April 2016 Minutes

  • Highland Park Senior High

    PTSA Meeting Agenda

    April 11, 2016 – 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm


    • Welcome – Co-Chairs
      • David sends regrets
    • Principal’s Report – Dr. Tucker   -
      • Battle came to lead a discussion about adding a JROTC (junior ROTC, hereafter JROTC) with the Coast Guard to HPSH. She was joined by students of the Air Force JROTC from Johnson High School and Rtd Air Force Colonel D. Ford. Colonel Ford runs the program at Johnson.
        • HPSH and Central are the only two schools that do not have a JROTC program. To have a JROTC program brought to the school requires parent approval; both HPSH and Central rejected this a few years ago.
        • Other programs in SPPS: Navy is at Harding and Washington, Marines are at Como and Johnson has the Air Force
        • No program will be implemented if parents do not vote for it. There would need to be future discussions at both schools.
        • Tucker handed out some articles about JROTC and the benefits. He has also done some research and spoken to schools that have programs and asked about value added to the school.
        • Bottom line is cost. If JROTC costs the school money then this has to be a no go despite being an option for a wide array of students and electives.
        • Tucker is sensitive that there will be some concern as this is still a military branch being introduced into the school.
        • Battle then spoke about this being a different opportunity for HPSH and has been desired by students and parents in other schools. SPPS has had this connection for 25 years
        • JROTC students have a core value of giving back to their community and JROTC covers some of the expectations we have for our students in SPPS to achieve their dream. Expectations we have of students and help them achieve their dreams
        • JROTC covers academic, career readiness, personal and social readiness and admission readiness (some join at a college level) so a program is 4 parts of the SPPS 5 pillars
        • Minnesota is seen as a desirable location and many branches for JROTC have a waiting list. Part is due to your school needs to be approved by congress as most of the program is fully financed by congress. HPSH would first need to vote yes, and then SPPS would work with our congressional delegation.
        • SPPS does understand that some may view JROTC as negative as now part of Homeland Security.
        • Discussion was then led by Colonel Ford.
        • Students are some of the best in the school and the AFJROTC mission is to create citizens with good values who serve their nation and community. Johnson has two community events per week and are asked to many in school events, such as flag bearer.
        • Three core values of the program: Integrity, Service before Self, and Excellence in all we do.
        • For many students it is being like a family as we look out for each other.
        • Not sure if Coast Guard is same yet Air Force is fully funded with the school paying ½ of teacher salary. There are also fundraisers for extras such as berets. Air Force covers all operational, including uniforms, costs.
        • Battle let us know that SPPS funds the ½ of the teacher.
        • Johnson had 180 students last year with 130 this year and now at 110. Various classes all have leadership qualities and 20% is tied to fitness – AFJROTC makes the program work for all the students who join. Some students find it is not for them, some will not wear adhere to the dress code, some are asked to leave.
        • Students discussed why they joined
        • The program comes with electives so in order for a students to take these electives, they must be part of JROTC.
        • JROTC does help students with career and school opportunities and financial help with college. There is a connection with college level ROTC. Students in college don’t have to decide on a military career until their third year in college.
        • If HPSH votes in the Coast Guard, it could lead to our students going into the Coast Guard Academy.
        • Battle will need to also meet with feeder school as if we agree to add JROTC, it would start in the 2018 year. It takes about one year to get everything up and running. Currently, 120 schools have applied for this.
        • Mn for AFJROTC has been budgeted for 12 units and so far only 5 have been filled. Army and others have waiting lists showing how highly desired these programs are.
        • If families have questions, please contact either Dr. Tucker or Dr. Battle. Thank you to Johnson’s AFJROTC for taking the time to speak to us and help us understand.
      • Whole foods question. Whole Foods approached Dr. Tucker in the late fall and they presented that they needed much from us and with everything else going on in the building the timing was not right to take this on. Dr. Tucker apologized as he did not connect this could have been passed to PTSA to run with as he has to focus on the here and now for staff and students
        • Vineeta will call whole foods and get us on the calendar
      • How many are opting out of the MCA? Not many; some students didn’t take the test seriously as it is no longer needed for graduation but is a measurement for HPSH.
      • No budget yet for the school – due a week ago
      • Tomorrow night the Board of Education will be voting on the capital bond improvement. Part of the list each school provided. James and Susan are going to the meeting to remind the Board of our Library and water leak needs. Facility group is presenting the overall lists form all and the Board vote is 4/26.
      • Enrollment projection going to be full again with a significant waiting list. Dr. Tucker has been getting inquiries. There is some parent frustration that there is no sibling preference and the District is holding the line. HPSH has some required seats for our school specific programming. Need numbers from WT/KS
      • Tucker heard that there was some ill will around his and Ms. Sabo leaving the PTSA meetings early. This is not done to slight or offend; it is just what has been done historically. Their leaving has allowed parents who may not feel comfortable to say things in front of HPSH staff to speak freely.
      • Tucker requests that families with concerns first speak to Ms. Sabo. She is the gatekeeper and in many cases can get answers sooner to the families.
    • Parent Liaison Report – Kim Sabo  
      • Looking for parent volunteers to proctor IB testing. Currently, spots are 40% filled. Sign up is through Volunteer spot and Ms. Sabo can help get you in.
      • 7 pm tomorrow senior party meeting – looking for volunteers
      • Personal project showcase is on Friday and will be held in the Field House.
    • Treasurer – Laurie Zaepfel -  5 minutes
      • Not much activity and there was a question on Give to the Max donation. Some donations are given monthly.
      • There is still the math special ed grant from last year that Laurie has not heard from / if going to be claimed. This is a larger grant so we would like to know by end of week. If not needed, these funds will go into this year’s work.
      • Parent raised a concern that the PTSA only has about $1,000 uncommitted for next year and wondered what we are doing to raise funds. We used to do a silent auction and found that Give to the Max was less work for parent volunteers and raised the same.
    • Student’s Report – Sydney Linssen/James Farnsworth
      • Thursday Jamba Juice will start at HPSH with a 12 oz beverage for $4. This went through district services and wellness – will be every Thursday and we will earn about 20% of sales. It is understood that there may be some pushback from nutritional services
      • Scots Café had a soft opening last week
      • Looking for student representatives for the District’s Wellness team. If you are interested in this please talk to either James or Carol Grady.
    • General Discussion -  
      • Vote on approving Minutes and Treasurer reports for the year.
        • All Minutes and Treasurer Reports submitted for the 2015/2016 year were approved.
        • Going forward this will on our agenda.
      • PTSA open positions/how to be added to ballot.
        • There will be a letter of why you want to run by May 1, with voting at the May 10th
        • While the PTSA meetings are open to all, for voting of officers, you must be a dues paying member.
        • Students will be found by the students. As this is our first year as a PTSA, we are figuring out how to recruit students. We have seen an increase in students to the meetings.
      • Discussion on what days to meet. All suggestions have pros/cons.
        • Monthly on the second Tuesday of the month so we know what day the meeting is.
        • Continue to alternate up to four days. Some prefer two nights as we have. Wednesdays need to be avoided as many students have religious education.
        • No matter what we do, it is recognized that we will always miss some families.
        • Discussion was not finalized and there is no June meeting.
      • Organizational Structure us also being looked at. How can be flexible to add short term projects/interests while keeping the big picture of serving all of our students? More to come.
      • Changes to By-Laws for next year are coming. Nothing major, more going to a President, Vice-President, clarification of elected officers versus executive board (executive board includes the principal). Changes would be made and presented in September with a vote in October.
      • A motion from the floor was brought to celebrate James Farnsworth’s 18th Motion passed and cupcakes were had by all.