PTO Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
NES PTO General Board Meeting MINUTES
7pm NES Library
TRUNK OR TREAT
1. Registration (Trunks/Wristbands):
- At the moment, 66 trunks registered, last year was 75/447 total trunk or treaters.
- Last possible time to register a trunk and buy wristbands at the discounted price is Thursday 8pm.
- Formsite will cut it off at midnight.
- We were trying to encourage pre-purchasing wristbands because we want to buy enough candy.
- We spent less money on extra candy this year. We always run out of candy fast. We asked all trunks to bring 300-500 pieces of candy (no nuts).
- Talked about limiting the number refills because the kids end up going home with So Much candy. We can maybe give each car three tickets to refill.
- Comments/discussion: We want to get rid of the candy so don’t limit it./ Kids who come later may not get as much candy./ Other trunks can share candy./ Decision: No tickets for candy refill.
- We are all square with firemen and police
2. Online Voting for Trunks:
- Big change this year – online voting on a website so that people can vote for best trunk. It is not an app.
- All the people who have registered by Friday morning will get a link to the website for voting.
- Numbers will be chalked in the parking spaces for registered trunks for voting purposes (Thursday 5:15)
- Comment: You might want to put a theme with the trunk to make it easier.
- We thought of that, but some people did not know what they were doing.
- Names and numbers will be posted at trunks instead
3. Other Trunk or Treat Info:
- Two food trucks are coming – Jules and Chucks BBQ
- Logo wear will be sold
- DJ Tommy is confirmed.
- Send Mr. King an email about logo wear and he can leave it in lobby for us.
- Two cash boxes needed – one for the logo wear and one for registration.
- Need 2 volunteers for registration, 2 for candy table, 2 for logo wear, 4 or more for cleanup
- Lincs hours for high school kids. How do we promote it? Facebook/High School webpages/FB. District FB page?
- We have two PTO members who can sign off on Lincs hours.
- Have Rubber gloves!
- Leaf blower would be great – someone had one last year and it was great.
1. Call attention to dates:
- CR education week – posted those days via email – If anyone has any questions let me know, but those dates are set by the district.
- Half days for Thanksgiving week.
2. ALICE Drill:
- From all the first responders here – 6 or 7 of them – they all gave us a thumbs up.
- Everyone was asked to clear the halls, lock the doors, barricade the doors and get kids out of the way of the doors. Doors were rattled, but nothing more than that.
- It was very controlled. Everyone knew what was going to happen. It was the first step in a long-range plan of adding a new piece each time. What’s important for everyone to know is that we are still having our locks updated, we also had a couple doors that the locks were broken after installation so other than that we got the thumbs up. We met afterwards to reflect, and it was very positive.
- Next, we will do it when the kids are spread out in the school/hallways or in specials.
- As we progress, we will open it up and make it a little bit more challenging.
- This drill was all kids in their homeroom. This way if there were any emotions or worries, the classroom teachers were there to handle it and be communicated to the families.
- It’s spooky. Two sides of the fence – It’s scary we shouldn’t be doing it / It’s the day and age and we have to look at it more closely. Council Rock has done a good job of looking ahead with doing pieces especially for elementary.
- Comment: Thank you for sending the PowerPoint presentation. Parents were well informed.
- All credit we give to the teachers to prepare the kids, but they knew their kids well enough to prepare them. We only heard that one Kg and one 2nd grader got a little upset, but it was handled, and parents were called.
- The social story is helpful. You might get, “Well, what if…” The tell us to listen in the story. So I listen, and then I know what to do if “what if…”
- Its uncomfortable for all of us, we do the best we can to offset that. Some of those “what ifs” we say that’s a good conversation for home because we don’t want to speak on your behalf of the parent. This is just another way we practice, being prepared is better.
- Staff had a practice as well. The staff asked “what if” as well and we were able to address those ahead of time.
- We are looking at security in a whole new way. That’s where we are and we have had training for it.
- Question: Do we know when the next drill is?
- The district will let us know when the next step is and we will report to the families with email. We are going to ease into it the best we can.
3. Science Fair tri-fold boards:
- Question: Will they be available at teacher conferences?
- Yes! We are going to order at least two batches next week based on last year’s numbers.
- Registration will open up next week after Trunk or Treat.
- Boards will be in the classrooms to hand out – We will try and drop them the Friday before conference week.
1. Current Budget discussion:
- Our balance has increased since our last meeting.
- Coming in: primarily class dues and logo wear sales
- Going out: deposit for 6th grade cruise, Xavier’s plaque, secret shop and back to school social expenses.
- Class dues were distributed to HRC’s.
- For 6th grade dues – we have about 74% of dues come in and our goal is 80% to support the budget. It’s comparable to last year as dues will continue to trickle in – keep sending in dues!
- Back to school social was a break-even event, but logo wear sales were up.
2. Kids Stuff Books:
- Receiving responses from all the families is maybe not as good as last year.
- We still have 108 outstanding books - $2700 total
- Next step to send out Private email reminders to hopefully get more books coming back.
- Online there may be some orders where school code was not entered, but not more than 5 or 10.
- We will have a small crew untick labels from books that need to go back.
- Question? When will ordered books be sent home?
- Trying to close out outstanding the best we can first. Online orders should come back quickly. We are hoping the rest will be within the month.
- Next year, as some kind of incentive, can we offer a reward to the school if all kids return their books to the school?
SCHOOL PLAY PROPOSAL
1. Why outsource for a school play?:
- So many kids were disappointed, so some parents investigated outsourcing the play.
- Maria runs the Bensalem Drama Club and she is willing to do this for our school.
