Cashmere Avenue Home and School

Meeting Minutes

26 March 2018 7.30pm Staff room

Present: Tracy Mears, Anne-Maree Breen, Sonia Glen, Kate Christie, Sarah Polaschek, Tina Ng, Chooi-Lee Hong

Apologies: Kate Christie

Minutes of the last meeting

Approved

Matters arising from last minutes

A fundraising schedule was published alongside the last minutes.

There was an action to draft a situations vacant ad for the newsletter. That was completed.

Correspondence

In:        None

Out:        None.

Finance report (Sarah Polaschek)

Cheque                $113,188.94

Term Deposit         $0

Total                 $113,188.94

The Fair total looks like it could be heading towards $58,000. Need to reconcile the auction figures with the banking details.

Approval was sought for:

Sarah has been made aware of a potential issue with providing funding for activities that also receive Kiwisport funds. Questions were raised about the link. If H&S was looking to fund activities like the water safety lessons last year, further investigation may be warranted.

It was agreed to put some of the funds from the current account into term deposits of varying lengths: $40K for 6 months, $30K for 4 months and the rest to be left in the current account.

School report

Swimnastics is finished.

Seniors had a great camp.

Seniors are focusing on space and will be going to Carter Observatory next week

Principal’s report

Excited to have a new assistant principal.

Have new Kapa Haka tutors. Seniors participation had been falling so a change in timing has been proposed to encourage greater engagement.

Choir and chess not clash on a Tuesday

Year 1s welcomed the incoming kindy kids which worked very well.

General Business

The H&S committee formally thanked Sonia for the effort and sacrifices she (and Ed) made in co-ordinating the Fair. The Committee gave Sonia a small gift of appreciation.

Sonia sought input about the format for the Kathryn Burkett session next term. The advice was to keep-it-simple so the plan is to run it as an information-only session without a fund-raising component. There would be a nominal contribution to cover the cost of bringing Kathryn to the school with no refreshments provided.

Two proposals had been submitted to the committee for consideration:

Proposal to seek community input, for example through a survey, in how the H&S funds are spent.

The Chair explained that there had been an email from a parent suggesting that there was a legitimate expectation from parents who had been involved in helping raise the funds from the school fair that they would be consulted on how the funds were used. It was suggested that a survey could be a useful way of providing that input as not all parents were able to attend a weekday meeting and it was a confronting environment for many.

The Committee discussed the proposal at length. There was universal agreement that an open-ended survey would raise expectations about what could be achieved with the funds – beyond the ability of the Committee to manage. Parents were likely to make a range of suggestions that couldn’t all be funded or may not be possible for other reasons. The example was given of the pool cover which was infeasible for ground stability reasons. If parents proposed such a project and it didn’t go ahead they may be disappointed thinking that it wasn’t considered a high enough priority when in fact it was infeasible.

There was a discussion of ways of mitigating the potential for raised expectations. There may be survey design options which could help to focus input. Parents could be asked to express a preference between high level descriptions e.g. playground equipment versus IT equipment. However, even with those constraints it was likely that parents would make other suggestions. So it in order to mitigate the potential for raised expectations, it would be necessary to respond to those suggestions which may end up in a bilateral discussion about the merits of various proposals.

It was also felt that parents may not have contextual information that would be useful for making those choices e.g. the relative costs of various options. Most parents would be unaware that a new playground is likely to cost upwards of $80,000.

So it was felt that a H&S meeting was a better place to consider spending proposals where the contextual information could be taken into account. If parents felt that there were areas of the school that would benefit from H&S funds they were welcome to make suggestions either by attending a H&S meeting or by emailing.

There was a reminder that there hadn’t been a lot of discretionary spending in recent years because the majority of funds raised were allocated to the building projects.

It was also felt that there wasn’t a lot of discretion this year given that when asking for donations for the Fair this year the reason given was to improve playgrounds and the school environment. It would be disingenuous to not apply the funds for that purpose.

However, there were many options within that broad category and the school and Board of Trustees would consult with parents on any plans.

It was proposed to create a sub-committee that would look at options for improving the school environment.

Question: one option could put out an open invitation for volunteers for that sub-committee. To be discussed further.

Proposal to allow parents to pay an addition donation in lieu of participating in H&S fundraising activities

Michael Buckley had emailed Sonia and Tracy with a proposal to consider offering a H&S school donation in lieu of participation in school.

The unanimous view of the committee was that the activities of the H&S were about more than just fund-raising. It was about doing things for the kids (disco etc) and putting on a community event (Fair).

Reference was made to the 4 H&S objectives – only one of which is about raising funds:

(i)        To promote a sense of community among the parents, guardians, teachers and the children of Cashmere Avenue School, Khandallah, New Zealand.

(ii)        To promote closer contact and co-operation between the teaching staff of Cashmere Avenue School and the parents and guardians of the pupils.

(iii)        To raise funds for Cashmere Avenue School purposes.

(iv)        To co-operate with the Cashmere Avenue School Board of Trustees (Board of Trustees).

However, there was an acknowledgement that we could improve our communication about the other aspects of the activities that we do. There is a focus on the amount of money raised and perhaps we need to also talk about other metrics such as the number of families that participate in the Fair.

Sarah suggested that it was appropriate to go back to Michael with a letter outlining our view. She provided a draft.

The Chair offered to talk to Michael about his proposal and relay the Committee’s perspective. The Committee is happy to discuss further if Michael would like to attend a future committee meeting.