Creative Science School

critical thinkers, courageous problem-solvers, compassionate community builders

PTA Meeting Minutes 10/15/13

PTA Meeting Minutesbrittney

Meeting called to order by Chris Anderson at 6:35pm. A rousing round of introductions ensued.  


-       We now have a Volunteer Coordinator – Angie Fitzpatrick. Thank you, Angie!

-       A reminder that we still need everyone to volunteer in some way to make everything happen that we want to have happen at school. You can get in touch with Angie to help out.



-       We have now assigned annual fundraisers to specific classes for continuity from year to year and to make sure everyone gets the funds they need for big field trips.

-       4th grade: Science Fair

-       5th grade: Chinook Books and Craft Night

-       Mid-level: Halloween Party and garden-to-table event

-       Mid-level leadership: Montavillage and Talent Show (Side note: Montavillage is an annual fair that showcases the diversity of our neighborhood with vendor booths, food carts, bouncy house, activities, music, community organization participation, art projects, etc. It’s one way the school gives back to the community. The entire event is put on for less than $1000 and raises about $500 back.)

-       There is a fundraising meeting this coming Monday at 7pm at Over and Out (bar behind The Observatory on Stark).

-       There will be a FUNraiser this year, but without the pressure of raising as much money at one event. The main fundraiser for the year will be Just Give, an ongoing straight ask for money that goes directly to the school. To give perspective, if every family gives $50 per child per year, we’d raise the $20k that is usually raised at the FUNraiser event.

-       Right now no one has stepped up to organize the FUNraiser or a similar fun event. If anyone is interested in forming a TEAM to work on this event, please get in touch with Angie or someone else on the board to get involved.



-       There is a request from Maria for $308 for Battle of the Books to buy 4 complete copies of each book, all of which will stay at the library after the competition.  Battle of the Books is for 4th-6th grade and is an Oregon competition for kids to read the books and compete on their knowledge of the books. It goes all the way to the state level and has the goal of promoting literacy. About 150 students will participate at CSS this year. Motion made, seconded, and carried unanimously.


Teacher’s Union Update from Rosie

-       Bargaining update between PAT and the district: the team is made up of parents and educators in the district. Bargaining sessions are no longer open door, because the district has called for mediation. Teachers are currently working without a contract and are negotiating for a new one.

-       There are currently two proposals that reflect educator and community priorities. One has an element of advocating for students, and the other is more wage/benefit oriented. The district is only willing to currently negotiate on the district mandated proposal and not the student-focused proposal.

-       Right now the union is in mediation with the district for 15 days before submission of the final offer, after which the teachers will decide whether to accept the contract or not.

-       Right now PPS is 12th in compensation out of 13, and in 1998 we were 2nd.

-       There is a rally next Monday 10/21 at the district office. See Rosie if you’d like to get involved, take action, or get additional information.

-       You can also visit

-       The best thing that parents can do is to speak up and say they support teachers. Right now all the press is in favor of the district.


Report from Ben Needham

-       Next month we’ll be introducing Restorative Justice as a way to work with kids when they make mistakes. When there is a problem – get the whole story and find out what happened; work with the kids to find out from them who was affected (negatively impacted) and how to help them learn something as opposed to being punished for something; help the kids figure out how to make it right with the person who was negatively impacted; make an agreement and provide support (from peers, teacher, community) to make things right and keep things right.

-       Positive Behavior Supports – making sure kids know what is expected of them and are set up for success.

-       Laura asked if the key language from the restorative justice professional development with the staff can also be shared with the parents/community so it can be reinforced at home. Ben says yes!


Yoga update

-       We have budgeted already for about 4 months of yoga (once a month) for K-5, or about $1500.

-       There is a proposal to increase the funding to either fund 6 months for K-5 or 4 months for K-8.

-       Ben made a plug for it being worthwhile. Last year is was part of PE. This year it would be during counseling time.

-       Right now we have about $1600 in unallocated funds. We approved tonight for $308 to go to the library for Battle of the Books. We also have a line item for sexuality education that is currently $0, since we don’t know the plan yet for this year.

-       A motion was made to fund yoga an additional $120 to fund for K-8 for 4 months (Jan-April) and then reevaluate. Seconded and approved unanimously.


Business meeting adjourned at 7:20pm. The remainder of the meeting was a presentation and discussion about Storyline by Jeff Creswell.


We do not usually include notes from the presentations, but I wanted to include this takeaway:


Jeff would like to encourage us to change our language when we talk about CSS. Instead of telling people that this is what we have at CSS and this is what makes CSS special, we should be saying this is what a good school looks like and this is what every child should have. The fact that we are exceptional is the problem – every child deserves this kind of education.