Presidents report – by leader6



                                  ECHHS PTSA Meeting
                               Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Present: Art Belden, Agnes Bernasconi, Karen Bobrow, Sheri Branson, Faye Cook, Mark
Emamian, Cheryl Flipus, Christian Gilbert, Theresa Grimm, Ginny Guildoile, Sissy
Holloman, Terri Hoffer, Karen Lewis, Mary Ellen Olson, Rachel Pugliese, Walid Ramadan,
Ghada Ramadan, Jan Simmons, Rody Spivey, Nancy Smythe, Dave Thaden, Diane Willis,
Weihua Xie, Mary Zirakparvar

Call to Order–
    The meeting was called to order at 7pm by President G. Guilfoile. A quorum was
      declared present.

Approval of Previous Minutes-
          o Motion: To approve the minutes of the November 7th with corrections
            submitted by C. Filpus and J. Simmons. Passed.

President’s report –
    G. Guilfoile has gone back and forth via voice mail but not yet connected with
      NCPTSA President D. Horton to discuss the requirement for the ECHHS PTSA to
      provide its 2006-2007 membership list to the state. The NCPTSA says it is a
      mandate of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act passed by Congress but has not provided
      any written evidence or citation of the law.

          o Action Items: S. Holloman and J. Simmons will look into this mandate and
            report back at the January meeting. G. Guilfoile will invite NCPTSA
            President D. Horton to the January meeting.

    Fundraising for the Internet Access project has surpassed the halfway mark, now
      at $5000. The project helps fund computers and internet access for ECHHS
      students who are without (prioritized by the Blue Ribbon and Avid programs). G.
      Guilfoile asked PTSA members to participate in obtaining support and asked that
      each member try to raise $100. In addition, it was suggested to ask recipients of
      the internet access write an article regarding the benefits derived from having
      been awarded this access and include the article(s) in the Wildcat and/or in the
      upcoming PTSA Email blast.

         o Action Item: G. Guilfoile will email information and pledge forms to PTSA
         o Action item: G. Guilfoile will coordinate with Anna Ryder to obtain the
           written articles from the recipient(s)

Principal’s Report –
    D. Thaden reported on the status of Buy a Book/Save a Back – the project that
      funds an extra set of textbooks in classrooms so students can leave their copies
      at home (and save their back). Last year the PTSA raised $3500 and the school
      added $1500 to purchase 9th, 10th, and 11th grade Social Studies text books.
      Most students should have them by mid-term exams. Science books will be the
      next text books to be purchased.
    12 to 13 teachers will be leaving ECHHS to go to Carrboro, 2 in each core class
      and 1 elective
    Jerry Warden, director of the YMCA, is working in partnership with the Chapel Hill
      Police Department to develop a program for parents on the influx and impact of
      gang activity in the CHCSS district. D. Thaden has agreed to support and
      promote the program and will allow it to be held in the ECHHS auditorium. Mr.
      Warden requested the endorsement of the ECHHS PTSA.

         o Motion: To approve the addition of the ECHHS PTSA to the list of
             organizations supporting and endorsing Mr. Warden’s program. Passed.

    The State School Board is looking at dropping the Career Tech and Career Prep
      tracks and the corresponding high school diplomas. Dr. Petersen has sent a
      letter against this initiative.
    Progress reports will be out on Thursday, December 14th.
    The exam schedule will be broken up by a weekend now that there are 7 periods.
      The schedule is as follows: Friday, December15th, periods 1 and 7; Monday,
      December 18th, periods 2 and 6; Tuesday, December 19th, periods 3 and 5, and
      Wednesday December 20th, period 4 and make-up exams.
Treasurer’s Report –
    T. Hoffer passed out the July-November 2006 budget report and had no specific
      issues to raise at this time.

Committee Reports –
    Directory – H. and B. Buckley were not in attendance, however, D. Thaden had
      the directory information available on a USB which he will get to them.
    Landscaping – A. Bernasconi has scheduled Saturday, December 8th from 10am-
      12pm as the next landscaping day. She anticipates to prune some crape myrtle
      trees and will need a chainsaw. Concern was expressed because of the use of a
      chainsaw and was suggested that any pruning to be done with a chainsaw should
      be bid out and performed by a landscaping company and not by students or
      volunteers. A. Bernasconi agreed to include such pruning into the landscaping
      proposal to be bid. In addition, Ms. Bernasconi has been frustrated with the
      poor turn-out by students even though she has offered extra service hours (1
      extra hour for every 2 worked). She asked for advice on how to recruit more
      students and suggestions included asking D. Thaden to include it in his Sunday
      announcements, having flyers made and put around the school (especially in the
      restrooms), putting the dates on the PTSA and school website calendars. She is
      going to apply for a $5,000 grant through a Lowes foundation that supports
      school landscaping projects.
    Newsletter – The committee gave G. Guilfoile a written report on the November-
      December newsletter and distribution. 1000 copies were printed for $560 and
      931 were mailed for $147 postage. Costs were less than in October because
      there were 10 pages instead of 14. Articles will be due for the next issue on
      January 5th.
    SGC Report – Mr. Ramadan who was representing the SGC tonight indicated the
      SGC is in the process of reviewing its role.
    Membership – C. Gilbert and N. Smythe reviewed some issues related to lower
      membership roles, which are currently 17% below last year’s numbers. One
      relates to the loss of 230 students to Carrboro and CHHS next year, which would
      represent another 300-400 parents. Disappointment was expressed that the
      membership form was not included in the November-December newsletter and
      no reason was given for its omission. Questions had been raised prior to the
      meeting about who is responsible for communicating with the PTSA members,
      informing them of issues, meeting times and agendas, minutes from previous
   meetings, etc. It had not previously been within the purview of the Membership
   Committee. Last year, an attempt was made to distribute “email blasts” to
   supplement newsletter information, however the concept never got off the

