Minutes October 29, 2018

LPCI School Council Meeting

7 p.m., Library

Next meeting: December 3, 2018

Attendees:  Helena Andresen, Jane Peirce, Angela Brown, Jacqueline Rother, Ertugrul Gundogdu, Petra Hamann, Suzanne Sparrow, Liane Downs, Melissa Ngo, Gillian Wyett, Cristina de Santis, Debbie Weiner, Steven Weiner, Claire Murphy, Rindy Bradshaw, Laura Nield, Jennifer Wilmer, Audrey Lao, Sandra Pritchard, Bryan Seaton, Mitra Minouie, Marianne Boyce, Dominica Larkin, Jill Bellenger, Jean Choi, Debbie Crees, Sherry (Xioli) Tang, Jacqueline Fry, Kristen Glenister, Jordon Berger, Dani Morrison, Liz Hanson, Anna Richter, Joel Gorenkoff, Erika Boone, Anne Marie Armstrong, Kelly Green, Veronica Bak,

2018/2019 Executive

Chair: Anna Richter
Past Chair: Erika Boone
Secretary: Liz Hanson
Treasurer: Tina Eng
Web/Communications: Julie Sole
Wellness Committee Chair: Kelly Green
Safe & Caring Representative: Veronica Bak
Fundraising Committee Chair:  Anne Marie Armstrong

**  Do you want to volunteer, meet more parents and get to know the school better? We are always looking for more volunteers. More roles are open. See some volunteer opportunities below and email:

*Some* Upcoming Important Dates: (check LP website for complete list of important dates, or below for more dates). This is not an inclusive list of events.

  • Nov 15th – Grade Reporting Cycle – Marks, learning skills, attendance and lates.
  • Nov 20th – Parent Teacher meetings.
  • Nov – to be scheduled: Welcome Event for those new to the area/LP and/or Grade 9 parents new to Lawrence Park.
  • Nov 19 – 23 – Charity Week – Several fundraisers are held to support a chosen charity.
  • Nov 28th – Mindful Parenting Free event for all parents in TDSB. If interested make sure you sign up. https://www.eventbrite.com/o/crystal-l-harris-phd-7514001383
  • December 13th – Winter Musicale will take place.
  1. Student Council Report: Will
  • SPC Student Price Cards – last week sold hundreds, raised money for LP
    • Students need to pick them up if bought through school cash online
  • Costume Ball – most attended from senior grades, good turnout. First time having outside company running setup and running of the dance and went well.
  • Club Fair – held beginning of October :
    • Most have started, but if students want, can still join. Listen to announcements.
  • Charity Week Nov 19 – 23. Several fundraisers are held to support a chosen charity.
    • Most likely chosen charity will be Skylark Youth – raises money to help youth with mental wellness.
    • Each day of the week each group will have different events to raise money, then on Friday each home form has a booth and sells things – games/food sold. And all tickets go towards the charity.
  • First Spirit Day this Thursday (Nov 1) – Student council selling grilled cheese

Non Student Council Items

  • Phys Ed – New Fitness Centre – open and students can use in their own time
  • Fall sports – coming to an end.
  • Winter sports – sign up coming – Boys Basketball, Girls/Boys Swim, Ski and snowboard.
  • Intermurals in progress – Dogball
  • Wellness council – planning haunted maze and Halloween door decorating contest
  • Coffee House instead of school dance – No Semi-formal


  • Could parents be school coaches? Answer: No, need staff advisor in order to run a sports team.
  • Will a list be shared of facebook pages associated with the clubs? Answer: to come

Follow up

  1. LPCI Student Clubs Natalie and Sadie
    Student clubs and councils, part of Ambassador program
  • Role: Promote participation and awareness of the clubs.
  • Sept 27 – Spirit Assembly took place
    • Spirit Assembly – Showed list of the clubs available
  • Oct 4 – First LPCI Club Carousel in 5 years.
    • Learn about the goals for 2018/19 school year.
    • Students were excited and each club got a lot of signups
  • New club – never too late for students to start new clubs.
    • Start online sign up form and teacher to monitor the meetings.
  • Need more information on clubs – listen to announcement, check club listings across from main office, or ask staff advisor.
  • Video was shown at meeting highlighting a few clubs.
  • Tips to participating in a club – Stay informed and attend all the meetings
  • Principal club comment: Document provided at the meeting with a list of all current clubs is a living document, so it’ll be updated on the parent council website. Any questions contact the staff advisors.
  • Questions:
    • Any idea what percentage of students are involved in at least one club? Answer: Not sure but a lot more signups this year over last year. Principal’s answer: Joel suggested for parents to push their students to join a club and it will help their university application and school participation.

