March 2011 PTO Board Meeting Minutes

March 2011 PTO Meeting

Minutes taken by Vicki Haviland

Submitted for approval April 11, 2011

Minutes approved May 5, 2011


Board members attending

Stephanie Comai, Kirsten Segal, Sally Steward, LaShawna Brandon, Julie Morrison, Jennifer Brogno, Kirstin Queen, Anthony Sparkling, Naela Jenkins, Susan Farrell. Michael Madison, Tenagne Fields, Vicki Haviland

PTO members attending

Christina Magri, Jim Anderson, Frances Whitfield, Sonya Lewis


Daneen Smith, Comerica Bank

February minutes approved.

Comerica Bank School Banking – Daneen Smith

Daneen updated the launch of the Comerica Bank School Banking Program.  She reported that they trained the student team earlier this week, and today they started with accounts and cash transactions.  Then there was a presentation from Comerica to the whole school about saving.  Comerica will be back in April.  If kids already have an account, bring in a deposit slip with the account number on it, and they can use a standard Comerica deposit slip.  We have opened 7 accounts at this point.  Kids can open accounts at any time at the next banking day.

Dads’ Initiative report from Jim Anderson

There were 17 dads at the Dads Initiative kick off event.  There was some interest from dads, and several dads signed up for WESO and for the Ice Cream Social.  Volunteering during the school day isn’t the best because of work schedules, but WESO works for dads.  There wasn’t much time for dads to talk about how and why it is good for parents to be here.  He focused on encouraging dads to take advantage of the volunteer opportunities that already exist at Dicken.  Julie helped a lot with co-chairing the evening kick-off!  There is interest in doing a spring workday, so Julie will work with him on that, especially since we don’t have a gardening committee anymore.  Kids could also help out!  Naela will continue to liaise with Julie and Jim on the Dads’ Initiative.

Disability Day — Frances Whitfield

May 10 will be Disability Day – from start of school until lunch.  We’re working on getting volunteers for that.  Frances will have her son from Skyline come in that day with a peer mentor to be involved with kids with disabilities.  Will try to make it fun from the kids.    We don’t have a budget line item for Disability Day – we need to establish this.  Frances and Julie will work on developing a budget.    We could also ask for a grant from AAPS Educational Foundation, or could ask for SIT funds.  We can talk to Barb Byers about how much money she has spent in the past.  We might be able to budget $100, but with feeding the visiting Skyline kids will cost more.


President’s Report – Naela Jenkins

Naela reported on the status of upcoming events for the school; all upcoming events have chair persons!

  • Teacher appreciation week will be chaired by TaKeisha Lee, and Faith Frizene will help her.
  • Faith Frizene will do Original Art Works. Original Art Works will be April – May.
  • Frances Whitfield will do Disability Day
  • All School Equity meeting is upcoming.
  • Used Book Sale– Sonya Lewis
  • Silent Auction – Micki Scheuler
  • Reading Month activity – Rachel Egelhof and Jennifer Streeter
  • K Round Up – a few snacks will be needed from hospitality.
  • Community of Cultures is staffed and proceeding with plans.
  • PTO Thrift Shop Donation Drive pick up – April 20
  • Blood Drive – not scheduled yet
  • April 15 – Doug Sheerer
  • May 2-6 is Teacher Appreciation Week
  • May 20 is the Talent Show
  • Peace Program school supply drive – is upcoming and organized by student council.
  • PTO meeting on June 2 with new board!
  • Ice Cream Social needs to choose a date.
  • Field Day – check with Rob and Nicki Traci about dates and plans.
  • Popsicle party – up to the New Board to determine these plans.

