October 2015 Minutes

  • Highland Park Senior High PTSA
    Tuesday, November 10, 2015 | 6:30 pm | Library
    Meeting Notes

     

    Attendees: Susan B. Wright, Mark Pribula, Susan Murphy, Frank Jossi, Katie Sterns, Teresa Tennis, Andrea Egbert, Laurie Zaepfel, Lara Hughes, Vineeta Branby, Randi Madison, Kristen Teipel, James Farnsworth, Chris Alerts, Jennifer Wetzel, Sandy Gross, David Sepeda, Jody Thronson, Sarah Pradt, Kim Sabo, Winston Tucker

    • Welcome – co-chairs
      • Congratulations on the Band Fundraiser. This also received a great deal of support from the athletic teams.
    • Principal’s Report – Dr. Tucker
      • Kelly Wilcox from the District spoke to us regarding the facilities needs for HPSH. Please see notes at the end of this email
    • The Scots Stroll raised $1600 dollars and all monies were turned over to a mental health and suicide prevention group.
    • Spanish Immersion night went well; in 5 years HPSH will also be home to the Chinese Immersion program.
      • HPSH will be hosting a delegation of 30 principals from China. Visit is to see how schools run.
    • Fall sport season has now ended and overall we had a good season. Winter sport season is starting and we are proud to say we have two cross country students going to State
    • Friends of Highland Arts work continues
    • Final budget has not yet been received from the District. District is overall down in enrollment; HPSH is slightly up in enrollment. Schools that are under enrolled have had funds taken away. There will be information sessions on the budgets as we are in a tight fiscal situation with no additional monies allotted to schools. HPSH is missing basics supplies such as club supervisors, mailings, lunch supervisors and the like. Please note we will not gain get extra staff; we do need funds to run the building. Historically, we have received funds along the way in a bits and pieces method. This does not work to run the building.
    • Questions
      • How do students not graduate? Every year there is a handful of kids who are at risk to not graduate for lot of reasons. Most common reasons include attendance and credit deficit. The school has many meetings with students and the alerts start in freshman year on credit standing, then again in junior year with the pressure starting in senior year. Parents are made aware/contacted about their student and credit deficient. Some students do turn this around and walk while some turn this around it around in the summer and graduate in August. Students who are too far behind go to Gordon Parks as they have programs to accelerate credits and there are online classes. We work with families to see what the obstacles are. We do not have a case management program yet this is all on the counselors and administration. There are some cases that involve extenuating circumstances so others do get involved. It was asked if the school could simulate a program run by Ramsey County for unwed mothers in order to give support. Dr. Tucker will look into this to see if it could be done in the district.
      • How often to school board members visit? Sometimes they invite themselves and we can invite them. Only request is we through Dr. Tucker. Thought is we have a new school board coming in and we have needs, such as a new cafeteria. Jody and David will work with Dr. Tucker on getting the school board into the building as soon as possible.
      • Prescription Medication issue: Dr. Tucker is aware that during the student grade level class meetings, there was a point about the dangers of prescription drugs that has been taken out of context. There are some students in the school who do abuse prescription (Ritalin) drugs (and other non-prescription drugs) and the administration is aware of most of this and dealing with appropriately. There is also a reality that students at HPSH tend to have a bit more means than other students and this issue is more of a suburban school issue. Interestingly, prescription drug use is seen more with the students who are doing well.
    • Parent Liaison Report – Kim Sabo
      • Friday, November 13 is Coffee with the Counselors
      • Parent seminars are doing very well
        • November 18, 2015 Digital Citizenship
        • December 9, 2015: Financial Aid Options
    • Treasurer’s Report – Laurie Zaepfel
    • last chance to pay for PTSA membership
    • Current expenses include grant requests and PTSA liability insurance
    • Please remember Give to the Max monies do not get credited until December
    • Student’s Report  – James Farnsworth
    • Senior Emilia Czapiewska is having a college signing ceremony on Wednesday November 11th in the fieldhouse at school. During her junior year, she verbally committed to play D1 volleyball for South Dakota State University. She is now officially signing on to play volleyball for SDSU. Huge congratulations!
    • James is approaching Buffalo Wild Wings on Snelling and Sweet Pea's Public House to get a Highland sports jersey hung on their wall. Both have Cretin and Central representation.  
    • JA (Junior Achievement) project update: a group including PTSA, Jesse McCann (HPSH staff member), Dr. Tucker, Tina Jones (Hiway Federal Credit Union), Kelly Ahern (JA), Jared Deuitch and Niccolo Ciccarelli (students, 12th grade) have been meeting about launching a pilot of the coffee shop/snack stand idea. Tina Jones will teach JA business lessons on Thursday mornings at 7:00am. This is exciting because Highland does not offer business curriculum during the school day. If your student is interested in getting involved, please email Jared: deuitchjared@gmail.com
    • PTSA Winter Speaker Event: Vineeta and James proposed an idea for the next PTSA speaker. 2015 graduate/parent panel talking tips and tricks for college. Most likely will be held the week we return to school after winter break. Stay tuned for more information.
    • Friends of Highland Arts – James Farnsworth/Colleen Zuro White
    • Great coverage on page 3 of the Highland Villager. There will be two meetings with an agenda to introduce who we are and what we do redevelop Highland arts. We are still committed to being an advocate for HPSH and for arts at the school – this includes all arts, such as theatre arts.
    • There will be a meeting at SweetPeas on 11/19 at 630 to discuss what can be done around arts.
    • Art Showcase is coming up on March 23. This group is committed to working with the both HPSH and Highland Middle.
    • Give to the Max Discussion – Vineeta Branby
      • Big thank you to the committee members. We currently need families to spread the word and use all avenues possible. Speak to friends about what this pays for.
      • Robo call on Wednesday to remind families of the day and a series of emails updating the totals.
      • Day of there will be cheerleaders and pep rally signs
      • Event at sweet peas on Thursday to celebrate

