[Lapham-Marquette PTG] January PTG Meeting Notes and February Meeting Info

Sarah Herrick sarahsunfish at yahoo.com
Sun Jan 31 12:30:22 EST 2016

Below are the meeting notes from the January PTG meeting - check them out to see what's going on.  
The next PTG meeting will be February 9th at 6pm.  The topic will be Student Assessment and Opting Out; food and childcare will be provided.
Hope to see you there!Sarah HerrickPTG Secretary

|             Date:     January 12, 2016     |         Number of Attendees:              6 Adults + Pam Wilson    2 kids |
|             Topic: Recap of 2015 Fall working meetings + PTG Business Meeting |             Next Meeting:    February 9, 2016Focus: Student assessment and opting outFood and Childcare provided |

All parents and teachers are considered to be a part of PTG.Everyone is welcome at each meeting.

BIG THANKS to Salvatore’s Pizza Pies for donating pizza to last month’s meeting!UPCOMING EVENTS:
Note that PTG has a Google Calendar with the events below on PTG’s Home Page: http://lapham-marquette-ptg.org/ Saturday, January 30: Community Swim at Lapham Pool for Lapham/Marquette Families
This is a free event for all Lapham and Marquette families! Enter through pool entrance on E. Mifflin St.PTG February Monthly Meeting: Tuesday, February 9
Topic: Student Assessment and Opting Out of Testing – At least 2 members of FUPE are scheduled to join us to speak on behalf of Opting Out.  Grant is looking into people to talk against the idea of Opting Out.PTG March Monthly Meeting on Tuesday, March 8th 
Topic TBD and meeting may be rescheduled due to conflict with Lapham parent-teacher conferences on that day/evening – a decision will be made and announced after 2/9.

PTG April Monthly Meeting: Tuesday, April 12th
Topic: Talking to Kids About Race – note that there will be separate, age-appropriate conversations taking place at each school – more details coming soon

Complimentary food and childcareSave the Date for these PTG Events in April & May
– Election Day Bake Sale at Lapham: Tuesday, April 5
– PTG Auction: Friday, April 22
– International Food Fair: April 30
– Teacher Appreciation Day: Tuesday, May 3
– Food Cart Night: Tuesday, May 17 with rain date of Tuesday, May 24
– Variety Show: Friday, May 13Theme Discussion
In December 2015, PTG members met with principals Tammy Thompson Kapp and Pam Wilson for a discussion about how PTG can best work with teachers and principals, and what role they want to play in PTG. The results were informative and fruitful, to such an extent that PTG will likely make these meetings an annual priority. Two PTG members also met with Marquette teachers at their own Monday afternoon meeting, in part to get feedback/share info on grants and funding priorities. [We’d be happy to come to meet with Lapham teachers too!]At the Marquette teacher meeting PTG shared a pie chart of PTG’s annual budget to make it clear how funding breaks down between Lapham and Marquette and what we fund. PTG will  share these with Tammy so she can share with Lapham teachers too. There was concern with Marquette teachers that funding is unequal between the schools, particularly due to the Gardener-in-Residence Program at Lapham. PTG has emphasized that most of Marquette’s students attend Lapham before attending Marquette, and that the board  (and parents, we think) want them to have a garden experience at some point in their 6 years of elementary school.  That being said, PTG knows the switch to funding via a grants process is only in it’s 2nd year and is still evolving. Marquette teachers want to know what items they can be guaranteed to receive funding for hoping that they have guarantees for Safety Patrol Trip, Show Choir, and Special Field Trips. The Board pointed out that Marquette teacher priorities have changed over the years, so communication needs to occur as early as possible, as early as April/May for the following school year. Also, teachers want a better understanding of the decision making process and explanations about why specific grants are not approved. This is understandable and Board is working on a rubric to meet these needs. PTG’s grant-request program is only in its second year, so it is natural that this is a work in progress.The board is aware that a further inequity between buildings is that Lapham teachers as a group received more money in teacher stipends per year than Marquette teachers as a group. This is because Lapham has more classrooms. Since there are more students per classroom, Marquette teachers are receiving less money per student. One proposed solution is to allocate funding to each teacher according to the number of students they have instead? Challenge is that these numbers change as the year progresses. PTG will continue to brainstorm this issue.During meetings with Marquette teachers it became apparent that there are some student needs that are not being met – for example some families need assistance paying for school photos and snacks. At the PTG meeting Pam pointed out that Marquette is in good shape with school supplies and and hygiene products and that State of Wisconsin Agency partners from DHS and DOA have done a great job donating winter clothing and gear. Also that some families need support in getting to school events like conferences, fine arts nights and community-building events. PTG will continue to brainstorm this issue.BUSINESS MEETING & COMMITTEE UPDATESBoard Members in Attendance: Grant, Liz, Stephanie, Jessie– Grant Requests
At the start of the business meeting we had $4,800 available for grants. Jessie Chmell is working on a rubric to better inform grant requesters about how PTG funds grants what criteria matters most. There are important conversations taking place about how to make certain popular programs (Marquette Show Choir and Lapham Outdoor Classroom & Gardener-in-Residence Program) more sustainable in terms of their annual funding. Ideas include soliciting from families that are more easily able to pay, reusing Show Choir t-shirts from year to year and allowing families to buy “shares” of Lapham’s Outdoor Classroom programming, and renting Outdoor Classroom for birthday parties and perhaps even pursuing social entrepreneurship for the Gardener-in-Residence. See more details below.Grants Approved During Meeting:
1) Show Choir Costs through June 2016, including year-end celebration: $200
2) 5th Grade Patrol’s Year-end Field Trip to Mt. Olympus: $800
3) TEP Snack and other staff identified needs: $400 ($200 for each school)
4) Marquette Book Room: $600*

