Bryant PTSA Board Meeting Minutes – September 2019

  • Welcome and PTSA Goals for 2019-2020
    • Overview of meeting schedule
    • Highlighting goals for the year, Whitney Griesbach / Ann Sonnen
      • How can we make PTSA more approachable and accessible
      • How we can improve the transitioning of roles: creating more of a process to transition roles, onboarding materials, etc. in order to alleviate fears of joining
      • More of a partnership with the building
      • Increased transparency of board
  • Approval of Last Meeting’s Minutes, Whitney Griesbach
    • Minutes approved
  • PTSA Insurance Review, Nick Barrett
    • Reviewed existing insurance certificate
    • We can renew October 1st (Chess club has an event the first week in December, and they need insurance certificate)
    • Can we have an insurance certificate that goes longer than 12 months (e.g. 15?) so it ends at the end of the school year?
      • This will be looked in to
    • PTSA can’t sponsor ongoing sporting events offsite due to insurance coverage
  • Treasurer’s Annual Re-cap Report, Nick Barrett
    • Annual recap
      • Generated $211k (primary sources are annual campaign, auction, and blast)
      • $219k available for 2019-2020
      • 2/3 supplements curriculum at Bryant (grants to SPS) + additional programs and reserve
  • Presentation of 2019-2020 Budget
    • $315k, $193k for curriculum based activities/grant positions (64% of budget)
      • Most of the increases due to now having to pay benefits for instructional support (actual hours have decreased in some cases)
      • Bumped unallocated funds to $10k, as it was in previous years
      • Added a new line item for previous years’ expenses to handle late reimbursements
    • Changes between this year’s and last year’s budgets
      • Decreased funding for field trips and classroom needs from $26 to $22. Decreased substitute time from 2.5 to 2 days
      • Reduced Community Volunteer Coordinator role to 17 hrs/week and reduced stipend
      • Increased instructional support by contract rate and added .5 FTE math support
    • Will vote on budget at next meeting
  • School Supplies Review 2018, Whitney Griesbach (Sara Fenzl not present)
    • Supplies cost $19k, raised $22k, also raised $5,500 for school in need. 88% of parents have paid (518 students).
    • Overall a big success—one teacher said “It’s awesome”
    • If we have excess, it will roll into next year’s school supplies or additional supplies during the year
  • Principal’s Update, Charmaine Marshall
    • School off to a great start
    • Numbers continue to look good, higher than projections: 583 total.
      • District undercounted enrollment going into the year
      • Once this new number becomes official, we will optimistically be able to add support
        • Add .5 PE hours. For example, currently .5 PE, and optimistic we’ll move it to 1
        • Add 1 new teacher. Will hopefully allow us to support other classes (but not add a new 1st or 2nd grade class)
    • Slow rollout of Schoology across the school
      • Teacher newsletters will all be sent via new tool
      • This use will hopefully increase over time
    • Goal is to make Bryant a welcoming environment
      • Multicultural event that will replace Winterfest this winter
      • Thanksgiving-time family feast event
      • Informational session for second-language parents this fall and spring
      • Considering adding a second curriculum night in the spring
      • Adding additional country flags for the gym—if you don’t see countries you want to be represented, reach out
      • Added welcome signs to all the doors to help make it more inclusive
    • Asks:
      • $2000 budget request from art teacher
        • Discussion of role of PTSA to fund programs
        • Would have liked to have this ask in budget process at end of last year
        • This is a district supported role, which traditionally have supplies supplied by district
          • We do provide supplies for artist in residence
        • Whitney: let’s see the final numbers for supplies, and if we do have additional funds we could use them to support this.
        • In the future this should be added up front
      • $2000 Principal line item: provide additional opportunities (e.g. a student that needs additional attention, or teacher conferences)
        • Partial increase for literacy teacher. $1280.
  • Committee Reports
    • Fundraising
      • Spring survey about what families were interested in
        • 15% response rate
        • 3/4 satisfied with fundraising
        • 1/2 want more visibility into use of funds
        • Teaching support ranked #1, tutoring and academic support #2, social and emotional support #3, and then #4 arts and culture (distant 4th)
        • 3/4 said they would contribute to playground but wanted improvements to the field
        • 1/2 wanted us to do more for other schools, 1/2 wanted more done for their kids
          • We should continue to provide opportunities to give to other schools
          • These conversations mirror those on the PTSA
      • Annual campaign
        • Discussion over what to do for prizes
    • Membership
      • New system, and some PTSA board members need to update their membership (board members must be members, anyone who handles cash must also be a member for insurance purposes)
      • 215 paid members, 87 student members
    • Volunteers
      • 54 responses to volunteer interest survey. Will send to different category chairs
      • Looking for mentors, Reflections the only one without volunteers
        • Bryant Blast position also open
      • New family orientation on 10/1, one in morning and one in evening
    • Legislative
      • Olivia, youth organizing for Global Climate Strike, presented information about the student-led strike on Friday 9/20
      • Detailed information about legislative updates will be on FB
        • Needs a separate page on the site
    • Teacher Representative
      • No update
    • Communications
      • Working on simplifying communications

