Meeting called to order at 7:03 pm. Meeting was held electronically (via Zoom).
Attendance: 37 attendees, consisting of 6 executive members, Principal Mr. Maclean, Head Teacher Ms. Venos and 29 parents
Absent: William Au (Co-CPF Representative, Executive Committee)
The previous Minutes from the annual general meeting (AGM) held on May 19, 2021 was passed and adopted. Motion was moved and seconded.
The PAC Chair, Kelly, began the meeting with an introduction of the current 2021-2022 Executive Committee Members and each member gave a brief background of themselves and their duties in their respective role:
Chair: Kelly Zecca (returning)
Co-Secretary(ies): Ruth Heyde and Livia Hong (both returning)
Treasurer: Jessica (returning)
Co-CPF Rep: William Au (returning) and Jason House (new; formerly Co-Treasurer in 2020-21 year) (CPF – Canadian Parents for French)
DPAC Rep: Alessandra Pagliardi (new)
(DPAC – District Parent Advisory Committee)
Kelly also introduced the school’s principal, Dave Maclean, and Head Teacher, Rosemary Venos, who were also present to this general meeting.
Nominations and voting in of Executive Committee members:
Subsequent to the AGM meeting in May, Sheeba Faqih has shown interest to join the PAC Executive Committee in the open role of Vice-Chair. She is fairly active in the Sperling school and community and is looking forward to working with the PAC. Sheeba was nominated for the role of Vice-Chair, which was seconded by a parent. A show of more than half the attendees who gave a digital ‘thumbs up’ icon confirmed the majority vote.
At this meeting, Naila Heintz was nominated for the co-position of DPAC Rep with Alessandra. Her nomination was seconded by a parent and a show of more than half the attendees who gave a digital ‘raise hands’ icon confirmed the majority vote.
Welcome new members to the Executive Committee!
There are also other PAC committees and many ways to help at the school, such as the Sperling Sprint (fundraiser), Hot Lunch Program, Food and Veggie Program, and more. Please contact Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
PAC and the School. The Chair iterated that the school and PAC are great at supporting each other. If there is anything someone is unsure of regarding the school or community, please feel free to contact any member of the PAC and we will get back to you. Reciprocally, If the school (admin) is unsure of anything, they will also reach out to the PAC to discuss.
Parking. This has been a very heavy topic throughout the years. The Chair reminds everyone to be respectful of each other and respectful of the teacher’s parking (staff lots and also along the streets). Even coming to the school a little earlier or parking a little further up is helpful. If anyone has any solutions or recommendations with respect to the parking situation, please direct them to the Chair (email@example.com). The principal also chimed in that if there are a group of parents who would like to create or join in a committee to create an effective solution to better resolve the parking situation, he is more than happy to be involved and give time to that conversation.
Over the years, there has been back and forth conversations regarding a ‘Walking Sidewalk’ which is essentially having parents pull over briefly (not park) and drop off their child(ren) at a designated spot along the sidewalk where there are parent volunteers who will guide them onto the school grounds to line up outside their classroom. It has been a great solution in the past; however, it requires a lot of parent volunteer and people-power. If anyone is willing to put a committee together, please do!
Hot Lunch. The Hot Lunch is a PAC organized fundraiser program that organizes hot lunch orders from various outside vendors on certain days throughout the school year. The program did not run last year due to the pandemic. The school is still waiting on word from the District as to whether a hot lunch program is feasible for this school year. Stay tuned. The principal mentioned that if the committee is able to put forth a proposal on the logistics, that would be helpful to forward to the District. PAC must keep in mind that students can no longer assist (such as lunch monitors); volunteers must remain outside classroom doors; Covid protocols, including vaccination statuses, must be considered.
Lost and Found. All Lost and Found items will be posted on the school’s Instagram account. The handle is @ecolesperlinglost. Pictures of lost items will usually be posted around the end of each month and if there is an item that you think is your child’s, then your child can ask their teacher to go to the Lost and Found rack (in the school hallway) to retrieve it.
CPF (Canadian Parents for French). Meeting going on as we speak (same time as the PAC meeting). William currently attending and will have updates at the next meeting.
DPAC (District PAC). First meeting is scheduled for next week. She will meet with other schools and get information and Alessandra can pass along information from any of us.
Treasurer’s Report. The PAC has 2 budget accounts:
Fundraising account: majority account based on incoming revenue from fundraising events and programs
Gaming account: annual grant received from provincial funding – before June 30th of every year; PAC has to submit financial statements and the government provides funding based on every student in the school (approx.. $20/student); the fees don’t come in until October and November – so we don’t have a firm number of the incoming funds until it is received in our account; the account is typically spent only for field trips and classroom learning or extra curricular related things.
