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Parent Council Meeting Notes – November 2013

Beethoven Parent Council Recap

Notes recorded by Kristina Martin

November 20, 2013

  • Amy Trueblood opened the meeting announcing that this was the first meeting of the joint parent councils of both the Beethoven and Ohrenberger.
  • Principals’ report given by Co-Principals Krakow and Puliafico:
    • Comcast’s Internet Essentials program offers reduced internet ($9.95/month) to families with children in BPS.  All BPS families can qualify for broadband Internet service at a reduced rate of $9.95 per month, plus tax, along with the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for under $150 and access to free digital literacy training.  Current Comcast customers do not qualify for this program.  More information the Internet Essentials program can be found here: http://www.internetessentials.com/
    • The Ohrenberger’s football team has been selected for post-season play.  This is the first year the Ohrenberger has fielded a team.  The team plays in Boston’s middle school “Play Ball!” football league (http://playballfoundation.org/).  The school has set the eligibility standards at a C-, which is higher than the league standards.  Principal Krakow reports many positive results thus far including: the team members taking personal responsibility for their academic eligibility; the team coming dressed in suits and ties on game day which sets a good example for their classmates; and the team increasing school spirit.
    • The members of the middle school girls track group “Girls on the Track” is competing in their first 5K race: Walter’s Run in West Roxbury on Dec. 8.  This is the first year of this program and it is supported with funding from the non-profit Girls on the Run (http://www.girlsontherun.org/).  There are parents and teachers that are partnered to run with each girl during the first race.  The girls have shown huge gains in their running ability and stamina and now can run several miles.
    • The Ohrenberger’s middle school Harvest Dance will take place on the half day of school prior to Thanksgiving, Wednesday, November 27.  The dance will take place during school hours.  There will be options available for students that do not want to attend the dance.  The students spearheaded these changes in scheduling and format.
    • The Ohrenberger holiday show will be held on Wednesday, December 18 at 9am.  This is a change from the original date due to the grade 3-8 interim assessment testing that will be taking place the week of December 9th.
    • The Beethoven holiday shows promise to deliver as they have in the past and audience members are encouraged to arrive early to get a good seat.  They will be held:
      • Wednesday, December 11, 9am – grades 1 & 2
      • Friday, December 13, 9am – grades K1 & K2
    • The Beethoven construction is moving along steadily.  The interior elevator shaft is under construction and viewable by the students through the school windows.  During winter break the wheelchair lift will be installed on the left side of the stage and the storage area beneath the stage will be fire proofed.  During February vacation all the fire doors will be replaced.  All work is scheduled to be completed by May 25th.  The staff will then have card access to the building.  The elevator will operate off ID cards.  The first ride in the elevator will be a raffle prize at the April 4th Parents’ Rock fundraiser.
    • November 19th was the BPS “Principal for the Day” program.  NPR’s Delores Handy was the guest principal at the Beethoven.  She tweeted about her experience here:  https://twitter.com/deloreshandy.  State Representative Ed Coppinger was scheduled to be the Ohrenberger’s guest principal.  He was called back into legislative session and has re-scheduled to be at the Ohrenberger on Wednesday, December 4th.
    • IMPORTANT change in the BPS calendar:  the final day of school before winter break will be Friday, December 20.  This will be a full day of school. School will resume on Friday, January 3, 2014.
    • Treasurers’ report: Greg Woodbury gave the Ohrenberger’s update.  During November funds were spent on the website and the school fund.  The ending November balance is $1,239 with an additional pending deposit of $600 in bake sale proceeds.  Beethoven’s treasurer was unable to attend. (Addendum: Parent Council purchased a coffee urn for school events including the bake sale.  The cost was $43.99).
    • Bake Sale update:  Huge thanks go out to all that baked.  The goodies were fantastic and people really outdid themselves.  The Beethoven and Ohrenberger schools raised approximately $1,000 and $600 respectively.
