Watt School Council – Our meetings take place quarterly.   All parents welcome!

The purpose of Watt School Council is to enhance students’ learning through co-operative efforts of parents, students, staff and the community.  Council works collaboratively with the school community to identify and respond to the community’s educational needs.  The Council provides a forum for parents, students and other community members to discuss education-related issues, be involved in developing strategies and solutions, and participate in making recommendations and decisions.  It functions to encourage parents and community members to participate in education, thereby enhancing the development and experiences of students and others involved with Watt Public School.  The goals of the Watt School Council are outlined in its Constitution that is available at the school.

Parents wishing to have items discussed at a Council meeting should contact the chair, any Council member or the school Principal prior to the meeting, if possible.

The membership of the Council is comprised of parents/guardians of any student presently enrolled in Watt Public School, school representatives and other community members.

Meetings of the School Council are held quarterly and are open to all members of the school community.  Dates and times are posted in each monthly newsletter and on the school’s website.

Parent Council Minutes

Chair: Miranda Britton

In Attendance (Invitees):
Dianna Petrie (Principal – outgoing), Laura Durlsey, (Principal – incoming), Jenny Novak, Stacey Lewis, Laura Goltz

Location: Watt Library

Regrets: Jen O’Gorman, Amber Gordon, Jeanette Odman

  1. Welcome and Adoption of Minutes from March 16, 2021 (Kate – 5 mins)
    • Motion to adopt previous minutes with addition of attendance list
      • Outcome/Action Item:
        • Minutes Adopted
          • 1st Jen N
          • 2nd Laura G
  2. Business arising from minutes: Snowshoe Status (Dianna – 5 mins)
    • This will be revisited in the Fall. Unable to get a final answer on what is actually needed because thorough count is required and staff is not at school.
      • Outcome/Action Item:
        • Miranda to follow up with Laura Durlsey in the fall.
  3. Chair’s Report • Review of Council activities since last meeting (Miranda – 5 mins)
    • Plant sale cancelled, there was good support of the Women’s Institute plant sale from the Watt community.
    • Grad necklaces are at the school
    • Staff gifts (BIA downtown shopping gift certificates for BB and HV) have been purchased and are at the school
    • Jen Novak and Miranda met (virtually) with Dianna to discuss the status of the self-generated funds in a bit more detail. (see New Business)
  4. Principal’s Report: Track and Field, Graduation, Year End Awards, School Organization, Staffing (Dianna – 20 mins)
    • Virtual Track and Field will be held June 11th, students will have details
    • Grad will stay virtual, families will be given private link to watch
    • Grad photos will be taken June 21st
    • June 28th pickup day at the school, grads will get their gifts then, year end awards will be ready for pick up
    • Enrollment is up for 21/22 year, especially younger grades, staff numbers will stay the same, but new grade organization as follows:
      • Simmons/Loshaw – JK/SK
      • Veitch – Grade 1
      • Mumford (on leave) – Grade 2/3
      • Small – Grade 4/5
      • Janke – Grade 6/7/8
      • Catherine Montgomery leaving, Allison Kent to fill resource role
        • Outcome/Action Item: Miranda to provide gift and card for Catherine Montgomery.
  5. Treasurer’s Report (Jen Novak – 10 mins)
    • Opening balance is $3447.97
    • Received reimbursement for year end awards paid in error by council, the balance of the Watt Wear account and a couple of HST rebates (total $263.03)
    • Paid out $450.00 for grad gifts, $200.00 in departing staff gifts and $375.00 in staff appreciation gifts
    • Current balance is $1607.36
    • $425.00 approx reimbursement to come in from Parent Engagement Grant for Winterfest kits
    • $600.00 still to be spent for grad and year end awards (it’s possible the school might pay for these

In Attendance: Dianna Petrie, Jen Novak, Miranda Britton, Amber Gordon, Laura Goltz, Stacey Lewis

