Springvale Elementary

S.A.C. Meeting Minutes 2016-2017

SAC - 2016 2017 - Accumulated Minutes

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Springvale Elementary School Advisory Council

May 16, 2017

6:00 � 7:15 pm


Attendance: John Dobrowolski (Principal), Michelle Lamont (Vice Principal), Jill Zhang (Teacher), Tracy McFeters (Teacher), Sylvia Yazbeck (Chair), Karla Galloway (Parent),), Brenda Duplisea (Parent), Erin Cyr (Parent), Heather MacDougall (PTA representative) Dawn Cullen (Community)


Regrets: Nick Budreski (Parent), Bill Gorman (Community)


1.      Call to Order �  6:02pm

2.      Additions to Agenda � Welcome back to Dawn Cullen

3.      Review and approval of minutes � Minutes reviewed, revisions made to spelling of commissionaires. Minutes approved with above additions.  Heather MacDougall (PTA representative) asked to be added to the email distribution list. Email provided to Sylvia Yazbeck (Chair).

4.      Old Business:

a.      Vice Principal Pool Interviews: Sylvia participated in the interviews and found the process very informative and a great learning opportunity. The interview panel included SAC chair, a principal a member from Human resources and Rob Martell. There were 4 candidates interviewed.  All candidates had completed the Leadership Development Program.

b.      Council to Improve Classroom Conditions: There has been no response to the letter sent from Sylvia commenting on the process.


5.      Principal�s Report 


a.      School Enrollment 2017/2018 and classroom configuration: there will be 12 teaching staff (reduced from 13). The upper 2 elementary grades (Gr.5 and 6) will be most affected. 28 Primary students are presently registered. At present the configuration for Grade 5 and 6 as determined by the computer program used by the HRSB is: a Gr. 4/5combined; a Gr. 5; 2 classes of Gr. 5/6. A second option has been brought forward and is favored by the teaching staff: 2 classes of Gr. 5 and one Gr. 6 class of 31 students. The staff is aware that the number of students in the grade 6 class is above the hard cap. This large student number size is felt to be manageable and will minimize the Grade 5 cohort being split between 4 classrooms and 3 grade levels. Mr. D welcomes comments from the SAC by May 17, 2017 as the class configurations will need to be entered into power school (massive job).

b.      Lunch supervision/Hot lunches: The Lunch supervision process seems to be working well. The Excel staff hires are allowing the students to eat at the same time. Mr. D will enter talk with the HRSB re: maintaining safe and adequate lunch monitoring staff levels to ensure comprehensive supervision and student safety.

                                                              i.      Parent volunteers are still strongly encouraged and the volunteer online signup is still functioning.

c.        School Trips/Year End: Most Grade levels have their end of year trips organized and parents have or will soon have permission slips sent home.

d.      Photography Contract: Sylvia and Mr. D completed interviews for the school photography contract for the next 3 years. Sylvia and Mr. D choose Paul Adams.

e.      Teacher assignments: Assignments will be similar to this year; the upper grade levels will need to be finalized.

f.        Spring Cleanup: tentative date will be the weekend June 3-4, 2017. Further details will be communicated when available.

g.      SSP Report: Mr. D provided the 2016-2017 Student Success Plan School Report. Area for future focus will be school climate and supporting African and Aboriginal learners. As Springvale has few students of African and Aboriginal descent, it is crucial to ensure that those students feel valued and our non-Aboriginal/African students learn to be less biased and more informed.

h.      Technology Update: The school has 30 new Chrome Books (housed in the library) for the upper elementary grades and 8 I Pads for lower elementary grades (to support Literacy and Math growth); LED projector in the gym is operational as well.

i.        Goddard Peace Summit � Grade 6: 10 Gr. 6 students have been selected to participate in the Summit

j.        Gr. 5 Parents/ Gr. 6 Grad: Mr. D to contact the Grade 5 parents in preparation of the Gr. 6 Grad gathering.

k.       Fire Marshall/School Visit: All Clear Caretaker office, Repairs to be announced

l.        Presentations:

                                                              i.      Squid - was well received; students enjoyed the presentations;

                                                            ii.      Earth Rangers � excellent presentation and the kids enjoyed it greatly;

                                                          iii.      Lesley Choyce (author) is coming to the school;

                                                           iv.      Public speaking June 6 for Grades 4, 5, 6

m.    Greening project- Heather MacGrath has some information re: possible funding

6.      New Business �

a.      Consultation on Provincial Attendance and Engagement Policy: feedback was to be submitted by May 9, 2017.

b.      Parent Guardian Concern Policy: Feedback to be emailed to Sylvia by May 26, 2017.

