PC Minutes from February 13th, 2015

WELCOME!      8:15am                                                                         Shannon Wright, PC Co-Chair


UPCOMING EVENTS: 8:158:30am                                                               

  • PC Board for 2015-2016: Nominations in March, Vote in May             Shannon Wright
  • We have one co-chair position available (to serve with Michelle Lawrence) as well as all other officer positions
  • The board is not overly time-consuming.
  • Being on the board is a fantastic way to get involved with the school.
  • You can go to the ABS website and click on parent council to review responsibilities for each position.
  • You may nominate yourself or someone else.
  • All current Board members are eligible to run for their current office (or another office). A person may serve in the same officer position for up to 3 terms. All offices are 1 year term except Co-Chairs which have a 2 year term.
  • Annual Giving Campaign Frances Beasley
  • Campaign will kick off in April
  • Two information sessions for classroom reps will be held
  • The Campaign committee will email information in the next couple of weeks
  • This is the one time a year when we ask parents to consider donating in place of children selling items throughout the year.
  • Movie Afternoon: March 6th             Lindsay Beane
  • GREAT opportunity for accruing VOLUNTEER HOURS!
  • Students released 11:30-12 to come into movie space
  • Still need volunteers for clean up (approx. 2:30-3:30) and traffic assistance (2:30)
  • Students picked up from the back space. There is no car line pick up.
  • Volunteer needed for 9:30 a.m. for popcorn prep
  • Snacks & drinks sold throughout the movie afternoon. Need volunteers to cover this.
  • Bathroom coverage throughout movie time
  • Big Hero 6 and Milo & Otis will most likely be the features for this movie afternoon.
  • Email Lindsay Beane for information or to volunteer at LGBeane2@aol.com


CLASS WEBSITE TRAINING 8:308:50am                                                                  Sherri Carter

  • Demonstration of online tools to help organize your classroom volunteers and activities
    • Our class reps do a great job with keeping up with parents. Sherri has been using a Shutterfly system to make it even simpler for many years as a class rep.
    • You need to be a Shutterfly member (free) and follow a few simple steps to make this simple communication venue happen.
    • Class reps set this up for parent communication
    • This is an excellent way to allow parents to sign up for class activities, swimming volunteers, etc. or simply when you need several parents signing up for several slots.
    • We discussed having a training session for new classroom parents next year in the fall. Sherri agreed to lead this training for next year.
    • May make sense for all classrooms to use the same system so Class Reps and parents all become comfortable with this format. Ultimately makes it easier for Class Reps and parents to stay informed.
    • See notes from Sherri’s presentation at the end of the meeting minutes.


PRINCIPALS REPORT 8:50-9:15am                                                                 Robin Hollis, Principal

