunteers:

  • 6th grade open house: Heather Ross
  • 5th grade celebration: Heather Ross
  • Teacher Appreciation: OPEN
  • The Write Place: OPEN

 PLANNING FOR 2012-2013

Discussion involved limiting large fundraisers to one in fall (like the Walk-a-Thon) and the other in spring.  Other school related events (i.e., Dance, PawSox, Pizza Night, etc) would be revenue neutral and viewed as “friendraisers” and community building.


  • Celebration of the Arts will occur Thursday May 24th.  A flyer featuring a schedule of events went home in the backpacks this week.  Volunteers are needed to hang student art work the week of this event.  If you can help, please contact Dr. Mulcahey at Refreshment donations are also being sought.  Please contact Kristen Garabedian ( for more information.
  • Field Day – Friday June 1st
  • Fun Day – Wednesday June 6th
  • 5th Grade Graduation Thursday June 7th
  • Last day of school Friday June 8th at 11:00 a.m.  THIS IS A HALF DAY!


Subscribe to Updates to the HBSPA Blog to Stay Up-to-Date

If you are new to the HBSPA site, you may not have noticed a very important feature at the top of the right hand column.  That’s right, you can subscribe to updates to the HBSPA blog via email or your RSS reader.  Just enter your email and be sure to complete your registration by clicking on the confirmation email you will receive.  Or, if you are tech savvy, just click on the orange RSS feed button for “Posts” just above the HBS Logo to add this feed to your Google Reader or other RSS readers.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just ignore it and subscribe by email.  If you get too much email just be sure to check back regularly for updates from the Parent Association and we’ll implement other ways to stay up-to-speed, like Facebook, in the coming year.

And don’t forget, you still have a few days left to bid on a Swim and Tennis Club Family Membership at Highridge Swim and Tennis Club in Lincoln, RI (a $975 value, for new members only), check out this post for more details.

Auction Update and Thanks

Our 2012 Annual Auction / Gala was a huge success. We raised over $16,000 for our children !!

We would like to take this opportunity thank everyone involved, especially:

  • all the parents, family members and friends who purchased raffle tickets
  • students and their parents who managed to sell over 1200 raffle tickets
  • all the volunteers for their time, effort and resources
  • all the parents who solicited items for the auction
  • those who donated items for our auction
  • those who bid on the auction items
  • those who attended the event
  • to the team of volunteers:
    •    Rachael Caiati
    •    Carol Damiano
    •    Lori Fernandes
    •    Kristen Garabedian
    •    Tamara & Glenn Gruber
    •    Sue Lombardi
    •    Susan Gunter
    •    Jennifer Vachon

A special thanks to:

  • Masters of Ceremonies NBC 10’s Mario Hilario & Barbara Morse-Silva
  • Michelle Millett – President of HBSPA for her unwavering support, welcoming of ideas and her positive attitude.
  • Kristen Garrabedian – Vice-President for all the many ways she helped out.
  • Rachael Caiti – Parent Volunteer Coordinator for bringing together a wonderful team of volunteers.
  • Tamara Gruber for creating and managing so that we could post our event online.
  • Dr. Christine Mulcahey for the student classroom art project which brought in almost $3000 at the live auction
  • Geoff Gaunt, owner of Providence Picture Frame, for providing complementary framing for all kids classroom art.
  • Café Nuovo for the divine meal and everything else they did to make for a fabulous evening.

Students had a nice incentive for selling raffle tickets. The student selling the most raffle tickets would win a brand new iPad and two other students, from random ticket drawings, would win an iPod Touch each.

The top three raffle ticket sellers were:

1st: Dante Damiano  (121 tickets)

2nd: Sydney Jaiswal (87 tickets)

3rd:  Lucy Bosch  (50 tickets)

3rd:  Yilmaz Kasapoglu  (50 tickets)

3rd:  Sarah McGeary  (50 tickets)

3rd:  Lalah Nkomo  (50 tickets)

Congratulations to Dante Damiano for winning the iPad by selling the most tickets. A big thanks to Steve & Carol Damiano for helping Dante sell 121 raffle tickets.