c.       Focus Group for Public School Program update: Nick Budreski volunteered to sit on the Focus group.

d.      PTA will be putting out an ask for more community involvement.

e.      SAC Membership will be reviewed at next meeting. Confirmed returning members include: John Dobrowolski (Principal), Michelle Lamont (Vice Principal), Jill Zhang (Teacher), Tracy McFeters (Teacher), Sylvia Yazbeck (Chair), Karla Galloway (Parent), TBA (PTA representative) Dawn Cullen (Community)

7.      Adjournment � 7:10pm


Next meeting � if required Tuesday June 13 @ 6:00pm (Sylvia to email if June meeting required)

Fall Meeting:  Tuesday October 17 @ 6:00pm


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Springvale Elementary School Advisory Council

April 4, 2017

6:00 � 7:15 pm

Attendance: John Dobrowolski (Principal), Michelle Lamont (Vice Principal), Jill Zhang (Teacher), Tracy McFeters (Teacher), Sylvia Yazbeck (Chair), Nick Budreski (SAC Parent), Karla Galloway (SAC Parent), Sherri-lynn Richardson (Parent), Brenda Duplisea (Parent), Erin Cyr (Parent), Bill Gorman (Community),

Regrets: Heather MacDougall (PTA representative) Dawn Cullen (Community)

1.      Call to Order �  6:02pm

2.      Additions to Agenda � Bill Gorman wished to address if the Christmas concert/musical concert would occur now that work to rule has ended. No concert will occur in the 2016/2017 school year.


3.      Review and approval of minutes � Minutes reviewed, revisions made to the members in attendance to reflect the presence of Laina Metlej and Brenda Duplisea. Minutes approved with above additions. 


4.      Sylvia extended thanks to the many parents who attended the last meeting March 7, 2017. The discussion was informative and respectful.


5.      Old Business: Sylvia sent a letter to HRSB regarding Council for the Improvement of Classroom conditions and the very short turnaround time and lack of information regarding expectations and time commitments.


To whom it may concern,

On behalf of the Springvale Elementary School Advisory Council, I am expressing our concern with the short turnaround time to receive notification, consider the invitation and nominate a parent member.  This was done unfairly.  Our principal was given the invitation on Feb 24.  He immediately forwarded it to me on the same day, a Friday afternoon.   I forwarded it to the SAC members on Feb 27.  Springvale SAC parent members and non-members feel there was not enough time to respond or ask questions.  Also, we had a parent who was interested to be on the Council.  I am curious as to how many parents were nominated.  On the website, it said hundreds of teachers applied.   It may be too late now as the work has already started.  We wish you all the best; however, please ensure that our concern is raised to the department involved and hopefully measures will be in place so that things proceed in a fair manner for parents, teachers and students.


Sylvia Yazbeck

SAC Chair at Springvale Elementary



Sylvia Yazbeck accepted the invitation for the SAC chair to participate in Principal and Vice-principal Pool interviews.


6.      Principal�s Report 

a.      School Enrollment 2017/2018: 28 Primary students are presently registered. The decreased numbers of students (28 Primary vs. 42 graduating Gr. 6 students) will most likely impact school staffing. The upcoming weeks will show the extent of the impact to staff.

b.      Lunch supervision/Hot lunches: The school administration was given permission from HRSB to hire Excel staff for the remainder of this year (Spring 2017). Presently, there are 2 full time paid lunch monitors and 3 Excel staff members were hired for lunch supervision 5 times per week and 1 additional Excel staff member may be able to provide lunch supervision 2-3 times per week. The new hires provide improved safety for the lunch time period. Students continue to eat their lunches in the gym and will continue to do so until a new safe process is determined.

                                                              i.      The commissioners who had been present, to help with lunch supervision, for the past 2 months will be removed.

                                                            ii.      Halifax Christian Academy was not a viable option for lunch time supervision.

                                                          iii.      Parent Volunteer lunch time supervision has dropped off significantly. Parent volunteers are still strongly encouraged and the volunteer online signup is still functioning.

Hot Lunches: further planning is required for hot lunches to resume and function at the school. Contact with other schools will occur to learn about their processes.

c.        School Trips/Year End: Staff meeting on Thursday April 6 will discuss activities for the end of the year.

                                                              i.      Grade 5 - Camp Kidston cancelled

                                                            ii.      Grade 6 � Bayside Camp trip occurring June 19&20

                                                          iii.      Springvale is moving toward Intramural activities and Karate has resumed.

                                                           iv.      Staff will be meeting to determine the use of the HRSB grant money to enhance student learning events.

