Parent Group Mission

Parent Group Mission: To build community and support the staff and one another, for the good of our children (construir una comunidad y apoyar el personal apoyarnos los unos a los otros, por el bien de nuestros hijos)

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

School lunch improvement meeting April 11, 2018

Lunch time Volunteer Observations and Suggestions

for making school lunch

April 11, 2018
Paula Astudillo and Rachael Sanowski

environmentally friendly in a friendly environment


    often no water or milk for later lunch shifts
    if a student wants a beverage, he or she has to wait in the lunch line and take an entire lunch
    if wrapped silverware falls to the ground, it gets thrown away
    if a student takes silverware without taking a lunch, the kitchen person yells
    if a student wants just part of a lunch, the kitchen person refuses to allow this
    the atmosphere is often hostile and aggressive (kitchen person and school staff)
    some students take milk or water but never drink it.
    wasting of food
    inconsistency in what can be brought to school and what is sold at school


    water/milk table supervised by a staff member or volunteer
    a return box located at the water/milk table
    students not taking lunch must first eat their brought lunch but then may take a beverage or return food from the water/milk table
    consistency in what can be brought to school and what is sold at school
    staff awareness and education—efficiency and respect
    student awareness and education—waste (sustainability), sharing (generosity), intrinsic responsibility
    recycling stations
    on Fridays, collect leftover food to give to volunteer organizations

Saturday, May 12, 2018

February and March Parent group meetings

February 23:  Mr. Donner shared about Keep Growing Detroit's Garden Resource Program and a woman from La Vida at Chass Clinic talked about Domestic Violence and the programs they offer at La Vida for women and youth.  Raquel had some announcements about things happening in southwest Detroit and a community improvement grant we could be part of, if anyone was interested.  We introduced ourselves and shared something we or our children were currently learning. 

March 23: A Southwest Detroit Asthma Awareness group shared about how to reduce allergens in the home and invited parents to sign up for a home visit and free smoke alarms and green cleaning supplies. 

Paula shared about how the lunch room environment could use some parent input.  A meeting to brainstorm about improving the lunch room environment will be held April 11 after school at Rachael's house.

A sign up sheet for the Teacher Appreciation Lunch went around.  We agreed that last year there were too many desserts and not enough main dishes, so we changed the proportions. 

October -December parent group meetings

October 27: 

Mr. Donner and some parents shared announcements, mostly about places to go for Halloween fun.  Then we went around and introduced ourselves and shared what we do for Halloween and/or Day of the Dead. (I don't remember what else happened at that meeting, since I am a slacker and am writing about it 6 months after it happened)

November 17: 

First, a woman from gleaners came in to talk about a stand alone introductory cooking class (Cooking Matters), as well as a six week class.  We agreed to have the stand alone class in place of the December parent group meeting (December 15, 9am-10am) and see at that time if there was interest in the six week class.

Secondly, concerns: after school pick up safety and efficiency.  Complaints were targeted at parents who drive through the circle drive at pick up (passing the cars that are waiting), instead of waiting their turn.  One parent said she arrived to school 10 or so minutes before school got out and waited 40 minutes in the circle drive to get her child.  Another parent said that kids coming out of the middle school hall come out slower and parents socialize or something and then parents waiting behind them to get to the elementary door have to just wait, and their children are waiting outside, and it's frustrating and inefficient.  Parents also agreed that sometimes their kids don't come out, and the kids say it's because they never heard their name called because it is so loud in the classroom where they are waiting.  One parent recommended putting children on the "walker" list and waiting on the street for children to come out.  She also suggested that parents volunteer to make the process more efficient. 

The other concern a parent brought up was security.  She reported that, at Trunk or Treat, she saw a man on the street in front of the school park and get his gun out and put it in his pants.  He did not enter school property and he eventually got back into his car and left.  But this worried the parent and got her thinking about security measures at the school.  One parent said that Michigan law allows parents to come into the school building with guns.  Which is restrictedly true, I guess.  At the time I wasn't sure how to respond because I wasn't sure of the law, but the link below is helpful.  Though the laws are confusing and irresponsible, in my opinion.  It seems that people with a CPL can openly carry a weapon into a school but cannot have it concealed (which is so ridiculous to me, but I don't want to get into it).  The link below tries to explain the current Michigan law regarding guns and schools.

