Mather Parent Council Minute Notes
Thursday, June 19, 2014
**Thanks to Lynne Chevoya who took notes, Ms. Washington who came as support and Drew Eshelson for coming to answer questions and support our efforts.
Welcome and Introductions
Name, childs grade and summer plans; approximately 18 parents attended
Year in Review: Please see the MPC accomplishments of this school year. Sierra guided through the list as well as the overwhelming effort that so many families have made towards the Mather in a positive way, including, but not exclusively, the newly formed Environmental Committee and all the families who went above and beyond to make the Mather greater!
Sherman facilitated an exercise of breaking into smaller groups to discuss successes and areas to improve for: 1. Our own family, 2. MPC and 3. Mather. After breaking into three small groups, we convened into one large group and shared the thoughts.
1. Parent/Family Member
2. Mather Parent Council
3. Mather School
Drew Echelson, Network Superintendent spoke to group
MPC member noted though having a negative effect in short term, in the long term the increased oversight is in the best interest of the school
Question about “what is best practice?”, framed around opportunities to observe classroom prior to child’s entry; Drew invites this parent or others with individual concerns to discussed details with him directly.
-K-8 pathway will be discussion soon about master plan; district looking to move in direction toward more stand alone K-8 schools. Will Mather be stand alone K-8 school or will alternative pathway be needed?
-“Next generation” schools are same thing as innovation schools- how can schools retain autonomy around influencing their own schools; accepting application letters (not full proposals) in September
Committee and MPC Updates:
May 15, 2014
I Dorchester Day Parade---Stu
· June 1 1-4pm
· Marchers will meet at 12:30 at Lower Mills CVS Parking Lot or join up along the route
· Route goes along Dot Ave and ends at Columbia Rd.
· We are doing this to get the word out that we are celebrating our 375th anniversary
· Need volunteers to walk and ride on the float. Each child must be chaperoned by an adult.
· Banner will be made by Ricardo of Signs that Last (a Mather father)
· Other elements: a six foot Richard Mather cut out; we want to get him on wheels to push him around (Stu is working on this with Marie’s dad)
· the Mather is older than…telephone, George Washington, US, Red Sox, etc.
· International Flags will be purchased to show heritages of the Mather
· Float and Gary’s truck. Trailer will have a huge cake
· We should all wear orange!
· Kids will make signs on canvas and on campaign yard signs during the May 24th work day.
· Families can walk part or all of the route.
· Personal outreach to classroom teachers will make a difference.
· Johanna is going to make fliers and distribute two rounds of them.
· African drummers might join (Hilary Noble and Ms. Washington)
· Vietnamese Lion Dance
· Kids can ride on scooters but not bikes
· Fabrication day on Saturday, May 24 volunteers are needed and Marie will do childcare.
· There will be workers on other days; Stu will send an email to ask for help priming, sanding, painting, making streamers.
II Spring Fling---Sierra
· Saturday, June 7 11-2 (raindate is June 14)
· We are looking for partners to work at the food tables which is very work-intensive
· No raffles
· People will pay entrance fee of $2/person or $10/family. People will also pay for food at the food table.
· Little playground will be bubbles and chalk area for toddlers.
· Stamp checkers
· 8 bouncy houses (1 more than last year)
· Brookline Literacy Project, Family Nurturing Center, e-inc, Boy Scouts, Winsor School, Wellness Committee, Johanna’s graduate students, Catholic Memorial students will all be asked to help; sponsors will also be invited to give a donation to get their name on a bouncy house (Lynn Higgins, Vargas and Vargas, etc.)
· 2 tents, 1 for food and 1 for crafts, face painting,
· music will play from Ms. Stranberg’s office instead of Ms. Washington’s band
· Jenny will look into a band to come
· Mr. Lucas will possibly do a bike rodeo again
· Volunteers will be needed for the day of; 9-12, 11:30-2:30 shifts; people can volunteer by email.
· Richard Mather will be available for self-portraits that can then be sent in to Mather’s facebook page.
· Fliers announcing this event will be posted on Boston Central and elsewhere.
· Also stickers on postcards will be distributed at the Dot Day Parade
1. Wellness Committee /Katie
· Committee will meet with e-inc
· Working on conservation and tracking
· Teachers now have storage bins to organize their classrooms (gift of the Lee family)
· Green cleaners have been purchased and Ms. Stranberg is working with custodians on filling bottles
· Partner groups will build shelves in classrooms this summer
· Teachers are grateful for all of these improvements
2. Wine night/Marie
· Friends of the Mather and Mather Parent Council $15-16,000 of which $10,000 cleared; half has gone to the Mather and will pay for all staff professional development on literacy collaborative; good will built between parents and faculty.
· Jenny will send notes in folders to thank families for supporting with basket donations
3. City Sprouts/Sierra
· Double planters built by vets will be in K-1 and K-2 playgrounds and others will be elsewhere. Soil is needed (9.5 cubic yards) and will cost about $350 at Landscape Express. They deliver. Jenny will ask Quinn if he can get a good rate. Mary Tran will make a donation.
