HBSPA Meeting Minutes for December 13, 2012

Attendance: Karen Ng, Colin Remington, Rachael Caiati, Kathleen Hughes, Kate Bosch, Kristen Garabedian, Mach Millett, Michelle Millett, Molly Mazer, Susan Gunter, Lou Lloyd Zannini, Jessica Borges, Susan Lillsebbas, Iris Tong, Lori & Sandeep Jaiswal

The meeting opened with a presentation from MaryBeth Cannon and Sharon Hellman regarding the HBS Learning Community Book Club.  Flyers have gone home regarding this exciting opportunity for parents and faculty to discuss topics in education, parenting and child development.  More information can be found on the Book Club website:
The first book being discussed is “The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing” by Alfie Kohn.  Discussion of this topic is NOT intended to alter the homework policy at HBS.  Homework is determined by each individual classroom teacher, with administration having the final word.

Principal Update
Dr. Lou discussed the past few busy weeks at HBS, highlighting our involvement with the RIC community:

-The 4th and 5th grade HBS chorus participated in a winter concert with RIC musicians and Juno Award winning fiddler Natalie MacMasters.
-4th graders made a presentation to the RIC Green Team regarding sustainability on campus.  They have found a company that will recycle cigarette butts and are working as a consultant company with the Green Team.  A presentation by 4th graders will be filmed by the RIC Student TV program and broadcast on campus television.
-The RIC Art Department will conduct a contest regarding how to utilize the art tiles created by HBS students that which were previously installed in the hallways.  The new creation will be selected by the HBS Aesthetics committee and be installed in the front foyer.
-Plans are underway for new energy efficient windows at HBS and may include additional updates to the heating and cooling systems

Parking: Morning parking is going smoothly, however issues are arising in the afternoon.  Possible solutions include rerouting the afternoon carport line.  Information to follow.

Tuition: Dr. Lou will meet with Paul Forte to build budget in January/February which will be presented to the RI State Board of Education.  Tuition increase is projected to be 4% and the BOE has stated they will not approve increases over 7%/year for the next 4 years.  HBS is currently receiving <900K from RIC.

MA Family Policy: RIC is encouraging HBS to charge HBS students living within 50 miles of RI 150% of tuition costs.  Dr. Lou feels this is a poor idea for HBS as it limits wider demographics, diversity and revenues. A vote was taken approving Mach Millett to write a position for HBSPA.

Kindergarten Lottery took place 12/12, with Mach Millett, Sasha Sidorkin and Dr. Lou in attendance.  There were 200 applications on file for 15 available kindergarten spots.  The remaining 33 spots are reserved for current HBS preschool students siblings of HBS students.

Providence Plan may be discontinued.  Dr. Lou is awaiting word on whether this will happen and how this would affect current HBS students.  The future of the Providence Plan will be a topic at the January Providence School Board meeting.  Currently there are 50 Providence Plan students at HBS.  Dr. Lou is pursuing potential grants and alternative funding to cover tuition for students currently enrolled at HBS through the Providence Plan.  Discussion took place regarding creation of an HBS alumni scholarship fund.  Loss of Providence Plan students would significantly impact diversity at HBS.  Currently 20% of our students are from minority groups and this number will decrease to 8% if Providence Plan students no longer attend HBS.  Michelle Millett will explore opportunities to create an HBS Alumni endowment.

Spanish: There has been increased communication by Ms. Hellman.  A conversation regarding curriculum will take place in January.  Interested parents will meet with Dr. Lou regarding the Spanish program.  If you are interested in participating, please contact Mach Millett (machua.millett@gmail.com)

Behavior/Discipline: There have been two situations this fall involving physical fighting at HBS.  There is no specific policy currently in place at HBS regarding physical confrontations; they are handled on a case by case basis. Violence and bullying are not acceptable and will not be tolerated.

