PTO Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

NES PTO General Board Meeting MINUTES

7pm NES Library


HRC Process

1.Over the years, PTO has had feedback from parents about HRC selection. As per parent requests, this year HRC signup was left open until after Back to School Night to allow more parents the opportunity to sign up. This year many more people signed up either on the PTO website or at back to school night.


2.How HRC volunteers are selected after signups:

  • Together, the PTO president and HRC coordinator create a numbered list of all volunteers/classroom (1,2,3 etc.)

  • Numbered slips of paper are placed in a bowl. For each separate classroom, two numbers are pulled out of the bowl, the names that correspond with those numbers are then circled. The numbers are placed back into the bowl and the process is repeated for the next classroom.

  • With this process, the HRC coordinator makes sure it is a completely random selection.

  • The PTO understands that with more volunteer signups that there will be more disappointed people.

  • The PTO will gladly consider changing the process if people have suggestions for improvement. The PTO meets once each month on a Tuesday at 7pm in the Newtown Elementary Library. This meeting is open to the public and everyone is invited to attend! Dates are posted on the PTO website.


3.Suggestions/Comments from those in attendance:

  • It was nice that signups were also available in the classroom

  • Maybe put a cap on the number of times someone can be HRC?

  • Sometimes there are only 1 or 2 names listed from signups and those may be people who have done it repeatedly in the past.

  • Have teachers pull the name out of a bowl on back to school night.

  • Some people are looking at it as a reward as being a vested NES parent, but it’s a random pick to try and involve more parents, and unfortunately, we cannot make all people happy.

  • HRCs selected are meeting on the 16th of this month



Principal/Teacher Updates

1.It was a smooth opening to school – other than transportation – we hit the ground running. How the teachers have balanced everything has been great. Most indicators are that teachers and students are happy. Please let Mr. King know if something isn’t going well.


2.So that everyone is aware, to us, redistricting is not over yet. New students coming to our school in the spring was helpful in terms of comfort level, but it’s not the same until they are in the classroom sitting next to their peers. Now is the time to focus on the transition to build a classroom community with the new students.


3.Question – school play?


4.Responses and comments to school play question:

  • There has been a core group of people for 9 years that have done the musical, each year the group tries to recruit as much help as they can. With staff changes, the team did not feel they would have the help that would be necessary, so felt this would be a good a year to take a step back.

  • Can PTO, Parents, community help to fill in the void?

  • It’s all consuming for 6 months. Most people do not understand the commitment it takes. There will be a variety/talent show instead. It is much less intensive. This will allow the team to regroup and try to get a group together for next year and maybe do it again next year. We need to respect their decision.

  • Many people are disappointed.

  • Proposed ideas – parent volunteers, Lincs hours for drama high school kids, raise price of tickets to outsource for musical.

  • Outsourcing would require it to become a PTO sponsored event.

  • PTO does not have the budget to sponsor this event.

  • PTO can offer support with money collection/tickets/reaching out to volunteers, etc.

  • We have more equipment and resources this year so it’s disappointing.

  • Other schools do it every other year, that is something to consider.

  • A meeting with the core musical team will happen soon and we will see how to go forward.


Treasure Update/Budget Approval

1.PTO fiscal year is July 1 - end of June.


2.For transparency: PTO uses Quick Books accounting software, every month the books are reconciled - we have someone not on the account check and sign it.


3.Budget for this year was discussed...


4.Last year was a big spend year with the new sound system


5.This year we are doing a teacher grant program


6.Start up costs - PTO has paid for homework agenda/scholastic/time/first in math


7.Sixth grade - 118 students – we assumed 80% of the dues. We feel confident with the budget for 6th grade based on last year, some numbers were dropped a little because we have less students this year.


8.Administrative/Operations/startup costs - Insurance for events has already been paid, webforms, websites, supplies as well.


9.Events – we make some money on these events, but they are primarily for community building – trunk or treat, back to school social, night with your knight, donuts and muffins, sweetheart dance, field day.


10.Fundraisers – spring fling, secret shop, and kid stuff book.

  • Conservative with budget because we have a smaller student body.


11.Programs

  • 6th grade tile project

  • Assemblies, 2 - School wants to stick with diversity theme for other assemblies – PTO can look into that.


12.Teacher grant fund is new. For each teacher a set amount of funds have provided for something that benefits the students in the classroom.


13.Other - Memorial Plaque for Xavier Ross


14.Diversity fund - there was a couple events last year were PTO handled custodial services.


