APHS Parent Council Meeting - DOC by 4O4j5q


									                                         APHS Parent Council Meeting
                                                May 26, 2008

Start 7pm (following Mr. Heffernan’s question & answer period)

Attendees: Regan Heffernan, Lucia Smith, Doris Fox, Anne Hughes, Monica Friesen, Sandra McLauchlan,
Elaine Blaylock, Dmitri Prokopiev, Anna Houpt-Taylor, Sue Turchet, Nicholle Russell, Cheryle Hinder, Linda
Thomson, Wendy Ahlin, Rosemarie Sears, Dimple Arora, Moira Chisholm, Serida Bhattacharya, Catherine
Taugh, and Laurene Via

Apologies Received: Erica Bostwick, Debbie Kalil

Introductions and Attendance Sheet
APHS Council Chair Lucia Smith called the meeting to order asking everyone to sign the attendance sheet. She
welcomed us to the last council meeting for this school year and introduced council members in attendance as
well as Mr. Heffernan, Anna Houpt-Taylor, Nicholle Russell and Dimple Arora

Request for AOB Items: None

Approval of Minutes from Last Meeting:
Approved first by Sandra McLauchlan; seconded by Elaine Blaylock. Approved.

Communications: Lucia Smith
 The HAPG (Halton Anaphylaxis Parent Group) is hosting an event for teens or young adults in their 20's who
  have dangerous allergies, on Sunday, June 1, from 5:30pm to 8:15pm at the Iroquois Ridge Community Centre,
  1051 Glenashton Drive, Oakville. There will be a swim from 5:45pm to 6:40pm (or a chat in the atrium). At
  6:50pm, the pool closes and an informal meeting begins. Topics include dating and social situations, high
  school and university tips, finding or being a mentor and safety essentials. Several presenters will be present
  including Mary Tabak, Public Health Nurse for Halton Region. The fee is $8 cash, $12.50 for 2 or $15 (3 or
  more). The session seats a maximum of 30. To reserve a spot contact hapg@islandnet.com or Wendy at
  (905) 339-1773. Family members and friends may also attend.
 Next year’s school calendar including holidays and PA days is posted on the district web site at
  http://hdsb.ca/main.aspx?sMenuKey=1296%20&sPageID=564 and was printed in the May Eagle Beakon.
 The planning team of the HDSB Parent Involvement Committee is in the process of planning a conference, to
  be held Oct. 25, 2008. The team is extending an invitation to individuals and groups who may be interested in
  submitting a proposal to present. They are most interested in parents presenting from their perspective.
  Contact Denise Pearson at pearsonde@hdsb.ca for more information.

