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
  • 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 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 (  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 (  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.

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