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School Council

Parent Council Meeting Minutes January 16th, 2024


Tuesday, January 16, 2024 – 6:00pm

Present: Veronica Oullette, Danielle Becks, Michelle McCallum, Mandy Boomsma, Amber Jolie, Mekcal Williamson, Emma Wynia, Kristina Corrado, Christine Storoschuk, Nicole Callendar, Susan Ross, Belehego Ouattara


  1. Welcome & Land Acknowledgement


  1. Opening Prayer


  1. Principal’s Report


Operational Updates

Wishlist Items- Danielle shared a breakdown of how the kindergarten through grade 6 classes have spent their funds from the Parent Council to date.

  • K 1- Spent their funds on some dramatic play items to increase the diversity of their collection.
  • K 2- Spent their funds on literacy manipulatives and games to support the changes in the curriculum.  
  • Gr 1- Bought some whiteboard paddles, board games, dice games, and card games to help incorporate games into their math and literacy lessons, as well as indoor recess activities, art supplies and canvasses.
  • Grade 2- Bought new decodable readers to build their classroom library supporting the new literacy curriculum. Mrs. Becks also added additional readers with additional funds from the school.
  • Grade 3- Bought some magnetic letters and number games to use manipulatives to support learning math and literacy.
  • Grade 4/5- Has built a calming center in the classroom to help support students’ self-regulation. Parent council funds went towards items for the calming area.
  • Grade 5/6- Used their funds to purchase a license for a website for reading world news and events to support their literacy curriculum.
  • Grade 6- Purchased some novels to expand their classroom library.
  • Any classes not listed are still finalizing their plans for purchases.


Culture Caring Wellness

  • The Christmas Social was thought to be well received. The staff enjoyed bringing families together to socialize with each other. Next year there will be a concert.


  • Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday fall on the same day this year. As per the Diocese, the school cannot celebrate Valentine's Day on Ash Wednesday as it will be during Lent. The school will be celebrating Valentine’s Day on February 13th. More details will be sent home to families in the coming days to explain how celebrations will happen.


Student Achievement

  • Math- Teachers of all grades have been incorporating games into their math lessons. They are having great success keeping students engaged and having fun while learning. Thank you to the teachers for working so hard to find innovative ways to make learning fun!


  • Report Cards- Will come home on February 5th. With the new changes to the curriculum, parents with students in grades 1-8 will notice a change in the breakdown of the language arts section. Students will now be given one mark for language instead of separate marks for each learning strand.


  1. Finance Update

Account update

  • General account currently has $13,472
  • Lotto account currently has $2,155


Approved expenses so far:

  • Teacher and Staff Wishlist items- $2000
  • Funfair deposits/fees- $2500
  • Sarah Westbrook presentation- $2000
  • Smartboard- $2000
  • Assisting a student with the costs of Camp Celtic- $650


Funds still to be withdrawn:

  • Wishlist items- $275 have been pulled from the account to cover the classroom wish lists so far. Most of these funds will be coming out of the account soon, as teachers are not submitting for reimbursement until all orders are delivered and in good working order.


  • Fun Fair expenses- Most of these expenses will occur closer to the Fun Fair date.


  • Sara Westbrook- We received approval for the entire amount requested in the Parents Reaching Out Grant application ($970). The amount received will cover the cost of the parent presentation by Sara Westbrook, that will be held on February 7th, 2024.


  • Interactive Projector will be about $2,000 and will go to the Grade 1 classroom.


Recent expense withdrawals:

  • Pasta and Games Night- $340 to pay for supplies (i.e., plates, paper for tables, cookies, water, placemat colouring pages) and offsetting the cost for each meal for families.


  • Christmas Lunch- $1900 - There were 273 meals purchased and/or donated by parents/guardians of Notre Dame. Parent Council paid for the remainder of the meals for Notre Dame students (~67), plus the cost of supplies such as cutlery and plates.


  • Fun Fair- $350 for face painting has come out of the account so far.


Other Updates:

  • Christine got approval from the City of Brantford to use Lotto funds for the projectors.
  • There is approximately $5,400 in funds remaining that are have not been allocated yet.


  1. Council Business

Education & Wellness

  • Workshops & Guest Speakers- Sara Westbrook is scheduled to do presentations for both the students and parents/guardians on Wednesday, February 7th, 2024.
  • Update: Amber has applied for the Parents Reaching Out Grant from the Board of Education, and received approval for the entire amount requested ($970). This will cover the cost of the parent/guardian portion of presentations.
  • Action items: Danielle has prepared information and will send out communication to parents/guardians advertising the event.


Social Gatherings

  • Annual School Christmas Lunch – (Monday, December 18, 2023) debrief:
    • Thank you to everyone who volunteered to make this event a success!
    • Parent Council supplemented the cost of meals for students by $1510. Finding a more affordable caterer was discussed as something we would like to look into next year, as well as finding out if parents are not purchasing meals due to financial stress or if they are opting out and would prefer their child to have a packed lunch that day.
    • The parent council would like to include some buns or other alternatives for students who do not enjoy traditional turkey dinners. Parent Council look into possible ways accommodate these students for next year's lunch.
    • Action items: Further discussion and planning for next year’s event was deferred to a later date.


