Parent Teacher Org

PTO Meeting Minutes, Oct, 2012

October 18, 2012

President Haschak called meeting to order 6:00 p.m

In attendance: Steve Setera, Davy Koua, Emory Jiang, Rex Lin, Lloyd Gregory, Mack Bostick, Nataindra, Heather Shatdal, Tracey Tu, David Duong, Sally Geng, John Haschak, Jennifer O’Brien, Amanda Setera, Ashley Huynh.

Approval of Agenda.
Were minutes of September meeting approved?

Boys School Report

1.   The Boys basketball team has been practicing at the Hopland Reservation gymnasium for approximately three years without charge (thanks to the efforts of Brian Yepez), however, the regular charge is $100 per evening use of the gym (this would be for both younger boys team and the high school team). It may be possible to obtain a special lower rate. It was suggested that we seek a flat rate amount for the season if possible. Discussion was held regarding the budget and funds for this purpose. There is a budget for Clubs, Sports and for Extracurricular activities all of which might be used for this purpose. It was determined that the Boys will come back to the November meeting with a more definite figure that is needed for use of the gym and PTO will consider the request for funds at that time.

2.   The ASC President Emory Liang and Rex Lin, the 11th grade Representative gave a report. Recent and upcoming activities at the Boys School: approximately 3 weeks ago the boys celebrated the Moon Festival by eating moon cakes while watching the moon, and a memorable play put on by the 10th graders. The weekend of October 27 there will be a Halloween party with a scary house, pumpkin carving contest, and carnival booths with games and prizes. It will be a potluck party. This coming Saturday the Boys will be going to Sacramento to perform the Dragon and Lion Dances and Taiko Drumming at the Honoring Elders Day celebration of a Buddhist School in Sacramento. It will be an overnight trip for the Boys. The Boys took the PSAT this past week.

3.    Dharma Master Tsung reported that he has been contacted by Ukiah Fire Chief Dave Haas regarding a Chinese New Years celebration. Last year the Boys performed the Dragon and Lion dances, drumming, and the Chinese Orchestra performed. It was a tester year and was well-received. In addition to the performances the school can have some booths (clubs/fundraising, school information for the public, etc.). The event is at Alex Thomas Plaza in downtown Ukiah and a parade is also being contemplated. PTO presence at the event and volunteers are needed to help organize booths and transport performers. We need to let the Fire Chief know how many booths we would want in the next month or so. The event will be FEBRUARY 9 10:00am – 3:00pm.

Treasurers Report
Treasurer Jennifer O’Brien presented a finalized ledger for June 2012 the end of last year and a proposed
budget for the 2012-2013 school year, noting that the September financial information (not the budget,
but rather the actuals) may require amendment. Some discussion was held regarding whether or not to
carry over unspent funds from the prior year and add it to this year’s budget or to leave unspent funds in
the reserve. The Teacher’s Emergency Fund carrys over automatically pursuant to prior resolution of
the PTO. An inquiry was made as to whether or not the reserves are in an interest bearing account and
the basis for the underlying balance figures.

Mack Bostick moved to approve the June and September Reports noting that they be amended in
the future if necessary. Steve Setera seconded the motion, the motion was voted on and approved by all.

GIRLS SCHOOL PRESENTATION
The Girls School participated in the Walk to Feed the Hungry event – a 4 mile walk in San
Francisco where participants were able to visit about 4 Buddhist Temples. It is put on by Buddhist
School Relief and walking fundraising events are held across the nation. Approximately 50-60 people
attended in San Francisco from the school (students, parents, teachers, people from the university) and
about $1,300 was raised. YOU CAN STILL DONATE TO THIS WORTHY CAUSE ONLINE.

The Girls will be holding a Halloween party Saturday October 27th, a note will go home to
parents regarding the event. The Girls also participated in the Block Party put on by the Ukiah Natural
Foods Co-op. It was the Second Annual Block Party and the first time our school participated. Parents
and students were at the booth with a bookmark making activity (with premade bookmarks available for a
donation). Pamphlets about the school were handed out, and the event went well.

The Girls have started a Knitting/Needlework club. Approximately 20 students have signed up.
Mrs. Finnegan is the Mentor, however, we should have 1 mentor for every 5 students, so VOLUNTEERS
ARE NEEDED.

