Archive for the ‘Parent Group’ Category

Help Needed at Pre-Registration

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Greetings Steller Parents!

Sometimes it feels like summer has just started, but believe it or not our two days of pre-registration are rapidly approaching.  Parent group is looking for people who can volunteer for two hour shifts to welcome new and returning families,  help parents and students fill out paperwork and receive and organize forms.  Please let us know if you could be available for one or more of the following shifts:

August 7:  8AM-10AM or Noon-2pm
August 8:  8AM-10AM or Noon-2pm.

Email:  beckinak@gmail.com

Please join us if you are available and get some of your volunteer hours out of the way early.

Thank you and Happy Summer!

Urgent Information about Keeping Lee at Steller

Friday, June 8th, 2012

OCCUPY ASD” PROTEST: “35 HOURS FOR 35 TEACHERS”;   A Message from Concerned Steller Students and Parents

 

A group of Steller parents were able to gather on short notice today to strategize about how best to retain Lee Weiland as our art teacher.  Because of all the complications of the AEA contracts and the re-shuffling that has already occurred, it appears that the only possible way that Lee could remain in his position as art teacher at Steller would be for all of the 35 displaced ASD teachers to be rehired and the positions that were cut to be re-instated.  The Steller community strongly believes that these cuts and re-shuffling are detrimental to the education of all of the students in the schools that are being affected and we are willing to advocate for all of those students, teachers and their communities.  We are asking the ASD board to dip into their emergency funds in order to re-instate displaced teachers.

 

As a way to draw attention to this issue from the wider community, we are planning an OCCUPY ASD: 35 HOURS FOR 35 TEACHERS event.  We will occupy the area around the flag pole on the Park Strip from 6AM on Sunday morning until 5 pm on Monday evening, just prior to the ASD Board Meeting.  There will be food, art and art making, supplies to make posters, and lots of great Steller folks.  It would be great for people outside of Steller to join us as well since this is a district wide issue.

 

Whether you consider yourself an art family or not, we need you to join us!  This is a great opportunity for our students to effect change in their school and in the community.  Teach them that we can make a difference!

 

Here’s what you can do:

 

(1)  There is a planning meeting Saturday at 4:30 pm at Amy Holonics house, 4721 New Castle Way.  Email her at billamy@gci.net for any questions.  We will be hashing out logistical issues.  Please come if you are able!

(2)  Plan to join us for some or all of our 35 hour occupation.  We especially want our students to be there.  And bring your friends!

(3)  Support our effort with food, water, drinks, tables or chairs.  Email Rebecca Johnson @ beckinak@gmail.com if you have something you can offer.

(4)  Sign up to speak at the school board meeting.  Encourage your students to sign up.  Their testimony is very effective and impressive.  Please do it SOON.  You need to be heard.   We will send out talking points soon.  Sign up at http://www.asdk12.org/school_board/signup.asp

(5)  Email the school board members.  Addresses are at the same site as above.  Ask that emergency funds be used to re-instate all displaced teachers and lost positions.  Let them know that you will be willing to lobby our state legislature and Governor to increase education funding next year.

 

Here is a press release that Andromeda Romano-Lax has released to the local press:

 

OCCUPY ASD” PROTEST: “35 HOURS FOR 35 TEACHERS” BEGINS SUNDAY MORNING AND RUNS UNTIL ASD BOARD MEETING OF 6-11-2012
Anchorage – A group of students, parents, and concerned community members will be occupying the Park Strip flagpole area beginning at 6 a.m. Sunday to bring attention to the recent school district cuts of 35 positions (and additional support staff), which will be a subject of public discussion at an Anchorage School District Board meeting on Monday night at 6 p.m. During the protest, art will be created and on display; the public is welcome to participate.

 

The group’s message is that a state with our fiscal resources has the capacity to restore the 35 cut positions, which include counselors as well as art, foreign language, and English as a second language teachers. Following that one-time emergency restoration of positions, parents aim to spend the next year raising awareness of the need for greater long-term funding of teacher positions, with an emphasis on stability and prioritizing student needs.