New Business

  • Art Docent Program, Nicholas Eve
    • Volunteer program where Bryant parents come into class 1x month and teach about art
    • Program is making some changes this year
      • Goals: increasing consistency of content and its delivery
      • New curriculum, with same programs across the school
      • New trainings for each unit (in person and online trainings being developed)
      • Improve coverage across all the classes (previously a wide range of involvement across the classes)
      • Changing from hero model of art history to studio model, with an emphasis on fundamental art lessons
      • Increased amount of activity and discussion
      • Will collect lots of feedback and data to understand what is/isn’t working
      • Phase 1 of a 2 phase project. Phase 1 every student gets some education. Phase 2 (next year) will focus on different pathways per grade
    • PTSA can help in the following ways:
    • Fund artist notebooks (unlined): ~$0.89/unit
    • Mirrors (for self portraits—approx 1 class worth in art docent closet)
    • Battery operated lights (~$50)
    • Viewfinder (helps frame drawing). $40 for transparencies
    • We already have $1000 in art docent budget
  • Additional new business, Whitney Griesbach
    • There was a vote over email to approve funding new soccer goals
  • Presentation of New Standing Rules, Whitney Griesbach
    • Will vote in October

Adjourn 9:25pm

2019-20 Meeting Schedule

Meetings are Tuesdays at 7pm in the Library unless otherwise noted.
(General Meetings are in bold)

September 17, 2019
Minutes | Budget |Treasurer Overview

October 15, 2019
Minutes | Budget

November 12, 2019
Minutes | Budget

December 10, 2019
Minutes | Budget

January 14, 2020 Postponed to January 21 due to snow
Minutes | Budget

February 11, 2020
Minutes | Budget

March 11, 2020 (Wed)
Minutes | Budget

April 7, 2020
Minutes | Budget

May 12, 2020
Minutes | Financials | Proposed 2020-2021 Budget

June 9, 2020
Minutes | Financials | Approved 2020-2021 Budget

SPEAKER: Mindfulness for the Whole Family

All parents and caregivers are welcome to attend our first Speaker: Wednesday, October 2nd at 7-8:30 pm in the Bryant Library

This 90-minute workshop teaches you the foundational principles of mindfulness and the impact it’s having in our schools and at home.You’ll be able to understand the benefits of Mindfulness and learn how to practice Mindfulness at home as a family.

Cultivating Mindfulness helps you:
-Create Self-Awareness
-Develop emotional regulation skills
-Increase your ability to focus

Why Mindfulness Matters:
Practicing mindfulness electrifies our ability to regulate mood and emotion and reduces stress and anxiety.  For parents this means stronger relationships with their children through empathy and self-awareness.  For students this means greater emotional stability for a fulfilling life and mental clarity necessary for deep focus and peace.

About the Instructor:
Kristy Banks has a Masters in Elementary and Special Education from Teacher’s College Columbia University and is a certified Behavior Analyst. She continues her mindfulness education journey through workshops and courses.

Since 2010, Kristy has been a special education teacher at the Kent School District, teaching grades two through twelve. She first introduced mindfulness into her classroom in 2015. Struck by the impact it had, colleagues requested she introduce mindfulness in their classrooms. Over the past four years, she’s helped a dozen classrooms and over a hundred kids experience the joy of meditation.