PTG Meeting Minutes

October 9, 2007 @ Lapham




§         PTG sign-up; working on getting people hooked up to receive information via the list serve; if you aren’t already receiving email updates and would like to, please send your email address to Tonya ( or just visit the PTG website and sign yourself up.

§         Please attend the district-wide forum that will be held Sunday 10/21 @ 3:00, UW Memorial Union.  Six members of the Madison School Board will be present to discuss issues important to our schools.  See the link on the PTG website for more information (


Anne Fisher – Affiliated Alternatives

§         Nice turn-out at the open houses at both Marquette and Lapham; the students are looking forward to making connections with the school communities; SAPAR students will be helping out with Marquette Mile

§         Still having trouble getting daycare set up for SAPAR; there are funding issues preventing the construction from happening.  Looking into solutions.

§         Question: what is the status of the Wee-start daycare (needed for SAPAR program)?  Grant money will not fund construction projects.  Of the estimated $90K it will take to get daycare set up, the program has $30K through the United Way.  Affiliated Alternatives presented the funding problem to the School Board; Board had lack of information and insufficient funding when agreed last year to setup daycare at Marquette.  Parents are also concerned and are willing to provide community voice to find money.  PTG is asking for a small group of interested people to draft a letter to the school board and superintendent.  There was some concern that that process will take too long.  What are some other options/resources?  Dane County Parent Council (non-profit) runs Wee-start.  PTG will post to the list serve and ask for brainstorming to find funding.

§         Very appreciative of details/care the programs are receiving at both schools

§         Thankful to have vending machines for the AA students at Lapham

§         Thankful for communication with staff at both schools

§         Work & Learn kids are getting out quite a bit now – makes the school quieter

§         Welcomes hearing parents concerns/thoughts to become better part of school community

§         For level 1 Work & Learn, we have 3 students that work in classrooms; going well

§         Question: Is it possible to have a student help as crossing guard at Lapham?  Yes, this is a possibility.  Will look into it.


Mike Hertting – Lapham

§         Fire Awareness day today with both a fire truck and ambulance present – very exciting day for kids; kids were very engaged in learning about fire safety.

§         Implemented instructional blocks for Kindergarten and 1st  grade; a few kids from each class go to literacy and math in a different classroom to reduce class size; this is scheduled in such a way to maintain continuity with homerooms. 

§         Completed fall assessments which helped make decisions for the instructional blocks.

§         Working with Marquette on the School Improvement Plan; especially working closely on the mathematics; deciding what the priorities  will be.

§         Hope parents have an opportunity to see the Alternative program kids; impressed with their respect toward K-2 kids.  Currently have 3-4 students that work in Lapham setting and really impressed.

§         Question: concern about the pull-out instructional blocks and how the assessment results worked in deciding who was pulled out.  We did not take the top or bottom chucks from the whole; hoped for mix of abilities and temperaments of kids; this gets class size down to 14 – kids seem engaged.


Andrea Kreft – Marquette

§         Sees school communities coming together: Marquette, O’Keefe, SAPAR (School Age Parent Program), LEAP (Landmark Elementary Alternative Program) – there is a lot of diversity that’s working well

§         Great open house; several string students played at entrance – very neat

§         Literacy Walk this past Sunday; Marquette had a team, but Cherokee ended up getting money with a team of around 100; will push registration a little harder next fall to improve our chances of winning the $1,000 prize to buy new books.

§         Marquette Mile (14 year tradition) will be this Thursday; a student designed the t-shirt.  This is a fundraiser for the stress challenges (ie ropes course.) In the Challenge by Choice, safety is the  #1 issue; students are presented with a challenge and must make decisions on how to get from point A to B; students must work as team and learn cooperative skills; this program is for grades 3-5

§         Lost .2 music teacher position, but still have Janice Baylor from O’Keefe; the district has been having a hard time getting subs to cover specials

§         School improvement planning is in progress with several teams established:  positive behavior action team; math team; leadership team; Lapham and Marquette will work together on the math team

§         Question: glad to have new bike path along Yahara, but there is concern for students crossing Willy at Thorton since there is not a stop light or crossing guard.  We are looking into getting a crossing guard; looking at safety issue; not sure how this will be resolved; the process to get a crossing guard is very long; suggest contacting TLNA & MNA for possible assistance.  Several volunteers to follow-up on this.

§         Question: does some fraction of PTG money fund music teacher?  No, there is some money for choir/drama costs outside of the regular time, but not during district school teaching time.


Matt Calvert - Advocacy

§               Probably not looking at referendum this February – not 100% certain, but feeling confident that the budget gap will be filled for this year from TIF(Tax incremental financing) money. “Rainwater: Use windfall to cover school budget gap.” October 9, 2007.

§               This will be a one time fix for this year; it will not be of assistance for next year’s estimated gap of $4 million

§               Some concern that referendum discussion should continue even though have one-time funds for this year.

§         Seems there isn’t any current “new plan” for funding schools in the future. Therefore can anticipate continued budget gaps.

§         For the 10/21 forum, there are 4 main issues that will be discussed: advocate for state funding reform; don’t close schools for budgetary reasons; look at district equity policy; and improve the budget process and communication with community.  There was a meeting on 9/26 at which people discussed these 4 main issues; in addition safety also came out strongly at district-wide meeting (especially on the west side).  The meeting on the 21st will look at these 4 main issues and what the board can do to address these.


Chris Rietz – Teacher allocations

§         The PTG annually gives staff at both schools some pocket cash to cover their expenses (this is a budget item for fundraising dollars raised); allocations to both schools will be equitable; we are trying to find out if the PTG can make checks out directly to teachers; allocations will hopefully be made in the next week or so.


Anita Krasno – Fundraising

§         Innisbrook is in progress; 50% of the sales come to PTG; orders are due next week Friday (10/19).

§         Be sure to enter school code when ordering so we get credit for our schools

§         Just coffee should be up and running; trying to figure out the most effective way to get info home to parents; problems with copying and getting into teachers’ mailboxes; not cost effective if the envelopes not used are not recycled.

§         The direct contribution letter will go out attached to directory

§         Still looking into volunteer parking opportunities at Badger games as a fundraiser; if we can’t get in this year, will try hard to park a game next year (other schools estimate $5K per game raised)


Laura Chern – Directory update

§         Still cleaning up data files; at least 200 yellow forms that still need going through; it also needs another round of proofreading

§         Target date for completion is October 31st


Other Announcements

The 4th grade lego group meets on Fridays in Marquette library (Badger-bots); the group is currently full; there is the final Lego competition November 3rd    


Need to look into getting more teachers to the meetings; consider “monthly drawing” for gift certificates as incentives to get more teachers to meetings


Be sure to check out the Lapham-Marquette PTG website!