 

Steller students and parents packed the most recent Anchorage School District Board meeting (May 21, see May 22 ADN coverage by M. Boots), outnumbering testifying individuals from other schools, and specifically calling attention to the loss of a treasured first-year art teacher, Lee Weiland, who brought not only a long-term arts vision to Steller, but also doubled and tripled as a physical education teacher and acrobatic club leader, as well as a champion of self-directed learning, one of Steller’s hallmarks.

 

But Steller activists feel it is essential to send a larger message that goes beyond one school and recognizes the plight of parents and students who haven’t yet testified or even been made fully aware of the issue. Cuts and involuntary transfers have affected many schools and furthered the problem of turnover that undermines the ability of each school to serve the needs of its students.

 

“Restore 35” and “35 hours for 35 teachers” are two key slogans for this event, which aims to recognize the plight of every person cut. Another slogan is “the right people for the right places,” emphasizing the fact that current cuts are leading to a haphazard process of assigning teachers to schools where they might not be the best fit—especially disappointing in cases where schools were having success with the teachers that were already in place.

 

Save Lee, Save Steller!!! School Board Meeting , Monday, June 11, 6:30.

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

School is out and people have moved into summer mode but we still need to keep our passion and energy going toward our commitment to do all that we can to keep our art teacher, Lee Weiland, at Steller.  We had an amazing turnout at the School Board Meeting on May 21 with  close to 25  students and parents testifying and a total of 50-60 students, teachers and parents showing their support.  It certainly made me proud to be part of such a passionate and committed community.  Decisions are still being made and it is imperative that we keep our issue in front of the School Board.

All those who testified did an excellent job of describing how deeply Lee has affected Steller in such a short time and in sharing what a great teacher and person he is.  This time we need to keep making the point that Steller is an exceptional school and that an exception to the lay off policies needs to be made in our case.  During the testimonies two weeks ago, the students repeatedly pointed out that Steller is not just a school to them, it is like a family.  Displacing someone that has become such a valued member of our family/community will be devastating to our program.

Please keep the pressure on.   Go to http://www.asdk12.org/school_board/members.asp to get email addresses for all of the school board members and to sign up to testify.  Write a letter to each member, even if it is a short one.  They have to read them!  Even if you don’t plan to speak, plan to come to the meeting and support those who do.  A big turnout is very impressive.  (At the last meeting, one of the students who was testifying asked all of the people who were at the meeting to support Lee to stand.  There were stunned gasps from the crowd at the number of people who were there and our students were front and center occupying the first 4 or 5 rows.) Parents encourage your students to come and bring some of their friends.  Students encourage your parents to come.

The Anchorage Daily News quoted from Bridget Galvin’s testimony at the May 21 meeting saying, “We won’t stop until we get him back.”  Let’s all join in her resolve.  See you at the meeting!

 

Rebecca Johnson

Parent Group

 

 

Urgent!

Monday, May 21st, 2012
By now, you have probably all heard that our art teacher Lee Weiland has been laid off due to the ASD budget cuts.  We are asking all Steller students and parents to join together to do all that we can to prevent this from happening.  Please see some extra info below from Steller parent Janice Banta who has experience with this issue through staff cuts as she experienced them at Denali.  Also see
attachments containing emails and contact information for school board members and the executive board of the Anchorage Education Association.  There are also “talking points” for writing letters or making calls.   We need to bombard them with phone calls and emails.  They are all trying to tell us that there is nothing that can be done, this is purely a contractual issue, but we feel strongly that there are always exceptions and that Steller should be that exception.  Get you kids involved.  Encourage them to fight for their school and their school’s philosophy.  Encourage them to speak at the school board meeting.
“Like”  the the Save Lee Save Steller page on Facebook to stay up to date with what is happening.  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Lee-save-Steller/241625669276694
We are planning to show up to the school board meeting on Monday evening, May 21, 6:30, at the ASD Education Center, 5530 E. Northern Lights Blvd. At the intersection with Boniface. to testify and show support.  We need everyone to come!  Sign up to be a speaker here:  http://www.asdk12.org/school_board/members.asp
What else can we do?  What are other ideas?  Please email alyse.galvin@gmail.com orbeckinak@gmail.com if you want to make sure that you are kept in the loop in regard to further plans and actions.
Time is short.  We have to act NOW.  Write an email or call today and plan on being at the meeting on Monday.
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Hi All…This is Janice, returned from the depths of emptying out a classroom of 10 years of stuff!  Sorry I haven’t been able to provide input until now.

