September 2016 General Meeting Minutes

Helman Elementary PTA

September 2016 General Meeting Minutes

Date, Time, Location: Thursday September 8, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.

Meeting called to order by Joe Shannon at 6:00 p.m.

Attendance: Joe Shannon, Jessica Bendaw, Avril Betoushana, Michelle Cuddeback, Mia Driscoll, Ellen Werner, Amy Merwin, Shane Hunter, Becky Sniffen, Vivian Diaz-Dygert and John Williams.

There were 10 in attendance and a quorum is reached. There were 4 guests from the AHS Robotics Team: Ember St. John, Kathleen Wilson, Jineva Hargrave-Redford and Eliana Kenner. Everyone made introductions.

Minutes: Meeting minutes from 8/10/16 executive meeting were read and approved with one change. Change month of Yahoo Coffee to August instead of September.

Old Business:

Yahoo/Boohoo Coffee- given by Joe Shannon and Avril Betoushana

  • Good turn out, great feed back from parents, very helpful to new kindergarten parents
  • Clip boards for PTA event volunteer sign ups worked well to capture names and contact info from many interested parents
  • Stayed with in our budget of $100
  • Mia asks if the “Boohoo” coffee flyer can be edited for next year to have a crying parent instead of a crying child. Joe will amend the flyer for next year.
  • A check list of needed supplies would be helpful during set up to ensure we have everything.

Committee Reports:

Treasurer’s Report- given by Shane Hunter

  • Mia moves to approve the temporary budget for 2016-17 school year with new employee name changes in the Classroom Supplies List section. Michelle seconds the motion and all are in favor.
  • Under Classroom Supplies there are some teacher name changes. Amy Merwin is added as the new music teacher, and there will be new teachers under Reading and Math, when teachers are hired.

School Board Update- given by John Williams

  • Great district opening this year.
  • We have an interim superintendent, Susanne Cusack.
  • The District has hired a search firm to assist in finding the new superintendent.
  • New principal at John Muir.
  • District has a new committee working under the school board this year, the Facilities Committee, helping to evaluate all the district’s facilities to make recommendations for improvements with the bond money that is coming. Community participation on this subject is strongly desired.
  • A Daily tiding article this week highlighted the great test scores in the school district.
  • The high school turf field is completed and it’s already being well used. Now soccer teams can play on the field as well as football.
  • We have a new Maintenance Facilities Director. 

New Business: given by guest speakers: Ember St. John, Kathleen Wilson, Jineva Hargrave-Redford and Eliana Kenner

AHS Robotics Club Presentation- First Lego League (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology- FIRST)

  • First Lego League is a robotics competition that takes place in Early December in Medford or Grants Pass, competing against other local teams
  • Children ages 9-15 years, 4-5 graders at Helman
  • Register online by September 30th or ASAP
  • Registration Fee: $900 per team for the initial starting year ($500 for KIT), $400 per team thereafter
  • When a team registers, they receive a KIT of all the necessary parts and materials for building a robot and 1 “Challenge”. There is an addition project to be completed and presented, once to a classroom, etc. and again at the competition. Teams are judged and awarded by how well their robot, their Challenge Project Presentation and how well the team upholds the Core Values.
  • This year’s theme is: ANIMAL ALLIES– Identify a problem between human and animal interactions, come up with a solution and make a presentation
  • Teams of 2-10 kids MAX, 2 coaches and any additional mentors (teachers, family members, AHS students)
  • Teams could meet 1 time per week, possibly on Wednesdays directly after early release, at Helman Elementary.
  • Teams must complete their robot between the time of registration and receipt of kit, until the day of completion to complete their robot. They may make changes and enhancements after the completion.
  • FLL program is similar to the robotics program at AHS. This program is good for hands on learning, programming, problem solving and is a good for those who want to do more of this in the future.
  • Michelle has spoken to interested parents Brigit Bloch and Christy Cox to be coaches.
  • Keeping an “Engineering notebook” of how the robot comes together is not required but would help scores during judging.
  • Junior First Lego League is for students K-3, costs $50, 2-6 kids but does not have a competition due to not enough local teams.