Noticed Chemistry club/Physics club – has there been a math club? Answer: Yes, there is a math club.

  1. School Council Chair’s Report: Anna Richter

 Approve Previous Meeting Minutes from Sept 17th – Motion to approve minutes – Approved by Sandra Prichard, Seconded by Kristen Glenister

  • Follow Up To Previous Meeting:
    • We have had parents add to our meeting agenda, thank you, please continue, more meaningful.
    • PSAB Report has been filed per TDSB requirements by Treasurer Tina Eng
    • School Council Insurance form submitted by Erika on our behalf- thanks Erika
    • Volunteer Opportunities: Great way to get to know the school better and other parents. Re proposed list of initiatives & Invitation for parents to become involved: There are different options or roles available, with different skill or time commitments. Let us know what you might like to do (eg: sign-up for emails at parent teacher interviews, especially gr 9 – about 50?% still don’t subscribe to council emails)  please email with comments and how you might support any given initiative.
    • Staff appreciation breakfast – Raised hands for support of this breakfast. It will probably be in January.
    • School Communication – Vice Principal Bibla had requested suggestions for improving communication between parents and school admin be sent directly to VPs or council.
      • None received yet, but please reach out to Stephen Bibla or parent council.
    • Involvement on Parent council – There are lots of opportunities to volunteer on the parent council. Example for Parent Teacher interview night, we are looking for volunteers to help sign up people to the council mailing lists.
  • In the interim:
    • Friday Night Lights – lots of fun, school spirit, community building.
      • Parent council recommends to continue these events and that our school administration continue to work with Northern’s admin to improve community relations
    • Some Sports Congratulations:
      • Girl’s water polo team : 2nd in City Championship
      • Golf: LP made it to the 2 day OFSA finals & came in 4th overall
    • Website improvements (thanks Julie Sole):
      • executive list update,
      • minutes from last meeting posted,
      • uploaded Ontario regulation 612 re School Councils and Parent Involvement Advisory Councils,
      • uploaded the TDSB School Council 101 Guidelines,
      • new webpages: “Current Year Initiatives” and “Your Donations at Work”
        • We hope to have more entries of “your donations at work”
      • PIAC ward 8 meeting- attended Oct 1 ( meeting includes an exchange of ideas re parent involvement), about 10 schools, mixed elem, middle and high schools) looking for rep/liaison  – 3-4 casual 1.5- 2 hr coffee shop mtgs over next 7 months or so, suite someone who has been involved in council fundraising, etc
        • They’ve met once, another time before winter break, 3-4 meetings/year
        • Looking for representative.
      • LP hosted Trustee Candidate’s Presentation – thanks to Principal Gorenkoff for pursing the permit (should have been straightforward but board initially made it challenging).
        • Successful evening, a lot of discussion. 5 of the 7 trustee candidates attended
      • New Trustee Ward 8: Shelley Laskin – Mentioned that the School Council looks forward to working with Shelley and hope her experience navigating TDSB structures will be helpful to LP eg : getting minor repairs done at school; also trustees make the final decision regarding the principal candidate.
      • Interim School Admin meeting held Oct 16 2018 (Pr. Gorenkoff & both VP’s Kelly & Bibla met w/ Erika, Julie Sole & AR)– discussed, among other things presented in tonight’s meeting:
        • School council participation on committees per TDSB guidelines eg budget; School Improvement Plan development
        • Special Ed assessment room- quiet space free of distractions, common IEP accommodation – previously this year only 1 room available but GLE class ongoing in same space; now improved with staff reorganization ( nb: 140 Students with IEPS at LP)
        • Math homework club to help support students; also, in the past, a remedial programme for some students at risk has been quite successful and will be continued (if funding required, school council might be able to offer some support)
        • Improvements required for auditorium stage crew facilities including booth and cage: some done eg gaffers tape, but mould remediation, etc outstanding
      • Development Of SSON – (Document characteristics for a principal if vacancy occurs)
        • School Statements of Need (SSON) – is a list of characteristics for a principal. This report is done annually whether the Principal is leaving or not. Parent consultation at end of this meeting.
      • New Superintendent Kathleen Garner: Erika Boone
        • Erika and Anna met with Kathleen, good to meet before have any issues.
        • School Statement of Need – only comes out if a vacancy.
        • Erika said we want more interest from parents about what they want in the SSON of the Principal.
        • Asked Kathleen’s experience re: best practices and how can we provide the most impact. She had a few ideas.
          • Our role is an advisory role, and get Superintendent’s advice.
        • Shelley Laskin – new trustee, now 30 schools; LP with more high schools now in our ward 8.
        • 500 Outstanding Minor Repairs: support principal to get repairs done.
          • Kathleen: honest, with new gov’t there is not a lot of money; safety issues are tackled first.
          • It was felt she understands the challenges facing schools, like ours, high on learning opportunity index.
          • Expect her to be open to work with.
          • Our job to make sure she knows it’s an issue.
        • Question:If only the repairs that are safety issues are being fixed, of the 500 requested repairs so the school, are any safety issues? No.

