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    Whittier PTA General Membership Community Meeting 

    May 24, 2017 Meeting Minutes 

    Meeting was called to order at 6:59 p.m. Proper notice was given to all members, with quorum present.  See sign-in sheet for list of attendees. 

    1. Welcome and Introductions; Approval of Meeting Minutes.  James Goldsmith welcomed the group to the Community Meeting and gave an overview of topics to be covered during the meeting.  See slide presentation.  Cherise Gaffney moved to approve the March 2017 meeting minutes.  The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.

    2. Upcoming Outreach Events & Fundraising.

    • Kirstin Wiggins and Stephen Ward presented on the new Diversity and Inclusion Committee.  Anyone who is interested in participating in the Committee can sign up or contact Kristin or Stephen for more information:  The purpose of the Committee is to try to develop new practices and to modify current practices to help families (e.g. working families, families of children with different learning styles, multicultural families, etc.) feel more involved and included in the Whittier community.   One focus will be on finding ways to have more male role models volunteer at school on a more regular basis.  This Committee will work in partnership with the School.  Melissa Schweitzer said the school was excited to work collaboratively on this effort. 
    • Justin Fenton gave an update on the upcoming Jog-A-Thon and Whittier Night at The Barking Dog Ale House.   
    • James Goldsmith gave an update on the Popsicle Playdate on June 6.  Ms. Schweitzer will be at the Playdate to meet new families. 
    • Ann Ilgen updated on the Family Movie Night.  The movie will be Trolls.  The 4th Grade will be having a bake sale at Movie Night to help fund their 2017-18 Nature Bridge field trip.

    3. Treasurer Report. Andy Liese gave the treasurer’s report. See the Meeting Presentation for details. Financial reports are available upon request to 

    4. Principal Update.  Melissa Schweitzer gave the principal’s update.  The School is adding key card access to the playground door.  Following the starting bell each morning, all doors to the building will be locked and access will be by key card only with respect to the playground doors and by intercom system with respect to the front doors by the main office.  This system will be implemented by the start of school in September. 

    The District will apply a new seal coat to the playground on June 8, and volunteers from Deloitte will be onsite June 9 to repaint and perform maintenance on the playground as part of the Deloitte Impact Day. 

    For 2017-18, school supply ordering will be centralized and managed by Rebecca Adamson. Families will be asked to simply provide approximately $40 per student for the bulk order of school supplies rather than having families bring in physical school supplies. 

    Projected enrollment for 2017-18 is 501 students which will result in 21 homerooms.  The 21st homeroom will likely be in the converted computer lab.  In the event the School needs to convert the computer lab to a classroom, the District will provide lap top carts for computers to be used in classrooms. The District believes this increase to the Whittier student population will be one-year enrollment number only.  Loyal Heights will be taking approximately 100 students in 2018-19 when the new Loyal Heights building re-opens.  At this time, Ms. Schweitzer anticipates the classrooms to be comprised as follows (with the understanding that this is subject to change through final enrollment reconciliation in October 2017): 

    • (5) kindergarten 

    • (4) first grade 

    • (1) 1-2 split 

    • (3) second 

    • (3) third (class sizes will be over enrolled) 

    • (2) fourth 

    • (1) 4/5 split 

    • (2) fifth 

    Question Will the boundary be redrawn in 2018-19 to move kids to Loyal Heights?  Will those kids be grandfathered in to Whittier?  Ms. Schweitzer advised affected or concerned parents to attend a District information session on boundaries in Ballard on June 14 at Ballard High School. 

    Question:  How will school supply payments work with Bailey Gatzert drive?  Tracy Yetter advised that they are still working through the details of that with Rebecca Adamson and Bailey Gatzert.  More information will be available at Fill Us In in September. 

    Ms. Schweitzer discussed the need for a full-time assistant principal.  Teachers would like more feedback and support in the classroom.  The Head Teacher cannot provide that administrative support.  The School has been allotted a 0.5 FTE assistant principal already.  By reallocating funds already approved for staffing grants and adding approximately $2000 in additional grant funds, the School can have a 0.8 FTE Assistant Principal.  To have a full-time Assistant Principal, the PTA would need to reallocate funds and add $33,000 in additional staffing grants. 