In our discussion of adopting this program, we looked at:

  • How to fund the program: 1. Full funding by PTA 2. Fee to participating students 3. Private donor willing to support 4. Team Fundraisers
  • Who do we allow to participate? 4th and 5th graders, just 5th graders, teacher selected students
  • For this first year, do we start small, with just one team, to see how everything works?

Mia moves to assign Pilot Project 1 for $500 as money towards Registration for 1 team in the First Lego League robotics competition. Shane seconds the motion and all are in favor. Pilot Project 1 will be renamed “First Lego League”.

Helman Hoedown and Cake Walk- given by Becky Sniffen

  • Takes place Thursday, September 22nd 5-7 p.m.
  • Avril spoke to Paige, the owner of Back Porch BBQ about possible food donations.
  • We need a grill. In the past we’ve used one from the Elks Lodge. The downside of this grill is that it runs on charcoal would need refueling, which is time consuming. When Brother’s sponsored the event, they brought a propane grill. Could a few close- in Helman Families bring their home propane BBQ grills for the event? Becky has a call in to All In 1 Rental and is awaiting a response.
  • Joe will get Becky a list of contacts for interested Hoedown volunteers. Becky will be send out an email solicited volunteers via a school wide email via Malinda
  • Becky is working with Michelle Ross who is donating the produce from their organic farm. Michelle will also approach Shop N Kart for other food and drink donations.
  • Becky gave necessary information to the kitchen manager of Lark’s, Scott Brandstetter and Helman parent in order for him to approach the Newman Group, owner of Ashland Springs Hotel, Lark’s and others, for donations to this event, ranging from grant money to cold salad donations. She will hear from Scott next week.
  • In the future for this event, we could consider the possibility of using food trucks.
  • Though this is a free event, we will put a donation box by the food line.
  • Teachers will volunteer for food prep and service.
  • Becky would love a volunteer to take over running this event next year.

Walk-A-Thon- given by Joe Shannon

  • Takes place Thursday October 6th, each class goes during PE times
  • Gus Janeway is running this again.
  • Joe will contact Gus and Kayde for details.

Bike and Walk to School-

  • Takes place every Wednesday morning of October, before the bell.
  • Kim Heeter is the volunteer coordinator.

OBOB- given by Joe Shannon

  • Jenny Hall is the volunteer coordinator.
  • An informational flyer is going to students on Friday in home folders. Completions takes place in February
  • Books will cost $725 and will be ordered as soon as there is approval.
  • This year, in school practice will take place with all participants together in the Library as well as any out of school practices that individual teams choose to have.

Ashland Pond Days-

  • Takes place November 15, 16 and 17th

Fall Book Swap-

  • Kim Heeter and Courtney Burkholder are the volunteer coordinators of this event. The date is undetermined at this point.

Henry the Dragon Costume- given by Avril Betoushana

  • Farah Southam, an OSF Costume shop employee, came and looked at our old costume and made a bid for creating a new costume.
  • $1800 and will be completed by December, $800-$1000 deposit to cover fabric cost.
  • It would be washable, cool and lightweight to wear, foldable to fit into a bucket

Mia moves for PTA to pay up to $1800 to Farah Southam to create a custom Henry the Dragon costume. Amy seconds the motion and all are in favor.

Open Items:

How to spend excess funds-

  • Joe is asking for teacher staff input in ideas.
  • Jessica has brought the suggestion of more art offered in the school and will be preparing a proposal of detailed information for a specific community mosaic mirror art project that she hopes will find funding for this spring.

Storage for Mayfaire toy donations- given by Becky Sniffen

  • We are already full in the PTA closet and need to look at storage solutions sooner than later.
  • Joe will begin to look into PODS and other storage ideas.

Next Meeting on October 13th 2016

Meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m. by Joe Shannon

Minutes compiled by Jessica Bendaw, Recording Secretary