August Minutes

August Minutes


Evergreen High School PTSA:  8-10-2016

General Meeting: EHS Conference Room


Attending:  Amy Saxton, Rita Rice, Melinda Gale, Rochelle Gatt, Carole Urbas, Kristine Stump, Alice deBloois, Jill Athenour, Brandon Brekke.

Call to order: 9:05

Approval of Minutes: Last meeting minutes approved by email(June 2016)

Welcome: Introductions – we went around the table and said a little bit about ourselves.  Amy wanted to know “why” we were there.  A recap of responses:


Make PTA more relevant, wanting to get involved with PTA and bring energy. Felt PTA could step it up and make people more aware. Want to bring more distinction between the Foundation and the PTA. Feel like PTA is a good way to stay up to date with what is going on. 

Felt there were good people, but also that we could do so much more to make people more aware.  At the high school, there is confusion EHS Foundation vs PTSA, need to clarify the mission.  Convey the passion for educating parents and kids, want this to come through in the PTA.

      i.         PTSA 2016-17

Mission:  Amy Saxton: We are working on solidifying the mission for the PTSA.  In order to grow membership, we need clarity to our vision and frame our benefit to students, parents and teachers. (As a model, the  EHS Foundation is well integrated to mission and needs of the school.) As we look at mission, we are also reviewing the committee structure.  Old structure does not address or mission. We will take the first semester to address the mission, vision, and structure. Have some good ideas.   We talked about governance and how it leads to clarity of vision.  In that area feel like we need a Parliamentary Committee.  Melinda Gale has background in this and has volunteered to head this up.  Motion from the floor to create the Parliamentary Committee and have Melinda head it up.  Kristine Stump made motion, Jill Athenour seconded it, all attendees agreed.  


Kristine Stump volunteered to serve on this committee, will look to add some additional people to get a good variety of views.  Mission for the committee to review bylaws and evaluate the purpose and tasks of the board of directors.    Need to ensure that we have a transparent, flexible and inclusive process. The committee will bring forth a plan and according to rules, will post it for 30 days so membership can review and vote on it.  Look at having Board meeting for general business (include committee heads.)  Then have general meeting be more informative, appealing to the more people.   Look at timing, one possibility is that we could have the business meeting just prior to general meeting.  Anyone would be welcome to come to business meeting.


Diversity Day – quick update, feel that this is very beneficial, but the plan is to no longer have a single day format.  However, it is still important to deliver content to students and parents.  Will look at variety of ways to do that, including additional meeting and “Wednesday Morning Meeting”. (See Principal’s update.)


             ii.         EHS Staff Updates

Principal’s Update: Brandon Brekke:


New Principal, excited to be here.  Has goals and ideas, but stresses this will be a    continuous improvement process that will include getting feedback from the school community and making adjustments along the way.  Initial goal to improve and define the operating processes and procedures and improve communication, both internal and to the broader community.  To that end, the EHS Website is being updated to make it more user friendly and streamlined. Instead of a monthly newsletter, the plan is to send a School Messenger once a week on Fridays, that gives current, pertinent information and groups such as the PTSA, etc can use that to communicate to the community.

Brandon passed out a new organization chart for his direct reports.  Key reports to the Principal are: Athletic and Activities Director (Ryan Alsup), Student Services (Bryan Jesse), Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment (Becca Orsund) and Dean of Student Culture (Matt Erholtz).  Brandon will head up safety and security.

The Dean of Student Culture expands the position to include not only discipline, but to put focus on the positive side of the student culture and develop programs for a positive, healthy student culture. 


As Principal, the primary responsibility is to support a continual improvement process and create the conditions necessary for teachers and students to thrive. The school test scores are good, so at this time not looking at any massive changes there, but working on building leadership, establishing common objectives and assessments. There will be staff development around these goals.  Stress the mindset of continuous improvement.  


Bell schedule changes:  As we communicated last year, EHS has been out of compliance for instructional minutes for some time. To come in to compliance, each school day will start at 7:30am.  On Wednesdays there will be Advisement, which is now mandatory and attendance will be taken.  The plan is that each student must report to a classroom for attendance at the beginning and the end of the advisement period.  Since this is a new process, will strive to manage the process and improve as we get in to the school year.  There will be hall monitoring and security at the front of the building to help make this a smooth, productive transition.   This advisement time should be valuable to students to get additional help, it will also be the time when traditional assemblies will take place, as well as offering “Wednesday Morning Meeting” once or twice a month(usually 30-40 minutes) to provide high-interest, valuable content to the students.  Goal to bring the school together, and deliver contents that will help develop a strong, positive school culture.


Counseling Office Update (Tera cannot join this week)


  iii.         PTSA Meeting Times/purpose

Discussion – A survey was sent out with the meeting notice.  Based on the results, the 2nd Tuesday of the month is the best day for meetings. Evening seemed to be a slight favorite, but based on PTSA experience, many people cannot attend on evenings.  How can we best incorporate both? What does it take to get people here?  After discussion it was decided to keep the general meetings in the day time, but move the start time to 9:00am and schedule some evening meetings that provide relevant information that people feel will be well worth their time. A couple of ideas were floated about, but in the end decided that Kristine Stump and Rochelle Gatt will meet and come up with an idea for a couple of these evening meetings for the first semester.  They will work to come up with a structure and the logistics.  Will make sure to publish information well in advance of the meetings


Regarding the purpose, we discussed the role that PTA has in being voice for other parents?  To that end, how does that change our meetings and how and who do we communicate discussions. There were no hard decisions made, but it was clear that follow up is importants, and the value of PTA needs to be continuously communicated.  Maybe we can take advantage of the new school communication process(Friday messages) to reach a broader audience.


Recap: General PTSA Meetings will be at 9:00am, on the  second Tuesday of the following months: September, October, November, February, March, April and May.  The evening meetings will be communicated once they are decided.


   iv.         ACTION ITEM: volunteers needed

New Parent Breakfast- The new parent breakfast will be held on Wednesday, August 17th on the football field around 7:30-9:30  (Freshman and new student orientation begins at 7:30).  Rochelle will send out a sign-up genius.


Back to School Night-What do we need.  Amy as the PTSA president will give a speech conveying our mission and value we bring to the community.  We used to have a “new membership table,”  but we need to decide what our purpose for that night is and how we can best accomplish that.  Need way to show who we are and what we can/have accomplished. The EHS Foundation shows their value by what it has funded, but that is not really the strength of the PTSA, how do we show our value?


     v.         Expenditures

Amy got a free trial membership to a website template called NationBuilder and used it to build a PTSA website.  It is a good tool for the price and provides some membership marketing tools, including the capability to offer online membership enrollment as well as programs to track membership.   Several people have tried it out during the trial membership and felt it was easy and convenient to use (on multiple platforms)  Amy was requesting funds continue using this tool.  The cost is $29.00 a month.  Since it is not currently in the budget, would need to add a new line item.  Kristine made motion to add this line item to the budget (need to discuss with Treasurer as to correct placement.)  Melinda second, all approved. Amy will send email to all members from last year with link to join and there will be a link from our website.


   vi.         Miscellaneous:

  1. Talked about the need for a banner, but will hold off until we further define our mission.
  2. Possible Programming Brainstorm Social Hour - TBD

Meeting Adjourned at: 10:35. 

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