Special Presentation: Dimple Arora (Grant from Halton's Making a Change Team)
 Lucia then introduced Ms. Arora and thanked her for attending tonight’s council meeting.
 Ms. Arora started off by asking for a show of hands as she listed each grade level at the school. Then she
  explained that her presentation will be about a possible campaign that Abbey Park may create, from which
  students will be encouraged to show respect for them and others, take responsibility and achieve results.
 APHS (one of 8 schools to receive a grant) has received a grant of $1300 from Halton's Making a Change
  Team to support this idea.
 The “Making a Change Team” goals are as follows:
  - Promote inclusion within Halton schools
  - Provide tools for respectful dialogue
  - Provide tools to enable self-advocacy and support ally work
  - Make positive changes in schools
 The idea is to launch an advertising campaign designed by students, teachers, and parents, to inspire students
  to take responsibility for making smart decisions and to harness the personal power within them. The reason
  for this need comes from Generation Y themselves. They tend to expect egalitarian relationships with authority,
  want to create their own rules, have a sense of entitlement, and they have more control over decisions at an
  earlier age than any other previous generation. Since these students live in a time where everything is heavily
  marketed to them, schools may need to “brand” character development, respect, and responsibility. The aim of
  the campaign is to get students to show respect, take responsibility, and achieve results in every aspect of their
  lives. The campaign will ideally focus on three main goals: encourage respective dialogue with elders and
  peers, establish a sense of work ethic and time management, and it encourage students to take the initiative to
  work towards their own success.
 Nine attributes of Character Development, as established by the HDSB are: acceptance, citizenship, empathy,
  initiative, integrity, optimism, perseverance, respect, and responsibility. The campaign would eventually lean
  towards promoting all nine attributes of character development.
 Some preliminary ideas that Ms. Arora shared with us include: effective posters (as used in the MADD
  campaign), commercials to play during grade assemblies next year, referencing the national flags displayed
  throughout the school, a student created mural in the cafeteria, the creation of felt banners conveying the 9
  attributes to be hung in the cafeteria, school wide pep rallies or events, a goal setting and success wall
  (perhaps in home room classes), and adopting the “iRespect” program at Abbey Park.
 The iRespect program was started by teacher, Tina Dine at Nelson HS in Burlington, to promote global
  citizenship, social awareness, and human kindness.
 This program is based on 7 Habits of Being Human:
  1. Make it a habit to smile and say hello to everyone you can, even a complete stranger.
  2. Make it a habit to open the door for someone in need.
  3. Make it a habit to swear as little as possible.
  4. Make it a habit to clean up after yourself and your friends.
  5. Make it a habit to not spread or start rumours.
  6. Make it a habit to not just standby and witness disrespect but rather speak up.
  7. Make it a habit to spread these habits.
 Ms. Arora showed us some sample posters. The next steps include building a team within the school of
  students, teachers, and parents; creating posters, getting input from students, creating a communicating
  strategy, and then execution of the program itself.
 Mr. Heffernan thanked Ms. Arora and the other involved teachers who attended cultural diversity training at the
  board this semester for five evening sessions.
Mr. Heffernan added that Halton is a most diverse region. He is happy with our school’s diversity but messages
are not getting out to the students regarding homework responsibility.
 Next year he is planning to get the graduation outcomes rewritten in a two-fold manner: a plan and a
  corresponding action. Mr. Heffernan added that he is excited about getting this grant (which is a reflection of
  how well Ms. Arora wrote the application) and he is looking forward to making the cafeteria a place of learning.
  He would like have a way to get the kids to share their experiences. So far he hasn’t found a way to encourage
  the students to share what their families in our school community do.
 Rosemarie asked about a summer program. Plans will be in place for various areas.
 Dmitri suggested that special presentations for the students be arranged periodically (ie---the mayor). A career
  day will be held next Oct. We are negotiating for a very inspirational speaker to come in and talk.
 Anne Hughes asked Ms. Arora if the program will be directed towards the entire school population and Ms.
  Arora emphasized that the program launch must be and will be directed to the entire school population. For
  example, Mr. Hepburn is trying to improve the school wide view of the Pride Group from one of tolerance to one
  of acceptance. The grant is not only diversity based, but can be used to create any positive change within your
 The goal is to try to make respect a value—perhaps even an enrichment opportunity for those students who are
  university bound.

Student Council Report: none

Staff Report: Anne Houpt-Taylor
 Grade 11 students recently shared info from MADD regarding drinking, driving and leadership.
 Grade 9’s will be mentored by the Link Crew. Two students (one each from Grade 11 and 12) will work with 10
  Grade 9 students during orientation week and throughout the year.
 416 students and 27 teachers will be attending the prom.
 Tara Ashley will be handling the Eagles Awards on June 4.
 Mr. Heffernan is pleased that the Angel Fund was able to help some students attend the prom. Many of the
  current staff were teaching when Abbey Park opened and therefore are looking forward to this year’s

