August 2009 Board Meeting Minutes

Dicken PTO Board Meeting

1-4 pm at Naela Jenkins’ house

August 30, 2009

Minutes submitted by Vicki Haviland on September 1, 2009, revisions completed (and minutes posted on PTO website) September 15, 2009.

Board Members Attending:  Jen Eyer, Julie Morrison, Anthony Sparkling, Tracy Janevic, Vicki Haviland, Aerin Brownlee, Debbie Mielewski, Naela Jenkins, Kirstin Queen, Jody Brecht, Jen Brogno

EGGs visitor:  Sarah Boylan



1) Google groups will be used to distribute communications among the PTO board members, and

2) WordPress is the location of our new PTO website:  Kirstin Queen has put together a monthly task list to keep track of all the things we need to do on the Google docs site.

  • Minutes: Vicki will type them up and email them to board members for any changes.  Board members should send any changes within a week, and then we will then post them on the PTO website that is linked from the Dicken website.  Vicki will also print a copy of each month’s minutes and put them on the PTO bulletin board at Dicken.
  • Enrollment is back up to approximately 380 kids from approximately 360 in June.  Staffing looks good.

Communications — Kirstin Queen

New home/school communication process:

We are going to try to eliminate as many paper announcements and reminders in back packs as possible by using a weekly “email blast” to all members of the Dicken community.  Kirstin presented a proposed protocol for sending all weekly announcements to Mr. Madison.  We need to correct problems with people not receiving the emails (several people present did not receive the first email sent this way).   They would share a common format (who, what, when, where, why, how) and get his approval, then Kirstin would consolidate them and send them out to the Dicken community on Fridays during the school day for all of the next week’s email.  Jody volunteered to explain this procedure to teachers, and Kirstin will meet with office staff to make arrangements for people who do not have email.  Janie Ward, the volunteer coordinator, will give a list to Kirstin of all the people who are chairs of committees and would need to send announcements this way.  Kirstin will also correct any formatting needed so that the information in the weekly emails is formatted similarly.

EGGS — Sarah Boylan

Sarah and Cindy Lechtner are chairing EGGS and want to make a huge push this year, building on the success of the simplified system at Kroger, which has netted us $1000 since May.  We brainstormed ideas:  opening the computer lab at curriculum night with volunteers to get people signed up, having cards available at many events, posting easy instructions for how to sign up on each computer at Dicken.  Jen, Cindy, and Sarah will sit down and get totals from last year to help set goals that we can publicize and celebrate, as well as fun incentives to get people to participate.

Presidents — Naela Jenkins and Jen Eyer

  • Curriculum Night

Wednesday, Sept 15, we have a brief general PTO meeting prior to Curriculum Night, as well as a brief presentation during the event about PTO.  During our general meeting (of which there are 2 a year), we need to have the new board voted in.  We will also try introduce the PTO to attendees by reviewing the mission statement, review the monthly task list, describe volunteer opportunities, and discuss succinct goals and projects for the year (which could include EGGS goal, new communication protocol, and Super Scholars program).   We will also have copies of the budget available at the meeting.

  • First day packets

Office staff needs help putting these together, so volunteers from the board will meet Wednesday afternoon  (9-2-09) from 1-3 pm to help, and can bring kids to play on the playground with 8th grade volunteers.

Volunteer Coordinator –– Janie Ward (not present)/Naela Jenkins

Time and Talent survey — This will be in the first day packets and will help us fill positions for projects for the year. We don’t need any more board positions.  We have chairs for everything in September.  Picture Day:  Nicole Marshall, New Book Sale is Amy Lawrence.  Micki Scheuler is doing Spirit Wear.  Janie will email a list of all the volunteer people for all chairs.  Aerin, Micki, Liz, and Bethany have agreed to run the Silent Auction as a committee and will seek more volunteers.

Treasurer — Anthony Sparkling

  • Budget Report

Anthony distributed the budget provided by LeeAnne.  Hands-On Museum hasn’t been paid out of our $10K we are starting with.  We know that some of the money from the EGGS isn’t accounted for here as that data is still coming in.  The Dicken Dolphin Dash money is still on the way, too.  Anthony will do some research on computer programs that we could use to make tracking and transferring all this information easier, and PTO can consider purchasing this. The presidents and Mike will meet with the outgoing and incoming treasurer to get information we need.  To enhance the Spirit Wear fundraiser, we can inventory what we have to provide to low-income children and/or sell down our extant inventory.