Principal comment: things are actually starting to happen, carpenters are in, so some repairs are moving forward.

  • Looking Ahead:
    • Safe & Caring Schools committee mtg later this week: Veronica will attend on our behalf
    • Website improvements: list of volunteer opportunities, list of school clubs and councils and school teams; update to the Parents Concern Protocol with the new Trustee and Superintendents noted
    • Welcome Committee
      • anyone interested in joining and finding way that parents new to the school and community can become informed about the school, city etc
      • email suggestions for developing list of “Tips For New Families” to be posted on our website ASAP and emailed to gr 8 parents with school’s email in June and then with ‘Welcome Back’ email from school in Aug ( nb school will have contact info for incoming students/parents that we don’t get until later in the year eg : end of October.)
    • Welcome Event: Liz Hanson
      • New to the area, Grade 9, new to Lawrence Park, and offer information to meet with other parents. Tips to navigate transition to post on website.
      • Please participate, let us know.
      • If you’ve come and navigated some hurdles, send us an email. We are compiling a list of tips that could be sent out in June for new students.
    • Wellness Event Nov 28: Kelly Green
      • Kelly liases between TDSB partnership and joins Joel and Ruth Kelly and Angela P. Get together once a month and talk about focus areas for mental health. Implement their ideas and projects.
      • Interested to reach a broader parent involvement.
      • Kids go through multiple challenges and bring a mindfulness to it.
      • Nov 28th – Mindful Parenting
        • Free event for all parents in TDSB.
        • If interested make sure you sign up.
  • If interested in getting involved there is also the mental health and wellbeing committee, Heather Johnston, TDSB, gets together once a month also.
  • Talk to Kelly if interested in getting involved.
  • Question – is there a wellness club.
    • Yes, student wellness club: has been for 4 years.
    • Also Wellness Committee: administration led, parent & student reps join.
  • Music Curriculum: Veronica Bak
    • Met with Ms Wong, music teacher. Concerned that experienced gr 10 band players in Grade 9/10 split with many beginners. Experienced player’s interest in music is slipping.
    • Ms Wong is trying to make the best of the situation. Had 35 beginner grade 9s, so split into 2 classes, and Grade 10 was down to 13-14, so two mixed grade 9/10 classes.
    • Bringing in helpers to work with the beginners and break the class into 2 to work with the more advanced and beginners.
    • Ms Wong supports smaller groups performing at the school for different school events.
    • Parent Music Council – She’s interested in being on the council.
      • Ms Wong is looking for past Chicago itinerary.
      • Help organize the kids at event.
      • Separate fundraising for the music program.
    • Ms Wong’s thinking of starting Audition only stage band.
    • Question: Monday after school group, band, is optional for grade 9. If they can manage at the level, they can join. It used to be mandatory.
      • Parents said it was better to be mandatory. But now it becomes a debate if the kids should attend.
      • Grade 10 and up is mandatory, Grade 9 is an audition.
      • Question/Comment – Question/Comment – Music needs parent support. Are past materials available? Past trip itineraries? Concert programs? What music have they played in the past few years? Students were asked to bring in prior concert programs/Chicago itinerary to fill in the gaps.
    • Joel – wants to have the program built and encourages students to take music. Each class has 30 kids, she has 175 kids, so that’s 6 sections and 1 full time teacher. If add another 90 kids that’s another half teacher the school could get.
  • Fun and fund raising: Anne Marie Armstrong
    Fundraising comes in two ways:
    • Direct Online Donation campaign going out this week. And those donations create the student enrichment funds.
      • Last year money raised from fundraising campaign went to pole vault, rugby jerseys, supplies for murals
      • Stay tuned for email. You’ll get a tax receipt for any money donated.
    • Social – so much good feedback from last year’s event and this year will be more focused on social than fundraising.
      • Perhaps jam with students performing. At last year social, about 12 students performed.
      • March 2018 – had first ever parent social and FUNdraiser, raising $13,500 towards items for the wellness room.
    • Question
      • When will the track getting painted? Answer: It is considered a major repair and not expected to be done.

