Giving thanks - Nov PTA Newsletter
November 13, 2023
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Hello Singer Friends,
I don’t know about all of you, but I can’t believe it’s November. It’s that time of year when they put the signs on the light posts about leaf removals and I ask my husband 43 times what our day is and we miss it anyway. I love how some houses are holding on to Halloween (the inflatable grim reaper loves Thanksgiving too), while others have already decorated for Christmas (that’s Costco’s fault for putting the trees out in August). It’s truly the time of year where you go at your own pace, celebrate whatever makes you happy, and try to figure out how to clean your house at the perfect moment so the kids don’t mess it up before guests arrive.
So given we’re here, smack in the middle of Nov, let’s recap the PTA happenings since I last wrote. We ran a wildly successful book fair, breaking the Singer record for sales. We invited the Mario Bros. for movie night and enjoyed the weather together outdoors, and our room parents threw some spectacular parties for the fall festival. We had another popular dine-out (clearly, we’re all Chipotle people) and some of you had some gorgeous fall photos taken by the Shoott photographer. Our November “supply of the month” is soap for classrooms, including a huge refill for each room because kids either use no soap or all the soap. Oh, and the school is receiving many of the equity books you generous people have ordered. We’re doing all the things, and I’m grateful to everyone who is making it all happen.
That brings us to the upcoming holidays. Our PTA has several traditions that are important to share because, full transparency …. you’re about to get A LOT of emails. Like, a lot. Here are some explanations about the efforts we’re leading so you can keep it all straight:
1) Coat drive: We are running our annual coat drive again this year to help everyone stay warm this winter (I hear the prediction for snow is good!). If you have gently used, clean coats to donate, please leave them in the box in the front of the school.
2) Family Sponsorships: Maura works with the school to build wish lists for families who need a little help making sure the holidays are special for all. She’ll let us know how we can help via email very soon.
3) Staff Gifts: Every year, we sponsor a cash collection (via Venmo, of course) so we can gift every Singer staff member with gift cards to thank them for all they do. We also host a breakfast the week before winter break where we deliver the cards and hand-written notes. We’ll probably be super annoying about this one, but that’s just because we love our staff.
That’s all for now. We have lots of good stuff in this newsletter so please keep reading. And as you see the lights in our neighborhood celebrating Diwali, remember that this holiday is all about celebrating the triumph of light over dark, good over evil, and the blessings of enlightenment …. Certainly what the world needs more of right now.
PTA Meeting This Wednesday! RSVP please!
Please join us for our Nov PTA meeting, where we'll briefly discuss PTA business and then Mr. Heatwole and Mr. McKinley will talk about discipline and safety in the school. Please RSVP so we know how much food to order!
KAH will be available for childcare.
Wednesday, Nov 15, 2023, 06:45 PM
Singer Media Center
We are looking for volunteers to help plan this year’s International Night, an event showcasing our school’s amazing diversity with colorful table displays, clothing, food, and performances from around the world. International Night will be held in late February. We are just starting to get organized, so this is not (yet) a call for hosting tables, although if you want to show off a country that is dear to your heart, you can certainly start planning for that now! At the moment, we are looking for parents who would like to be on the planning committee to help organize the event – manage table sign-ups, find and book performers, get supplies, organize volunteers for the night of the event, etc. – all the fun stuff, basically. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to help!
Dine out success
Thanks to PTA volunteer Brett Gellman for organizing these Dine Outs!
Book Fair Results
Thank you to PTA volunteers Cecelia Levin and Joanna Grossman for leading the book fair organization, and to the 70+ volunteers who helped make the book fair a joyful experience for our kids!
The Equity Book Wish lists can be found here. If you haven't purchased a book yet, this is your time to do so! This effort intentionally introduces a diverse set of books into our classrooms so that the cultures, holidays, rituals, and ideas that our kids are exposed to reflect the diversity of our community.
Congratulations to the October winner - Ms. Lindsay Benjamin!
Here is praise for Ms. Benjamin:
“I am having a hard time putting into words how grateful I am for Mrs. Benjamin. As a single parent I worry every time that my son has to do a family project. Today she created a welcoming and safe space for my son to openly discuss his dad. I am grateful she is part of the Flora Singer community.“
2022-23 Financial Review Update
The Financial Review Committee (consisting of Treasurer-Elect Chris Reynolds and volunteers Yvonne Carney and Joe Altepeter) reviewed all monthly bank statements from fiscal year 2022-2023, the PTA checkbook register, QuickBooks reconciliation reports, deposit, and disbursement records. For large transactions (greater than $400) and for a random sample of all other transactions, the committee performed a detailed review of documentation and verified the expenditures’ alignment with the approved PTA budget. No significant financial irregularities were identified, as the PTA treasurer disbursed funds in accordance with approved budget categories. Category-level budget amendments were approved by the general membership and within-category realignments were approved by the Board and reflected in the Board meeting minutes. Recommendations of the committee included listing individual check numbers, payer names, and payment amounts as supplemental documentation when receiving funds from many sources (like during the book fair), and avoiding automated ACH payments directly from the PTA bank account because these can be difficult to fully document.