Lawrence Park School Council Meeting
Minutes May 16, 2016
Attendance: G. Wyett, W. Sheremata, J. Jaffary, A. Richter, D. Carson, J. Bai, I. Kovalev, N. Kotush, E. lancefield, M. Schummer, S. Paetkau, J. Rother
Welcome by Co-Chairs (S. Paetkau and M. Schummer)
Review and Approval of Agenda: G. Wyett, Irena
Approval of April Minutes: G. Wyett, Irena
Student Update: (Ezra, Josh, Maya)
Summatives have started, Student Council Elections were successful and Ezra will be activity coordinator next year. May 30 is Athletic Banquet. June 1st-9th Moratorium (classes where teachers review). Exam review day is June 27th from 9am to 11am.
June 3rd is yearbook distribution, lots of work went into this. June 7th grad breakfast with music and t-shirts distributed. A parent inquired if anyone ever concerned having a lunch instead. Lillian explained that lunch would interfere with the other students. Last year they had 175 out of 300 students attend. It was also suggested to hold it after school possibly, but there would be no cafeteria staff available to prepare or serve food. Another parent suggested having it during the end of year school council election assembly. Lillian said she would bring the ideas to the student council and advisors.
Looking into next year – LPCI prep will be happening for new grad 9 students before the start of school. Activity fee will stay at $70 per student. Over 100 students applied for the Buddy program. Admin would like to hold a night for new grad 9 parents in September, more information will follow and a date has not been set yet. A parent suggested that a representative from the School Council speak at any events where parents attend, to raise involvement.
Camp Olympia –
Union negotiations are ongoing and could impact the annual grade 9 trip if they can not get 15 teachers to go for 3 days away with the students. The school is looking into other options, such as a day camp. A parent inquired if parents could serve as the chaperones in the place of teachers, if there were not enough due to Work to Rule. Lillian will be looking into this option and a few parents let Lillian know they would be able to help if necessary by show of hands which was documented.
Breakfast grab and go –
An idea by the Admin and Hospitality department is being discussed, to offer a free breakfast in the morning to students. Some students arrive early to school for practices or travel from far to school and miss breakfast. Lillian has submitted the application to the board for this grant program, which would help with procurement of supplies and some money. Other money would also have to be raised, Hospitality students would prepare food integrated with the Hospitality special skills major. It is estimated by the hospitality teacher that 100 students would take advantage of this breakfast. $1.30 would be provided through the grant, which would cover 30% of the cost. The school council would not be asked to raise funds, only to help provide volunteers. Lillian will give us further info if the grant is approved.
Special Skills Major – Hospitality/Tourism
The Hospitality department special skills major has been approved for the school. The school will probably get $10,000 as a startup, which does not go far. The school is investigating all the options for using this money towards building or modifying the classroom kitchen spaces. Right now, they only have class space for 8 sections, but they have 10 sections worth of students signing up for the classes. A parent asked if Lillian could provide an overview of all the certificate programs offered through the TDSB at a future meeting.
School Climate Survey –
Lillian presented the School Climate Survey taken in 2014/2015, some noted highlights:
The school needs to work on cleanliness and updating bathrooms
There is not enough technology at the school nor learning materials
The school is considered safe and bullying is not an issue
-According to the survey, students would like to see: more teamwork, variety in teaching, school trips that support learning, discussion of ways to improve marks, extra help when needed, help developing critical thinking skills.
-A parent inquired why there were not citizenship awards within the school, as this would be a great way to honor students that are active and helpful. Lillian responded that in the past, teachers were asked to nominate students and there was never much response. She will look into this again.
-A parent requested more time for discussion at the meetings and less scheduled speakers.
-A parent who has a career as an architect commented on the need to update and improve the school spaces to make it more engaging and inspiring. There may be ways to involve the students in decorating/revamping the school that would not interfere with union rules. This will be followed up on!
-The buddy program did not function well this year, due to contract negotiations. A parent asked what was being done in preparation for next year. Lillian is hopeful the program will thrive next year and will look into having buddies at lunch if there is not a late start again next year. This still depends on teacher involvement.
-A parent requested the statistic on how many of the incoming grade 9 students (290) were in the French immersion stream versus English stream. Lillian said she would include this information in the EYE.
-69 teachers this year will go to 64 next year based on number of students.
-Music will have 1 teacher and 6 sections next year. (Mr. Brown) based on 6 sections of students signing up.
-A very confrontational discussion ensued….Two parents in attendance were very upset, in their opinion that music and other beneficial electives were getting squeezed out in favour of electives they see as easy or “mickey mouse courses” and the school is going away from being an academic school.
-Lillian explained that offered elective classes were dictated by the students and parents have to sign off on their children’s course choices.
Due to the parent discussion going so long, the co-chairs did a super quick update.
-They have met with 8 ACLs, gathering information on needs and how we could support them. A proposal was made to give the science department $1500 to $2000 for labquest equipment. (Nancy, Jackie)
-They would like to have a teacher appreciation lunch that would cost approximately $600 (motion was put forward: approved by Eleanor and Irena and was voted on with all in favor.)
-Motion was put forward to pay Michelle Kelly and JACS for speaking (Dorothy, Eleanor)
-Lillian let the group know that some students at LPCI need financial support and told the story of one girl in particular in grade 9 this year who is in need. We will ask for donations towards a Student Support Fund.
-Proposal put forward to go back to the format of having 8 business meeting next year with 3 of them having speakers. Meetings would start at 7pm.
-They will apply for the parent reaching out grant in accordance with the TDSB guidelines. Parents in attendance supported a math strategy speaker, social media speaker, resilience speaker. The social media speaker would be great for the students during an assembly, Lillian will discuss if we can have him in the school and we will talk at the beginning of the year.
-We moved to have a September meeting if it can fit in the schedule and the Principal can attend.
-A parent suggested rather than having a formal meeting, we can have a more casual welcome to grade 9 parents at a home or coffee shop. Maybe even have an informal discussion at the school during daytime hours.
-The 8 ACLs the co-chairs have met with so far are very interested in having quality speakers in the classrooms. The drama/art department would like indigenous artists brought into the art department, help with photocopying, better lighting in the auditorium. The French department would like speakers, Science needs equipment. Mr. Lau is working on updating the school website. The gymnasium needs help in converting a space into an exercise room. Every department has needs and we need more funds. We also have received feedback from teachers that students need to take more responsibility for themselves and not rely on parents. A staff member is willing to attend a school council meeting to speak with parents about responsibility of students.
-A graduation banquet meeting will be at Michele’s house on May 24th on 2pm, anyone interested in helping is welcome to attend.
-Next year we have a lot of executive positions available. We would like to have a fundraising committee, so please email us if you are interested.