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Parent Teacher Club 4/11/24 Meeting Minutes

PTC Meeting 4/11/24
President: Amanda Parkison
Vice President: Anna Lansky
Secretary: Kendal Briggs
Treasurer: Coral Doolen
Volunteer Coordinator: Jennipher Oajaca
Teacher Liaison: Jeanenne Shaffner
Principal: Geoff Wetherell

Meeting began: 6:05am

Introductions

Principal Report:
Tomorrow (4/12) is Family Title Reading/Math (we receive title funds that require us to hold this event) and OMSI Night. In the past we had OSU come with science experiments and this year OMSI is bringing their road show. They will have 12 tables set up in the gym. Staff will have reading and math activities set up in the Nest room. There will be book giveaways, library activities, and pizza provided. We love to feed people. It’s 5-7pm tomorrow night 4/12. Staff support is strong and volunteers are welcome. It’s a community event so we want many eyes on the event to keep it as safe as possible. School events close at 6pm so that staff can check out the OMSI event.

State tests are here, not next week but the week after. They will have a literacy and math focus. 5th graders will have science as well. Again, we teach to standards not tests, which actually helps students do well on the tests. We remind kids that you don’t pass or fail, it’s a measure of how you’re doing according to state standards. Kids get anxious about the tests sometimes.

5th graders will be visiting Parish on the 16th. There has been a lot of buzz about that. It’s almost here. It’s starting to feel real. There’s a lot of nervous excitement. Special Education and self-contained programs are included. Parent asked about Charter school tours: Englewood does not tour those schools, as they often host their own events for students.

Field Trips are starting. 2nd grade will be going to the Willamette Heritage Center Mill on April 12th. They are very excited. Band concerts are at North next Tuesday. 

Staff appreciation week is coming up. We lump all staff together. It helps to have everyone celebrating together. 

Grandparents/VIP Day is coming up. We’d love volunteers and our families who are coming already can help just by keeping an eye out and giving directions, etc. Kids can show-off their classrooms and school, we’ll have cookies, and book fair will be open. Kids are not used to having so many people in the building so extra eyes and helpers would be fantastic. Just show up, no background check needed from family members and we’ll be able to use you if you’d like to volunteer. Grandparents love the event and it helps Englewood and the PTC as well.

Serious discussion about student behavior: I talked to all of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classrooms because we’ve had kids using the N word. We explained that you can’t say that word and why It’s a crime and it’s hate speech. It is very serious. We want to work with families and students to educate and make sure that this stops. I explained to the students that if this behavior continues, we will have a police officer come to the school to talk to the kids. I want to say, that it is not a lot of students calling other students this word directly. It’s more that they are testing it out and think it sounds cool. We encourage families to talk about that word at home. We did discuss the historical context. Everyone needs to feel comfortable coming to school. This word was popping up way too often and we needed to address it. Most kids don’t understand what they are saying. We explained that it is not a joke. We got very serious in our
discussion about it. Please ask your kids about it. Kids raised their hand if they had heard it before. They may have heard it from older kids. Don’t give yourself permission to say nasty things. You will get in trouble. Jennipher of the PTC explained that (as the only person of color in the room) she had a discussion with her son and asked him if he’d been called names. She explained that asking kids questions and talking about it really does help. Principal went on further: We may hear things in music, social media, home, etc. and that’s where it gets delicate. Lots of things we hear at home don’t belong in school. Students must learn and know what will not be tolerated at school. Other parents at the meeting shared that their son had been called the N word twice that day. Others shared that they had seen the N word spray painted in their neighborhood. It really is helpful to have these conversations in school and also at home. Kids can learn pretty quickly and they are open to things. Students want to treat others well.

The District published announcements about budget cuts. It’s hard to remove the personalization of it. There isn’t really a way to make people feel ok. Salem Keizer will have a lot of movement this year. We’ll lose people and see different faces in different places. We’ll communicate as best we can with our staff. Englewood has some of the most long-standing staff that are less likely to be moved. We don’t want to speculate too much. We shouldn’t see a lot of transfers but we will lose staff, everyone will. It’s an emotional, tough time. If you know any educators, it’s really a tough time for the district and it’s a struggle to make these cuts. Thank you.

3rd Grade Teacher Talk:
Mrs. Shamel and Mrs. Bard

We want to thank the PTC. We had a field trip to the planetarium to go along with our studies. It was very fun. We want to thank you for the Scholastic News Subscription. We really value that resource. It helps in Social Studies, Science, Current events, etc. We really appreciate it. We appreciate our PTC bucks. They helped to buy headphones and earbuds. The earbuds really don’t hold up well. They helped us get through the year. We’re excited about Grandparents Day and the Book Fair. Any time you can get a kid excited about reading that’s great!

We’ve been focusing on Folk Tales in Language Arts. Including fairy tales, legends, really high interest stories that include different cultures and provide different perspectives. Learning what the central message is for each story and if there is a lesson or moral.

In math we’ve focused on Geometry, 2D shapes, how to sort shapes by attributes and we’ll be doing fractions soon. We’ve been doing a lot of opinion and informational writing. We’ll ask a question like, ‘what is your favorite season?’ And you have to make your statement and use transition words and then wrap it up with a conclusion. We’ve had a weather unit and we have fun things planned for spring. We are preparing for state testing. 3rd grade is the 1st year we do our state testing. We get kids ready to spend a lot of time on it. We have been preparing them all year. We review key concepts and teach how to navigate the tests since there are different formats throughout the test. There are items where you have to drag and drop and highlight words. There is a language arts multiple choice test, ELA performance test and an opinion essay or informational essay using sources provided. There is a math multiple choice and math performance test. Another portion includes problem solving strategies. It takes 2-3 weeks to move through the tests. We break it up each day so that they don’t get overtaxed. We’ll be glad when it’s done for sure. Thank you for all the support the PTC provides. 

We will not be having another field trip this year. Thank you!

Treasurer Report:

Budget: $18,700. Sitting pretty. We did very well with fundraisers this year. Last year’s treasurer Kate, gave an explanation about how funds are allocated. Budget carryover is needed that’s going to get us stable for next year. Teacher appreciation is a big one, yearbooks, looking at previous years for guidance. Funds for next school year that cover scholastic news for teachers.

The PTC Board is hoping to preplan and be more organized for next year. As always, we would love to have more parents volunteer and the board would like to make it easier to present opportunities that are available. More organization of events such as the Jog-a-thon and how we prepare and count money could be done differently. A clearer understanding of the roles of each PTC member would be helpful. The PTC would love to encourage and foster more parent involvement and input from teachers to better help our school. We are looking for a new Yearbook volunteer. We may have a parent that is interested. Parents, let us know if you would also like to help. It’s a user friendly computer program.

Book Fair could use another volunteer to help run registers. Especially for Grandparent’s Day. Hours would be 10:30-11:30am, on the 23rd.

Information for Staff Appreciation Week is coming:
The staff really like food. The President of the PTC would like to organize a coffee/tea bar with syrups, creamers, etc. The school has 3 Keurig Coffee Makers. Ice cream truck was a hit last year. If you have ideas or hopes, email Amanda (PTC President). We could have a day that families bring cookies or muffins. A parent is working on a calendar to make a special day for students to show appreciation for the staff (wear your teacher's favorite color day, for example). We may be sharing a Google doc where parents can sign up and share what they are bringing for staff.

There is a surprise coming for students who achieve their RAH minutes. There will be a secret pizza party coming. A date will be set soon.

Don’t forget about the diaper drive!

Meeting Adjourned 7:06pm.