Ananda Marga River School

Ananda Marga River School


Ananda Marga River School

Parents Committee Meeting, 2nd dECEMBEr 2013

This is a true and accurate record of the above-mentioned meeting.

Members Present

Su Carbery

Jenny Oakley

Duncan Stacey

Steve Skull

Sonya Weston

John Hulcombe

Kamala Alister

Cecilie Schiotz

Liz Campbell

Irma McDonald


Rebecca Judah

Peter Thompson

Natasha Stacey

Rod Johnson

Sue Potter

Meeting Opened: 7.30pm

  1. Welcome and introductions
  1. Group Discussion – What does everyone see as the key priorities for the committee in the coming 6-12 months?

These were discussed as a group and agreed to include the following:

a) Spring festival – major Parent Committee fundraiser. Needs a Coordinator like Kirsty Greenshields this year to hit the ground running in 2014. Kirsty has supplied a comprehensive document covering many aspects of the events’ organization.

Outcome: Duncan offered to take on this important role but also supportive of others doing so – thanks Duncan!! Bec is happy to coordinate/administer the money associated with the event.

b) Roles/events linked to the school’s 20th Anniversary in 2014

c) A whole-of-school get together e.g. camp out at school early in first term. Suggestion made to link the date to Harmony Day – scheduled for 21 March 2014.

Action: Jenny to contact those interested early in the new year to progress. Steve volunteered.

d) Café nights – Jenny outlined a plan to link the proceeds from these nights to 3-4 agreed strategic funding priorities. Examples could include support for both our arts and music programs, electives/special initiatives e.g. Warrior program. Jenny will develop a process for teachers and the Parents Committee to develop/agree the priorities and facilities (hall, library, gardens). Classes can still take turns to contribute/run events but the funding will be pooled towards these 3-4 agreed priorities. This model will help ensure funding equity across the school and will also help ensure key elements/programs of the school continue and grow over time.

Outcome: Jenny will develop a process for teachers and the Parents Committee to develop/agree the priorities

e) Major established fund raising events e.g. Maleny Music Festival and Maleny Wood Expo. Other events were considered but these two are well established and with adequate support from parents can raise significant funds.

Tuckshop – Jenny outlined the financial realities of running a school tuckshop and her plan to use part of a teacher aide’s role to have the tuckshop functioning 2-3 days per week in 2014. Suggestion made to link the school to the Stephanie Alexander program.

Outcome: Therefore it was agreed this doesn’t need to be a priority for the Parent Committee in 2014, but could become so in future years.

  1. What do our standing agenda items need to be?

These were discussed as a group and include:

a) Principal’s report –to include issues identified pre-meeting by committee members, availability of services/programs offered by the school and a general update on what’s happening across the school.

b) Spring festival update

c) Fundraising update

d) Treasurer’s report

  1. Committee Governance

The issues of both a constitution and separate bank account for the Parents Committee were discussed. Agreement that these are worthy of further investigation/consideration. Steve outlined that Natasha Stacey had very kindly offered to investigate both these important issues for the committee.

Action: Natasha to do some preliminary research and report back to the next Parents Committee meeting.

  1. Minutes of the previous meeting and any business arising from previous meeting(s)

5.1 Behaviour Management (BM)

Jenny provided an update on the current approach being taken in relation to BM at the school including the focus on proactive strategies for teachers/students, the abolishment of the yellow card/red card system, the development of restorative practices/processes and zero tolerance towards bullying.

Committee keen to see a policy outlining these initiatives that would enable committee members to have a greater awareness and assist with the dissemination of information to the broader parent community.

Action: Jenny to prepare an outline of the policy for the Committee.

5.2 Transition program for upper primary students

Discussion on the introduction of Year 7 becoming part of High School in Queensland by 2015. Su Carbery has a role at the Maleny SHS on their Flying Start Committee. AMRS current transition program run by Ann Donoghoe is successful and plans to make it even more so.

  1. General Business

6.1 ECC related issues

Discussion on two issues raised by an anonymous parent. One related to recent changes to roles linked to the announcement of the new Director. Limited comment could be made on this given the need for confidentiality. The second related to concerns that broader AM teachings (beyond neo-humanism, yoga, meditation and vegetarianism) were occurring at the ECC. Jenny outlined that this was not the case – the volunteer involved is simply taking the children for morning circle and other activities like yoga. General discussion on the need to raise issues/concerns like these quickly with Jenny so that answers can be provided quickly.

6.2 Parent Committee meetings minutes

As with other AMRS committee minutes these need to be run past the Principal and then should be made available e.g. on the website or similar. Only a very limited number of matters should need to be treated confidentially.

6.3 Woodford Folk Festival

Jenny provided an update on how the school will run a stall at low cost during this year’s event to promote/market the school.

6.4 Strategic Plan for the AMRS

Jenny outlined that this will be developed early in the new year.

  1. Meeting schedule for 2014

Discussion around different committee members and their availability.

Outcome: Agreement reached to meet on the first Monday of each month, alternating between night (7pm) and afternoon (4.30pm) starts. Where meetings clash with a public holiday, the committee will meet on the second Monday of the month.

Action: Liz to develop a meeting calendar for 2014 for inclusion with the minutes.

Outcome: Next meeting scheduled for 4.30pm February 3rd, 2014. Committee members to bring sentient/vegetarian food to share after the meeting.

Where possible meetings to include shared food as an opportunity for committee and other parents to socialise outside the meeting format.

All committee meetings to be open to any interested parents.

Action: Jenny to include some information on the new committee in the next possible school newsletter.

Meeting Closed: 9.10pm