- Theme will be the Lion King.
- We will pay her, but it will be covered by the charge to the kids in the play ($40) as well as ticket sales.
- Charge a little more for tickets to cover costs - $5.00 or $10 for preferential seating.
- Two dates for auditions in Dec. – play practice would start in January.
- Practices would be the same as last year – Monday and Thursday 3:30-5:15 and a couple of Saturdays.
- Four Shows – 1 Friday, 2 Saturday and 1 Sunday - two school shows as well if possible.
- Jackie Hoskins has offered to be at every practice.
- This must to be a PTO event to have our insurance cover it.
- PTO Insurance requires that volunteers do the sets and we need to have more parent volunteers at each practice than the outsourced company – this can be done with a sign up for parent help.
- With only 30 practices we don’t think it will be unrealistic to get more parent volunteers.
- We need to have at least 3 parents/practice.
- Question to Mr. King was to have a school assembly or an afterschool Q&A event for interested families.
3. Bensalem Drama Club philosophy:
- Our philosophy is the make it a learning experience for all the kids – no one is turned away
- Rehearsals will be separated by groups and only those kids will come for those practices – all in a detailed calendar.
- This way we only manage a small group at a time. If it was larger then it takes away from the experience for the kids.
- We want the kids to stay focused and not sit around for a long time.
- The ensembles drive the stories – bring the excitement back to make them feel special, too. They get to be creative too with choices of their own.
- We call the casts by color – blue and white for school colors – and cut it just down the middle.
- We try to get all the kids ON the stage to make it an experience for all the kids
4. Additional Comments/Questions & vote:
- Would any teachers have interest to be involved in the play?
- Mr. King already met with the grade level leaders and put that question out to the teachers. They know to reach out if there is an interest.
- Can we get a flyer or information out to the families do they know when things are happening? Information can be pushed out to the parents via email/PTO list serve, etc.
- Can we make an announcement on the morning or afternoon announcements to generate some excitement and to be on the lookout? Answer TBD.
- PTO will streamline the process with payment online etc.
- All in favor of PTO event outsourcing the play? Majority of those in attendance voted YES.
TEACHER GRANT APPROVALS
1. Requests approved:
- Expanding the library
- Additional equipment to supplement physical education
- Flexible seating
- Reading A-Z program for ELD support
2. Other grant $ discussion
- Teachers are grateful for this offer that has been provided by the PTO
- Some teachers are undecided about what to purchase with grant money.
- Some teachers are wanting to pool their money to purchase higher cost items – poster maker for school.
- Challenge - this would need to be maintained by the building budget and is still in discussions.
- This is perhaps something to postpone until the next school year.
- Keep the PTO posted.
1. Held all next week (Oct. 21-25)
- The Newtown bookstore will give 20% of all “NES” purchases will go back into our library.
- Two evening will have celebrity readers – Tuesday and Wednesday – the readers have been posted on the list and on the PTO website.
- Anytime next week will support our school.
- Standalone flyer will go home Thursday.
1. Incoming Box tops:
- Flow in the lobby has been great! We are doing well.
- Deadline for the clipped tops is Oct. 25th.
2. Transition to digital
- Transition to an app to scan receipts – eventually clipping will phase out and it will be all digital.
- With the new scanning app we cannot do classroom competitions because we don’t know who is sending in online or clipping.
- Looking to do a whole school reward for reaching a goal instead.
- Last fall $722 collected last fall
- PTO suggestions – extra recess, pj day/spirit day/free homework pass
- Mrs. Cannon will reach out to the staff with the three choices, teachers can weigh in with their preferences. Results will be sent to the PTO and we will move forward with it.
- A gentle reminder to please put all Box Tops in the lobby box.
- Send Mr. King an email the day before the collection deadline, we can grab a few 6th graders to lap the building collecting box tops from classroom and be done in 20 minutes.
- Suggestion – like the middle school, have people send in their receipts if they don’t want to download the app. Or to send a picture of the receipt to the PTO to scan. We will look into that.
NIGHT WITH YOUR KNIGHT
1. Bowling this year:
- We had feedback from parents that is was the same place a couple years in a row and maybe to change it up.
2. Coming up mid-November:
- Registration will come out soon, after trunk or treat.
EQUITY AND INCLUSION
1. Heritage Festival
- Nov 23rd 11-2pm Saturday – families can come set up at 10am.
- guidelines are on the website
- A flyer has been made we are getting the word out.
- We would like to encourage 6th graders to come and share their country project posters
- It is also open to non-profit organizations – last year we had a teacher from the Hight School who teaches language.
- The Peace Center, The Human Relations of Newtown, and others are coming as well.
- We are highlighting all diversity. We want to bring awareness about diversity.
- Last year the teachers sent out information about our festival, we are hoping they can do that this year as well.
- It can be posted on the website as well. Help us get the word out.
- In addition to a table, we can have performances (dances, music, food, etc.). It is a time to celebrate.
- People can bring food, too, but list the ingredients for allergies
2. Diversity Day – morning event with breakfast – May 15th (Friday)
1. Does Newtown Elementary School do pep rallies with the Eagles, etc.?
- Last year we had Bob Kelly come for a couple events.
- When there is some big event we reach out to Bob and see if he can come, but it’s hit or miss.
- Nov 11th is Dance for Kindness. We have already reached out to him if he can come for that, but we don’t yet know.
- The dance choreography is online.
- We have dance instructor kids are going to different grade levels and teaching the dance to others.
- Is there is a T-shirt that kids are encouraged to get? It is all on the website, but information will be coming out to the families, too.
- The message board that PTO puts out in the car line is so helpful! Thank you!