December School Council Minutes
École King George (KG) Public School Council
Supporting Education through Community, Communication and Innovation
Meeting Minutes – December 10, 2020
In Attendance: David Taylor (Vice-Principal), Becky Reitveld-Jackson (Teacher Representative), Leslie Fisher (Co-Chair), Scott McRoberts (Co-Chair), Karen Arnold (Co-Treasurer), Jennifer Donahue (Co-Treasurer), Erica Scime (Secretary), Michael Brodie, Jen Woodside, Aura Carcueva, Katie Ewald
- Approval of the November Meeting Minutes and December Agenda.
- EDI committee update:
King George Mitten/Glove, Hat and Sock drive: Katie Ewald
- With the cold weather here, kids need to stay warm and dry at school. We’re asking for donations of new or very gently used clean Hats, Socks and Mittens/Gloves.
- These will be made available to students should they need them. For ex. maybe your student’s socks got wet or they forgot their hat at home or the mitts/gloves they brought just aren’t warm enough for Phys Ed outside.
- You can send in your donations with your student or drop them off at school (an email to arrange drop off would be appreciated) The donations will be sorted and made available to students so they can pick out what they need.
- Thank you in advance for helping the kids stay warm and dry!
Celebrate Diversity Event update: Aura Carcueva
- This has been held in February for the past 2 years. In past years, it’s been one night dedicated to celebrating diversity in our school community. It consisted of a variety of entertainment from around the world and different communities and cultures, as well as food donated and brought by the school community. Additionally, people could donate money to help cover costs and support future diversity events.
- This year it will have to be different and instead, it will be a Celebrate Diversity consisting of a full week of events, sometime in February (maybe Feb.8-12?).
- It will be all virtual streaming through the classrooms during school hours, hopefully at the same time to give that sense of community.
- A group/performer/artist will be highlighted each day, approx. 20 minutes. (Details coming soon, as dependent on who can participate).
- This event will also tie in the theme of the Umbrella Project which is Health and Fitness for the month of February.
- The videos then can be put on the school’s website or in newsletters for families to view at any time.
- ACTION ITEMS:
- Scott McRoberts will get a University of Guelph student to create a video or something to support the Health & Fitness theme.
- EDI Committee will ask for donations via School Cash Online.
Equity Training Pilot Project update: Jen Woodside
- The EDI committee is proposing equity-related leadership training for the School Council
- They’ve been in conversation with Kevin Sutton (the trainer who delivered a session to the King George School Council last year), and Brendan Johnson of the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition (GNSC).
- The training will be covered through PIC funds for the school ($500) + GNSC funds ($700) + KG funds ($500) = total of $1700.
- The goal is to pilot a training series that can then be taken up by other school councils across the Board to the benefit of our community.
- The training is skills-focused, not knowledge/info-focused (i.e., it’s designed to help participants build skills in how to create supportive professional/community environments, structures and spaces. The hope/goal is to help us build leadership and community; emotional resilience; leadership vis-a-vis EDI through the lens of anti-racism. This work will revolve around human rights, consent, agency and cultivating a focus on strengths in how we look at others.
- We can expect the growth focus to be uncomfortable at times. Even with the right intentions there is often a gap in what folks are able to create/follow through on.
- Here’s the Equity Training Plan for the Pilot Project:
- Kevin Sutton to spend 2 hours with EDI committee to start in Jan (date TBD) – via Zoom
- Kevin Sutton to spend 9 hours with School Council (one three-hour session per month for 3 months) – via Zoom
- School Council has identified Feb as a good month to start; suggested Tues. evening, 2 weeks before/after each School Council meeting to spread things out.
- ACTION ITEM:
- Katie and Jen will take this back to Kevin.
Principal’s Update: Provided by Vice-Principal, David Taylor
School library update:
- May have heard that the school library is closed but kids can still get books through their classroom.
- Kids have two weeks and can choose from books that the teacher has picked or that were suggested by the librarian at a set time in each classroom.
Recess Zones and problems with outside play time:
- Decided to readjust the zones. Tried to move some classes closer together as requested by the students.
- The change has eliminated a lot of zone crossing that was happening before. Students are now playing across the two zones.
- Rotating to give kids access to the basketball hoop since there’s only 1.
- Exciting to hear that the board has said we can start some fundraising again.
- Will put it on the agenda for January’s School Council meeting.
