BEN W. MURCH HOME AND SCHOOL ASSOCIATION
Meeting Minutes April 2, 2019
HSA Co-Presidents Elisa O’Keefe and Jess Regan called the meeting to order at 7:21 PM on April 2, 2019 in Room B112 of Murch Elementary School.
Executive Board Members present: Elisa O’Keefe (Co-President), Jess Regan (Co-President), Ashley Webb (1st Vice President), Julie Lobb (2nd Vice President), Virginia Marentette (Past President), Meghan Duffy (Assistant Treasurer), Paula Cuevas (Assistant Treasurer), Chris Cebrzynski (Principal), Heather Barlow (Communications), Jason Levin (Fundraising/Community Engagement), and Robin Goracke (Budget Chair).
Other Members in Attendance: Julia Guillén Williams, Dave Kiyvyra, and Manuel Mendez.
1. Approval of prior minutes – Heather Barlow
Heather presented the minutes for the March 5 general meeting, which were posted to BaseCamp for review, and sought the Board’s approval of the minutes.
Heather made a motion that the Board ratify the previously posted minutes for the March 5 meeting as the official record of that meeting. Jason seconded the motion, there was no objection, and the motion passed by unanimous voice vote.
2. President’s Report – Elisa O’Keefe and Jess Regan
- Auction Update. The 2019 Murch Auction was held on March 16. Elisa reported that the Auction raised $143,270 as of today. Jess and Elisa are meeting with the Auction chairs to debrief. Discussion about the Auction ensued.
- Coffee on the Playground. The next Coffee on the Playground is scheduled for April 26. Jess reported that we are going to send an email advertising the event, as well as to recruit parents for open HSA positions for next year. The HSA members were encouraged to attend the April 26 Coffee on the Playground.
- Elections Meeting. The HSA Board Elections meeting will be held on May 21 at 7:00 PM to approve the Budget and Officers. A quorum vote (minimum of 30 voting members) is required and babysitters will be available. Discussion ensued regarding HSA positions, including a possible Field Trip Planner/Coordinator position and possible expectations for field trips for next year, e.g. resources, curriculum matching, frequency, etc.
3. Principal’s Report – Mr. Cebrzynski
Mr. C reported that he is working with Mary Cheh who is advocating on behalf of Murch to DCPS for a budget increase so the school can get back some staff positions that were cut due to budget losses. There were some discrepancies around enrollment numbers, and Murch has submitted more information to DCPS to clear that up. Murch has the fifth lowest per pupil expenditure in the District and is seeking to know the reasons for this. The timeline for knowing whether the school will receive additional funds is unknown.
The hiring process with the personnel committee has begun, and five positions will be filled including an ELL specialist, math specialist, reading specialist, and custodian. Some of these positions will be filled by current staff. Mr. C will announce staffing for next year by the end of the school year.
He also reported that this year’s format for the last parent teacher conference of the year is changing. Parents who need a conference will meet with the teacher during the day, either by teacher request or parent request. The evening will be for all children to show parents their classrooms.
PARCC testing in grades 3-5 is normally held during an 8-week window. This year, it will be done in two weeks. All grades will test during Week 1, and makeup tests will be held during Week 2. The change is being implemented in order to limit disruption of the regular schedule of the entire school. Tests are also shorter this year, with some tests having as few as 12 questions. Testing dates will be released on the Murch website this week.
Ashley asked Mr. C if there will be a survey for teacher and class placements this year as was done last year. Mr. C said the process is changing internally so he’s not sure yet.
5. Treasurer’s Report – Paula Cuevas/Meghan Duffy
- Review of Monthly Statements. Paula provided a summary of the monthly financials. She presented the Income Statement in which she noted that the HSA is about $16,000 away from our goal for the yearly budget. Paula noted that the HSA is making $60/month in interest on a $30,000 CD. As next year’s budget is completed, the Budget committee will determine how much money to put in CDs for 2019-20. Paula pointed out that the Balance Sheet shows the HSA has approximately $150,000 in reserves, and the budget is ahead by $14,500. On the Balance Sheet, we have $179,717 combined in checking and savings. She also noted there is $6,515 in reserve for technology and those funds are still available.
