Theme: Environmental Health at the Mather
Food was provided by Lynne Chevoya, Annette Glendon and Sierra Rothberg
Secretary: Mary Grady
1. Sierra introduced Al Vega from Mass Coalition for Safety and Health (MassCOSH); a worker’s rights organization formed after OSHA was passed Immigrant worker center helps workers gain skills and rights Union support Teens Lead at Work Teens train Teens about work skills, sexual harassment, safety and rights Healthy Schools Initiative; started because of teachers concerned about asthma and other health problems in schools Healthy Schools Taskforce focuses on policies; Green Cleaners Policy; Integrated Pest Management Environmental committees are at schools; Curley, Trotter, Holland, Hennigan, JFK Elementary. At the Mather:
- Karyn Stranberg, Randy Shepard and Al Vega and teachers did an environmental walk-through; environmental audit; basement level is of primary concern; dust on light fixtures, environmental ducts with holes or dust, rodent issue in 2011, report can be made available, windows could not be opened in some classrooms, some of these problems have been solved. Public report is on school’s website; more complete report was given to Ms. Cox and she can share with Wellness Council.
- Capital improvements budget was cut by 50% in 2008 so there is a backlog of reports that have gone unfixed.
- Current process is that teachers bring complaints to school secretary who files the report with BPS facilities department. A parent complaint to Ms.Cox which she forwarded to facilities resulted in an immediate fix. This is often the way to expedite the process.
- Every school is required to have a Wellness Council and Wellness Plan; Environmental Health can be a focus in the school plans.
- Al Vega said that the Trotter (Trotter’s Nurse Margaret is a wellness champion) has had great success by working on their environmental plan for 6 years. Trotter School won an award from the American Lung Association and MassCOSH staff have been able to release responsibility to teachers and other school staff.
2. Jenny reviewed Norms for MPC meetings: Be present and engaged; assume best intentions; be open and willing to change your mind; be solutions’ oriented; be mindful that everyone’s experience are different, yet similar in some ways; one person speaks at a time.
3. Committee reports:
- Lynn: Ms. Stranberg is suggesting a raffle of nice toys and backpacks to raise $ for MPC; 50c/raffle ticket? Annette suggested a tag sale where people can bring their donations of clothes and toys; Jenny suggested that the toys be used for prizes Positive Behavior Insentive System (PBIS); Sierra suggested that MPC help organize the toys; Tag Sale is another option for distributing toys, students could bring canned goods or gently used things to exchange for something new.
- Sierra: Winter Carnival is a relaxing event for families because of the work of the Catholic Memorial students and 5th a good amount considering we did not cook or do a potluck. Low effort for a very positive event. Thank you notes have been sent to CM.
- Sherman: School Site Council (SSC) meeting report; Mather will lose .8 FTE. The school does not have as many students with special needs as predicted. The school also needs teachers with ESL certification; MPC might be able to support teachers in taking tests; this could save 2.8 FTE positions (students who are ELLs are currently being taught by teachers who are not certified in this area).
- School is working on K-8 two school model (K1-4 and 5-8 is one possibility); same children in both buildings. Drew Echleson is our network superintendant and is helping SSC. Lilah Frederick is the current pathway. Another question SSC is working on: Can the Mather design a unique advanced work program for our students who might otherwise leave for AWC at another school?
- Marie: Mather375 update: Wednesday, January 22nd Menino at Ashmont Grill sponsored by Staples. There are 20 significant donors coming including Herb Chambers, and CFO of Putnam. Kim Connolly is working with the planning team; Mather Ambassadors will be there along with a small group of teachers, staff and parents; Emily Cox will give welcome and give info about 375th resources. Mayor Menino will give closing remarks. There will be networking done at the tables. We want investers to be partners and networkers with us.
- Staples made a video of Mather students inviting President and Michelle Obama to October 2014 anniversary event; Mayor Walsh will be meeting with Arne Duncan next week and he will bring the video to the meeting. Mayor Walsh is excited about our anniversary plans.
- Mather375 Committee will meet in February.
4. Next month’s meeting on 2/27. Guests are Brookline Literacy Project to announce Intellijam and Kim Connolly to talk about school partnerships. Meeting will be after February vacation.
5. February 14th
6. Alicia said teachers and parents feel that crosswalk behind school is currentlya problem because the crossing guard has been out sick. Robbie Chisolm has been doing the job but it is not a safe situation. grade Ambassadors; MPC made $265, breakfast with Mr. Tom Menino anniversary and why we need to raise
7. Teacher Appreciation Breakfast Sherman and Andy will lead?