March 2013

PTA Meeting Agenda

March 14, 2013, Jefferson Library


1. Introductions & thank you

a. Patricia and Anne for the lovely coffee events (career day event)

b. Jess for the work on the newsletter

c. Mas & Stephen working on the science

d. Kitty for hard work on treasurer stuff


2. BFT Update

a. Each school in Berkeley has a union representative.

b. Update on contract negotiations.

c. BFT feels that it is important to maintain competitive salaries so that we can still effectively recruit good teachers.

d. Salaries have effectively gotten smaller (due to cap on health care coverage).

e. BFT has asked for ongoing salary raises or a one-time bonus, but first few conversations with the district have not reached consensus. In the last meeting, BUSD has offered a 1% raise.

f. Teachers are looking for support from the community.

g. Original BFT request was for a 10% one-time bonus. Now have shifted more in the direction of ongoing salary raises.

h. Pay-for-performance has not come into the discussion here in Berkeley yet. Teachers feel that pay-for-performance tends to push the agenda more in the direction of topics that are on the test (i.e., not science and arts).


3. Principal’s report

a. Gearing up for the last portion of the school year. SGC is planning for next year. Planning and review of the data is in process. Initial review shows that we need to do more to share information about the programs here. Developing a brochure that helps families understand and know about the school to better reflect all of the programs at the school.

b. Plan is to reserve the final newsletter for a wrap-up or for a final principal’s report for the school year.

c. Asked teachers to tell Maggie all of the enrichment that fosters creativity that have been done and what most proud of so that teachers can share that information on the part of the staff and overall school and how to present that. Maggie is thinking about how to generalize the information. Example: 3rd grade planted trees with a forestry technician with city of Berkeley.

d. Working on the greening of the school—moving towards zero waste. Having stop waste assemblies to build awareness.

e. Have applied for the chancellor’s grant. Members of the parent guardian community to apply for the grant for greening of the school yard and supporting the construction to green the yard the following year after the construction. If it goes through we will go with specialists in playground design and have additional experts to work with us. Garden committee is getting ready to get containers from Lowes grant to make the garden on wheels.

f. Construction project is ongoing. Project manager and architect will come back with final round of some part of the project. Plan to take about value based engineering and finding how to do things cheaper. Immediately start knocking down the portable after school ends.

g. Next year the library is going mobile. Next year library will be a classroom.

h. Came to the PTA about funds for community meetings about becoming a more welcoming community as a diverse community. We can’t do the meetings this year because of facilitator discussions and time crunch. Too far into the year to do it in the way it should be done. Propose to carry over the funds with a timeline for the year so that the community can really participate and that will open up the process a lot better.

i. Need a committee of school parents who can network with CAL people.


4. Funding for Technology (proposed expenditure announcement)

a. Maggie met with technology director and local site technology director to discuss list. They will get cheaper because will get windows computers. At least 4 desktops for each classroom plus each one or 2 full chrome laptops, plus screens for classrooms, LCD connectors, some teacher computers that are higher level. Approximate cost is $15,000. Wont’ need rolling TV sets. Color printers for the school.

b. Motion: The PTA will approve expenditure of up to $15,000 from the leftover funds remaining in the district PTA accounts for the purchase of technology items for the school.

c. Moved, seconded.

d. Vote Count: Unanimous


5. Science activities funding

a. There has been a number of discussions about science and what funds are needed.

b. Discussion: Science committee has been working with Maggie to cover supplies to cover activities such as the science assembly, a presence at the Mayfair, performance by presentation by Mad Science to present at an assembly, Lawrence hall of science to present (up to $800) to bring the star lab.

c. Use the interest forms to find parents with younger parents who might be interested in learning to use the star lab; also put on the e-tree.

d. Funding is available to cover these expenditures.

e. Motion: The Science committee requests up to $1,500 to support costs for science activities to be spent at their discretion.

f. Moved, seconded

g. Vote Count: Unanimous


6. Treasurer’s report including 2014 Budget Discussion

a. Today we are doing an introductory budget to look at our actuals, current, and two years back to cover actuals to see our historic income/expenditures.

b. Giving campaign has more givers than prior year. And is similar in amounts compared to prior year.

c. Want to understand discretionary vs. non-discretionary expenditures (e.g., big ticket items). Maybe we should thing broader about our programming. Desire to hear from the teachers about what their priorities would be and then build from there about the confidence that they will be used, requested and supported in the classroom.

d. Would be nice if there was better attempt to assess what teachers wanted to spend funds on.

e. Process works like Maggie brings the needs to the PTA board. Information about what the SGC is funding and what the school discretionary funding is. Maggie meets with the teachers and sees the financials and the teachers prioritize the needs with Maggie.

f. Process for teachers to apply for a grant from the PTA. Form is available on the website so that the teachers can ask for extra. Additionally, each teacher gets an allocated amount.

g. What is the true costs of events vs. when parents actually donate so that we can figure out what the events actually cost. Maybe get the organizer’s estimate of the true costs vs. the costs that were expended out.

h. Next month we will discuss further.


7. Spring event updates

a. Mayfair: doing well. Need to work on updating some of the games (and/or star wars them). Volunteer spot is up and working.

b. Silent Auction: talked with Richard Pratt at Emmett Islands and have agreed to host the silent auction and pin down the theme. Date is June 1, 2013. Theme confirmed: Rock the Casbah.

c. Cleaning up of the basement (planned for May 11, 2013); there are people in construction with trucks that might be able to volunteer this.

d. Crepevine will do another event.


8. Nominating committee

a. Jamaica Moon, Andrea, Ann Cockle, Tamika, Emily

b. They will come to the next meeting to make recommendations. And we vote in May.

c. Motion to accept the nominating committee

d. Motion moved, seconded, passed unanimously.


9. Comments, Ideas, Suggestions…


10. Other business