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Saint Cecilia School FSA Minutes

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Saint Cecilia School FSA Minutes Powered By Docstoc
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S ai nt C ec il ia S c h oo l FS A Mi n u te s October 22, 2007, 7:00 Conference Room
The meeting was called to order by Nancy Fink at 7:08 pm. In attendance Nancy Fink, Connie Vaclav, Anne Foegen, Angie Kuta, Tiffany Walker, Carolyn Steckelberg, Shannon Schroeder, Chris Bettis, Jody Bennett, Darryl Bennett, Lisa Weary, and Kris Gross. Opening Prayer The prayer of St. Francis was shared by all present. Minutes The minutes were reviewed from the September meeting and approved. Principal’s Report Principal Duane Siepker was absent from the meeting. Old Business  FSA Fundraiser, Anne Foegen o Anne reminded everyone that the fundraising products delivery is this Thursday in the Social Hall. She currently has 8 volunteers signed up to help with this process. She does not have a profit statement from the company yet. All the money from sales is in the FSA account. She reminded us that last year’s fundraiser brought in $18,000 in sales with a profit of $8,400. This year’s sales were $29,000 with an expected profit of $12,000. o 54 children sold the 30 products required to win the Hummer limo ride with Valentino’s lunch. The limo has been rented for 2 hours, limiting the duration of each ride and lunch to 20 minutes. Valentino’s has offered a discount on the pizzas. The FSA and the fundraising company will split the cost of the pizza. The limo will cost $250. The fundraising company representative will be at Valentino’s taking pictures and will send to parents by email. The parents will not be able to take their own pictures with their children as documentation of their fundraising efforts, but the representative hopes to accommodate as many requests as possible by taking her own pictures. Individual parent pictures could not be accommodated as there just isn’t enough time within the 2hour timeframe.  Ice Cream Social, Kris Gross o Kris commented on the success of the ice cream social. Many families attended, which resulted in running out of ice cream, even though extra ice cream had been ordered. Several positive comments were received from families. It was noted there was a rush at the beginning of the social, and a second rush following the Ames High Homecoming Parade. o It was suggested that next year the FSA should consider renting the ice cream truck from Blue Sky Creamery that comes on-site and provides ice cream. It was also discussed that extra ice cream could have been ordered to accommodate a large attendance, and if ice cream had been left over, it could have been returned for credit. o Several children enjoyed return trips for more ice cream as it was especially delicious. Kris thought that 10 containers had been ordered, but perhaps 20 containers should be ordered next year. This recommendation takes into consideration that each serving consisted of 2 scoops.  Product label collection efforts, Connie Vaclav (in the absence of Diana Thatcher and Brenda Neppel) o Connie reported that she had not been able to form an answer regarding the separate account for the funds collected from the product labels. She will contact Mr. Siepker and report to the October meeting. o Connie spoke with Jerry, business manager, but he was unable to locate a restricted school account already existing for this purpose. o Connie believes many years ago these funds were commingled with the FSA funds. Several years ago this was changed and the funds were maintained in a separate account. Last year the 1