                                                             v.      Grade 6 Graduation ceremony will occur � details to follow

d.      Fire Marshall/School Visit: The Fire Marshall completed his/her visit.  As a result, there is new lighting, signage, electrical and the dismantling of the Milk Room. The final visit to revisit the deficiencies is May 9, 2017.

e.      Photography Contract: On April 19, there will be 3 companies interviewed for the school photography contract for the next 3 years. Sylvia and Mr. D are part of the interview committee.

f.        Mr D discussed the HRSB Teacher Program, Job Description, and shared printouts as requested by N Budreski.  This is also available on-line.

7.      New Business � Next meeting May 16,2017


8.      Adjournment � 7:10pm


Next meeting � Tuesday May 16 @ 6:00pm


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Springvale Elementary School Advisory Council

March 7, 2017

6:00 � 7:30 pm

Attendance: John Dobrowolski (Principal), Michelle Lamont (Vice Principal), Jill Zhang (Teacher), Tracy McFeters (Teacher), Sylvia Yazbeck (Chair), Nick Budreski ( SAC Parent ), Karla Galloway (SAC Parent), Sherri-lynn Richardson (Parent), Linda Asaff (Parent),

Mea Mitri (Parent), Tanya Metlej (Parent), Erin Cyr (Parent), Heather Smith (Parent), Greg Gillis (Parent), Gena Castro (Parent), Noel Maguate (Parent), Laina Metlej (Parent), Andrea McCormack (Parent), Brenda Duplisea (Parent), Kathy Powell (Parent)

Regrets: Heather MacDougall (PTA representative) Dawn Cullen (Community) Bill Gorman (Community),

1.      Call to Order �  at 6:00pm

2.      Additions to Agenda �No new issues

3.      Review and approval of minutes � Minutes were reviewed and approved with no amendments

4.      Invitations for SAC member parents to be on Council to Improve Classroom Conditions � No members came forward as the turnaround time was very short and no information regarding expectations or time commitment was given. Sylvia Yazbeck willemail to determine if more information can be obtained regarding the expected roles and responsibilities. It was stated that the council members had been named already.

5.      Invitation for SAC chair to participate in Principal and Vice-principal pool interviews � Sylvia Yazbeck is considering the invitation. March 24th is the deadline for expression of interest.

6.      Principal�s Report �


a.      The HRSB Principal meeting was held on March 27, 2017. The meeting was the first to help chart the path forward with regards to the recent process and new contract.

b.      The path forward will attempt to adapt the �new normal�(the work to rule and withdrawal of services/activities, the government mandated contract and the aftermath may result in changes in past practices) and balance the roles and responsibilities. There will be a meeting for the Springvale staff held Tuesday March 20, 2017 to determine the fate of the yearend outings and extracurricular activities.

c.        At present, the focus of the staff and administration is planning and teaching of classes to the students, assessments and preparation for report cards and the upcoming Parent Teacher interviews. At this time, there is no planned Spirit Week and Springo-Bingo will not occur. Spring Fair is uncertain; the PTA is meeting March 21, 2017. Hot lunches and Volunteer tea � uncertain.  It is hoped that paid monitors over lunch can help manage hot lunch orders.

d.      Mr. D opened the floor to the members and attendees to express and field concerns.

e.      Meeting attendees expressed concern, frustration and disappointment at the significantly reduced communication that has occurred between staff and the school community (parents) i.e.  homework assignments, lack of agenda use, lack of information on concepts and subject information students are learning or should focus/review at home, Spirit Week

                                                              i.      Mr. D expressed that it has been a very emotional time and he is being cautious to fast track upcoming events and has been very judicious with the information being disseminated to the school community. Up to this point, Alerts System has been used to communicate prioritizing student safety and lunch supervision.

                                                            ii.      A request was brought forward to have a clear understanding of teacher job requirements and a list of extras that teachers perform daily to allow a greater community understanding of the activities that may not resume with the resulting �new normal� as the school community moves forward. The school community may be able to fill a void if they are aware of the voids that may occur in the future.


7.      Lunch supervision concerns �

a.      Lunch supervision is very problematic for Springvale. Presently the children are eating in the gym. Parents raised concerns around hygiene and lack of space for physical activity.

b.       HRSB provides monies to Springvale for 6 paid Lunch Supervision monitors. Recruitment and retention of lunch monitors has been problematic. Flyers have been created.  A suggestion was made to check if senior Halifax Christian Academy students would be willing to monitor.  Mr D will explore this option.

c.       Mr. D indicated that 1 lunch monitor was hired and there will be interviews for others. He will communicate the results to the school community.

d.      Parent volunteers are welcomed and encouraged to monitor students over lunch.  It is recommended to have familiar faces.


