HBSPA Meeting Minutes from September 12, 2013

Attendance: Erin Hogan, Ilyssa Grant, Tamara Gruber, Bethany Sutton, Mandy Kerr, Danisa Bonacic, Kristen King, Lisa McCrystal, Anya Davis, Jannette Todaro, Lori Jaiswal, Frank Steever, Brenda Shannon, Rema Tomka, Suzanne Salomon, Brandon Salomon, David Levellee, Amy Kessler, Cilla Donatelli, Mach Millett, Michelle Millett, Carolyn Beal, Susan Lillsebbas, Rupayan Gupta, Vani Gupta, Rachel Caiati, Molly Mazer, Joe Hoeferle, Joanna Schatz, Sara DeMille, Kara DiSandro, Olivia Milonas, Meenakshi Narain, Ulrich Heintz, Lorraine Downes, Lou Lloyd-Zannini

Lorraine Downes, Teacher Associate and Steward of the HBS Little Free Library, made a presentation about this community building program.  Ms. Downes spearheaded this addition to HBS earlier this year.  More information about this program can be found at http://www.littlefreelibrary.org/  Feel free to take a book or add a book to the HBS Little Free Library, located at the carport.  Special thanks to Steven Beattie, master carpenter/contractor specializing in historic renovation. Steven owns Pie in the Sky 225 Thayer St, Providence with his wife, Ann Dusseault (an art school colleague of Ms. Downes)  Steven created the library from scratch and donated all of the materials.  Ms. Downes painted the the library in collaboration with Mrs. Capraro’s class.   Many thanks to all involved in the creation of this great addition to HBS!

Principal Updates:

  • Dr. Lou welcomed parents and students back for another school year.  
  • Several bumps in the start of this year were discussed.  Students using Providence school bus services have had to deal with a variety of issues including late pick up and drop off, changing routes and a lack of information about changes and delays. (I am looking for name/number of the Providence bus yard to insert here or was the consensus that it was better to call the mayors’ office with complaints)  It is anticipated that bus routes will be finalized by next week.
  • Parents wanting to use the RIC D lot (faculty and staff) during morning drop off need to obtain a green parking pass through the HBS office.  This pass allows families to park until 8:10 a.m.  Campus Police begin aggressive ticketing of unauthorized cars after this time.  A number of parking spots have been lost to the new traffic pattern as well as campus construction.  Families who visit HBS during the day need to use the carport parking spots or visitor parking in lots A and K.  
  • Campus concerns, including parking issues, should be sent to Mach Millett machua.millett@gmail.com and they will be forwarded to Dr. Lou and addressed with RIC administration.  
  • The Grievance Procedure and Behavioral Policies were briefly discussed.  Details can be accessed via the Family Handbook http://www.ric.edu/hbs/files/familyhandbook201314.pdf
  • Please feel free to contact Dr. Lou loulz@ric.edu with comments and concerns.
  • The future of the Providence/Barnard Plan was discussed.  The Providence Plan was instituted in the 1960’s to address racial inequity and representation at HBS.  Kindergarten admission is the sole entry point for Providence Plan students.  Normally 10 students are enrolled under this plan.  This fall, due to uncertainty about continued funding of this program, 5 students are enrolled.  The Providence Plan continues to help provide diversity in our school community.  
  • Math Curriculum adjustments are currently underway.  NECAP scores for 2012 indicated a hole in the second grade math curriculum involving subtraction skills.  Changes to the second grade math program are being made that address these concerns.  
  • A discussion of Parent Contracts took place, trying to address parent questions about photography, cooperation between parents and school and control over children during the school day.  Please contact Dr. Lou with questions or for clarification of the Parent Contract.
  • An election for Faculty Liaison to HBSPA will take place next week.  There will be one or two faculty representatives appointed.
  • An inventory of equipment and safety protocols is being formulated by John Arango, Tech Ed, to address some parent concerns about activities taking place during this class.  This information can be accessed via Mr. Arango’s blog at: http://technologyeducation-hbs.blogspot.com
  • Tentative plans are underway to move the RIC Cooperative http://www.ric.edu/cooperativepreschool/  to the HBS physical plant.  If the Coop move does occur, rejuvenated spaces and changes to playground equipment will need to occur.  HBS families are still waiting for upgrades to the restrooms that were promised several years ago.  A tuition increase has been in effect during this time to cover the cost of these renovations, which have yet to occur.  Additional concerns regarding security, space utilization and costs to update spaces will be drafted by Mach Millett.
  • Brief discussion took place regarding the possibility of an HBS middle school.  Dr. Lou projects that each grade added to HBS will generate a $70-90K surplus each year.  Parents raised questions regarding the mission and curriculum of the HBS Middle School.  Dr. Lou will try to arrange a meeting for parents to meet with administrators regarding this proposed expansion.

