October 2009 PTO Board Meeting Minutes

Dicken PTO Board Meeting at Kirstin Queen’s house

10-1-09 7-9 pm

Board Members attending: Jen Brogno, Michael Madison, Naela Jenkins, Kirstin Queen, Janie Ward, Kevin Ellwood, Tracy Janevic, Julie Morrison, Jen Eyer, Aerin Brownlee, Anthony Sparkling, Barb Byers
Minutes approved from September general meeting after correcting a couple typos from Julie Morrison. Also Barb Byers was at the last meeting.

School Millage Report — Donna Lisinski presented about the upcoming school millage. Stephanie Comai will be the school representative for Dicken. We discussed that the funds go to the Washtenaw Co Schools, that school budgets have declined, and that 100% of millage revenue stays in WISD. No money can go to salaries. This is not an enhancement millage, but one that will help us maintain current levels of service. More info is at http://www.a2cmc.org. PTO can’t expend more than 5% of dollars or time endorsing it.

Dicken PTO can endorse it through the Google group, but not through the school web site. We voted to endorse the millage as the Dicken PTO Board. We voted that Superintendant Todd Roberts can add our name to a group of people endorsing it. We will staff a table at the Pumpkin Patch to give info about the millage.

Presidents’ Report – Naela Jenkins and Jen Eyer

Office concerns –Patty needs at least 3 days notice to do copying, and same day requests are not possible. We should ideally do our copying and putting in mailboxes ourselves. Plan ahead. Barb and Mike are not getting the blast, so Kirstin will check on this and will also meet with Patty.

New Accounting System
We purchased a new software system called QuickBooks for Non-Profits, which will allow for more exact accounting. Anthony said that the new system will generate budget reports easily and thus reduce errors. Anthony gave out some points about revised 2009-10 Budget.

Field trip fund — continue to thank people and not ask for further money for field trips. $500/teacher for field trips has been the budget, but the staff will work together to make decisions about how to allocate field trip funds across all the grades so that some trips that are more expensive can still happen, such as Lansing and the zoo. The field trip fund was immensely helpful and we won’t have to cut things. We will mention the econcomic climate again in a blast about how much buses cost and things like that — Jen will put the info on the website.

Volunteer Appreciation Meeting
Our next board meeting is only from 6:30-7 meeting , and we will invite all chair persons to come to the MP room at 7. At Volunteer Appreciation, we will provide food and meet with the chair of their committee and brainstorm for events. Kirstin will also do the communication blast about this.

Treasurer – Anthony Sparkling

We have added $200 for NAAPID and Super Science Day, $500. Our current balance is $16661.01.
Our Field Trip Fund has raised $4395, and people can still donate in any envelope to Dicken. So far, 118 checks collected for field trips.
The Accounting Software cost $211.99 from PTO operations.
Anthony will complete teacher stipend checks by 10-9 — $125 + $5/student. A second round will be in March. Support staff get per student and have to submit receipts. OT and other people will be a percentage of $125.

Communications — Kirstin Queen

We now have 360 addresses in Google group. Copies are down to 35 and some of those are PM kindergarten for Steward, whose addresses we don’t have yet. This is going well and should help Patty exponentially. Deadline to go Mike is Monday for communications. Thanks to teachers for helping.

Principal’s Report – Michael Madison

Thanks for being here tonight with such a big group!

Thank you also to Family Picnic night. We need to move it earlier for next year to 5:30 or 5 b/c it gets dark.

Count day
We had these numbers for students on count day this year: K – 75 sts, 1st 71, 2nd 58, 3rd 61, 4th 52, 5th 62. That is a total of 379 children and 280 families.
Our school is also racially diverse, with 53.5% white kids, 18. 5% African American, 10% asian kids, 7% latino, and 10% multi ethnic.

Grade re-organization was a hard way to start the year, but in 1st and 2nd grade, we moved 38 kids. We now have23/24 in first grade classes. Thanks to the staff for supporting this complicated move!

Bullying – We have been teaching kids about bullying and harassment; all teachers are committed to teaching about this.

School pictures – We had lots of parent volunteers and thanks to them. We were proud to be able to give 19 picture scholarships, so thanks to the PTO for that.

Spirit Wear – We will find out how many students didn’t order, and then who is free and reduced lunch from that group so that we can offer a free Dicken shirt so everyone has something to wear. Micki Scheuler has the surplus shirts, and we will start our donations from this stock.

One Partner in Excellence is Knox church, and they donated 54 backpacks for students at our school, as well as a large box of supplies to all teachers.

Enrichment coordinator Lisa Bankey was hired by AAPS, and wants to know what she can provide to Dicken to help with Aerin’s efforts. There is a survey that will be completed to give to Lisa.

