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.

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