President Updates:

Mach Millett opened with a discussion of the capital expenditures process and teacher stipends, voicing the need for more control over financial requests.  Currently HBSPA has allocated a $225 stipend per teacher (this is the largest item in the budget, approximately $5000) for classroom related expenses. Starting in 2012, teachers were asked what they planned to use the funds for as a requirement for receiving the stipend.  A proposal was made to have stipend requests voted on the way that capital expenditures are requested and voted upon.  A poll of the meeting attendees elected to offer the stipend to teachers who disclosed what their plans were for the stipend, rather than voting on each request.  A motion was also made and passed to allow the teachers  to forego their stipend funds and allocate them for the upper grade field playground. An email from Mach Millett will go out to faculty, staff and HBS families inviting them to make a Capital Expenditures request this fall.  These requests will be prioritized by the CE committee and presented at the October meeting.

Vice President Update:

An HBSPA dues letter was drafted by Rachael Caiati and sent to HBS families this week.  Suggested dues are $75.  Dues collection is the primary source of funds raised by the HBSPA and allows a variety of programs to be offered to the children as well as supporting faculty and staff.

Fundraising Update:

Michelle Millett, fundraising chairperson, questioned what our goals for fundraising were this year.  Suggestions from HBS staff and families include playground improvements to upper wing play area, tables and chairs for dining room, replacing carpeting in school with tile and scholarship fund.  Discussion included the best way to come to a consensus on goals for the year – fundraising meeting/survey/email or regular mail communication.

Volunteer Coordinator:

Iris Tong is the Volunteer chairperson.  Volunteers willing to chair the Write Place and the Family Dance are still needed!  Please contact Iris if you can help –  iris_tong_md@brown.edu


Rema Tomka is chairing the HBS apparel for this year and is hoping to revamp items offered, including new items for adults.

Book Fair:

Updates were provided by Jannette Todaro, chair of the Book Fair committee.  This year Scholastic has offered a number of new promotional products to school book fairs and there will be several prizes given via free raffles on Pizza Night.  The book fair will run from September 24-26.

Family Activities:

  • Tamara Gruber provided updates for this committee.  Along with co-chair Susan Gunter, Tamara stated that the committee will be soliciting ideas from the HBS community.  Please email ideas to either Tamara (tamara@redgiantconsulting.com) or Susan (smitch3@mac.com)
  • The first HBS Family Activity will be Pizza Night, Tuesday September 24th in conjunction with the Fall Scholastic Book Fair.  The price for supper at Pizza Night is $4/person and includes Twins Pizza and salad.  A few volunteers are still needed to help!  Please contact Tamara or Susan if interested.

Global Awareness:

  • Kara DiSandro offered a brief statement about the goals of the Global Awareness committee, including encouraging cultural awareness in our community.  On Pizza Night, GA will be participating by offering flags of various nations, coloring and map activities.
  • The RIC Performing Arts Series, offers each HBS student access to 2 discounted tickets to their performances.  More information is available at http://ric.edu/pfa/pas.php

Childrens Activities:

This committee is co-chaired by Karen Ng and Molly Mazer.  They welcome suggestions from the HBS community.  Please email either Karen (dockng@hotmail.com)  or Molly (mmazer@ucpri.org) with your ideas.

Health & Wellness:

  • Erin Hogan presented dates for the spring Walkathon fundraiser – put April 4th with a rain date of April 11th on your calendar!  
  • Other plans for H&W include healthy food tastings in the cafeteria and a basketball event TBA.

