Friends Meeting Minutes ~ March 2016

Friends of SW Charter School

Monthly Meeting

March 8, 2016

Upcoming Dates

  • March 11 Friends AM Coffee
  • March 14-18 SWCS Spirit Week
  • March 17 SWCS Board Meeting, 7:30 pm
  • March 21-25 Spring Break
  • April1 All School Lunch
  • April 1 Friends AM Coffee
  • April 8 Teacher Planning Day/Professional Development – No School for Students
  • April 12 FoSWCS Meeting, 6:30 Elephants @ Corbett
  • April 15 Anne Gurnee’s Celebration
  • April 21 SWCS Board Meeting, 7:30 pm


Anne’s Party: Melissa 10 min

Party to celebrate Anne will be Friday, April 15th. Parents will make desserts and coffee will be served. A sign up will be coming out soon.

Staff Appreciation Week (May): Melissa 5 min

This year’s week long celebration will be similar to years past. We will have themes for each day including chocolate, flowers, coffee/tea cart, work party and a catered lunch.

Kids will make cards for the staff to accompany flower bouquets.

We will have reminders coming soon as well as sign ups to bring chocolate and flowers.

Budget: Elise, Dennis Allen 10 min

Since the fall, Elise has been trying to manage a very confusing Friends budget. After several months, her conclusion is to make it as simple as possible and we all agree.

Our budget is twofold. Firstly, the Board gives us $5000 annually to pay for staff appreciation and other non-auction and non-Run for the Arts expenses. Secondly, our budget also consists of money we earn ourselves through small fundraisers like Chinook Books, restaurant nights and the plant sale. In the past few years, the money that we earn outright has been put toward student scholarships.

Dennis Allen assured us that the Board wants Friends to spend the $5000 they allocate to us the way we want to. But it has to be spent in the same fiscal year and cannot be rolled over. He iterated that we shouldn’t feel bad about how we spend it and we should use it however we see fit. We don’t usually spend our entire $5000 and so the remainder goes back to the school’s general fund at the end of the year.

For example, if at the end of the year we still have $2000 of the $5000 initially allocated, instead of returning it to the school’s general fund, we should feel confident about spending it how we see fit. Some suggestions included providing money for field trip buses to take the pressure off teachers to find transportation from parents. We need to let go of our frugality mindset.

We are also scrapping the idea of forming a 501c. The Friends Board will talk about how we want to spend the rest of our money this year and start thinking about next year. We have about $4000 to spend in the next few months.

We got a little sidetracked talking about the recently revealed conceptual design for the play area. According to Suzanne, the school about a 1/3 of the way through the process and is still in the conversation stage. Everything in the play area will be designed to be movable. If in the future school leaves the Venture Building, we have to be able to return the play area to a parking lot.

Once we receive final numbers from the auction, we can see what can be done on in the play area.

Auction: Juli Kirby 10 min

Juli presented a 2016 auction report. While these are rough numbers, we about $5000 ahead of last year! We’ll probably net $60,000!

Here are the highlights:

  • Live auction performed better this year than last. We were able to sell a couple of the live items twice (e.g. Cancun vacation, Mobile West).
  • Paddle raise didn’t do as well this year.
  • Raffle, which was new this year, did well.
  • Sellable items (make it mine, wall of wine, drinks purchased at bar, etc.) did well.
  • Sign up parties are doing better than last year.
  • We sold more tickets this year.
  • On downside, silent auction didn’t do as well this year. This part of the auction takes the most energy to put together, but produces the least revenue. We will have an online auction this spring to sell some of the items we weren’t able to put out or received after the auction procurement deadline.
  • The live items that did the best were class projects, soccer package, and vacations. Silent items that performed well were handmade items by community, local jewelry, Emma’s dinners, and Timbers tickets.
  • Slots for sign-up parties are still available. We have been promoting these to the community through Shutterfly, Facebook, and blog. Hanne will write something us for her 4T trail party that we will publicize. Adult parties sold better than kid parties this year.
  • Thanks to the efforts of Sarah Mutal, auction sponsorships were way up this year!

