End of Year Special Purchases-draft

May 2016

Beautification of Kinder Garden ($1,350-$1,600)

Addition of inviting paths ($500-$750) and a bench ($750) to the Kinder Garden to create a welcoming front porch space for the school. add bird houses and other beautification($100)

hands-on science kits and replenishment supplies ($100 per grade)

A parent suggested purchasing a specific company's science kits that were aligned to TEKS for different grades. These could be purchased, one for each grade with additional supplies that are consumables purchased and replenished. This could help teachers bypass the prohibitive cost of hands-on learning verses using solely tech and paper practice that fit into their classroom budgets.

In the event that the pre-made kits are not available or etc, I offered to Mr. Hatfield to customize hands-on class sets for common science TEKS with input from a sampling of science teachers. The goal would be to prepare a kit for at least one science obj. per grade. These would be stored either in the workroom or Mr. Hatfield explained that some items could be barcoded and stored in the library as is done with sets of tech. Teachers would be informed of the availability of these items annually by the teacher mentoring program among staff.

Buddy Bench/Table in existing shade ($500-$1400)

A parent had seen the Buddy Bench in use and suggested that we have it here.

CSISD Elementary Counselors asked the CSISD Ed Foundation for a grant for buddy benches that was denied. Ms. Brewer has research available to share about the effectiveness this originally German anti-bullying tool that is now popular world-wide.

Here is a youtube video that explains the buddy bench: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFqxqzI71Ic

Mr. Hatfield suggests that a pre-made Buddy Bench that will last for multiple decades would be great, but will entertain proposals for kid-painted buddy bench ideas that will last for a decade and would like to see an example. The pre-made versions are not as visually appealing to children and if involving the students in its creation will inspire more use and make more of an impact in educating about bullying. Ms. Brewer would opt for a kid-painted buddy bench and would be happy to team up with Ms. Harris on the implementation. I have not discussed it with Ms. Harris though. The pre-made buddy bench option should be budgeted as $700 each. The art project option should be less.

Ms. Brewer recommends two as the playground is large and suggests that the bench have a seat that would drain water rather than collect it.

playground lockable storage ($300-$750)

This would be for a shed or chain link storage cage for storing playground equipment so that it would not need to be carried. Mr. Hatfield says that this could be something that PTO purchases and donates rather than going through school vendors. we could potentially also purchase a metal shelf or two for the interior.

The first three possibilities I found:

I have a pic of the storage cage that Head start uses. This makes content visible which may be a downside. I also don't believe that it will be cheaper. I haven't seen one for less than $1,000 yet, but I also really haven't looked in a playground supply catalog yet.




Restock of small playground equipment ($500)

Balls and other recess toys for each grade. 3rd grade's equipment has disappeared. Other grades need some items replenished.

Creativity on the Playground ($200)

The link below should be used not so much for the easel idea, but for inspiring the idea instead of an outdoor DIY chalkboard that need not be put away, but is able to be moved when preferred....

Mr. Hatfield signed off on purchasing a large supply of oversized sidewalk chalk in dollar store bins marked for each grade even as it would be a short term consumable.


Weather Wall ($200-$300)

The one science objective common to all grades K-4 are objectives to observe and measure weather. This would be very effective done with weather instruments that would remain outdoors. Inspired by a playground panel that is popular in the UK, it is proposed that we create a less expensive DIY version. The base of the Weather Wall, rather than a playstructure panel which are excessively costly would be a sections of white privacy fence. Rather than the limited instruments available installed permanently on the prefabricated panel that may be inaccurate or cloudy with humidity over time, instruments could be really inexpensive, more accurate and easily replaced as needed. Deluxe weather instruments including those that could connect to iPads would total $150. We could match the instruments featured in the prefabricated panel for $50. The wall itself would cost $150.

This project could be installed on the playground where it would be available for free exploration of students. It would be in a shaded area where instruments would not have sun exposure to affect readings. Many instruments would be installed purposefully out of reach such as the rain gauge which would be negated if students could reach it. However, some would be installed lower to allow students to learn up close.

This project has been drafted with Karin Romero and has a green light from Mr. Hatfield.

repaint CHE sign ($?)

The CHE sign contains the original CHE sign. As time has passed, popular sentiment has leaned towards touching up the sign as a restoration only.

Anything for field day? or other annual traditions? ($?)

