3/11//19 School Council Meeting Summary
Tue, Mar 19 9:45pm
French American School

Dear FASSV Parents,

 
The School Council met on Monday, March 11. Below is a summary of the meeting. Let us know your thoughts, if you have any questions or would like us to bring a topic to the council's attention. A PDF of the minutes is attached for your convenience.
 
Agenda:
 
  • 2019-2020 Calendar of Events
  • Better representation of the Parents, Faculty and Staff at the School Council
  • Art Instruction
  • Better communication about PE and Science Programs per cycle
  • Activities during School Camps
Present at the meeting were: (1) Admin: Pierre-Ludovic, Martine, Tiffany, (2) Faculty & Staff: Janelle, Olivier (for Josie), Teresa, and (3) Parents: Sylvie, Christine.
Absent: Pierre (parent).
 
  1. 2019-2020 Calendar of Events: the Council reviewed the calendar of events for next year. Things remain pretty much the same as this year, except for the week-long break during Thanksgiving. Pierre-Ludovic reiterated his commitment to try to schedule a 2- or 3-day camp prior to Thanksgiving Day. Lunar New Year Assembly would be on Jan. 31 and Graduation Day on June 9, 2020.
  2. Better representation of the Parents, Faculty and Staff at the School Council: Christine said that the current council composition is actually not very representative of the school. There are about 190 parents, 16 faculty & staff, and 5 admin people at FASSV, and yet, the council has the same number of representatives per "body" (3). Parent Reps feel that it would be fairer to have 1 or 2 additional parent - as well as faculty & staff - representatives with voting power than admin reps seating at the council. Faculty & staff present at the meeting did not think it was necessary, saying they feel well represented as is. Pierre-Ludovic does not want to "dilute" the voting power of the admin and is worried about decisions that could overcome the admin will. Sylvie and Christine argued that 1 or 2 additional parents reps would not be a complete overhaul of the council anyway and be more in line with the council's mission. Another proposal is to stay as is but have only one administrator with voting power. It was decided by consensus to leave the council unchanged until the end of the school year (2.5 months left) with the possibility of new elections in the fall. We will follow up on that at our next meeting in May.
  3. Art Instruction: Christine reminded the council about the survey results regarding Art. More than 70% of surveyed parents in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades (cycle 2) were satisfied with the way Art was taught at school. Over 53% of surveyed parents in 4th and 5th grades (cycle 3) were unsatisfied with Art. The majority of parents would like Shiva to be the Art teacher for ALL grades and don't understand why it's not the case. Pierre-Ludovic explained that it was a "philosophical" decision. Art History is mandatory in the French curriculum in cycle 3 so he asked Catherine and Olivier to incorporate it along with hands-on Art sessions (1h every two weeks) and language acquisition exercises. Olivier explained what he was doing with the 5th graders and invited parents to drop by anytime to see their work. He says students seem to enjoy what they do in Art very much. Faculty and the admin agreed, though, that they should do a better job at explaining the Art program in cycle 3 to parents, as well as exposing art projects. Tiffany suggested to include an Art piece in the newsletter.
  4. Better communication about PE and Science Programs per cycle: again, that was a topic in the parents' survey. Many parents - in particular in cycles 1 and 2 - said they had no idea what their children were doing in sports or in Sciences. This topic is usually not discussed at B2S Night, during Parent-Teacher Conferences, or brought back as homework. The admin said they would communicate about it (incl. Art) more, for example with new annual transition meetings for Pre-K to K, K to 1st, and cycle 2 to cycle 3 grades to notify parents of changes between grade levels. More information could also be provided on report cards and at PTCs.
  5. Activities during school camps: Sylvie explained that parents who register their kids to camp at school would like to see a program of activities beforehand, which hasn't been the case recently. Some kids complain they draw all day while others say they have to do homework. Suggestions for field trips, fun activities, etc., would be welcome. Pierre-Ludovic and Tiffany responded that they were working on that with the new after-school coordinator Jazmin.

Next School Council meeting: May 6, 2019.

 

-Christine, Sylvie &Pierre