School Council Meeting – Important Update and Date Change (now Nov. 23)

Please note the November meeting date has been changed to November 23rd at 7pm in the library.
Thank you to all those who attended our October budget meeting. It was a successful meeting and we allocated a good chunk of our budget. You will be pleased to hear we continued direct funding to our classroom teachers, arts, sports, tech spending and support for our chess and environment clubs among others. A full copy of the budget as approved will go out on the blog shortly.  We did table three issues to the November 23 meeting due to both time and wanting a broader community input. The first is the issue of nutrition and how the lunch room works. We now have a nutrition committee headed by Zoe Traiforos which is looking into ways to improve the lunchroom. You may have seen their survey on how to improve the lunchroom already. It was clear in the meeting that this is a topic that deserves more time so we tabled the discussion to November.
We had two financial requests that we are asking parents to consider and come out to the November meeting to have their voices heard. The first is the issue of a charitable donation. We have a request to use the proceeds of the dance-a-thon (a fundraiser that occurs in February and typically raises $4-5000) to support sister schools within the TDSB. One such school would be Frank Okes, a small secondary school over by Rockcliffe and Alliance that serves students across the TDSB with mild intellectual disabilities. One of the Okes teachers spoke to us about the school and their students and told us all about their amazing programs and some of the challenges their school faces in generating funds on its own: no local school community as students bussed in, many students face cognitive, medical and social/emotional learning barriers, there are only 104 students which makes it hard to raise enough funds to support its goals, it is number 13th on the TDSB learning opportunity index (facing large challenges of external challenges to student success). Two opportunities exist to support the Okes, one is the purchase of a SMART Board for its autism class and a computer laptop cart for its academic program; the other is an alumni night to get together its graduates and their families.  Those at the October meeting felt strongly about supporting this donation and we would like to hear from the wider parent community.  Please read the attached for more information.
Our second outstanding financial request is a request from the music department to refurbish the Heintzman piano in the music room. It will cost just over $15,000 to completely refurbish the piano of which the TDSB is willing to provide $5000. At the October meeting we discussed several options: paying for it out of our School Council budget; holding separate fundraisers like an adult social evening; asking the Friends of Howard Trust to fundraise with a direct ask; providing a more stop gap repair of $5000 to keep the piano going; or letting the piano be used without repairs until it dies out. As this is a sizeable request, we deferred any decision making until the November meeting and we invite you to come out and give your opinion.
We hope to see you all at the meeting.
Linda Torry, Sara Tweedie, co-chairs
Heath Feldman, vice-chair
Tory Millar, treasurer
Jana Jedlovska, member at large
Michelle McBride, secretary

Published by Howard Council

This account is run by volunteers of the Howard Junior Public School Council, the parent and family council that supports the school with fundraising and other initiatives.

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