  • 2015-2016 school calendar
  • A draft of the 2015-2016 school calendar was distributed and reviewed.
  • The ABS Board will review and vote on approval of this calendar at their March meeting.
  • The ABS Board made a change in snow day policy- There will be 3 days of missed weather before we begin to “make up” those days. Next year, April 4 & 5 are marked for make-up days in case of bad weather. The other make-up days are at the end of the school year in early June.
  • We always start on a Wednesday (next year= August 19, 2015) so that Kindergarteners have a staggered start in the classroom (1/3 of class attends each day for that first week). This also allows time for us to bring students in from the wait list if necessary.
  • 2015-2016 Lottery
  • This is random lottery with a Bingo Ball machine.
  • We had 454 applications for 26 slots this year. Wow. Reminds us of how awesome this place is and how lucky we all are to be here!
  • The names are drawn for waiting list until the very last name is called.
  • A parent shared that her daughter has been accepted to Salem Academy and is one of 5-6 who has been accepted and that Salem Academy is excited to have ABS students attend because of the high quality of education they have received here.
  • School Report Card
  • “We are so much more than a C school.”
  • We just received a ranking of 9 out of all of the STATE charter schools and then received a “C”. It’s confusing. We met all 25 of the targets for annual measurable objectives.
  • Robin explained that her own children received a great education at a school with arts integration and meaningful learning experiences, as are the students at ABS now.
  • A parent pointed out that one of her older children goes to a HAG school in another county and that school- where all students are certified HAG- is the only A middle school in that county.
  • Robin explained that WSFCS school district gave different school district grades and most of those grades came out a letter above what the state assigned. WSFCS wanted to recognize schools with special challenges.
  • The school’s grade typically reflects the socioeconomic status of the children attending that school.
  • By law we have to report this “grade” to parents. ABS will keep the focus on doing the right thing for kids every day, as we always have.
  • A parent asked about “expected growth” and Robin explained that sometimes the data looks at individual growth and sometimes at cohort growth. This is the way the state measures teachers. Robin said that she doesn’t want to discount growth but know that we focus and put attention on continuing growing our individual students.
  • One parent asked about the “target” points discussed on the report.
  • The scale will be different next year since this measure is new this year.
  • Another parent explained that he was sore about the “grade” and he realized that his child is thriving here because ABS is right for his child. His question was would our school change the way we manage our instruction to improve scores and begin “teaching to the test” like so many other schools do. The answer from Robin was no.
  • Robin explained that we do an incredible job with developing each individual learner. We simply want our data to reflect our efforts.
  • Robin also explained we have other measures for our school- parent survey being one, that always ranks us so high.
  • Qualitative data is still important so the public recognizes this valuable learning place.
  • Parents pointed out the desire our students have to come to school compared to many students being talked at about testing from this point to the end of the year. Another parent pointed to the diversity of our school compared to others with “better grades”. Robin explained that if you go to the website set up for reporting data, this information is there.
  • Robin pointed out that our reading is exceptional and our teachers are gifted and highly experienced in this area. She explained that our math instruction shifted with Common Core and our teachers are working hard, as always, to address those changes. ABS is addressing this with teacher training in order to enhance our Science and Math instruction.
  • Some of the learning we gain “outside” of our school is challenging to bring back to ABS
  • Michelle pointed out that our math scores have grown tremendously over the last several years.
  • Robin explained that we do not teach to the test but that the teachers respond to data as it comes in.
  • M Class and MAP testing window closed Wednesday and Monday so that information should come home in Thursday packet next week. These assessments give teachers information about individual students.



  • Board of Directors: Tuesday, March 10th @5:45pm, 7th Street
  • Parent Council: Friday, March 13th @8:15am, Teacher Resource Room, MLK Bldg


Submitted 2/13/15

April C. Greenwood


Setting Up a Parent Rep Site on Shutterfly

  1. Create a Shutterfly account if you don’t already have one at http://www.shutterfly.com and sign in
  2. Click on Share (at the top of the page) and the orange Create a Site button. Click on Make a Free Site.
  3. Choose Classroom, Select your Role (Room Parent), Grade and name your site (something easy to remember for your parents)
    • Choose the Design for Your Site (you can click on each one to find one you like)
    • Shutterfly then guides you the basics of set up:

+ List the teacher name and room parent contact info

+ Post the class list and parent contact info

+ Fill out the class calendar (I pull up the ABS calendar in a separate window to enter this info in – at this time you can choose to have a reminder sent x number of days or the day before an event to your parents, alsoyou can choose to invite parents after and event to post pictures on the site.)


Other things you can do on your site:

Create Volunteer Sign-Up Sheets, Add Pictures, Add Your Teacher’s Wish List for the Classroom


Add Links in the Sidebar:

Parent Council Minutes | Your Teacher’s Blog or Site | ABS on Facebook | ABS Parent Council on Facebook | Reflex Math | The Arts Based School |


Add Files to the SIdebar:

ABS Ways to Help | Chaperone Policiies | Files Pertinent to Your Grade or Class


Other things I have on my site sidebar:

Don’t forget to link your card at the checkout to help earn money for ABS!

Harris Teeter 5054 Food Lion 212359 Target 118421

Be sure to save your boxtops for boxtop collection day(list next collection day date)!

A Reminder that our class is Peanut-Free


I update my site often and I include at the top of the page the monthly Volunteer Needs (with links for sign up sheets within the site if applicable)

Shutterfly has done a great job of making this user-friendly, but please email me with any questions – sherribcarter@triad.rr.com


Sherri Carter