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SPS Parents' Association

Meeting Minutes


November 15, 2019 // Meeting Minutes

Introduction by Co-Presidents Michele Jensen and Kim Larkin

Introduction to Learn-It Systems (Kate Seltzer)
Screenings of the children have been ongoing and are almost complete.
Parents who have received emails from Erika Cardamone or Kristina Slog may
reach out to them directly via their SPS emails or reach out to Kate Seltzer with
any questions about the services.

Services are scheduled to begin in early December.

About Erika Cardamone (Speech, T/Th) and Kristina Slog (OT, Wed/Thu):

Erika Cardamone is a licensed speech-language pathologist and a practicing SLP for 13
years in private practice and hospital settings. She received her Masters Degree from
Columbia University and worked in NYC, San Francisco, and now Philadelphia! She has
serviced children of all ages with various articulation, language, pragmatic, and feeding
difficulties and is excited to bring her expertise to St. Peter's. Also a parent to two
students, Erika is delighted to on board with Learn-It to serve the SPS community in a
new way.  Feel her to contact her via email if you have any questions about your child!

Kristina Slog is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, working in the school systems,
private outpatient practice and early intervention for 4+ years. She is a Philadelphia
native, receiving her Master’s in OT from Thomas Jefferson University in 2015. She
loves working with the kiddos incorporating creative story telling, arts & crafts, and
games. She is excited to join us this year at St. Peter’s School!

Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day, Tue 11/26:
8:30am – Event begins in the Theatre, where there will be refreshments;
grandparents arriving earlier to drop off children are welcome to arrive to Theatre
earlier and find a seat.
8:40am – Remarks by Matt Evans, Head of School
There will be three musical performances (two from Upper School, one from
Lower School) and four declaimers (two from Upper School, two from Lower
School)
Grandparents and Special Friends will then proceed to Old Pine Community
Center to find their seats;
10:15am-11:30 – Program begins. Parents are also welcome to attend.
All children will be dismissed from their classrooms. Noon dismissal for all.

There will be a live feed on Facebook and a retroactive Facebook link will be sent
out for the Facebook video for those who can’t make it.

Scholastic Book Fair, Tue 12/3 – Sat 12/7 (Jodi Lokoff & Kim Larkin):

Set up will begin the week after break. Lots of volunteers are welcome and
needed. There will be early morning and after school/early evening hours for
parents to shop with their children. E-wallet will once again be available for the
children so they do not need to carry money. Instructions will be sent home.

Scholastic Bookfair will continue on Saturday 12/7, another good time for families
to come in. There will be crafts and activities for the children from 9am-12pm,
and cider/refreshments will be served.

Newsletter will contain link for online purchasing & eWallet.

Teachers will preview the fair, online or in person, and will be able to make a
classroom wish list. There will be a display with all of the teachers on it with the
names of the books on their wish lists. Slips will be included inside the books so
teachers know who purchased the book for their classroom.

Younger children can make wish lists during their library visiting time, and return
with their parent for purchasing. All purchases benefit the school!

Wreath Decorating, Thu 12/5 (Madelene Varalli)
Great, fun event for parents from different classes to get to know each other and
mingle (no children), while decorating wreaths. Being crafty or artsy is not a
requisite! Proceeds from the sale of the wreaths goes towards scholarships. Last
year everything sold.

Holiday & Greens Sales, Fri 12/6 – Sat 12/7 (Diane Scirrotto):
Many volunteers are needed, including able-bodied people to carry trees, greens,
and wreaths.
Friday, 12/6 hours: 3-6pm
Saturday, 12/7 hours: 9-3pm

ECD Holiday Celebration, Thu 12/19 (Kate Seltzer)
8:45-9:45 in the Theatre
Holiday party clothes for all children (no uniforms for Kindergarten)

Fri 12/20 – Noon dismissal for all (aftercare IS available on that day)
12-5pm is a professional development afternoon

Celebration of Light, Grades 1-8, Fri 12/20
5:30pm: children return to school in festive party attire (those children remaining
at school are to bring their party clothes to change into)
6pm-7:15pm: celebration begins at St. Peter’s Church

All parents, from all grades, are welcome to attend. It is a beautiful event for
those who have never attended.

