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Meeting Minutes of April 19th, 2017

St. James School H.S.A.

Monthly Meeting

April 19, 2017


7 parents outside of Mr. Lynch and the H.S.A. officers were in attendance at this meeting.


Opening Prayer: Mr. Lynch


Welcome/President’s Report:  (Jessica Curran)

Thank you all for taking the time to attend our meeting this evening.


Thank you to all who have been involved in the recent school events. We are sincerely grateful for the good deeds that you do.


MOTION to Amend the H.S.A. Bylaws: CLICK HERE to access proposed amendments to current H.S.A. Bylaws. We will be voting on these amendments at the May H.S.A. meeting.


H.S.A. Officer Nominations (for upcoming term–currently one year, but proposed bylaws change term to two years):

President- No Nomination…Mr. Lynch proposed Jessica Curran stay on in the position…Jessica expressed her thanks to Mr. Lynch for his support and encouraging words and emphasized how much she cares about the school and wants to make it a better place for its children, however, she also expressed her reluctance to take on another school year in this position due how time-consuming the position is. She also noted that it is difficult to fulfill her duties having a two-year-old at home that she must bring with her or find child care for. Jessica also mentioned that the fund-raising duties as President of the H.S.A. also place a strain not only on her family, but on the handful of families that are repeatedly stepping up to run the events…she has been discouraged by an overall lack of parent volunteerism and participation in the multitude of school events that take place throughout the year. These sentiments opened up a discussion amongst the attendees regarding ways to increase volunteerism among the parent community. Suggestions to improve networking and community included, meet and greet events at the beginning of the school year, informal parent nights, community breakfasts, grade level potluck dinners.

Vice President- Jaime Bereski

Treasurer- Audrey Simon

Secretaries- Megan Merwin and Jean Smith are staying on as co-secretaries for the 2017-2018 academic year.


Vice President’s Report: (Melissa Recupero)

Upcoming Events:

  • Golf Outing:(Christie Heywood): Monday, May 22nd at Oronoque Country Club
  • Volunteers needed to assist in acquiring sponsorships, coordinating this event, and helping out the day of the event. Christie Heywood noted that the Committee is currently looking for assistance with acquiring sponsorships and soliciting for the event, including a title sponsor. They are also in need of volunteers to help out the day of the event. Sponsorship forms and golfer sign-up forms have been posted on social media and sent home. The committee is encouraging all parents to get involved by obtaining a donation or sponsorship or by golfing the day of. A suggestion was made by Melissa Recupero to add sponsors and businesses to our weekly school email bulletins as advertising in order to encourage mutual support of these businesses.
  • Restaurant Night at Stanziale’s: Thursday (tomorrow), April 20. Mention St. James and a portion of the bill will be given to the school. There was a miscommunication with the restaurant and this has now been re-scheduled to May 16th. Stanziale’s will honor eat-in or take-out dining beginning at 5:00 p.m. and anyone who accidentally shows up the evening of April 20th.
  • KIDucation Box Special Collection: We are having a “Spring Clean Out” collection beginning this Friday, April 21- Wednesday, April 26th.
  • Drop off your unwanted books, clothing, toys, household items, etc. to the collection box in the church parking lot.
  • The school will receive $.21/lb rather than the usual rate of $.03/lb.
  • Mother’s Day Plant Sale: Friday, May 12th in cafeteria.
  • Help is needed Thursday to unload plants when they arrive and Friday during the Plant Sale. At our last meeting, combining the plan sale with Grandparent’s Day was proposed…it was decided by event chairpersons that this would be too much to coordinate and space to host these two events would be too limited. Therefore, a new proposal by Jaime Bereski who is co-chairing the plant sale was to make the sale a two-day event (Thursday, May 9 and Friday, May 10th). The attendees of the meeting agreed this would be beneficial as long as volunteers are found to help out with the two-day event.
  • Grandparents and Special Friends Day: Friday, May 19th.
  • Looking for parents to help out the day of this special event…details to come. Attendees of the meeting that are newer families to the school asked about the details of this event and if a handicapped grandparent should attend the event…the typical schedule of the event was detailed and all grandparents and special friends are encouraged to attend.


Treasurer’s Report: (Kelly Butler)

Financials (through March 2017): Total: $106,137

Auction: $9,436.00

Pastry/Crisp Sale: $1,136.00

An attendee asked if the fund-raising requirements of $130,000 would be the same for next year given the tuition increase of $300.00 per student for the upcoming academic year. It was explained to him that yes, the fund-raising budget will remain the same…these cost increases are due to inflation and the expected salary increases that all business incurs.


Spirituality Report: (Megan Merwin)

  • Stuff a Trucksponsored by Student Council is this weekend, beginning on Friday.  All families are asked to bring a bag of groceries that will benefit the St. James Food Pantry.  It will continue throughout the weekend before all weekend masses.
  • 7th and 8th grade students are asked to help with moving groceries from bag to pantry.
  • Garden Club, open to 4th and 5th grade students and their parents or grandparents, begins this Friday from dismissal until 3:30.
  • 5th graders will be visiting the home boundagain in May.  5th grade families will be receiving more information in the next week.
  • Pennies for Patientsbenefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will be May 8-19.
  • 6th grade will oversee this charity fundraiser.
  • More information forthcoming.
  • The next visit to The Bridgeis Sunday, May 21 from 10:30-12:00.  All St. James families are encouraged to help out this St. James ministry that provides personal care items, food and clothing to the poor and homeless that congregate under the highway overpass in downtown Bridgeport.  If interested, please contact Mrs. Kyburz.
  • Upcoming dates for The Lord’s Kitchenare May 10 and June 5.  St. James prepares and serves a hot dinner for the poor and homeless in our community each month and school families are always encouraged to help out.  If interested, please contact Mrs. Kyburz.


Principal’s Report: (Mr. Lynch)

Mr. Lynch detailed the NEASC evaluation that begins April 30th. Julie Davis has worked diligently and spent a great deal of time, as well as, many late nights, along with the help of the administration and faculty, to complete the required 70+ pages of self study documentation and other required documentation and reflection material…it has been an extensive process including many committee meetings, surveys, and preparatory work. The NEASC evaluation team arrives Sunday, April 30th and will commence their visit with a dinner including all faculty and staff, the School Advisory Board, and H.S.A. officers. They will spend May1-3 in the school observing and meeting with various representatives to complete their evaluation. Information and results of the accreditation process will be shared with parents as soon as it is received.



A concern regarding the computer game Prodigy was made, particularly relating to its inclusion of wizards and witches and a potential conflict of interest seen in a Catholic environment. Mr. Lynch responded with an acknowledgement of the concern and reported that it has been addressed. He further reported that the Tech teacher introduced this game as a way to make learning fun with no intention of it being perceived as contradictory to Catholicism. Playing this game is optional and will not be forced upon any student.


Closing Prayer: (Jess Curran)

Dear Lord,

Thank you for all those present at this meeting tonight. Thank you also for the gift of our volunteers…no matter how big or little the job, no matter how much time is given; we are grateful for all that they do and ask you to bless them. Please, especially bless our HSA officers (Megan Merwin and Jean Smith) who are staying on to fulfill another year of service, the officer nominees (Jaime Bereski and Audrey Simon) for the upcoming school year, and the outgoing officers (Melissa Recupero, Kelly Butler and Devney Worsdale) who have graciously donated their time to our school this past year.

We ask you to help us be more like you in all that we do…in all that we say to one another, and in all our thoughts. Help us to continue to do wonderful things for our children’s school–for they are the ultimate gifts of your Love.

We thank you for all your blessings…Amen.