School Council

Our School Council meets in the school library once a month during the school year, generally on the third Tuesday, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  At each meeting, School Council gets an update from the teachers and school administration on what is happening at the school, and provides advice on school operations.  The Council also organizes events and fund-raisers for the school community. Edna Staebler’s School Council can be reached by send an email.

Please visit here for updates, including minutes from our meetings.

 

Highlights from past years:

May 2016 meeting highlights

We discussed some of the things that are happening to ease the transition for students who will be going to Vista Hills next year, and to encourage those who are staying to be excited about coming back next year. Changes will be happening in the kindergarten outdoor play area to address the flow of water through the area in the hopes of making it less muddy. Construction will happen in that area in the summer. We discussed events that have happened (like the family movie night) and events that are to happen (like Fun Fair). There was also talk about how to use some of the money that Parent Council has raised to support student learning.

April 2016 meeting highlights

We discussed how plans are developing for marking the transition of some of our students and staff to Vista Hills. There is an active committee of staff, which also has some parent representation, that is working on several elements of this process. The principals from Edna Staebler and Vista Hills discussed the staffing process and where we are at in terms of number of classes at each school and the factors that determine what staff each school gets and the number of students in each class. Council discussed events that we are organizing including the Move-A-Thon, Family Movie Night and Fun Fair.

February 2016 meeting highlights

We are beginning to think about how to make a positive celebration for the students who will be staying at Edna Staebler and those who will be moving on to the new Vista Hills school. School Day (an online tool which we plan to begin using for communication and will eventually be using for money transactions) will be coming to the school, and we are working on the roll-out. We discussed staff ideas on how to best use the money which has been fund rasied by Parent Council.

We talked about parent engagement in their children’s learning, and how that means supporting a child’s learning both outside and inside the school. A tip sheet from People for Education was circulated, which included four suggestions that parents can to to help. 1) Have high expectations for your children. 2) Talk about school. 3) Help your children develop a positive attitude toward learning and develop good work habits. 4) Read together (in any language).

January 2016 meeting highlights

We discussed some upcoming events, including the parent info night regarding boundary changes and French Immersion which will be happening Thursday January 21 at 7:00 pm. We also discussed some of the effects of the boundary changes on the school, including its staff. Teachers talked about the technological resources that are available to the students including ipads, chromebooks and desktop computers. Six kits have been given to the school called “Inspiring Your Child to Learn and Love Math” by the Council of Ontario Directors of Education. These were made available at the Parent Council meeting. Much of the kit is available online at  http://ontariodirectors.ca/parent_engagement-math/en/index.htm. We also discussed finance, fund raising and events such as Move-A-Thon, movie night and Funfair.

November 2015 meeting highlights

Parent Council reviewed how the Book Fair and Family Movie Night went. One of the concerns was that some families sent their children to Family Movie Night without sending adult supervision. It was decided to make the next Family Movie Night in April, and Fun Fair will be early in June. Parking issues were discussed, including the new no parking zone by the park on St. Moritz.

October 2015 meeting highlights

Our new principal Paul discussed the role of the principal, and the school staff updated some things that have happened recently (like the election) and upcoming things (like Share a Smile Day). An update was given on the review of the boundaries of the school catchment area. Tentative dates for events  the Parent Council organizes, like Fun Fair and Move-A-Thon, were set. Alternate systems for ordering of food (eg. pizza days) was discussed. The school administrators provided an update on the current labour situation.

September 2015 meeting highlights

A new executive was elected for this school year (chairs, treasurer and secretary). It was noted that because of possible boundary shifts, some of the people currently in these positions may no longer have children attending our school and it would be helpful to have new people shadow those currently in the position and learn how it is done. An update was given on the boundary review process, and the two upcoming public meetings. The grade 7 and 8 physical education teacher thanked Council for the support which has allowed her to pay for volleyball and basketball referees. This frees her up to be a coach during the games. There was a display of one of the drums that was purchased over the summer using funds raised by Parent Council. We will be starting a drum line this year. There was a brief discussion of how pizza sales are to be done, and the position of pizza coordinator was offered to anyone who is interested in a leadership opportunity. An update on the current labour situation was given. Thursday November 12 was set as the first movie night of the year.

