January PTO Board Meeting and General PTO Meeting

PTO January Board Meeting and General PTO Meeting


Minutes taken by Vicki Haviland, submitted 1-11-10

Attendance: Julie Morrison, Naela Jenkins, Jen Brogno, Anthony Sparkling, Jen Eyer, Aerin Brownlee, Debbie Mielwski, Michael Madison, Vicki Haviland, Janie Ward, Kirsten Queen, Tracy Janevic

Parents attending: Andy Comai, Elizabeth Taylor, Amy Nelson, Micki Scheuler, Liz Merick, Maria Kook, Jinho Baik, Hyunsuk Kang, Marci Tuzinsky

Introductions of everyone attending

December Minutes approved.

Presidents’ Report – Jen Eyer and Naela Jenkins

AAPS Budget Meetings – First one is tonight.  Page on district’s website. A2schools.org/budget.  There are 3 more meetings after tonight and financial budget and other information.  Also includes a survey for parents and community to tell what priorities are.  They hope that PTOs will be there.

Principal’s Report – Michael Madison

  • Happy New Year! It’s an honor to be the principal of Dicken b/c of the wonderful parents, students, and parents.
  • January 11: Student Council is conducting an informal survey about school safety and will have some educating about what it means to be safe.  Larger issue is about bullying and harassment.  There is school curriculum about it – Take a Stand, but we want to be vigilant.
  • Service Squad: Many wonderful things going on like the December mitten drive.  Now they are doing Pasta for Pennies starting 1-18 to support leukemia research and patients.
  • MLK Assembly – 1-15 – 5th grade music and then story teller LaRon Williams.  1-18:  MLK Day off for students.
  • February 2: Winter Walk in Dicken Woods.  Ms. Erickson  and Friends of Dicken Woods – every child at Dicken makes a lantern that will be lit on the trails of Dicken Woods.  Feb 3 is the inclement weather date.
  • Observation of NAAPID: February 8 – Sue Jenkins will be in charge of it – walking in our children’s shoes for a day.  All parents are invited, but African American parents are particularly welcomed.  Honest Abe Lincoln assembly that day.
  • 2-11:  Barb Byers is in charge of  Disability Day 4th graders get to experience having a disability for that day.
  • WESO: launched in February.  Science Olympiad – our kids finished 5th out of 21 last year thanks to dedicated parents!  Final competition is at Skyline in June.
  • Feb 18:  Kindergarten Round Up
  • February 19:  Winter Break starts
  • Equity Work – teachers continue to work to infuse multicultural education into curriculum for children.  To talk about race and race-related issues together.  District has asked each bldg to have a Black Parent Support Group meeting.
  • SIT: Teacher Mini Grants to have money to meet school improvement goals of equity, parent involvement, and writing instruction.  We have 9 applications so far, and they are due this Friday.
  • AAPS Budget: $813 per pupil cut due to state cuts.  The millage didn’t succeed.  State has retracted that, and now it is only $613 cut.  Short $17M over the next 2 years.  District is aggressively trying to cut so that we can maintain quality instruction.  We’ve been solvent for many years – our Rainy Day fund is down to $22 M, and we have to keep it at $16M.  Many districts around us are cutting jobs even now.  Superintendant:  proposed cuts for parents to weigh in on.  Main goal is not to affect classroom instruction.

Proposed/Potential Budget Cuts to be discussed at Budget Meetings:

  • Restructuring of alternative school program.  Can we have these 4 programs but save some money?
  • Restructuring the elementary school specials – can we have a structured way to give everyone the same amount and cut some of the extras that some students get?  Cutting the ESL program?
  • Cut 5 administrative positions at Ballas.
  • Cut 2 assistant principals at each HS.
  • Restructuring the media specialists or cutting some of the media specialists at elementary.
  • HS/MS:  pay to play sports – for any HS students they have to pay $150 to play.  MS:  $50 to play.  Hope to have a scholarship fund.  You already have to pay some HS sports for equipment and supplies.
  • Cutting 6 secretaries at Ballas.
  • Save money on energy by dialing down.  Will have an energy consultant come in and audit each school.
  • Every district employee take a 4% pay cut or cut benefits.
  • Privatize transportation and custodians.
  • Schools of Choice opened up to bring in $800K.
  • Magnet enrollment programs in some elementary programs.

Mike passed out the SSPS Comparative Analysis by School to compare costs and enrollment of all buildings in the district.

Mike passed out the Dicken Budget and enrollment breakdown, which is part of the User Friendly 2009/10 Budget from the AAPS Website.

Budget Meetings: there will be a presentation, work in table groups and surveys for groups and individuals.  3-4 years and then things will get better according to budget projections from the state.  #1 priority at Dicken is keeping class sizes small according to Mike and teacher representatives on PTO.  Ann Arbor Educational Foundation – collecting money from community as donations.

Auction – Micki Scheuler

A flier came out today about the auction.  Moved it to the Lake Forest Golf Club who has donated the space to us and we are only paying for the food.  Auction from 6-10 pm.  There will be a DJ from 9-10 pm with donated DJ services.  Raised about $12K last year.  Raffle this year for a 32 inch flat screen TV from Big George’s at less than cost.  Each class will donate a basket to be sold.  Collection dates will be January 25- Feb 5.  Bethany Williston is going to reach out to room parents to ask them to coordinate that.  Kim Morris is asking teachers to donate.   We talked about a few ideas like a gym night – and how to get teachers to attend.   Some kind of bonus for teachers to entice teachers to attend.  If you know of anyone who wants to help do solicitations or set up or that evening.   Saturday, March 13.

Project Grow Update — Andrew Comai

Location: move to the NW corner?  Recruiting parents and Mr. Monash to plan a Garden Club and teachers could use it.  Teacher support for it.  We could have one plot for the school – funding and expertise from Project Grow and they can help start it.  At Mitchell, there is a Title One program to take kids once a week to garden in the summer.  To offset the cost of starting the garden.  We need help designing it to make it work for our children – plowing in May.  Draining into the woods.   A committee to work on all the policies around this.  Andy is on the Project Grow board along with someone else who is a teacher in an AAPS.  If the grant goes through, we need a gardening committee.  If the grant is approved, the gardening committee will become a subcommittee to work on all the policies.  Email Friends of Dicken Woods to tell them about it.  No pesticides.

We decided to go ahead with a subcommittee to do more research on developing the Project Grow site, but would like to have a written proposal on all the issues around having a garden here.    Aerin will faciliate getting the grant in.

Treasurer – Anthony Sparkling

  • Anthony went over the budget.  Box Tops has earned more than $500 so far, EGGS has come in at $2800.  Scrip is about $850, and Community Night Out is $1200.  Operations is at $1200 – we are at about $7200 for the year (our bank account is at $17K).
  • Great new format that is on the PTO website in the Year To Date program.

Fundraising – Jen Brogno

  • Very generous community in our bad economy, giving every penny they can to this school.
  • Auction is our biggest fundraiser, so let’s do all we can do support them.  They have put in so much work so far this year!  Our goal is to get money from things they are already spending money on.
  • Next Community Night Out: Uptown Coney Island – 20% of total – next Tuesday right across from Quality 16 – open all day.

Enrichment – Aerin Brownlee

Doug Shereer is now on March 14, a science presentation.

Hospitality – Julie Morrison

Hospitality is ready for breakfast for NAAPID on Sue Johnson.  Thanks for bringing snacks.

Dicken-Slauson Liaison – Debbie Mielwski

5th grade is Sunday after the Super Bowl for the 5th grade fundraiser bottle drive.  Fliers in classrooms for 5th grader to do Slauson visits.