    Question:  Who will interview AP candidates?  There will be an AP interview committee which will include parent representation.  Anyone interested in participating in this process should email Ms. Schweitzer. 

    Question What a Head Teacher do now versus what an AP will do?  What will stay the same?  The AP will do everything that the head teacher does plus: (1) the AP works year-round rather than on a teacher’s schedule with summers off, providing more opportunity for coloration with Ms. Schweitzer; (2) there will still be supports for students who need them, first connection to parents, availability of referrals for professional services; and (3) the AP and Ms. Schweitzer will have time for more in-classroom support for teachers.  The Principal and the AP will provide evaluation, planning support and training for the blended classrooms (access, advanced learners and general education).  Sarah Dowsing, as a Career Ladder teacher, will still lead the Student Intervention Team, as well as provide a demo classroom, lead continuing education and professional development, and other supports for students and staff. 

    Question How would a 0.8 staffing position work?  Would they be flexible on their four days?  This depends entirely on the candidate and negotiations on specific work terms. 

    5/6. 2017-18 Staffing Grant Change Proposal.  Tony Toppenberg gave an overview of the revised budget.  See proposed Budget Options 1-4. 

    We will receive back the $20,000 remainder at the District back in September.  This will support the cash position for the start of the year. 

    The membership discussed the proposed Annual Give targets, as well as the overall increased pressure on fundraising.  The Budget Committee is reasonably comfortable that the proposed budget (including the increased funding of a 1.0 Assistant Principal) is sustainable for two years.  After that, sustainability is unknown. 

    Tony Toppenberg presented three options for the 2017-18 budget with respect to staffing grants.  Option 1: increases the assistant principal to 1.0.  Option 2: increases the assistant principal to 0.8 at a cost of $2,000.  Option 3: does not add additional funds for the assistant principal and would result in $45,260 being returned to the PTA. 

    Cherise Gaffney moved to commence voting on the 2017-18 budget.   

    7. Safety Committee Funding Proposal.  Amy Bryan provided information on the School’s request for 2-way radios for the playground, bus and safety patrol staff and to support secure communication in the building.  The total cost will be approximately $4,022.66. 

    Question:  Will staff be trained?  Yes.  

    Cherise Gaffney moved to commence voting on the safety committee funding proposal.   

    8.   Robert Eagle Staff Middle School PTSA Funding Request.  Representatives of Robert Eagle Staff Middle School’s PTA made a short presentation on the Robert Eagle Staff Middle School being opened next year and asked that the Whittier PTA provide money to fund start-up costs for thee RESMS PTSA. 

    Cherise Gaffney moved to commence voting on a grant to RESM.   

    9.  Nominations for 2017-18 Board.  Becky Dobbins presented the proposed slate of executive board members for next year.  See presentation for slate of proposed directors. 

    Cherise Gaffney moved to commence voting on the 2017-18 Executive Committee for the PTA Board.   

    10.  Playground Update.  Demian Minjarez gave an update on the playground upgrades.  The membership discussed the grant process, volunteer requirements and future playground steering committee. 

    11. Thank you to Volunteers.  Volunteer appreciation tea will be schedule before the end of the school year. 

    12.  Vote Results.   

    Motion 1.  Option 1: Unanimously approved. No abstentions. 

    Motion 2.  Unanimously approved. No abstentions. 

    Motion 3.  With twenty votes in favor, the General Membership approved a grant to RESMS in the amount of $1000.  Four members voted against a grant to RESMS, and fourteen members voted to grant RESMS $500. 

    Motion 4. Unanimously approved. No abstentions. 

    12. Golden Acorn Awards.  Cherise Gaffney gave out the Golden Acorn awards to Karen Gustafson, Heidi Wachter and Amy Bryan. 

    Meeting adjourned at 9:07