JFK School Parent Council Meeting
October 25, 2019
8:30-9:30 a.m., staff lounge
Amy Gusefski, Tracy Triplett, Krista Magnuson, Morgan Haywood, Sara Smith, Meredith Sandiford, Anna Mudd, Jessica Arroyo, David Juralewicz, Michelle Juralewicz
Translation was provided by the Boston Interpreters Collective.
Introductions were made.
Upcoming Events: Family Game Night and Potluck
Tracy reported that the Family Potluck and Game Night will be held on Thursday, November 7, 5-7 p.m., and requested volunteers to assist with running the game rooms.
Website/Social Media Update
Michelle reported that she will be maintaining the JFK’s Facebook account and Twitter feed, with the goal of keeping them very up-to-date with events, newsletters, meetings, photos.
Meredith reported that the re-vamped JFK website would be live by the next Parent Council meeting – JFKelementary.org She has started adding photographs of the school and will be working toward posting photographs of students, with parental permission, starting with Ms. Wyant’s class as a pilot. The website is multilingual and will be entirely free of outside maintenance costs or fees, with the goal of making it sustainable in the long-term. It will contain a Google calendar function to allow easy viewing and updating of calendars.
Once the website and social media platforms are live, we will send a flier home to all families with the links.
That the logo for the school, referencing “STEM Innovation” is no longer accurate and can be misleading for prospective parents was also mentioned. Dr. Copeland and Ms. Nelson have been consulted in how to address this issue. The JFK’s transition out of Innovation status – due to the need to renew that status last and the fact that maintaining it would result in JFK teachers being compensated less than extended day teachers at other BPS schools – last year, the difficulty of maintaining a strong STEM focus once the school’s initial turnaround funding ended, and the continuing inclusion of the “engineering design process” within the curriculum, particularly in the older grades, was discussed.
Again, it was determined that elections should be postponed due to a lack of volunteer nominees for open positions. Of concern to many at the meeting was the need to balance diversity of candidates, representative of the JFK’s family population, with the need to fill the open positions before the school year progressed further. Various approaches to holding elections were discussed: postponing to June (which was tried in the past, but led to some elected individuals being able to make the time commitment several months later); holding elections after the open house or at the August barbeque (which are difficult if parents are not yet familiar with the school or Parent Council, or unable to attend the latter); holding elections in the winter when parents would be more familiar with the Parent Council (but meeting turnout is often low then); allowing Krista to continue for a third year as a co-chair (which would be neither “lawful” or sustainable.
Sara noted that the City Wide Parent Council recently spent time working to expand attendance, thoughtfully, by focusing on its purpose and goals. She will provide any materials the CWPC may have to assist School Parent Councils to broaden participation.
It was agreed to hold elections in two weeks on Wednesday, November 13, in the evening, and to work to recruit nominees and publicize the elections by passing out fliers and having discussions with parents at Game Night, and to promote interest in attending the next meeting by inviting Dr. Copeland to attend and listen to parent questions and concerns.
Parent Council Bank Account
It was noted that the bank account currently has a teacher signer who is no longer at the school and poised to go out on maternity leave at her current school, making it important to coordinate the transfer to a new signer soon. To close the account would require going through BPS’s Central Office, which would be burdensome.
The following dates were selected for future meetings:
- Wednesday, November 13, evening
- Friday, December 13, morning
- Wednesday, January 8, evening
- Friday, February 7, morning
- Wednesday, March 11, evening
- Friday, April 3, morning
- Wednesday, May 6, evening
- Friday, June 5, morning
Upcoming BPS Events
- November 5, City-Wide Parent Council meeting
- November 12, 6 p.m., Dr. Casellius will hold a community conversation session with parent councils for schools in JP, West Roxbury, and Roslindale at the Roslindale BCYF Community Center, 6 Cummins Highway, Roslindale