January 20, 2015, 6:30 pm, Camas Ridge Community School Cafeteria
4J Nutrition Services is operated by Sodexo, the largest food services and facilities management company in the world. Sodexo contracts to provide food services to private corporations, government agencies, schools and universities, military bases, hospitals, clinics, senior residential facilities, and correctional facilities, and is a primary driver of the privatization and outsourcing of these services. 4J has a 5-year contract with this vendor.
In 2009, Carrie helped form the Eugene Coalition for Better School Food. The mission of the organization is “to provide every 4J student fresh, minimally processed and nutrient-dense food that optimizes learning and healthy, supports our local economy, and protects our planet.” Currently they are advocating for quality over quantity and for ingredient transparency. Over the years, the group has worked with Sodexo to eliminate items with artificial colors and flavors and high fructose corn syrup and improve systems.
Last year, 4J and Sodexo hosted a series of community advisory meetings, resulting in a pilot project with the intention of improving school nutrition and systems at Edison and Camas Ridge. The pilot continues today and the leadership team is now meeting monthly to plan out the menu in advance.
The district has invest in a program called Nutrislice to help with this process and give families and staff the ability to better plan for special dietary needs. It is up at http://4j.nutrislice.com/ and expected to be fully functional within the next month.
A survey was conducted at Edison about the pilot and Camas will be next to conduct program evaluations. Nicole is teaching a Healthy Choices Project Block and may be able to work with her students to help with this process. The group agreed in the value of student input.
What Parents Can Do to Help
- Respond to the survey when released
- Contact nutrition services to share feedback
- Attend February 4th School Board meeting to show support for the healthy lunch pilot
- Like https://www.facebook.com/Eugeneforbetterschoolfood on facebook for updates
- Have lunch in the cafeteria to check out the food and systems and give input
- Sign up for the Free and Reduced lunch program if you are eligible, even if you pack a lunch for your kid(s). The school district receives federal reimbursement for the meals, and schools even receive additional federal funding based on how many students have applied and qualified for free and reduced meals—so if you fill out a form and qualify, you are helping both your family and your school! There are extra benefits as well; students on this program can also qualify for deep fee reductions rates for athletics and activities from 4J, Kidsports, Eugene YMCA, the City of Eugene and other after-school programs; low-cost high-speed Internet; free LTD bus passes for some high school students; and much more.
Update on Full Day Kindergarten – Terri Farina
Camas has the space and a staffing plan for full-day kindergarten next year. The school district is working on overall philosophy, setting the budget for supplies [tables, chairs, added lunch, additional resources, special Ed needs, administrative help] and trying to make things as equitable as possible. Site Council is working out details at Camas Ridge. Terri and Tom are on a committee district-wide. The final budget will come out in July, the District believes we have the funding to move forward.
Update on Book Sale and Fundraising – Heather Sielicki
We made a profit of $1,500 on used books and $1,000 on new from the sale. Most of the feedback from the event was positive, though some kids who could not afford books felt excluded. Will do another one again in conjunction with the carnival but will not use Scholastic, will just go with used books and only for a couple days – not a week.
Sock-hop-athon with DJ Food Stamp and Ms. Lindsay coming up in February. Wendy Codding is coordinating the event and corresponding fundraiser this year. Goal = $9,000
Territorial Seed offers a fundraiser donating 45% of sales for select seeds. Territorial Seeds is a family-run, Oregon business that delivers high-quality seed suited to our region. To take part in this fundraiser, you have to use a special order form. All seeds in the Territorial Seeds catalog are not available through this fundraiser but there is an excellent and extensive selection. The program will be rolled out in February.
Update on School Tours
- Elementary School Showcase: Saturday, January 24, 9 a.m.–12 p.m., at the 4J Education Center, 200 N. Monroe St.
- School Visitation Weeks: January 26–29 and February 23–27.
Tom needs a few parents to help with tours, he will contact people individually.
Call for Volunteers for PTO positions Next Year
PTO is looking for parents and family members to commit to volunteering in the 2015-2016 school year. We are most in need of people in the following positions: Fundraising Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, PTO Co-Facilitator, and Public Relations. Volunteering is a great way to become familiar with your child’s school, get to know you child’s peers, build your resume, make a difference in the community and to meet other active volunteers.
We have not had a Fundraising Coordinator during this school year and are currently without a Volunteer Coordinator. The extra work stretches our existing volunteer pool very thin so please consider helping out. Job descriptions follow:
Fundraising Chair OPEN
Time Commitment: 2-4 hours per week
Job Description: The primary function of the PTO Fundraising Chair is to develop fundraising goals in conjunction with the PTO Facilitator, PTO Treasurer and Administration, and develops a working plan to meet these goals.
- Works with the PTO Facilitator, Administration and the Steering Committee to develop annual fundraising goals and calendar.
- Works with the PTO Steering Committee to identify fundraising event chairperson opportunities.
- Provides monthly overview of progress to goals at general PTO meeting.
- Implements the Direct Drive in conjunction with the school staff.
- Prepares a monthly report for PTO Steering Committee meetings.
- Works with Community Building Chair to oversee Helping Hearts Rummage Sale.
- Works with Steering Committee to evaluate fundraising process every year.
Volunteer Coordinator OPEN
Time Commitment: 3-5 hours per week
Job Description: The PTO Volunteer Coordinators’ primary function is to oversee the coordination of volunteers for the PTO Body.
- Provides volunteers to PTO event chairs as needed.
- Coordinates and assists with teachers and staff sponsored events.
- Manages event volunteer recruitment as needed.
- Processes all general volunteer interest forms in September and assists Diane in distributing lists.
- Oversees the library coordinator, providing support as needed.
- Maintains a list of need for volunteers in order to utilize volunteer as they are willing.
- Coordinates volunteer help for school wide non-event needs (ex. School tours, lunch/recess help, picture day, and other needs as they arise.)
- Provides a monthly report at PTO Steering Committee meetings.
- Participate in PTO functions.
PTO Co-Facilitator: Heather Sielicki 2014-2015, OPEN for 2015-2016
Time Commitment: 4-6 hours per week (3 Year Commitment)
Job Description: The Co-Facilitator is the elected facilitator in training. The role of Co-Facilitator was established to assist the PTO Facilitator in overseeing the activities and work of the PTO Body, and by doing so gaining the experience and rapport that is necessary to serve as PTO Facilitator the following school year.
- Fulfils the duties of PTO Facilitator if for any reason they are unable to fulfill her/his obligations.
- Advise, direct and review the work of other Steering Committee members and PTO committees as requested by the PTO Facilitator.
- Assist Facilitator in preparing annual operating budget for the PTO during the summer.
- Plan and conduct Kindergarten Open House in collaboration with Former Facilitator and Principal.
- Writes weekly PTO updates and announcements for the school newsletter.
- Will serve as a member of a major fundraising committee.
- Attends all PTO Steering Committee meetings and PTO general meetings.
- Agrees to serve as PTO Facilitator during the next school year.
- Assists PTO Facilitator in the annual PTO evaluation processes, and from this oversees the formulating of the next school year’s goals.
- Assists nomination committee in recruiting future co-facilitator at the end of school year.
- Perform other duties as requested by the PTO Facilitator and Steering Committee.
- Participates in PTO functions.
Special Qualifications: Has a good general understanding of PTO programs, positions, and functions. Familiar with PTO bylaws. Good leadership skills, people skills, and listening skills. Good problem solver. Demonstrates initiative.
For more information about any of the above roles, see Diane, Tom, Marty or Heather.