The officers of the LMS Home and School Association met November 13. (Reminder: all parents are welcome to attend our meetings; it’s a great way to learn what’s going on in your child’s school!) Here’s what we discussed.
First HASA meeting for parents: Board co-presidents Rabab Abi-Hanna and Vicky Beall said the back-to-school HASA meeting was poorly attended by parents, particularly parents of new sixth-graders. Spirit wear chair Laurie Molina reported another parent’s observation that this initial meeting should focus less on fundraising, more on community. Secretary Lisa Cullen suggested incentivizing attendance in coming years by turning the meeting into a useful workshop for new parents seeking help navigating LMS. Working parents ought to be accommodated with an evening meeting.
Finances: Treasurer Eva Calderaro reported a budget of $4,379 as of November 13. Additional deposits are expected soon from spirit wear and Schooltoolbox. Recent income includes $1,974 from the Annual Appeal; $2,123 from spirit wear; and $320 from the international dinner. Upcoming expenses include a balance of $865 for agendas; $2,178 for spirit wear; and $254 to Scholastic. LMS is extremely grateful to Leonia resident Kim Queran for a generous pledge of $1,000, to be matched by another $1,000 from Pfizer.
Joint Home & School Boards meeting: The recent meeting of the Leonia Home and School associations brought up several points, including communicating events going on at ACS to the LMS community and vice versa via eblast. Principal David Saco will look into this.
Student pedestrian safety: A survey on the safety of walking to school has been sent by email to the Leonia school community. Rabab inquired about placing an extra crossing guard between the ones on Broad Avenue at Highland and at Fort Lee Road. Many LMS students cross Broad Avenue to get to Dunkin Donuts after school, and even though they use the crosswalks, cars do not always stop. Principal Saco noted crossing guards are controlled by the Leonia Police Department, but he will look into this.
Spirit wear: Chair Laurie Molina reports spirit wear continues to be a huge success at LMS, selling out completely at Back-to-School Night. Seventh and eighth graders cleaned out the supply. Laurie pointed out that parents of sixth graders seemed reluctant to visit the cafeteria for the sale, so perhaps a table can be set up in their wing next year. Our spirit wear is popular even with non-LMS faculty and students, thanks to logos that highlight our town and mascot.
Taste of the World: LMS HASA’s first international dinner was a relative success, given low public awareness. More publicity ought to help raise its profile and attendance next year. Thank you to parents who donated food and/or attended.
Communication: Communicating with the parent community at LMS continues to be difficult. Principal Saco will consider joining Remind, an app heavily used at LHS. Notices will continue to go out via eblasts, which seem to have the widest reach.
Photo Day/retake day: Photo Day, chaired by Mirna Alley and Jill Boyd, was a success, despite the cancellation of the traditional eighth-grade group photo due to weather. The panoramic retake is scheduled for December 1. Principal Saco said he is satisfied with BNL as the vendor, as they are accommodating and efficient. However, parents would like some more lead time between the distribution of photos and the retake day, as many parents never saw the pictures before retake. They also suggest the retake does not occur on a Monday, when students are more likely to forget.
Assemblies: Principal Saco has suggested a date for SCREAM, the acting troupe from Rutgers, and is waiting for feedback. He is also waiting on clarification on the language in the presentation and its appropriateness for the audience. The sixth-grade trip to the Boat Basin will occur May 22 and 23. Speakers for the eighth-grade Holocaust assembly were discussed. Feedback was mixed on last year’s speaker. Diane Tausner suggests Holocaust survivor Lore Baer.
Scholastic Book Fair: Book Fair co-chair Teresa Rex was not present, but in an earlier email reported she has been in touch with the Scholastic representative who assured her our fair is on schedule for February 26 through March 2. Teresa suggested Yoojin Grace Wuertz as the speaker for Family Night. Wuertz is author of “Everything Belongs to Us,” described as a story of “two young women of vastly different means struggle to find their own way during the darkest hours of South Korea’s economic miracle.” Wuertz’s book was well received by critics, and she has local connections; her family runs Leonia’s Sylvan Florist. Some members expressed concern that the book does not target a YA audience, but others argued that the author would resonate with and inspire LMS’s large Korean-American population.