Faculty Liaison Update was provided by Jessica Borges.  The question of a shared stipend for Assistant Teachers was discussed.  These teachers were encouraged to submit a request for funding, rather than receive a blanket stipend.

President Update was given by Mach Millett.  The screening of Miss Representation was postponed due to inclement weather and will be rescheduled for January or February.  Discussion about the availability of the curriculum for this program took place.

Stipend requests were submitted by 20 faculty and staff members, totalling $4500.  Faculty requesting the stipend were asked to list how they planned to utilize the funds:

Elizabeth Orton – electric frying pan, bowls and utensils, picture books on friendship and creativity, restocked fish tank, baskets to store toys,materials for student books

Cheryl Paul – insect house, platform scale, play vet kit, bamboo blocks, crayon rocks, CD player/cassette player, LED rope lights

Elaine Walsh – iPad 2 to use with children in the classroom

Bonnie Ripstein – iPad for classroom to use as part of a research project evaluating the iPad as a tool to transform or enhance teaching

1st Grade
Jessica Borges – RazzKids online reading program, wooden classroom math center

2nd Grade
Karen Capraro – image making supplies, iPad accessories for the classroom, classroom economy supplies
Michelle Nonis – two tables for classroom, image making paint, specialty items for 2nd grade store

3rd Grade
Stan Oldstein – painting for art collaboration, Audubon Society van program
Jennie Schwab – fractions and geometry materials, baskets/containers for room, terracotta clay for Sumerian tablets project, long black timeline paper

4th Grade
Karen Bucci – digital microscope, books for literature based reading program
Linda Thompson – valuepack center, additional books for literature circle groups

5th Grade
Sarah Hess – books for the classroom, online subscription to IXL math program

Guidance Counselor
Julie Richardson – professional development via attendance at national convention for school psychologists, purchasing new materials to support her role
Mary Beth Cannon – My Teacher website subscription, RazzKids, Reading A-Z, math contest awards
Lyn-Su Otto – Reading A-Z, books and materials (pencils, erasers, glue sticks, crayons, rulers, colored pencils and folders)
Sarah Blessing – extra clothes

Chris Mulcahey – new rug, heat gun, acetate for school wide project
Physical Education
Paul Janaway – PE supplies
Sharon Hellman – reading A-Z (dozens of leveled books in Spanish), batteries

Tech Ed
John Arango – air purifier

Mark Young – replace board and card games, arts and crafts materials, balls and frisbees

Stipend request for principal/vice principal was also discussed and approved.

The Write Place is looking for volunteers!  An email was sent regarding this wonderful program which “publishes” student created works at our school.  Michelle Millett proposed adding some new equipment (printer, netbook or tablet) to be kept in Write Place for use by HBSPA.  She will research equipment and present information at January meeting.

THE RIC Athletic Department extended a special offer for HBS families to attend the PC/RIC basketball game.  Unfortunately the offer was given with a short time frame and was not well attended.

I Love HBS proposal was put forth by Mach Millett.  This program is essentially designed to encourage parents and students to make capital expenditures requests for review by the HBSPA.  Members of the HBS community would write a brief proposal stating why they love HBS and one thing that would make it better.  Attendees at the December meeting approved this proposal.  Information to follow.

Art to Remember fundraiser earned $1700 for HBS!  Dues Collection is ongoing.  Rachael Caiaiti, VP reports that 50% of families have paid their dues to HBSPA, totalling $10,330.  A follow up letter to families will go out next month. A Loop-a-Thon fundraiser is planned for May 2013; date and time TBA.

Health and Wellness updates were given by Kathleen Hughes.  Healthy Henry will be sent home in January and is filled with student writing.  Discussion about the sustainability of the publication occurred and students, teachers and staff are all encouraged to submit items for publication.

Upcoming Events:

HBS Night At Brown Hockey 2/2 – Brown v Princeton.  Admission is $3/children and $5 adults; information to follow

Winter Book Fair 2/11-2/14

Pasta Night 2/13

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