Hilltop Parent Council Minutes

October 2019

In Attendance

Pre-K: Fabrizzia Gamba (Serving 1st year); Kindergarten: Lauren Lynch (1), Pamela Diaz-Barriga (2); 1st Grade: Vanessa Cerchio (2), Amy Shammas, Co-Chair (2); 2nd Grade: Dorana Brunhammer, Secretary (2), Taryn Cottone, Co-Chair, (1); 3rd Grade: Amy Golier (1), Cheryl Brown (2); 4th Grade: Bryan Hill (1), Suzy Markwick (1)

Also in Attendance: David Heller, Principal

Positive Feedback

  • 5-Star reviews on Niche.com for Hilltop Elementary School

  • Great student participation for the Kids Care event 10/17/2019 preparing posters for the Food Drive to be held from October 28th - November 20th

Follow-up From September 19, 2019 Meeting

  • Parent Council Representative to also serve as an HSA liaison proposal discussed with HSA President and Co-President and not feasible on its own.

    • Only HSA board members are allowed to attend board meetings

    • Pamela Diaz-Barriga is now the HSA co-treasurer

    • Request to have HSA representative present monthly updates at Parent Council Meetings

  • Teacher Treasure Fundraiser to be part of a fundraiser in the spring, most likely the Community Night.
      • Community Night details not yet available - sometime in March

      • Community Night benefits from the Mendham/Chester Municipal Alliance funds

        • monies have been used for things like the recently installed “Buddy Bench”

  • Lunch menu: having healthier menus or options for the kids
      • Other districts’ Pomptonian websites provide parents the option to pre-order specifically what their children will receive from drop-down selections. Is this a possibility for Hilltop?

      • Reported instances of running out of some foods towards the end of lunch periods for later classes

      • Mr. Heller will be meeting with a group of Parent Council Members to gather ideas and then will request a meeting with Pomptonian to discuss concerns and possible changes.

New Business

  • Choice Reading - Just Right books are not going home to read every night. There’s an increased number of nights when students are able to choose what to read in the older grades

    • Students can always read their leveled books on these nights. Choice books are a way to allow students to read a variety of genres and not feel confined to the books chosen by the teacher.

    • Mendham Township Library has books assigned by reading level

  • What is the homework/test policy for school holidays?

    • Parents should communicate with teachers regarding concerns/issues with assigned homework - not all holidays are represented/observed in the school calendar.

    • “best practice” - if a holiday is an “observed” calendar holiday, there should be no homework

Next Parent Council Meeting: December 10 @ 9 Next Board of Education Meeting: Nov 26 @ 7:15

Parent Council Purpose, Structure and Policies

The Parent Council serves on a volunteer basis as a liaison to the school community in Mendham Borough. Board policy Relations With Parents provides that there shall be a Parent Council for each school (see policies 1010.1, 10101P) to meet regularly with the principal to discuss matters of interest. The primary objective of this Council is to foster dialogue and communication between parents and administration and to provide advice and counsel to administration relating to school-wide topics.

The Councils are not a substitute for individuals having direct contact with the appropriate school personnel. There is a board policy entitled Public Complaints and Inquiries (see policy 1312). Although members of the Parent Council may be contacted for advice with respect to the most appropriate way (teacher, guidance, principal, superintendent, Board) for parents and other interested parties to seek resolution of complaints, grievances, and misunderstandings, members of the Parent Council should not be contacted for the purpose of intervening in disputes between administration or staff members and individual students or parents.