June 6, 2013 HBSPA Meeting Minutes

Attendees: Lori Jaiswal, Karen Ng, Rachael Caiati, Jessica Borges, Kim Worrell, Anissa Missakian, Bethany Sutton, Rachel Colaiace, Susan Gunter, Michelle Millett, Neha Raukar, Iris Tong, Sara DeMille, Kristen LiButti, Erin Hogan, Kristen Garabedian, Amy Bach Dillelo, Mach Millett, Olivia Milonas, Paul Janaway, Frank Steever, Lucia Gillcase, Kara DiSandro

President Update:

  • Thank you to the current volunteers of the HBSPA board. Welcome to new HBSPA board volunteers 2013-2014.  
  • Will still have open positions and are seeking volunteers for: Art to Remember, Family Dance and Fourth Grade Pasta Night.
  • I Love HBS: We had some really great ideas! We will review them and consider them in the fall as part of the budget process.
  • HBSPA 2013-2014 Calendar update via Rachael Caiati: No half-days this year. We will start school August 26th.  There will be no school on the 28th and 29th.  The school year will end around June 13 or 14.
  • Volunteer Appreciation for the outgoing HBS Families.  Thank you and well wishes to the Worrells, DiLellos, Janaways, Garabedians, Gilcases, and Missakians. Thank you to Heather Ross for organizing. “Thank you to the Garabedians—who have set the tone for our generation of leadership.”-Mach Millett

Principal Update:

  • Providence Plan: there will be 5 entering kindergarteners this year.
  • A behavior plan and dispute resolution policies are being worked on over the summer and will be printed this fall in the HBS Family Handbook.
  • Field day was very eventful and very hot. Seven youngsters were sent to the nurse’s office.  One child went Hasbro Hospital. PLEASE SEND ANY OF YOUR SUGGESTIONS OR CONCERNS TO DR.LOU via email with “Field Day” in the subject line.
    • Parental Concerns:
      • Lack of supervision
      • The nurse was without visible gear that would identify her medical assistance.
      • Parents were disappointed that there no timely, informative update was shared about the incidents of the day.
      • Bathrooms
    • Parental Suggestions:
      • Having field day earlier in the year.
      • Making sure that there is shade on the field (via tents or tarps).
      • Having shorter events.
      • Giving more time after lunch.
      • Contingency plan
      • Bulletin board on the track/field to announce events and the schedule of the day.
      • Highlight with signage where the bathrooms are located.
      • Water needs to be on the field with the children, not in the bleachers.
    • Dr. Lou’s Field Day Acknowledgments:
      • Thank you to the parents for stepping up and getting kids better.  Great job of organizing and volunteering.
      • Thank you to Paul Janaway for the extra hours and effort in order to get this event going as well as Fun Day.  He does all this by himself! Tremendous work!
      • Thanks to Jessica Cahoon, Matt O’Brien and Chelsea Perry for a job well done.


  •  End of the Year Events
    • Celebration of the Arts Night was a success.  This event raises money for the HBS art, music, and tech ed teachers.  FYI: Art and Library receive the biggest budgets in the school.
    • Administration will be tightening up extracurricular.
    • Administration will be making updates to both the HBS Faculty Handbook and HBS Family Handbook.

Faculty Liaison Update:

  • Teachers would like clarification on the expenditure request process. 
    • Answer: Expenditure requests require a form that can be found in the Parent Drawer.  Anyone in the HBS community can make a request: parent, student, teacher, faculty or administrator.   The request can be for anything, but the proposals that have the most success try to benefit and/or involve the whole school. Ideally requests should be made by November.

Treasurer Update:

  • 2012-2013 Final budget up dated.
  • New Expenditure Requests: Kelly Mullally and Molly Mazer
  • Old Request: Mr. Arango-preschool loft. (See Old Business)



Committee Updates:

  • Health and Wellness:
    • -alk-a-thon was a great success.  We raised $3870.00 with about $500.00 unclaimed.  The volunteers and teachers were great!  Thanks to the Rachael Colaiace and Kathleen Hughes for their service and help!
  • Media:
    • Yearbooks will go out soon.  Thanks to Sara DeMille for a job well done.
  • Family Activities:
    • Open Coffee was a success.  Thank you to the volunteers and donations.  
  • Children’s Activities: Fun day and Field day recap.

