May 2010 PTO Board Meeting Minutes

PTO Board May Meeting

May 6, 2010

Minutes taken by Vicki Haviland

Submitted May 25, 2010

2009-10 Board members present: Kirsten Queen, Jen Eyer, Susan Farrell, Aerin Brownlee, Jennifer Brogno, Julie Morrison, Naela Jenkins, Anthony Sparkling, Barb Byers

2010-11 Board members present: Kirsten Segal, Lashana Brandon, Tenagne Fields,

Guests:  Andy Comai, Marcia Higgins, Tiana Johnson, Faith Frizene


April Minutes approved.

Presidents’ Report

Trees – The trees purchased by the grant that Trish Koman wrote will be planted on Saturday,  May 15  — 9 am-12 pm, Rain Date is May 16.   30 volunteers are needed, and we have about 15.  We will be working with the Cub Scouting group and Brownies and Daisies.  We took out volleyball posts to start planting.  We still are working on matching funds to purchase and plant trees again in the fall.  Naela will send a thank you to Trish.

Policies and Procedures document – this has been revised according to feedback people gave last time.  Our goal is to have everything in there for committee chairs and board members.  We should keep a copy in the office and put it online so that we can refer volunteer coordinator to it.  We need a section about field trips and the field trip fund.  We will work on this before the next meeting.

Field trips: some  3rd grade families and teachers have been wondering how to support their end of year events.  Anthony is on list of how many trips have been taken this year  so we can anticipate them more for next year.

Thank you to community –

We are so overwhelmed and grateful for  field trip fund and fundraising success this year and we have far exceeded our goals.  So how do we provide something extra to school community?  Last year  we purchased  Think Stretch books for K and 1st grade students.  We discussed several options:

  • create a survey to send to parents online to ask for their input
  • Give 20 free tickets per child for Ice Cream Social (rather than the usual 10)
  • Include thank you to be signed by PTO board

We decided to give out the usual tickets and a thank you to every child.  We will reserve some of the extra money for leaner years and to give us more options in the future.  We will check with the PTOC treasurer about options for investing the money.  We will give the outgoing 5th graders some extra tickets since they contributed towards our healthy surplus but will not benefit next year.

We also each took thank you notes to create a nice handwritten thank yous to people who chaired committees or did significant volunteer work for us this year.  Office can mail them for us.

Treasurer — Anthony Sparkling

Anthony reviewed the budget.  Some highlights:

  • So far we have spent 62% of what we budgeted.
  • We upped the field trips for next year.
  • Kroger and Boxtops are near target.
  • We discontinued Dicken Dash.
  • We moved Ice Cream Social from a social function to a community support area.
  • We are 50% over our goal for fundraising!
  • We discontinued pizza sales for next year.
  • Silent Auction it budgeted for more.
  • Community Night Out is a line item for next year.

We discussed the field trip fund. Since we framed it this year as a donation because of our low starting balance, we would need to reword it.  We could let families know that it costs about $65 per student to do all of the things PTO funds each year, so we could make it not a field trip fund, but a general PTO donation.  We could ask for less next year.  We could keep it the same to keep momentum towards this donation.  It’s not clear to everyone what PTO does, so we maybe shouldn’t call it a “PTO fund.”  We decided to leave this up to next year’s board.

Communications – Kirsten Queen

Kirsten will work on some of the policy stuff for next year.

Fundraising – Jennifer Brogno

  • Jen will do one more scrip order for the year as she has had a few requests.
  • The Terracycle program through student council will get us 2cents for each bag or juice packet.  We need a PTO member to chair for next year, and Deb Heed might do it .
  • We might do a summer outing to Cold Stone Creamery as a fundraiser.
  • Friends of Dicken Woods will have a Max and Erma’s fundraiser coming up.
  • Susan Farrell has the PTO Thrift Shop in June, which will be in the blast – 1st week in June.  If we fill up a truck we get $1000!

Special Guest Marcia Higgins is here with 5th grader Tiana Johnson.

Marcia is Tiana’s grandmother, and Tiana’s mother Mary (Marcia’s daughter) passed away this winter.  They would like to do something for our school in memory of Mary.  They would like to donate $250/year to our school for the next 7 years (while Tiana is an AAPS student) to be put towards a special art project or music project.  We are so grateful for this gift, and will be sure to thank them every year , recognize  their contribution publically each year, and tell Tiana and Marcia what we chose to do in Mary’s honor.