Regrets: Jen O’Gorman, Jeannette Odman

1. Welcome – Chair

2. Adoption of Minutes from December 8, 2020 meeting

  • Jen 1st Laura 2nd

3. Business Arising from Minutes (5 mins) 

  • Council Facebook Page (Britton)  
    • Many people/followers have switched over to the Watt Public School page which is what we were hoping for.  The Watt parent council page is not deactivated.
  • Winterfest Kits (Novak) 
    • The activity bags were assembled and sent out.  Many notes of thanks came in from school families.
    • Big thank you to Jen Novak for assembling the bags!
  • Outdoor Equipment Review (Petrie)
    • A review of snow shoes available at the school was done.  They have determined that most of the shoes they have are a smaller size.  They are going to do up a quote for approx. 50 sets of larger size snow shoes.  Quote will be presented to council once assembled for consideration.  Contact info for Algonquin outfitters has been provided to the school by Jen Novak.

4. Review Correspondence – Chair

  • Email from Kari Meeks re: Plant Sale 
    • See New Business

5. Chair’s Report

  • Plant Sale (table to New Business)
  • Watt Wear (table to New Business)

6. Principal’s Report (20 mins)

  • COVID Protocols
    • Have been some school based covid cases across Muskoka and across the board
    • When a case is reported, the health unit will contact the school
    • Principal provides information to the health unit as directed
    • There is a quarantine process in place based for the student identified.  Siblings, classmates and some school bus contacts may be asked to quarantine.
    • Only 3 staff go into multiple classrooms and when they do they wear PPE that includes masking and face shield
    • Direct contacts of a positive case are notified by Principal Petri and after that a general letter would go out to the school population.
  • Asymptomatic Testing
    • Voluntary testing is available and has begun within the school board
    • Watt public will be included in the invitation for asymptomatic testing in the coming weeks, and will be located in Huntsville.
    • With the asymptomatic testing, you do not need to stay home and quarantine
    • If you have any further questions about asymptomatic testing, please contact Principal Petrie
    • Principal Petrie will look into information for families around what to expect with asymptomatic testing.
  • Christ Church Grant Money
    • A number of meals have been provided to the kids at Watt each week
    • The kids have loved the opportunity for special meals
  • Winterfest Activity Day
    • Winterfest will be a full day outside on March 1
    • There will be some special items throughout the day for the kids
    • The kids will need to stay in their cohorts during the day, and the event has been set up as a cohort challenge to make it even more fun
    • Cleaning protocols are in place
  • Graduation
    • Covid will likely impact grad again this year
    • When we get closer things will come clearer about what restrictions will be in place
    • School has received permission to have a photog to the school for grad photos only
    • Students have brought forward some creative ideas for how to have a covid safe ceremony 
    • School with reach out to families to see what options they prefer for the graduation 
    • For the grad’s last year – they are still looking for some sort of ceremony.  Conversations have been happening in the background and last years grads will be contacted with options and information around diplomas and other pieces for the graduates.
  • EQAO update
    • There will be no EQAO this year
  • Self-Generated funds
    • Principal Petrie received a memo regarding self generated funds (any funds not received from ministry).  
    • Funds must be used within the year the funds are raised
    • Fundraising must be completed with a purpose and a plan
    • Within 5 years, all funds must be spent and then each year after that funds must be spent within the year it is raised
    • The Bent River fund is sitting around $14,000.  
    • There are conditions on how some funds should be spent
    • General discussion around existing funds was had
    • Some ideas brought forward, are around electives and playground equipment.

7. Treasurer’s Report (Novak – 10 mins)

  • Current Council balance
    • $2300 is current parent council bank balance
  • Anticipated expenses for rest of school year
    • Parting gifts for teachers still needed, teacher appreciation luncheon still to happen, grad awards still to happen, food/snacks for grad also, track and field awards may also be an upcoming expense.