*Marquette Book Room Request = MMSD does not fund Book Room books. These books serve students at all reading levels because Marquette integrates non-fiction into learning at all levels. Book Room requires sets of 4-6 books to meet proficient and advanced learners. Ordering through teachers is the most economical method because of bulk discounts. When PTG budgets for 2016-2017, we need to do better forecasting for Book Room needs at both schools. PTG members hope to will research new methods to better match school/student/teacher needs and requests with potential funders including school families and community businesses. Perhaps there is software that simplifies this process, similar to online wedding and baby registration?One attendee suggested we perhaps re-visit the Lapham general bookroom request [only advanced learner was approved previously] in light of the information from Marquette teachers about lack of MMSD funds for bookroom. We wondered if the requester for Lapham is back from maternity leave. – Fundraising Updates
In an effort to alleviate some of the pressure on the PTG budget and to build a more sustainable funding model for the Lapham’s Gardener-in-Residence Program, Lapham’s Green Team submitted the following innovative fundraising ideas that the PTG enthusiastically approved.At the PTG Auction – offer the opportunity for families, community members and businesses to buy a “share” in the garden. This idea is similar to that of a CSA where folks would buy a share in the garden, but instead of veggies in return, buyers would be investing in growing the seeds of our garden that nourish our children. The idea here is that there could be something for families, community members and local businesses to invest in on any level in the hopes that enough funds could be raised to fund the garden next year and perhaps with some to spare for the future. Folks could buy shares in a range of prices such as:   
   - A share to fund the garden program in full ($5,250)
   - A share to cover the cost of one child’s experience in the garden for a year ($22)
   - A share to cover the cost of one Gardener-in-Residence lesson (TBD)
   - A share to cover the cost of seedlings for a garden bed (TBD)
   - A share to cover the cost of a package of seeds ($5)
   - Also, some items without price tag and available for donation of choice

Fall, Spring and Summertime Opportunity – buy a party in the garden! Families and community members could purchase a birthday party or get together in the garden. The purchase could include some party planning, some garden materials access, time in the garden space reserved just for them.

A Summertime Soirée – A Unique Fundraising/Community Building EventWe are considering hosting a summer soirée in the Outdoor Classroom & Community Garden. We would have food (perhaps donated by local restaurants that could include garden ingredients), music, perhaps student made art work etc. School families and community members would be invited and this is an event intended to help support the garden program as well as build community. We would have a jar out for folks to make donations if they wish. Or, we also discussed have a “Pizza-Off” – a competition for local pizzerias to bake our pizza with food from our garden and then let party-goers “vote with their dollars”.

– Start Conversation about PTG 2016-2017 School Year Planning
PTG Board and Committee Leaders: any idea who will continue on and suggestions for new leadership?Budget – better forecasting for Book Room needs at both schools; reach out to teachers to inquire about upcoming needs/requests

Mark your calendars for Friday, April 22nd! THANK YOU Katie McGlenn for coordinating this year. Folks interested in volunteering, please email Katie at kwmcglenn“at”gmail.com.VARIETY SHOW
Mark your calendars for Friday, May 13th! Big thanks to Amy Mader and Nancy Coulter Kuehn for leading the effort this year. Please contact Nancy at nrkuehn”at”gmail.com for more information and to volunteer.

