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!


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