June 2015 meeting highlights

Parent Council reviewed the year and its successes. An update was given on the boundary review. They reviewed the money that was in the account and allocated it based on recommendations from school staff. Parent Council was introduced to our new principal, who will be starting in September.

January 2015 meeting highlights

Funding was provided for a presentation to grade 7 and 8 students on “Creating an Ethical Digital Footprint”. There was some discussion of offering a parent night on the same topic. Funding was allocated to purchase wireless microphones, to top up the visiting speaker fund, on outdoor play equipment and as a contribution towards the grade 8 trip.   Concerns were discussed about increased traffic in the parking lot, which is predominantly families picking up children, at the beginning and end of the day. Children are being asked to stay out of the parking lot, as adults in vehicles are choosing not to follow that request. There was some discussion about the operation of pizza Fridays, Move-A-Thon and the upcoming movie night. We are still looking for FunFair volunteers. Math kit sign-in and sign-out is working smoothly with the barcode scanner purchased by Parent Council.

December 2014 meeting highlights

Parent Council discussed a with list from the teachers.  The top thing on the list was Chrome Books (a laptop computer designed primarily for internet and goodle doc use), and based on the expected money from the Move-A-Thon, enough money was allocated for twenty Chrome Books to be purchased.  Money from the Book Fair was allocated to the home reading program. It was decided that the movie for movie night in January will be How to Train Your Dragon 2.

November 2014 meeting highlights

Parent Council approved spending money to purchase four document camera/data projector combos for use in classrooms. There was a discussion of EQAO results for our school for primary and junior grades. Moving the bookfair from the spring to the fall proved to be successful. Circulation of math kits will be delayed until a scanner can be purchased to help with materials handling at sign-in and sign-out times.

October 2014 meeting highlights

The school administration reported on math workshops that many on staff are attending, at our school and other schools, where we are learning through practical experience to develop our skills in teaching math problem solving. Council discussed how Pizza Fridays are working and how the recent movie night went. They also talked about the upcoming fundraiser evenings at Boston Pizza.  The book fair was discussed, especially how the availability of volunteers would impact on the hours that it could be open. Some of the fund raising money was allocated to paying for referees for intermediate basketball and volleyball games. Changes to the kindergarten area were discussed, including a few more things that need to be added before the job is complete. There was some discussion about communication via email, and how it could be handled while not running afoul of the new anti-spam legislation. We also talked about skating and the requirement that families provide and fit helmets for their children who are skating. Because of these safety requirements, our school will not be going on skating trips.

September 2014 meeting highlights

Council provided feedback on this year’s meet the teacher night. Plans were outlined for activities that Parent Council will be doing this year.  This includes movie nights (the first being October 9th), book fair, fun fair, and fundraising activities. There was also some discussion of how best to organize pizza sales. An update was provided on the greening initiative and kindergarten playground enhancements that parent Council has supported financially and through volunteer labour. An executive was elected for this year.

June 2014 meeting highlights

The main business that happened at this meeting was the allocation of remaining fundraising money. The teachers provided a wish list that the School Council reviewed and selected items from. This year it was a harder process than it has been in the past, because School Council had already allocated about fifteen thousand dollars to expand on improvements that the Board is making in the kindergarten playground (which will now be functioning more as an outdoor classroom). With the School Board already making some improvements, it was less expensive for School Council to pay for some additions that could go in at the same time. This meant that School Council needed to be more selective in the other items that it supported. School Council is discussing ways that funds can be raised to support the new kindergarten area so that some of the other wish list items can be covered as well.

