April 16, 2019 PTO Meeting

  • Motion for approval of previous minutes made by Alisa Cox, seconded by Kevin Cox, and approved with no objections.

    Principal’s Report: It is testing season, so try to avoid unnecessary absences. There is usually a small break between NWEA testing and M Step testing. The use of iPads has helped testing in the lower grades because the students are not familiar with using a mouse. May 17th is NOT an off day, because we will be attending because of the Election Day not being needed before President’s Day weekend. May 22nd is a half day. Field Day has moved to the 31st which is the weekend after Memorial Day. Coffee with the Principals came up with some great ideas for future brainstorming. Parents suggested that they set aside a time to meet and chat even on days the Principals may not be able to attend.

    Thanks to Maisha for setting up a meeting with the PTOC Chair to communicate our schools’ needs and compare them to the rest of the district.

    The Thurston Nature Center has a separate operating account with 16247.29 beginning balance. They received just over $3000.00 in donations and a repayment from the district for costs associated with the Modular Classrooms. Expenses are $3566.15 for the year, so they have an ending balance of $17907.94

    Earth Week activities are being coordinated between the TNC and Project Lead The Way for the school. They will be updating activities as they are scheduled. Parent volunteers are needed to assist these efforts, so be on the lookout for requests from teachers or room parents. The Nature Center received a Quality Award that will be presented at the Heron Huddle.

    President Merritt would like all committee chairs to send her some accomplishments so that they can be recognized for their work.

    The TNC will be updating their bylaws to come in line with the Thurston PTO bylaws and responsibilities. They are so specific as to have some differences in reporting requirements. As long as we share the same non-profit number, they have some reporting responsibilities to the PTO.

    International Night: Budget is listed at $550.00 and they would like to increase that to $700.00

    There may be a line item from previous donations on the budget. In the past the Chair solicited donations for paper products to cover the extra amount. Corentin asked the treasurers to make sure earmarked items are appearing correctly in the budget and not part of the general fund.

    Motion that if there is not enough money in these donations to get to $700.00, we supplement funds to that amount. Motion made by Corentin Cras Meneur and seconded by Kevin Cox. 10 yes, 0 no and one abstention. Motion passes and the treasurers will look into the donated amounts.

    Disability Awareness Workshop: Teachers printed out materials and would like to be reimbursed. Ms. York will look into how to best do this.

    TNC would like to hold a fundraising event with children’s artwork and half the proceeds going to Thurston sometime in 2020.

    Fundraising: There was some confusion about whether some events were break-even or fundraising efforts. Chess Club, Sno-Cone Social, and Winter Carnival were three of them. They are intended as break-even events that are accessible to all students. If a huge turnout leads to a profit, that is just a bonus.

    The current PTO plan is to hold two major fundraisers next year so we avoid overtaxing volunteers and money. Fun Run and Adult Only Auction Event. The restaurant nights and Chuck E. Cheese nights were a lot of work for little return, so we will revisit doing those type of events.

    Fun Run is $400.00 for the use of the Get-Movin’ Crew materials/website. We may be moving that event back to its original October date.

    Auction Event plans to use the $500 line item to reserve the caterer and service staff required. It will be September 21st.

    Amy Sonntag made a motion to NOT have alcohol present at the adult-only event. Members of the board clarified that it is not a Thurston School event, but a PTO event under a separate 5013C status. Motion seconded by Sharon Weiner. 2 votes yes, 8 votes no and 3 abstentions. Motion does not pass.

    The planned auction event will be called the Black Tie Blue Jean Fundraiser and will have save the date notices sent out soon.

    President Merritt once again praised the positive spirit of the room in having discussions and debates. She hopes that this positive spirit carries outside the room.

    Several teachers have not submitted their reimbursements for Teacher’s Grants. Corentin spoke to Ms. York about encouraging teachers to send in their paperwork before the end of the year.

    Corentin also mentioned the need for Science Olympiad ribbons.

    Thanks to the sewing crew for the Wack-a-Doo Zoo costumes. They did a wonderful job.

    A question was asked about putting out money collection jars at events like International Night. It was advised that we check in with previous chairs to see what the objections were to doing this in the past. Are there sponsors/advertising buyers who can supplement the event instead? The committee will vote on whether they will do a donation jar, keeping in mind that it must be supervised at all times.

    A question was asked about snow days. At this point there is no extension to the school year due to snow days.

    The newsletter should feature corrections about the school calendar as well as the PTO agenda for upcoming meetings. It was also suggested that we have a monthly message from the PTO President to the community about things we’ve done/funded like costumes, Spelling City, etc.

    Kevin Cox has been working with Mr. Fisher about ways to update/upgrade the gym. They came up with a budget of $28,500.00 for epoxy, paint, equipment and a complete renovation. There are options for smaller upgrades and steps.

    There are plans to update the curtains on the stage that are currently tattered.

    Teacher appreciation is coming up and Allison Jeter will be organizing it this year. We are currently going far over budget for the water cooler. Should we continue it now that we have filtered fountains in all the hallways? Ms. York will go to the next staff meeting and discuss it.

    The positions for PTO that are open are Fundraising Chair, President, Vice President, One Treasurer, and Safe Routes Chair.