- Idea is to fundraise for technology needs. Here’s the breakdown of the tech needs (TV Project) to replace projectors which will allow more versatile use in classrooms:
- Cost of TV (65” LG TV) – $915.00
- Cost of Swivel Mount – $160.00
- Power Strip- $40.00
- Chromecast – $45.00
- Installation – $75.00
- Taxes $160.00
- Total cost per TV $1,396.00
- 2020-2021 – 5 classrooms upstairs, 4 downstairs (9x$1,396.00) = $12,500 (approx.)
- 2021-2022 – 2 classrooms upstairs, 4 downstairs (6x$1,396.00) = $8,400 (approx.)
Total cost for this project = approx. $20,000.
- 1 Chromecast for the Primary grades, 2 Chromecasts for the Junior grades and 1 Chromecast for the Intermediate grades.
Teacher Representative Becky Reitvald-Jackson update:
- She’s started co-teaching and has helped classes get set-up for the new “coding curriculum” by getting them comfortable logging into Chromebooks and using Google Classroom.
- Junior classes are set-up in groups of 4 students and they’ve been using Scratch (which is a coding language that uses blocks to create computer code).
- Kids can share their work with other classes.
- The school will participate again this year in Forest of Reading but it will be different.
- The books are really amazing this year and the school has purchased a copy of each book in English and French and there will be ways for kids to still participate in this program.
- David Taylor has also been helping the classes learn to use tech more proficiently.
Treasurers’ Update- Jenn Donahue & Karen Arnold (See attached report)
- Very little activity. Only activity in November 2020 -three teachers claimed expenses for their Start-up Funds.
- We only have about $1,000 to allocate for anything else for the rest of the year, so fundraising would be welcomed.
- There is $1,600 in funds set-aside in the Grounds & Greening Funds to use for the Kindergarten outside play area (Kindy Pen).
- Maintenance fund has $1,200 for mulch and $500 for structures.
- The Board will also be doing some maintenance work and that’s scheduled for 2021.
- Will need to keep an eye out for more money needed for next year for maintaining it.
- ACTION ITEMS:
- David Taylor will send another reminder to the teachers who still haven’t used their Start-up Funds. He will put it into their weekly teacher email.
- Aura Carcueva had suggested if there was a way to do the Craft Market which has been a big fundraiser for the school in the past, to do it on-line. Leslie Fisher will reach out to Julia Cathro-Oliver who did it last year to see if that could be considered.
Feedback welcome on Policy 503 – Safe Schools
- The Board is looking for feedback on the following document:
- This policy has been updated and divided into 4 procedures manuals that work together to administer the policy. The division of procedures allows for greater understanding by students, parents, teachers, school administrators and community members of how schools will work towards building and sustaining a positive school climate, the expected behaviour of students, and the ways in which inappropriate behaviour of students will be addressed.
- This policy is important to students, staff, school councils, parents and community members because everyone plays a role in maintaining the positive school environment needed for students to succeed.
- The biggest change has been to the “Progressive Discipline” section. The Board had to add that they were no longer suspending kids from Kindergarten and up to Grade 3. As well as what the appeal process is and includes more explicit things that school administrators must now document.
- Vice-Principal David Taylor strongly encourages everyone to read it and give their feedback.
- The deadline for public input is January 19, 2021 at 4 p.m. EST. Persons without internet access may call 519-822-4420 (or toll-free 1-800-321-4025) ext. 723 to request a printed copy of the draft documents. Here’s a link to the request for feedback section on the board’s site: https://www.ugdsb.ca/blog/feedback-welcome-on-board-policy-503-safe-schools/
- Want to also point out that the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) has created a more robust newsletter. Encourage everyone to check out the UGDSB December 2020 Newsletter
Updated Inclement Weather Procedures
- Please check out the updated procedures available via this link: https://www.ugdsb.ca/schools/inclement-weather-procedures/
- NOTE: if school is closed, you will receive a voicemail by Vice-Principal David Taylor by 6:30am and instruction about accessing school online for those days.
- December 18th – last day of school before December Break
- January 4th, 2021 – return to school
** The December theme for the Umbrella Project is Empathy. Click the link to discover a few ideas for your family to try, which will reinforce the work we have been doing at school this month.**
We hope everyone has a safe and happy winter break!
Next KG School Council Meeting scheduled for Tues., Jan. 12 at 6:30pm to 8:00pm. Google meet details will be posted on the school website closer to the date and start of the meeting.