John English Junior Middle School SAC meeting is at 7:00 pm, May 16, 2013

Below is the agenda:

John English SAC Meeting
Thursday, May 16, 2013, 7 – 8:30 pm


Welcome 7 – 7:05
Additional agenda items/other business

Principal/Vice Principal’s Report 7:05 – 7:30

Board Business 7:30 – 8:30

Org chart
Treasurer’s Report – year to date
Movie Night
Year to date results

Schoolyard Enhancement
Healthy Bites
Parent Safety Program

Health & Safety


Class Rep Network

Other Business

Meeting Ends 8:30


To ensure meeting effectiveness and equality for all parents, the Chair will be monitoring the conversation, to ensure all parents have a voice, and will be implementing a “ Parking Lot”, for items that need more discussion outside of the meeting time.

[End of agenda text]


The note at the conclusion of the agenda particularly caught me attention. It’s my sense that civic engagement is particularly effective when speaking time is shared more or less equally at such meetings.

It’s always helpful, in my experience – as a person involved with a wide range of meetings and organizations over many years – where a formal strategy and framework is in place to address a situation where a one-person monologue or series of monologues threatens to impede the effectiveness of such meetings.

I’m very impressed with John English as a school. I volunteer regularly at the Healthy Bites program. The latter is a significant achievement – a project started some years ago by a parent at the school.

I’ve also been following with interest the Schoolyard Enhancement project at the school.

The school, whose history in the community makes it a key part of Mimico’s social fabric, is blessed with a large playground on which are located several large trees, whose canopy is welcome source of shade on sunny spring and summer days.

Among the historic features that I’ve noticed is the difference in colours of the bricks on the walls, indicating the different phases of construction of the buildings on the site.

As well, I note that the security fence on the east side of the building, closing off a small courtyard, is particularly well designed, tall and robust.

I would imagine that the planning and building of the security fence years at this part of the school years ago would be the basis of an interesting back story related to the history of the school and the neighbourhood.

In the event you have details about the story, which I imagine would be quite interesting and evocative, please let me know.

Monologues and conversations

The reference (above) to monologues draws inspiration from a comment by Mike James regarding what it takes to organize a top-quality Jane’s Walk. Mike James and I have led several Jane’s Walks in recent years in Long Branch.

The advice he has shared for new leaders of Jane’s Walks goes as follows:

– be flexible and the discussion will evolve based on the participants

– it’s a conversation not a lecture but also don’t let it become a 1 person monologue

– be prepared to learn something you didn’t know.

[Conclusion of Mike Jame’s advice to beginner Jane’s Walk leaders]


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