Monday, January 19, 2009

December 8, 2008 Minutes

Minutes of Meeting
NMS – PSSC Committee Meeting
December 8th 2008

Tracy Allen Sherry Thomson Shauna Miller
John MacKenzie Pat Campbell Alan Atkins (Staff)
Andrew Rowe Carol Coleman (DEC Rep.) Tracey Gratten
Mitch Claybourn Anne Small Heather Touchie Blakely (teacher rep)

Regrets: Barb Brittany

Mary Rowe (Co-Chair of Friends of NMS)
Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm.

1. Welcome and Approval of Minutes
• Alan welcomed Barb Brittany as the new PSSC member. Minutes of the November meeting were presented and approved with minor changes.

Action – Sherry to update the minutes and send them to Andrew for official posting onto the NMS website.

2. Nomination and Election of Officers of PSSC
• Mitch Claybourn stated that after 1 ½ years he was stepping down as Chair. Only one name was brought forward for the position of Chair of the PSSC – Andrew Rowe. Andrew was appointed into the position by acclimation. Discussion was held on whether to appoint a Vice-Chair. No one volunteered for this position so there will be no Vice-Chair. In the event that Andrew is not available to attend a meeting, Alan will Chair the meeting. Sherry Thomson was appointed into the position of Secretary by acclimation.
• Alan expressed his appreciation to Mitch for his support on the PSSC and other support he has provided to the school over the years.

3. Friends of NMS Update- Vicky Patterson PSSC liasion
• Food Bank Support – more than a ton of food and monetary donations were received for the Food Bank.
• Fire Fighters Challenge - there were11 volunteers for the Fire Fighters Challenge. There was a nice write up in the Gleaner on the Challenge. Vicky expressed thanks to Tim’s who donated the coffee.
• Parent-Teacher munchie table – there were 18 volunteers who sent in food for this.
• Friends of NMS decorated the office for Christmas which the students and staff appreciated.
• Christmas dance & bake sale – to be held this week. 25 parents volunteered to bake and 4-5 volunteered to work on the table.
• New anti-bullying campaign.
• Junior Achievement program – the Grade 6 program is done. The Grade 7 program is to be done in January. First time ever, every class is participating.
• Friends of NMS was asked by another school in District 18 to use/adapt their constitution. This demonstrates that this new innovative organization works well.
• Elections – Dec 1st – nomination form posted on the blog. Forms were sent off to parents. Election date in January 12.
• See written update at for more details as well as Appendix A.

4. Principal’s Report
• Remembrance Day celebrations went well.
• HPV immunizations were held
• CD/PD Days held.
• Field house meeting held on November 17th.
o Concern was raised over the issue of night supervision.
o Bleachers are to be replaced within the next 2 years. 75 – 85K.
o Renovations completed to date include new curtains, new floor, and new roof. There are no additional capital costs required for the field house in the foreseeable future.
• Report cards/Parent Teacher interviews were held on Wednesday and Thursday. Administration is currently gathering information and reviewing the results/stats.
• NBTA Council Day held on Nov 21st – Engaging the 21st Century kids. Theme through each generation – we can’t rely totally on technology.
• Grade 8 math assessments. Alan distributed the results of the provincial middle level mathematics assessment. 60% of students are at the appropriate and above level, NMS received the highest “in town” middle school results.
• Brent & Alan participated in threat assessment 2 training.
• Kids and parents loved the Fire Fighters Challenge.
• Parent Survey – 250 – 350 estimated returns.
• Tell Them From Me (TTFM) – Anti-bullying program held.
• Badminton Finals – Our team was the winner.
• T-Shirt/clothing sales happening this week.
• NMS teachers participated in technology conference to be held in Memphis. NMS was selected to present this summer on the laptop program from our perspective. First pubic school to be the guest speaker at this international event.
• School Improvement Plan (SIP)
• Completed survey on SIP with teachers. Reviewed progress to date. Adding more information and projects to the SIP using SMART goals. Developmental Assets – participated in this.
• January 8 & 9 Math test to be held for the whole school. This will be developmental to diagnosis/see weak spots in our curriculum. Will be doing a post-test at the end of the year.