Because my subgroup of ASD employees (elementary school counselors) was one of the few job titles targeted for elimination, we had Robb Donohue-Boyer (from ASD HR) and Jim Lepley (from AEA) come to our meeting to explain the process of displacement.  I’ll do my best to explain, but the process is very complex and my primary recommendation would be to see if either or both of these very knowledgeable folks could meet or conference call about the specifics of our situation.
So here’s my guess…Lee’s position was not eliminated, but some teacher (teacher X) was displaced because of a specific position cut (for example, many career coaches were cut at the middle school level, but it could be something different).  Based on contractual obligations with the union, ASD would be required to provide displaced teacher X  a position for which they are qualified to teach.  There may have been a whole series of bumps before the person taking Lee’s position reached the end of this domino effect.  I don’t know the actual title for Lee’s job posting or the qualifications it required, but in other instances, for example, a French teacher ends up taking a position held by a Math teacher (or an Art teacher) because they happen to also be highly qualified to teach that discipline.
Seniority then plays a role, but it’s not the case that the lowest 35 or 55 teachers (I’ve heard both numbers) are those left without a job.  It depends on the chain of displacements that starts with the first eliminated position.
This process complicates our ability to advocate specifically for Lee’s position or to know where to direct our concerns.  It does make sense to talk to the School Board about their priorities for the budget, because that helped to create these results.  Beyond the career counselor cuts, we would have to go back and look at the specific positions identified for elimination to hold them accountable for this.  They will want to shift the blame elsewhere, of course, primarily because they had a limited budget amount to work within, but I think we could challenge them on their prioritization process.  I certainly felt eliminating elementary counselor positions, when they want to promote graduate rates is short sighted, since research supports early intervention (that’s another battle, though, I know!).
We may wish that Steller could be treated differently when there are position cuts, since we have such a small staff and specialized mission.  Other schools are similarly impacted.  If elementary teaching positions were cut, Denali could lose a trained Montessori teacher, and replace him/her with an ABC teacher.  The contract doesn’t allow any flexibility in this.  But I think labor law would only allow changes to that process in the contract itself.  Kind of doubtful, I think.
So, it all comes back to money.  If funds were restored over the summer, laid off teachers are called to be rehired.  But unless the person who fills Lee’s position wants to move into a different open job, I don’t see how Lee can be restored to Steller’s Art position.  I could be wrong (hope I’m wrong), and would encourage communication with Robb and or Jim to clarify on this.
We could explore grant funding for an Art Specialist at the school and pay for it outside ASD, but then he wouldn’t get retirement/benefits, etc.  I think I have the summer grants list on my computer somewhere and will see what’s there, but I’m not sure what Lee would think about that.
Bottom line:  Make a way to clarify options with Robb and/or Jim; challenge the School Board on their funding priorities (will need to research specifics on that); explore ideas for using different criteria in the next contract for optional school teaching positions (doubtful); pressure the city and state for more and more consistent education funding.
Now that school is out, I’m glad to help on this.
Janice

Parent Group Seeks Applicants for Recruitment and Retention Coordinator- Stipend awarded

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Parent group feels that the most important aspect in any school is the quality of its students.  As in any alternative school, students much choose to come to Stellar.  We feel it is very important to attract students who not only have high personal and academic standards, but who fit the philosophy of Steller.  To that aim, many discussions have been held with many good ideas suggested on how to promote Steller to potential students and retain excellent students.  Unfortunately, it has been difficult to implement many of these great suggestions with an already taxed staff and volunteer base.  The idea was proposed to parent group to create a recruitment and retention coordinator to facilitate recruitment and retention activities at Stellar.  Parent group felt strongly enough about this to dedicate funds from our budget to provide a stipend to the individual willing to take on this position.  The proposal has been endorsed by Staff, Op group and Ad board.

Please click the link below for details and expectations of the position. If interested, please contact Mark Thorndike at markinak@gmail.com. Serious inquiries only please.