AFTER SCHOOL CLUBSclubs at marquette-ptg.org    Clubs are going to begin Feb 22, with club sign ups going out the week of Jan 25. There are fewer parent led clubs at Marquette this year, but Deb Deppeler facilitated a computer club run by UW students starting from Feb 10-May 4 for 4-5th graders at Marquette this year. This program needs a parent volunteer every week, however, this parent volunteer is to help with any behavior issues and giving out snack-no computer experience or prep is necessary. Deb and some parents of enrolled students have this year covered, but to continue to have the club we will need to get a commitment to have volunteers there for the fall before the end of this school year. 27 students signed up for 16 spots, so the interest is there and there are lots of UW students willing, so we just need the parent volunteers to commit. Also, UW teaches a class promoting science education that runs after school science clubs. The leader (Dolly Ledin) for that program advertised the $100 stipend to former students to lead a club at Marquette, and a UW student teacher at Marquette is going to lead an after school science club this spring. The other big issue is that Jackie will no longer have a child at Lapham so we MUST find a new Lapham coordinator or there will be no after school clubs at Lapham next fall. We're happy to help someone out – Jackie created a great organizational document with links to templates for the next organizers. Please contact Ellison and Jackie at clubs at marquette-ptg.org for more information or to volunteer.COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE:communications at lapham-marquette-ptg.orgBig Thanks to Jamie Healy-Plotkin for getting the school directory formatted for printing this year. This is Jamie’s first year taking that on. School secretaries provide the excel file of info and MMSD prints it (on their schedule…) but a parent does the work of turning data into a lovely tool! Thanks again Jamie!EQUITY/FAMILY SUPPORT COMMITTEEfamily_support at lapham-marquette.orgFUNDRAISING COMMITTEEfundraising at lapham-marquette-ptg.org        Taste of Wi. made about $3500. New leaders have been found for next year. Takes about 25 volunteers- all but organizers do 1-2 hour shifts. Organizers do about 40 hours of work (20 each.)Direct Appeal letter going out the week of January 25th – was scheduled for before break but illness of volunteer parent made it have to wait.LAPHAM GARDEN & GREEN TEAM UPDATEgarden at lapham-marquette-ptg.org    

Wow, what an incredible 2015 in Lapham's Outdoor Classroom & Community Garden! 22 classrooms visited at least once, many up to three times. We had 121 total classroom visits including Early Childhood, 4K and K-2. And for the second year in a row, Mrs. Kimberly Wilson, Lapham’s art teacher, brought out students to "draw what they saw". Red Caboose also enjoyed our Outdoor Classroom during after school and summer school programming in record levels. We had more than 152 school and community volunteers including 13 families who adopted Lapham Outdoor Classroom & Community Garden during the summer. And, speaking of summer, we donated 82.43lbs. of food to the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Community Center’s food bank!We hope you will check out our 2015 Year-end Report to fully appreciate the enormous impact that Lapham Outdoor Classroom & Community Garden has on our students, families, staff and our greater community. PTG funding, along with Community GroundWorks' program oversight and many volunteers makes our Gardener-in-Residence Program possible. And Lapham Green Team is excited to pursue innovative approaches in funding in 2016, so all you garden supporters, please watch the PTG listserv and Facebook page for more information about fundraising and Outdoor Classroom programming for spring/summer 2016.For more information about our unique Gardener-in-Residence program and to learn about the benefits of garden-based learning:Home Grown School Gardens in Wisconsin (Wisconsin DPI) – includes informative materials developed by Community GroundWorksGROW/Digging In Report – we were so proud to be a part of this amazing learning experience that lead to the incredible transformation of our school garden into a true outdoor classroom during these last couple years! And the GROW/Digging In Appendix, which offers a wonderful three-page profile on our history and current program, starting on page 34.Lapham Outdoor Classroom Webpage and Lapham Garden & Green Team Facebook Page

Please contact Stephanie Steigerwaldt at garden”at”lapham-marquette-ptg.org with questions or to get involved.TEACHER APPRECIATION COMMITTEEMark your calendars – Teacher Appreciation Day is Tuesday, May 3rd! Please contact Jessie Chmell to volunteer at jessiechmell”at”gmail.com.

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