What might the auction look like going forward?

  • Perhaps minimize the silent auction and ramp up the live auction.
  • Sarah and Juli will not be chairing the auction next year. They would like help from the Board and Friends to find a team to take on the auction.
  • Hanne has volunteered to run this spring’s online auction!
  • Hanne suggested that the silent auction focuses on things produced by the community and sign ups.
  • She would also like us to have a dance party after the dinner with lots of drinks!
  • We have a date reserved for the MAC club next year, but everything is negotiable.

Dennis reported that this year’s auction money will be allocated toward Sarah Anderson’s field work coordinator position, play area improvements and to support the place-based mission of the school.

Earthquake Committee: Emilie 5 min

The committee is proceeding on the red bucket project for each classroom. The classroom buckets will contain first aid supplies, flashlights, toilet paper, etc. Ginny Miller is coordinating this effort.

The committee has also compiled a list of locations for support brackets to attach bookshelves to walls. It was suggested that these could be installed during the Staff Appreciation work party in May.

While the buckets and brackets are two very concrete things we can accomplish this year, there are many less tangible things that need to be discussed. Elise and Emilie have come up with an extensive list for Marlene and Suzanne. Major concerns to discuss are offsite locations in case of emergency, communication plan during an emergency, teacher and staff logistics, and coordinating with local emergency and fire personnel. Suzanne is very supportive of the committee’s concerns. Elise and Emilie will set a date to discuss these issues with Marlene and Suzanne.

Earth Day: Hanne 5 min

In years past, Amanda and Hanne have coordinated a Cottonwood Bay cleanup. Amanda has already signed the school up for this year. Jeff from Anderson Construction has offered to remove rebar from the bay.

Amanda and Hanne are looking for people to help this year. Hanne will write something up to have sent out to the community. It was suggested that maybe we could do the cleanup on Friday, April 22nd after school. Amanda and Hanne will discuss specifics.

Mini-Grants: JoLea 10 min

We have budgeted $1000 for teacher mini grants this year. When we offered them earlier in the school year, there were no takers. It may be we had poor timing and that the grants were only $250. We are bumping the grants up to $500.

JoLea took a look at sites that offer mini grants to teachers to get some ideas on wording for our guidelines. At a previous meeting, Friends had reservations about teachers spending grant money on iPads. We liked the wording she found that stated grants would be used for “classroom enhancements that support learning and curriculum”.

Amanda thought it might be best to send out the mini grant applications in summer when teachers are curriculum building rather than in November.

It would be good for Sarah Anderson to be involved so she can pair teachers up with these grants. We will send out the mini grant application to teachers again for end of the year things and then send out again in summer.

Restaurant Nights: Elise 5 min

We made $250 from our Burgerville fundraiser on February 24th.

We did $160 in pre-orders for our Pizzicato fundraiser on March 8th. We are waiting for numbers from the sales at the Hillsdale location from March 8th.

We have scheduled a restaurant night at Bambuza (in the S. Waterfront) April 27th. We’ll receive 50% of their sales for their entire day! If we have another restaurant night there, they’ll give us 20%.

JoLea suggested we should send thank you notes to the restaurants that have sponsored SWCS. A card from the kids would be a nice touch.

Other updates:

Spirit Week (March 14-18): Kathy

  • 8th graders are coordinating
  • Mon—decade day
  • Tues – character day (no weapons or masks!)
  • Wed – wacky hair, hat, and socks
  • Thursday – green (St. Patrick’s Day and Griffin pride)
  • Friday – PJ’s

Amanda thanks everyone for bringing in food during conferences!

Student Directory: Adrienne just got the data from Marlene and its being formatted!

SWCS Camp-out: Moana and Adrienne are planning. Feel free to join, if interested.

Google Docs version of March 2016 Minutes

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