Click here for the RRC Expectations

Parent Group Meeting

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
The last parent group meeting of the year will be this Wednesday May 9 at 6 PM.  All are welcome!  Please attend and participate in a discussion on end-of-the-year information and planning for the start of Fall semester 2012.
We will be reviewing bylaws, discussing elections and year-end finances as well as the Fall calendar and schedule.  Thanks!

Parent Group Meeting

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Note from Parents to Parents

 

Please see the attached Parent Group Notes from our last meeting.  Thanks so much to Secretary Kathryn Grundhauser and Treasurer Rebecca Martin for their unending dedication!

Highlights you’ll want to know include:

  • CALENDAR~ Key dates for the end of this year in one place.  They will also be on the Steller Website soon.  Also, see suggestions regarding the line-up for next year’s calendar, including next year’s FUNdraisor of the year- the auction.  If you are an 8th grade family, expect a warm invitation to participate in an organizational meeting before summer!
  • Souper Steller ~  Don’t miss out.  Check out the innovative plan for next year and how EVERY family is welcome to participate in this fun community lunch opportunity on Thursday afternoons or Fridays at lunch (even working parents can easily come, feel useful, get engaged in something your student is doing, and back in the office chair in an hour!!)
  • Finances ~ See where the Parent Group is spending your money to support student success.
  • Although this meeting took place the night of the tragic shooting across the street, we managed to come together as a community to continue our support for students. Our leaders Dale and Ken were present to help us feel safe and keep constant communication going to help us to know when it was safe to leave the building.

Parents, your engagement with Steller truly makes a difference.  Along with actively encouraging your student to respect lifelong learning by asking what they thought about and what happens at Steller every day, feel free to come in and see for yourself.  If you are not sure when and where would be the best time, ask Joe or Alyse and we will help get you started in the right direction so that you feel comfortable and know that you are welcome.  There is no doubt that your positive engagement and time results in higher student success. Thanks so much for all you do! 

Alyse.galvin@gmail.com and jbanta@me.com

Click here to download Parent Group Meeting Minutes 4/18/12

 

Parent Group Seeks Applicants for Recruitment and Retention Coordinator- Stipend awarded

Monday, April 23rd, 2012
Parent group feels that the most important aspect in any school is the quality of its students.  As in any alternative school, students much choose to come to Stellar.  We feel it is very important to attract students who not only have high personal and academic standards, but who fit the philosophy of Steller.  To that aim, many discussions have been held with many good ideas suggested on how to promote Steller to potential students and retain excellent students.  Unfortunately, it has been difficult to implement many of these great suggestions with an already taxed staff and volunteer base.  The idea was proposed to parent group to create a recruitment and retention coordinator to facilitate recruitment and retention activities at Stellar.  Parent group felt strongly enough about this to dedicate funds from our budget to provide a stipend to the individual willing to take on this position.  The proposal has been endorsed by Staff, Op group and Ad board.

Please click the link below for details and expectations of the position. If interested, please contact Mark Thorndike at markinak@gmail.com. Serious inquiries only please.

Make it a STELLER NIGHT THIS WEDNESDAY!!

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Parent Group Potluck Meeting this Wednesday April 18, 5:30 pm in Ken’s Room –

Potluck Theme- Spring!! Bring anything (it always works out, and if you don’t have time, just bring yourselves, we’ll have plenty!)

Interesting topics of discussion:

  • What events do we want and when? Next year’s calendar review and advisory
  • Who do we need?  YOU! There are lots of openings for leadership next year, for next month’s meeting- determination of positions and roles
  • Our Student’s Safety- Cyber and physical safety training, how, when and where should we support an event or is there a better way to deliver knowledge to students?
  • Recruitment and Retention, where are we now?
  • Souper Steller, will there be one next year and how can parents support?
  • Wrap up on finances
  • Much more..and sure to get out with time to participate in our All Community Meeting led by students

 (just before the Steller All Community Meeting 7-8:30 in the MPR)

 Please pass any parent ideas to jbanta@me.com or Alyse.galvin@gmail.com

 

Message From the Steller Parent Group Co-Chairs

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Parents, you really matter, thank you!

Thanks for kindly supporting your student by giving them what they need most, your time and loving attention.  We know, some days that is not as easy as it sounds.  We also know how important it really is because how a student arrives at school matters.  A well fed, rested student with an attitude that what they learn today matters will have what they need and deserve in order to succeed as a student.  On behalf of your child, thank you.