Old Business:

  • What happened with the 5th grade proposal for a preschool remodel?
    • Answer: Mr. Arango was supposed to get back to us with additional details.  This information was not received in a timely manner.  Also, the 5th graders were charged with trying to get financial support on their own.
    • Suggestions:
      • Community projects are a good idea, but perhaps, they should focus on the greater community. rather than the school.
      • We should encourage community projects for at all grade levels.
      • If this is going to be a regular occurrence, then planning and budgeting should happen well in advance.
  • HBSPA volunteer position summaries are on box.com.  New members will be invited to include their flyers, resources, etc for their positions and events.  This will help by providing resources and a paper trail for new and old members.

New Business

  • An absentee motion was made to change the existing HBSPA By-Laws. Vote: To table discussion until HBSPA resumes in the fall.
  • Will there be a Lego League this year?
  • Parents voiced concern about the equipment being used in Tech Ed.  Is there proper safety gear in the classroom? What happened to regular newsletters from all the specials?
  • Adding to the “dues letter” a “job, talent or business line” for parents to share their interests and passions for better utilization of parent skills and volunteer opportunities.
  • Summer HBSPA Executive board gathering to be held in late June and organized by Tamara Gruber. Details to follow.

May 2013 HBSPA Meeting Minutes

Attendance:  Rachael Caiati, Karen Ng, Kathleen Hughes, Tamara Gruber, Michelle Millett, Mach Millett, Alana Bibeau, Jennifer Cox, Rema Tomka, Lori Jaiswal, Kristin Libutti, Molly Mazer, Olivia Milonas, Ory’a Hyde-Keller, Frank Steever, Bonnie Ripstein, Bethany Sutton, Kristen Garabedian, Harry Garabedian, Kara DiSandro, Susan Lillsebbas, Lou Lloyd- Zannini

  • Mrs. Ripstein will be stepping in for Mrs. Borges as faculty liaison. Celebration of the Arts is coming up. The boards outside of the classrooms are being cleared and things are getting ready.
  • Ory’a  Hyde-Keller gave a recap of Teacher Appreciation week.  Highlights included a continental breakfast featuring Dunkin Donuts coffee and pastries from LaSalle Bakery, potted plants, catered luncheon, facial and chair massages by three massage therapists as well as cards and letters of appreciation from students.  
  • Discussion of HBSPA mission statement

Slate of HBSPA officers was presented for 2013-2014 school year and approved en bloc.

  • President-Mach Millett, Vice President-Rachael Caiati, Treasurer-Frank Steever, Secretary-Susan Lillsebbas, Fundraising-Kristen Libutti & Michelle Millett, Family Activities-Tamara Gruber & Susan Gunter, Children’s Activities- Molly Mazer & Karen Ng, Global Awareness-Kara DiSandro & Lori Jaiswal, Media-Sara DeMille & ?
  • Several volunteer positions are still open, including: Art to Remember, Family Dance and 2 co-chairs for Health & Wellness.  A brief discussion ensued about Healthy Henry publication and the desire to make it more child driven, perhaps collaborating with students in the Writer’s Cafe.  Please contact,   Iris Tong iris_tong_md@brown.edu
  • President thanked the outgoing board and all its volunteers.