TAP (Teacher Appreciation) update (Yang Pak and Christina Yorkston)

Baked goods, cider, apples/oranges, and lunch were provided for teachers and
staff during the last professional development day (after Halloween). It was a
lavish spread and was greatly appreciated by all.

SPS Auction Committee (Emily McHose)
The Auction this year will be held at Tendenza in Northern Liberties on Friday,
April 3. Invites to go out in the mail. Theme TBA!
Start time might be later than previous years, to accommodate working parents
The committee is already seeking sponsors
The Auction is a great community-building event, in addition to being the school’s
biggest fundraiser
Special project for the year: Wiggins Field Update (playground itself,
landscaping, surface, perimeter, etc. – may occur in a phase 1 and phase 2 over
the course of two years)

Construction on East side likely to commence in April, 2020. We will continue to
update parents on any new information we receive.

Open House (Sandy Trezza, Director of Admissions)
The Open House took place recently on October 26. Of 53 families who
expressed interest, 43 attended, and it was a very busy, successful day. Seventh
and Eight graders also contributed to event, acting as student ambassadors
(receiving great feedback from the families who toured)

Prospective parents really appreciated the opportunity to speak with current
parents and students.

The school is seeking new parent ambassadors to mentor new families, attend
open houses and admissions events. Please reach out to Sandy if you might be
interested in being a parent ambassador.

We have been offering link to our Niche school profile. We are trying to get 5-star
rating so if anyone is interested in writing a review, please contact Sandy.

Summer Camp Update (Liz Isanuk, Director of Marketing & Communications)
Information is now live on the website and has been sent out via email (dates,
pricing, schedule).
SPS is very pleased to be partnering with Lavner Camps on the SPS campus for
6-14 year olds (stem, arts)
Early bird promos for SPS families are available.
More information for camp for younger children to go out

Closing remarks (Matt Evans)
Admissions season: applications have doubled from last year, specifically in the
ECD. Tours are up 15 from 6, visits have doubled 24 up from 12. All great news.

Coffee and Convo with Matt Evans:
Fri Nov 22 at 8:30am
Second conversation on the topic of homework

Overall discussion about continuity, goals, what the school will be implementing
going forward. Wide range of expectations and goals. All parents welcome.

Scheduled conversation topic for December will be PA EITC (Education
Improvement Tax Credit) – individuals and companies in Pennsylvania who
qualify may opt to have part of their estate go to specific schools. The school
received about 254K in additional revenue this year from these sources.

Future conversation topics also include Safety/Seatbelts: good conversations to
be had around safety practices, what are the current laws/standard of care; State
law does not mandate seat belts. Are we as a school comfortable with this and if
not what do we do about it; budget cost re: buses; how safe is it to put children in
buses, are there harnesses and other systems and what is best to use. We want
to be open about what we do and what we will do in the future. Date TBA.

Holiday Season events and mission statement: the decision to remove the
Christmas Tree Decorating assembly and other religion-specific ceremonies was
reached about a year ago, following discussions with the Board around our
mission statement. Many traditions of the past were tied to our relationship with
St. Peter’s Church. As the school moves away from this relationship, we are
looking at what to continue and how to carry on traditions, while maintaining and
fostering an inclusive environment. We need to be mission-driven and live by the
very strong mission statement we have.

SPS Annual Maker Faire, Jan 31 from 8:30am – 3:25pm
Sign-up for the maker faire is downstairs in the lobby. Many have reached out to
volunteer. An email has gone out. Please reach out to Will Nord if you are
interested in presenting or wish to learn more, or sign up on board on lobby.

International Festival (March date TBD)
This will be a new event for SPS. The school will invite families to share with the
rest of the community their culture, food, and traditions. We look forward to
celebrating the school’s uniqueness. Information to follow.

Thank you to all present and the Parents’ Association for their time.