May 2014 meeting highlights

The main portion of the meeting was dedicated to the people from the Board’s planning department. A new K to 8 school has been approved for Vista Hills, and the Board anticipates that it will be in place for September 2016.  In anticipation of this school, a boundary study has been planned for the new school, Abraham Erb, Cedarbrae, Centennial, Edna Staebler, Laurelwood and Mary Johnston Public Schools. This study will determine the catchment areas for the various schools and what (if any) grandfathering of existing students or families will take place. There will be a steering committee with representation from the different schools, and opportunities for public input. It is anticipated that the study will take place next school year, to be completed by June of next year. It is planned that the changes will take effect for September 2016.

A teacher approached School Council about a fund raising plan that she has with a group of her students. They will be selling freezies and using it as both a character development opportunity as well as a real-world math activity as they plan for it and count the money. School Council sometimes acts as a sounding board for what the community can bear. There were also discussions about the upcoming Fun Fair.

April 2014 meeting highlights 

Wrap-up discussions were held about the movie night, move-a-thon, and book fair.  An update on the upcoming Fun Fair was given. Some brainstorming was done about what questions would be posed to the people from the Board’s planning department, who will be coming to the next meeting.

February 2014 meeting highlights 

A presentation was made regarding online ordering of food.  This is something that we may move towards, starting with Pita Pit orders. We discussed the direction that we have recieved that CSA approved hockey helmets must be worn when skating at a school event. Our priorities are that all students have access to a variety of activities and are able to do so safely.  The options that were discussed ranged from creating a bank of helmets that parents could select from when a class is going skating (including some of the concerns such as proper fitting and the possible spread of head lice) to alternat activities such as snowshoeing. Acrtivities coordinated by Schiool Council were discussed, including the Movie Night, Move-A-Thon, Fun Fair and Book Fair.  The Book Fiar will be open for previews March 24th and open for purchasing March 25th and 26th.  Also discussed were possibilities for gathering more information about ways of addressing the number of students in the school and ways of providing input from the school community in that process.

January 2014 meeting highlights

As always, one of the school administrators provided an update on what is happening and what is planned in the school.  This time the update included information on the upcoming construction (building of three kindergarten classes and a court yard, and expansion of kindergarten play area).

Another item that was shared was a wish list that the teachers had developed of suggestions for how money raised by School Council could be spent. The plan is to bring the list back to School Council in February with dollar figures attached.

Future events that are being planned by School Council were also discussed, including a family movie night, move-a-thon and fun fair.

December 2013 meeting highlights

Preliminary plans for how to organize the fund fair on May 29 were discussed.

The number of worthwhile causes that have recently been supported through the school were discussed (Movember, the food bank, the Giving Tree, Help for the Philippines, the school in Attawapiskat, poinsettas for the grade 7 and 8 trips, and School Council). We discussed the positive effect that this has on parents modeling acting on their beliefs for their children, and on the learning that is happening bty students who organize these events, as well as donor fatigue.

November 2013 meeting highlights

Representatives from the Waterloo Region District School Board planning department attended the meeting to discuss population pressures on the school and ways of addressing them. The WRDSB has set a proposal to the Ontario Ministry of Education asking for funding to build a new school in the area, and is currently waiting for the government’s response.  If the proposal is approved it will be a few years before the new school is construced and able to open.

October 2013 meeting highlights

Discussed EQAO primary and junior assessment results.

Prepared for the November family movie night.

Discussed fund raisers at Chapters and Boston Pizza, as well as the way pizza days are operated.

Feedback was provided on the process for ordering pictures of children through the school.

September 2013 meeting highlights

Noted the School Council funds that have been allocated from last year’s fund raising to buying home reading books, buying French home reading books, guest speakers, canopies to provide shade for track and field,  Girls On The Run (a self esteam group), computers on wheels, bus to get students to track and field, referees for grade 7 and 8 volleyball and basketball, ipad covers, metal bin for gym ball storage, three ipads for special education support, rolling carts for ipads, ten pack of ipad2s, drill press for tech lab, lego league, support for greening of the gorunds.

Discussed possible improvements to the school grounds.

Elected a new executive.