Teacher representative – Jody Brecht (presented by Jennifer Brogno)

Teacher appreciation gifts have been such a surprise and that has brightened our day every day!  They loved the mug and door decorations!  Thank you, too, for the help and patience with last minute requests for field trip funds.  Thanks to Faith for organizing the teacher appreciation week!

Enrichment – Aerin Brownlee

  • Doug Sheerer comes next week  for a science assembly.
  • Brain Monkeys is a group that offers Rocks and Robots.  We can make requests to Rec and Ed to host any programs we want here as after school programs.

Hospitality — Julie Morrison

Thanks to Faith for a great teacher appreciation week!

Slate for next year

Naela reviewed the slate for next year – in a surprising turn of events, we voted in the slate for next year!  It was a close one!

Andy Comai—Project Grow

  • We are hoping to move ahead with the Project Grow site this month.
  • PTO agreed to purchase supplies for a kindergarten class.
  • 7 people have sent in checks to Project Grow .
  • It would cost $50/hour to plow and break the sod.  We approved $73 for this.
  • We are working with MSDIG and DTE about an electrical line on the site.  It might be a private line, so Randy Trent is working on that.
  • We took care of eliminating neighbor sight lines.
  • We met with Friends of Dicken Woods people, and they are enthusiastic about it and may give us some wood chips.  We changed the plan to provde a 20 foot ring around the trees and swing set and entrance to the woods.
  • We need a fence to keep kids and balls out of the garden, and Andy has a mental plan for this.
  • We have room for 10 plots.  It is a public site, but is defacto only for Dicken families.
  • We will have an orientation for families signed up through Project Grow.
  • They cannot work in it until after 3:45 during the week to avoid
  • This is a trial year and next year’s board can revisit it.
  • Yearly cost of water is about $100, so the money received by Project Grow should cover that.  Putting in a new water meter is $400 and $200, so with 7 families’ fees, we should be at break even.

Summer enrichment program – Vicki Haviland

We have a proposal for our summer enrichment plan to be housed at Woodchase and open to all Dicken students.  Vicki met with Woodchase coordinator Jenn Hopp.  We have room for 50 students there and would run a weekly 90 minute session.  Mary Ann Whitmer will share funding of this to support the Title One students who join the program.  Woodchase is a great facility and will let us house the program there for free.  We will need parent volunteers to make this work.

Vicki, Jen B, and Mary Ann Whitmer will continue to work on the program.

LaShawna will help.

We voted to give the program $500 to pay for teacher compensation, any scholarships for people who cannot buy books but are not Title One, and snacks and incentives for the program.

Mike Madison – Principal’s report

2 staff members are retiring.  We will have a special reception on June 9 at a staff meeting – 4-6  pm with some PTO support for Ken Monash. Jen Eyer will email us with ideas for what to do for Ken that she has collected from other schools.  Laura Kerchoff is our head custodian, and we will give her $100 and a cake for her party.  She leaves on May 31, so we will do this during the week of May 26.

Thanks to PTO for the generous teacher appreciation week.  Office staff will also get mugs and thank yous.

Field day is June 7 .  We might need PTO help for our new 2 session format, so that K, 1, 2 have a morning session and grades 3-5 and afternoon K and K Care have afternoon.  Niki Tracy has done field day for the school for 6 years, and she now has a kindergartener and we hope she will do for next 6 years.  Jen Brogno will contact Niki to see what she needs, and we can call on Janie to get volunteers if needed.

Thank you to parents and PTO for patience and support through this hard week at Dicken .  We need to plan a parent session to and to move forth with the equity work and continue the dialogue.  Parents are asking for help in knowing how to talk to their kids about this issue.  It is important to talk through things in our building as much as possible to keep things from getting divisive and help build our community.  PTO can take a leadership role with this, perhaps through a parent book club.  Kirsten Queen will send out something tonight about the district’s equity initiative spelling out what the agenda was for the district meeting held prior to this PTO meeting.

5th grade meeting – Parents of incoming 5th graders met and the issue of fundraising came up.  5th grade typically does fundraising outside of PTO for the 5th grade events.  We budget $1000 for the 5th grade fund to support scholarships for kids who cannot pay for the overnight camping trip. Susan can take on the revamping of the budget system for next year.

SIT  report

  • We are at the final steps of assessing the minigrants for equity awarded by SIT to teachers this year.  SIT gave out $4000 to teachers working on equity and achievement at Dicken.
  • SIT is also working on bullying at Dicken –through a survey for 2-5 students.  We will review them and decide how to move forward.
  • SIT is also developing mission and belief statements.
  • Next SIT meeting  is Monday.

Next PTO Board meeting is Thursday, June 3 at Naela’s at 7 pm for both boards.