Bessborough General HS-May-3-2011 by ajizai


									        Bessborough General Home and School Association Meeting
Date: Tuesday, May 3, 2011              Time: 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Meeting participants: Nancy Meletschenko, Tanya Grant, Dave Chmelnitsky, Chareen Parsons-Alberstat,
Allison Rands, Tracy Shepard, Corey Ferguson, Cari Steinberg, Linda Lord, Jeff Hohner, Sue Barrett, Jackie
Vasila, Liz Everett, Pam Horwood, Jayne Crampton, Karen Backus, Deborah Jordan, Josie Daga, Sheila
Allen, Kathy Mah, Marisa Battistella

Staff and Administrators: Michael Walkington, Gingi Venzel, Susan Thurow, Bill Shizas, Ruth Murray,
Karin Purdy

Guests to speak on e-Instruction products for the class: John Paul, Mary Phoenix

Topics                 Discussion Points
Review of Previous      Minutes from last meeting in May were passed as written.
Minutes (Nancy
Meletschenko –
Chair of Home and
Classroom                 John Paul (J.P.) has been involved in an RFP with the Toronto District School Board
Technology – Mobi          for interactive classroom technology – 17 different vendors presented and only 3
an e-Instruction           were chosen to be vendors of record
Product                   J. P. represents Mobi devices by eInstruction – Mobi devices don’t need to be
(John Paul, Mary           mounted on the wall, but with a projector and computer, images can simply be
Phoenix)                   projected on a wall or blackboard
                          Mobi can replace traditional interactive whiteboards such as Smartboards – and
                           allow teachers the flexibility to manage classes and deliver engaging lessons from
                           anywhere in the room
                          Mobi functionality includes:
                                1. Handwriting/ character recognition
                                2. “Clickers” or a student response system where each “clicker” is assigned a
                                    number that allows teachers to privately view each student’s response
                                    seconds after it is sent—facilitates differentiated instruction
                                3. The”clicker” technology allows a candid and anonymous responses by
                                    students– teacher can gather feedback to truly assess classroom
                                    understanding on a topic and tailor content to students’ level of
                                4. Teacher has a portable tablet that he/ she can use to control content
                                    delivery from anywhere in the room
                                5. Allows for questions, responses and instant correction
                                6. Teacher has access to which students have been assigned to which clicker
                                    numbers so that the teacher can identify who got the answer right and
                                    explain to the other students what they did to get the answer right
                          J.P. demonstrated a few exercises for Home and School and allowed parents to
                           participate with “clickers” : 1) drew triangle with Mobi and then used a protractor

                     to measure the angles of the triangle, 2) demonstrated “sandbox” mode or Venn
                     diagram for problem solving
                    Can use multiple Mobi devices within the class – way to get students in the
                     classroom to collaborate
                    Mobi can integrate with any technology that teachers use in the classroom i.e.,
                     J.P. showed an example of where Mobi could be used to manipulate to PDF to
                     modify punctuation for learning
                    J.P. responded to questions from parents:
                          1. What is the average lifespan of a Mobi? Mobis are used from
                              Kindergarten to grade 12. They come with a 3-year warranty.
                          2. What is the cost of a Mobi? Each Mobi device is $400. The company does
                              not discount the hardware, however, teacher training is included in the
                              cost – there is free and unlimited training.
                          3. What is needed to equip a classroom to be Mobi-enabled? Mobis can be
                              used in different classrooms and are connected through separate
                              receivers. The range is 50 ft.
                          4. What is the cost of the software required to operate Mobis? The
                              software is free and license-free.
                          5. What kind of computer hardware is required to operate a Mobi? A
                              computer with 512 RAM is needed. Bessborough computers are fairly
                              current and all have 512 RAM at minimum.
                          6. Are “canned” lessons available for Mobi devices? Yes, they are available
                              but many teachers find it easier to incorporate technology into their
                              existing materials. In addition, there are online resources available
                              through the Toronto District School Board.

                    For a school that is not easily accessible (lots of stairs, no elevator) such as
                     Bessborough, Mobis provide a good solution – they offer a more mobile solution
                     than Smartboards which tend to be primarily “fixed location” solutions.