Ticket #1676 was drawn as one of the iPod winners. Congratulations to Mayreli Aldez for selling the winning ticket.

Ticket #12583 was drawn as one of the iPod winners. Congratulations to Dante Damiano for selling the winning ticket.

Proceeds from the 50/50 raffle sales came to $9,933. The winning ticket numbers were:

  • 1st prize – ticket # 14337 won $2,483
  • 2nd prize – ticket # 14533 won $1,490
  • 3rd prize – ticket # 7301 won $993

And, there is still one item up for grabs.  You can bid via email on a family membership to the Highridge Swim and Tennis Club in Lincoln, RI, worth $975, with a starting bid of $200 (for new members only).  Just email your bid, name, email, and phone number to  For more details, see this post.

Thank you once again for your support and contribution.


Sandeep & Lori Jaiswal and Kristen Libutti – Auction Co-chairs

UPDATE:  We can’t post this without calling out a HUGE THANK YOU to Sandeep and Lori Jaiswal and Kristen Libutti!! They were called upon to organize an auction and they stepped up to the plate with little time left and put together a fantastic evening of great food, socializing, and entertainment.  Through the countless hours they put into planning and executing this event, the auction raised $16,000…which will bring us into 2012-2013 with money in the bank to invest in fun activities, school improvements, and classroom needs.

Here are some pictures from the event.  You can also view pictures from the auction and upload your own at

Highridge Swim & Tennis Membership Still Up for Auction! — UPDATED

UPDATE: Congratulations to Heather Ross, winner of the Highridge Swim and Tennis Membership with a winning bid of $400 — thanks to all bidders!!

Oops, with all the great auction items up for grabs on Saturday night we forgot to offer one of our most exciting live auction items…a family swim and tennis club membership at Highridge Swim and Tennis Club in Lincoln, RI.  So even if you couldn’t come on Saturday, you still have a chance to bid on a fantastic prize.  A family swim and tennis membership, worth $975, is up for bid (for NEW members only) with a starting bid of $200.  Highridge offers swimming, tennis, sand volleyball courts, a playground, kids club, picnic area, and cafe.  To learn more about Highridge, visit their website.  To place a bid, email with your bid, name, email, and phone number or leave a comment below.  We will post updates with current bids and close out the bidding on Friday, May 18th at 5pm (updated!!)

Highridge Swim and Tennis Club

UPDATED 5/18/12 5:00 pm:

$400 — HR– WINNER

$325 — KD

$300  — HR

$275 Bid — KG

$250 Bid — HR

Starting Bid of $200 — SL


April Meeting Minutes

Attendees: Rachel Colaiace, Laura Phillips, Sydney Jaiswal (student/principal for the day), Lou Zannini, Lori Jaiswal, Kristen Libutti, Rema Tomka, Jessica Borges, Susan Gunter, Ilyssa Grant, Jannette Rey, Iris Tong, Rachel Kirsten Garabedien, Michelle Millet,Rachel Ciatati

Principal Update:

  • Dr. Lou informed the group that HB will institute a 10% tuition increase for the 12-13 academic year and is exploring ways to find $200,00 – $300,000 in budget cuts in hopes of eliminating deficit.
  • Also considering adding a 4th grade class for  the 12-13 school year based on the increase of student interviews occurring this spring. Classroom goal size would be 24 students and an additional class would generate $100,000 in income.
  • The HB bathroom remodels are complete.
  • An executive board meeting will be scheduled shortly.
  • Currently undergoing a search for 3,4,5 grade teachers (9 applicants thus far)
  • Working on final draft of calendar for next year. We are still waiting to hear from Providence public schools and Dr. Lou imagines the calendar will look very similar to this year’s.
  • Software Update: we are still under the $10,000 gift amount.
  • 1st grade teacher Vito-Silva’s  classroom project is complete and lunch table umbrellas have yet to be purchased.
  • 50 mentors helped create about 100 hand-tied blankets for homeless shelter Crossroads RI.
  • The HB book sale generated $900 in profit and Lauren Stanford received a private donation on $2,000 for desks and chairs for the school in Uganda.
  • Walk-a-Thon was a successful “fun”draiser for kids, faculty, parents and volunteers, making over $4,300 for the HBSPA.

