On Thursday, October 9th we held our first Community Meeting. Catch up on our meeting minutes below. Be sure to join us at the next Community Meeting which will feature our First and Second Grade teachers!
Remember, Community Meetings are informal! Fun! Informative! This is a way for you to find out what’s happening in your child’s classroom and the community at-large. All are welcome!
Our conversation with the Pre-K and Kindergarten teachers resulted in a thorough discussion of fire and lockdown drills, ways you can help your child at home, ways you can help your child’s teacher (whether at home or in the building), among other things.
We hope to see you at the next meeting.
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Community Meeting Agenda
- PTO Welcome Message & Introductions
- Kathy Hardesty: Weather balloon information and update
Last year, the 3-D printer was introduced. This year, there will be a weather balloon project. The balloon will launch from the Smith roof (hopefully with all students watching from the blacktop) and will carry a carbon square rod, a camera, a GPS unit, and a parachute. It will go up about 100,000 feet to the stratosphere, where the balloon will pop, causing the rest of the apparatus to drop back down to Earth. Students in every classroom can log in and follow the pings from the GPS unit – it sends a signal every 10 minutes. One camera will carry video, and the other will carry still photos. This is live science, which will be great for the students. Grant came from West Hartford Foundation. Target date for launch will be 10/21. If not successful, the following Tuesdays and/or Fridays will be attempted. Ms. Jacklin, Mrs. Smith (hopefully) and Peter Towey will be in the car that follows the GPS.
- Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten Conversation
Mrs. Russell and Ms. Cravedi discussed how parents can get involved and be a part of their child’s education. The teachers are introducing their Habits of Mind. Teachers want parents to feel involved on every level. Research shows that kids do better in school when they know their parents are involved in their school. That can mean cutting things out at home for a classroom project, providing supplies, attending a field trip.
Pre-k lottery is limited to 16 slots, and factors in how many males/females, how many neighborhood/magnet families apply.
Per Mr. Melian: There will be one drill per month. Two months in a row will be exit (fire) drills; the third month will be a lockdown drill. This pattern will repeat throughout the year.
Snacks – Teachers often purchase snacks for children who forget their snacks. It is helpful if families are able to contribute extra healthy snacks.
- Jenny Steadman: Mini-golf tournament update
Camp Jewell funding committee is working hard. Mini-golf tournament is this Sunday from 12-5, but if you’ve bought tickets, they are good all weekend. They have raised $1500 so far, with the help of local sponsors and families. The committee has pledged to raise $5000 to help reduce the cost to families for the Camp Jewell experience. So far, this year’s families’ cost is down to $125! Tickets are still available, and families can show up that day and purchase tickets. Made $140 in first month of change box, so remember to drop your change as you pass by!
- Rebecca O’Neill: Fundraising round-up (KidStuff, Meadow Farms)
KidStuff books should have been purchased or returned by now. $1300 has been raised through this fundraiser! Meadow Farms fundraiser came home last week and will end 10/22/14. All money raised goes back to the school.
- Michelle Russell: Health Council
Health Advisory Committee’s first meeting is next Thursday. Focus is on physical and emotional wellbeing of students, and is a way for all schools in district to share what’s happening in each school and learn from one another. There are three meetings per year. Michelle will share reports on our website.
- Open Forum
Blood drive this Saturday, October 11 from 6:30am-11:30am at the Red Cross center in Farmington, next to UConn Health Center. This drive is being held in honor of Amarey Brookshire, Kindergarten student at Smith. Please donate if you are able.
Family resource center: Wednesdays 9:30-10:30am early learning playgroup. Also, see website for guest speakers at the family resource center.
Smithschoolpto.org – room parent information, monthly restaurant nights, PTO meeting minutes, etc. can be found there.
Mr. Melian: There was a presentation at CT Science Center about STEM-Family connection on Monday, 10/6/14. There were five presentations from Smith. Mr. Melian would like to organize, with help of PTO, discussion with PTO’s from other STEM schools for future presentations. Jenny Steadman and Amy Yarbrough presented, along with Mrs. Zajack.