November 2018 Booster Club Meeting Minutes


November 16th, 2018

IN ATTENDANCE: Leiauna Anderson, Kerry Kane, Chad Billmyer, Lilian Moreira, Sherry Ikebe, Alyssa Sullivan, Stephanie Morton-Millstein, Maya Forbes, Viviana Harran, Susanne Arvidsson, Frank Langen, Tameisha King, Natalia Sullivan, Amanda Rosen-Prinz

President’s Update (Leiauna Anderson) - Committee meetings will be the week after we get back from Thanksgiving break on November 29th and the next Governing Council Meeting will be on December 6th, so November and December will be combined due to the short months/holiday breaks. There will be one last Booster Club meeting of the year on Friday, December 14th before the winter recess.

The Spark of Love toy drive will be held from December 3rd -14th and is sponsored by the local fire dept.  There could be more need this year due to all the losses suffered in our local community from the fires.  Let’s not forget to purchase gifts for older kids too. Books are good as well as any toys geared for ages 12 and up.

The ICE ice skating 5th grade fundraiser is not happening this year due to the City of Santa Monica restricting fundraisers at the venue. The 5th grade parents are looking into other possibilities.  For now it remains on the calendar because Nicole is on leave but it will be removed.

There was a question about the return of the Talent Show.  It may return in the form of a 5th grade fundraiser but the details have not been finalized.

The Canyon Read Green Book Fair is coming the week we return from Thanksgiving Break. Book collection will be in the beginning of the week and the sale in the auditorium during the latter part of the week. All books will be just $1.

Canyon Gear was distributed last Friday.  People love it.

Principal’s Report (Leiauna Anderson on behalf of Nicole Sheard) – Nicole misses everyone and has so much gratitude for all the community has done for her after her father’s passing, including the generous giftcard for Postmates from the Booster leaders. She also wants to thank Mona Huizar and Dr. Sherman for holding down the fort while she has been out.  She plans to return after the Thanksgiving recess.

Teacher’s Report (Ms. Ikebe):  Thanks to Allie Torgan and the Olympics Day team because the event went smoothly and was so well organized this year. Thanks to Staci Woo for all the staff’s Canyon gear.  The teachers really appreciate it and enjoy their gear. The update from UTLA is that at this point if there is a strike it will be mid to late January. There is a rally in downtown at Grand Park on December 15th.

Maya Forbes, along with other parent activists, want to organize a screening of the film Backpack Full of Cash about independent charters.  They also want to organize a Q&A to discuss the negotiations process and answer any questions about the potential strike.  Maya is a point person and anyone who wants more information should get in touch with her.

We discussed that we cannot use our school communications systems (e.g. the Chronicle or My School Anywhere or the room parents) to discuss this political matter.  If people want to exchange information about this they should use the Google Group or it must be conveyed via a word of mouth campaign. The question came up how to create a list of interested parties with whom information can be shared and would be welcomed?

There was a general discussion about the Google Group and how to raise awareness about it. We will put a general mention in the next Chronicle with instructions on how to join.  The group includes some alumni and community members who have opted to stay in the group after they graduate. It is currently our only way to reach alumni families. There is also a link on our website where people can request to join.

There was a discussion about how many people feel they need further information about all of the various complex school issues relating to independent charter schools vs. affiliated charters vs. neighborhood schools.  Frank offered use of his gallery for a forum. Many people had questions about state funding of public schools and what our Booster funding pays for at Canyon.

It would be great to have a greater attendance at our December Booster club meeting for these reasons.

BFFS update (Chad Billmyer):

At the end of November 2017 we were at $171k  and this year as of November 16th we are only at $146k (approximately 15% less).  Chad hopes that we will make up a large portion of that on Giving Tuesday as that was a successful day for giving to our annual fund last year.  There was a discussion about the communications strategy for Giving Tuesday this year. We questioned if people feel overwhelmed by the amount of communications about fundraising at our school.  Most felt that even when it felt like too much it was still so important because we need to raise the money. Some felt that room parent communications were redundant on top of the Chronicle and we explained that we have restricted some room parent communications this year for that reason but some people don’t read the Chronicle so we need to reach people in multiple ways.  We agree that we would send 3 emails + 1 Google Group mention about Giving Tuesday this year.

Major Fundraisers/Olympics Day (Leiauna Anderson on behalf of Olympics Chair, Allie Torgan) - the students raised about $80k in sponsorships and $4300 in family sponsorships.  We raised about $10k in corporate sponsorships, $7k in in-kind donations. After expenses our total profit will be about $88k which is amazing and our most successful year yet.

Community Events/Pumpkin Patch (Susanne Arvidsson)- this was also our most successful pumpkin patch ever with $4800 raised.  This year we were fortunate to have many pumpkins donated by a generous family in the food distribution industry but we will have to figure out a way to do this next year as that family has a 5th grader and will be leaving the school.

Canyon Partners/Amazon - (Kerry Kane) - For many years we earned anywhere from 4-10% on Amazon purchases through our Affiliates account.  In January of 2018 we were notified by Amazon that we were in violation of our user agreement and they suspended our account.  We were unclear about the violations and appealed but they were able to prove that we provided a dedicated link instead of their proprietary banner and we have lost access to that account permanently.  The only option for Amazon fundraising at this point is Smile which only raises .5% which does not seem worth our time or effort to promote. We are trying to see if anyone with influence can appeal to Amazon to allow us to have our affiliates account back but we are not hopeful.


General discussion about other corporate partners who may want to give to our school.  Can we compile a list of major companies that families at our school are affiliated with that might want to support us?  E.g. Netflix, Google, Amazon, etc...

There was a comment that we have more events that aren’t fundraising driven and were more about community building only.  Some people are happy to give more money but don’t want to be asked all the time. We may need to discuss our fundraising strategy for larger angel donations and be clear about where the money is needed.  Some people mentioned being put off by the long list of corporate sponsors for our events.

Maya Forbes ended with a reminder that if you want to support the teachers in their negotiations, “Wear red for Ed” on Tuesdays going forward.

Adjourn 9:45am