  • Field trips

Because we are starting with significantly lower funds than usual, we decided to ask for a $20/student (up to $50/family) donation for field trips (to the Dicken PTO Field Trip Fund), and will provide descriptions of how many and what kinds of field trips children at Dicken typically take.  We will stress that all children will be able to attend regardless of ability to pay, and that AAPS pays for some trips.  Jen B. will make labels for envelopes for us to include with this letter that Naela will write for the first day packets.

  • Teacher Wish Lists

Teachers will turn in receipts to Anthony for classroom purchases the PTO is funding by October 1, and will have a chance to submit more receipts this Spring.  We will put more reimbursement forms and teachers can turn them in to Patty in the office. Everyone will get $125 + $5/child.  If teachers don’t have receipts, we will handle that.  Teachers first heard of this in a letter from the PTO rather than from Mr. Madison as planned at the last staff meeting, so we want to be sure that the new system works to help us with keeping our accounts.

  • Financial Records

Unless we learn different, we will keep all financial records for seven years.

Secretary – Vicki Haviland

Aerin took June minutes (thanks, Aerin) and will send them out and then post them.

Fundraising — Jen Brogno

  • Jen is researching how to create a school spirit store online with expanded items people can buy at any time, such as boxers, shirts, pencils, car decals.
  • An ongoing concern it how to expand our fundraising circle so that we are raising money outside of just the Dicken community.

Enrichment Coordinator — Aerin Brownlee

  • Aerin will work with Patty to get information to complete for MI Humanities grants for certain field trips. She has already scheduled a reading and a science assembly with Doug Sheerer, and Wild Swan will present folktales.
  • Super Scholars after school enrichment program

Aerin proposed starting a parent-run, afterschool enrichment program for students at Dicken to learn about things like knitting, languages, photography, etc. . . – anything that parents could imagine.  There is a similar program at Haisley.  We brainstormed questions about costs, transportation, liability, and structure, which Aerin will research and report back about at our next Board meeting.  We could shoot for this winter to try out the program.

Hospitality – Julie Morrison

  • PTO board members signed up to bring items for the first day tea, which we will bring in to a table Julie will set up near the MP room before the first bell rings.  We will use nametags and plan to stay for an hour if we can.
  • Vicki and Naela will work on getting the Hospitality binder for Julie.
  • Julie will create a flier for the first day packet about the Family Picnic, being sure to explain what it is. It will be that the family brings own dinner and drinks and blanket.  The even it rain or shine, as it will move to the MP room if needed.  No nuts in any dishes, and bring a dessert to share.  Ask the custodians to move tables outside.  PTO will provide plate and tables for desserts.  6-8 pm on September 24th.

Dicken-Slauson Liaison – Debbie Mielewski

  • Trish Koman is the contact from last year, and we need to find the contact at Slauson.
  • Movie Nights will be run by the  5th grade people since it is a fundraiser for them. Pumpkin Patch is a 5th grade fundraiser, too.

New Business

  • Parent Involvement Day

We discussed finding a time for inviting all parents to the school this fall, but couldn’t find the right time for this year that wouldn’t be too complicated for teachers or interfere with MEAP.  We will make efforts to involve all parents at all events, and hope to have help from people involved with NAAPID last year.

  • Thanksgiving Potluck

We are going to initiate an All-School Family Potluck in November this year.  The Thanksgiving Potluck will have tables set up in the MP room for food, and eating tables in the gym and halls.  Hospitality may need to be involved.  This will also coincide with the New Book Sale evening hours, which we have moved to fall to capture the Holiday shopping season and to do more fundraising in fall, instead of all in the spring.  The dates will depend on when the Music Room is available to hold the books for the sale, but we plan it to be the week of November 16th.



8th First day of school and tea – about an hour

15             Curriculum Night and general PTO meeting at 6:30.

24            Family Picnic, 6-8 pm.


1            PTO meeting at Kirsten’s house.  7-9 pm.

7            National Walk to School Day – Vicki will chair this.

9            Wild Swan Assembly

13-15            MEAP

19-22            MEAP makeups

30            Pumpkin Patch

30             Neighborhood Halloween Parade during school


5            PTO meeting at school, 7 pm (need someone to take minutes)

Week of the 16th New Book Sale and All-School Family Potluck


3            PTO meeting at Vicki’s house, 7 pm

4             Doug Sheerer Assembly

Events with no date yet:

Title One curriculum night – PTO rep will be there.

Final comments

Naela reviewed the task list culled from the meeting, and we dismissed at 4 pm.