Creative Science School

critical thinkers, courageous problem-solvers, compassionate community builders

PTA Meeting Minutes 6/10/14

PTA Meeting Minutesbrittney

PTA Meeting 6/10/14


We were locked out of the school! Then we got into the school! Then we ate a whole bunch of pizza!


Meeting called to order at 6:55pm.


Budget Update

-       We raised $33k this year (not including the art run)

-       We raised $3854 in restaurant night profits

-       FUNraiser profited about $6k

-       CSS arts run raised over $18k


Budget Proposals

-       Tables for the PTA: proposal to buy two long folding tables from BiMart for around $200. Current tables are being co-used by the garden. We’d like to donate those (fairly dirty) tables to the garden and buy new tables for the PTA. Proposal passed unanimously.

-       $100 for the 5th grade transition ceremony (to become an annual budget item). Proposal passed unanimously.



-       Thanks to everyone for everything you did this year. It’s what helps make this school run well!

-       Thanks to the parents running the chess team – two kids went to state!

-       Thanks to the parent who built us a shed when the old one was destroyed.

-       Thanks to the parents who organized the mid-level urban immersion and service drive.

-       Thanks to all those who supported the garden fence project.

-       Thanks to those who supported having yoga in the classroom.

-       And thanks for all of the hundreds of other things that our community members made happen this year.


Filip’s Update

-       Thank you to everyone who came to the Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast this morning and thank you to all of you who’ve done little things and big things to contribute to our school. We could not do this work without the amazing support of our families.

-       Interviews for the secretary position will be held on Tuesday, 6/17, from 10-12. Please email Pam if you would like to be on the interview committee.

-       AP interviews have been demanding but good. We hope to have an announcement on Friday.


Equity Meetings

-       Filip discussed with the teachers and reported at the equity meeting about his proposal that 20% of the available Kindergarten lottery slots at CSS go to Head Start each year. The board discussed this proposal last week and also supports it.

-       Update from Filip:

I am thrilled to hear that the PTA board voted to approve the staff proposal regarding changes to the lottery process. As all you probably know by now, our staff would like to reserve 20% of incoming K slots for families who attend a Head Start program. This proposal would not compromise the sibling preference that is currently in place. Siblings would be granted slots before anyone else. What the proposal would do is give us a viable way to make our school more accessible for diverse students and families. Interestingly enough, the district appears poised to address this issue as well. SACET (Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Enrollment and Transfer) recommended last week that the focus option lottery system be modified:


Recommendation Five: Modifications to the Focus Option Lottery System Since the lottery will continue to be used to place students in focus options and immersion programs, SACET recommends lottery preferences and weights be modified to increase chances of approval for students of color and other historically-underserved students, and to provide greater geographic diversity at the focus option schools, which are intended to serve the district as a whole. More investigation is needed before determining the specific preferences and weights to be recommended.


I believe that our school’s proposal would be the perfect solution for what the district is trying to do. I look forward to having more conversations about this in the fall and I hope that we present the proposal to the PPS School Board before next year’s lottery. Please e-mail me with questions and comments. Your input is invaluable.


Diversity/Equity Discussion

-       How do we ensure diversity in the upper grades as well?

-       Is the lottery for upper grades already weighted for those who qualify for free and reduced lunch?

-       Will this be a discussion we raise at info night and tell families?

-       For this year, Filip gave a special presentation to Head Start families at their monthly parent meeting.

-       Word of mouth spreading from these various communities will inevitably change the pool of families who apply to CSS.

-       Equity group discussed making sure we look at each student as a CSS student and not target them as to where they came from.

-       We do support this proposal as a PTA group.

-       Rosie spoke about the rating of schools by test scores. There are many factors that go into how a school does on test scores, including home life, poverty levels, etc. It’s just one piece of the larger picture.

-       Is Head Start the only way to get diversity into our school? If we were a neighborhood school, for instance, we would be much more diverse. This came up at the Equity meeting, and the answer was that Head Start was a very clean way to start the process, and then additional outreach can follow. It is actually illegal to specifically select certain ethnic or minority groups.

-       Equity meetings will continue next year.

-       Staff would like more opportunities for equity and diversity discussions and flexibility with other topics of interest in their staff meetings and professional development sessions.

-       We need to look at a variety of types of diversity and not just one specific category (racial, ethnic, social, etc.).


Board Retreats

-       There are two summer retreats: June 21 (10am-2pm) at Brittney’s house and August 3rd (Noon-4pm) at Chris’s house. Kids are welcome.

-       Open invitation extended to everyone who would like to attend.

-       The retreats are a good opportunity to shape the priorities for the coming year. We would very much like new voices at the meetings.

-       If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Brittney or Chris.


Board Officer Elections

-       We very much need someone to be the treasurer. This coming year we are looking at contracting out the taxes to make it easier on this position. Laura T’s current term ends June 30.

-       Vice President: Erich Brill elected unanimously.

-       President: Chris Anderson (2nd term) and Kenneth Johnson (co-president). Chris elected unanimously.

-       Secretary: Joanne Havron elected unanimously.


Update on Music at CSS

-       Next year Scott DeMay will continue doing music for upper grades.

-       Crystal may be coming back next year to do choir (including the lower grades).

-       K-2 will get 15 weeks of choir; 3-5 will get 15 weeks of drumming. There may be opportunities for swapping between the teachers so that K-5 all get some drumming and choir. Parent community has asked that music be scheduled before the school year starts (this year K-2 didn’t have music because it couldn’t get scheduled).


Creative Arts Update

-       Next year there will be a community art show (we got a grant for the arts that includes this component). A committee will be working on this over the summer and it will likely be in November.