Thursday, November 20

Meeting Minutes 11.20.08

Attending: Christy P, Trisha H, Sheila E, Sue H, Sarah Sl, Catherine M, Rachel I-H, Heather C, Angie S, Jenny C, Jessy S, Vanessa M, Tina H-P, Sarah Sh

NEXT MEETING: December 18th, 7-8:30 pm at Wilder.

1. Treasurer’s Report (Tina): paid lots of bills, reconciled Blue Sky Guide stuff. Current balance: $1583.74

2. Preschool Fair (Christy): went very well after the lock-out. ;-) Lots of educators, lots of help setting up, ~70 families. There are information packets left (details on the attending schools) – if you want one, ask your classroom teacher. Elise will transcribe current packet so we can have an electronic version. All thank-you letters have been mailed.

3. Blue Sky Guides (Jenny): 36 sold so far – if you still want to sell the ones you have, do it this month!! (Bring unsold ones to Gingerbread House or next PAC meeting.)

4. Gingerbread (Heather): Preparations are coming along. It will be at Burroughs. Friday 12/12 is prep 3:45-6pm (there will be childcare); Saturday 12/13 is the event. Two shifts: 9-11:30 and 11:30-2. ALL HANDS ARE NEEDED!!! Please, please, please try to come both days if at all possible. We also need people to break and bag the graham crackers, which can be done at home on your own time. Contact Heather for more info.

5. Advocacy (Sheila): Need more people for this committee!! Some neighborhood issues had been coming up in classes; Sue coordinated with councilwoman Betsy Hodges to address these issues and anything else parents want to talk about at Kenny, 12/10/08, 4-5:30 pm. Please come to the talk and we also will need parent help with childcare. Contact Sheila for more info. Discussion of ECFE locations, how they get chosen, etc. Some areas are underserved and there may be misperceptions about availability among parents. Christy suggests bringing it up with LAC and also directly with ECFE administration. This topic, and the more general topic of parent-school connection, will be discussed more in-depth at the next meeting.

6. Teacher Baskets (Christy): Great way to say thank you to the teachers, but meeting timing makes it tough to assemble and deliver. Either we can make/assemble these in conjunction with Gingerbread, or we could move it to January. Group discussion … baskets are moved to February – Valentine’s baskets!

7. Speaker (Trisha): working on Jennifer Fox for a speaker, getting Best Buy funding to assist with costs like last year. Also possibility of getting some kind of Baby Sign Language presentation/talk. Christy also suggested Rita Davern, a local speaker who does seminars on dealing with toddlers and tantrums.

8. Funding requests (Christy): there has been a request from Hale for PAC to fund a bookcase purchase. PAC does not fund regular program purchases, but things like bookcases, the climber at Kenny, etc., are good requests for PAC funding. Trisha will coordinate with Hale on the bookcase request; Elise will create a form to post to the blogsite for future requests, so the information is standardized.

9. LAC (Christy): Trisha is parenting co-chair this year, so pass ideas to her, even if you can’t attend meetings. The more attendees, the better – even if you can’t come every time, drop in when you can. Dinner and childcare are provided, and it’s right before the PAC meetings so it’s convenient!
9a. Budget Task Force – previously, parents had very little input on budgetary issues; the task force was created to address this. Committee of parents, teachers, administrators, and neutral mediator. Will be about 3 evening meetings, food and childcare provided. Will start in February; exact dates will be provided at next meeting. NO finance or budget experience is necessary. This is the most direct way to have a say in ECFE issues.
9b. Buy the Change – a way for ECFE to raise money. A website similar to Craigslist but emphasizing local businesses and charitable organizations; members pay $25 to be able to post ads, and that money goes to various nonprofits. They have requested that we post the link on our website so there’s no conflict for the school district posting it on theirs. (The link ensures that the money goes to ECFE.) Motion made and carried to post the link on our website; Elise will post the link.

9c. Computers in the ECFE classrooms – some requests have been made for computers in the ECFE classes, but this is a contentious issue (should kids that age be exposed to computers?) Sue indicates there is also a need for additional computer resources for parents and teachers and aides, which is an issue that has much more support. PAC members also wondered where funding was coming from for this, and are there places that money could be better spent? Concerns will be communicated back to LAC.

10. Online ECFE class (Sue): 14 people have registered for this coming trimester!! Group will start off with a face-to-face meeting, and then move to exclusively online – a forum for discussion of any and all parenting issues. There will also be a playgroup option for those who are interested. It is FREE, and there’s no limit to how many can sign up at this point. Site has lots of resources and members will be able to have one-on-one consultations with Sue. This is a great option for families on the waiting list – spread the word!

• There are 3 kid slots left in parent-led ECFE class.
• We are developing a PAC booklist – bring your shortlist of great parenting books/resources to the next meeting! (Elise will look into developing bookstore in conjunction with this)
• Next meeting is December 18th, 7-8:30pm at Wilder.

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