    • Winter Outerwear drive:  Both schools received great quality donations.  Thank you to all families that donated.  Kids at both schools took items.  At the Ohrenberger the remains are being kept for use at recess.  At the Beethoven, Mr. Pulifiaco and Mrs. DeLuca are working with teachers to make sure that all children that need outerwear have received it.  Overall, there was a decrease in donations compared to past years.  Despite the decrease in donations, the program is worth continuing since it directly helps children within our school community.  Eventually the excess outerwear will be taken to Cradles to Crayons.
    • Beethoven’s International Night was a huge success.  Over 100 families attended.  There was a lot of teacher participation and the passport tables were a huge success.  For the first time, to-go boxes were given to families at the end of the night.  One table did collapse due to age, wear and tear.  It has been suggested that the Beethoven Parent Council purchase new tables for the school in the spring with the funds that they use for school improvements.
    • International Night at the Ohrenberger is held in the spring.
    • Consignment sale fundraiser:  spearheaded by Jill Maquire, this is the second time that the Beethoven is participating.  A private company runs the sale that is being held on Saturday, November 23 at St. John’s Church in Dedham.  The school will receive 70% of the sales.  The school will also received $2 for each person affiliated with our school that shops the sale and spends over $20.  The sales features children’s toys and clothing including boys clothing up to size 8 and girls clothing through junior sizes.  You should see a flier about this sent home in your child’s folder.  The unsold items will be donated to Cradles to Crayons.
    • Used book drive:  Magda Hernandez is spearheading this effort at both schools.  Like new books are being collected to be donated to Room to Grow which services children ages three and under.  Drop boxes for the books will be available in the lobbies of both schools.  Although the focus is books for younger children, books for all ages of children are welcome and will be donated appropriately.
    • Scholastic Book Sale:  Beth Rimas and Cathy Ware are spearheading this effort.  It will be held at the Beethoven the entire week of December 9-13.  A new addition this year will be books targeted at children in grades 4-8.  The books for younger kids will be on the first floor and the books for the older kids will be on the second floor.  Teachers’ wish lists will be organized for teachers at both schools.  15 volunteers are needed to set up on Friday, December 6th.  The book sale will be open the evening of December 10th during the hours of the parent council meeting.
    • January canned food drive: Gretchen Nash is the Beethoven lead.  The Ohrenberger still needs to secure a lead for this event.
    • Enrichment event: Joan Chan is securing a Chinese dance troop to visit both schools during the last week of January in celebration the Chinese New Year.
    • Arts & Crafts Day: Scheduled for Saturday, February 8 from 9am – 12 noon for grades K1-5.  Cindy Ho is the contact for this event. Crafts will be divided into two sections based on age appropriateness with the drying area in the middle.  Rainbow loom activities will be included.  Britt Young has been working to secure materials from ExCL (http://www.extrasforcreativereuse.org/).  In addition, we have received donated supplies from Target.
    • Parents’ Rock is scheduled for Friday, April 4th at the Elks Lodge in West Roxbury.  Michelle Sarro is spearheading this event and is still looking for a parent from the Ohrenberger to co-chair the event with her.  The primary role of this person will be to organize the raffle items at the event.  This role is not involved in soliciting.
    • Welcome event for parents with children transitioning to the Ohrenberger is held in the spring.
    • Tom Ulrich gave an update on resources available to parents that have questions regarding children and social media.
    • The next Parent Council meeting will be Tuesday, December 10th at 6:30pm at the Beethoven School.  It will be a joint meeting welcoming all parents of children at both schools.  As always childcare will be provided
    • Meeting adjourned.

Non-Meeting Notes:

Making Music Matters! is holding a raffle to raise much-needed funds for the program. Tickets are available now for a chance to win three fabulous prizes – an iPad Mini, a Kindle Fire and an iPod Touch. Tickets are $1 each or a book of 6 for $5. Families interested in helping out by buying and/or selling tickets can send a note in with their child so we can send home the tickets and an envelope for the returned stubs and money. The drawing will be held Dec. 18 and winners will be notified immediately. Questions can be directed to Joan Chan or Amy Browne.

Ms. Mahoney (K2) is raising money for supplies for her class.  The fundraiser ends on Dec. 7.  To donate visit:  http://www.donorschoose.org/project/come-and-get-itkitchen-of-k2-learner/1039843/?verify=559689406

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