SIT (School Improvement Team) met today. We will focus on writing, which was the lowest standardized test last year, and we also wanted an equity goal. We will consider how to disseminate our work on equity to the kids. For example, could we do this through assemblies during reading month with LaRon Williams? Can we piggy back what PTO has planned to bring a more serious and deeply involved focus to our children? Vicki Haviland and Kristin Boyle-Heimann are parent representatives, and will tie in with NAAPID . Mike wants to be sure that we have broader tolerance towards all cultures, and that in teaching and all conversations, we are all aware of that consciously.

Oct 28 blood drive will be run by the service squad.

Walk to school day is Oct 7. Buses will drop at the entrance from Runnymeade, and we’ll encourage all families to walk to school that day. We will start planning this year for next year so that we can be organized about it.

MEAP starts 10-13 until 10-22. Some parents will provide snacks.

Secretary – Vicki Haviland

Naela will take notes at the next meeting since Vicki will be away.

Room Parent Coordinator –Tracy Janevic

Room parents – we have 2 for Steward PM – 2 reluctant parents with infants and jobs and who are new to school, so they will need some support. We will encourage them to combine with other Steward parents for donations and things.

Fan Out sheet needed – We need a phone tree, and need to try it for emergencies during the school. We also an email list.

Volunteer Coordinator — Janie Ward

Will email the final list of all volunteers to everyone – and post on the website without emails.
We have 7 things with no chairs – including Walk to School Day and Dolphin dash. ROAR has no chair. Thanksgiving potluck has no chair – Julie and Naela and Lori Milliman will work on it. Super Science Day – needs a chair – Aerin has a folder of information. Community of Cultures day needs a co-chair, and Kristin will help her as co-chair.

Dolphin Dash – Friends of Dicken Woods complained that several animals were damaged in the woods last year, and even with a redesigned course, they don’t want anyone to run in the woods because when kids and parents run, it scares animals and damages habitat. We did have permits from the city, but 10-15 people in this group are really upset. We may have to back down or go for street permit or risk losing the funding — $1500 – from the group. Also, they help us with Winter Walk. It is a huge endeavor to create the run through the neighborhood. We should have a committee explore what to do with it, and look into it for next fall since we are heavy on events in the spring. A street race could be more money making, but a lot more work. This spring, we will try to have the small races at school with 100 yard dashes. Issues to consider for this committee: woods vs sidewalk, how much a street permit would cost, timing of a race, involving FODW and asking what would they recommend?

PTOC representative — Barb Byers

At the recent PTOC meeting, there was a millage talk. PTOC is raising dues to $50 for the year and you get 1 treasurer training and president training for that. There is a Launch Party on Monday October 19th at Skyline and some breakout sessions with fundraising and newsletters and volunteer stuff .
Fundraising – Jen Brogno

EGGS — Signing people up for Kroger card was successful, but we have no report yet. The UPC code for signing up for the Kroger card will be in Dicken data.
Scrip – no orders online yet, so we will do a blast to publicize it. We will do it each 15th. We will include the link to the website in the blast.
We will have a Community Night Out at CPK on 10-19. You can benefit Dicken all day and through all day and take out. Later we may also do it at BD’s Mongolian BBQ and have guest grillers.
New Book Fair is chaired by Amy Lyons, and we will do it around the potluck. Tuesday night 11-17; we may do it on the stage.
Pizza Kits — it made $1000 last year, so we will do it again in Feb.

Enrichment Coordinator – Aerin Brownlee

Got both of MI Arts of Humanities grants (yea, Aerin!) to help fund Wild Swan and Doug Sheer and we get grants of about $700. We can apply for 2 more grants.
We are also working to restore the habitat garden. We emailed Joe from Earth Day from Hands-On for help with this.

Super Scholars – if we charge a fee, we have to go through Rec and Ed. Haisley said they don’t pay Rec and Ed; going through rec and ed will double the cost to around $90. We may run the program around suggested donations to PTO, who will pay for all supplies and keep rest for PTO fundraising. We may offer this this winter, but we need volunteers to run it and work out the details.

Science Enrichment program: there are a couple spots left in each class. Payment needs to go through Anthony for offering scholarships and this kind of thing. We need to establish a protocol for handling funds and offering scholarships. Mike will be the safety net with helping Title One kids participate in the program.

Hospitality — Julie Morrison

Thanks to everyone (and congrats to Julie!) for the first day of school breakfast. Things were really good, and people raved about the food!

Dicken/Slauson Liaison – Kevin Ellwood

Trish Koman was last year’s Slauson liaison. Jill Blocker is the PTO pres for Slauson, and we will attend those meetings.
Slauson event dates:
Feb 11 Cluster Concert

March 4 Choral Cavalcade

Parent orientation March 9

May 12 field trip to Slauson for 5th graders.

Pumpkin patch – Oct 28 6-8 pm, fundraiser for 5th grade.
Movie nights – room parents will coordinate them, and 5th grade parents will do refreshments for all the movie nights.