15.Projects – Money left over from spring show that we are saving for any possible needs in that area – for a spring variety shows/costumes, etc.


16..Questions/Comments:

  • Any plans to add anything to the playground for younger kids. The kids are talking about wanting more/this playground is lacking – like a gaga pit - word from other schools is that gaga pit causes a lot of conflict.

  • There is talk about adding things to make it more handicap accessible, but that is in the beginning stages.


17.We are going to use this year as a growing/regrouping year financially so we can invest more for the school in the future.


18.Budget – APPROVED – by those present.


Grant Approvals

1.We have money set aside / teacher


2.Mrs. cannon was approved first and she really loves her document camera – makes it so easy to show student work without them having to rewrite everything. She has used it every day!


3.Discussed other teacher grant requests – More document camera requests will get a blanket approval for similar items – YES


4.Mrs. Ludwig - Light filters were handled by Mr. King – so she needs to send in a new request.


5.Spread the word to other teachers!


6..Teachers will get notices that they have been approved by PTO following this meeting.


Back to School Social

1.Friday night there will be two food trucks (Jules and Maui Lu) as well as Gabriel’s 2. Logo wear will be sold as we just got a new shipment.


2.Raffle tickets for key to the castle – we did one key to the castle for early dues payments (about 65% dues have come in)


3.At 7:15 first truck will come to spray the children


4.Dj Tommy will be there


5.Fun and snacks/refreshments.


Box Top Transition/Moving Forward

1.We are transitioning from clipping to digital.


2.App is easy to use, but the hardest part to get people on board because no one likes change – company is in transition as well - you have to scan within 14 days – that will be the hard part for people.


3.Mrs. cannon passed out the containers for all classes to dump into the lobby box. We have a mom that is excited to help with that. We are updating our webpage with as much info as possible to make the transition easier.


4.PTO needs some help with classroom contests – with scanning we have no way to know who has submitted box tops.


5.PTO was talking about maybe setting a school wide goal, if the school passes the goal, the whole school gets reward.

  • The idea was well liked by all/think it will be great in the long run.


6.We just need to agree on the reward-what we’re shooting for.


7.There will be no need to put students names on clipped box tops.


8.We can give a few options for rewards – maybe the kids choose what they would like?


9.What about a school-school competition?


10.Second to last week of oct will be the deadline to bundle and send off.


Memorial Plaque for Xavier Ross

1.PTO has been talking to Mrs. Parsons to make a plaque for Xavier. PTO is happy to cover the costs.


2.She is looking for something to match the plaques she has on the wall outside of the Kindergarten doors.


3.She spoke with the Ross family about what the plaque should say.


4.PTO is in the process of getting quotes and she knows we are on board and handling it and we will keep her in the loop. We can keep everyone updated. It’s about a 4 week turn around.


5.We will have a little get together – not whole school - but we let everyone know where it is so they can go look at it.


Equity and Inclusion

1.We are proud of everything that has happened with diversity in the school. We want to continue these events – heritage festival last year exceeded our expectations.

  • Our inclusion committee wants involve the kids even more – 6th graders put so much work into their own country project so we want them to be able to share it with others.

  • We want to do the festival in Nov and we will need help to get the word out.


2.We don’t want to charge people like other schools, to pay custodian, etc. but maybe we can do raffle baskets to raise some money to help with those expenses.


3.The other event is the inclusion breakfast – but we are hoping to get a Friday in May or June at the end of the year


4.There was food at the heritage festival – but we asked everyone to include ingredient list for allergy purposes


5.Planning meeting next Tues 7pm Corner Bakery if anyone would like to attend


6.Send a blurb to PTO and we will put on Facebook and the list serve.


7.Parent suggestion – sending out a list of different holidays celebrated by different cultures so that students can celebrate together


8.Diversity is more than just cultures. We celebrate the differences in all people.


Committees

1.PTO wanted to get some people to help with committees

  • Back to school social – SignUp Genius will be sent out

  • bowling (night with your knight) to help with check-in – volunteers w/o boys

  • Science fair – we should identify volunteers early so we can get that going by conferences.


*Reach out to Ryan O’Keefe about metals


  • Secret shop volunteers

  • Trunk or Treat will be Oct 18th 6:30-8


2.Volunteers help built the community of the school and the kids really love it – kids get more involved and feel pride in their school when their parents volunteer.


3.Looking for people to help with logo wear - they don’t have to be at all the events - if we have more people, those involved can tag team.


4.Thank you, Mr. King, for the use of the hall cabinet for displaying logo wear!