5. D.E.C Report – Carol Coleman

• District Education Council – setting priorities exercise. Sending out a survey in January to all parents/administrators/public at large. Asking for areas of focus. Focusing on 6 main areas:
• Academic excellence (NB3)
• Diversity of academic subjects
• Focus on school culture (raising the bar as far as academic excellence, second language)
• Healthy student, healthy schools (emotional and physical aspects)
• Quality of teaching (in order to achieve certain academic goals)
• Focus on communication (parents, teachers, administrators, PSSC)

6. Action Item Follow-up
• Copy of Glenda Saint report not yet available

• Update on the UNICEF program - Collected $6000 for the UNICEF program.

• Nutrition Policy – Shauna Miller reviewed content of vending machines and provided a list of healthy options to replace items that are in non-compliance of the Nutrition Policy. Sub counter is not doing well.

• Talk mail system - Alan reported that the program, SchoolConnects is available through SynreVoice Technologies Inc. This program is used at George Street and could be a good option for NMS. Alan is exploring this further. Estimated cost would be $1500/year. There is no Rogers/Aliant preference. It goes to all phones.

• PSSC Blog Update - Main link shows last year’s committee. Alan will ask Kim to update this.

New Items

7. E-mail received from Paula Colter.
• There hasn’t been a formal Home & School tried in this school. October Minutes of PSSC should be amended to reflect that there was no formal Home & School tried at NMS, rather an informal one.

Action – Alan to have the minutes amended to reflect the nature of the Home & School activity tried at NMS.

8. Communications between teachers and students.
• Alan noted that we communicate well with our parents in many different ways. However, e-mail takes more time than anything for our teachers. E-mails between teachers & parents are trending towards being negative. Need to encourage face to face and/or phone conversations to improve communications particularly when dealing with issues.

9. Technology & French language – Tracy Allen
• Tracey asked if there was any way to guide students on research techniques on the web in French. Recognized that this is a challenge if students search in English and then translate.

Next meeting – January 12, 2009 7pm.

Appendix A
Friends of NMS Update

Food Bank
The food bank folk were shocked the amount of the donations. They said there was more than a tonne of food which, to purchase, would cost the food bank more than $2400.00. There were monetary donations as well. There was a nice write up in the Gleaner & Northside News.

Firefighter's Challenge
"Burning Down the House 2008" was November 25,2008. 11 volunteers gave their time to help with the set up and/or running of the obstacle course during the day long event. We thank Tim Horton's who organized the donation of coffee and muffins from their Main Street Store.

Parent-Teacher Interview Munchie Table
During the November 19th and 20th Parent Teacher Interviews, we were fortunate to have 18 volunteers send in food items for our "Munchie" Table. Got a lot or positive feedback from the stagg.

A few ladies went in again to help Kim with Show choir costumes.

Christmas decorating- Based on the Halloween decorating of the office’s success, the 3 co- chairs decorated the school office for Christmas.
Christmas Dance Bake Sale (close to 25)
To make the upcoming Christmas Dance (Thursday Dec. 11) a bit more festive for the kids, we will be selling some Christmas baking. As an allergy precaution, we asked that no nut products be used, and that a recipe card/ list of ingredients be included. This should add some fun to the children's night. (Proceeds from the sale will be used towards the school's Anti-Bullying campaign - which is our December need of the month).

Christmas families used to done annually at NMS, but hasn’t been done at the school for 3 years. The money from the baked items not sold at the dance will be sold over lunch break Friday and it’s proceeds will be combined with the $72.52 from the Pumpkin contest for this cause).

JA- grade six classes were done last week. Grade 7 will be done in January. First time in 31 years JA will be into the school to provide courses for all grades/classes at NMS.

Mr Atkins received an email from an elementary school in District 18 asking for permission to
use our Friends of NMS Constitution and Guidelines to use as a template for them to form a similar task based group to replace their existing Home and School. We are very flattered by their interest.
Friends of NMS Elections- Nomination Forms and Information (blogged Dec 1) sent home Dec 2-3, Voice mailed today or tomorrow. Cut off is December 12. Election date TBA January.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

PSSC Meeting Dates

Future dates for PSSC meetings:

February 9, 2009 - 7:00 p.m.
March 16, 2009 - 7:00 p.m.
April 20, 2009 - 7:00 p.m.
May 11, 20090 - 7:00 p.m.
June 8, 2009 - 7:00 p.m.