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collection efforts resulted in 2 separate deposits in December and May. The first deposit was made into the school account and was very difficult to track at the school year end. The second deposit was made into the FSA account and was much easier to locate. Last year’s collection efforts were donated to a Catholic school devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Treasurer’s Report, Connie Vaclav Current balance is $31,843.95. Connie provided documentation of these balances. Connie reported that $37.50 was expensed to pay for drinks provided following the Prayer Partner Mass. She suggested that we should consider adding the Prayer Partner Program as a line item to the budget. It was agreed that Mr. Siepker is encouraging participation in this program, and he may offer similar activities throughout the year. It was discussed that there will also be a Prayer Partner luncheon during Catholic Schools Week. Connie also reported that more dues were collected, resulting in additional income. Kris Gross asked for further explanation of the end of year balance. It was explained that the carpet replacement and new paint for the classrooms was not paid for until August, so the expense was not included in the fiscal year end balance. $2,175 was expended on this classroom maintenance. Board of Education Report, Judy Rudman  Judy was absent from the meeting, but she communicated by email with Nancy Fink dated Sunday, October 21. The contents of her email were reported. o The BOE has formed a committee to analyze class sizes and enrollment. The Superintendent of the Archdiocese will be visiting to discuss these issues in November. o The BOE held a teacher/catechist appreciation dinner in October to thank the school staff and RE staff. o The BOE, along with the Parish Council, has hired Karen Kerns as Development Director for St. Cecilia Parish. She will be instrumental in developing programs for fundraising through fundraising programs, grants, and the Gala. New Business  Funding request, Preschool Advisory Council, Darryl Bennett o Darryl explained how the council and preschool was formed by a group of interested parents at St. Cecilia. o Darryl reported to us that last school year the preschool was able to serve 21-22 children per class. The first goal of the council was to decrease class size without increasing the tuition. It was suggested that these changes would help St. Cecilia’s Preschool program remain competitive with the other preschool programs offered in Ames. This school year’s class size was held to 16, allowing for an 8:1 ratio. This ratio is maintained by employing a teacher and one aide. The class size was decreased by offering an afternoon class. The afternoon class was added at little cost to the preschool program as a large percentage of their costs are fixed, and not variable based on student count. The largest fixed cost is teacher salary, and this was increased to allow for the teacher to be ¾ time at the preschool. The addition of the afternoon class increased the number of students served from 42 to 48. o Preschool parents were asked to participate in a survey concerning the preschool program, and more importantly regarding the issue of raising tuition. It was reported that 40 surveys were returned, and the responses allowed the preschool to raise the tuition to a level comfortable for existing preschool families. o Even with the increased tuition and the increased number of students served, the preschool’s budget was scheduled to be short $5,000. The council recommended that the budget shortfall be covered by funds from the following sources:  Gala $2,000  FSA $1,000 2

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Fundraising/SCRIP $2,000  This figure will require a separate fundraising effort/program by the preschool families.  The inclusion of SCRIP may be complicated by the fact that it was not offered at the beginning of the school year or during the registration process as an option for the family’s share of the SCRIP profit to be donated to the preschool. This change is planned for future SCRIP offerings. Darryl shared that marketing and various promotions have been utilized to advertise the preschool program. These marketing efforts have been focused on locations such as the library, the Octagon, and the packets offered to new families. Darryl reported that the sources offered to the BOE for the budget shortfall were approved without question, aside from the limitation that the Gala funds must be applied for each year. The funds collected from the FSA and fundraising/SCRIP were acceptable sources and were assumed to continue each year. He suggested the preschool may face enrollment struggles next school year as the non-religious preschools in Ames may qualify for state funding to provide free preschool education. This forces St. Cecilia Preschool to remain competitive with respect to tuition, or face decreasing enrollment, and increasing budget deficits. Another issue the preschool is struggling with is that currently the preschool must be maintained as a separate entity from the St. Cecilia School. This requires the preschool program to be financially self-sufficient and does not allow for families requiring tuition assistance. The Archdiocese has decided that the tuition assistance fund may not be used for families in the preschool program. The preschool is also limited by the fact that there are currently two students not eligible for preschool until January. These 2 students remain on the class list to hold their place in the class, but they have not been required to pay tuition. An additional student may join the class if they are able to use the restroom self-sufficiently. Darryl explained that the preschool program represents 48 students out of a total student population of 248. He believes the preschool program and its students offer a young student base for St. Cecilia School. A discussion ensued regarding the preschool’s request for $1,000 to support the current operations and $700 for tuition assistance. Several people commented that it was understood that the money collected by the FSA was to be used only for “whole school” activities that would benefit all students equally. It was suggested that if the FSA gave money to the preschool, it would be perceived to be disproportionately helping a smaller population of the school. Darryl and others then discussed that the preschool families had participated in the Club’s Choice fundraiser and many of the preschool families had paid FSA dues. As members of the FSA, Darryl suggested that these preschool families should also have representation to allow access to FSA funds to support the preschool. The question was raised as to whether this allocation of FSA funds would violate existing by-laws or rulings by the Archdiocese, or whether this financial support would violate the preschool maintaining a separate organization and/or financial structure. Several members also asked what plans the preschool had developed to become self-sufficient in future years. The issue was also raised that perhaps the FSA would not have sufficient funds in future years to support the preschool, especially considering the fundraising efforts may not experience the same profit levels with a change in programming. Darryl shared that the $700 requested by the preschool was to provide tuition assistance to 2 current families at the preschool. He also reported that the current account balance appears healthy, but this is due to several families paying on an annual basis at the beginning of the school year. The preschool may experience a severe deficit closer to the end of the year. It was again discussed that the projected budget shortfall of $5,000 is to be collected from the Gala, preschool fundraising efforts, and FSA funds. It was discovered that the FSA by-laws do not specifically restrict the FSA from distributing funds for a purpose other than for the benefit of the entire school. Chris Bettis shared that she believed the more important factor regarding the disbursement of funds was that they directly benefit the children. She shared that in the past the funds had been requested for office equipment, but it had been decided that the children would not experience a direct benefit from this purchase. 

