March 2016 Booster Club Meeting Minutes

Attendees: Catherine von Goetz, Nicole Sheard, Rita Hsiao, Noya Goudar, Alyssa Goddard, Inbal Gonen, Lara Hasselhoff, Beth Price, Rose Okumoto, Deb Tractenberg Ellie King Kerpen, Katje Davis, Kikka Hanazawa, Tara King-Haagen, Kim Weybright, Amy Montalba, Julie Silliman, Amy Hopper

Amy is grateful for the community who volunteers and attends the Booster Meetings. Part of this year’s goal was to be more inclusive (i.e. evening meetings). Please spread the word and tell people to take the survey (deadline is the 1st week in April). 52 people have taken it so far (28 out of the 52 have never attended a Booster Club Meeting because of the time of the meetings). Discussion about timing of meetings-bring a friend, tell somebody else about it, etc. Great idea to have a call in phone number for the monthly meetings. Tara suggested marketing the meetings better (i.e. posters to announce the meetings) and using Facebook/Social Media outlets to remind parents of the meetings. Booster has budget planning for next school year (insurance is increasing, the cost of education is increasing, etc.). We do we need to have vs. what do we want. What is curriculum based? Once our needs are covered, then what extras can we add? From the survey, Annual Giving-72% said they’ve given and 23% said they will.

Also, from the survey, responders felt that the least important were Kinder & 5th grade drama and most important is the CSR teacher.

#1 focus is on the budget. We received our allocation from the district on Monday and it is due and needs to be finalized on 4/8. The main reason for Governing Council cancelled because she requires staff input.

They are looking at our current programming, if we want to add anything, take anything away, etc.

Tomorrow, 3/18/16, the Principal of Revere is coming to talk to 5th grade parents. Looking at Olympics Day and testing (right around the corner).

Nothing new to report-conferences were last week and went well and other than that, it’s been pretty quiet. Gift giving policy-has caused some problems (uncomfortable situations between staff members, families, etc.). Staff giving (i.e. office staff, Greg, etc.) will still happen. Your classroom teacher-money will NOT be collected from families for teacher or aide (you give your teacher and aide a personal gift if you at your discretion). If money has already been collected for this year, Room Parents can offer the money back to the parents or they can put it back into the end of the year party, classroom materials/fund, etc.

No meeting today. At the last meeting, Julie was the only parent there. Nicole tries to be mindful of people’s time and there is a staff meeting right before GC, so if there is no audience the GC meeting becomes redundant for the staff. Dial in idea would be great for GC since it is virtually impossible for working parents to attend. Teacher leadership needs to be part of the GC meetings. Julie asked if it could be optional for teachers to attend and please do not introduce new items to be voted on at the GC meetings (you’re supposed to have topics on the agenda). Amy said that we are trying to build that bridge
back up again. Tara King-Haagen suggested that the GC meetings need to be advertised/marketed better so the whole community feels invited. Tara has offered to help with the marketing efforts at the school.

Deb suggested putting together a one pager for new parents “Fun Facts for the 2016-2017 school year.”

Report as of 3/1 was passed out. Looking at expenses-$526,000 this year (6% increase from year before) and she’ll get back to us about what next year’s budget will look like. Three big events (Fiesta/Auction/Olympics-make about $170,000). Annual Giving-we are still looking at 50% more participation to generate approx. $70,000 more. She is doing a technology projection-next 3 years we are going to need to replace some hardware (almost 150 computers will be past their lifespan and we will need $250,000-$300,000 and will need to do a Capital campaign just for hardware). Kikka would like to review the hardware projections with the Technology committees. Nicole is exploring a school fundraiser just dedicated to technology-in Topanga, they did the Great American Spell Check and in the 1st year made $20,000 and $35,000 the next year. Kids get pledges and get money for each word they spelled correctly.

There was also a dancing fundraiser at John Adams Middle School where kids get pledges. Deb said they are having an issue with the Annual Giving push since they don’t want to compete with Auction/Fiesta.

There are all great ideas and we need to decide what kind of fundraising methods are we going to launch.

New ideas-Jammin’ in the Canyon, comedy night, film screening night, etc.

ANNUAL GIVING UPDATE-Lara Hasselhoff & Deb Tractenberg
We are at 78% of our goal and 52% participation (as of 3/1). A lot of people donate in the spring after tax time. Deb isn’t worried about us meeting the goal but we tend to count on the last push. They may have a table at Auction/Fiesta (but possible privacy concerns?). Deb suggested publishing “levels of giving.”

Catherine said that there would be a handful of people who would complain. Brainstorming about new ideas to fundraise for Technology (i.e. can we have people allocate their AG, instead of Auction, have people pledge dollar amounts for certain items, etc.). Nicole said that we have to be really careful about telling parents that their $$ is going to “X,Y,Z” since we can’t guarantee that particular programs will be around next year (which is what AG is for-next year).

Optimistic on the # of donations from the community. Fiesta is later this year and Auction asks started a little late this year. We have to ask earlier and earlier for Fiesta sponsorships. Fiesta family sponsorship is in trouble this year (3 weeks in and haven’t reached $10,000 and need to hit a minimum of $25,000).

Prices of everything got bumped up this year. Beth is going to do an E-Blast and an e-mail on the Canyon Google Group. Fiesta/Silent Auction is 16% of our budget.

Please check out the new website:

Morina Lichtstein is the Room Parent Coordinator next year. Nicole has her master parent calendar for next year. Every director needs to find their replacement/shadow. GC has openings for next year. We also need somebody to run Sign Up Genius, a Volunteer Coordinator, a President Elect, Party Book chairs, Director of Enrichment and more.