8. New Business (15 mins)

  • District Parent Involvement Committee Update (Goltz)
    • Reviewed covid protocols
    • Reviewed feed all four fund, which supports families who may need support (could this info go out on the website and Facebook page?
    • The plans for the next school year will be ministry driven, and at this time they are planning for in school learning.
    • Results from the Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) Parent Survey on the IEP experience can be reviewed at this link: https://www.tldsb.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/IEP-Survey-Infographic.pdf
    • Ann Douglas spoke at the last district meeting and there will be another guest speaker at the next meeting.  Then it will be determined if they will be invited back to present some thing that would be open to everyone. 
  • Parent Engagement Grant allocation
    • Cost of Watt Winterfest supplies will come from the parent engagement allocation.
    • Vote on this:  1st Laura, 2nd Stacey
  • Plant Sale (Britton)
    • We have been asked if we will do a plant sale this year
    • There are other sales happening this year, so may be some competition for sales
    • Is this something we should pursue based on the need to spend funds within reasonable time?
    • Popular vote is to proceed with the sale and put the funds towards the cost of new snowshoes as noted in above minutes
    • Vote: 1st by Laura, 2nd by Amber 
  • Watt Wear (Britton)
    • There has been some request from staff and students for a new order of “Watt Wear”
    • Some resistance to new logo
    • A number of places have been contacted for quotes
    • Could the option for both logos be offered at this time?  Could we provide a “vintage” option to allow for one more option for order? 
    • Miranda will get more details on the 3 places.
  • Graduation
    • Discussion around options for grade 8 gifts from council

9. Next Meeting Date (TBD in June 2021)

10. Adjournment – 8pm

Date: December 8, 2020Start Time:  6:45pm      Adjournment: 810pm
Chair: Miranda BrittonLocation: Virtual meeting Via Google Meet
In Attendance (Invitees): Diana Petrie, Jen Novak, Miranda Britton, Amber Gordon, Laura Goltz (7:45pm), Regrets: Greg Goulter, Laura Goltz, Teacher rep, Kari M, Jen O, Jodi
Agenda ItemOwnerEstimated TimeDiscussion NotesOutcome/Action Item
Welcome and adoption of minutesChair5 minutes
  • No objections or further questions
  • Moved by jen
  • Second by amber
Business Arising from Minutes
  • Activity Posts (Lewis/Petrie)
  • Outdoor Classroom Space (Petrie)
  • Sanitizer Station (Petrie)
  • Parent Engagement Grant status (Petrie)
 
  1. mins
  • Activity posts have been installed.  Supplies donated by Lewis family.  Kids have been making activity cards to put on the posts
  • Outside classroom space has not progressed much further.  There are logs in place and they are used as seating as needed.  The weather has been fairly good so that they are getting outside lots.
  • Sanitizer station has not been pursued as it is not needed at this time.
  • Parent engagement money is still available to council whenever they are ready to use it.  
  • Dianna is awaiting a reply from her superintendent regarding if parents can be outside and on the property for something like winterfest. 
Review CorrespondenceAmber
  1. Mins
  • Resignation of Kate Monk as chair received and reviewed.  Kate has been given a thank you gift and message from the Watt community for her time served as chair.
  • No further action required.
Chair’s Report 

 

  • Thank you to Kate Monk
  • Poinsettia Sale Cancellation
  • community Funding for classroom Mental Health Resources
  • PIC report (Goltz)
Chair5 Mins
  • PIC – not many updates.  Council still has access to the $500 parent engagement money.  Parameters around the parent engagement money.  One idea is around some learning for parents around virtual classroom and new ways of learning.
  • Dianna will follow up with Jen Andreason and other schools around what ideas they have for Parent Engagement and use of funds.
  •  
Principal’s Report 

 

