Meeting Minutes: November 29, 2016

Parent Attendees: Jaime Alexanderson, Elisa Dalla-Giustina, Virginia Dimoglou, Dan Lock, Joanne Mitchell, Sarah Mooney, Samantha Ridsdale, Kari Svenneby, Rhiannon Thomas, Hillary Whyte, April Wilson-Lange

TDSB Attendees: Carina van Heyst, Nitsa Kondakos

Agenda Items

Principal’s Report

  • 2016-17 Staffing
    • Ms. Ginies will be remaining all year on long-term occasional
    • Working to fill vacancy in lunch supervisor position
  • School activities
    • Girls’ basketball and boys’ volleyball is finished
    • Starting in new year, girls’ volleyball and boys’ basketball will begin
    • Hockey games will begin in new year
    • Leadership club, Me to We, and Rafiki bracelets will continue
    • Choirs are ongoing and will be performing at holiday concerts
    • Choirs will start work on school musical soon which is Alice in Wonderland
  • School Fundraising
    • A number of fundraising initiatives
      • Highway of Heroes
      • Living tribute
      • Tree planting and bulbs planted
      • Communications
    • School Improvement Planning
      • School Climate
        • Focused on student well-being, school climate, and anti-bullying
        • Held Power of One presentation
        • Involving leadership club in school climate initiatives
        • Colour teams are also focusing on leadership opportunities
        • Bullying prevention week extended to two weeks with assembly on Nov 30
        • Colour teams will present plays and other presentations they’ve prepared
        • Second step continuing in classrooms
      • Reading
        • Kindergarten and grade one classes working with early reading coach
        • Focused on having every student reading by grade one
      • Kindergarten changes
        • Kindergarten staff have updated curriculum and PD Day focused on this and new assessments
        • All kinders will now receive report cards at all three points
      • Math
        • Focused on problem-solving and deeper understanding
        • Ministry of Education released renewed math strategy but no changes applied yet
        • Norway has been doing on math work in anticipation of changes in new year
      • Outdoor Improvement Planning
        • Beautiful physical site for a “downtown” school but also has some needs
        • Issues with trees and drainage
        • Anticipate that some funding will be available
        • Often these projects are made possible by a variety of funding sources
        • School Council has been talking about possibility of larger capital funding
        • Grant opportunities exist though we’re not eligible for some grants and School Board will help to decide
        • Board put together workshop on participatory design
        • Suggestion is to put together 2-3 month engagement plan involving students, parents, teachers, YMCA, etc.
        • Implement engagement process Jan-Mar
        • After March break, Board will bring in landscape architect and all ideas to feed into design
        • Mar-June will focus on finalizing plan and major construction would take place summer 2018
        • Idea is that plan would be mapped out into phases that extend over multiple school years
        • Parent group is meeting Nov 30 to discuss outdoor improvement plans

Action Items

  1. Decision: Can School Council contribute to musical?

Eco Team Report

  • April, Ms. Van Heyst, Ms. Taylor, Ms. Ginies, and Joanne attended eco-schools kick-off
  • Aiming to become certified eco-school but there are a number of requirements
    • Have to conduct waste audit
    • Registered for certificate, next step in April
  • Ideas have been generated and some can be brought forward as part of the outdoor improvement campaign
    • Bike education in conjunction with new bike lanes on Woodbine Avenue
    • Walk & Wheel Wednesdays
    • Examine physical/accessibility barriers
    • Bike parade at fun day
    • Host a bike clinic
    • Add butterfly or vegetable garden
    • Improve garbage receptacles in school yard (with green bins, garbage, and recycling); better waste management everywhere
    • Battery recycling, each classroom has container, can have a trophy for which each class competes
    • Promote litterless lunches
    • Recyclable tech depot
    • Crayola marker recycling
    • Ensure kids are using reusable water bottles = better water fountains
    • Sell litterless lunch kits
    • Sell reusable water bottles

Lunch Program Update

  • Last year parents had expressed interest in starting lunch program at Norway
  • Administered survey and feedback was positive
  • Put out another survey this school year
  • Brought together committee to explore possible at service providers
  • Will include survey in next newsletter and if response is still low, will send home in backpack
  • Looked at a number of companies (kid essentials, lunch lady, Rose Reisman, etc.) and narrowed it down
  • Criteria included quality and little to no extra effort by school/parents
  • All vendors are currently working in TDSB schools
  • Some providers were ruled out on price alone
  • Shortlist ranked, Real Food for Real Kids (RFRK) came to the top
    • For every 20 students, they provide free lunch for one child in need identified by principal
    • Could cancel lunch or choose to donate to someone else that goes into bank
    • RFRK are all online, parents have account and do ordering/payment online
    • All parents get menu sent every month
    • Allergies are accommodated
    • Orders are made monthly
    • Any staff who are in schools serving food need to have PRC
    • RFRK comes out and does site visit, then we’re invited to their kitchen, then decision is made

Action Items

  1. Van Heyst will speak with colleagues about how lunch program is working at other schools
  2. Will include survey in next council newsletter and if response is still low will send home in backpacks
  3. Set up trail(s)


Breakfast with Santa Review

  • Raised more than $2600
  • 1st time in over six years that we were completely sold out
  • Recruited 60+ volunteers to plan and execute
  • Volunteer appreciation day will be held at peppery cat Thursday December 8


  • Locked out of PACE account so cannot access most up to date reports
  • Sitting at $23,986/$27602 including Breakfast with Santa
  • Pizza lunches cost $700
  • Spent $1873 so far this school year
  • Front load year with one-time donations
  • Planned expenses for school year
    • Buddy bench $500
    • Bulletin board $300
    • Groove workshop $725
    • Power of One$909/$805 (depending on whether or not we have to pay HST)

Parent Knowledge Conference

  • Will be held Feb 24/25
  • Friday 630-8
    • Keynote speaker
    • Van Heyst will do presentation
    • Food and beverages
  • Saturday content and timing to be determined
  • Need to pay for child care, caretaking, food, speakers
  • Idea is to give parents information on a variety of topics:
    • Math
    • Helping kids with homework
    • Managing anxiety
    • Parenting
    • Reading
    • Active bodies