        Issue is if we raise money can’t go towards capital changes. Even if we raised $20k track the money couldn’t necessarily go towards the track, need board approval and support.
  1. Principal’s Report: Joel Gorenkoff
    • Thanks for the dialogue, all stuff he can take back. We have challenge but have dedicated hard working staff trying to run extra curricular events.
    • Thanks for coming out. It’s a great turnout. He’s concerned when more parents don’t come out as he brings things first to this meeting before other parents.
    • The students really are great and run things while they learn leadership skills.
    • Buddy heads – coordinated 330 kids on recent grade 9 trip was well done.
    • Nov 15th – Grade Reporting Cycle – Marks, learning skills, attendance and lates.
      1. Open the package, and information on booking parent teacher interviews.
      2. Don’t wait 3-5 days, you won’t get an interview if you don’t sign up quick.
    • Nov 20th – Parent Teacher meetings.
      1. Look at the details on the report card, not just the mark. Look at the breakdown on the S G E.
      2. More and more kids coming late; poor attendance and punctuality – correlation to marks.
    • Want to build resiliency in the kids.
    • Talk to teachers at the parent teacher interviews.
  • Staffing:
    1. Just lost 2 LTOs, but very specific rules how to hire.
    2. His goal is to hire the best talent possible.
  • Class Splits – you may have been affected. Received 1.5 more teachers.
    1. Some went to control class sizes.
    2. One teacher had 192 students, and had 2 classes that were split so she had a more reasonable number.
    3. Some went to special education.
    4. Class sizes are at the max at this school.
  • Buddy’s – transition program to help new students more comfortable with LP.
    1. Hope if your child is in grade 9 to attend the moving in sessions.
    2. Very important to encourage your child to attend. Meetings have now gone to monthly. Previously was weekly.
  • School Improvement Plan – A lot of things the school decides to do is qualitative and for quantitative reasons. Need to look at the data to decide what to put in place. There are mental wellness issues to address. The superintendent assumes the principal will put a plan in place to always get better.
    1. Three foci – Wellness, Equity, Achievement. (Student & Parent Feedback – important to get that back to improve the school.)
  • Equity – every kid has the right to be here and be successful, to come to LP and be welcomed and belong.
    1. School’s changing – 10 years ago, 86% identified white, now 68%.
    2. Multi culturalism: important for staff to get trained on all these to equip and do it well.
  • Equity lens – is the staff always looking through an equity lens. Eg: does the yearbook include all; also be mindful of equity when buying resources.
  1. Believes some things need to be free. Student activity fee should go towards some welcome events, like a hot dog.
  2. Prom – will be $30 cheaper to be more affordable. New location.
  3. Orange Shirt day, Pink Shirt Day, Holocaust Day, teaching the kids to stand for something.
  • Look of the school changing – Changing the look of the walls – modern boards, new murals going up. Archive room will be created for the old pictures. Stay tuned, check out the pillars and the stuff on the wall.
  • Wellness – Kelly represents the parents on the committee. It’s a council and very important council. Some students still don’t come forward if they need help.
    1. Workshops – kids are anxious, nervous, why aren’t more helping them. Anxiety so prevalent in this school.
    2. Health and Fitness Room– modern stuff, open space. Thanks to the Parent Council for raising the funds that went towards it.
  • A lot of other initiatives.
  • Achieve –for kids to do well.
    1. Staff have formed an assessment / evaluation committee to look at best practices. Meeting at the beginning of November.
    2. Global Competencies – Prepare students for the future, skills to learn 20 years from now.
  • Inclusive Design – want to ensure to use inclusive design. Our kids are our kids and whatever abilities they bring they belong here and want to ensure successful.
  1. December meeting – show more things that are actually happening.
  • Budget Priorities – speak up if students or parents think something is lacking.
    1. $35K has been spent on new laptops, 3D printers.
    2. Want to improve the facility, can’t buy AC, but can get gym painted, so want to have it look esthetically better.
  • Textbooks – e-textbooks. 34K set aside. Eg: 310 kids in grade 11 math, could buy one new set for 1 grade for 1 course. Instead, look at digital technologies. $5 for online book. Providing resources on limited budget.
  1. Budget cut by $9,000. Where can parents help – basketball uniforms, ..
  2. Yearbook – $30,000, $7000 planner, $5000 for buddies and transitions, $34000 for clubs/teams etc. It doesn’t fund everything. $31,000 for occasional teachers – sounds a lot, but needed when teachers go to deca/school events. Also $27,000 for IT, total just isn’t enough.
  3. Question – could parents donate to certain things? – yes like rugby shirts, 3D printer..etc as more parents would get behind it knowing where the money goes
  • Question / Comment – create wish list of things the school needs.
    1. Parents will donate to things they want, if a list is provided of what the school needs.
    2. Suggested – Socials should be a fundraiser.
    3. JR – has fundraisers each year and provides a list of what is required.
    4. Enrichment fund – is a great way for groups to get funds.
    5. Comments – yearbook/agendas –
  • Fitness room – put all staff through a fitness routine to realize what is possible.
    1. Open morning, lunch most days and staff are volunteering.
  • Question: having phones in classroom isn’t mindfulness and not being mindful to the class if checking phones, feels it’s a real problem and disrespectful in a meeting/class to be on the phone. Parent thinks there should be a policy against use of phones in schools.
    • Joel – said Ford Gov’t has said there may be a policy coming.
    • Challenge you to put your phone away for 48 hours.
  1. Teacher Report
    • No formal report provided

