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SJPA Meeting Minutes of October 18, 2017

Parent Association Meeting

October 18, 2017


Opening Prayer: Mr. Lynch


Welcome/Introduction: Jim Butler (Co-President)

Thank you all for taking the time to attend our meeting this evening. This is your opportunity to voice feedback/concerns regarding our school. We appreciate your efforts to be involved at Saint James. You can reach out to the PA at any time via email:


President’s Report: Jessica Curran (Co-President)

Recent Events: We want to say thank you to everyone that has been involved in recent school events that continue to make Saint James School standout.

  • The Meet and Greet and Uniform Exchange
  • First Day of School Coffee
  • Back to School Night
  • School Masses
  • The amazing Touch-a-Trunk event
  • Mixed Bag fund-raiser
  • Bottle and Can Drive  
  • The most recent Restaurant Night at PizzaCo

We truly appreciate the time and effort of all of you who work so hard to make these events happen. We also appreciate all of those who take the time to show up and support to the school at these events. We are blessed to have each other and be a part of a school community that comes together to support our children!


Vice President’s Report–UPCOMING EVENTS: (Jaime Bereski)

  • Pie Sales are due this Friday, October 20th–take advantage of these last few days to get your sales in! Pies will be delivered on Tuesday, November 21st and pick-up times will be announced closer to the delivery date.
  • Halloween Party and Trunk or Treat– Saturday, October 28th, 6pm-9pm–the trunk or treat will kick off the event from 6:00-6:30 p.m.
  • Come have a “spook-tacular” time–DJ, dancing, pizza, popcorn, Italian ice and prizes for costumes and the best decorated trunk!
  • Come help on Friday night and Saturday for set-up, help during the event (making and serving popcorn, serving Italian ice, , or clean-up.



  • CHRISTMAS FAIR/JINGLE JOG: Saturday, November 18th, 10:00am-4:00pm!!


  • Sign-up to volunteer (selling raffle tickets, assisting in the kitchen or at pictures with Santa) or bake something to be sold at the Bake Sale!
  • Look out for the flyer to sign up to run the Jingle Jog (one mile fun-run around Academy Hill).
  • November 24th through Dec 9th.
  • Come support SJS-Go Hawks!


  • Thursday, November 30th
  • Shop at Barnes and Noble any time during the day and a % of your purchase will be donated back to St. James School.
  • Also, donate your time and come wrap presents at Barnes and Noble’s FREE Wrapping Station offered in their store during the Holiday Season. All donations received will come back to the school. Reach out to the PA if you’re available.


  • December 6th & 7th in School Cafeteria
  • Get your fresh Christmas decor from Filanowski Farm (wreaths, kissing balls, table centerpieces, etc) and help support the school!
  • NEW this year! When you buy your Christmas Tree from Filanowski Farm, mention St. James School and they will donate $5.00 per tree back to the school. Located off exit 37.
  • December 15th in School Cafeteria
  • An opportunity for your children to shop for their loved ones and friends…send money in to school with your kids and let them do the shopping for you!


Treasurer’s Report: (Audrey Simon)

Financials (YTD):


  • TAT- $15,607.00
  • Mixed Bags- $2,390.00
  • Bottle and Can Drive- $292.00
  • Restaurant Night- $116.62
  • Bingo-$7,630.00



  • Total-to-date: $26,035.62



Principal’s Report: (Mr. Lynch)

Handouts were referenced:

  • St. James is well above the mission Bishop Caggiano established.
  • Teachers read the book “Mindset” for an educational tool.
  • Iowa and Terra Nova tests discussed
  • Importance of Math and ELA and each child having a portfolio with lesson plans and attached assignments.  We need this inventory so that we know where every child is academically.
  • Alignment with the Bishop and public school was discussed.
  • Focus is on the children.  Listen to them.  Let Mr. Lynch or Julie Davis know if anything needs to be addressed.
  • QRI was introduced to the staff.  This Friday, staff will practice QRI and look at results already collected.
  • Technology – we have Chrome Books and Tablets, but we need more!  
  • In science, the children are getting used to working in groups
  • Commitment from parents is important. It is a partnership between parents, teachers, and administration.  If you are looking for information on your child, just call.  In addition, you are welcome to come and do a walk through with Mr. Lynch.
  • Always working towards moving forward, achieving goals.
  • The school was moved around for improvement.  Mrs. Nealy has a beautiful new space that is safe and she and her staff can see the children on the playground.  
  • Library – classes are going to the library across the street and loving it.  The books were had here were antiquated and no one was reading them.  