Naela distributed the list of items through the year that she’s kept up with for the year that will need attention in the future. Naela reviewed some items that need attention next year and suggested several points:

  • Get the entire calendar planned for the year in the August meeting.
  • Thinking about cultural celebrations moving to December, then you might need to get rid of the November All School Pot Luck – might be hard to get volunteers for both.
  • Rewriting the ByLaws – need to give notice of the August meeting to entire school community.
  • Consider PowerSchool for the PTO Blast, which several schools are already doing.   There may be limits that don’t work for us on using PowerSchool.
  • Consider doing the Dicken Directory under the PTO and consider doing it through PowerSchool and making it paperless.  Micki Scheuler may be interested in doing it.  Vicki and Kirsten have offered to find a new site, or Jen Eyer could be the webmaster for the site.
  • Curriculum Night had lots of kids this year, we may want to consider offering childcare.  PTO could fund it?  We could do 25 kids in the K Care room.  We would need to have kids RSVP.  We need to make it more clear that kids aren’t allowed.
  • Trying to develop a procedure for scheduling new events and how to decide how to start new groups.
  • Yearly budget audits should occur, need to be done professionally every 5 years, and then Stephanie and Jennifer and someone else from the board will work on the audit for the next year.
  • Bootcamp for room parents in September so they know what is going on for the year.  Kirstin has a lot of ideas about it already!
  • Insurance provider doubled our liability insurance for the PTO.  Let’s talk to the district PTOC people.  We have PTO Today now.
  • Signers at the bank change over in April, we need the full slate, which needs to be reflected in the April meeting.
  • Nominating committee – will work with LaShawna to get the new board in place.
  • We need to publicize the slate 5 days before the April meeting.  We approve it at the April general meeting.
  • Naela will organize the thank you notes for this year.

Budget updates – we bought software for Anthony last year to help get up to date and see what has happened over the years.  The past few years of tax returns had not been filed.  Wow, thanks Anthony!  Anthony filed them and then we got a letter saying we had $3000 late fees for filing late for ONE of our returns.  Naela wrote to the IRS after Anthony’s call.  Naela wrote an appeal; we are being reviewed right now.  John Dingell could be contacted for help.  It sounds like it’s likely that we will have all this waived.  We almost lost our status as a non-profit.  Anthony and Naela are the main contacts on that this year, and Amy is up to date on this.

We need to be very thoughtful about recruiting and selecting a chair or group to chair the Silent Auction for next year.

Teacher stipends – we have a $900 surplus right now.  We could use some to buy a Project Grow site $100 site and then get a subscription for each teacher to Scholastic News or Time for Kids or technology sites for $400.   We could hold on to it until we see how the auction goes for this year.    We could set it aside for the stipend for next year.

Principal’s Report – Michael Madison

We are so lucky to have an organized and participatory PTO!  Thank you to all of you who help each and every day in all that you do.  Mike then reviewed the school activities that are going on or upcoming:

  • Assessment week – so many subs in the building because there is a lot of assessing going on!  Thanks to parents for enabling them to assess the kids thoroughly.
  • No school on Monday to spend quality time writing a detailed report card for each child.  March is our 2nd time for report cards..
  • Comerica Bank launched today.  April 14 is next banking day.  This is a pilot and we’ll see how it goes this year, and we hope to continue next year.
  • Comerica Bank assembly today on needs vs wants and saving money.  How much would they get if they saved $1/week.
  • Jump Rope for Heart raised over $1200.  Winner raised over $500.
  • Thanks to Kerri Dixon on the BoxTops!  We raised $361!
  • Brainstormers assembly tomorrow – how to write stories that will get produced and shared at another assembly in May.  Jennifer Streeter and Stephanie Comai worked on it.
  • Equity parent workshop on March 10 – we need an RSVP – open to all Dicken parents.  They will come back every 6 weeks if we want them to.
  • March 12 is the Dicken Silent Auction and we all need to recruit parents to come – make it clear that it is a community building activity and we need to encourage people to come – we need to tell them!
  • March 14 – report cards
  • 4th graders to Lansing – in March.
  • March 15 – 1st grade assembly and concert at 7 pm.  Girl Scouts is usually that evening as well.
  • Used Book Sale in the gym on the 22nd and Family Reading Night that evening.
  • Parent Workshop for all Dicken parents on literacy  – March 29th from 7-9 pm.  Led by a retired teacher who is also doing it at other buildings.
  • Spring Break begins after school on April 1 – April 10th.
  • Sweeping cuts will hit AAPS as announced by Rick Snyder.  We might lose $7-10 M.  Class size will be affected.  For the district, the class sizes will be targeted for 25 for K,1,2.  30 for 3,4,5.  Staffing at Dicken – kindergarten numbers are down so far.  1-5 enrollment – we may be losing 7-10 kids.  We may lose a teacher at Dicken next year.  There’s also talk about a 25% of health insurance cut.

