TGS Family Association

September 28, 2011

September 13, 2011 General Membership Minutes

Filed under: Meeting Minutes — troessler @ 3:14 am

In attendance: Paula Babis, Karen Ray, Stan Kissinger, Shelly Silverman, Catherine Chavez, Carol Bormann, Gabrielle Gonzales, Allison Davidson, Vicky Keifor, Laura Calverly, Nancy Goodman, Monique Kormall, Kathy Ross, Susan McGinnis, Pam Bass, Sandra Brody, Sandra Maltry, Linda Naifeh, Nancy Strong, Laurie Kassman, Heather Faircloth, Jonathan Martin, Rachel Villarreal, Susan Heintz, Tara Krupp, Nancy Strong, Christina Maher

Kathy Ross called the meeting to order at 8:10am.

The minutes from the May 10, 2011 St. Gregory FA meeting were approved.

Presidents Report: Kathy Ross welcomed everyone.  She mentioned that note cards were placed around the tables and encouraged all to jot down any ideas or suggestions during the meeting so we stay on task.  The Spring 2011 FA Survey Report was distributed and the summary of the results was shared.  The full report will be posted to the FA website this week.  The Executive Committee took the results into mind while planning FA meetings this year: the first action item is that we will hold the monthly meeting in the evening every 3rd month to better accommodate working parents.  The second action is to have shorter committee reports and try to host more speakers and have more in depth discussions about current school issues.   Headmaster Jonathan Martin will participate as his schedule allows as well as various other speakers.

Treasurers Report: Nancy Strong distributed copies of the 2011-2012 budget, which had been approved by last year’s FA Board. Nancy reviewed the reimbursement process for any individual FA expenses. Reimbursement forms are available to download on the St Gregory FA website and also available in the Admin. Office. She directed anyone with expenses to fill out the form, attach your receipt and give it to Kathy Ross, Nancy Strong, or place in the FA mailbox in the Admin Office. Nancy stressed the importance of spending within budget levels and getting any necessary pre-approvals. If over budget you will not get reimbursed unless you have had prior approval.  Prior approval must go through Kathy Ross.

New Business:

Member Introductions: Those in attendance stated their name and student’s name or affiliation with the school.

Board of Trustees Report: Shelly Silverman, Chairman of the Board, stated the board appreciates parent involvement and fully supports the FA efforts.

The board has a search committee in place for a new head of school that is made up of prior parents, current parents and board members. She stated that they want to make the right choice as opposed to a fast choice.  Students, parents and alumni matter in this decision.  During the process FA members might receive a survey from the search committee.

Committee Reports: Summary reports were passed and will also placed on the website. Gabrielle Gonzales reported on Homecoming. It is to be held September 23 from 4pm to 9pm. This will be the 5th annual homecoming and the event has grown every year. It is a family event. Middle school will have flag football games at 4pm and 5pm. Upper school volleyball will be at 4pm and 5pm.  The upper school will have a 7pm soccer game under the lights. Gabrielle requested all to watch for an email/doodle sign up for volunteers. The school will have a pep rally on that Friday, and a contest for the biggest Hawk fan. There will be food and entertainment concessions benefitting school clubs and organizations. Stan Kissinger announced that the Grad Night Committee will hold a 50-50 raffle. Laurie Kassman, Boosters Chair, stated they are in need of volunteers. The FA sponsors homecoming

Andrea Mainman, co-chair of the Fine Arts Committee, stated they are in need of items and donations pertaining to the Military theme benefiting the fall play MASH. The money will go to purchasing hanging art boards. Any donations, suggestions please contact Andrea.

Development Report: Rachel Villarreal, Development Director, reported that the Shop & Give program was a big success last year raising $1700.00.  It was approved at one of the last FA board meetings of last year that the funds would provide mini-grants to the teachers.  With the launch of the One School-One City initiative the faculty has requested grant funds help the advisory groups connect to this initiative. Everyone was encouraged to go to the FA website and sign up for the Shop & Give/eScrip program.

Door Prizes: Kathy Ross had 3 door prizes to give away.  3 -$5.oo Car washes and $50.00 dollars toward Car Spa, 20.00 gift certificate for Shaffer dry cleaning and a Hawks sport bag fill of goodies.

Meeting adjourned@ 8:47am. The next FA meeting will be held Tuesday, October 4 at 7:00 pm.
Speakers followed including:

Jonathan Martin, Head of School, who spoke about changes to the curriculum requirementw with regard to electives for MS& US students.  A discussion followed.

Laura Calverly, the new Librarian/Director of Information, who discussed her vision for the St. Gregory library of the future.  A discussion followed.  Laura announced she would like to start a parent book club and encouraged anyone who is interested to contact her.

