Friday Features - 9/7/18

Your Weekly BGS PTO News & Happenings

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What a sweltering start to the school year! We hope your Bears enjoyed the Open House, cooled down with some Kona Ice, and had a fun time during their first days back at school.

Our teachers have certainly done a great job, as you see above, making sure our hallways are bright and colorful. Our friends on the PTO Beautification Committee & our BGS 4th Grade Girl Scout Juniors Troop have done an equally nice job helping to beautify the outside of school. Check out the wonderful new plantings and new flower bed by our school sign! We appreciate your help to making BGS a welcoming space.

It wasn't just the outdoors getting brightened up. The PTO lit up the teachers faces on Wednesday by welcoming them back to school with a special luncheon. Thanks to everyone who donated snacks, drinks, and desserts, as well as to Bagel Garden for their yummy sandwich platters and salads!

For those of you joining us for the first time, Friday Features is brought to you every week by the Bradley Gardens Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). Each issue highlights upcoming school events and shares tidbits from recent activities. It's not the only place you can find info about the PTO though - we're also on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to follow us on one or both of those platforms so that you don't miss quick reminders and event updates in between issues.

And now, on with this week's news!

- Kelly Schmidt & Briana George, BGS PTO Co-Presidents

What's New With the PTO This Year?

At the end of the school year, our PTO did some "voice of the customer" to see what was working, what could use some adjusting, and what new ideas were brewing. We talked with parents at our PTO meeting, polled you through Friday Features and also checked in with our teachers at a faculty meeting. All of this input has shaped what we have in store for the year. Here are a few highlights of what you can expect:

  • More Great Enrichments for Our Kids - From science assemblies and author visits to spreading messages about anti-bullying, the PTO will continue to fund assemblies to enrich the classroom experience. We'll also continue to subsidize the cost of field trips.

  • Increased Resources for Our Teachers - We provide funds for our teachers to purchase additional classroom resources through programs like Teachers Pay Teachers. Plus, our PTO Mini Grant program helps teachers to fund projects to enrich their class, their grade, or the whole school.

  • Continue BGS Family Fun - Not everything about the school experience happens in the classroom. We'll continue to offer Family Fun Nights like the Halloween Hoot, the Brain Show, and maintain time honored traditions like the BGS Thanksgiving Feast. We're also excited to be bringing back the Talent Show in the Spring!

  • Fewer Fundraisers - We heard you! As you know, enrichments for teachers and students aren't free. We do have to fundraise to pay for those items, but HOW we fundraise is something the board has spent a lot of time on over the summer. We've added a fundraiser tied in with learning - a Read-a-Thon! We've focused on a LOT fewer products (i.e. no gift wrap, no chocolates, no coupon books) and more community-focused events like Restaurant Nights and our much-loved Clothing Sales & Toy Sales.

  • More Frequent PTO Meetings - Last year, we shrunk our PTO meetings down to just an hour. This year, we're increasing how often we meet to about once a month so we can cut down on how much PTO "business" we need to discuss at each meeting. With less business to talk about, we've created the space to bring in guest speakers from the school and community. We've also rotated the nights we meet to enable more families the chance to join and will be testing out a "virtual" meeting during the winter months.

  • Faster Access to the School Directory - Everyone loves the School Directory, but not how long it takes to get a printed copy. It's a great resource for planning play dates, car pools, and parties. To help get things out to you faster this year and in keeping with other schools in the district, inclusion in the directory will be limited to PTO Members and we'll be sharing it electronically! More info will come on that next week.

We hope you'll find the changes to come refreshing and encourage you join us at our 1st PTO meeting of the year on Wed., Sept. 26 at 7 PM.

Homeroom Parents Wanted!

Want to make a difference in your child's BGS experience? Though there are many ways to volunteer at Bradley Gardens, one of the recurring roles is that of Homeroom Parent.

Homeroom Parents play a key role in:

  • helping to spread information between the PTO and their class by attending PTO meetings
  • ensuring our teachers are recognized and appreciated through class gifts
  • partnering with teachers to organize and celebrate various events through the year
  • building a strong community of volunteers by sharing ideas with other Homeroom Parents

Homeroom Parent Info forms will be coming home via backpack mail next week. Each class can have up to 3 Homeroom Parents - we'll hold a lottery for those classrooms where we have more volunteers than slots available.

If you're interested, be sure to return the Homeroom Parent Interest form when it comes next week. Then join us for a brief informational session, "So You Want to be a Homeroom Parent?" on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 6:30. In that meeting, we'll cover the specific duties, share some best practices from prior homeroom parents, and make sure you know what you're signing up for. We'll hold the Homeroom Parent lottery on Sept. 27.

Stay tuned for more info next week!

Stay Tuned Next Week For Info On...

Dates to Remember

  • Sept. 10 - No School
  • Sept. 19 - No School
  • Sept. 24 - Final Day for Class Parent Entries
  • Sept. 24 - 28 - Book Fair
  • Sept. 26 - 6:30 PM - Class Parent Info Session
  • Sept. 26 - 7 PM - PTO Meeting
  • Sept. 27 - Class Parent Lottery Drawn

Stay in Touch

Bradley Gardens PTO

Briana George, Co-President

Kelly Schmidt, Co-President

Follow Us on Twitter: @PTOBradleyGard

Like Us on Facebook: PTOBradleyGard