What do you want us to be doing?  First and foremost, we write this in an effort to hear your ideas about how parents can better support student success and help other parents.  Please write or call one of us and let us know what you care about and you think we might help.

Quick report on what has been on the front burner as we work to support Steller Students:

  • On-going Staff Lunches (monthly, thank you Rochelle and other parent volunteers)
  • Community Service Coordination – On-going work to help students find ways to connect to the community through service at Steller and in the greater community.  There is now a notebook of ideas, a place to log in what students have done and how much time spent and a place to celebrate the good works of students in our community.  Thanks to the leadership of Victoria, we are visiting Pioneer Home, re-connecting with Downtown Partnership, and more!  Thanks also to parents for their support in driving students who need help getting to places in order to serve.
  • Parent Volunteer Coordination – We are working toward a better system to consolidate the parent volunteer forms from the beginning of the year to match what we now need as a community so that staff and students can easily tap into parent talent, time and energy.  Thank you to Rebecca for leadership with this.
  • Website Committee – Ongoing work to make website more user friendly and representative of the amazing learning taking place at Steller (Thanks to Rebecca, Joe, Karen and Dean) for your leadership
  • Recruitment and Retention Committee – Ongoing work to define work that needs to be done and develop a coordinator position with a stipend, to collaborate with Steller to produce successful tools and activities in this area.  There will be a report at the upcoming All Community Meeting. (Thanks to Mark and Rebecca for their continued leadership)
  • Souper Steller Fridays–On-going healthy meal served each regular Friday (thank you parent volunteers!!! Stephanie, Victoria, Joe, Michelle, Jennifer, Dee, Alyse (Camden and Tony)many many students, most remarkably, Kacy, who has helped each week) There will be a report about this at the All Community Meeting.
  • Auction – The successful FUNdraising event took place in November (with the leadership of Wendy, Rebecca, Rochelle, Rebecca, the ninth grade and many helpers from the Steller Community) WE ARE LOOKING for parents now who would like to take leadership roles in this for next year!
  • Directory – Steller Directory was put together be parent volunteers, thanks to the leadership of Wendy and Rochelle for putting together this important tool that helps our community stay in touch. WE ARE LOOKING for parents now who would like to take leadership roles in this for next year!
  • Community Building – Steller cafes (conversations) were hosted to help parents, students and staff share ideas and come up with a collective way forward, in a comfortable atmosphere of a “cafe”.
  • Funding Support – Parent Group also supported student learning by helping to fund: student teaching, student directing of a play, healthy student activity (exercise mat for safety), art classroom start-up supplies, etc.  There is more Parent Group spending information on the website in the parent group minutes, including a budget (thanks to Rebecca) and we warmly welcome you to check it out.

 

We are available anytime for ideas, conversation, comments or help.

Alyse.galvin@gmail.com                 jbanta@mac.com

How It Is I Am Glad and I am Mad At The Same Time

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

First off, giving credit where credit is due – my fellow parent group chair, John Tichotsky, from Denali Montessori Elementary drafted this flyer, provided it to parents at Denali and graciously allowed it to be adapted and distributed at Steller.

On March 1st, I participated in Anchorage School District’s Assets Fair along with John. I attended as the representative for Steller at this gathering, which focused on the values of Social and Emotional Learning. As one of only a few parents among hundreds of ASD staff, I was able to observe what teachers, counselors, nurses and other school staff members really thought about their work with our children.  (What follows are John’s comments, which I share.)  Click here to read entire document.

All-Community Meeting Postponed

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

New meeting date to be announced.

Parent Group Meeting this Wednesday

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Parent Coffee and Catch Up with Steller Happenings

 Wednesday, March 21st 6-7:30pm

 

  • Principal Dale will fill us in on what is the buzz on campus
  • Staff will tell us what they thinking about and end of year activities like the famous traditional Steller Olympics and April 13th All school Activity Night
  • What is the All Community Meeting March 29th?
  • We will further explore bringing in help for recruitment and retention

Please come and share your ideas while learning from others about Steller Community, as we work together to support student success.