    Overview: Kelly Wilcox – District Maintenance and Planning

    • Handout was given that included HPSH established Priorities. The listing will be done on a five year plan and renewed each year. This list is not in priority order and there is no guarantee this work will be done:
      • Kitchen/Cafeteria including the leaking dishwasher
      • Library/Telepresence Room
      • Plumbing Upgrades
      • Lockers and storage throughout
      • Link area to include no more flooding and reduce the fire hazard risk
      • Art rooms including the leak from the dishwasher in the cafeteria
      • Classroom Technology/Furniture. This would include items such as Whiteboards that we do not have yet other schools do
      • Courtyard – mostly completed in Summer 2015
      • Hallways
      • Auditorium
      • Weight Room
      • Doors and hardware which are apparently original to the building
    • District involved long range plans for facilities which included parents, student and staff giving input on what was most important for the building. Projections show that the Ford Plant remodel should not impact the school, yet parents at table disagreed.
    • Part of this is due to the growth in area F2 and our school is currently planned to hold 1100 students and projections are for 1300 students. What has been seen is F2 and some of F1 area schools have been passed over for much needed work. About 1/3 of the schools do not need any work at this time.
    • Prioritization based on factors such educations space and is the space safe
    • Facilities assessments are completed with some of this is due to the Fire Marshall pointing out issues and the District also needs to bring everything up to the new standards of safety and technology. Work is currently being done to fix some of the storage areas in the school.
    • Fixing the gym floor, the lighting and showers and bathroom remodeling are on the list. Bathrooms would be gender neutral and to standard.
    • Library could include space for the credit union and the space would be a learnings commons with more open space and flexible furniture
    • Our shared cafeteria started the process as it was passed over before. There is a need to move the kitchen and have more open space. Other needs include taking out the entire link to give more space that doesn’t flood and is enclosed on the second level while adding some classroom space
    • Lighting for the auditorium, theatrical lighting and a booth. Some of this can be done, yet it was not placed as a priority. Parents felt this was due to not having a theatre arts teacher at the table similar to having the Athletic Director at the table. Ms. Wilcox will check on the booth and report back to Dr. Tucker. Band and orchestra space no longer works well due to size – need to add a door and look at a space for a new band room
    • Weight room is more about replacing the carpet and making the room flow better, not adding equipment.
    • Questions around can/should parents fundraise? At this time no, District knows all schools need to be equally treated and is open to feedback on how to get things done. Items that fall under safety, such as Fire Marshall visits, are always a priority.
    • New projects will be approved by current board will be prioritized by the new board in January. HPSH would like to invite the Board members to our school to see what our students live with day in day out. PTSA co-chairs will do this.