MINUTES – November 8th

Parent Council meeting

Nov. 8/18


  1. Presentation: early writing; getting children off to a great start (Rebecca Toombs, Alison Brown, and Lise Hawkins)
  2. Hoot ‘n’ Howl and Raffle summary (Danielle and Tanya)
  3. Silent auction update (Ania)
  4. Hot lunch program (Cara)
  5. Lost and Found (Danielle and Tanya)
  6. Coffee fundraising idea (Danielle and Tanya)
  1. Presentation: early writing; getting children off to a great start (Rebecca Toombs, Alison Brown, and Lise Hawkins)

Learning to write is a complex process (includes mechanics such as holding the pencil, moving left to right, spacing of letters) and kids vary greatly in their development. Teachers focus on one aspect at a time, with the primary goal of encouraging confidence, interest and participation. Teachers encourage autonomy such as kids choosing the subject of a writing assignment and encouraging writing for self-expression. As skills and confidence develop, kids are encouraged to polish pieces that are intended for sharing (e.g., posting on a wall or “publishing” as a book).

Tips to encourage writing at home: -find a reason to write, e.g., a diary, birthday cards, invitations –have kids document a special day; include photos and pictures to create a one-day album –encourage kids to write their own stories about a favourite character, or create their own comic book

Parents are encouraged to keep writing positive and fun; making mistakes is OK and is part of the learning process; acknowledge that it takes courage to try.

Parent question re using spellcheck: if using spellcheck inhibits a child’s interest/willingness to write, then it’s not a helpful tool.

  1. Hoot ‘n’ Howl and Raffle summary (Danielle and Tanya)

The event was a success! Feedback included: -LiveGreen presenters were not particularly engaging with passersby and the water bottle filling station was not available due to seasonality –the DJ in the gym was loud but effective –the foyer was crowded as in other years –process of recruiting teen volunteers to be re-examined.

The Raffle raised $15,954 after expenses

Hoot ‘n’ Howl raised $4,642 after expenses

Other information, e.g., year-over-year comparisons, available upon request.

  1. Silent auction update (Ania)

The Silent Auction will be on Friday, November 23. There were fewer canvassers this year. Donations are starting to come in, and there are big-ticket items such as Raptors tickets, hotel stays. The event will include a live DJ (DJ Cheng), 2 Registered Massage Therapists. Donations are still needed! – parents are challenged to come up with donations of goods and services, including wine for the wine raffle.

Parents are also encouraged to volunteer for the day of the auction; a variety of roles are available. Volunteers will soon be needed to post street signs around the neighbourhood.

Needed: a long coat rack for the event – please lend!

  1. Hot lunch program (Cara)

An informal group of parents started examining bringing in a hot lunch program that would include supervisors and a catered lunch. It could also include subsidizing to ensure all kids who need a lunch can receive one. Specific criteria must be met (e.g., provisions for food allergies) and the parents provided the following short list culled from the list of TDSB-approved vendors: RealFoodforRealKids (not currently accepting new schools), Rose Reisman’s Kids Lunch, Lunch Lady. Parent survey to come. If you have any questions you’d like included on the survey, please email them to the Parent Council.

  1. Lost and Found (Danielle and Tanya)

Issues with the current system (items not being picked up and accumulating over a season, tables impeding traffic flow and creating a safety issue). Currently, parent volunteers are going through the items, removing labeled items, and laying the rest out for display/pick-up.

Moving forward, parent volunteers will lay out items on the last Friday each month; labeled items will be returned to their owners, and items that are not picked up will be donated monthly.

  1. Coffee fundraising idea (Danielle and Tanya)

Sparkplug coffee approached the school about starting a fundraising campaign; Sparkplug coffee would be sold on-line and delivered to the school for pick-up, with 25% of the proceeds going to Pape. Insufficient interest at this time to proceed.

News from Panther parents!