Minutes and agenda attached.  Please email Alyse.galvin@gmail.com with questions or comments.

Draft PG Agenda 3-21-2012

Draft PG Minutes 2-15-12

January 18th Steller Parent Group Meeting Notes

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Summary/Highlights

- The Alternative Schools Fair is set for February 4 from 9 – 3pm  – parent volunteers are needed, and the Steller Ice Cream Social/Open House set for February 9 needs volunteers, both students and parents

- Steller’s second student-led conferences will be at the end of the year instead of at the end of third quarter

- The PG Budget is set at approximately $10,000 for this year

- Based on the discussion from the January All Community Meeting, Parent Group supported a key idea from the meeting – to provide a paid staff person to focus on developing the Steller program on this important subject.

- Parent Group identified parent volunteers for new positions – Victoria as a community service support coordinator and Rebecca as a volunteer coordinator

- Souper Friday served 125 students and staff in its first week!

What is happening at Steller (Events, Issues from Steller Groups)

•              Principal Report

- Winter prom coming up

- The Alternative Schools Fair is set for February 4 from 9 – 3pm  – parent volunteers are needed

- The Steller Ice Cream Social/Open House set for February 9 needs volunteers, both students and parents  – this is where new students can sign up to shadow a student, find out about Steller, etc.  Parent Group will host a table for questions of parents.

- Dale will be out later this month for a conference

Reminder – There will be no half days on conference days of February 15-16, student led conference will be at the end of the year (we had our first student led conferences at the end of first quarter).  February 17 will be an in service day.

Tera Nova tests are coming up, as well.

•               Staff Report

- Staff is looking at the ski and snow boarding intensive to decide what they can do since only 14 students applied (critical mass is about 20 – 25).  A meeting will be held this Friday.

- Staff is looking at an intensive scholarship – parent volunteers are needed for a committee to review of applications for the scholarships.  There is some confusion on the Whistler ski trip intensive next year, i.e. does the travel intensive count the same as the Alyeska ski trip?  If you take skiing this year, you can apply for the travel intensive next year – they are considered separate.

Staff is looking at the wording for all intensives, starting with the proposal and re-addressing the wording, so that the popular classes do not get cancelled one year due to not allowing students to take a class two years in a row. Do we open this policy for only skiing or re-write the policy for all intensives?

- Staff needs parent volunteers for the Ice Cream Social/Open House.

- There was a short discussion of the reason for holding student led conferences at the end of the year instead of at the end of third quarter.  Per feed back from the community, conferences would be better for the end of year to discuss goals for the next school year.  Staff is open any time for conferences with parents as well.

•               Ad Group Report

- Ad group did not meet due to the all-community meeting.

•               Op Group

- Lorryn reported that students were working on a policy regarding intensives, as discussed under the staff report.

- OP Group passed a proposal supporting Souper Fridays.

- A process has started for the retiring of murals in the halls.  Murals are reviewed every 5 years for possible retirement and t see if there is a need to make space and whether there are students that want to apply to paint a mural?

What is happening in Parent Group – Parent Group Committee Reports

•              Budget

- Review of budget.  Treasurer Rebecca offered a budget for consideration by Parent Group.

- One suggestion was to add a sunshine fund for get well cards, flowers that would not require prior approval, with a suggested amount of $150.  This was approved and the budget was amended to include it.

- Rebecca reported that the New Teacher Basket Fund of $300 has not been used….we would like to  know if not being used, please let us know so this can be reallocated.  Staff will check on the need.

- TOB budget $400 – Rochelle suggested rolling this into kitchen supplies as TOB is solvent on its own.  The group approved this motion as well.

- Also, the sister cities quilt receipts were never collected initially so the funds for it were rolled back into the budget.  However, the receipts have been turned in, so the money will be allocated back into a budget category for it.

- The PG Budget is doing an awesome job at about $10,000 to support our teachers and students in providing creative alternative education!  Checks have been cut and distributed from the auction. See the profit and loss statement.

- Question, what does this auction money go to ?  Is there a reporting of these funds?  51% goes to a General Fund (auction grant)/ad group.

- Loren said there was a request for funds for a project, student previously asked Op Group for support of the Fantastic Acrobats mat purchase.  Ad board will create a process to distribute the funds.