Response to phones in class: teachers start every class with “put your phones away please”; nb: often parents texting kids in class.

  1. Parent Items
  • Alleviating Year End Anxiety: Principal : can’t really change schedule of assessments, policy is that 30% assessment happens in last 6 weeks; semestering can reduce intensity; 8 courses challenges students’ time management; encouraged teachers to space things out
  • LPCI Grads preparedness for post-secondary (reference U of Waterloo report 10% grade drop vs average of 16%) vis-a vis university entry grades and accessing scholarships (hence migration to Blythe? Blythe numbers are very elevated) 80% at LP =86% at other schools; universities that mine data adjust acceptance threshold based on high school issuing transcripts; good news is that LP students are generally prepared; students want good learning skills; however, LP students may be disadvantaged re scholarships
  • Question – do bell curves happen if one grade very low.
    Answer: Marks aren’t bell curved.  Discussed with superintendent today and made her aware it’s a big issue here. LP may have highest number of kids taking courses outside of the school
  • Question: Is anyone tracking history of marks dropping.? Hard to get good marks at LP? Answer:Joel said some kids want quick fix. Seeing lower work ethic. Hard to get quality math teachers. Get leadership from the board and bring them in and talk about math issues.

Request for update from assessment committee: Principal agreed.

  1. Open Discussion

Scrap paper was handed out to all attendees to have each person submit a comment re requisite characteristic what you would like in the next principal, if a vacancy were to occur. This SSON report is created annually, as mentioned above.

Adjournment:  Motioned by: Jennifer Tivilak , Seconded by Jennifer Fry