Friends of SW Charter Minutes ~ August 2014

Friends of SW Charter School (FOSWCS)

Meeting Minutes

August 5, 2014

In Attendance: Christina Cartwright, Nicki Stewart, Melissa Allen, Liz Ward and Ryan Wist

Opening/Community Comments

Ryan from the School Board commended FOSWCS on all aspects of the auction and all the work we put into making it a success. Thank you Ryan!

Multnomah Days Update

The Multnomah Days Parade and Street Festival is Saturday, August 16th. As usual, SW Charter will have a booth along the parade route. We are also encouraging families to march in the 10 am parade. A Sign Up Genius request for volunteers and walkers has been sent out. The link is:

Kids enjoy walking in the parade and throwing out candy. Christina noted how fun it is to man the booth and talk with prospective families. This school year’s theme is Earth. Therefore, we encourage people walking in the parade to dress up and decorate wagons, etc. in line with this theme. Melissa has a large inflatable Earth we can borrow. Nicki will be helping with set up. Melissa is rounding up as many Girl Scouts as she can to walk in the parade.

Liz will do a blog post about all the fun stuff there is to do at Multnomah Days including the Kids Zone, Multnomah Art Center sale, food vendors, etc.

Field Day Feedback

We received some feedback from staff regarding this year’s Field Day. The consensus was there were not enough activities to keep the kids of all grades engaged. Also, staff would like kickball to be moved to an earlier time in the day.

Staff would also like to see a dairy-free treat option offered in addition to ice cream. Parents also had complaints about the lack of a dairy-free option. To address this problem, we will have more options next year. We may ask Ruby Jewel, Salt & Straw, or Cloud City to donate ice cream and other frozen treats for next year’s Field Day. Nicki has a Salt & Straw connection we might be able to use.

Staff liked the bottle cap mural idea, but would like there to be additional arts & crafts stations as well.

Kids also reported being bored, but liked gathering together at the end of Field Day near the playground.

Over the summer, Rachael Stedman’s family has been working on completing the bottle cap mural. Once complete, we need to find a place to install it. If placed outside, the mural will need to be treated with a UV resistant coating to prevent fading. We are hoping to complete additional murals representing the themes of Sky and Water.

We talked about some other ideas for next year’s Field Day including having the School of Rock kids come play, selling ice cream after Field Day, encouraging families to stay afterward for picnics, and thanking donors in the E-Current the S. Waterfront’s newsletter.

Block Party

Board Member Jessica Nichols, sponsor of the Board fundraising committee, has offered to coordinate a SW Charter block party on Friday, September 26th. This will be a free community event not just for our school, but the entire S. Waterfront community.

Jessica has met with the S. Waterfront Business Association and our block party idea was very well received. The Business Association has agreed to help us promote the event. Jessica will be talking with other key players soon, such as Caruthers Park.

We need to find out if we can use Run for the Arts funds to hire musical entertainment through Young Audiences. Melissa reports that the S. Waterfront Farmers Market on Thursdays has music and the set-up is pretty simple and the music really adds to the atmosphere. We’ll need to find out how we would get power, etc. for our musical guest.

Ryan has a contact, Peter Collins, who is the Executive Director of S. Waterfront Community Relations. He also runs the Farmers Market. Ryan will check with Peter about we should talk to about getting power, etc. Dennis might also know who to talk to.

Families can bring a picnic or purchase food from one of the many restaurants in the S. Waterfront.

Most buildings in the S. Waterfront have leasing offices that we might be able to contact to promote the block party.

Financials – Nicki

This is year we managed our expenses very well!

Nicki shared our income/expenses for 2013-2014. Our net income was approximately $3000, which does not include the money raised at the auction.

We gave $1400 to the student Seattle trip. We have $1600 left. Next month, we will discuss where we would like this money to go, possibly to offset the costs of more overnight field trips.

Restaurant nights made over $800 more than we forecasted. Fulton Pub alone raised $1000! The Plant Sale also did really well this year, making $262 more than forecasted. Boxtops and Terracycle as did well.

In the fall, we need to promote Fred Meyer Community Rewards and the Amazon Smile program to our community. Nicki will talk with Karen about where this revenue from these programs are going.

This past year, we did not budget for Field Day costs, but we will in 2014-2015. Melissa suggested that we budget funds to purchase lunches for teachers, staff and volunteers at Field Day. Many of them were at the park all day and had not eaten.

We discussed the idea of purchasing a staff bike locker.

At our September meeting, Nicki will have final auction accounting. She hopes to also break out revenue by item type or category. We went over our auction budget by approximately $3000, but we also exceeded our estimated revenue. We grossed $67,000.

Auction 2015 – Juli

Not here tonight.

February 28, 2015 is next year’s auction date. We’ll need to start procuring items before winter break. Juli will be returning to chair the auction, but we will be looking for a new person to fill Nicki’s auction role.

Camp Wilkerson

The Camp Willkerson Family Camping Weekend is September 5th – 7th. We have several verbal yesses and completed paper work turned in, but are waiting on some payments.

There are only 5 adirondacks remaining.

Find forms for Camp Wilkerson here.

Parent Survey

Parent Survey has been simplified. We are only seeking information for the parent resource directory to aid teachers and the parent business directory for the entire community.

Nicki has organized the parent resource directory by skill. We may distribute this to parents as well as teachers to encourage more parents to fill out the survey.

The parent resource directory will be made available to teachers electronically.

Melissa will do her teacher survey of likes/dislikes again this year! This was very helpful for bringing in edible treats and for teacher gifts.

Here is the link for the survey:

Closing Comments

Portland Parks and Rec will be showing Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) on Thursday, August 7th in Caruthers Park. We will promote this on the blog for families to attend. Movie begins at dusk.

Harmony Spangler and Amber Weikel will lead the Community Life committee this school year.

We still have some open positions on the Board, chiefly a Vice President. We will put the openings and job descriptions on the lobby bulletin board at the start of school in September.

We need to publicize that you can add the Friends calendar to your Google calendar and iCal. The Friends calendar includes all Friends and SWCS important dates and events.

Ryan asked what can the School Board can do to help Friends engage the community and get more people active in Friends?

A good source of people who might want to take a leadership role in Friends are people who helped on auction day.

To attract more men to Friends, we considered a “Dudes Can Be Friends Too” publicity campaign. Nicki will work on this.

Ryan asked whether Friends is a good cultivator for future Board members. We agreed that it is.

The School Board will be embarking on a strategic planning process and hopes to have a retreat this winter. Along with the Board and the staff, Ryan sees Friends as an essential part of the strategic planning process. This process will help define who we are, the realities and inequities of who are and how our mission aligns with what we’re actually doing.

Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be Tuesday, September 9th at 7 pm (social time starts at 6:30 pm). Subsequent monthly meetings will continue to be the 1st Tuesday of each month. Our September meeting will be at school and thereafter we may choose to hold meetings at Elephants Deli or another establishment.

Find a Google Docs version of these minutes here.

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