Fundraising –    Pam provided an update of what was in store for Mayfair and who was organizing
Mayfair Update   what activities:
(Pam Horwood)     Student Council will be doing an eco-friendly craft at Mayfair – old t-shirts will be
                    made into bracelets for sale
                  Marissa will be managing the silent auction – big thanks to those who have
                    donated. Any additional donations are welcome -- tickets to sporting events are
                    always popular.
                  Social event section is complete – Drinks on Donegal, Men with Brooms, Family
                    Movie Night etc.
                  Corporate Donations/ Sponsorship -- $4,600 received to date
                  Duck Pond – Tracy Shepard is running the duck pond but still needs more toys and
                    other donations
                  Volunteers – Nancy is collecting volunteer names from classroom representatives.
                    Additional volunteers are needed to help with set up and tear down.
                  BBQ tickets can be purchased in advance for those who wish to avoid line ups
                  There will be a swabbing event in honour of Cathy Ag… in Ms. Buksner’s room
                  Family Donations – for those who cannot attend the event but wish to contribute

                       in some way, family donations are welcome
                      Thanks to Josie Daga for creating the website for Mayfair

Proposals (Nancy   Nancy reviewed the list of proposals submitted for Home and School funding
Meletschenko)       See school summary and individual proposals from Paul Crake and Jeff Hohner
                    Total submissions amount to $53,910 – exceeding budget available, so some
                      decisions will need to be made at the next meeting
                    Outlined in school summary are 14 different proposals totaling $38, 275 as well as
                      $10,635 required to fund activities that occur each year i.e., Grade 8 Graduation,
                      Year-end Gifts, Classroom Resources and Miscellaneous/ Refreshments for JK-SK
                      Welcome (see Budget Proposal Summary for full details):
                          1. JK/SK- Leveled Reading Books
                          2. Primary - Robotics Club – First Lego League
                          3. Intermediate – AV Equipment – CD and DVD Player
                          4. Intermediate – Awards – Lamps of Learning etc.
                          5. Junior-Intermediate – Referees
                          6. Intermediate Soccer – Soccer Jerseys and Goalie Gloves
                          7. Junior Intermediate – Boys Differentiated Standing Desks
                          8. Guidance – Resources and speakers
                          9. Whole School – Recess Activities, PALS Equipment
                          10. Whole School – Prologue Performances x 4
                          11. Whole School – Mobi – 2 sets and 2 projectors
                          12. Whole School – Principal’s Discretion – to subsidize trips
                          13. Whole School – Maintenance/ Equipment
                          14. Lunchroom – Lunchroom Tables
                    Ms. Thurow explained and showed samples of differentiated learning standing
                      desks. These standing desks and current studies challenge the notion that
                      students have to be still to be focused. Ms. Thurow has been using these desks in
                      her classroom and has found that certain types of learners can benefit from larger
                      workspaces – she currently has 5 desks. At this time, she recommends that desks
                      be prioritized for older grades – older children have bigger bodies and are not
                      able to stand at smaller desks. Also, primary teachers have indicated that they
                      are not interested in these desks. Cost is $349 per desk x 15 desks and $100 per
                      chair x 15 chairs for total of approximately $7,500.

School Update      Mr. Walkington provided a school update that focused primarily on technology in the
(Mr. Walkington)   classroom
                    He indicated that he wanted to stay current with technology -- whatever
                       technology is chosen, usability by teachers is critical
                    Mr. Walkington is leaning towards Mobi devices:
                           o Promotes interactive learning
                           o More cost-effective than SmartBoards
                           o Easier to move between classrooms and other locations
                           o Free and unlimited training is appealing
                    Ms. Backus suggested that Mobi devices would also benefit the Special Ed.
                    Ruth added that more than two classrooms could be serviced with two sets of

                    Mobi devices
                   Sheila inquired if $$$ were not a limitation, what would schools preference be
                    with respect to technology. Ms. Thurow indicated that if she was making a choice
                    for her classroom, she would choose the Mobi devices.
                   Another parent inquired about how Mobi devices would be shared across
                    classrooms. Mr. Walkington assured parents that if teachers were competing for
                    technology, the school would find a way to make things equitable.
                   Parents inquired whether there would be accountability as to how the tool was
                    used. Josie suggested that perhaps the school could build some reporting back to
                    Home and School on how the Mobi is being used.
                   Jeff Hohner noted that he and Paul Crake were supportive of technology in the
                    classroom – what has sold them on the Mobi is the free and unlimited training.
                    Jeff believes that Mobi devices are a smart spend.

Next Meetings      June 7, 2011 – Budget approval/ funding decisions made. Since there are more
                    asks than funding available, Home and School will begin with “yes” or “no” votes
                    on specific proposals then evaluate each proposal to determine if the full spend
                    against all the “yes” items is desired/ necessary.


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