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Connie Vaclav then discussed concern that this disbursement to the preschool may open the FSA to many requests for funds that would specifically benefit a smaller group of students. This would force the FSA into the difficult task of reviewing many requests for funds. She suggested this problem was alleviated by the use of the principal’s fund. This allows the FSA to fund those school needs, as selected by Mr. Siepker. o Connie Vaclav then suggested that perhaps we could include the preschool funds in the principal’s fund, and Mr. Siepker could transfer those funds needed to the preschool. Several members voiced concern over the Archdiocese’s regulation of these funds.  Darryl voiced concern that the funds may not be turned over to the preschool as needed to support the budget. He again confirmed that the BOE had approved the FSA providing financial support to the preschool in May of 2007. o Connie Vaclav shared concern regarding the Archdiocese’s audit of the FSA’s financial records. She reported that an automatic audit is performed with a change in administration. She was present when the auditor examined the financial records for SCRIP and the FSA account. She suggested the auditor was very thorough in her examination of these accounts. o It was discussed whether the principal’s fund was a school account, restricted school account, or FSA sub-account. o Darryl again confirmed the preschool’s need for the FSA funds. He suggested there may be more than one reason the preschool’s budget has been difficult to balance. He reported the teacher’s salary was increased to ¾ time to accommodate the new afternoon class, but this also allowed for more efficient use of the preschool’s resources. He thought there may be some conflicts with calculating the room use. The room use allocation is shared between the parish and the preschool program. This calculation may represent some financial struggles for the preschool. o A concern surfaced that preschool registration and attendance does not guarantee kindergarten placement. This may dissuade some families from registering for preschool if they know there may not be room in the kindergarten class for their child to continue at St. Cecilia. o It was decided to continue this discussion as part of the budget approval process. Presentation and approval of 2007/2008 budget, as recommended by the FSA budget committee o Connie stated concern for the removal of summer workbooks as a line item in the budget.  Some members felt the summer workbooks were helpful and encouraged families to work on skills during the summer break. It was also shared that the FSA should subsidize the development and maintenance of these summer skills.  Other members felt the FSA could offer more affordable alternatives. It was suggested a committee could be formed to develop alternatives in the form of more affordable workbooks, teacher worksheets, or free online resources compiled and presented to parents for use over the summer.  $200 for summer skills resources was added back to the budget as an expense. o Kris Gross asked for further explanation of the Mad Science program, and the increased book fair expense. The increasing price of books and the increased number of students were given as reasons for the increase in the budgeted amount for book fair. The Mad Science program was explained by Nancy Fink as a program suggested by Mr. Siepker. He requested funding for this program which provides two different all-school assemblies.  Connie Vaclav asked if the Mad Science program was going to continue on an annual basis, similar to the Story County Conservation program. If it was not, she suggested we combine the Mad Science and Preschool funds into the Principal fund. She thought if we offered Mr. Siepker $5,000-$5,500, he could select the programs that would most benefit the school.  Darryl expressed concern that these funds may not be turned over to the preschool to support the current budget. He offered that the $1,000 should remain a separate line item and be paid directly to the preschool program. The $700 requested for tuition assistance could be commingled with the Principal fund. He felt that Mr. Siepker had authorized the tuition assistance, and therefore would likely fund this allocation.  Darryl again reported that the BOE had already approved the FSA budget to allocate $1,000 to the preschool program on May 1, 2007. o