      o Action Item: Consideration will be given to establishing a
         “Communications Officer” on the PTSA next year.

      o Action Item: For this year, G. Guilfoile will ask K. Berman, newsletter email
         distributor, to serve as the communications link because she has the
         emails and capability to do so. An email blast will be sent the week of
         December 9th to include the following items and assignments: Exam
         Schedule and Volunteers and Donations for Exam Breakfasts – Simmons,
         Spivey; Membership Form and Recruitment Note (Smythe/Gilbert), Parent
         Forum title, date, time and location (Zirakparvar), and a reminder to high
         school students to volunteer at the Thrift Shop during the winter break
         (Filpus), and inviting all parents, teachers, and students to our next
         January 2nd meeting. Each respective committee will email Ms. Berman the
         verbage they want to include in the email blast, and G. Guilfoile will
         coordinate with K. Berman in this email blast.

 Health and Safety – T. Raphael-Grimm indicated the school district’s health and
   safety committee meets as a whole bi-monthly and in subgroups the remaining
   months. She and co-chair F. Alphin are serving on the mental health subgroup
   but no priorities or directives have been established yet.

   A. Belden reported on the new Security Committee formed by D. Thaden. Two
   meetings had been held to discuss security ideas – the police would like to have
   cameras at every door; consideration should be given to securing access to the
   school; should Carrboro HS be a pilot program for new security measures?

   A parent reported her student had picked up whooping cough in the school and
   her doctor reported 8 cases in the last few weeks. Local, state and national news
   services have reported an increase in the incidence of whooping cough because
   the vaccine does not last throughout a person’s lifetime. This, along with the
   upcoming flu season, warrants a reminder to all parents not to send their
   children to school when they are sick.

      o Action Item: A reminder to parents to keep sick children at home will be
         included in the next newsletter.

 PTA Council – R. Pugliese discussed the need to find a champion for the
   Reflections program.

      o Action Item: M. Olson will ask L. Dudley to review volunteer forms and
         find anyone who specified the arts as an area of interest.

 Grade Reps – J. Simmons and R. Spivey will be looking for volunteers and
   donations – especially now that there are 4 exam days and the weekend in
   between the 1st and 2nd.
 Thrift Shop – C. Filpus indicated hours are still down from last year but had
   increased in recent weeks. The new drop-off center is up and running. Thrift
   shop needs shoppers and volunteers during the winter break.
 Transportation – M. Olson looked into the problems of overcrowded buses and
   late arrivals. The state calculates bus capacities based on students holding only
   their basic school materials (backpacks) on their laps and did NOT account for
   gym bags, sports equipment, musical instruments, or school projects which
   students also transport to school. Compounding the problem are the much
   larger physical size of the students today than years past. The two buses under
   review had 30 students on a 44 capacity bus and 39 students on a 50 capacity
   bus. It was suggested that late arrivals may be due to arrival guidelines being
   the same as last year when the school was on a 4-minute delay and/or the fact
   that without 0 period, all students are arriving at the same time for 1st period
   and there are significant traffic tie-ups on Weaver Dairy.

      o Action Item: M. Olson will ask M. Truelove to help investigate how these
         capacities are arrived at and are they realistic for the physical size of high
         school students today and all the extras that the students have to
         transport to school other than their text books? She will also ask M.
         Truelove if the guidelines for arrival times are current or the same as last
            year when the school was on a delay. An update on both items will be
            reported on at the next PTSA meeting.

    Cultural Enrichment – S. Branson reported on the first band’s lunch performance
      and a second band is scheduled for this Friday, December 8th.
    Webmaster – M. Emamian indicated he will be working on redesigning the site
      over the next few months and he is open to all suggestions. One suggestion is
      to use a “flashing” icon to alert parents, teachers, and students of upcoming
      PTSA meetings.
    Parent Forum – M. Zirakparvar reported the forum is scheduled for Monday,
      February 5th from 7-9pm. The program is set, speakers invited, and the main
      focus will be “Family Talk”.
    Curriculum Advisory – A. Belden reviewed discussion on same sex classes.
    High School Reform – K. Lewis reported on recommendations that summer
      school be available only to students who have failed a course; hybrid-platooning
      plans for block programs; and the three high school “academies” whereby ECHHS
      will have the academy of social justice, Carrboro of international studies, and
      CHHS of visual and performing arts.

    The meeting adjourned at 9pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Smythe and Christian Gilbert

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