Mr. Hatfield is supportive in accepting anything for field day or other annual events whether it be a permanent item or a consumable. No specific need mentioned.

Shelf for PPF closet ($60-150)

Helps make running the PPF easier and in transitioning between each years' organizing committees.

Something like this one? One or two?


Book Donation Bin for Office ($25)

Durable and attractive bin for collecting donated books for Books and a Blanket/Head Start/Classroom Libraries. Donors will be provided a small "book mark" sized slip of paper to indicate their intent for each donated book. The bin would be placed in sight to encourage donations and serve practically in collecting the books.

Fall Lending library event - $150

In place of CHE's participation in the Book Trust program which for several years gave all students ownership of a few books a month, the lending library helps to promote book ownership with next to no budget. However, it is easy for the opportunity to not be noticed by children. An event would be held to increase use of the lending library in it's second year and to promote book ownership.

Week 1: Students are asked to bring a book to swap. Books are collected, evaluated and sorted. Families are invited to donate additional books for the event.

($150) stickers labeling the books as part of the event as well as replacement and supplemental books to be purchased, ideally at a discount, from a used dealer in order to be sure that more receive a book that they will be proud to call their own.

Week 2: As classes have their library day, they browse a table top collection of books sorted for their class/grade.

Remaining books will be available for teachers to add to their classroom libraries, the lending library shelf or Books and a Blanket

-items postponed for discussion this fall-

Restock of Classroom Reimbursement budget ($3,500-$5,750)

The school has in years past given teachers $200 consistently for classroom expenses. This budget has been reduced to $75 for several years in a row. $75 does not adequately replenish small items such as broken pencil sharpeners for a school year. It certainly does not allow teachers to purchases items needed for hands-on learning. We would supply the funds to restore that budget with a single check prior to the start of school in Aug. 2016. Either $75 for each classroom + specials or $125 each. This would give teachers a chance to get small items and quickly as grants can delay a purchase by weeks or months depending on the source.

If this is a considered a priority but is outside our EoY purchases budget, it can alternatively be extended to teachers from the $5,000 that is in the budget for teacher grants. It would be possibly for half of that budget in order to give all teachers a $50 increase in the classroom budget for a total of $125 in each classroom.

additional iPads ($3,600)

This June, iClassroom will go live from Apple. This will give unprecedented freedom for our campus to not need to coordinate on the installation and management of apps and devices. Mr. Hatfield will be able to purchase apps from an account that will be loaded with the $1,000 donated by PTO this past December and have them installed with a few clicks with no wait from the district tech office.

iClassroom will allow for controlling of device by the teacher. They will be able to take control of devices in order to show students individually during group instruction, utilize the white board more effectively, prevent only the app that is being used together to be used and etc.

Each child and staff member will have their own account. This will allow children to be assessed in their progress and education to be more individualized. If preferred, the assessments will be available in the teacher's gradebook.

At this time, Mr. Hatfield would like to use the $1,000 fully first before asking for more, but he is optimistic that this change will be effective and may lead to some additional spending in the future.

Teachers currently have 4 iPads in a classroom. It would be advantageous for them to have up to 6 more in order to have approx. 2 students to a tablet. To be cost effective, this could be done, depending on the new logistics still unknown of the iClassroom change, by purchasing sets of 6 for check out by teachers on an occassional basis.

iClassroom is not able to accomodate Bring-Your-Own-Device days. Consequently, involved devices will need to be owned by the school.

It would be suggested to purchase 2 sets of 6 iPads for this purpose. This purchase would be delayed until after the change to the iClassroom this summer. iPads are typically approx. $300 each.

additional iPads for art & music to not have to rotate use of their shared set. ($1,800)

This may be advantageous considering the new iClassroom set up.

Redcat ($1,100)

Voting on a Redcat system earlier was tabled previously as it was unanswered as to where a Redcat would best be used. It may have been the understanding that Redcat systems were permanently installed in a classroom. However, as demonstrated by the 3rd grade poetry slam presentation, they are portable. They also have the advantage of working with the speaker systems of the white boards. An unmentioned advantage is that it allows teachers to have children speak to the class and the class to be able to hear shy or soft spoken students. As they are becoming more commonly used, some staff have used them in previous schools. It is proposed that one Redcat system be purchased to be used where needed most as requested by staff.