- Credit Card Limit Update. Paula provided an update on the request for increased credit card limits. Credit card limits are increased to $20,000 for Meghan and $10,000 for Jess. The overall spending limit is $20,000 so Maurice will continue monitoring the expenses and making payments to make sure we are not overextending our credit.
- Overage Approvals. Paula pointed out two line items in the Income Statement with overages requiring Board approval: 1) the Auction budget went over by $1418.74 in catering expenses due to increased attendance, and 2) the Fall Fair budget was over by $8872.15 due to deposits for next year’s Fall Fair.
Jess made a motion that the Board approve the overage to the Auction Expense. Virginia seconded the motion, there was no objection, and the motion passed by unanimous voice vote.
Jess made a motion that the Board approve the overages to the Fall Fair Expense. Ashley seconded the motion, there was no objection, and the motion passed by unanimous voice vote.
6. Fundraising/Community Engagement Update – Jason Levin
- Giant A+ Rewards. Jason reported that Murch has earned $1,100 as of today, which equals the final total for last year. He hopes the final amount for this school year will increase to $1,350 by the end of the program.
- Restaurant Nights. Restaurant night at Silver was held on March 26. The total money raised for the HSA has not yet been reported by the restaurant, but Jason will report back once the amount is known. A Restaurant day is scheduled for April 30 at Tesoro, and the HSA will receive a percentage of the profits for the entire day (lunch and dinner). Tesoro is providing a special Murch menu for the day with throwback prices. The restaurant night at Guapo’s is being rescheduled due to a conflict with Murch International Night.
- Nationals Event. Jason is working with the Nationals to coordinate a game on September 14 or 15. He investigated a possible Murch Night with DC United but found that all the games start at 8:00 PM, and after consulting with Elisa and Jess, determined the games were too late for a school event.
7. Old Business
HSA Budget Update (Robin Goracke). Robin reported on the Budget Committee activities and stated that the committee is working on the HSA budget for the 2019-20 school year. Some HSA officers participated in a conference call about the budget last week. The next Budget committee meeting is scheduled for April 25, where they will discuss a skeleton budget. Before that meeting, Robin will meet with Maurice to assess this year’s budget for consideration when crafting next year’s budget. A parent survey will also be incorporated into the HSA budget considerations. A summary of the survey will be made public by Mr. C, and Robin will meet with Mr. C regarding needs from HSA and possible additional DCPS funding. At the HSA’s May 7 meeting, Robin will present the budget to the HSA Board for discussion and input and will be posted on the Murch website for community feedback before May 21. The goal is to have a finalized budget ready for voting on at the Annual HSA May 21 meeting.
8. New Business
- Teacher Appreciation Week (Ashley Webb/Julie Lobb). Teacher Appreciation Week kicks off on May 6. Ashley and Julie reported that this year they are doing a Hollywood themed week with drawings, flowers, school supplies, and a Murch colors day. The HSA is planning to cater lunch for the staff on May 8 (80 staff on a budget of $650 with catering by Silver). A teacher happy hour is also being planned at Silver, with the restaurant donating the first drink for every teacher, and the HSA providing a $7 gift card to each teacher towards the purchase of a food or beverage item of their choice. A snack cart is also being planned that week, and on Friday cake pops will be handed out to the staff. Teacher Appreciation Week plans will be announced in the April 12 newsletter, and weekly reminders will be included in following newsletters. Printed flyers will be distributed on April 26. Newsreel printouts for drawings will be sent home with students on Friday, May 3.
- Fundraising Ideas (Ashley Webb). Ashley shared some other fundraising ideas offered by Silver restaurant to Murch for next year: Moms vs. Dads happy hour to see who raises more money, and incentives for students using coupons for free kids’ meals.
- KidsElite Sports Camp. Tia Clemmings (Coach TC) presented information on a pilot program held at the Murch campus for 4 weeks this summer to the HSA. KidsElite Sports Camp has hosted camps at other DC schools that have been well-attended by Murch students. The dates for the Murch based camp are June 24-28, July 8-12, 22-26, and July 29-August 2. A special Murch early bird rate is available on their website (www.kideselitesports.org) and camp information will be posted on the Murch website.
Elisa and Jess adjourned the meeting at 8:09 PM.