A simple fundraiser with huge potential for your child’s classroom…

Did you know that McGregor has an ongoing fundraising program that’s simple, doesn’t require extra volunteer hours, and doesn’t mean taking time off work or out of your busy weekend? Schools and other groups across Canada have each raised tens of thousands of dollars through it.

Fundscrip is a gift-card based fundraiser with a list of 240 participating major retailers of goods, groceries, and gas: the Gap, Home Depot, Staples, Amazon.ca, Esso, Indigo…you can browse it here. How it works: You buy a gift card for, say, $100 through Fundscrip. You get the FULL VALUE of that card–you don’t lose any money at all. It functions the same way any other gift card would. The retailer donates anywhere from 2-8% of the card’s value to R.H. McGregor.

That’s it.

Gift cards make great gifts, of course.

But we’d reach a whole new level of fundraising if parents (and maybe even extended family members) built Fundscrip into their everyday shopping habits. Your daily latte, or your weekly groceries, or your kitchen reno could help fund your child’s classroom at no cost to you.

Place your order online, the cards will arrive in the mail, and you can just slip them into your wallet for the next trip to the gas station or the grocery store. Or even easier, buy instant virtual cards to use in online ordering.

To get started:

  • Go to fundscrip.com and click ‘Support a Group’ in the top right corner
  • Enter the invitation code: REDEWX along with your name, email address, postal code and phone number
  • That’s it! Buy your cards!

If you make a habit of using Fundscrip for household (or small business) purchases, together we can generate a surprising amount of revenue for the school. Our school uses fundraising money for major purchases like Chromebooks and other in-class technology, musical instruments, and a wide range of other classroom materials and experiences. Give it a try and help make your child’s school the best it can be!

Labels are the golden ticket out of the lost & found pile

Our lost & found pile is…impressive these days. Karen in the office tells me that a heroic parent is sorting through that pile and sending labeled lost items to the right classrooms. (If that’s you–you’re amazing! Give us a wave in the comments so we can all applaud.)

And, hint hint, a reminder that R.H. has fundraisers with Mabel’s Labels–click here to reach our fundraising page–and with Loveable Labels–found here.

 

Next Pizza Lunch is Nov. 30

A reminder that our next pizza lunch is Thursday, November 30.

And on the topic of pizza lunch–did you know that Pizza Pizza uses a special recipe for school lunch delivery to comply with Ontario’s School Food and Beverage Policy? If your children tell you pizza lunch pizza is different, they’re right!

Parents: we want to hear from you!

In order to continuously improve the R.H. McGregor community and school, the Parent & School Council (PSC) would like your input on what’s great about our children’s school, where there are areas of opportunity and where the PSC might invest time and resources this year. 

Please take a few minutes and provide us your feedback through the PSC survey 

The survey will remain open until 7:00 PM on Monday, November 13th, 2017.

At R.H. McGregor the PSC is active in both advocacy and fundraising. We are conducting this survey in order to best represent the views of parents as we decide how to invest time and resources.

PSC meeting tomorrow & agenda

A reminder that tomorrow is the PSC’s next meeting: 7 p.m. in the library. Have a look at some of the issues we’ll be discussing:

Agenda

7:00-7:10

– Welcome/Introductions and Introduction of Executive Members

– Approval of Agenda 

– Approval of last meeting’s minutes

– Overview of Existing Committee Structure

7:10-7:30 Principal’s Update

7:20-7:30: Teacher’s Update

7:30-7:40: Fall Fair Report

7:40-8:30: Discussion items

a. TDSB Enhancing Equity Task Force Draft Recommendations:
http://www.tdsb.on.ca/Community/How-to-Get-Involved/Enhancing-Equity-Task-Force/Enhancing-Equity-Task-Force-Recommendations 

b. Refillable Water Stations Program
http://www.tdsb.on.ca/ecoschools/Home/Enrich-your-Program/Project-Refill 

c. Books for Birthdays Program
http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/treats-schools-1.3763262  

d. Outdoor Play & Learning Program for Schools (Earth Day Canada)
https://earthday.ca/earthplay/schoolplay/

8:30-8:45 – Other Business

Adjournment

Next PSC Meeting Thursday, Nov. 2

Our next Parent Council meeting is Thursday, November 2 at 7 p.m. in the library (next week). Everyone is welcome to attend–you don’t have to be a voting member to come out. It’s worth attending at least one of these meetings in the course of the year–you’ll learn a lot about the workings of your child’s school. Hope to see you there!

Why so few pizza lunches?

Some parents have been asking why pizza lunch is only happening once a month this term instead of every other week.

Trust us, if we could run more, we would.

R.H. McGregor’s budget for the year from the TDSB is $126,301. Last year, your Parent & School Council raised an additional $64,000 to add to that budget. All the PSC money is spent in the school to improve student achievement. For the current year, only 30% of PSC’s historic fundraising activities–pizza lunches, movie nights, fairs, etc.–have been scheduled with committed volunteers. Unless more volunteers come forward, the PSC expects to only raise approximately $20,000 net this year.