Principal Update

  • Thank you to the HBSPA for all the treats and kind words during Teacher Appreciation week. “The faculty did feel loved and appreciated.”
  • Calendar reminder about field day and fun day. Families are invited.
  • Tuition:  It is anticipated that a 5% tuition increase will be approved by the Board of Governors in late May.  All attempts are being made to keep tuition under $10K.  Administration is finding ways to quantify the value of HBS to RIC. Especially, since HBS is not mission critical to RIC.
  • Deficit:  The short gap for this school year is $1.2M.  Goals for next year will reduce the gap to $700K and $500K the year after.
  • Providence Plan:  Currently HBS administration has the names of 5 students who qualify for the Providence Plan.  Two students have been admitted and there are an additional three students who would need to be screened.  The city of Providence spends $12K per public school student, however reimburses HBS only $3K; this figure has been static for 5 years.  Sources of alternative funding are being sought, including scholarships and grants.  Please contact Dr. Lou loulz@ric.edu with ideas, sources of funding or contacts you may have.
  • HBS Development: Following up on the visit from Nancy Martin, RIC Development head, questions were raised regarding timing caveats as well as where monies raised by HBS development would be allocated.  An unnamed HBS alum will meet with Ms. Martin in late June.  It is hoped that current HBSPA member(s) would be included in this conversation.
  • Behavior Code is being created to formalize the steps to be taken when behavior violations occur.  Policies regarding anti-bullying and harassment are being drafted and will be added this fall to the Family Handbook (http://www.ric.edu/hbs/files/familyhandbook.pdf).  The process will involve multiple steps beginning with warning (don’t know if this will be verbal or written) and parental notification and may progress to in school suspension, if warranted. These additions to the Family Handbook were reviewed by the Dean of the School of Education as well as RIC legal counsel. 
  • A conflict resolution process is being formulated, creating a path for parents to bring issues to HBS administration.  This policy will also be added tonthe family handbook this fall.
  • Discussion about parent or faculty involvement regarding the grievance policy will be brought to the Principal Advisory Committee.  This group meets each month and weighs in on personnel matters that arise.  Decisions of this committee are not binding.  Parents requested that parent involvement/perspective be  considered in this process.
  • Parking:  No changes have been announced yet to HBS administration.  RIC plans to make College Road a 2 way street on the Triggs side of the street.  This would be a dramatic change-getting rid of several on street spots. It was generally agreed that the accommodations RIC has made to the parking situation are positive. Please email Lou notes regarding the great changes to parking.  Also, parents should consider writing notes about having access to parking for the 20 minutes after school as well. Mach Millett will draft a letter to RIC on behalf of the HBSPA.
  • Calendar:  The HBS calendar committee proposal has gone to the Dean.  Start week proposed will be the week before Labor Day with school to end the second week of June.  Specific plan TBA. Currently, we are looking at an August 26 th  start with no school on Wednesday and Thursday of that week.
  • Parent requested that could Project Explorations be open for full days that week on the Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Space Announcement: Free HBS meeting space may be limited once  the Craig Lee Hall renovations begin and go over the next 2 years. To accommodate college needed classroom space-HBS may no longer be able to utilize its dining room or library after hours.
  • Faculty Liaison update as presented by Bonnie Ripstein.  Thanks were given on behalf of HBS faculty for a wonderful Teacher Appreciation Week!  There will be a kindergarten open house for rising K students June 3rd at 3 p.m.  Childcare will be provided.


President Updates:

  • I Love HBS contest was discussed and flyers describing the contest to be sent in late May.  The contest is to give parents and students at HBS a chance to make proposal to improve HBS.
  • 5th Grade project to improve the preschool loft was discussed-the HBSPA board is currently awaiting additional budget information and is considering the benefit to the school at large and ways to reduce the cost.

Treasurer Update

  • Frank Steever presented the operating budget.  
  • Advisory: The 4 th and 5 the grade field trip are not part of the HBSPA budget. The Del’s Lemonade  should be added permanently to the Field Day line item. Lastly, when requesting services remember that HBS is a nonprofit that can give vendors and possible contributors tax deductible expense letters.
  • Dues collected this school year: $11, 625. Thank you so much for all the families that participated. Add % participation and now is the most ever.

Committee Updates

  • Family Activities to host a coffee hour 5/31 before Field Day.
  • Health and Wellness co-chair Kathleen Hughes discussed possible cookbook fundraiser for next year.
  • Susan Lillsebbas offered possibility of having an evening event for parents by the Meal Makeover Moms (http://mealmakeovermoms.com).  The Moms are registered dieticians who have a focus on healthy eating for finicky eaters and meal preparation for busy families.  Although the proposal was viewed positively, the speakers fee is $750 and was deemed high for our group.  Possible solutions include asking for reduction of fee with the offer of a gift letter, charging an admission fee,  or seeking another speaker from Johnson & Wales University.
  • Rachel Caiati discussed a potential HBS “Little Store” that would be open on limited hours and feature HBS branded items and run by upper grade students.
  • Media reports that yearbook sales are going well.  CoffeePond sends out email of confirmed yearbook orders.

As always, stay up to date by visiting our website:  http://www.hbspa.org/