October 22, 2013
Present: Soren Jacobsen (President), Petra Schwarthoff (Vice President), Hannah Crumrine (Secretary), Jenean Claus (Event Coordinator), Lael Hansen (General Volunteer Coordinator), Jenny Moorman (ROI Coordinator), Lynn Norton (MHS Community Builder Coordinator), DeAnna Richmond, Chad Alfurel, Lisa Bruner, Veronica Fletcher, Maureen Kuhn, DeAnna Richmond, Rosemarie Schwarzenberger
Next meeting: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 @ the Middle / High School
1. Scarecrow Stroll update by Jenean Claus
a. Jenean thought there was a decent turnout for the Stroll and it was easy to work with the Botanical Garden staff. There didn’t seem to be much of a response from parents on VolunteerSpot. For next year Jenean suggested that the group consider an assignment based approach to designating food or cleanup opportunities. Maybe assignments could be based on grade level or the alphabet. This approach might be helpful to those families needing a little more guidance. Soren commented that last year very few families used VolunteerSpot but there ended up being plenty of food. Jenean and Petra said that was not the case this year and as an example, there was nothing for families to drink.
b. Petra suggested there was a communication faux pas with the first announcement about the event. Jenean added that some children showed up with trick or treat bags and expected to receive candy or trinkets. To prevent future communication mishaps Jenean suggested the group rely on just one announcement rather than lots of announcements. There were also some comments from the group that the email link in the announcement was difficult to find and should perhaps be located in a different spot.
c. Lael noted that based on her experiences with the Stroll that families get smarter about what to bring or do; there’s a learning curve.
d. Soren asked for input about the email families received. It was suggested that the group send separate emails about event. Jenean thought that a poster/flyer with fewer words and more direct information could be emailed to families or printed. Lynne suggested placing important information at top of any email and then follow with more detailed information for those who might interested. Petra commented that she did not get the second email and thought the update only went out through Facebook. There was some discussion about families receiving the newsletter but not the email from MailChimp. Most members present seemed to prefer or appreciate Facebook updates.
2. Community Network Kickoff update by Jenean Claus
a. Jenean reminded the group that she is new to the position and might need help with parts of the event. Petra had told her that she needed to think of a theme for the event and she presented the group with three options: 1950s, superheroes, or an international theme.
i. Soren suggested that Jenean talk to Keith Donahue (Facilities and Operations) because the school might not want a theme or a costume event. Soren thinks the school wants more of a mixer and is concerned that the theme element is unappealing to some families and thereby affecting attendance. Soren will send email to both Jenean and Keith to make connection.
b. Petra talked to Keith and children should not attend the event. It is likely that families can leave children at the Middle / High School for childcare.
c. It was mentioned that Lisa Lechner (Business Manager) has been referring to the event as the Fall Parent Social. There was some discussion about what to call the event. It was decided to call it the Community Network Kickoff. Jenean asked whether school administrators and teachers were invited because school emails about the event are specific to parents.
d. Jenean will continue working on a DJ and food.
e. Jenean asked about the wine drawing and Soren explained how the drawing has worked in the past. Someone asked whether the group should try something other than a wine auction, especially because not all families drink alcohol. Petra suggested a silent auction. Soren said that the school prefers the use of something other than silent auction for fundraising. Soren said that wine auction works well because the prize is big and that a gift basket might not be worth the $20 raffle ticket to some families. Soren suggested talking to Keith before breaking away from a fundraising model that seems to be working.
3. Coffee Hour update by Petra Schwarthoff
a. Currently there is no venue for Coffee Hour at the Elementary School and Petra is trying to figure that out. She does not want to offer the gathering at a private residence. Petra is talking with someone from Caffé Capri but nothing has been arranged. The empty bank building is not an option, although the mall might be a consideration in the near future. Petra also mentioned that one mother would like to host an Indian tea morning.
4. Teacher Appreciation
a. Neither volunteer coordinator was present to provide an update.
b. Petra told the group that she sent each coordinator an email about what went well and what could be improved before the next luncheon.
c. Soren explained the process, asked if anyone had not received email about bringing food.
d. There was some concern that not all families are receiving emails from MailChimp. Soren said that 670 emails without duplicates. He will reconcile his distribution lists to see what’s going on.
5. Website revision update by Soren Jacobsen
a. The ad hoc group moving forward. Lael asked whether families could subscribe to the website. Either Soren or Petra will look into adding subscription capabilities to the updated website.
6. High School Community Building update by Lynn Norton
a. The community building group is making progress. Their goal is to develop a high school that looks like a high school rather than a middle or elementary school, which was the original Sage model.
b. The survey results are in and the student have selected a phoenix as the school mascot. The school colors might be crimson/red, and maybe green. c. The group is considering moving to a club model with activities every trimester. In addition to the honor society, students have identified three areas of interest.
i. A performing arts club with a focus on music, art, and drama. The students would like to attend community events and then meet to talk about the outing and their experiences. Lynne is looking for a parent connected to the art community to help with the club.
ii. An international club.
iii. A science club. Again, Lynne is looking for interested parents to help develop the clubs.
d. The students to want a prom and the group needs to form a committee specific to that event. Additionally, Mrs. Hegg (Middle/High School Director) is researching and collecting information about school memorabilia.
e. Chad asked if there was a database for parents to list the resources available to them and could be shared with the school. Petra answered that yes, there is a form on the website asking parents to list the resources they have access to and would be willing to share with the school. The form has not been marketed well but the group updating the website is mindful of changes that need to be made.
f. Lael said that elementary school parents might want to help with the high school clubs or other community building activities because their children will probably attend the high school.
g. Petra added that with two new school directors there are two separate lines of communication and updates coming from the Elementary School and the Middle / High School. She would like to find a way to bridge that gap so that all families are aware of opportunities for involvement at both schools.
7. Soren turned the time over the guest speaker because the group was running behind schedule. If time allowed, the group would discuss the remaining agenda items after the ROI presentation.
8. Ignite Sage update by Soren Jacobsen
9. Topic selection for monthly Return on Investment presentations
10. Junior Achievement