  • Virtual Christmas Concert
  • Use of outdoor equipment
  • Ice Rink
  • Christmas Hampers
  • Staffing Update
  • Virtual “Clubs” 
  • Inclement Weather policy
  • Any other questions/concerns
Diana
  1. Mins
  • Virtual Christmas Concert will be on Dec 16th at 7pm.  Will be posted on YouTube for when families can gather and watch it.
  • Outdoor equipment – one class at a time will be able to use equipment and then it will need to be put away for 3 days until sed again as they can’t be disinfected properly.  Request made from school staff for funding support for new snowshoes to add to the collection based on the above restrictions.  The health unit is attending the school this week review how Watt is doing with protocols and to give suggestions.
  • The Ice Rink:  not able to do this year due to skates going back and forth from home, help lacing skates, and the bench in the hall and the extra supervision needed.
  • Christmas Hampers and Virtual Club opportunities: Christchurch has gotten a grant and it is going to go towards Christmas hampers and to families in need, and support for families and school things that have been impacted by Covid.  One option is to look at options for winter electives/Virtual clubs (covid safe).  Clarification from Dianna provided around how Self-generated funds can be spent within the school.  Funds generated by council (and donations may not be spent on items that are typically board funded).  Looking at some kind of winter electives taking place in late Feb./Mar.  Idea is to be able to offer at least 4 activities for the classes to rotate through.
  • Staffing Update:  Mr. Janke has a concussion and has not been able to return to work at this time.  Natalie Kreuger has been hired at this time to cover until his return.
  • Inclement Weather Policy:  Dianna reviewed the inclement weather policy around what snow days now look like within the TLBSB.  She reiterated that the expectation is for families to do what is best for them on these days and that the teachers will be present and online for those who are able to join them.
  • Dianna will report back to council what she finds out around restrictions and allowances for covid safe winter electives, and if instructors could come on the property
  • Council will brainstorm ideas for covid safe winter electives, and share with Dianna
  • Dianna will look into the Ontario provincial government around gathering numbers allowed for outdoor gatherings
Treasurer’s Report Novak10 mins
  • $2997.09 is current council balance
  • Year end and grad awards have been purchased.
  • Projected spending includes: parting gifts for teachers who are leaving Watt, teacher appreciation luncheon, and grad and year end awards, track and field awards.
  • We are hoping to still have the spring plant sale, and will try to work within Covid protocols.
  • There is still Bent River funding that can be used for outdoor recreation
  • Jen will reach out to Kate Monk to find out who assisted with the purchase of outdoor recreation equipment in the past (local business?) 
  • Dianna will work with teachers to determine the need for updated rec. equipment (snow shoes) and report back to council for spending decision. 
New Business
  • Appointment/Nominations of Executive positions (Britton)
  • Online Raffle Idea (Novak)
  • Council Facebook Page (Britton)
  • Winterfest (Novak)
  • Cleaning protocols and allowed cleaners (Gordon)
various15 minutes
  • Nomination of Miranda for Chair (self), seconded by Amber 
  • Raffle Idea/silent auction:  Jen has found an online platform that would support us to have a silent auction.  This idea will be on hold at this time, but will investigate.
  • Council Facebook page will be phased out, and migrated to direct traffic to the main Watt page as it is not active and being well utilized so no nee for ongoing duplication. 

Winterfest:

  • Discussion around what options there may be around still holding a Winterfest at Watt still this year. 
  • Feb 11th and 18th as snow day) will be the tentative dates based on finding out the procedures and protocols determined by Dianna.

School cleaning protocols: 

  • Donations are welcome, and school administration just needs to approve that the product meets WHIMIS and school cleaning standards.  Item information or donation suggestions can be sent to Dianna.
  • Jen will send info to Dianna about online Fundraising platform for investigation around board policies for future use.
  • Miranda will manage the phase out of the council Facebook page and reach out to amber for support as needed with this,
  • Dianna will find out more information about provincial restrictions on gatherings and also around how to best make this happen possibly on the property.
Choose dates for next MeetingChair5 minutes
  • Next meeting will be March 9th  6:45pm by google meet. 
  • Miranda will send out the Goggle invite to council members.

Adjourned: 8:10pm  –  Happy Holidays! 

Chair: Miranda Britton

Treasurer: Jen Novak

Treasurer: Jen Novak

Secretary: Amber Gordon