BEN W. MURCH HOME AND SCHOOL ASSOCIATIO
HSA Co-Presidents Elisa O’Keefe and Jess Regan called the meeting to order at 7:04 PM on February 5, 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), Diane Beasley (Secretary), Maurice Werner (Treasurer), Paula Cuevas (Assistant Treasurer), Chris Cebrzynski (Principal), Marcy Hairston (Teacher Representative), Heather Barlow (Communications), Jason Levin (Fundraising/Community Engagement), and Robin Goracke (Budget Chair).
Other Members in Attendance: Stefanie Harrington (Auction Co-Chair)
- Approval of prior minutes – Diane Beasley
Diane presented the minutes for the January 8 general meeting, which were posted to BaseCamp for review and sought the Board’s approval of the minutes.
Diane made a motion that the Board ratify the previously posted minutes for the January 8 meeting as the official record of that meeting. Jason seconded the motion, there was no objection, and the motion passed by unanimous voice vote.
- President’s Report – Elisa O’Keefe and Jess Regan
- Auction Update. The auction date is quickly approaching (March 16) and Stefanie attended the meeting to give the Board a status update. She reported that early bird tickets sales have started ($75, price will increase up to $95 at the door), a caterer has been secured, and an auctioneer has been been identified (parent volunteer with past professional experience). The wine cellar party was held this past weekend and the auction committee is inventorying the donations (60-70 bottles). Discussion ensued regarding increasing alumni attendance at the auction, including the potential for offering a school tour/cocktail party as part of the draw; Stefanie stated that she would work with the school and auction committee to explore this possibility. Maurice asked if the auction would include Paddles Up and Stefanie said it would.
- Zengo Charity Ride. Mrs. Pines organized a Zengo ride benefitting the HSA which was held on Jan 26. Elisa stated that there were close to 40 people in attendance and the event raised about $400 for the HSA.
- Talent Show. The talent show will be held on February 7 at 6pm in the gym. The HSA is organizing pizza and ticket sales at the event. Jess confirmed that pizza sales will start at 5pm, with pre-orders for entire pizzas ending tomorrow at noon. She noted that there will be absolutely no food or drink allowed in the gym. A link to order advance tickets online was included in the school-wide email announcing the talent show and is also available through the school website.
- Principal’s Report – Mr. Cebrzynski
Mr. C reported that the robo-call announcing the LSAT survey for parents went out this evening and the survey link is live. The teachers took a different survey and the LSAT will use feedback from both surveys to identify priorities and aid in crafting next year’s school budget. He stated that the school is not planning on getting rid of any staff positions, but they would like to add one or more new positions (key: reading specialist). Mr. C is also working with Mary Eckstein to draft a detailed funding request to the HSA to cover items not supported by the school budget (expected to be around $40,000 less that the funding request made last year). He stated that the school is expecting the DCPS budget tomorrow. Discussion ensured regarding how the DCPS budget is determined and the various factors that affect it.
He informed the Board that the new DCPS chancellor will be visiting the school tomorrow at 2:00pm and will be discuss the Murch experience with a small group of parents for 30 minutes. This will be followed by an interview with the Murch newspaper staff and a brief meeting with Mr. C.
Finally, Mr. C stated that this year Ms. Gainey and Mr. Hayden will teach the health course to the fifth graders. This was outsourced in past years and funded by the HSA, so the HSA will save $2700 now that physical education teachers are taking the course over.
- Treasurer’s Report – Maurice Werner
- Review of Monthly Statements. Maurice provided a summary of the monthly financials. He reviewed the Income Statement first and noted that the auction has raised $6850.90 to date and that the SOS Campaign is nearing $100,000. He pointed out a new line item under Operating Expenses titled “Cash – Market Rate Account” for $77,742.29 and explained that this line item is not a real expense to the HSA and that he would explain further during the Balance Sheet review. He then quickly reviewed expenditures to date for the various line items.
For Balance Sheet review, Maurice first highlighted the three HSA bank accounts (checking, market rate, and CD). He then pointed out that the General Reserves went up from $85,000 to $154,704 (this is where the “Cash – Market Rate Account” expense fed into). He noted that the goal is to have the Total Non-Current Liabilities mirror the Total Assets. Finally, he stated that while at present the HSA is spending more than we are earning, this is due to intentionally trying to spend down several one-off categories and that this will not be the case next year.
- Fundraising/Community Engagement Update – Jason Levin
- Giant A+ Rewards. Jason reported that we are pacing to earn between $1400 and $1500 in Giant A+ rewards. He also stated that the Giant Enrollment Challenge winners will have their celebration on February 15 and that Giant will provide nut-free, gluten-free cupcakes and mini ice cream sandwiches to the winning classrooms.
- Restaurant Nights. Potomac Pizza Night at the Friendship Heights location was held on January 30, and raised $184 for the HSA. Several future restaurant nights are planned (Potbelly’s, Tesoro, Guapo’s), but Jason is holding off on dates for those until the DC United event is locked in.
- DC United Event. Jason is working with DC United representatives to coordinate a game date and identified two potential weekend afternoon games but they conflicted with Spring Break and the Fall Fair. The Board suggested looking into weekend early evening games and Jason responded that he would touch base with the DC United representative to identify new dates. He is also working with Dr. Branch to coordinate a Murch choir to sing the National Anthem at the game.
- Old Business
- LSAT Report (Robin Goracke). Robin reported on LSAT activities and referenced the parent survey sent out this week. She also noted that the HSA budget committee is being established to develop the HSA budget for the next school year and discussed several potential budget line items including a staff gift line item, parent volunteer program, and expanded after school activity funding. Discussion ensued regarding the current HSA-funded after school programs, and specifically the potential to bring in outside groups, parent led activities, and increased STEM activities. Maurice asked about the DCPS initiative to teach bike riding to second graders and if it will come to Murch. Mr. C responded that it would but because the teaching bikes move from school to school, we are waiting for our turn in the rotation but that it would happen before the end of the school year.
Elisa and Jess adjourned the meeting at 8:01 PM.