Thirdly, we shared what we were thankful for about the school and the staff.  Things that came up were...Mr. Donner always has a smile and takes a moment to be friendly, even when busy.  Mr. Donner is a good listener.  Mr. Donner came BACK, as the first principal to stay longer than a year.  He is not giving up!  One parent (with history) said she feels more aligned with the school than she has in a long time and feels that communication is getting better. She finds the new teachers to be caring and considerate.  Parents expressed thanks for Emma and Sandra, for being so friendly and so helpful and going the extra mile to help them.  Many parents said the school was friendly.  Parents also expressed appreciation for their students' teachers, who support their students in the good and the bad, speak positively to the kids.

December 15: Cooking Matters introductory cooking class led by Mariela Cruz of Gleaners

Thursday, October 26, 2017

September 22 Parent Group and Principal Coffee

Mr. Donner graciously provided snacks and coffee and shared some resources and updates with parents.  There were only a few of us in attendance, since the automated text service wasn't working correctly.  We talked about early dismissal Wednesdays, which are to give teachers more time to work together on curriculum and communication.  Parents shared that having them without a specific pattern is a bit confusing (and challenging for working parents, I have heard).  We also discussed having AM and PM parent group meetings. We decided to try having both AM and PM meetings each month for a while and see if people come to the PM meetings.  I (Rachael) shared my desire to have parents form a cooking class team to go into classrooms and give cooking demonstrations.  I also shared my desire for parent volunteers in the lunch room and at recess.  The protocol for this is to get permission from Ms. Griffin to volunteer.  Lunch and recess times are from 11am to 12:20pm.

Last Spring's parent group meetings

So, I never recorded the last two parent groups from last spring.  I'll try to catch up now.  In April, we were making preparations for the Teacher Appreciation Lunch--writing cards and making decorations for the teacher's lounge.  We started off eating Hilary's banana bread and other treats and talking about things about our children that challenge us at times.  It was good to listen and laugh as we shared our parenting struggles. 

At the end of May, we got to meet Ms. Griffin, who shared a bit about her role as Dean of Culture and how she advocates for students by trying to understand conflict situations from both sides and help students and teachers work together.  Then we talked about our parent group likes and wishes.  The main likes were getting to know each other and the success of the teacher appreciation lunch. 

The wishes were:

  1. Parents teaching a cooking class for students and staff
  2. Better communication
  3. Parent education
  4. Unity
  5. End of year celebrations
  6. More parent leaders to step up
  7. Find a good balance of sharing resources between parents, staff and community
  8. Have our own space
  9. Have toys/activities for little kids
  10. Snacks and coffee/drinks (sign-up at end of meeting)
  11. AM and PM parent meetings with childcare so all parents feel welcome

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Parent meeting notes from March 31

We gathered around the table with coffee and clementines and shared our names and what we like to do to in our free time.

We shared resources on the white board.

Call Laura Luna (THAW outreach specialist) for help with energy bill: 313-578-1037

Southwest Detroit Immigrant and Refugee Center  Free Legal Clinic Wednesdays 12pm -7pm
Ford Resource and Engagement Center 2826 Bagley Ave. Detroit 48216. No appointment necessary. 313-881-2903

Events involving State Rep Stephanie Chang and District 6 Councilwoman Raquel Casteneda Lopez and the Chadsey-Community Organization

We prepared some more for the Teacher Appreciation Lunch on May 3, 11am -1pm.  We passed around lists to sign up for main dishes, side dishes, drinks and desserts.  Afterwards, the lists were placed on the Parent Board in the office for more people to sign up.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Parent Group February 24 notes

We went around and shared an activity we like to do with our kids.  Some activities shared were: going to the movies, playing games at home, going to the park, going to Ann Arbor, and reading together.

We discussed organizing a teacher appreciation lunch or dinner in May.  No one wanted to be in charge, so we settled on making a list of names and phone numbers, and Josefina was going to organize a group text.

We then shared some resources on the board:
Covenant Community Care: offers medical, dental and behavioral health services (just down the street at 5716 Michigan Avenue
Detroit Garden Resource Program: for $10 get seeds and plants throughout the spring and summer.
Chadsey Condon Community Organization: events and resources in the community
Jazzetta mentioned the Michigan child ID card that is only $10 per child.