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January 18, 2017 Meeting Minutes

Trinity Catholic High School
HSA General Meeting
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

 

Approximately 25 parents in attendance.

Mr. Williams was not able to attend. 

Mr. Robustelli, Athletic Director, spoke regarding positive and important changes with all the sports programs.

Fall Sports

Soccer

  • Programs have been revamped due to the lack of winning seasons.    
  • New Coaches were hired for both the boys and girls teams.

Cheerleading and Volleyball programs are being evaluated. Cross Country had 35 people signed up. Football Program did well.

Winter Sports

Basketball Team is doing well

Girls Basketball team- is doing well but needs some work

Hockey- we need more numbers (players)

Spring Sports

LAX- up to 26 players

Girls’ Softball- hired new coach –This year 32 people and a JV team

Boys’ Baseball- numbers are up so there will be a freshman team

Golf- 2 new Coaches have been hired

Tennis- good signup with 14 for each team

 

Field is done for now- 4 Lights set up and working – “away stands” to be built and netting for soccer and LAX

New Uniforms have been purchased for LAX, softball and tennis – other teams uniforms are being evaluated

Field is rented out for 400 hours so far  (at $150 per hour)- nice profit to help with sports budgets

Drew Schmera workout facility- upgraded and now available for sports training for all student athletes from 2:30-5:30 every day-  Students will be evaluated and then given programs.

Questions were asked regarding starting new teams such as girls lax or swimming- Mr. Robustelli asked that all requests for new teams be brought to him by the students with a roster  – have to weigh the options of how many teams versus available students

 

HSA Sponsored Events

*2/4 HSA Parent Night with the band Freeride in the Cafeteria

Upcoming in March are the Fashion Show/Father Daughter Dance

 

HSA Spiritual Events

Liz Sweeney spoke about the Night of Unity in Christ- a night where local pastors and musicians will come together at TCHS- It is for High School kids/young adults.

Father Joseph has been doing some amazing things.  He has a TV show with episodes-  First Friday Fest formats are being looked at.

 

HSA Volunteer and Finance Activities

Julie Nelson spoke about how the HSA can always use more volunteers- there are plenty of events coming up.  Board elections will take place in March/April for next year.  

Jamie Antonucci (HSA Treasurer) gave a brief finance update – budgets were available if parents wanted to look at them.  Membership is significantly down.  Approximately 100 families have contributed the recommended $50 fee.  (The school has over 300 families) It is not clear if this is due to people forgetting or another reason.  We are looking to include as part of the tuition system for next year.

 

Admissions Activities

Meet and Greet with the Principal Event

Sue Oates spoke about the upcoming Meet and Greet on February 9th.  All parents of 6th, 7th and 8th graders from the local public and Catholic schools are invited to attend.  Format is an informal meeting with presentations and q&a’s. For advertising, an invitation went out to the HSA Board and to current parents.

Welcome Committee

Sue Oates spoke about the creation of a Welcome Committee who is working with the Head of Admissions to welcome all new families.  A letter and car magnet will be sent to the families as soon as deposits are made.  Phone calls will be made to the families and other invitations/letters will be sent out during the year.

Meeting was adjourned

 

October 4, 2016 Meeting Minutes

Trinity Catholic High School
HSA General Meeting
Tuesday, October 4, 2016

In attendance:

Fr Joseph; Tony Pavia; Kate Ingram; Colleen Hennessy; Sue Oates; Lisa Magnifico; Sue D’Elia; Jennifer Marchetti; Julie Giglio-Nelson; Mia Fatta Martinez; Margaret R Green; Jamie Antonucci; Donna Murphy; Karen Szymanowski; Liz Sweeney; Karen Pritchard; Melissa Rossi Wood; Patty Lefort; Anne Tedesco; Jenn Salvatore; Lilly Psychopedas; Nicole Pate; Susan Giambalvo; Kim Maloney; Tanya Therrien; Missy Journick; Iani Brown; Erin Brinton; Virginia Fee; Marge MacLennan; Stephanie Mostowy; Lisa Butler; Lisa Guerrera; Vera Cubarrubia; Wendy Jania; Wendy Dardis; Geralyn Petrafesa; James Green; Pam Scott; Mary Curley.

Welcome and Introductions

Julie welcomed everyone and introduced the HSA Board.

Budget/Membership Dues

Julie told the meeting that HSA membership is down, and explained that dues were not included in the Smart system for tuition fees - so they now have to be collected separately. A letter will go out to all parents explaining this and how they can make payment - as incentive, if paid before 10/30, rewarded with a free shopping pass to the Lord and Taylor event on November 19th.

Julie gave a brief overview of what the HSA does - we fund most of the social events in the school; and give something back to the school/teachers. For example, we spent:

  •  $10,000 on kitchen and teachers’ lounge;
  • $4000 on Internet hotspots and TVs.

