PTO Meeting Minutes, September 9, 2008

The International School


Paula Prince, PTO President, welcomed all in attendance. She introduced Dr. Stephen Grasmuck.

Dr. Grasmuck, originally from Ontario, Canada, recently served as the Head Master of St. Johns School in Vancouver, Canada. He is married and has a BS in Music, and an MS and PhD in Education from the University of Toronto. He has thirty years experience in education. Dr. Grasmuck has traveled extensively throughout the world and believes teaching is a calling not a ‘job’. His philosophy is consultative, drawing upon the strengths of the staff. Though decisions rest with his position, he has an open door policy. Dr. Grasmuck is happy to be at TIS, and is impressed with the staff, strong enrollment, and facility itself. Construction Update:

  • Corbett street fence would be completed by 9/12/08, hopefully. The lower playground would be done soon, hopefully by the third week in October. A bike rack has been ordered, and is on backlog.

  • Main Building parking spot is to be disability accessible. The offices and main reception will be completed in mid October. The city is requiring we meet all codes for 2008. The stairwells will begin construction in October, one after another.

  • Thank you to all involved with the construction of the school. It has been a difficult process, and Dr. Grasmuck appreciates all their good works and dedication.

Dr. Grasmuck and Linda Bonder have been meeting to crystallize the communication plans started this past year.

Michelle Kerin, Board President. She thanked all who have sent emails and letters to TIS outlining their thinking about the school. Many parents are passionate about the school and the board appreciated the feedback. Thank you to Maria Abad and all the staff as they assumed extra responsibilities, working as true professionals. Thank you to Elda Orr (parent) and Frank Bojanowski (Facilities Manager) and the properties facilities committee.

The Board is committed to ongoing communication with families. Office hours were held this past summer along with two parent forums to discuss ongoing concerns. This was a good opportunity for both sides to exchange dialogue. If interested in reading the minutes from these events, please see the website (look under "About TIS" then "Faculty, Staff & Trustees" to get to the Trustees page).

The TIS Board and parent advisory committee met this summer to interview and hire Stephan. The board will continue to move forward in revising the by-laws and develop policies and procedures. A sub-committee has been formed with people experienced in education and corporate governance. Their first meeting will be the last week of September. A permanent head search, chaired by Trustee Mark Holman (no relation to Michelle, not a current TIS parent, on the board for three years), will lead the committee.

The strategic plan, which began last year, should be completed along with the master campus plan within the next six months. The first board meeting is 9/24/8, at 6:30 PM, in the music room. It is open to the public.

Sichuan Sister School Opportunity

Catriona McCracken, TIS parent, introduced some members of The China US Center for Sustainable Development. Mr. Kent Snyder, one of the staff, discussed the organization. Briefly, a Portland Based Team of architects, engineers, and sustainability experts is collaborating to build safe and sustainable schools in Sichuan Province following the May 12, 2008, earthquake. Organized by the China US Center for Sustainable Development, the team held a sustainable schools workshop in China and visited communities in Sichuan to better understand the need for safe, sustainable, cost effective and rapidly scalable schools. Some key points:

  • 100, 000 people died and more displaced as a result of the 5/12/8 earthquake. Between seven to eight thousand (7000-8000) schools were destroyed.

  • The organization is set to begin raising $2.5 million to help make a significant system approach in the Sichuan Province.

  • The plan is to build five thousand (5000) schools by 2009-2010.

This collaborative effort affects not only those in China, but all over the world. TIS is encouraged to establish a sister city within this province. If you have ideas and/or interested in helping the school participate in this project please contact Catriona McCracken. For additional information, please go to the website:

TIS Auction, November 8, 2008

Kate Schweitzer and Mark Jones, co-chairs of the auction, encouraged all to attend the event being held at Montgomery Park. The cost is $75, and an additional $35 to attend the pre-party event. Volunteers are needed; and every family is asked to procure one item. There are procurement forms in the offices and bins to place items to be procured. The school is seeking sponsorships so if your business or employer is interested in a sponsorship contact Mark or Kate.

The Special Appeal will include major changes to the gym (raise the floor, pad the walls, install lights, etc.) as well as improvements to the adjacent field. A committee is needed to head the special appeal.

The Free Tuition Raffle will be held, along with the Golden Ticket (75 tickets sold for $100 and the lucky winner will choose one live auction item).

THE AUCTION WILL BE HERE SOON! Check out the TIS website to learn more (see the link from the home page or go to "Giving" then "Auction").

Paula Prince, Committee Reports

There are still spaces on many committees. The Run for the Arts will be held on 10/2/8, (10/8/8, if it is rainy). Children seek sponsors, and then run around the school to raise money for the art program. Last year $12,000 was raised. There is a flyer in your child’s school folder, in their classroom.

The Scrip Committee, an easy moneymaker for the school, needs parents to help promote the program during drop off and pick up. Contact Joan Francis to learn more about this program or visit the website and look under Giving (Scrip gift cards).

Parking during drop off and pick up can be difficult and parents are often in a hurry but administration has asked parents to please not park in the fire lanes or at the top of the circle on campus. Parking in the fire lanes can be dangerous as well as block the traffic flow. Also, please refrain from talking on cell phones while driving on campus.

During the open forum, concerns were raised regarding the safety and security of the facilities, specifically the upper modular. Parents discussed specific issues pertaining to students walking to the bathroom in the main building unattended as well as unlocked doors. They also voiced their concerns with homeless individuals near the car wash. These concerns are currently being addressed by the facilities committee and Dr. Grasmuck.

Debbie Rink
PTO Secretary