School Council Minutes – September 2023

Posted September 17, 2023


Elora Public School Council

Sept 12, 2023

Virtual Attendees: Maria Greco

In-Person Attendees: Natasha Skerritt, Emma Reay, Kim Blair, Janice Nijenhuis, Rachel Albano, Charity Block, Dee Mikelson, Alison Negrave, Shannan Noorlander, Darcy Studer, Jannilea Ghezzi, Colette Bayani & Jessica Mouret

  1. Welcome and Introductions (Natasha / Emma)
  2. Attendance
  3. Approval of Minutes from May 2023
    • Approved by Alison Negrave and 2nd by Shannan Noorlander
  1. School Council Membership and Executive 2023/2024 Elections
    • The following parents volunteered for council positions and were approved by those in attendance
      • Co-chairs: Rachel Albano & Colette Bayani
      • Treasurer: Shannan Noorlander
      • Secretary: Charity Block (with Kim Blair to assist with minutes in her absence)
      • Fundraising: Janice Nijenhuis (with Charity Block, Shannan Noorlander & Kim Blair offering to assist)
  1. P/VP Report (Natasha / Emma)
    • Great start to the year. We did not have any reorganization this year which has allowed our students to settle into their new classes quickly.
    • We had our first whole school assembly on September 6th in person in our gym. During this assembly we read a story to the whole school. This year’s theme book is called “Say Something!”.  The theme of the book is “a single voice can change the world.” Throughout the year we will be coming back to this book and theme.
    • We have lots of new staff here at Elora this year and everyone seems to be settling in really well. Amy Drew, Aimee Snider, Emily Drinkwater, Amy Wootton, Adam Gertzbein, Kaela Anderson, Jey Plourde, Holly Eckerich, Scott Keane, Connor Bradey, Stephanie Fisher, Jaclyn Giles, Linda Ghent have all joined our team. We were also lucky to be able to re-hire, Franki Duke, and Bradley Power in long term occasional positions for the year. They are loving Elora!
    • We have about 500 students in the building this year.
    • There are lots of amazing things happening at Elora. Many students have started playing instruments already and rock band and big band clubs are in the works.  Sports for our junior and Intermediate students will begin soon. Our first sports of the year are Football, Soccer, Cross Country.
    • Melissa Miller is getting the book exchange underway this week and next week.
    • Picture Day is happening Monday October 30.
    • Pizza and Subway will be starting up soon.
    • Elora Spirit Wear is coming soon.
    • Open House – September 20th from 5:30-7:00
    • 5 Things emails are one way that we as a school communicate. Hopefully these are helpful to all families. If anyone is not receiving the emails they should contact the office and we will help to figure out why this is happening.


  1. Teacher Reports (No teacher present at the meeting)


  1. Treasurer Report (Natasha / Emma)
    • The current budget is outlined below…


Elora Public School Council 2023/2024 Treasurer’s Report | September 2023
SC Fundraising $ 0
SC Community Building     $ 0
SC Technology     $ 0  
SC Wellness     $ 0  
SC General Fund     $ 1,592.49  
SC Landscaping     $ 1,975.92
SC Parent Involvement     $ 0  
SC Playground $ 11,491.52 There is also $9,966.76 in UGLF that is allocated for the playground. Total funds for playground are $21,458.28.
Upper Grand

Learning Foundation (allocated to playground)

$ 9,966.76

*With it being the start of the school year, many accounts show a $0 balance as 2022/2023 funds have been appropriately allocated.

It was asked how much more money is required for a playground and, although the exact value was not known by the group, it was recognized that considerably more funds are required (in addition to funding for yearly maintenance). Jessica asked if the playground funds can be moved to a high interest bank account since these funds will not be used soon. Natasha will inquire and report back to council.

Maria asked if specific companies were approached last year to provide funding for the playground. Shannan confirmed that letters were sent to local companies and some showed interest. Shannan also mentioned that follow-up has not been done and it is unknown if any sponsorship funds were received.

It was discussed that council needs to develop a specific playground design to present to potential sponsors. Darcy asked how the decision was made previously to allocate a large sum of funds to the playground. No one had an answer and it sparked discussion that perhaps this needs to be further discussed since a playground will only be open for a portion of the school year and only available to the younger grades with a capacity limit at any given time. Many alternative ideas were suggested that involved smaller multiple outdoor stations geared to all grades (i.e. additional basketball courts, a junior gaga ball court, etc.). It was decided that another meeting (with a set agenda) should take place to specifically discuss the playground options and determine how council should proceed. No future meeting date was set.


  1. Fundraising Committee Report (Natasha / Emma)
    • The 2023/2024 fundraising initiatives were set at the May 2023 School Council meeting but reviewed at this time.
    • The October dance-a-thon needs to be organized & executed by council/parents – teachers will bring the kids on a schedule throughout the day. A letter and pledge form will be sent home with all students on Fri. Oct 6th – all kids will be allowed to participate. The event date needs to be confirmed with staff and, although it will not be a Halloween event, Natasha will confirm if costumes will be allowed. Shannan offered to purchase glow sticks that will be available for the kids to purchase at the event with cash. Emma may have moving lights for the event. A planning meeting was set for Tues. Sept 26th @ 6:30pm and all parents are welcome (Natasha will book the Learning Commons for this time). Alison will send Janice the Sled-a-thon pledge form for reference prior to the planning meeting.
    • Due to busy schedules, it was decided that the basket raffle fundraiser will be moved from December to May/June so the winners will be drawn at the June end-of-year-event. Information will be sent to teachers and parents in early May so everything is ready for the BBQ beginning of June.
    • It was discussed whether another fundraiser should be added for Nov/Dec. Ideas such as Geddes Street Market Gift Cards, Magic Pebbles, Fundscrip, Shoe Factory (Jannilea to research) & Art Cards were briefly discussed as options. No decision was made at this time.
    • A supplier for pansies needs to be researched for the May fundraiser.

The revised Fundraising Event Schedule currently planned is…

-October: Dance-a-thon (date tbc)

-January: Sled-a-thon (weather permitting)

-April: Krispy Kreme donut sales

-May: Pansy Fundraiser

-June: Basket Raffle

*Natasha is planning to send the final fundraising schedule out to parents so they are aware of what events are happening.

  1. Other Business
    • Local families are looking for walking buddies for younger students. If anyone knows of an intermediate student interested in walking a younger kid home, please email Natasha.
    • Collette is going to put a call-out on Facebook for parent volunteers to assist with salad days, pizza days, events, etc.
    • Jannilea expressed concern about the lack of sidewalk on Irvine St (between Church & Colbourne). She said it is very dangerous walking on the road for kids walking to/from school. There are several cars parked on this road and it is very busy with school buses. Natasha mentioned this is a township issue but that she will contact the township to express concern and she encourages others to do the same. Natasha also mentioned that if anyone notices a school bus driving unsafely in this area (or other areas), to notify her of the bus company and bus number.
  1. Next Meeting Dates

-Nov 14, 2023

-Feb 13, 2024

-April 9, 2024

-May 14, 2024

*all School Council meetings will take place between 6:30pm-7:30pm in the Learning Commons

Categories: School Council Minutes