LaShawna Barndon – President Elect

Suggestion sheets distributed to ask for ideas for the year and for next year.

Treasurer –Anthony Sparkling 

  • Anthony reviewed the budget, which is posted on the PTO website.  Some highlights:  We’ve spent about 50% of our field trip budget.  We are getting close on enrichment but still have grant money coming in.
  • Community Night out is at $650 or so and may not make our budget there.
  • Krogers goal is getting close!
  • PTO Thrift did well.
  • PTO insurance doubled as we discussed before.
  • $29332 in the bank and should be at budget if the auction does well.

Volunteer Coordinator – Julie Morrison

We have chairs for everything so far!

PTOC – Kirsten Segal

  • There was a PTOC Enrichment meeting earlier this year and it was great hearing from other schools what they do.
  • The PTOC Fundraising meeting is coming up soon on March 21.  Kirsten needs someone else to come along.  Caroline Sutton will go.

Teacher representative — Sally Steward

Thanks to all the parents who helped out and attended NAAPID and Valentines’ Day celebrations!  We look forward to sharing what we’ve learned about your child and his or her growth or progress.  Thanks so much for money you raise for us and for the kids in our school!  So many parents donate throughout the year!  Field trips are so great for hands on learning and having the same experiences so that people can talk about them on the same page in the classroom.  They are also looking for ways to have less expensive field trips or ones that are funded in other ways.  Thank you to Naela and the difficult year that it has been to be the president this year and last – you helped us to keep our heads held high and make this a great place to learn!  Kris Groh can also help with some free field trips if we can pay for the buses.

Enrichment Coordinator – Stephanie Comai and Jennifer Streeter

  • We got 3 grants from MI Humanities this year for field trips!
  • Some noontime enrichment money is left – Jennifer is working on Family Reading Night.  We think we will have about a total of $800 we would like to reallocate.  So they will bring more information to the next meeting.

Dicken Slauson Liaison – Susan Farrell

  • 6th grade parent orientation – Tuesday March 8 at 6:30 pm with Slauson staff and schedule information.
  • March 15 – Grace Harbison is coming to Dicken to talk to the kids about their choices for scheduling for next year.
  • March 17 – Dr. Curtis and Ms. Harbison will be coming to Dicken from 7-8 pm
  • March 25 – 6 pm Family Fun Night at Slauson – tours, swimming, floor hockey , and pizza in the cafeteria.
  • May 11th – no school of MS sts, so likely that our 5th graders will go to Slauson for the day.
  • We may have a night for 5th grade parents to talk about the transition.
  • 5th grade fundraising is done.
  • Susan will review the PTO Thrift Funds for the transportation grants
  • We received $500 and another $350  for Show Your Support posters that Susan made!  Way to go, Susan!
  • 2 more show your support days for PTO Thrift – one will be for WESO, so they may use it to purchase a Jeopardy game.
  • WESO numbers are down for the year perhaps because the dates are so late with the final being June 11.
  • One last day for the Show Your Support day will go to noon time enrichment for next year.
  • PTOC Drive is April 20 – no clothes, only household items.  We will have the drive beginning the 14th or 15th.

Hospitality — Caroline Sutton

Thank you gift to Naela for all her hard work the past two years!

Meeting adjourned at 9:06 pm .