We hope you are all staying well. The Outside Learning Committee has been chipping away at supporting our teachers and students by creating a few functional outdoor class spaces. Hopefully you’ve seen some of the initiatives or heard from your children about classes outside. We’ve been so grateful for the community’s support in the form of both donated hours and materials such as milk crates.
The current public health reality only makes it clearer that we will want to support outside learning as much as possible in the coming weeks, including when the weather turns a little chillier. To this end and with the principals’ support, we’d like to do a community drive for hats and gloves for those days when children come underprepared or forget their own at home. We will be working out the final details of collection and starting it up shortly. In the meanwhile, please start setting aside new or gently used hats and gloves (mitts would not be as functional for holding pencils etc.) If we wind up with more than we can use, we will find a community school that could share them with their own students.
Thanks Howard P.S. for letting us post here. I’m reaching out to new parents from Howard, because you might not yet be hooked up with Fern communications, and some of our usual channels have been disrupted by our unusual circumstances. If you want to learn more about what is happening at Fern Ave. P.S., please check out our blog at http://fernavenuepublicschool.blogspot.com/ .
Click “Join Mailing List” to get our weekly newsletter. Also, if you are what my teenager thinks of as an “old person” who still uses Facebook, check out our Fern Ave Events FB page, and the informal/parent driven/unofficial page, Fern Ave P.S. Parents. We will also be getting our class lists off the ground soon in a paperless way.
We’ve been working our tails off to get clear information to families about the school’s responses to covid, and to help new families get oriented. So please join us. If you ever have any questions, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Best, Alison McLean — Fern School Council Co-Chair
Please join us Wednesday 23 September 2020 at 7:00 pm for the first Parent Council meeting of the 2020/2021 school year.
Topics on the Agenda include:
keeping our kids safe and
how you can help.
Election of this year’s Council Chair (or co-chairs), secretary & treasurer.
Full agenda to follow. Please help us and the Administration better understand your concerns by adding your thoughts here. See below for some background on the Council and explore the blog for examples of past activities.
Thank you for all your effort as we prepared for this most unique start to school. There is much work still to be done and many ways we can continue to come together as a community.
We hope you are staying well during these strange and distant times, and hope you can join us on Wednesday!
The 2019/2020 Council Exec
(Erin, David, Laura, Cindy, Taralyn, Alice, Michelle and Samantha)
BACKGROUND on the Howard Home & School Parent Council
The Council is made up of a small Executive Committee, a number of initiative-specific committees and other Howard parents
All Howard parents are welcome to attend meetings where they have a vote on any motion being put forward
The Council meets once a month from September to May (excluding December and March) and shares minutes via our blog
It’s a forum where parents, members of the school community, the school administration, and a teacher representative discuss school issues and ways to improve the school.
We discuss issues such as how to help our children succeed at school, what our children are learning, the school budget, the school’s safety, renovations, extracurriculars and more.
Meetings typically last from 7-8:30 pm with the October meeting sometimes going longer as it is our budget meeting.
At the start of each meeting, the Principal or Vice-Principal reports on the state of the school and answers questions.
Who are Council Members?
Each September, the parents who attend the first School Council Meeting elect the Council Executive: a chair or co-chairs, as well as a secretary and treasurer. Other Executive positions are optional.
Any parent can run for Executive positions. For more information on these roles, please ask at the meeting.
The Council oversees several committees, established by parent volunteers according to the needs of the year. Past committees include: Arts, STEM, Tech, Mental Health and Well-being, Environment, Equity, School Yard Revitalization and Sports. This year, we already have an Outdoor Education Committee!
Any parent can propose a new committee or resurrect an old one!
Where does the $ come from and how is it spent?
In the past, Council has been funded through events such as the Fall Fete, a dance-a-thon, a Spring Social for parents, Pizza Fridays and others. Parents and local businesses have been very generous, creating a wealth of opportunities for our school
This year will be different. We cannot rely on events to generate funds for our students. We will have to be creative!
Fundraising provides Council with a budget to fund field trips, science initiatives, arts programming, new technology, new sports equipment and other projects.
The needs this year are different. We are already looking to buy tents and clipboards to support outdoor learning…
Stay in The Know!
Parent volunteers run a School council website howardpublicschool.com where school announcements appear on the blog (which goes out in email form, and parents can sign up for on the homepage), extra-curricular announcements and other reminders are placed.
We encourage all parents to sign up for the blog to help stay informed.
The newly formed OUTDOOR EDUCATION COMMITTEE (operating under Home and School Council and with the approval of the Principals) urgently needs parent volunteers to support the outdoor education spaces we are creating at Howard in the weeks ahead. If you have items that would be useful for outdoor education (esp. shade tents of the kind used at farmer’s markets) to loan or donate, please get in touch.
Additionally, we are recruiting 30-40 parent VOLUNTEERS, divided across 4 teams, to support outdoor learning. The main roles these volunteers will fill is daily setting up and (possibly) taking down of shade/shelter tents as these are being sourced but cannot be left up overnight. Teams would be “on” 1 out of every 4 weeks, then have 3 weeks off. The hope is to have teams large enough (8-10 parents) that the work can be divided across the week, i.e., no parent should have to wrangle tents 5 days straight. There will also likely be a few volunteers needed one afternoon soon to help set up some incoming stump seating.
In other words, the more you and your crew sign up, the less everyone will have to do.
Please go to our SignUp.com page to join a volunteer squad. Supporting outdoor class space is a very concrete and meaningful way to help to make our school safer for our kids and teachers and we really want to have the necessary volunteers in place to start the very first day the infrastructure items are available which may be as soon as next week. There are 6 of us right now and always room for more so please get in touch if you have questions or want to help at the planning level — you can find us in conversations on the Howard Parents Facebook Page or include comments in your SignUp.com entries.