Q:  What happened to all the books?

A:  They were offered to the teachers, outside groups, and some were thrown away.


Q: Changes in math.  Are we sure it will dovetail with the high schools?  Just want to  

     make sure the children will be placed correctly when they move on.

A:  We will need to contact the other schools and talk to them. Can report back next    



Q: Why are they not splitting the children up into Red and Blue Groups? (Former classification system used to distinguish academic performance and ability)

A:  We are, it is just less defined. We would like to regroup as to where they are with    

     math and ELA.  Need to do assessments more frequently as they change and     

     not just keep them always in that same color group.


Q: An Academic team was put together.  How did you choose the team?

A:  We used the format the Bishop set.  We chose random parent that had an

     education background and also asked them to bring someone.  They are     

     continuing to work together.


Q:  Is this Academic Council balanced?  Why were we not informed/asked?  

A:  Yes it is balanced, by not only selecting those parents but by asking them to also     

       bring someone.  Mr. Lynch informed parents about it in church at Back to School Night.  If you are interested in joining, see Mr. Lynch.


Q:  Is it true that kids that come to help their parents at bingo, cannot handle the           


A: Correct.  The children cannot handle money.  They can help with the food.  

    Perhaps the older kids could watch the younger kids.  Could be a great idea for    

    any student needing service hours or parent needing childcare.


Q:  Should we bring back volunteer hours?

A:  We will need to continue this discussion, as it has a lot of history.  


Q:  There are forms that come home regarding ingredients in the food at parties.  Is there a way I can opt out and just say my child is allowed to eat anything?  That way I never miss a form and my child doesn’t end up going without. (So many papers come home.  Less is more.  The more that comes home, the less I see.)

A:  Unfortunately no.  You need to give consent each time because a child’s health can change year to year.   (Some parent have said in the past that only email communication is not good enough, so yes all the papers need to continue)


Q:  What happened with the golf tournament?  

A: Due to weather, date change, and Only 7 foursomes.  (Last year we had about 23

    or 24.)  We would not have made anything.  We kept the sponsors for TAT and     

    prizes will be used for Christmas Fair and Auction.


Q:  Are we having another Auction?

A:  Yes, at Two Roads, in April, Friday night, 6:00 to 10:00.  It is one hour longer this year. A Friday night fee/hour was less expensive than a Saturday night.  We need prizes ideas and solicitors  and volunteers.  Good advertisement for businesses if they want to donate.  


Q:  Is the trip to Natures Classroom occurring and are there certain things that are                                        


A:  Yes.    More info will come.    

In addition: One parent in attendance commented: Liberty Army and Navy is a store in Westport  has a give back program for schools.   They sell all kinds of things like jeans, boots, and etc.  More info to come regarding this store.


Q:  Can you send information home with the 2nd graders explaining how First       

     Communion works.

A:  The information was actually sent home with students today.


Areas of importance that were touched on:

  • the changes in the building for the children’s academics and growth,
  • the Father’s Club is important and does great things.  
  • Extra-curriculars in the school are great, but academic is most important.  
  • The coaches will be watching over the kids.   
  • A nut-free School is a future topic of discussion.
  • The Specials are important PE, Health, Spanish, Music, Art, and Mrs. Kyburz.  These are all great.  


Come walk with Mr. Lynch to see how great.  


Mr. Lynch opened the floor to Tony Roman, who announced the next Fathers Club meeting will be held 10/24.   Please come and ask others to come as well.


Mr. Lynch opened the floor to Julie Davis who explained the result from the Bingo Parent Survey.   We will be keeping bingo. It is a good fundraiser and community builder. We may need to look into other ways to manage the volunteering for Bingo.


Secretaries Report: (Jean Smith)

  • We will be posting this meeting’s minutes on the school website within a week.
  • Please look out for periodic Parent Association Newsletter Updates!

    (Megan Merwin)

  • If you haven’t already, join the St. James Parent Association Facebook group where we share day to day school information with current parents and families…NOTE! Any information shared on this page is not open to the general public, you must request to be a part of this closed group.
  • Our next Parent Association meeting is scheduled for January 10, 2018.


Closing Prayer: (Megan Merwin)