September 2009 General Meeting Minutes

PTO General Meeting Minutes

9-15-09  Dicken Multi-Purpose Room

6-6:30 pm

Minutes submitted by Vicki Haviland, 9-30-09

Board members attending: Vicki Haviland, Aerin Brownlee, Anthony Sparkling, Tracy Janevic, Julie Morrison, Jen Eyer, Jen Brogno, Kirstin Queen, Naela Jenkins.

About 20 other community members attended the meeting.

Meeting Overview and agenda by co-presidents Naela Jenkins and Jen Eyer

August minutes approved.  Minutes posted on PTO site and PTO bulletin board.

Review of Mission Statement – Naela Jenkins

Presidents’ Report – Naela Jenkins and Jen Eyer

  • Introductions of Board members.

Goals for PTO for 2009-2010

  • We want to go paperless as much as possible this year.  We will still send paper announcements to parents without email.
  • New Enrichment programs –
  • After-school, fee-based Hands-On Museum science enrichment program
  • Super Scholars program:  modeled after Haisley’s after school enrichment program organized and staffed by parent volunteers
  • EGGS push – grocery scrips and Great Lakes gift cards Scrip (see fundraising)

Treasurer – Anthony Sparkling

  • We have $10K  starting this year.
  • We have had great participation for the first year of the field trip fund with over $3K raised so far, which is about 1/3 of the field trip costs covered and 93 checks submitted.
  • Anthony reviewed the budget.  We hope to raise $25K this year in fundraising, which includes about $17K in programs to improve academic achievement.
  • Anthony has an open book policy, so please come and check out the books at any time to see how the PTO budget is progressing.
  • While the silent auction income was greatly increased last year, most of the other other fundraisers were down, and the expenses of field trips are up due to the cost of buses and gas.    Field trips are our largest single expense.
  • The PTO operations budget of some $2500 goes toward copies and taxes on fundraisers.

Communications – Kirstin Queen

  • We have initiated a new PTO communication protocol.  We have entered all emails from last year’s Dicken Directory and from the information sheets from the first day packets.   Kirstin will add emails from the school green cards as well to create the most complete list possible. There will be a practice email blast on Friday, along with paper instructions.  If you don’t receive it on email, please let Kirstin know at  She can also answer questions.

Volunteer Coordinator – Janie Ward

  • Great job on how many people have volunteered to help so far by filling out purple volunteer sheets in the first day packets.  Janie provided a list of all the names for each committee and project so far so that people can continue to sign up (with friends!) tonight.

Fundraising – Jen Brogno

  • We had a great auction last year, raising over $11K!  We see this as a great way to start the new fundraising year.
  • We want to make as much money as possible without additional spending, and the easiest way to do this is through the EGGS (Everybody Goes Grocery Shopping) program and Great Lakes Scrip, which when a business donates a percentage from each gift card you buy.  We already made $1K this summer from Kroger EGGS.
  • EGGS

Sarah Boylan walked through the EGGS program, highlighting that with Busch’s, we get 5% from cash and 3% from a credit card with a scanned car.  Plum Market and Kroger enable you to simply register your rewards card for Dicken to gain a percentage each time you shop.  With Whole Foods and Arbor Farms, you must buy individual gift cards and we get a percentage.  You can sign up tonight after the PTO meeting in the library to register your Kroger card – or get a new one to benefit Dicken.

  • Shop with

We can now order gift cards online, then pick them up and pay for them at Dicken.  There are dozens of places to shop from, including many you may already patronize, such as Gap, Appleby’s, and Land’s End.  At Open School and Eberwhite, they typically make over $15K per year on Scrip, so we want to try to emulate that!  Jen will put in a Scrip order once a month on the 15th and you’ll get cards 3 days later at school.

  • Dicken Community Night Out – Once a month, there will be a fundraiser at a local restaurant.  If you dine there that night, or get take out, Dicken will get a percentage.  This will be a fun way to build community, take a night off from cooking, and benefit Dicken.
  • Other fundraisers

We will also have the Silent Auction ad the New Book Fair this year.  We will continue with Box Tops and Campbell’s Soup labels.  Dolphin Dash planning is underway and it may be at a different location and be more a community event, less of a fundraiser.  At this time we don’t plan to have pizza sales or bulbs.

  • Yearbook – the price of the yearbook will be included in the picture packets this year rather than for a class composite, which will cost extra if students want to buy them.
  • Thank you so much for your participation so far in the field trip fund, and we will do our best to help people benefit Dicken from money we would already be spending.

Principal – Michael Madison

Mr. Madison reminded everyone to get refreshments (thanks, Julie!)  and handouts, as well as to sign up for EGGS in the library.  At 6:40, we will start classroom visits and meet back here at 7:25 for the curriculum night presentation.

Meeting ended at 6:30 pm.