HBSPA Meeting Minutes February 2014

HBSPA Meeting Minutes
February 25, 2014

Attendance: Mach Millett, Rachael Caiati, Paige Reynolds, Karen Ng, Erin Hogan, Laura McPeake, Frank Steever, Michelle Millett, Brenda Shannon, Olivia Milonas, Rema Tomka, Tamara Gruber, Spencer Dickinson, Lori Jaiswal, Cilla Donatelli, Tim Groves, Kate Bosch, Lori Fernandes, Randi Simon, O’rya Hyde-Keller, Kara Disandro, Marisa Rizzo, Susan Lillsebbas, Rupayan Gupta, Haven Starr, Meg Adair, Julie Richardson

  • Faculty Update was offered by Meg Adair and described various exciting activities going on at HBS.  These include the Tech Ed Inventors Fair for 5th grade, Desktop Olympics in 3rd grade and preschools “Beautiful Things” unit including a visit to a recycling shop.
  • Julie Richardson spoke about safety at HBS.

Parent’s Association Safety Update: We have a committee that is revising the emergency plans and procedures to update them to best practice, along with all other schools in the state and the country. We will be collaborating with Rhode Island College, Providence Police Department, and we have been collaborating with the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency, School Safety Program. The following outlines some updates:

  • In the event of an emergency, Mr. Starr as Interim Principal is in charge of executing the crisis plan.  In his absence, Mr. Janaway, as Interim Assistant Principal would be in charge.  Ms. Richardson and Mrs. Blessing are considered part of the crisis administrative team and would be available to assist.
  • One major change to policies will be that in the event of a lockdown, the message conveyed on the intercom will call it a lockdown.  This change is required by the state, and is considered best practice.  This is because code words can be misinterpreted or not understood and we need to instil a sense of urgency.
  • Notification in the event of an emergency is currently the phone call and email blast.  We will be working with Rhode Island College regarding a reunification site and procedures in the event we had to relocate during an emergency.  At the current time, you would be notified in the phone and email message regarding procedures.
  • All faculty, staff, student teachers, and students are being made aware of procedures and any changes.  Once the revised emergency plan is complete and approved, professional development will take place.
  • Two areas where parents could help us is reminding all parents that there should be only one access point during the school day to ensure control of who enters/exits the building.  This entrance is by the main office, and should be used by all individuals to enter/exit the building.  Also, there are new badges that all visitors must use when in our building, this ensures safety as well, so that visitors are easily identified and we know who is in the building, and when they leave.
  • As the committee reviews and revises our policies and procedures we are looking forward to working with parents to ensure a safe school environment.  When the plan is complete, pertinent information will be relayed to you via a newsletter and a meeting.
  • Mr. Janaway is currently looking into the status of the bulletproof glass for the security window and new locks for the classroom doors.

President Updates were presented by Mach Millett.

A round of “thank yous” were extended to the following people.

  • Jannette Todaro for her work with the Winter Book Fair and all the volunteers that offer their time during the Fair.
  • RIC Administration for offering the Basketball & Rec Center event for HBS families.  This busy day provided families with use of the Rec Center pool, followed by mens and womens basketball games.  Thank you to Tamara Gruber and Michelle Millett for working with administration to feature this activity.

HBSPA elections will be here before we know it!  Nominations are being collected.  Please contact Iris Tong  iris_tong_md@brown.edu for further information and to nominate yourself or a friend.

The Task Force for Positive Community will meet 2/25 at 3 p.m. and Principal Search Committee will meet Thursday 2/27.  This will be the first meetings for each group involving parent representatives.

Legal Update: A request to access public records was made by with regard to Lou Lloyd-Zannini’s leave of absence, resignation, correspondence between RIC and teachers union with regard to Dr. Lou, remuneration and payments made.  These topics were generally regarded as private information and the only matters that were legally necessary to disclose involved salary information and payments made to Dr. Lloyd-Zannini as of the time of his departure.  These included salary and benefits paid through the end of this school year, as well as accrued vacation time. Mach stated that he approached Ron Pitt and Karen Castagno regarding these issues and his requests were ignored. Counsel retained by the HBSPA explored what rights parents have with regard to information disclosure and input at HBS.  These issues are dependent upon whether HBS is a public or private school, as well as what RIC is granting as rights and participation.  Only one piece of information was uncovered regarding the public/private status.  In 2002 a teacher brought suit against the Cumberland School system regarding salary credit for time teaching at HBS.  At that time, it was determined that HBS is a public school.  The issue of public v. private has implications for disclosure of information and public institutions are subject to the Open Meetings Act.  Potential issues include screening and admissions criteria, particularly with regard to students denied admission or who were asked to leave HBS for a variety of reasons.

Principal Update was provided by Haven Starr, Interim Principal.

Currently the last day of school will be June 18, providing that there are no additional snow days.

The names of 10 children eligible for the HBS/Providence Plan were forwarded to HBS.  Joyce O’Connor will be meeting with families regarding the partnership between family and school.  Brief discussion about how families apply for the Providence/Barnard plan.  A notice is placed in the newspaper, although parents find out primarily via word of mouth.

Thank you for the cafeteria chairs; they are both comfortable and safe!

Paul Janaway is serving as Interim Vice Principal.  He has stepped down from his role as union rep.

Faculty is pulling together cohesively.  NECAP results are in and results are being mailed to parents of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders.

Questions regarding the role of the interventionist were briefly discussed.  The possibility of a presentation by the interventionists at the next night meeting was raised.

Calendar, tuition and budget committee meetings are pending.

BrainPop is a software program used by a number of classrooms at HBS.  The HBSPA provided initial funding for the 2 year contract.  The 2 years will be expiring at the end of the month.  Funding requests are solicited at the beginning of the year by the Capital Expenditures Committee of the HBSPA.  Discussion took place regarding the practicality of funding subscription items which expire.

Committee Updates:

Media: Yearbook ads are due 3/3.

Childrens Activities: Field Day and Fun Day are coming up!  Look for information regarding volunteer opportunities in the coming months.

  • The corrected date for Field Day is Friday, May 30, 2014
  • Fun Day remains Tuesday, June 10th.

Family Activities: Invitations to the HBS Family Dance are out.  It will be at the Kirkbrae Country Club on 3/20 and the theme is “School Spirit”.  All responses and payment are due by 3/6.  Due to financial commitments to the venue, there can be no extensions from the 3/6 and no walk up sales the night of the event.

Health and Wellness update was given by Erin Hogan and Paige Reynolds.

This year’s Walkathon will be held on Friday, April 4, 2014 (raindate: Friday April 11) from 8:30-12 pm on the RIC track.  Sponsorship forms will be circulated to the classes, and the proceeds will benefit the renovation of the upper class playground.  There are a few changes to this year’s walkathon.  Instead of laps, students will walk in groups for thirty minutes: grades K-2 will walk from 9 – 9:45; grades 3-5 will walk from 10-10:45.  Lisa St. Denis & Laurel Mulherin from PE Fitness Studio will warm the students up, and DJs from WXIN (RIC Radio) will provide music during the walk.  To show their spirit, classes will wear specific colors (colors listed on the sponsor forms).  Most important, we need volunteers!  We’d like to have at least twenty parents, one per class to help manage the kids as they walk.  If you’re interested, please contact Paige Reynolds at preynold@holycross.edu.