A Year-End Note from Your PTSA Co-Presidents
As the 2011-2012 school year wraps up, it’s time to reflect on our accomplishments as well as our areas for growth. I’m writing this note with the amazing sounds and sights of last night’s EBMS Jazz Band performance at Yoshi’s still playing in my head. What a wonderful opportunity for our kids and our community to be part of something so grand! Through my years in OUSD, I’ve seen demonstrated that the arts are inherently good for our children, offering a way of thinking unavailable in other disciplines and giving them a balanced education. The arts give many kids a reason to want to come to school; they build confidence, bring joy, and foster friendships. All this is to say that the EBMS PTSA is committed to continuing our support for the arts at Brewer to the fullest extent possible, including both financial and logistical support. Next year, the PTSA is excited to work with Mr. Pitt-Smith and Ms. Holmes to include a greater support for our music program via an alliance with the Oakland East Bay Symphony and also to work with Mr. Kirschbaum, Ms. Maiuri, and Ms. Philips as we begin to develop offerings in drama, dance, and visual arts. This will take a firm resolve, patience, as well as vision. I’m confident that we can do all this and more.
Yoshi’s provided me with another insight into something powerful happening at Brewer this year. Making the event even more special for our kids was having so many of their teachers attend the performance. My son noted every staff member present (and there were dozens) and named them all for me after the show. Seeing teachers and families spending time together at community events like Yoshi’s, the Auction Fiesta, Burger & Bingo, and the many school-sponsored events has been one of my greatest joys this year. Next year, the PTSA plans to continue sponsoring community building events where families can spend time with each other and with Brewer staff as well as to do our best to communicate school-wide news to you via the yahoo group, Brewer Blast, and the Panther Prints Newsletter.
We also plan to continue supporting the Parent/Teacher Liaison, Teacher Appreciation, Snacks for Healthy Kids, ACT Ticket Prize Sales, and the Beautification programs, as well as to provide staff mini-grants, field trip, science fair, PE support, and more (including the rental of Woodminster Theater for 8th grade promotion ceremonies so that families aren’t limited to 4 tickets as has been the case in the past).
Over the summer, our parent volunteers will be working with the Brewer staff on registration as well as on preparing the PTSA budget for all PTSA members to vote on in September. If you are interested in helping with these efforts, or any of those mentioned above, please send Sharon and me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. It has been an honor and a pleasure to be part of the Brewer community this year. We wish our current 8th grade students all the best as they enter high school this fall, and we excitedly anticipate the return of our rising 7th and 8th grade students, as well as the arrival of our incoming 6th grade students. And as always, go Panthers!
Lisa Jennings Young, PTSA Co-President
Sharon Lipping, PTSA Co-President
Message from Your Co-Presidents and Mark Your Calendars for The Next General Association Meeting on Tuesday, February 21
We have a special speaker lined up for our next PTSA General Association meeting on Tuesday, February 21, 2011 and we hope you can join us in the school library at 7:00 p.m. Our school board representative Noel Gallo will speak to us on important matters that will directly affect our students and schools next year. Some topics include: OUSD school closures and boundary changes, updates on state funding for schools, including Governor Brown’s weighted pupil funding system which would be a huge departure from the current system in which districts’ revenues differ dramatically based on allocations of dozens of specially designated “categorical” programs, and the Mutual Matching proposal by Superintendent Smith to modify the current teacher placement process to give more say to the principal and site staff to choose teachers who are aligned with the culture, climate, philosophies and priorities of the school. You can find out about Mutual Matching on the OUSD website. If you can’t make the meeting but want to provide input on this proposal, you can also contact Mr. Gallo by email at Noel.email@example.com.
Sharon and I will also provide updates on some of the exciting programs that the PTSA is working on this year, including the Crucible art project which will start in February and in which 50 of our students will participate (see details below), the NatureBridge program that is currently being discussed for all 6th grade students, the upcoming jazz band and strings concerts, All Brewer Day, and our first ever Spring Auction that will help pay for these and other important programs and will be held at Uptown Auto Body on Saturday, April 28, 2012.
This is also the time of year we start looking for people interested in filling PTSA positions for the next school year. Serving on the PTSA is a great way to contribute to your school’s success and your child’s academic success as well. No positions require experience, just your effort. It vital that this body of people rotates and continues to draw in parents from the newer grades. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions about time commitments, general committee, and executive board duties.
Thanks for all you do, and we look forward to seeing you on February 21!
Lisa Young and Sharon Lipping
PTSA Co-Presidents 2011-12 school year