Treasurer’s Report: Elaine Blaylock
 We made $147.60 from the book sale. We will need to pay out a deposit for the Conference Centre for next
  year’s Gala and will also need to write a deposit for the band. $20,000 is invested in a term deposit for the
  computer infusion.
Principal’s Report: Regan Heffernan
 The Food for Thought Program is a nutrition grant and is part of a government program through the Trillium
  Foundation. Students in great financial need are identified. Pre-approved, healthy meals are made available in
  the cafeteria. One meal is approved per student a day from now until June. Ten students have been identified
  for next year and more can be added on throughout the year. This grant also assists with Nicholle’s after
  school cooking class.
 The Angel Fund just purchased some bikes for students who are living independently.
 The Arts Banquet and Show of Hands were successful. Mr. Heffernan thought the show was completely award
  winning. It got a lot of students involved both up front and as stage managers. He likes the way it gives our
  kids an opportunity to take on leadership roles.
 This week will be the Grade 8 to Grade 9 transition. Over forty Grade 8 students have been identified as
  leaders (or need one) and will go in early to prepare. In the afternoon on Wednesday, all Grade 8’s will attend
  sports and drama activities.
 Mr. Heffernan is looking for ways to deal with “issues of engagement” so that all the students will willingly come
  to school as they transition from Grade 8 to 9. In June, he is going to work on keeping the students engaged.
 His goal is to make this June grad different by hosting a barbecue picnic for staff and students at lunch time.
  This is the first class to graduate from APHS having spent their entire time at this school.
 Three new trees will be planted to replace the trees that have died.
 The computer infusion will take place the last two weeks of August so the staff can be a part of it. Old
  computers are being replaced by new ones; we will be getting lap tops and students will be able to bring their
  own lap tops to school now. APHS will be the only school to get upgraded high speed wireless.
 Enrollment for next year is currently at 1320. We are picking up 2 to 3 students a week though some students,
  who we anticipate will attend APHS, may choose an alternate acceptance.
 Staff is completely hired except for maternity leaves which will be decided in a few weeks.
 Mr. Heffernan will be back next year. He is very happy about this because he will be able to see the computer
  infusion, as well as a continuation of the academic and sports successes. He is going to encourage the
  upcoming Grade 9 class to start raising the bar to see even more successes. Mr. Heffernan is very happy to
  stay on—trying to be better every day. He plans on working hard next year.
 APHS students are doing well on the EQAO but he wants more to score level 4.
 He would like to encourage more “What If?” dreaming and wants to spend more time enriching.
 Did 3 expulsions over the past few weeks.
 Next fall, he plans to take on the area called the “smoking pit” and wants tickets given out to those caught. He
  will promote a smoking cessation program.
 14 staff will be trained in June to use the defibrillator.
 He will also work on monthly sessions for parents. He is considering sharing guest speakers with Loyola or
  engaging the presenter to speak to the students during the school day and to the parents in the evening.
 He feels that APHS has made a difference in the community over the past four years. Our graduates are
  contributing, the school is a good neighbour and he likes the “walk to school” idea.
 APHS is looked upon positively across the province. He asked us to remain optimistic. He thinks our kids are
  good kids and he expects success from them.
 Then he thanked the school council and staff and thanked everyone for being a part of pre-council monthly
  meetings and council meetings.
 Ms. Arora thanked us for attending and listening and invited us to contact her if we would like to help. Lucia
  asked her to report back to us in the future after the program is in place.

Chair/Vice Chair’s Report: Lucia/Doris
 Pat Peterson needs pre-registration help Aug. 26 and 27 in the office. If you are interested in helping out and
  available morning or afternoon or both of those, please e-mail her at petersonp@hdsb.ca as soon as possible.
 The Arts Banquet was a great evening. Catherine Brown donated the centerpieces.
 Lucia then thanked the track meet helpers, Colleen Trnkus, Lori Zeniuk, Elaine Amos, Wendy Ahlin, Lucia
  Smith, Nancy Jarvis and Monica Friesen, who worked two days each of the last two weeks at GHAC and
  Regionals at Mohawk Park, in Hamilton.
 She asked members to consider filling council positions in the next school year. The next meeting will be in
  September, the first of the 2008/09 school year. We have someone interested in the treasurer position. Doris
  Fox, our vice chair will be moving away this summer and we wish her and her family every success. Consider
  over the summer whether you would like to step up into the chair or vice chair position or become an executive
  member on council. Elections are held the first meeting in September. Look in the summer registration
    package for nomination forms if you, or if you know someone who might be interested in putting their name
   Anne Hughes announced that APHS may be able to offer parking during the upcoming Canadian Open, July
    21-27. If so, this event can serve as both a fundraiser and an opportunity for students to earn volunteer hours.
    Once more is known, an email will be sent out.
   Lucia then thanked everyone on council, all members of the gala and auction committees; everyone who helped
    with Chapter’s night, QSP, Shop and Support and the book sales, those who supported student events, Mr.
    Heffernan, Anna Houpt-Taylor and Nicholle Russell, other staff members who attended council events
    throughout the year, Dmitri and Steve Moran for their work on the website and parents for all their attendance at
    school events. She then apologized for anyone she might have omitted.
   Exam review day is Thursday, June 26, nor June 25 as previously published.
   She wished us a great summer and “See you in September.”