SECURITY/SAFETY
Security and Safety issues have been combined and Steve Setera is in charge of overseeing the
various related issues. The school has a long standing relationship with Ken Johnson, a retired
teacher/fire chief/ with emergency response/search and rescue experience, who is being consulted on
these issues. The schools emergency response system is in the process of being organized – with teams
and individuals responsible for particular areas and one central manager all of whom attend monthly
training meetings. Teachers are required to be trained in first aid and emergency response and
and the trainings are being set up. Supplies are also in the process of being put together – – emergency
bags containing a first aid kit, emergency response equipment (i.e. flashlights), signs indicating “ok” or
“help” in differing bright colors, students medical consent forms, and information – one for each
classroom. Two possible styles of bags were passed around for consideration. Larger first aid kits are
also being purchased for various areas. A California “shakeout” with earthquake evacuation practice
was held earlier in the day at the school. The school is located on a fault and prior structures on the
property have been destroyed by earthquakes (old state hospital structure). Cabinets, etc. are being
secured to prevent falling/injury in an earthquake. EARTHQUAKE TIPS: Duck, take cover (under table,
etc.), hold onto whatever you are ducked under, stay away from beams and windows and anything that
looks like it might fall and have substantial weight.

Also we are looking into obtaining signs with warnings relating to animals on the premises (deer,
squirrels and peacocks primarily) as some animals have been run over recently and the school would like
to remind drivers to be mindful of the presence of animals and to take care not to injure or kill them.

SCHOOL RELATED CONCERNS

Dishware
Lloyd made a presentation regarding the concern about the melanine bowls and plastic trays used by the
school for serving lunch to students. Attached to these minutes is a copy of information obtained from
various websites, including the FDA and other sites (some from other countries were also reviewed).
Melamine is made from a resin formed of melanine powder and formaldahyde. Possible leaching of the
chemicals can occur, especially with acidic foods and from heat. A discussion was held concerning the
potential dangers that can arise from leaching (if leaching were to occur) – kidney stones, kidney failure,
contrasted with the fact that melanine dishware is FDA approved and melanine, and formaldahyde are
widely used in many every day products. At present there are some parents who are very concerned with
the use of melanine at the school, and some parents who feel that there is little to no harm and

replacement of dishware is not warranted. It was recommended that the school staff research what the
options are relating to replacement (as each option, ceramic, glass, steel, etc. has various ups and downs
including durability and other potential health concerns and cost) and advise the PTO as to viability of
replacement student dishware. Principal Heng Yin Shr advised that the school does have some steel
trays in storage and the melanine bowls may be able to be phased out.

Accreditation – WASC
Mr. Bostick made a presentation regarding the WASC visit this year and the self-assessment process.
This process relates only to the high schools. Sometime in the upcoming week a draft of the first three
chapters of the self-assessment will be emailed to all parents. IT IS REQUESTED THAT EACH
PARENT CAREFULLY AND THOUGHTFULLY REVIEW THE DRAFT AND PROVIDE ANY
COMMENTS/CRITIQUE THEY MIGHT HAVE REGARDING THE DRAFT. Although not every
idea will be used, ALL IDEAS/THOUGHTS are helpful as they provide different perspectives and help
the assessment process.

Recently many discussions among many groups have taken place with regard to the school’s virtues – – a
primary aspect of the school’s mission. Among the virtues taught by the school in accord with its
mission is “filial piety.” Discussions have been held regarding whether this terminology best represents
the concept. Part of the problem with the terminology is the translation between Chinese and Western
perceptions/definitions of the words used. The concept is meant to convey “repaying kindness of
parents.” Discussions have centered on whether or not the western concept of “piety” confuses rather
than clarifies the concept. Filial “devotion” is preferred by the girls students, Filial “reverance’ has wide
approval, although at present Filial “piety” remains the top choice.

Discussions such as this allow us the opportunity to reflect on what our school is about and why
we have chosen it, and input from everyone providing a broad perspective on our school is greatly
appreciated.

PTO Field Trip
A teachers meeting was held at the Boys School. John Haschak’s brother has a site available in
Willits at a cost of $200-$300. There is one house that would hold 10-15 people and the remaining
people would have to camp. Steve Setera and John Haschak will visit the property together – it is in the
mountains with a meadow, creek, and hiking trails.

A discussion was held about how to attract other parents to meetings. A concern was raised that some
parents have attended prior meetings and felt that they were only about money issues and not meant t
address school concerns. It was suggested that some sort of newsletter go out to parents reaffirming the
multi-purposes of PTO. A raffle was also suggested.

The next meeting was scheduled for NOVEMBER 15, 6:00 PM.

Meeting Adjourned, 7:20 pm.

Categories: Parent Teacher Org