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September 21, 2011

Spring 2011 FA Survey Report

Filed under: FA Updates — troessler @ 5:48 pm

The mission of the St. Gregory College Preparatory School Family Association (FA) is to advance the general welfare of the School and foster a spirit of participation among all members of the School community.   In an effort to enhance these efforts, a survey was emailed to all St. Gregory parents & guardians in the spring of 2011. Approximately one-third of St. Gregory families responded.

Summary of Results:

1)   Participation: When asked to identify FA activities/events that they, or a family member, had participated in during the year (15 activities were listed), all but three respondents (96%) identified a minimum of 3 activities and the large majority of respondents identified 5 or more activities.  The Back-to-School Dessert Party and Grade Potlucks were identified most often as having participated.

2)   Volunteering: Of the respondents, 56% indicated that they had volunteered, or helped plan an FA activity in the past year.

3)    Future Volunteer Interest: When asked about intent to volunteer for FA activities/ events in the future, 72% indicated an interest in doing so.

4)    Increasing Volunteerism: The following options were selected by the participants as ways to make volunteering easier or more rewarding, multiple answers were allowed:

  • Short term or single event volunteer opportunities: 66% of respondents (55)
  • Better communication about current opportunities: 43% of respondents (36)
  • More opportunities for working parents: 37% of respondents (31)
  • Working more closely w/parents in grade: 36% of respondents (30)
  • A program I am passionate about: 29% of respondents (24)
  • More opportunities for Dads: 10% of respondents (8)
  • A leadership role: 3.5% of respondents (3)
  • Working w/ students (write in) (1)

5)    Communication: When asked to identify preferences for receiving information about FA activities and volunteer opportunities, 87% of respondents listed email as their preferred primary communication method, with many also listing eView, FA website posts or personal contact in combination with email.

6)   Monthly Meetings: In an effort to identify ways to encourage attendance at the monthly meetings, an open ended question allowed participants to provide suggestions or identify conflicts.  The overwhelming majority indicated either early morning scheduling conflicts due to work schedules, or a greater interest in discussions & meeting topics in place of extensive committee reports.   Individual comments included:  better understanding of the FA mission, enhancing the FA image to be more inclusive rather than exclusive, greater attendance/ participation (“if more people came I would too”), and more involvement/participation by Bd. of Trustee members.

7)   Meeting Topics: In 2010-11, the FA hosted Headmaster Jonathan Martin for ‘Town Hall Style’ discussions immediately following the monthly meetings.  Participants were asked to share topics they would be like to see covered in the future.  Here is a summary of the responses:

College Readiness/Academic Comparisons:

  • Comparisons of how we rank nationally. Explanation of test scores.
  • A discourse on the problem that the school is relatively non-participatory in preparing the Upper School students for the SAT/ACT in terms of test taking preparedness

Technology:

  • A forum on social media and texting
  • Bring in experts to talk about how this generation of students lives more in a virtual world than a face to face one
  • Computer usage at SG and how the 100% laptop approach is going, as well as other internet issues, e.g. privacy rights, internet dangers, future of internet in educational settings, pitfalls of online learning as well as the many advantages
  • How different learning styles interact w/ a primarily computer based education
  • The net book incorporation into the coursework and how that can be improved for the second year of the program

Curriculum:

  • A review of the advisory program after the first year
  • Adding electives that involve the social sciences
  • Putting more emphasis on issues of diversity/class/privilege
  • Future goals for the school’s new academic programs

Culture:

  • The evolution of “green” sustainability models on campus
  • Feedback from the teachers about their quality of life as employees and enhancements needed to the corporate culture
  • Discipline Issues, how to handle alcohol and sex in HS
  • Teachers and students working more closely together with mutual respect
  • Discuss a more thoughtful approach to what kids eat at school: a more healthful meal selection– no sugary drinks, salad bar, etc.
  • How our kids can get involved in the community in a real way -more than just 15 hours a year

Misc.:

  • Topics should be fluid and reflect the ideas that the Admin. is considering at the time
  • A “state of the school” held 2x a year w/sharing of the current issues facing the Board of Trustees

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September 8, 2011

FA First General Membership Meeting of the 2011-2012 Year: Tues., 9/13, 2011 from 8 -9 am

Filed under: FA Updates — troessler @ 6:22 pm

Location:  Mirador Board Room

Get up-to-date information on issues & participate in discussions with the school’s administration, faculty, family association committee chairs and outside speakers. This month:

  • Head of School, Jonathan Martin, will explain changes in curriculum requirements with regard to electives for MS & US Students;
  • Laura Calverly, new Librarian/ Director of Information will discuss her vision for the StG library of the future;
  • Gabrielle Gonzales, FA Chair for Homecoming, will tell us all about the schedule for September 23rd – you won’t want to miss a minute of all the fun that is planned for this annual school-wide event.

