School Council Minutes

West Oak Public School Council Meeting Minutes

Monday, January 15th, 2024 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm


Instructions to School Council: Please review and bold your name if you approve these minutes

Attendees (3 staff, 7 members, 0 guests)


Maria Solomon-Dias

Jenny Hay

Lesley Andrews

Vivek Kansal

Sarah Reid


Lori Chen

Ashraf Al Daoud

Bianca Smalley

Bethy Brink

Lynsey Horner

Kendra Baillie

Kate Kuok

Andrew Gaudet

Parul Agarwal

Ashley Mohammed

Deborah Hunt-Kansal

Karen Skitt

Olga Klimenkova

Erin Capel

Florence Kan

Jana Jardali

Qian (Cathy) Ma

Bryan Luren

Action items are highlighted in yellow below. Approved items are in red.

1.    Welcome & Introduction - Vivek

2.    Review Minutes from Last Meeting - All

Bianca asked that we summarise action items. Vivek to add action items from the last meeting to the agenda for future meetings.

3.    Treasurer’s Report - Sarah

                     Withdrawals - Previously approved items from last meeting:

i.          $1000 for Golden Horseshoe Music Festival band trip: $380 withdrawn already and $620 still outstanding

ii.        $1310.80 withdrawn for Brave education workshops

                     Funds received - Sub days

                                   i.  Oct = $216, Nov = $385.74, Dec =$229.35 (not yet in account)

$6804.10 in account (including Nov and Dec sub day funds not yet deposited), of which $620 is already committed to the music festival. Therefore, $6184.10 available for use in our fundraising account. In addition, there are some funds for PIC, PRO and teacher appreciation.

4.    School Updates - Maria, Lesley, Jenny ○ Maria:

i.          The school has a new supply superintendent, Tina Salmini. Jackie Newton, the usual superintendent, has been on leave since the beginning of the year. The previous interim superintendent was David Boag and he finished in Dec.

ii.        Kindergarten registration has opened. There was a steep decline for this year’s registration. Usually, there are 75-80 new JK students but this year only 43 students registered (and one has withdrawn).

Funding for next year will be based on this year’s 43 students. iii. School has received a final budget of $97,000 for this year. Last year was $112,000 and the difference is due to decreased enrollment numbers. iv.       Brave workshops have been completed. They were successful and



i.  Three carts are in the building with hand tools ( jr hacksaw, manual hand drill, glue guns, etc.) that all grades can use. Teachers are getting trained in proper use and safety. Students will bring home a safety contract for parents to sign after they are trained, then will be able to use these tools in class. Ashraf asked what classes these will be for. Lesley said tools can be used for any classes. She explained the initial focus is using tools safely but with time, design and other learning elements can be incorporated.


i.           All the same clubs listed last meeting are running.

ii.         Breakfast cart is now off the ground and has run 2 days already.

Foods include fruit, Cheese String, etc. This has been very successful. Lynsey asked if the breakfast program can take home baked goods.

Jenny clarified that due to rules around what can be served, homemade goods cannot be accepted.

iii.        Horseshoe valley ski trip is being planned for grades 7-8 on Feb 14.

iv.        Grade 8 grad trip at Olympia sports camp from June 19-21 is being planned, pending superintendent approval. Hopefully it will be approved in the next few days).

v.         Bianca asked if GSA is coming back. Jenny will touch base with teachers to see and report back.

5.    Funding Request - Maria

    $2396.55 for 1 hand cart (~$275 HST will be returned). During meeting, all members attending approved of this but we did not have quorum. Vivek moved to approve via email, seconded by Bianca. Following members voted yes: Andrew, Jana, Ashraf, Kendra, Olga, Lynsey, Bethy, Bryan, Lori. Motion approved via email.

6.    Council Discussion - All

    Sarah presented some information about fundraising that she received at a recent HDSB meeting for school council chairs and treasurers.

i.          Fundraising plans need to be submitted to HDSB by Oct 31 each year. Any changes need approval from the superintendent before proceeding.

ii.        Fundraisers need to have a goal and purpose that the council is fundraising for and this must be communicated to parents. Funds raised cannot be used for something else.

iii.       Consider inclusivity and conflicts of interest. iv.     Sponsors can’t get tax receipts.

v.  Try to preorder and minimise cash. Do not use rewards cards to purchase something for an event. Don’t use GoFundMe, don’t send products home (e.g. chocolates), don’t use funscript (gift cards). HDSB recommended popcorn, pizza, movie nights, silent auctions, plants, fun fairs as fundraisers. HDSB has a licence for movies so we don’t have to pay separately for movie night licences.