8.      Other business � It was agreed to have next meeting on Tuesday April 4, 2017

9.      Meeting Adjournment at 7:30pm

10.  Adjournment

Next meeting � Tuesday April 4 @ 6:00pm

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Springvale Elementary School Advisory Council

Nov. 15, 2016

6:00 � 7:00pm


Attendance: Michelle Lamont (Vice Principal), Dawn Cullen (Community), Jill Zhang (Teacher), Tracy McFeters (Teacher), Sylvia Yazbeck (Chair), Nick Budreski (Parent observer), Karla Galloway (Parent),

Regrets: Bill Gorman (Community), John Dobrowolski (Principal), Caroline Panopalis (Parent), Heather MacDougall (PTA representative)

1.      Call to Order -

2.      Review and approval of minutes �  Addition to SAC membership: Karla Galloway (Parent) will take SAC minutes.

3.      Principal�s Report �

a.      Fire Marshall Report - all was in order. Escape routes and signs have been updated and installed. The parking lot area is reserved for the hose attachment and signs have been posted � No Parking. There has been lighting installed as well. A work order has been placed for installation of a speaker in the Caretaker�s Office; this will enhance communication and safety.

b.      NSTU � discussion was held. Staff is following the direction of their union representative. Parents are encouraged to forward support and concerns via the appropriate channels

c.       Sofia Arbelaez  - will be returning to Colombia on Nov. 17, 2016 after a 6 week exchange; she enjoyed her time and learning experiences.

d.      Alerts System was updated and is now fixed. Michelle Lamont will be sending out an alert message via Alert Solutions this week.

e.      Fall clean � up: scheduled for Saturday Nov. 19, 2016. It has been rescheduled from a previous date.  Grade 6 will be using this as a Leadership opportunity. Mr. D is involved.

f.        Concerns with the No Stopping area in front of the school � Michelle Lamont to send out an Alert message regarding the frequent violation of the no stopping zone (which is clearly marked by HRM signage). It is posing a significant safety concern. The HRP Liaison Officer has been contacted and is aware of the significant safety concerns. Conversations regarding next steps to be taken have been completed.


4.      SAC P.D. Session Update - M Lamont: Nov 3 at 6:30 at JL Isley: Topics were Long Range Outlook and school closure determination process and Threat and Risk Assessment including the various safety procedures of Lockdown/Hold and Secure situations.

The sessions were looking for community engagement and information gathering.

5.      SAC membership and letter of agreement

a.      An updated letter of agreement for 2016/17 is due to HRSB by end October.

                                                              i.      Section 3 Decision making Process bullet #2 corrections: During that time; majority being

                                                            ii.      Membership list to be updated as per item 4b below.

b.      SAC membership for 2016/17 �

                                                              i.      Teacher members � Jill Zhang (renewed), Tracey McFeters (renewed), Michelle Lamont (new)

                                                            ii.      Community members � D Cullen (renewed), Bill Gorman (continuing), the third community member position remains open.

                                                          iii.      Parent members � Sylvia Yazbeck (new), Nick Budreski (new), Karla Galloway (continuing).

                                                           iv.      The chair position is being filled by Sylvia Yazbeck.

6.      Student Transportation Policy

a.      Clarification was obtained for item 8 (especially If a child is leaving school during school hours (within the teacher�s care) for a school function/event, a completed Form J is required. If the child has been dismissed from the teacher�s care (end of school) or not been delivered to the teacher�s care (prior to the beginning of the school day), no Form J is required.

7.      Suspending of the Grade 3, 6, 8 Assessments

a.      Most Grade level assessments are completed at this time.

b.      Discussions were held re: the assessment process and the SAC will await the decision to reinstate or continue the suspension of the Grade Level assessments.

8.      Other business

9.      Adjournment

Next meeting � Tuesday January 17 @ 6:00pm



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Springvale Elementary School Advisory Council

Sept 20, 2016

5:30 � 6:30pm

Attendance: Carla Galloway (Parent), Bill Gorman (Community), Michelle Lamont (Vice Principal), Martha Brillant (Parent), Dawn Cullen (Community), Jill Zhang (Teacher), Heather MacDougall (PTA)

Regrets: John Dobrowolski (Principal), Caroline Panapolis (Parent), Tracy McFeters (Teacher)

1.    Call to Order

2.    Review and approval of minutes � Correction to spelling of J Kennan

3.    Principal�s Report �

�     School configuration is holding at 13 classes with an enrollment of 301. Both grade 3 classes are at capacity.

�     A fire drill was held last week. A lock down drill is scheduled for this coming week.

