September PTO General Meeting
Minutes taken by Vicki Haviland
Board Members attending
Kirstin Queen, Jennifer Streeter, Julie Morrison, Susan Farrell, Stephanie Comai, Kirsten Segal, Naela Jenkins, Caroline Haider Sutton, Jennifer Streeter, Tenagne Cameron Fields, Amy Nelson, Tracy Janevic, LaShawna Brandon, Vicki Haviland, Jennifer Brogno
August Minutes approved.
President’s Report – Naela Jenkins
Naela reviewed highlights from the New Bylaws:
- Many refer to technology, since our website provides a place for us to display and archive information for the larger Dicken community. You can find the minutes archives, the budget, and other information there. This year we will will work on how to archive things for longer term storage.
- We added a Communications Coordinator who manages the PTO Blast and helps us be more green and less paper-based.
- We added an Enrichment Coordinator – used to be Parent Education – expanded role to include working with the District Enrichment Facilitator.
- Our procedures for archiving the records have been changed.
New Bylaws are approved by general vote.
Goals for the year:
Implemented many changes last year including a separate PTO website, an improved accounting system for treasurer, some new events, and the new PTO blast.
This year we hope to get things working really well – let’s be sure that we are doing these new things the best we can. For example,
- We might do communications through the district’s Power School, so we will look into that.
- Website – we are going to work on how best we can make that user-friendly so that all can find what you are looking for.
- Accounting software – had an audit for several years past to be sure we had good records and a system that works. This is a really effective tool for our type of non-profit organization and will make next year’s transition seamless.
Naela reviewed the reworked PTO mission statement.
Treasurer — presented by Treasurer-Elect Amy Nelson
Amy went over last year’s budget, which is posted on the website.
We came out a little bit ahead last year – software helps us see that progress!. Kudos for that!
Field Trip budget increased to $10K because bus and gas costs have risen. To support that, we have several new sources of funding. These include
- PTO Thrift Shop will be increasing to $1500 because of the $6/student donation they will be giving this year. ($1500 is our estimated fundraising through the thrift via donation drive and show your support posters; $6/pupil is for transportation only and will not come to our PTO account. The transportation grant will be managed by central administration).
- Parent Volunteers and contributions really helped last year. We received over $4K, which was an immense help and are budgeting $2500 this year. Please try to support in time if you can’t do money.
- Community Nights Out – brought in $1500 just by eating!
We responded to some general questions at this point:
- PTO website is a link from the Dicken website – just click PTO.
- PTO Blast: if you unsubscribed or are new, or if you don’t get blast, let us know so that we can add you to the list. We can also do the hard copies for you if internet access is a problem. You should make this request of Kirstin Queen firstname.lastname@example.org or via your student’s teacher.
- Can we use the “oldest and only” list so that families don’t get so many copies of backpack mail? We can use that in the office and it will be in place by end of the month. So then each family should only be getting mail for their “oldest or only” Dicken child.
Tenagne Cameron Fields – Room Parent Coordinator
Last day for signing up for room parent! I will let you know shortly who the room parents for each class will be.
Julie Morrison – Volunteer Coordinator
- Time and Talent surveys – thanks to those who have turned them in. If not, do it by next Tuesday. It would be great if at least one parent could do it. There are so many ways to help: read, help with social, educational, classroom activities– no matter what your interests are there are ways to help. You can check the PTO website and handouts to review the list of what the responsibilities are for each job. Julie also has stacks of those on table tonight. Time and Talent surveys will also come out in January so that you have a chance to sign up then!
- National Walk to School Day – Rich Tuzinsky is chairing it. It is on October 6. We will need lots of volunteers that morning because we’ve arranged the buses to drop off all kids who have permission to walk to Dicken that day from Mushroom Park with parent volunteers.
Fundraising — Jennifer Brogno
- EGGS (Everyone Goes Grocery Shopping): Kroger keeps the budget going every year, so please register your Kroger card so that all of your purchases will benefit Dicken with no additional funds from you.
- Community Night Outs – we get percentage of profits from those restaurants, and its really fun to be out with the Dicken community. LaShawna Brandon had the idea of also doing a community fundraiser at the bowling alley or something, so we are looking into that. Our first night out will be in October b/c of Family Picnic in September.
Hospitality — Caroline Haider Sutton
We have our Family Picnic on September 21; bring your family! Bring a dessert to share with others, and you can buy a pizza family pack from Hungry Howie’s, which is owned by a Dicken family.
Dicken-Slauson Liaison – Susan Farrell
We have many 5th grade fundraising opportunities so that all kids can go to camp and participate in the 5th grade events.
- The 5th grade will host the annual Pumpkin Patch – you can come in costume and enjoy pizza, donuts, and games. We also hope to sell pumpkins at Dicken in the days before Pumpkin Patch.
- Tracy Janevic is organizing a Dicken cookbook as a 5th grade fundraiser, which will be delivered before Winter Break.
- We will sell concessions at the Family Movie Nights in October and November for each grade.
- Finally, we will have another PTO Thrift Shop donation fundraiser (to benefit Dicken, not just the 5th grade scholarship fund) in mid-April, and there will be other Thrift Shop things coming out.
General Member Questions:
- Nancy Raybeck, parent of a kindergartener and 3rd grader, asked question about budget year-end balance. We are starting with $24, and we think we need $27K for this year’s expenses.
- Tina Zrull, parent of a 2nd grader and another son who is now 22 and went through Dicken, asked about the summer enrichment booklets. We will look at it again this year, but we decided they were not the best way to spend money last year since this program requires the whole school to purchase the books. Instead, we offered the Summer Enrichment program at Woodchase. You can purchase similar books at many major book stores.
- Bethany Williston – asked about the school’s policy about advertising. You have to go through Ballas for anything that’s outside of a school event . If we are advertising something that costs money, the district is sensitive to that and does not want to put pressure on kids and families. If you have a question, ask Mr. Madison, and he will ask Liz Margolis ,and she makes the call.
- Bethany also asked about the Dicken policy about kids wearing helmets on school property. There is no official policy, but we are trying to encourage kids to do that and we hope parents are encouraging kids, too.
- Barb Byers wanted to mention the AAPS PAC, which is the parent advisory council for kids in special education. It meets the 1st Monday of month at Skyline. If you think your kid might need special education services including speech and many other things, Barb can give you the parent perspective. Her phone number is posted by calendar in the front hall.
- Micki Scheuler asked how much we have to raise for the 5th grade scholarship fund? Teachers are surveying to find out. She also asked if we can use any online programs with the emergency green cards and similar forms– so that we don’t have to do it each year. We could look at it this year – parents want to see us using more technology!
Meeting adjourned at 6:35 pm.