Move-a-thon: Vivek how this is organised. Maria explained this usually occurs in May/June and is well-received, school-wide and fun. In order to plan it, council needs to:

i.  Decide on a goal for fundraising. We decided to fundraise for Chromebooks this year, since 200 had to be retired this year and students are currently at a 1:4 Chromebook:student ratio. Multiple fundraisers will be needed over several years to fund the number of

Chromebooks required. (e.g. 76 Chromebooks = $25,000 this year) ii.    School posts fundraiser on School Cash online. If anyone pays in cash, someone from council needs to come and count. Last year, this wasn’t required as no one paid in cash.

iii.  School council books Professor Jamz and the school makes a deposit. Vivek will call and book Professor Jamz, ideally before May 29 to not conflict with EQAO. No volunteers from council needed the day of the event.

Movie night: According to Bianca, historically movie nights are community-building events that we don’t charge for but have had great turn out. Captain R Wilson school does fundraising so can talk to them, if needed.

i.  Group discussed using PIC money to include parent-oriented events during movie night. Council currently has ~$500 PIC and $1000 PRO money to use towards parent-oriented activities and we need Andrew to tell us what and when PIC funds we may receive this year. ii.   Bianca clarified what kind of council involvement was required in the past for a movie night: someone to buy a DVD, and a few people (e.g.

2) to help sweep up at the end of the night. School brings in a projector. iii.      After discussion, the group decided:

Movie night on April 25. Movie will be chosen at the March 5 meeting, targeting students from grades 2-6 (highest turnout).

Snacks will be sold. Council might purchase these from Costco, but specifics will be decided at the next meeting and guidelines about what is allowed must be considered.

PIC-oriented activity will also be included and members were asked to brainstorm and bring ideas to the March meeting. Note - council would administer the activity, not school staff/teachers.

Spring planter/seeding/seed fundraiser: Lori previously emailed a table with 4 companies that offer planters or seeds (Terra, Vandermeer Nursery,

Seed2Go, Make It Sow). Of these, Terra and Make it Sow seem most appropriate. As Terra requires a minimum $500 order, has bulkier products (planters) that may make it harder to distribute orders and this is our first year, the council decided to try Make It Sow, which sells seeds. Maria clarified that since we do not have a superintendent, she will approve this fundraiser, since it is past the Oct 31 deadline.

                                  i.  Proposed timeline:

This week: Lori to sign up for a fundraiser at this week and choose the School Cash online program. Lori to send information about fundraiser to Bianca to make a flyer.

Next week: Bianca will make a flyer to advertise fundraiser. Vivek and Lori to approve flyer, then Bianca to send flyer to school to send to families. Ad will be included in WAG, aiming for Jan 26.

Feb 16: Deadline for families to order. ●   Feb 17-19: Submit master order (Lori)

Week of Feb 26: Distribute orders. Ashraf, Sarah, Vivek and Lori will sort orders by student and class for distribution by teachers. Lori or Vivek will contact Leanne to try to provide labels for students and classes.

Art Cards by Kids - Information from Karen briefly reviewed. The workload and how it links to the academic curriculum were unclear. Also, this fundraiser might be better placed for the holidays, so likely more effective for next year.

For discussion at a future meeting.

Subway lunch sign-up - Council decided not to add another day of the week for LunchBox orders and to keep subs, since they still seem popular with the students. Vivek to send a reminder email for council members to sign up as sub day volunteers.

7.    Parent Involvement Committee - Andrew was unable to attend

8.    New Business/Parent Questions - None

Meeting adjourned at 19:58

School Council Meeting Dates:

November 6, 2023 (completed)

Week of January 15, 2024 (virtual - current)

Week of March 5, 2024

Week of April 8, 2024

Week of May 6, 2024

Resources of Interest

For any council related matters please feel free to reach out to us at

Halton District School Board Click on the Parents & Community tab to go to School Council information.

Parent Involvement Advisory Board (Province)

People for Education