Helman PTA Minutes Dec 17, 2013

Called to Order at 6:36 PM
In attendance: Troy Forrest, Gus Janeway, Phillip Krayna, Trish Dorr, Brenda Cornett,
Aleah Heil, Kelly Martin, Mia Driscoll, Becky Sniffen, Tracy Harding (Rogue Valley Farm
2 School), Meredith Page, Jill Williams, John Williams, Dana Crawford, Michelle Ross
John Williams was the guest note-taker.
November Minutes Changes: Gus did not 2nd the motion to approve the previous
month’s minutes. It should be Glenna. Phillip moved to approve as amended, Glenna
seconded it. The motion carried.
Aleah reported that we have 73 members right now.
Teacher Reports
• Trish wanted to remind everyone to plan the 5th grade graduation.
• We have 3 retirements: Josie, Daniel, and Sherry. Consensus was that we would
do a group retirement, not 3 individual celebrations.
• Mia moved that the PTA approve $200 for the 5th grade graduation and $200 for
a retirement party. Trish seconded it. The motion carried.
• Mia noted that the Ashland Garden Club mailed in a check for $400 for pond
• Gus reminded the teachers that the PTA has $2,000 in grant money available by
a Jan. 30 application deadline.
Special Report from Tracy Harding, Rogue Valley Farm to School (RVF2S)
• RVF2S will be providing a “tasting table” in Helman’s Cafeteria this Thu. The idea
is to provide a place for kids to experiment with different, locally grown food, then
vote on what they liked best. The did this at Bellview today. It will be open to all
kids, not just hot lunch kids.
• Food Service in Grants Pass is so good they have over 90% participation, and
buy local food weekly. Ashland, by contrast, only has about 30% participation
with food service. Tracy believes they do so well in Grants Pass because the food service administrators really believe in locally grown food and have their
roots in local farms.
• We’re going to pilot stainless steel, reusable cutlery in the cafeteria at Helman
• RVF2S will do another “Harvest Lunch” in the Spring. Tracy believes their
November Harvest Lunch had great participation, especially since one whole
grade was absent.
• There was a general discussion about the low participation in Helman’s cafeteria,
the general dissatisfaction with the quality of food in the cafeteria, and the need
to perhaps do surveys of parents and kids to see what they want. Such info could
be forwarded to the district superintendent and School Board.
• Mia suggested re-instituting “tours” of the cafeteria for each grade at the start of
school, where every kid in that class eats a hot lunch to sample it. Helman used
to do this.
• Gus suggested that the PTA should make an increased effort to find ways to
improve cafeteria food and participation, perhaps with a PTA committee.
• Tracy noted that Ashland has a high number of free and reduced lunch kids who
do NOT get a hot lunch.
• John motioned to have the PTA create a “Food for Thought” committee to explore
ways to improve the cafeteria, Dana seconded it, and the motion carried. Gus will
work on calling the committee together and recruiting original members, who can
then decide what to call the committee and how it will be organized.
Reusable classroom tableware pilot
• Trish reported that they worked great in a nicely organized storage container.
She will report to the staff. Gus will work on ways to fund the project, hopefully
before Valentine’s Day, which is the next time the classrooms have school-wide
Utensil Potential
• Glenna did a survey with student council kids. She’ll coordinate parents to stand
in the cafeteria and help train kids with plastic utensils first, then transition into
• Gus suggested doing an art project with all the leftover materials, or perhaps a
video or press coverage of the project.Cool Streams
• The grant she and Gus wrote for 6 “HOBO” water temperature samplers was
successful. The software is called “Boxcar”. PTA will be providing $400 of the
$1500 price tag, and the rest was the private grant from Diack. The project
should serve as a long-term model of real science for the school. They also
bought some dip nets to look at invertebrates.
Cafeteria Boards
• Phillip developed a flyer to put in Friday folders that sold over $200 in Tshirts.
• This project is designed to accomplish 2 things: provide acoustic dampening and
a place for artwork to be hung.
• A palette of 50 acoustic panels costs about $1450, or tinted to a particular color
for $2650, from a company called Audimute. They’re made out of recycled
• To provide a surface for hanging art, Phillip suggested a pine solution/thumb tack
as well as a metal/magnet solution, both of which are just a couple hundred
dollars in cost. Gus asked Phillip to price out a cork solution as well.
• $2000 is committed to the project, but Gus feels we need approx. $3000 total
(including artwork) to fully fund the project.
Mayfaire Committee
• Becky reported that Dana is leading the push for auction/raffle items. Ariana is
composing letters. Brenda and Phillip will help with the graphics.
• Becky needs one or more people to help with donated toy “prizes”.
• Planning for this event is far ahead of last year, when it was first planned.
• In January, Becky will send out a note to class reps to organize each classroom.
• She might even look into rain insurance, as her school did when she was in a
Website• John will reach out to Sean Smith about taking over web design responsibilities.
Gus would like to see Minutes, Helman Heralds, a Donation page, and a pictures
of promotional items like Tshirts on the site.
Snowflake Project
• All taken care of.
Holiday Music Concert
• Hopefully tshirts and mugs will be available for sale for $6.
The meeting adjourned at 8:14 PM