TGS Family Association

May 6, 2015

April 9, 2015 General Membership Meeting Minutes

Filed under: Meeting Minutes — Family Association @ 7:45 pm

Family Association of The Gregory School

General Membership Meeting April 9, 2015

In attendance: Paula Allen, Mary Babbitt, Nancy Bargamian, Jaine Bennette, Jennifer Cassius, Valerie Deitch, Monika Gloesslein, Gabrielle Gonzales, Angie Goorman, Merle Henkel, Karen Lesser, Andrea Mainman, John McColgin, Cindy McDaniel, Patty Nolen, Sharon Norman, Becky Rebenstorf, Julie Sherrill, Laura Swenson, Patti Wisnom

Welcome and Announcements

The meeting was called to order at 7:50 AM by FA President Andrea Mainman. She began introductions around the room. The minutes from our last minute were available for those in attendance to look over. A motion was made and passed to approve the minutes from the March meeting.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Valerie went over the expenses incurred by various committees this month, including Staff Appreciation and dinner before the spring musical. She also reported on “Shop & Give” income.

Committee Reports

Staff Appreciation – Gabrielle reported that the 8th grade event, spearheaded by Leslie Heroes, resulted in a wonderful breakfast for staff on March 30th, from Beyond Bread.
A Friday lunch has been scheduled by the 10th grade parents for April 24th, to be catered by Dakota Cafe.

Fine Arts – Andrea raved about last night’s music concert and one-act play. She informed parents that they will have another chance to enjoy the band as it will play at the graduation ceremony.

Parent Reps – The eighth grader reps are planning a big post-”move-up” party at the pool at Skyline Country Club. Patti Wisnom reported that plans for a 5th grade end-of- year party are in the works. Junior will have a lunch party at Finnesterra to celebrate the conclusion of the school year. Senior activities include alumni meetings with students to begin networking. Andrea went over the senior timeline. The Silverman family will be hosting an event for the 12th graders as well.

Grad Night – Plans for the big Grad Night surprise are in the works and moving along.

Homecoming – The Homecoming date has been set for next year. It will take place on Friday, October 9th, which should give us cooler weather. Gabrielle made a pitch for committee members. She needs help with decorations, etc. It should be an easy committee, with only one or two meetings.

Development Report

Becky reminded parents that April 15th is the AZ state, dollar-for-dollar, tax credit deadline. With regard to the annual fund, we’ve raised over $100,000 to date. We’re hoping to double this amount. These funds give administrators and teachers the ability to be a better school. The hope is that every family will participate in some way. Funders find this kind of investment by parents to be important on many levels.

TGS is working with “Movers for Moms” to collect hygiene supplies, non-perishable food and household products. This effort supports mothers who have fallen on hard times, living in temporary conditions. There will be a collection box in the office until Friday, May 8th.

Board Report

Andrea reported that the Development Committee has been meeting and will be sharing some of those ideas at our next FA meeting.

Head of School Report

Dr. Sherrill was pleased to inform the membership that The Gregory School was unanimously approved for re-accreditation. We were given a very positive report.

As previously mentioned, a FabLab will be created using a generous $75,000 anonymous donation. Helpful input has compiled from wonderful contacts at MIT and Olin College of Engineering. Other planned projects underway include a Writing Center through the English department, which should open in August. Juniors and seniors will be trained to help under-classmen writing assignments. The hope is that time can be built into teachers’ days to spend a class period in the writing center as well.

It looks like we’ll be receiving funding for electronic leadership modules and leadershiop integration. There will be two interim weeks – in fall and spring. These are not vacation. The goal is to front-load value-added experiences to alleviate fear of missing out because of going on leadership excursions. This will preserve instructional time while allowing for these leadership retreats.

An Academic Committee, with all departments represented, upper school and middle school, has revamped the course offering list. This will be explained to students at the all-school meeting tomorrow. They will then receive more details during advisory on Tuesday. In the fall, the school-day will be lengthened to accommodate different schedules and administrators are collecting information from student athletes to structure things appropriately. There will be a consistent weekly schedule, with days 1 and two alternating with block scheduling and a “flexible Friday.” There will be an “encore period” with choices for middle school students. This will allow them a place to go between 3:00 and 5:00 at no extra cost to families. This could include extra languages, extra fine arts, etc.

The schedule is close to being solidified. Classes will be lengthened to 75-80 minutes each, to maximize time with faculty. On Fridays, there will be interdisciplinary learning. This will provide opportunities for community-based problem-solving, service opportunities, writing center usage, leadership building and so forth. During weeks with a holiday, things will shift around to eliminate the Friday activities, to preserve academic time. The lunch/tutorial block will still occur at mid-day. The new schedule will be distributed by the last week of school. Fifth grade classes will still be self-contained.

New Business

Andrea read through a list of upcoming activities, including the April 11th choir combined concert at the Lutheran Church at Campbell and Speedway, the May 13th FA Annual Meeting at El Charro at 11:30 PM, with a thank-you lunch provided by the TGS Family Association, and the May 15th FA Spring BBQ in the science courtyard, with band entertainment and art show, followed by the middle school play.

The meeting was dismissed at 8:40 AM for a FabLab presentation.


at El Charro on Sunrise and Kolb, sponsored by the Family Association.

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