The budget and financial statements were shared (onscreen) at the meeting and Jessica provided a brief summary of the proposed Budget and went through each line item in the financial statements for both accounts.
Ian addressed an increase in website fees. The cost of the domain (Word Press site) went from $400 to $470. After a brief discussion, a proposal was made to amend the budget for increased cost to the web fees.
A motion was made to pass the Budget as presented with such amendment regarding the web fees. The motion was seconded by a parent. Motion passed.
Protocols. Things are slightly different this year. The bar has come down (under the technical handbook), ie. no cohorts, no learning groups, no staggered schedules, and capacity changes. To override any of this has to go through making decisions through a “trauma informed lens”. Most of the decisions for Sperling are made with erring on the side of caution. Please contact Dave (by e-mail) with any concerns and he will try his best to respond. The school is still trying to keep non-essential staff as limited as possible. If you wish, please make an appointment with the school and follow sign in/sign out and masking protocols.
Staff updates. A number of new and returning teachers: Julia Tsirogiannis joining as a literacy support teacher (LSS) for ½ day; Mr. Brletic returning as a full-time LSS role (primary grades for both French and English); Mme Potyka and Cirka returning from mat leave; Ms Schulze returning from online teaching last year; teaching gr 3/4 split; 13 staff currently on EA team; a significant increase; currently hiring 5 more EA’s, some of which are on a temporary contract and hoping to hire those back. We won’t be able to keep all of them but trying to best maintain as much continuity as possible; Mme Lo has shifted to Kindergarten position (filling in for Mme Rachel’s mat leave); Ingrid Stit is the music/band teacher while Mr. Martin is on educational leave.
On the community front, the principal and head teacher re-iterated that the school can’t function without parent’s help. There are so many ways to enhance the school and community when you have a supportive PAC. Thank you all for being a part of the PAC. Rosemary’s (virtual) door is always open.
Terry Fox Run and Volunteer opportunity. The Terry Fox Run is going ahead this year on Tuesday, September 28th in the afternoon 1:45 – 2:45 pm. A virtual assembly will be held (unfortunately parents unable to view). All students will be running around the neighborhood, and Rosemary will send an e-mail out asking for volunteer assistance to stand on a street corner to help kids stay on/off the sidewalk and support and encouraging students along the way.
Outside canopy tents. Since the start of last year (September 2020), Liv and Jason have been helping to set up and tear down the 2 large white canopy tents outside between the portables and Mme Day/Lupinacci’s classroom. The canopies are meant to come out on rainy days (except windy days) to provide cover to the students in portables as they line up to use the washroom to wash their hands. It would be great to get a few more helping hands that are available to set up (around 8:50 just after first bell) and tear down (around 2:50 just before final bell). Please reach out to Liv (firstname.lastname@example.org) and she will create a whatsapp group to coordinate.
School team sports. Volleyball will be happening this season and will be all in-house. Cross country/running club has been postponed until the spring, as a precaution.
Gym update. Added ventilation was put into the gym, which finally opened back up as of today.
Will grade 7’s be having trips this year? For Timberline camping – unfortunately not, as the protocols provided did not meet the school’s comfort level. Possibly next year.
Will there be notice of a grade 7 planning committee or is that to be done independently? It would be an independent sub-committee of the PAC and would propose things to Dave/Rosemary and navigate through them. If a grade 7 parent is interested in chairing a committee, the Sperling admin can assist to send a notice out to all grade 7 students/parents to help canvass out.
Any other field trips planned or a go this year? There are some events held in June which the school has engaged in booking but with the condition that we are able to book and still cancel/get refund based on how things roll out.
Any spots open in the French Immersion program? The intake only occurs during Kindergarten and grade 1. All spots have been taken. Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that there will be a spot available in either of these grades.
What are the extra curriculars at school? Volleyball, basketball, cross-country, track. There is also safety patrol. Announcements are sent out to students by the school and depends on the students’ interest. It is also dependent on the teacher’s participation and volunteer of their personal time. ‘There are also bonus clubs, such as sewing club and ski club (although this may be on hold this year, which is catered by teacher passion and commitment.
Will the Fun Fair happen this year? Unfortunately, no but the hope is for next year. We will re-assess at the end of the year and hopefully we can be ready to start it up asap in September for the next school year.
Is Band happening this year? Yes it’s on! Band is only for grade 7’s and is part of their daily school schedule. They will have 2 blocks (in the gym) and Band Theory (in portable classroom ).
There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:19 pm. The next PAC General meeting is scheduled for November 17th.
Minutes prepared by Co-Secretary (Livia)