Friday, December 17, 2010

November Minutes

Nashwaaksis Middle School PSSC
Meeting Minutes


Alan Atkins (principal)
Marcie Connors (vice-principal)
Pat Campbell
Mitch Claybourn
Tracey Grattan
Lynn McMinniman
Marg Milburn
Shauna Miller
Don Richardson
Heather Touchie-Blakely (teacher rep)

Francene Patterson

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:05pm.
Approval of Minutes

The minutes for the November 17 meeting were approved as circulated.
Call for Agenda Items/Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved as presented.

Additional Items (added at meeting):
• NMS website (Shauna)
• Awards for crossing guards (Shauna)
• Evergreen proposals (Marg)

Mitch welcomed Marg Milburn as a new member of the NMS PSSC. He also welcomed Marcie Connors, NMS’s new vice-principal.
Friends of NMS Update
The Friends of Nashwaaksis Middle School will have their annual general meeting on Thursday, November 18 at 7 pm at NMS. Alan thanked Friends for their continuing support of activities at the school that improve education and student life.
D.E.C Report

It is expected that a representative from the District Education Committee will be named for the NMS catchment area in the near future.

Action Item: Alan to follow up with District office on DEC representative.
School Improvement Plan

Alan provided an update on activities under the School Improvement Plan, which focuses on two themes: Academic Improvement (literacy and numeracy) and Positive Learning Environment.

On the literacy objectives, he noted the efforts being made to build classroom libraries for all home rooms and contacts made to better integrate the Nashwaaksis Public Library into school activities.

Alan reported that middle schools across District 18 are examining the potential for new school timetables for the 2011-12 school year which will improve flexibility in class time, to permit greater focus on key subjects and give teachers more time for planning. The addition of LTT (Learning Together Time) three days each week has given teachers additional time for team planning.

Principal’s Report

Netbooks: The rollout of netbook computers for grade 6 students will now proceed. Meetings for parents in grade 6 and 7 will be held during the week of Nov. 22 to inform parents on the use of the netbooks and to seek parental permission for students to bring the computers home with them evening. Alan explained this is necessary because the netbooks must be recharged overnight and the school does not have the capability to charge all the netbooks at once. Lynn suggested that this issue be fully explained to parents who may otherwise ask their children to leave the netbooks at school and use their own home computers for homework.

Alan said the netbooks have been well received by 7 and 8 students who received them last month and he is hopeful for a successful extension of the program to the grade 6 classes.

School Review: The process for the triennial school review is now under way. A school internal committee has been meeting regularly and the external review group will visit the school during the week of November 22 to meet with administration, staff, students and PSSC members. A meeting of the external and internal committees will be held on December 13 to discuss the findings of the review committee. The review’s findings will be incorporated into the School Improvement Plan.

New Grade 7 Class: In order to accommodate an unanticipated increase in enrolment, a 5th core class for grade 7 has been created. Students have been allocated from the existing 4 classes and a teacher has been hired on a temporary basis. A permanent teacher hiring for this new class is expected in the coming weeks.

Recent Activities:

• Oct. 19-21: English book fair
• Oct. 18: UNICEF collection begins. Students raised nearly $5,000 for UN children’s charities.
• Oct. 21: visit by author Valerie Sherrard
• Oct. 22-25: NMS students participated in Tim Horton’s Camp in Tatamagouche, NS. Administration will review the camp experience to determine future participation by the school.
• Oct. 28: school dance (470 students attended)
• Nov. 2: Friends of NMS meeting
• Nov. 3: Take Your Kids to Work Day – a number of former NMS students, now in grade 9, returned to the school for this event.
• Nov. 10: Atlantic-Pacific Math Competition
• Nov. 10 & 12: Remembrance Day activities, including visit to CFB Gagetown Museum
• Nov. 17: Sugar Pie event to celebrate bilingualism and francophone culture at NMS
• Nov. 18: Friends of NMS annual general meeting.
• Nov. 22: 1st term report cards will be sent home
• Nov. 25-26: parent-teacher interviews

Action Item Follow-up

Action Item: Alan will check with District office regarding DEC representation on the NMS PSSC for the 2010/11 school year.

• Alan to follow up with District office for the December PSSC meeting.

Action Item: Alan and Mitch to develop criteria for selecting student representatives to PSSC.

• Alan and Mitch to meet on this and report back at the next meeting.

Action Item: Alan to check on status of spring 2010 school wellness survey results.

• Survey results have been received and will be distributed to PSSC members in advance of the December meeting.

Action Item: Alan to see to installation of locks in washroom cubicles throughout the school.

• Alan reported that this has been done.

Action Item: Mitch to bring back suggestions for key themes and activities to the November PSSC meeting for further discussion & decision.

• PSSC members discussed cyber-bullying, drug abuse and greater awareness of PSSC activities as potential projects for 2011. This will be discussed again at the December meeting.

Additional Items:

Shauna commented on recent additions and improvements to the content on the school website as a useful resource for parents and students. She also asked that information on the PSSC posted on the NMS website be updated.

Action Item: Alan will see that up-to-date information on PSSC membership and meetings is posted on the school website.

PSSC discussed ways to honour crossing guards who serve the Nashwaaksis area. Shauna noted that Safe Kids Canada sponsors a favourite crossing guard award and suggested that local staff be nominated. There was a further discussion of ways for the school to honour all the crossing guards serving area students. It was agreed that student involvement in this is very important.

Action Item: Mitch will follow up with City staff on crossing guards serving the NMS area. There will be a further discussion of this at the December PSSC meeting.

Marg noted that funding is available from various corporate and non-profit sources to upgrade school grounds. She suggested that the school seek “evergreen” funding for school improvements.

Action Item: Marg to provide more information on “Evergreen” funding at the next PSSC meeting.

Mitch noted that a report on the PSSC orientation session hosted by the District on October 21 at Bliss Carmen Middle School has been circulated to all PSSC members.

Next Meeting/Meeting Adjournment

Next Meeting: Wednesday, December 15 @ 7:00 pm

Meeting was adjourned at 8:20pm

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