Pizza lunch is McGregor’s main fundraising tool. Last year, it was responsible for close to $35,000, or over 50% of our net fundraising earnings. That’s money that pays for Scientists in the School, instruments for our music program, Chromebooks for Grade 5, and more.

It takes 30 volunteer hours to run a single pizza lunch. A team of three parents handles Munchalunch orders, parent emails, and supervision of volunteers on the day. An additional ten parents volunteer an hour and half to deal out hundreds of slices of pizza in record time. Remember, kids have about half an hour to eat–getting slices in hands and bums in seats has to happen quickly!

Over the previous year, we lost a lot of volunteers for a number of reasons. Our core of dedicated volunteers stepped up to do all the extra work, resulting in an amazing year. Most, including our executive, also work full time. This year, many have stepped back from their positions–including last year’s fundraising chair, treasurer, secretary, and co-chair.

The volunteering experience can be amazing–if enough people show up. To provide pizza lunch more often next term–to bring it back to the every two weeks of last year–we still need more volunteer team members. There are positions available for people who can’t be there during school hours. More regular hands on deck during the pizza lunch day would be great, but if you can work from home or take half a day off only once this year to sling slices, we need you too.

Want to make an impact in a different way? We need help with other events, as well, and there’s lots of room for new fundraising and community-building ideas. If you can pitch in or just want to comment, email us at mcgregor.matters@gmail.com

Non-Executive Roles

This part of the PSC can change from year to year. There’s wiggle room for new ideas in all of these roles: new fundraising ventures, new community-building events, whole new committees for new ideas (there’s talk of developing a STEM committee…). Maybe you have a suggestion? Bring it to the PSC meeting tomorrow!

Fundraising Chair

In collaboration with the Principal and PSC exec, the Fundraising Chair:

  • Manages initiatives and events to raise funds for the school.  All activities need the approval of the PSC and the Principal
  • Reports to the Treasurer on all expenditures and maintains the approved budget for events, such as Fun Fairs and Movie Nights
  • Helps manage the Pizza Lunches to ensure smooth operation
  • Encourages parent engagement and a sense of community so all feel welcome to participate

Volunteer Coordinator

  • Recruits and maintains network of volunteers
  • Works with various event/initiative organizers to schedule volunteers

Garden/Outdoor Education committee

  • Maintains McGregor’s container vegetable gardens–water and weeding when necessary, soil amendments annually, etc.
  • With maintenance staff, manages infrastructure such as rain barrels, hoses
  • Coordinates with teachers to start seeds for the gardens
  • Organizes the Plant Swap in May
  • Recruits and supports families who adopt the gardens over the summer

Grade 5 Graduation Committee

  • Organizes events such as Parents’ Night Out to fundraise for Grade 5 trip/graduation night
  • Organizes food, decorations for Grade 5 graduation

Parent Conference Committee

  • With the co-chairs, identifies a potential speaker
  • Manages booking, room setup, and coffee/snacks for event, typically held on a Saturday morning

Teacher/Student Appreciation Committee

  • Organizes teacher appreciation lunch
  • Plans for and buys snacks for Grade 3 students during EQAO testing
  • Plans for and buys freezies for Play Day at the end of the school year

Communications Committee

  • Oversees communications between PSC and school community
  • Maintains website, Facebook, Twitter etc.
  • Includes Head Class Parent, who liaises with class parents

 

Executive roles with the PSC

At next Tuesday’s PSC meeting, we’ll vote in our executive. If you’re thinking about standing for election to the executive committee, here’s a bit more detail about what each role involves. (You can volunteer for any role, but we have special need for a treasurer this year.)

Council Co-Chairs/Vice Chairs:

  • Plan and organize council meetings
  • Propose agenda
  • Chair council meetings
  • Consult with Principal between council meetings as required
  • Understand and ensure council adheres to Ministry and TDSB guidelines and policies
  • Signatory on council banking, insurance and other required documentation
  • Completes, in consultation with council and school stakeholders, School Statement of Needs (SSON) documents
  • Council ambassador at school council events as much as possible
  • De-facto member of all council committees
  • Resource and support to council members, community, staff etc.
  • Liaise as necessary with TDSB (advisory committees of the board, Trustees, Superintendents etc)
  • May attend Ward Council meetings, council committee meetings etc.

Secretary

  • Attends all PSC meetings, as well as all separate executive meetings
  • Helps co-chairs with smooth organization of meetings: setting and distributing agenda
  • Circulates relevant documents before meetings
  • Transcribes meetings and maintains minutes
  • Distributes minutes following meetings

Treasurer

  • Maintains school funds accounts
  • Oversees the budget drafting process
  • Ensures money handling procedures are followed
  • Understands ministry and board requirements
  • Makes deposits and generates floats for events
  • Consults with colleagues regarding funds-related issues