October School Council Minutes

Posted October 21, 2020

FA Hamilton School Council

Meeting Agenda

October 15, 2020- 6:30pm via Google Meet

Meeting Attendance

Caroline Folkman, Laura Kelly, Steph deWaard, Catrina Watson, Liz Martineau, Mike and Joyce Poulin, Dan Paine, Christy Woof, Stephanie Tran, Tanya Hiller, Christine Labelle, Nathan Adams

Welcome and Introductions

The Minutes from the September meeting were approved.

It was recommended to make the “Meet Code” for the next Council meeting easier to recognize.

Virtual Meeting Norms 

To ensure respectful and efficient use of the technology to host meetings, we will adhere to two different sets of norms, depending on the number of meeting attendees and format. 

In meetings with more than 12 participants and during presentations by an invited guest:

  • To minimize disruption to the discussion and maintain connection, cameras will be on at the beginning and end of the meeting 
  • Participants are asked to keep their microphones muted
  • Participants are asked to type questions into the chat bar; the co-chairs will facilitate the discussion

In meetings with 12 or fewer participants: 

  • Cameras may be on
  • Participants are asked to keep their microphones muted, unless they are speaking
  • Participants are asked to raise their hand when they wish to contribute; the co-chairs will facilitate the discussion

Position of Co-Chair and Communications Lead

There were two volunteers for the open positions and both positions were filled.

The Co-Chair is Catrina Watson.  The Communications Lead is Ryan de Boer.

Budget Update

The current balance is $10,442.67, with $2000 allotted for DanceEd in January (which may or may not be able to happen) and $2316.50 allotted for reimbursement for the Creative Playgrounds blacktop painting.  The total remaining is $6126.17.  All of the funds collected during the “Collect for Tech” campaign last year were spent on technology purchases last school year.

Christine Labelle discussed with teachers the needs in the school that could be supported by Council.  It was recommended that teachers (or divisions) be allotted a certain amount of funds to purchase classroom resources (e.g., consumable items, coding resources, etc.) that will support the children’s learning.  It was proposed that $1800 be spent on classroom purchases this year (i.e., $150 per homeroom teacher and $300 for the four planning/resource teachers to split).  Teachers will be required to submit receipts for their purchases in order to be reimbursed and the deadline for this spending will be January 31, 2021. There are 10 classrooms in the school: 4 Primary, 4 Junior, and 2 Kindergarten.  It was also proposed that $1000 be spent on the library’s Forest of Reading initiative, which will require additional materials due to current COVID safety protocols. 

Both proposals were approved by council.

Principal’s Report

September 25th is la Journée des Franco-Ontariens.  Students were encouraged to wear green and white for Franco Day.  Green and white are the colours on the Franco-Ontarian flag.  On September 21st, 2020, the Franco-Ontarian flag, celebrating 45 years, officially became an emblem of Ontario.

The pavement in the school yard was painted by Creative Playgrounds.  All of the work, including the French words on the circuit, has now been completed.  Students have been enjoying these activities during breaks, APQ and Phys. Ed.  While some areas were repainted, many new games and learning stations were added, including an integer line, 100s chart, maze, climbers and sliders game, circuit, fox and goose game, mirror me, hopscotch and more.  A resource document was also provided to the school to explain many variations of games.  Students have also been creatively making up games.  Many classes rotated designated play areas for breaks on October 13th in order to provide students with opportunities to play on the field or pavement area if they had not yet had the opportunity to explore the new games during breaks. 

September 30th was a busy day!  On September 28th, 29th or 30th, staff had conversations with students about concussion awareness and safety and the importance of telling an adult about bumps and hits.  September 30th is Rowan’s Law Day and their slogan is “hit, stop, sit”.  September 30th was also Orange Shirt Day which tells the story of Phyllis Webstad and reflects communities coming together in a spirit of reconciliation and hope because every child matters. Mme Burkhart had conversations with all of her classes and staff participated in read alouds and discussions at age appropriate levels with their students.  Students in 5/6B and 5/6C participated in an online virtual event.  September 30th was also our Terry Fox Walk day.  Mme Brown’s, Mme Woodward’s and Mme Mui’s classes collaborated virtually to prepare an online assembly video for the school.  For the Terry Fox Walk, students walked with their educators at staggered times throughout the day.

Teacher candidate Tiegan Murphy is working and learning with Mme Hartmans and the students in Class 3A.  Mme Murphy is a teacher candidate from Queen’s University.

Two events took place on October 6th.  Students and staff were encouraged to wear green in support of World Cerebral Palsy Day.  A French infographic was shared with staff and students during the morning announcements Google Meet. Some classes participated in the Monarch Mayhem Pollinator Awareness Initiative by mapping out a 1 kilometre walk and learning that monarchs travel up to 4000 km to winter in the South or by participating in a lesson on monarchs/pollinators.  We hope to begin planting pollinator-friendly native plants in the outdoor classroom this Spring.

Our Virtual Open House consisted of each homeroom teacher posting a slideshow to their Google Classroom on October 7th.  Planning time teachers (i.e., M. Adams, Mme Yakabuskie, Mme Burkhart) also included information about themselves and the classes they teach in each homeroom slideshow.  Information from the Safety Patrols, School Council, the School Office and Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health was also included.

Our school Safety Patrols, with the help of Mme Cantin and M. Adams, updated the school safety video to assist our community in knowing where to stop and park safely before and after school in order to keep all of our students safe. The video was posted to the school website, shared on morning announcements and included in the Virtual Open House slideshow.

Friday, October 9th was “Crazy Mask” Spirit Day.  Each Friday in October has a different theme, including twin day, Huskies day, costume/orange and black day.

M. Adams’s Report

As a way to have some fun for Halloween I’ve been teaching all the classes a version of “The Monster Mash”.  We’ll be working on this for the rest of the month, and then we’ll be gathering (in a covid-responsible way) outside in the field to dance together as a school.  We are sorry, but for obvious reasons, it isn’t safe to invite parents to watch this event.  Mme Labelle has agreed to film the event for us, and we’ll share it via Google Classrooms.

Learning ideas

Council is interested in hosting various speakers for information sessions for parents.  Ideas/topics proposed include children’s mental health, anxiety and outdoor learning.  Please email other topics of interest or presenter ideas to [email protected]  Thank you.

Next meeting: November 19, 2020-6:30pm via Google Meet

Categories: School Council Minutes