�     New staff �

Art � Rachael Maillet

50% VP relief � Milo Riley

core French � Anita Opalka (shared with Sir Charles Tupper School)

3-4 split class � Julianne Hooper

�     The back to school BBQ & Springvale Under the Stars events went well.

�     Band scheduling � discussions with band teacher underway to attempt to balance the in-class and out-of-class time to 1h each.

�     Technology update �

o   The school is continuing to build its inventory of chrome books and iPads. An additional cart for Chrome books has been ordered using funds raised through the Springo Bingo event.

o   Spark bikes are quiet stationary bikes that can be used in the classroom. Springvale currently has 3 and four more are being ordered to be distributed to additonal classes.

o   LCD projector in gym � new quote forthcoming  (funding to be approved)

�     New shelving has been installed for shoes

�     School Success Plan � Year one of the cycle is beginning with a self assessment.  New goals will be set for math and literacy (PD day on Sept 30).

�     Literacy materials - New literacy materials have been purchased for classes that didn't have all materials.

�     Student Health - Secretary has posted updates regarding student health concerns in various locations (staff room, substitute binders etc).

�     Caretaker � Caretaker evening hours have been reduced back to 5 hours. This may need to be revisited.

�     Provincial Assessments - Grade 3 (reading & writing), Grade 4 (math), and Grade 6  (math and literacy) will be doing provincial assessments in the next few weeks.


4.    Other issues �

�       SAC membership for 2016/17 �

o   Teacher members � Jill Zhang (renewed), Tracey McFeters (renewed), Michelle Lamont (new)

o   Community members � D Cullen (renewed), Bill Gorman (continuing), the third community member position remains open.

o   Parent members � Caroline Panapolis (continuing), Carla Galloway (continuing)

o   Chair � M Brillant term ends October 2016. Therefore one parent position is open and a new Chair from among the parent or community members is needed.

o   M Lamont to send out alert message seeking new parent member

�       SAC agreement to be reviewed for next meeting. 2016 version with updated 2016/17 membership due to HRSB by end October.

�       SAC Meeting time -  change to 6:00PM for trial period

�       School transportation policy � HRSB has asked for comments on the school transportation policy. Martha to send out before next meeting. Responses due to HRSB by Oct 31, 2016.

5.    Adjournment

Next meeting � Tuesday October 18, 2016 at 6:00

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Springvale Elementary School Advisory Council

June 14, 2016

6:30 � 7:30pm


Attendance: Caroline Panapolis (Parent), John Dobrowolski (Principal), Tracy McFeters (Teacher), Martha Brillant (Parent), Jill Zhang (Teacher), Dawn Cullen (Community), Carla Galloway (Parent), Bill Gorman (Community), Michelle Lamont (Vice Principal), Sherri-Lynn Richardson (Parent), Heather MacDougall (PTA), Kim Reardon (Parent)


Regrets: Valerie Dockendorff (Teacher)


1.      Call to Order


2.      Review and approval of minutes �


3.      Principal�s Report � J. Dobrowolski


�         Revised Staffing and Class configurations 2016/17:

1.Gr. Primary

2.Gr. Primary

3.Gr. One

4.Gr. One/Two

5.Gr. Two

6.Gr. Two

7.Gr. Three

8.Gr. Three/Four

9.Gr. Four

10.Gr. Four

11.Gr. Five

12.Gr. Five/Six

13.Gr. Six

�         Out-of-area requests � there have been ~7 requests; 2 out-of-area primaries have been accepted; no other out of area requests can be accepted for the higher grade levels at present

�         Staffing changes:

o   new art teacher to replace J Kennan (retirement)

o   50% VP relief position

o   new core french teacher (40%)

o   maternity leave replacement for Marianne Wyllie

o   Nadine Munden will replace Kim Ritcey as school secretary

�         Tree planting� several new trees were planted around the school for Arbor day (provided by HRM)

�         Continuous School Improvement - Next round of continuous school improvement will begin next year with school self assessment and goal setting.  Emphasis will be on individual student performance and tracking over time. The report to the Community will be submitted later in June.

�         Building upgrades � Heating control is improving. More progress has been made on water leaks.

�         Rope skipping team � Team is progressing well. Members participated in a novice tournament and some may participate in a provincial tournament next spring.

�         Gym bookings - Dates for 2016/17 gym bookings outside of regular hours (after 6pm) need to be selected by the end of June.

4.      Other issues �

o   Fun run � entire school will participate in a fun run

o   Shoveling of sidewalk leading to the backdoor -  concerns around access from the street when snow accumulates

5.      Adjournment

Next meeting � Tuesday September 20, 2016 at 5:30