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Concern was expressed that the budget might need to be tabled for input from Mr. Siepker. Members and officers suggested that the budget needed to be finalized and approved by the FSA to be presented to the BOE as soon as possible.  Tiffany Walker motioned to accept the budget as presented. Kris Gross seconded the motion. Nancy Fink presented the vote, and the motion passed.  Trunk or Treat, Angie Kuta o Angie reminded everyone the Trunk or Treat activity is Sunday afternoon. The parking lot will close at 3:35. Pizza Ranch is providing the pizzas at a discount of $7 for a large pizza. Angie will provide signage to advertise their sponsorship. Her committee is also working to have Pizza Ranch added to the SCRIP program. o Angie reported they expect 190 people to attend, 120 of which are to be children. o She thought the FSA would spend $100-200 on pizza. The first grade families are providing fruits and vegetables and serving water to balance the candy/treat offering. o She shared they would still need to purchase prizes for the event.  Teacher meal for conference week, November 6-8 o Nancy Fink suggested the FSA should provide a light supper such as a sandwich and fruit, in addition to the snacks providing during the day by families for the teachers.  Book fair, November 6-8 o Chris Bettis will be responsible for the free books for each child. She thought the books were increasing in price, and there are more students to purchase books, but it wouldn’t be cost prohibitive. o Jody Bennett reported volunteers were still needed to work at the book fair. She had only 4 volunteers signed up to work Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. A few members expressed interest in volunteering to help, and suggested Jody contact them by email.  Uniform survey, Jody Bennett and Brenda Neppel (absent from meeting) o Jody reported she and Brenda had developed a rough draft for a survey to gauge family interest in changing the current dress code. She would like additional input and suggestions from Mr. Siepker before she presents the survey to the FSA.  Spirit wear, Colleen Gibbs (absent from the meeting) o Nancy Fink shared the proposed polo shirt offering as gathered by Colleen. The bid was calculated based on the school logo (with boy & girl). Using the dove logo would add $4 due to the increased number of stitches required for that logo design. o Nancy asked how members felt about screen print versus embroidery, or offering both alternatives. o Several members thought the price would be lower with screen print, so it should be offered in addition to the embroidery. o Angie Kuta expressed concern that if a stricter dress code is imposed for next year, some families may express regret for purchasing spirit wear that does not meet the dress code due its color. o Tiffany Walker thought the available colors should be limited to represent a possible shift in dress code and to increase the quantity ordered per shirt color. She thought the increased quantity may decrease the overall cost.  Next year fundraising program o The current contract is with Club’s Choice, an out-of-state provider o PartyTime based in Carroll, Iowa, is also proposing a fundraising program o Anne Foegen reported she has documented both positive and negative characteristics of the current program. More importantly, she has developed questions to research alternative fundraising programs.  Tiffany Walker and Ann Foegen volunteered to form a committee with Angie Nespor, who will coordinate the fundraising program for next school year. They will meet as a committee and present their recommendations at the next meeting. They may also contact Michelle Thilges for suggestions and recommendations. Other Business  Connie Vaclav shared a thank you note she had received from Mrs. Hammer for a gift the FSA had presented her for providing 25 years of service to the school.  Nancy Fink shared that Jenni Sillman thought she would greatly appreciate 2 meals per week, especially as her children start into the basketball season. She also shared that $685 was collected to purchase SCRIP for the Sillman family. o

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Next Meeting November 26, 2007, at 7:00 p.m., conference room Nancy Fink adjourned the meeting at 8:31 pm.

Minutes submitted by Carolyn Steckelberg, Secretary.

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