Special Presentation: Moira Chisholm (The Link Crew)
 Ms. Chisholm introduced us to a new program, The Link Crew, that the school is adopting by showing us a few
  short clips of it in action in schools in California, where the program began. It is now used in hundreds of
  schools throughout the U.S. and is very successful in helping students transition to high school. This program
  attempts to combat the situation in which not all students transition well from Grade 8 into Grade 9, with some
  even choosing not to attend school.
 We were able to access this program through a government (diversity) grant that Mr. Heffernan requested 3
  years ago. In the past, we couldn’t afford to train our teachers because they had to go to California to train.
  Now, since the training can take place in Ontario and since we have the grant, our school can finally use the
 John Maras and Ms. Chisholm attended a three day training session run by experts from California with
  Canadian teachers as well. Other school boards have already adopted this program and Iroquois Ridge
  already uses it with their Grade 9’s for 3 years now.
 It links ten Grade 9 students with 2 senior students (one currently in Grade 10 and Grade 11). Hopefully
  connections will continue throughout the school year and even personal relationships will get established so the
  Grade 9’s will be able to get support throughout the year.
 Ms. Chisholm shared some of the applications our students submitted and then explained that she will select 60
  leaders (2 per group).
 We may be able to establish a “link alert” email to create a casual conversation between the Grade 9’s and their
 Teachers in Abbey Park are already getting trained. They want to have kids involved from all areas of the
  school population.
 On the first day of school, Grade 9’s will be divided into groups of about ten and assigned to two senior leaders
  who will be their student connections to the school throughout the year. Teacher recommendations and
  personal observations are also being used to select leaders (mainly from the current Grade 11 class). A
  student can not be a leader unless he attends both training sessions.
 A discussion then began about creating leadership opportunities for our students and fall-out from too much
 Mr. Heffernan feels that we have a lot of kids who have the time to help out at the school. He also feels that our
  kids need to “get busy” to be successful because there is so much competition.
 Programs like these create opportunities to give our kids better resumes by creating leadership opportunities.
 30% of all marks are on the line between now and the end of June.
 Mr. Heffernan is hoping that students in leadership roles in this program will find that they enjoy working with
 The Grade 9’s and their leaders will be the only students attending school during the morning on the first day of
  school in September. All other students will attend from 12:30pm. There will be a barbecue for the Grade 9’s
  and the staff that day as well.
 Mr. Heffernan is thinking of running a Grade 12 program to help those students throughout the year too. He is
  suggesting assigned reading to the gr. 12’s regarding university and college information, during DEAR time.
 Lucia thanked Ms. Chisholm for coming to the council meeting.

Public Health Nurse: Nicholle Russell
 Nicholle started off by thanking all who attended the “Tuesdays at 10” and evening parent information sessions.
 So far, she has received 39 responses from the survey with the following topics requested for future parent
  information sessions in the fall: course selection, internet and chatt and teen sexuality and relationships.
 She also likes the idea of sharing speakers with Loyola and will be pursuing that with their council chair and
  public health nurse. She hopes to have all programs for next year planned by September and on the school
 Lucia thanked Nicholle for her work this year at Abbey Park.

Fundraising Report: Anne Hughes
 A dinner dance/fundraiser (gala) will be held Friday, February 6, 2009. It will include 5 casino tables and a DJ.
  Playing at the casino tables is optional but they are being included so as to increase appeal and thereby
  increase attendance.
 At the next committee meeting, the ticket price will be discussed.
 A director is needed for the Silent Auction.
 A cheque is required for $500 as a deposit with the company running the casino games. It was put forward for
  approval. All were in favour of writing a $500 cheque in September for the deposit for the casino company.
 There were no other questions or comments.

Other Business:
Lucia reminded us that report cards are available for pick up July 2 and 3. They will not be mailed. She then
thanked everyone for attending. The meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Laurene Via, APHS Council Secretary.

Upcoming Dates
 May 27, “Tuesdays at 10”
 May 27, Student council speeches
 May 27, Valedictorian election
 May 27, Dance show
 May 28, Student council elections
 May 28, Grade 8 transition day
 May 29, Prom
 June 4, Eagle awards
 June 5, Little Big Band concert
 June 9, Spring festival
 June 9, Recognition assembly
 June 12, Athletic banquet
 June 12-13, Grade 9 EQAO math test
 June 19-24 EXAMS
 June 26, Exam review day
 June 26, Commencement
 June 27, PA day
 July 2-3, Report card pick up (They will not be mailed)
 Aug 25-26, Pre-registration for school year 2008-09
 September 2, Classes begin

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