Jessica Borges:

  • Reading week was a huge success. Upcoming events include (k-2) end of April poetry morning. This event may coincide with May 1st breakfast.
  • Mrs. Borges put in another request for a picnic table out on the lawn of the 1st -2nd grade playground and options were discussed by group about alternatives to the picnic table should another type of table be considered more appropriate for the space.

Other News:

Nominations for the 12-13 Board positions will happen in May. Phone calls will be made if multiple people want the same position or if multiple boxes were checked.  Positions that need to be filled include: President, secretary and treasurer. Some HBSPA members commented that clarification of board responsibilities, most importantly, meeting commitments so that people don’t shy away from joining board. Michelle clarified that there needs to be 10 meetings a year, but  you do not need to attend every meeting. Co-chair positions are an options for some positions, but not all. How these co-chair positions would vote and a discussion of the by-laws ensued. Kirsten G. notified the group that by-laws were revised 2/3 years ago.

5th Grade Celebration:Heather Ross is coordinating and she’s looking for some 4th grade parent volunteers to help on the event held on June 7th.

Security of Parents Drawer: looking into options for protecting $ that is left in parents drawer

Communications to Dr. Lou: He is asking that parents mail documents and letters allowing for enough turn around so that he can review them properly. Also looking at generating lists so that issues and complaints go  directly to the source rather than to the general school population.

Community: Dr Romani Orthodontist has a contest and if you “like”  her  page, HB will be put into a drawing and  could win $1,000. The week of May 8th kicks off Teacher Appreciation Week.  The Chili’s lunch in their honor will take place Tuesday, May 8th and the committee needs help with decorations, set up and clean up. The schedule is S’mores on Monday,    Lunch on Tuesday, Flowers on Wednesday, and Kids’ gift. Please e-mail Kirsten if you’re able to volunteer. Also, there is a parents’ coffee in May.

Book Fair: Jeannette is taking over the book fair. Attached is her write-up for upcoming events.

The Spring BOGO (Buy One Get One Free) Book Fair is coming on May 7-10 including an after school opportunity on Tues. May 8th to visit the Book Fair (schedule with specific times when classes will visit the Book Fair will be sent out after Spring Break with the Scholastic pamphlet).   This year the BOGO Book Fair takes place the same week as Teacher Appreciation Week which will provide a perfect opportunity to purchase some great books and donate the free book to a Teacher Wish list.  Or, take advantage of the great sale to stock up for summer reading, birthday presents, and graduation gifts.  Over 800 Scholastic $$ are available to make purchases from the Scholastic inventory – Jannette will follow-up with Dr. Lou and Haven to invite teachers to identify any items of interest for purchase.

Volunteers are needed to help set up, assist teachers with their wish lists, and staff the fair for classroom and parent visits – sign up at and follow link for Volunteer Spot OR go directly to the Volunteer Spot webpage at    Please contact Jannette Todaro at or 300-7384 if any questions

Staff Updates: Mrs. Sloyer had her baby and Nurse Blessing is back April 15th


Big Auction items and large artwork will be put on website for people who are unable to attend event to bid on beforehand. Laura Phillips suggested putting key visual items on display at the May 1st breakfast with bid sheets and it was also suggested that the k-2 poetry breakfast also occur on that day.


One-of-a-Kind Classroom Art is Up for Grabs

Our many thanks go out to Dr. Mulcahey for her vision, creative direction and hard work inspiring and assembling beautiful, one-of-a-kind art pieces from our favorite artists — our kids! Each classroom has collaborated to create a framed piece of art that deserves a special place on your walls.  Each of these precious pieces is up for auction on Saturday night at the HBS Spring Gala and Auction.

Take a sneak peak at your child’s art below or see it in person outside the HBS office.  Each piece will be part of the live auction on Saturday night.  If you can’t make the Gala, you can still get in the action.  Simply email your best bid to Sandeep Jaiswal at BEFORE Saturday, May 5th.  Classroom art is always a hot item so if you really want to win, be there in person for the live event.