September 11, 2018 PTO Meeting

  • Opening and Welcome to New Parents as well as a moment of silence for 9/11 remembrance.

    Introduction of PTO Board Members and coordinators present: President Brandy Merritt, Vice President Alisa Cox, Secretary Anne Traicoff, Webmaster Roshayne Jaimon, Fundraising Chair Maisha Ostergren, Treasurer Corentin Cras Meneur, Thurston Nature Center Chair Elizabeth Morehead, Members at Large Diane McIntyre and Kelly Delp, Newsletter Coordinator Sarah Russell, Room Parent Coordinator Dejuana Jackson, Principal Natasha York, and Assistant Principal Rose Marie Callahan.

    Approval of previous minutes: Motion to approve minutes made by Theresa Hatcher, seconded by Sarah Russell and approved with no objections

    Principal’s Report: Huge thanks to the families who helped mulch the area around the modulars/learning cottages before school started. School pictures are Thursday 9/13 and we may recruit you to assist.

    Curriculum night is Thursday 9/20 with 6-6:30 being grades K-2, general info 6:30 to 7:00, and grades 3-5 at 7-7:30. Bring your calendar so you can sign up for parent/teacher conferences at the same time.

    9/26 is an early release date and school will end at 1:29. There is no aftercare and busses will pick up children at 1:29.

    Ms. Anderson will be on leave for an undetermined time and the school will strive to keep consistent teaching by moving Mr. Gerstner to second grade. You should have received letters from Ms. York if your child was impacted by this move. School Nurse and School Social Worker positions will hopefully be filled within the next couple of weeks.

    Teacher Report: Nothing to report at this time.

    Safe Routes to School: We were awarded a $5000.00 grant to educate the community about safety. There will be Haven the Herons posted at remote parking/dropoff areas to decrease congestion. You can receive a prize for taking a selfie with Haven to show you’re helping the safety cause. The remote areas are at Ardenne, at Prairie and Renfrew, and Yorktown. We will be communicating dropoff procedures further to parents.

    School Clubs/Openings:  A New Parent Handbook pdf is available on the PTO website with information about our clubs and activities.

    Mary Manthey spoke about her Green Schools and Robotics groups as well as sharing her knowledge of Academic Games which meets at 4:00-5:30 Fridays and is looking for a parent volunteer. She also volunteered to post a copy of the newsletter in the building each week for those parents who prefer a paper reference.

    Amy Sonntag spoke about the community service club which is looking for a parent assistant for the 4th grade and leaders for some younger grades. This Club runs the Thurston Pantry which collects non-perishable food and toiletries as well as Holiday gifts for Thurston families in need.

    Chess Club goes from 8:20 until the bell rings Thursday morning, and they will be posting a request for volunteers in an upcoming newsletter.

    Maisha Ostergren spoke about the school newspaper, Prairie Press, which will now include third through fifth grade students and is also in need of volunteers.

    Elizabeth Morehead spoke about Thurston’s landscaping, vegetable gardens, and the Nature Center and the need for volunteers to help with some of these areas.

    Heron Harvest Update: Event Chair Kevin Cox spoke about the event. Its goal is to support the school and the many clubs at Thurston and it will be held at OHAC pool on October 6th.

    There will be alcohol service provided by two breweries and a wine distributer as well as non-alcoholic beverages, games, food by Rappourt and an auction. There has been a great response to our request for Silent Auction items including several big events and trips. Tickets are on sale at EventBright.com and the link is in the newsletter. There is also a Facebook page with information.

    Early tickets and beverage packages are discounted until October 1st and then the price will increase. There is a strict 3-drink limit on alcoholic beverages.

    Guests will include Thurston Families as well as the wider community. There will be a tent and heaters available and volunteers for decorating are welcome. The cost is expected to be $5000.00 and the chair expects to be reimbursed through proceeds. Clubs which participate in the event will receive funding, and groups that do not participate will need to request money from the PTO as usual. There will also be a classroom basket raffle with proceeds going to all grade levels.

    This event is not a replacement for the student Fall Festival which has been moved to later in the school year and is now the Winter Carnival/Festival.

    Open Items/Q&A: Due to several voiced concerns, a motion was made for a special meeting to further discuss the Fall Harvest Festival and review the budget. Motion was made by Michelle McManman and seconded by Corentin Cras Meneur. 8 approve, 12 object to having the meeting. The motion does not pass.

    Natasha York motioned to advance $2397.50 for Fall Harvest Festival tents. The motion was seconded by Elizabeth Morehead with votes totaling 18 yes, 4 no, and 4 abstentions. The motion passes.