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Clarkson Secondary School

Parent Advisory Council Minutes


April 16, 2014 - 7:00 p.m.

Principal’s Conference Room





Sue Piotrowski-Chair, Martine Brouillet-Co-chair, Jim Kardash-Principal, May Wong, Laura Smiley, Dureshahwar Butt–SAC Rep, Nicky Rossi, Sylvie Vanroose, Debi Lawrence, Guylaine Juteau-Secretary


Motion to approve January 22, 2014 Minutes                                 Motion Carried - APPROVED


Principal’s Report:

  • Jim Kardash gave an overview of the happenings at Clarkson, noting teachers had just completed the marking process and reports were being issued April 22nd
  • International students are doing well
  • 150 International students are expected next year and there is great interest in the program
  • Cathy Patterson is launching a 2nd International Program
  • Because of its success, the plan is for a total of 8 International programs in Peel
  • Two new teachers will join Clarkson in September – 1 due to Mr. Pearsell’s retirement and the other due to growth from the International program
  • French Immersion is growing steadily with 6 full-time teachers currently
  • September 2014 expects to have four Grade 9  FI classes
  • He noted that Clarkson Secondary has the highest retention rate among its FI students compared to other schools in the region
  • A smoke-free environment is continuing to be promoted at Clarkson
  • Two custom designed tents promoting Clarkson to be used for sporting and community events have been ordered
  • The main driveway at the front of the school will be upgraded/repaved soon
  • Food & Nutrition program received a grant and students are promoting nutritional healthy drinks by offering smoothies. These have been popular and will be further explored.
  • An outdoor education grant in the amount of $6000 was received and will be used by May 31st to promote leadership and fitness

SAC Report:

  • Dureshahwar presented an update on Student Council activities over the past few months and upcoming for Clarkson Cancer Drive. This year’s goal is to raise $19,000 in support of Camp Oochigeas. The activities planned include: BBQ and various Home Room activities and numerous events similar to past years
  • Also in the works - Spring Fling with a fair theme at the end of May; to invite the feeder schools to attend as well
  • SAC will assist/volunteer with Teacher Appreciation Day


  • Motion to apply $500 from Parent Engagement Fund to ESL program for the translation of a document aimed at parents to better understand the program - APPROVED
  • Motion to apply $185.31 from the Parents Reaching Out grant to provide refreshments for Parent Night - APPROVED
  • Motion to revise this year’s two Student Awards to be $100 each with the remaining $500 being applied to the purchase of tents as described previously by Mr. Kardash -APPROVED
  • Motion made for the Guidance Department to provide the names of two students to receive the Parent Council Award. Selection based on previously determined criteria provided last year - APPROVED

Staff Appreciation Day:

  • May 6th is Staff Appreciation Day
  • Plans are well underway and letters have been sent to the various providers
  • Mr Kardash agreed to follow up with Panera Bread to see if they would be providing snacks

Presentation from French Department:

  • Laura Smiley updated Council on the French Immersion program
  • She displayed the new FI banner that is being used to promote the program with visits to/from feeder schools
  • She reviewed the various French courses offered in different grades, noting class sizes are big
  • Clarkson students have participated in several French competitions and are doing well
  • It was suggested that Immersion Info Sessions briefly address transit options so as not to discourage Grade 9 students from continuing their immersion because of a lack of awareness about transit options
  • She briefly reviewed the International languages certificate available for students with the required credits in English, French & Spanish
  • Next September will see a new course introduced – Introduction to Mandarin

Other Business:


By Laws were amended to read: A percentage of the year’s fundraising from the current school year will be allocated to Student Awards at the discretion of the Parent Advisory Council.


In an effort to stimulate interest in Council participation from new grade 9 parents, there was a suggestion to host a ‘Get Acquainted’ night with feeder schools during the first two weeks of June. It was felt this might provide an opportunity to hold their next Council meeting at Clarkson would give those Council members a chance to see the school and be motivated to  participate/attend council meetings once their child enters Clarkson. To include Hillside, Hillcrest and Greenglade middle schools.  Sue Piotrowski to follow up on this item.


Meeting Dates for next school year are as follows:


It was suggested and agreed to alternate meeting nights between Tuesday and Wednesday.


Wednesday – September 17/14

Tuesday – November 18/14

Wednesday – January 21/15

Tuesday – April 21/15


Council Meetings begin at 7:00 pm and take place in the Principal’s Conference Room.                                  

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