Family Association meetings are a great vehicle for sharing your ideas and becoming involved with the school. Meetings are also a good opportunity to connect with other parents and the staff.

Coffee & refreshments will be served. Win a door prize!

May 10, 2011 – General Membership Meeting Minutes

Filed under: Meeting Minutes — admin @ 3:31 am
  • In attendance: Rameen Ahmed, Pam Bass, Lydia Purdom, Sandra Maltry, Cathy Chavez, Paula Babis, Gabrielle Gonzales, Shelly Silverman, Stan Kissinger, Valerie Warner, Debra Hoffman, Maria Granger, Cathy Rosenberg, Rachel Villarreal, Kathy Stern, Amy Jobst, Nancy Strong.
  • Meeting was called to order @ 8:10 a.m.
  • Cathy Chavez moved to approve the minutes from the April 12, 2011 FA meeting. Paula Babis seconded the motion. The minutes were approved.
  • Kathy Stern discussed minor changes to the FA Bylaws. Amy Jobst made a motion to make the proposed changes to the Bylaws. Shelley Silverman seconded the motion. The changes to the Bylaws were approved.
  • Treasurer’s Report: ( Nancy Strong):  There have been some changes to this year’s budget with regard to moving some funds from various allocated events to fill in the gaps where additional funds were needed. Next school year, Student Council, Winter Formal, and Grad Night will all be funded ahead of time to assist with any upfront expenses. The budget for next year was approved.
  • Fine Arts: (Pam Bass) The Middle School drama production will be Peter Pan, which will be performed this weekend ( Fri/ Sat). The MS band will be playing as well as a light dinner will be offered. This should be a great production and they are expecting a great turn out. The performances will be @ 7:00 p.m., with dinner being served @ 5:30p.m. There will be a flyer in the E-view. Please encourage people to attend.
  • Grad Night: ( Gabrielle Gonzales) The last meeting for Grad Night will be next Monday. Sr. parents are asked to submit photos & they still need volunteers for the Graduation day @ 4:00. Please meet in the Board Room. Location of Grad Night still a secret.
  • Class Reps: (Susie Ward): The 10th grade class made $1000 on the Winter Formal. Each class donated to The Sip Silent Auction baskets.  (see report for other class updates)
  • Athletics: (Gabrielle Gonzales): They are trying to set a date for Homecoming for the next school year. Most likely it will be sometime in September. The Girl’s Softball team made it to the State Tournament playoffs.
  • Community Building: (Nancy Goodman): The beginning of the year lunch went well in addition to the end-of- school year pot luck that was held at Nancy Goodman’s house. They are hoping to have a better turn out for activities for next year and perhaps approach it a little differently. Perhaps have a beginning of the year and Spring party.
  • Staff Appreciation: Kathy Stern reported that the last Staff Appreciation luncheon was held at the end of April and it was much appreciated by all the staff.
  • Development: (Rachel Villarreal): eScrip success made $1700 this year which has provided for several mini grants ($200-$300) for teachers for project based learning in the classroom. You do have to re-sign up for the Escript program every school year. It was suggested to sign people up @ the Back to School party. There is a mini Spirit wear sale going on now to purchase St. Gregory apparel. They are hoping to coordinate efforts with the new Athletic Director next year. Proceeds from the sale will go back to the school where the greatest needs are. They are hoping to get the Booster Club up and running next year. Please indicate if you would want to be involved next year.
  • Parent Ambassadors: ( Cathy Rosenberg): Cathy will be retiring from the Parent Ambassador committee but has enjoyed working with everyone. Marina Mayhew and Melissa Thum will be helping with the committee next year. Christine Thorton expressed appreciation to Cathy Rosenberg for being so helpful.
  • Recognitions: Nancy Strong read a thank you note to Kathy Stern for all her dedication and hard work for the school.
  • Board of Trustees: (Shelly Silverman): They are hoping to organize several coffees/dinners next year to recruit more families to the school. They would really like to work with the FA to organize more outreach activities.
  • New Business: There was a vote taken for all the new FA officers for the next school year. Not all the committee chair positions are filled as of yet. There will be a book exchange at the end of July. More information will be forthcoming.  College fair will be October 5, 2011. They will need volunteers to help with the event.
Meeting adjourned @ 9:10 a.m.  The next FA meeting will be in August.

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