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June 7, 2016 PTO Meeting Minutes

  • Proposal to approve previous minutes made by Corentin Cras-Méneur and seconded by Jeanette Hokett. Motion passes with no objections.

    Request for volunteers for gardening committee. Contact if you are interested.

    Discussion about where/how long to hold voting for PTO board positions. Suggestions for paper ballots at the used book sale and outside by food sales. Only contested race currently is Treasurer with Alisa Cox, Angela Keiter, and Corentin Cras-Méneur running. Decision made to send out electronic voting Thursday night and have two paper voting boxes at the used book sale/ice cream social.

    Also, next year other positions will be open. Anyone who wants to shadow/share a position like President, Secretary, or Webmaster next year can contact the PTO.

    Update on playground equipment. District will order, install, and get reimbursed by PTO for new playground stepping stones for the K-1 playground wet areas. Idea was put forward for a musical garden with PVC and durable materials to replace the tire swings. Amy Sontagg and Ms. Rothfeld will work together on a plan for installation next year. Discussion for $100.00 to go towards a musical garden.   Motion for $200.00 ($100 redirected from hula hoops) for musical garden made by Beth Hoecker-Martinez , Seconded by Elizabeth Morehead. Motion passes with no objections or abstentions.

    Science Olympiad went over $38.14 from their original budget. Beth Hoecker-Martinez motions to fund this overage. Amy Sontagg seconds. Motion passes with no objections

    Teacher report: Teachers really enjoyed the Teacher Appreciation events. Thanks to all. We will send pictures for the newsletter. Teachers just received some of the office equipment from their wish list and thank the PTO for acquiring it. PTO president will email Janice Stewart with dates for teachers to finalize money issues. New teachers or teachers changing grades will get additional funds for the classroom, and teachers will also receive a form explaining field trip budgeting.

    The Ice cream social is Friday from 5-8:00 and the used book sale starts after school in the MPR. We need more volunteers so please sign up. Bouncy houses are a particular area of need.

    Community Service Club will have a table during the ice cream social for crafts. These will support great causes like an animal shelter and the Thurston library.

    Girls on the Run did a service project to help with the Flint water crisis. They set up a silent auction of the art on the walls near the library. It is still going on, so bid on some art and support a great cause.

    There will also be a plant sale during the ice cream social with money going toward a shed for our landscaping tools and equipment.

    It was suggested that we have the first PTO meeting in late July/early August to plan the whole year in advance. As soon as we have the school calendar, we should be able to do this.

    This is the first year the PTO website has been part of the Thurston website. To update the parent directory, the webmaster needs next year’s information/dates. Please let us know if we aren’t running an event/club or if we have incorrect/outdated information by emailing

    WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) is requesting $35 for materials. Motion to fund made by Amy Sontagg, seconded by Beth Hoecker-Martinez, and passes with no objections.

    Oriana Barnett has agreed to run Bagel Fridays next year. It will most likely change to an every-other-Friday format.

    Budget Discussion:

    It was noted that the 4th grade Lansing busses were returned to the budget.   They didn’t go on the trip this year, but may start again.

    The Fifth Grade Party line item was changed to Fifth Grade end-of-year trip.

    Landscaping was split into two line items: Maintenance will cover things like sandbox sand, hoses, and every-year things (the district only covers mowing-nothing else.) The Thurston Nature Center also supports many maintenance issues through private donations. Planned items are a screen for the dumpster area so it’s not as prominent, and replacing the ropes and wooden posts by the kindergarten doors and turtle.   Beautification will cover things like gardening and special projects as requested.

    There will no longer be a charge for families needing paper Parent Guides.

    Box Tops for Education money will go the Thurston library next year

    It was mentioned that we should look into ways to increase money earned from the New Book Sale.

    The PTO Thrift shop pays a large portion of our bussing costs for field trips, so keep shopping so PTO doesn’t have to cover this out of the general fund.

    The cost of Academic Games is expected to lower due to not having to buy more games this year.

    The group was reminded that the budget can be changed in the future by a vote if change is needed. Examples given were an event being cancelled or one receiving funding from outside sources so that PTO funds aren’t needed.

    Motion to vote on the budget made by Beth Hoecker-Martinez, and seconded by Corentin Cras-Meneur. Budget was approved with 14 officers present or voting by proxy, no objections and no abstentions.

    Upcoming Agenda Items:

    PTO plans to hold a meeting before the schoolyear starts, either the end of August or early September. We will need to wait for the AAPS calendar to come out before finalizing a date. There are several items on the agenda already which are listed below.

    Updating the PTO website

    Thurston library funding

    Proposal for a bench for waiting parents to be built by the K-1 doors

    Proposals for playground equipment