· Officially we are celebrating from September-June. October 20th is the birthday date. We will celebrate all week long with an activity a day. Monday will be a proclamation at the State House to make a Mather Day. Tuesday will be staff appreciation with MPC buying lunch and hire food trucks to roll up. People will solicit food trucks for a good rate. Wednesday children will do a performance or a performer will come do a historical reenactment. Thursday dignitaries and VIP guests will come to school for breakfast/speeches and make visits to classrooms. Friday school partners will do something between Science Fair and Field Day and cake. Saturday will be a dinner/dance birthday party for adults. Sunday a community worship service at First Parish Church. Other events will happen the rest of the year.
· Question: are teachers open to helping students experience what school was like long ago. Ms. O’Toole is interested in this kind of thing, Ms. Kempe and children are working on mosaics. Plymouth Plantation might come. Dorchester Historical Society might help. Stu will talk to the museum director at his museum to make a connection. Parents are working with Ms. O’Toole about creating a book with children. Anna suggested Grub Street.
· Question about the privilege of education and awareness that others do not have this access to human rights. This could be an opportunity for service learning. This will be the 60th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education and 40th anniversary of desegregation of Boston schools.
5. Volunteer Opportunities: Book Fair (5/27-6/3) Student Success Night (5/29), Dot Day (6/1), Ballet Rox 6/2, Field Day (6/16), Spring Fling (6/7). Please respond to emails with your availability.
III Open Forum
Mather Parent Council Minutes Notes
March 20, 2014
Kim Connolly, Director of Partnerships and Development official work days at Mather are Tuesday and Thursday
Barr Foundation funds Kim’s position which involves:
After-school and Communications: Bell Program, America Scores (soccer and poetry, Lemonade Day teaches Entrepreneurial Skills with Babson College program), Brookline Literacy Project; Guitar, Spanish and Boston City Singers are new programs added this year. Website will be the place for school-family communication. Some of the programs for older students and coincide with MCAS testing so end in April. After school program run by Ms. Marshall then becomes overwhelmed with children.
Question: How much say do parents have in deciding on how school funding is used? A walk around the building and outdoors was suggested.
Tag Sale Advertising on Facebook and signs around neighborhood; 14 tables are reserved; Dorchester Reporter Ad last week and this week; neighborhood groups; keep getting the word out; yard signs will go out late next week; Wednesday on 4 per intersection; Columbia Rd, Freeport, Morrissey Blvd; arrows will be assigned later.
Open Forum concern when children come into the building there are collisions happening; adults can speak to children about slowing down. Someone will look into who the hall monitor is and whether they there at breakfast time.
School Site Council Report (Sherman) Mather Pathway is being discussed; K-8 is a possibility in a different building; talks with Central Office and community members; An official letter needs to be submitted; Emily Cox is discussing this with teachers because the plan needs a ¾ vote by teachers. Henderson got approved to be an Innovation School and will have grades K-12.
Environmental Committee (Katie Lee and Lynne C.) Healthy eating and movement, exercise, school building, meeting was with the Wellness Committee, mice have become a major problem so an emergency meeting and pest management company came to put sticky traps out. Weather strips were added to doors, vents that are no longer venting will be sealed, holes are being plugged using emergency funding. Parents need to write a letter with specifics of where the holes are. April 8th is Healthy Schools Day maybe parents can come help teachers clean classrooms; BPS Recycling person has bins with lids to give us. K-1 classes will eat snack in cafeteria and not classrooms. Dumpster is right next to K-1 classrooms. Katie is creating a Google Doc that will replace the pest log that is in the office.
Playworks Fun Run Saturday, May 3rd 1 mile or 5k, $25 per person, Coach Dawn is the Playworks coordinator, people can run for Mather Playworks or for Playworks in general.
Wine Night Fundraiser May 2nd tickets are $25 but if people sign up for Fun Run they get $10 off ticket price.
Intellijam March 22nd with Brookline Literacy Project this Satuday at Brookline High School. Bus will leave from Mather at 2:30. Mather families are free. Notices have not gone out to all classrooms. Ms. Washington’s band will be playing. It’s a great partnership and lots of fun so please try to attend!
MPC Retreat broke up into 4 workgroups: 1. Intellijam, 2. Tag Sale, 3. Wine Night, gift baskets will be auctioned off, each grade will put together a basket with a theme (pedal power/biking/green basket, organizing/spring cleaning, baseball, Red Sox basket) MPC should try to help solicit things or $5-$10 gift; Hilary will play jazz music; take posters and postcards but don’t send them out until after Tag Sale! 4. Dorchester Day Parade Mather kids marching.
Tag Sale March 29th volunteer tag sale sorting Friday, March 28th; volunteers will also be needed on Saturday. Annette is the volunteer coordinator. Teachers and volunteers can shop at 9am.
City Sprouts wants to do a garden cleanup next Thursday but that conflicts with Mather375 so will be postponed.
Mather Parent Council Meeting
February 26, 2014
IMPORTANT DATES (also check out matherelementary.org/school-calendar.html for updated events)
Our next meeting will focus on Mather and Partnerships
Meeting Guest Speakers: Brookline Literacy Partnership, Kim Connolly, our new part time
Director of Partnerships & Development and our new 'School Liaison' from the Family Resource Center through Dorchester Cares, Zahra Ohldin.
February 27th 5:30-7:30
January 16, 2014
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:
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:
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?
We usually meet the 3rd Thursday of each month in the Mather Library (see schedule).