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2009-03 March Minutes

ATKINSON PTA MINUTES
March 10, 2009

Attendees:  Courtney Hayes-Lattin, Kristin & Saharath Sisourath, Laura Mason, Rachel Belcher, Anne Myrthue, Irma Hernandez, Veronica Rodriguez M., Susana Mendoza Ramos, Suzanne Harold, Amie Weitz, Maria del Carmen Ramirez, Haydee Lopez, Gabriela Goldfarb, Sheri Campbell

Budget Situation (Sheri Campbell, Gabriela Goldfarb):  Economy is going downhill, the best we know is looking like we will not lose school days this year.  It doesn’t mean that we won’t have cuts the next two years.  PTA has put together forums for people to voice their opinion on their priorities for the school – what they value and would want to protect. The information will help inform Chris Gutierrez as he puts together his budget, which is due to the District on March 23rd.  We still do not know how much money PPS will have, and won’t until May, so we may not know the school’s final budget until then.  Traditionally PTA has funded field trips, extra money to teachers for classroom enhancements, and funded one of the EA positions.  The intent was we were not going to fund staffing after this year, however, we did not know how dramatic the state and national budget situation would become. We need to make the choice of whether to fund staff next year by the end of May. 

Survey of Parent Priorities (Sheri Campbell):  PTA already held parent meetings and walked people through a survey.  Next the survey will be taken and posted online so that everyone can give feedback, and we plan to translate the survey as well. Working with Rob Stewart to make the online survey available via computers in the school lobby.  The survey asks the following questions:
• Why did you come to Atkinson?
• Now that you are here what do you value?
• Asked about the following programs/aspects of the school:  Spanish Immersion, Other language programs – Diversity and multicultural. – Push in reading instruction (During reading time each class has 3 to 4 adults to help).  – Outdoor learning gardens (parent led initiative, with some costs involved) – Counselor who spends time in every classroom (Janelle) Not every k-5 has one. – Music Program with Kim (we are one of the only to have this) – Librarian – Jackie Thompson most schools do not have a librarian. – Parent involvement (part of Jeanie’s job is to help coordinate parent involvement) – Neighborhood school – Explorer program (generally self paying PTA does sponsor some) – Full day kindergarten, state does not pay for this it comes out of the FTE budget. – PE (no full time but feedback could be good) –

Stand for Children (Karla and Elliott):  Gave update on participation by Atkinson/Richmond in Stand for Children Rally, establishment of the Atkinson/Richmond Stand chapter.

End of year planning/meeting schedule (Sheri Campbell): 
• April we will look at all the feedback from parent surveys.  Chris will have put in his budget, and we will get an update.  Then we will start formulating a plan.  Then we will need to decide to fund staff.
• Once we vote to fund an FTE the money goes into Chris budget.  The only reason for PTA to give money is if you want to pay for staffing.

Auction Results (Sheri Campbell):  Auction was last Friday.  We made $29,000 we cleared $20,000.  It is not as much money as we budgeted last year before we knew of the downturn in the economy.  Now we need decide on the covered playground.

Covered Playground (Gretchen Dursch):  Need to vote tonight on whether to move forward this summer or not . Some things to keep in mind are that We did not know how dire the economy would be, and the Auction did not generate as much revenue as our budget projected. The results of the playground survey of parents and staff were as follows:
• 85 people took the survey 22 were staff. 
The covered playground high priority:   _ parents, 1/3 staff.
Smaller or Bigger playground – Go for smaller (what we can almost afford) only 18% of parents 14% staff (do it now)
Wait for more money for the bigger play structure:  parents 36%, Staff 32%
• Skip it for now Parents 1/3 staff _
• Don’t know Parents 13%, staff 5%
Construction Bond – State of Oregon will require elementary schools by 2017, bond will go to vote in 2010.  The district will not fund another one if we already have one. 
• Go ahead Parents 14%, and staff 14%, Wait Parents 65% Staff 27%, don’t do it parents 19%, staff 54%.
• WAIT parents said 84%, 81% of staff.

Budget shortfall
• Do it anyway Parents 7%, staff 9%
• Fund staff instead parents 67%, staff 91%
• Not sure parents 25%, staff 0%

Options for kids to play outside in the rain
• Rain ponchos – ok to share ponchos parents 37%, staff 18%
• Use own jackets – parents 40% staff 60%
• Stay inside parents 10%, staff 20%
• Total Parents 77% and 78% of staff say it’s o.k. to go outside and play.
   
Should we move forward with the playground?  If we move forward to build we will go into next year with no money. 

VOTE: Motion to NOT build play structure this year – Motion passes to not build the play structure.

Cafeteria Issues (Shannon Stember, Portland Public Schools Nutrition Services): Cafeteria service is federally funded, and they take civil rights very seriously.  Employees are trained every year.
• Customer Service – Employee’s are evaluated on customer service
• Food Quality – When milk is bad someone needs to call.  If food is cold, someone needs to call.  Written documentation is needed (details).
• Chocolate Milk – An issue in all schools.  Chocolate milk has 12 grams of sugar.  30 more calories.  Buckets of white milk are dumped out while the kids drink the chocolate milk.  The student council worked to get rid of chocolate milk.  Why is it back with no authorization?  The cafeteria must offer two options of milk. 

8:15P Adjourn

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