  • Shrove Tuesday - Pancake Lunch (Tuesday, February 13, 2024)
    • As Shrove Tuesday and the school Valentine’s Day celebration will fall on the same day, there will be some shifts to the Pancake lunch plan.
    • Traditionally, this school-wide lunch is celebrated communally in the gym and students from Grade 7 and 8 classrooms help set up and tear down the gym.
    • To allow the grade 8 class some additional time to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their class, serving stations will be set up in the hallway and pancakes will be eaten in the classrooms,
    • Volunteers: A volunteer sign up sheet was passed around. Kelly DeSousa, Emma Wynia, Kristina Corrado, Mandy Boomsma, Erin Quondam, Christine Storoschuk, and Nicole Callander volunteered to help out with the lunch.
    • We will need at least 12 parent/guardian volunteers to help serve the pancakes as well as to assist the Kindergarten classrooms with cutting up their food. If interested, please contact the office to volunteer. Volunteers are asked to arrive at 11:00am to assist with setting up the serving stations, and stay through to 1:00pm to help with serving the lunch. Pancakes are scheduled to arrive at 12:00pm. 


  • Action Items: Susan has volunteered to get syrup.


  • Fun Fair - (Tuesday, June 4, 2024)
    • No new meetings have happened. Kristina will consult with the Sub Committee and pick a date in March to continue planning.
    • Sub Committee Volunteers: Kristina Corrado (Sub committee Chair), Veronica Ouellette, Emma Wynia, Jodi Decle, Nicole Callander, Erin Quondam, Mekcal Williamson, Dakota Grummett, Amber Jolie, Mandy Boomsma, and Susan Ross.
    • Next Sub committee meeting: March 7th at 6:15 pm.



  • Parent Council Fundraiser for 2023-2024 School Year: Gift Card Calendar
    • Updates: Amber called a number of businesses inquiring if they may be willing to donate to the fundraiser and received many of requests to call back or visit in-store to discuss further, and a few expressed interests in donating.
    • Parent Council has requested that a call for donations be put up on School Cash Online in the coming weeks, with the intent that all funds raised on School Cash Online will be used to purchase gift cards to local businesses for the gift card calendar.
    • We will also ask that if parents own a local small business, to consider donating a gift card towards the calendar.


  • Target Timelines: Emails to go out for donations March 1. Calendar to start May 1. Parent council members will contact local business owners they know to see if they would be willing to donate a gift card. The last day to donate towards the gift card purchases will be March 17th so that Parent Council can assist with tallying up the funds on March 18th. March 19th is the Parent Council Meeting, so this meeting will be dedicated to finalizing the layout and make up of the fundraiser.


  • Action items:
    • Danielle will look into the logistics of setting this up on School Cash Online and if it would be possible to have different pricing e.g., 1 calendar for $10, 3 calendars for $20 etc.
    • Amber will prepare communication to send out to parents and/or look into sending out the request to School Cash Online
    • Emma will reach out to her contact to discuss printing costs.
    • Nicole will forward a list of possible donors to the group.
    • Mandy can set up Google Docs to help track which businesses have been contacted and by whom.
    • Kristina will send out a donation letter to be used when requesting donations to the group.
    • Council members will contact local businesses and/or personal contacts to inquire about interest in donating to the fundraiser and update Google Doc with updates in order to coordinate efforts.


  • Smaller Fundraisers:
    • Pizza Day Wednesdays
      • Update: Still going well. Thank you to our parent/guardian volunteers for giving their time each week to help out with these lunches.
      • Action items: Volunteers who signed up to help with specific pizza days will continue to meet in the foyer of the school on their designated days around 12:45 pm. Anyone who is interested in volunteering to help with this is encouraged to contact the office.


  • Alternatives for school lunch days
    • Update: A pasta lunch option will trial in February. 


  • Community Food Day Fundraisers
    • Updates: Emma emailed OMG Ice Cream to look into this possibility. Unfortunately, they are closed for the season.
    • Action items: Emma and Kristina will reach out to OMG Ice cream to discuss the possibility of doing this in the Spring.


  • Mabel’s Labels
    • Update: Christine looked into setting up a Mabel’s Label’s fundraising code for all year round. They are easy enough to set up.
    • Action item: Christine will set the account up.


  • Parent Council Fundraiser for 2024-2025 School Year
  • Update: Kristina looked into Krispie Kreme, but they do not have next year’s calendar ready yet.
  • Action item: Kristina will call Krispie Kreme again in the future.


Additional Business

  • In-person book fair – December 12th-15th, 2023
    • Update: The in-person book fair was very successful which means more books for the school library!


  1. Next Meeting Date

February 20, 2024 - 6:00pm - Notre Dame Staff Room