We are hoping to be at 75% membership by January - we will then look at our wish list for this year.

Julie mentioned that the books and records of the Home School are kept by the Business office of TCHS and accounted for separately than school funds.

 

Interim Principal Mr. Pavia

Mr. Pavia spoke about coyotes, turkeys, and clowns! He reassured parents that they are aware of the clown issue, and are in communication with the Stamford police to keep informed of the situation locally.

Mr Pavia apologized for short notice - the Senior-Freshman picnic (had to rescheduled) and Grandparents’ Day. With such a busy school calendar, they are working around a multitude of activities, and had to jump into next available ‘good weather’ slot for the picnic.

Walkathon - planning a ‘silly’ engaging assembly to show the kids the history of the event. Important for school spirit, and as a fundraiser. There will be incentives - the kids are great! He’s going to have fun with the kids in the run-up to get them involved, asked for parent help with this.

Principal Search - Mr Pavia feels that they are nearing completion. He has been asked to stay on for a month with the new Principal, a learning curve; also in an advisory capacity for the rest of the year. He acknowledged that there has been too much change over the recent years, and that the kids need continuity and predictability, ‘someone of their own.’

Looking at some things to improve the school. There is a committee looking at a K-12 catholic school system in Stamford - better, unified, consolidated, more efficient. Mr. Pavia will stay on that committee to give TCHS viewpoint. ‘Listening sessions’ being set up in the next month or so - he will be involved in this.

Questions from parents for Mr. Pavia

Q: Plus Portal?

Mr. Pavia explained that this is a new system, on a learning curve, and there are issues. They are still training teachers. Parents need to be signing up too. Plus Portal problems should be addressed to Mr. Armistead.

If there’s an issue with teachers not putting stuff on Portal, first email the teacher, give the teacher the opportunity to resolve the problem.

Q: Parent of Freshman shared that her son is very happy here, and that a critical component in their decision to send him to TCHS was the Portal system which keeps parents updated.

Mr. Pavia explained that it is an expectation of teachers that they post to Portal, not actually a contractual obligation. There was a discussion about kids in High School needing to figure stuff out for themselves; also accountability - school/parent/student. Parents expressed that the Portal updates were reassuring, especially for freshmen.

Q:  Freshman parent very unhappy with big class sizes.

Mr. Pavia explained that the decisions about staffing and scheduling were made some months ago by the prior leadership and it has caused issues.  He is aware of the problem, and cannot defend it. Staffing was reduced, but is getting back up to previous level. He has added 1.5 teachers, and is looking at other ways to increase staff in the future. Class size of 28+ is more than he would like - this should be the exception; students should not have multiple classes of this size.

Q:  Communication between school and parents? Disappointing. Weekly calendar is going out, but E-tidings has not been going out.

Mr. Pavia will look into this.  (it is now going out weekly)

Parents expressed that their kids were very happy here. Mr. Pavia said that teachers say kids are well behaved. He said that mental state of kids and the subculture of the school are very important factors.

Q:  “Mr. Pavia, will you be at Graduation?”

“Yes, I promised the Seniors!”

 

Fr. Joseph, new Chaplain

Fr. Joseph said the kids are awesome, warm, and welcoming. Also, the staff, faculty, and teachers have been very welcoming.

He described his vision to make TCHS the spiritual hub in the community for Youth Ministry and Adult Faith Formation, with:

  • Adult Bible Study - starting this Thursday;
  • First Friday Fest for high school students from Stamford and neighboring towns - starting this Friday;
  • Outdoors Club coming soon - hiking, mountain-biking, skiing, paintball etc.
  • Catholic Service Corps (in addition to Reach Out) - Bishop pushing this initiative;
  • Campus Ministry - week long week of service in Boston in June/July.

Grade-level Retreats - there will be a change to sophomore and junior retreats this year - they will be optional. Students will have to sign up. Fr. Joseph explained that it is disruptive when kids don’t want to be there - it diminishes the experience for the kids who do want to be there. For students who don’t go on retreat, it will be a regular school day. Freshman and Senior retreats will be as usual, not optional.

 

 

April 18th, 2017 Meeting Minutes

Trinity Catholic high School
HSA General Meeting
Wednesday, April 18, 2017


Approximately 30 parents in attendance.

Guest speakers- Mr. Dave Williams, Principal

 HSA Finance and Upcoming Activities

Jamie Antonucci (HSA Treasurer) gave a brief finance update – budgets were available if parents wanted to look at them. 

