June 2012 Friends Meeting Minutes

Friends of Southwest Charter School

June 26, 2012


 Review of Friends 2011/2012 – We discussed what worked well, what didn’t, and what we can do better for 2012-2013 school year.


  • We are waiting to hear from Anna regarding our net fundraising total. It should be about $3,000.
  • Restaurant nights were our most profitable fundraising events.
  • Other restaurant nights to consider for 2012/13 –Bellagio’s Pizza, Old Spaghetti Factory and Subway.
  • Krista would like to make at least one of our community-building events free to families, such as Movie Night. We would not charge for tickets. Emily P. will look into the Clinton St. Theater again and some suggested also contacting the Moreland Theater. We’d like to show Star Wars. If possible, we’ll schedule the Movie Night for a Thursday when we have a Friday Teacher Planning Day, so kids don’t have school the next day.
  • Next year, we’d like Friends to retain a percentage of the auction profits to fund community events and teacher care/appreciation.  If we received 5-10% of auction profits, we wouldn’t have to ask families for as much $ throughout the year.  Friends could ease up on fundraising efforts as the school Board is funding more activities.  The 2013 Auction $ is not earmarked for anything specific yet. This will depend on what Anne and the teachers prioritize – technology, foreign language, etc.
  • Sarah G. is willing to coordinate the 2012-13 Plant Sale. This year we made about the same as last year ($500) and it’s easy to coordinate. Sarah posted flyers throughout the SW Waterfront and only got 2 orders from outside the school community, but we’ll continue advertise in South Waterfront Newsletter.
  • We might consider a Valley Bowling fundraiser like the Valley Movies series where you get to bowl each week.
  • We don’t feel strongly about trying the Oaks Park bracelet sale again. It didn’t make a lot of $ and it was stressful to have to sell a certain number of bracelets.
  • Sarah G. is working with Harmony Spangler on new t-shirt designs for next year. There are several web sites that we can order school spirit merchandise featuring our designs. We’d like to have samples available to show at the beginning of the year. It was suggested we need a new logo with our school mascot, the Griffin. Sarah will talk to Harmony about this.
  • Marlene would like Friends to take over the management of scrip and keep the profits. We would need two volunteers, and one must be able to market and sell scrip. We can only accept checks or cash because credit card processing takes too high a percentage of sales.  It was suggested we make our own scrip form and limit the number of companies offered to those that are more popular with our community. We’d need to identify two people whose only job is scrip. Marlene will include information about the scrip job in the school newsletter.

Community Events

  • “Wizard of Oz” Movie Night at the Clinton Street Theater and November Oaks Park Roller Skating were fun. This year, the Circuit Gym climbing wasn’t as successful because we changed the date.
  • We might want to try Pump It Up. A few years ago a SWCS event there made about $3 per child.
  • Oaks Park roller skating is per person, so we probably won’t make this event free.
  • Most Parent Education Nights were poorly attended. Although, the showing of Play Again went really well. We discussed whether we should try to schedule 3 parent education nights again or try for one big parent education night. After some discussion, we decided to have 1 big event and then have other speakers piggyback onto the “social hour” 30 minutes before our Friends’ Meeting. Topics suggested included: pros/cons of vaccination (too polarizing?), continuation of Brain Gym, yoga, speakers such as Sarah Mutal’s son’s preschool teacher, and younger children vs. tween nutrition. These mini-parent education talks could be held from 6:30-7 pm before our Friends’ Meetings in September, December and February.
  • Parent education topics must be of high interest to our community. We are especially looking for subjects that appeal to parents of middleschoolers.
  • We are going to have 28 of new families next year and we need to really make our new families feel comfortable and welcome.
  • At the end of September, we are considering scheduling a Harvest Festival & Dance with Chip. Chip is coming week of September 17th. Thursday, September 20th would be the Harvest Festival. There may also be an ice cream social on September 6th. If we think we can get both events well attended, we’ll do both. We will decide on whether to schedule both events after the Community Life Committee meets this summer.

Teacher Support

  • We’ll do a “Back to School” Teacher Lunch again.
  • We will do buffets this November and January to coincide with conferences.
  • We’ll continue with Birthday acknowledgements and Teacher Appreciation Week in May.
  • Last year we scheduled an informal party for teachers after winter break. We’d like to do this again either at someone’s house or a happy hour somewhere.
  • Art hanging system – this needs to be done before school starts. Pete Clover will get this take care of.
  • We need a volunteer to focus on teacher appreciation for the upcoming school year.

Multnomah Days

  • SWCS has already reserved a booth for the parade on Saturday, August 18th.
  • Since our theme is Sky, it would be fun to decorate Anna’s truck with a balloon rainbow, sun, moon, etc
  • We need someone to help coordinate volunteers to man the booth. A lot of people come to march, but not work the booth.
  • Four people have already agreed to man the booth and do face painting.


  • We discussed how we can make it easier for people to volunteer.
  • Some suggested we provide more volunteer jobs that can be done from home, like picking up scrip and preparing it for distribution.
  • Our list of volunteer jobs must designate which can be done from home and which require time at school.
  • How do we make sure those jobs are properly advertised? It seems that email and flyers are not working. Maybe we can make a little reference card with Friends Events, contact person, email, etc.
  • We need to encourage people to sign up for Friends Facebook page.
  • We need to use something like SignUpGenius.com which is a free online tool for creating and managing group sign-up lists and forms. Krista will explore this option.
  • Friends Volunteer Coordinator should have the ability to make school-wide volunteer requests. This would require the Volunteer Coordintor to have access to all families’ email addresses.
  • We need to have a FOSWCS bulletin board in the school lobby.  We could add a volunteer job board to this. Marlene will have the extra board in the great room moved for Friends to use.
  • To promote accountability, Marlene suggests that we have volunteers sign an agreement form stating they understand the job they have agreed to do.

Meeting Format

  • Some have asked that we move our meeting time to 7 pm instead of 6:30 pm.  This may make it easier for working parents and those trying to get dinner on the table to attend. In the fall, Friends will meet from 7 – 8:30 pm. We could have social hour before, but the actual meeting will start at 7 pm.
  • Some have also suggested that we don’t have our monthly meeting the first week after a break.
  • Committees that are part of the Friends need to be diligent about conducting their meetings separately from the larger monthly FOSWCS meetings. During the Friends meetings, committees should provide a 10-minute update, not conduct their meeting.
  • We’ll continue meeting the 1st Tuesday of the month. Krista will confirm and get these dates to Marlene for the school-wide calendar.
  • The first Friends Meeting for 2012/13 school year will be Tuesday, September 11, 2012.

Next meeting: August 7, 2012  7 pm Location TBA

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