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PTA General Meeting Minutes April 2014

Meeting: Lafayette PTA General Meeting
Date/Time: April 24, 2014, 7pm
Location: Lafayette Elementary Cafeteria
Proper notice was given to all members

Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order at 7:07pm. A quorum was present.

Sean welcomed everyone and said that we will have PTA elections and budget approval at the next meeting.

Secretary Report:
Motion: Ken Bodensteiner moved to accept the March general meeting minutes. The motion was approved.

The only correction to minutes would be that this meeting was held after being originally cancelled.

Treasurer Report:
The mid year financial review was completed thanks to Paul Hagenson and Olga Fisher.

Enrichment payments are coming in.

There isn’t a final total from the auction yet, as there are still a few things trickling in. She believes the net will be around $42,000.

There were no questions for the treasurer.

——— Break in General Business ———

Sean introduced the folks from Madison Middle School.

Robert Gary (the Principal of Madison) and Julie Howell (the President of the PTSA) are traveling to West Seattle elementary schools to talk about Madison and how parents can get involved.

They have a very unique program, because it’s the shortest number of years spent at any school, of all grades. There is an interesting mix because kids are transitioning from children to teenagers.

This year, the district will be doing an analysis to see if it will switch from a Spectrum school to an AP school.

Enrollment is growing. The cap is about 950, they are expecting 780 students next year.

The school is organized as follows:
6th graders are on the 3rd floor
7th graders are on the 2nd floor
8th graders are in the basement

He spoke very highly of the talented teachers at the school.

He talked about their robust music program and strong athletic program. This is the first year students will compete against other middles schools or K-8 schools.

Ms. Howell leads a wonderful group of parents. One of their main goals is to supplement the wants and needs of kids in the classroom. They conduct several fundraisers to support the needs of the students and teachers.

Ms. Howell talked about the wonderful school experience at Madison. She applauds the scaffolding abilities of the staff and their ability to accommodate different leveled students.

They believe this is an incredible time of change for the students.

Their biggest plea is to get involved and stay involved. Jump in with both feet!

Getting involved with PTSA is a great way to stay connected with your kids.

City wide there is difficulty raising money for middle and high schools. There are many reasons for this, but in general people lose momentum and have kids in multiple schools. Another difference is that money that is raised by kids goes to ASB, not curricular support of the school.

Their total budget was $58k. They would like to see that increase to $78K. They have all positions filled except President and Vice President.

Their last PTSA meeting will be on June 3. It will be an open house to all folks, especially those coming in next year.

Their major fundraisers are:
Auction/Casino night
Direct Drive

The music boosters sub committee is under their umbrella, but earn and operate from their own budget. They raise around $12k for music trips, instruments, music assistant etc., and it all stays in that department.

They expect 250-270 new 6th graders. There will be room to house them all upstairs.

Ken Bodensteiner asked how Spectrum was handled at Madison.
Answer: If there is a Spectrum curriculum for the class, then it’s considered a Spectrum class, if there isn’t a curriculum then it’s considered gen ed.

If they change to an AP school, it’s thought that the kids will go from Spectrum in elementary to AP classes.

Sean Reynolds asked if music and sports were paid for by the school.
Answer: To date, kids have raised enough money so they have to do “pay for play”.

The Principal is waiting for warm raining day to roll in the mud as part of his agreement for fundraising.

Together, they made another plea to stay involved as parents.

Said that major amount of their funding has shifted. There are some big things: blinds, sound system, computer lab, books and nooks for the library. Projector bulbs, art supplies, graphing calculators etc. ends up being about 100 per item, so you need about $3k per class.

They have 38% free and reduced lunch. People need to give more.

Dr. Gary concluded their presentation by commenting on the great job that the West Seattle parents are doing preparing their kids. He stated that they provide a great community and well prepared students. He was impressed how much money elementary school PTA’s raise, enough to support salaries.

If more information is desired, their website is:

——– Conclusion of presentation ———

Fundraising Report: (Sean Reynolds for Sarah Dillard)
Spring Fling will be combined with the art walk on May 16. Sarah Dillard is chairing the event with Lynn Schwab. We ran into a time crunch at the end of the school year with the play, teacher appreciation week, volunteer appreciation and testing.
The Art Fair with be smaller and contained in the building.

Spring Fling will be kept to gymnasium and cafeteria. No more bouncy house due to District Risk Management.

If interested in volunteering, talk to Sarah Dillard. There might be an online sign up, not sure at this point. It will be a push to set up this event so quickly.

President’s Report:
Sean Reynolds reminded the group that the Golden Acorn awards are coming up. Please email him with nominations. If nominations justify it, we can have 2 nominees.

PTA Elections are going to take place in May. They are very close to finalizing the list, but still need to fill VP to President position. He explained that this is really a 3 year role, but 1 and 3 are very light. If you have any ideas, contact Annie Higgins.

Sean met with Robert Gallagher this morning. Enrollment numbers are trickling in. Next year we are projecting about 540, but expect it to be closer to 560-570. That should save any teachers from being displaced out of the building.

It is important to realize that if we get down in numbers, as has been requested by some parents, we would lose some staff.

At the BLT meeting they were working on CSIP (continuous school improvement plan). This is the year for a major rewrite. Culture and staff will also be addressed.

Numbers lost to Fairmount Park will be replaced by incoming students. The good news is that there probably won’t be waitlists for advanced learning here at Lafayette.

He brought attention to a petition to reduce class sizes. If you agree, please look at the petition. It is trying to get a bill to lower classroom sizes. Please sign if so inclined.

Teacher appreciation week is the week of May 5. Rachel Hagenson is taking over this event. One thing that goes overlooked is the support staff of the school. There will be some events coordinated. Rachel will send out online sign ups for volunteers.

There will be one more Board meeting, one more General meeting and one more Paw Print Press. Olga Fisher will put in an announcement for next year’s Walk-A-Thon.

Music concert is May 20th. Play is next weekend (May 1, 2, 3) at Chief Sealth High School.

Budget Report:
There is a draft budget complete. It will be presented at the next board meeting. The final draft with be presented at General Meeting on May 15.

There are significant line items. They will hold over money for reserves and endowments. They are not spending every dollar that they project to raise.

Meeting adjourned at 8:04.

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