- The bottom line, Parent group has money, if students or staff needs money for special projects, submit a proposal to parent group.  The proposal forms are in the boxes by Dale’s office and on the web too.

- Parents have asked for a clear understanding for scholarships for travel.  Dale said they are in small committee re-write.  Parents have asked to see the travel policy once they have a draft completed.  Dale said we would be able to review.

- Dale reiterated his commitment to providing a summary of where the various auction monies went at the end of the year, as he was a transparent process on it all.

•                Recruitment and Retention Update on the All Community Meeting       Discussion

Alyse provided a recap of the discussion from the January All Community meeting -seven people met and brought up some recurring themes. Following the discussion from the January all community meeting, PG supported a key idea from the meeting – to provide a paid staff person to focus on developing the Steller program on this important subject.

Needs include things like electronic stories (student stories), laying out our overall plan that also includes the ice cream social, open optional fairs, etc.  The first part is getting the volunteers for these functions.  Both students and parents need to come forward and help with these fairs, socials, interviews, etc. Another idea was building a specific web site to show Stellar opportunities.  Right now the web site is being worked on to be more user-friendly. Another idea was to develop a parent-oriented pamphlet that can be given to other parents explaining what makes Steller a great school.  We have options for free printing.  Is there someone on the paid staff to take ownership and get this completed.  We have documents, but where are they, how do we get them all together in one place, etc.

There was a suggestion to hire someone to redo the web site in professional fashion.   Who is going to be the project manager of this to make sure it gets coordinated and completed?

There was continued discussion of the suggestion to hire a person to help with these projects, Mark volunteered to write up a job description to present to PG at its next meeting.

- Dale has a list of what has been discussed in the past.  Mark suggested we get with a small group of parents to do a draft, then to present to PG and Ad Board, perhaps to staff prior to ad board.  Alyse will help get the word out for a meeting for this topic.

•                Adjusting Dates of Future PG Meetings

Postponed til next meeting for discussion

How can we support Steller? (select one or two for small group conversation):

•   Steller Ice Cream Social/Recruitment Fair- How can parents support, what are the roles, what should parents know to be ready to present or answer questions?

This is scheduled for Feb. 9 from 6:30 – 8pm.  We need volunteers for the kitchen and the parent group table, etc.

The Feb. 4 Alternative Schools Fair 10 – 3pm – Boniface and Northern Lights, all schools (2 hr shifts of parents and students needed).  Contact Dale to volunteer

•    Volunteer Coordination and Community Service Coordination-what are we doing, how can we grow it?

The group discussed the need a person to coordinate volunteers, community service coordinator and who would work with teachers and students and ask the student group to get the word out.  Parents are available to assist.  Alyse nominated Victoria.  And, for the volunteer coordinator, Rebecca Johnson volunteered for the community service coordinator.

•      Souper Fridays, how can parents support the student chefs?  -

This will be on going until it warms up.  There were over 125 students who got this wonderful lunch last week.  Volunteers are welcome and needed to assist during the Friday lunch hour.  Profits are donated to AWWAC or other worthy causes.

•   Other

Lorryn presented the proposal for changing the ski intensive.  Parent group voted unanimously to support it.

Actions

•      Budget approval approved unanimously, as amended.

Sean Kelly  – requested $810 for putting on a Broadway play – awesome!,  If possible he would like to come back should expenses exceed this amount.  The motion passed unanimously.

Ideas for small group topics for next parent group meeting

Upcoming Events.

Next Ad Board Meeting Th. Feb. 2 @ 6:30 PM

Next Parent Group meeting Wed. Feb. 15 @ 6 PM

Retention-Recruitment Working Group

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

In an effort to improve recruitment and retention issues, Parent Group agreed to begin a retention-recruitment working group comprised of community members who wish to work on improving our numbers. The working group’s is goal to draw up a proposal for the larger Steller Community to consider.  The proposal will likely include actions and a way for leadership (a coordinator) to coordinate the many actions.

YOU ARE INVITED: If you would like to be part of this working group, please contact Mark Thorndike at : markinak@gmail.com this week! He will be in touch with more information about the group and future date of meeting.  Thanks Mark for offering to take leadership with this!!