Julie Nelson spoke about the following events:

  • Fashion Show was a big success and she thanked all the parents that helped
  • Drive a Ford for Trinity Athletics fundraiser – Saturday April 22nd
  • Mother Son Communion Breakfast- May 21st- Location to be announced due to fire at the Italian Center
  • Prom- May 25th- will need chaperones from the freshman and sophomore classes
  • Graduation- Saturday- June 3rd- will need volunteers from the Junior Class as they sponsor the reception

Legacy Gala was discussed briefly- all were encouraged to RSVP as well as sell cash raffle tickets.  Location was moved to Waters Edge due to Italian Center fire.

 

HSA Executive Board Elections

Upon nomination and approval, Colleen Hennessey and Jamie Antonucci were elected co-presidents of the HSA for a two year term. 

Other Board Positions such as Vice Presidents of Hospitality, Admissions /Advancement/Communication/Grade Level Reps etc.  were explained and a handout was distributed.  If anyone has interests in any of these positions, please contact Colleen or Jamie.

 

Welcome Committee Update

Sue Oates spoke about the successful Meet and Greet that was held at Liz Sweeney's home on March 8th with about 20 future parents in attendance. Mr. Williams, Mr. Robustelli, Mr. DeBenedictis and others spoke about happenings at Trinity.

Over 60 welcome letters have been sent to incoming freshman.

A “Freshman (Class of 2021) on the Field” Event is planned for Friday, June 16th at 5:30pm.  Sue and Jon will be hosting the incoming freshman with the goal of having them meet, exchange contact info, and make the entrance into high school easier.   If anyone would like to help with the event, please contact Sue Oates.

 

Principal’s Report and Q&A

Mr. Williams spoke and indicated that increasing enrollment was his number one priority.  He thanked the parents for all their efforts in helping Trinity during these changing times and sympathized with all those who had children transitioning in the lower and middle schools.  He discussed Financial Literacy Month and the great sessions the school was having. Trinity is on the radio every Tuesday in the am on station WSTC 1400.  Different speakers will be on and in the future, the station will cover some sports games and a one- hour led student show.

 

Some items to note from the questions that were asked:

1)     Music Program- As of now, while Mr. Williams totally supports music, there is no budget and not enough enrollment to support a program.  He was working on ideas to use our talented musicians. Parents asked if there was any music requirement for graduation and there is none.

2)     Strategic Plan- Mr. Williams was asked if he had reviewed the last strategic plan that was worked on with Dr. Gerics and whether it was being utilized- He replied that he had not seen it or read it and Julie could send it to him.  He encouraged parents to review the Bishop’s Vision Plan – Imagine 2020-

3)     Vaping-  Parents were extremely concerned over the closing of restrooms and the vaping/smoking issue that is present at the school.  Parents mentioned the students are now so bold as to do it behind the teacher’s backs in the classroom.  Mr. Williams spoke of educating the students on the dangers and that if students were caught, there would be consequences.  Parents asked for assemblies and more communication to the students and parents as to the exact consequences for breaking the school rules.

4)     Graduation- As of now, the school was leaning towards holding graduation in the school gym.  Mr. Williams said the thought behind this was to ensure the field was protected, along with other factors.  A lengthy discussion was held regarding the pros and cons of having the graduation indoors vs. outdoors.  Main complaints were: not enough room in the gym, too hot in the gym, we have a new turf field and should be using it, other high schools graduate on the turf.  Another reason was that the seniors deserve to have a nice graduation after all they have been through with the changes in admin over the last 4 years.  HSA offered to pay for costs associated with having graduation on the field and will begin researching options. 

5)     Community Service- Questions were raised as to whether the process would be reviewed and students could specifically, receive credit for service performed over the summer.  A lengthy discussion was held as clearly there was confusion over all the policies related to Community Service- Mr. Williams was going to review the issue over the upcoming months. He also felt that Trinity did a great job in total hours performed. Parents suggested looking into other Catholic High Schools for their best practices when it comes to Community Service.

6)    Registration and Report Cards – Parents asked if these important documents had been mailed- Mr. Williams apologized for the delay and said they were mailed this week. 

7)    Honor Roll Breakfast- to be held on Wednesday, April 26th in the am.

8)    Plus Portals- Parents again spoke about their concern for the lack of input by certain teachers into the portals.  It is incredibly frustrating when students do not know their grades going into the last few weeks of a quarter.  Mr. Williams asked for the parents to contact him directly about this issue.

9)    Diocese postings of jobs for Assistant Principal – A parent brought up the concern that a job was posted for Trinity AP and yet no communication had been discussed with the parents.  Mr. Williams answered that “he couldn’t comment on the personnel issues as it wouldn’t be fair to the personnel involved”.

10)  Superintendent’s Letter-  A parent asked Mr. Williams to shed some light on the recent communication from the Diocese, specifically regarding a governance committee that was being set –up.  Mr. Williams explained it was in the beginning stages consistent with the governance boards being set up at the middle and elementary schools. 

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Sue Oates, Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

 

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