Thurston PTO

May 5, 2015 PTO Meeting

  • Tuesday, May 05, 2015 6:17 PM
    I. Welcome

    II. Approve March and April minutes
        a. Minutes approved

    III. Teacher Representative Report
        a. Teachers would like to extend a thank you to parents for all of the support around the school and in the classroom
        b. Teachers appreciate everything from parents
        c. Kindergarten had extra money left over from the art museum field trip, as it was booked and students unable to attend
           i. Discussion amongst 3 kindergarten teachers to hold funds for next year
           ii. Teachers would however like to utilize funds for this year, as they were intended
               1. Ideas:
                   a. Leslie science center
                   b. Ann Arbor Scrap Box
                   c. Maybe split funds 3 ways amongst classrooms, but unsure if this would be appropriate way to spend funds as money allocated for field trips
                      i. t-shirts
               2. Mary: Kindergarten is the only grade with a surplus of money
               3. Debbie agrees that excess funds should be used for a field trip, as intended
               4. Treasurer: Kindergarten has ~$750 remaining
               5. Ms. York suggested scheduling trip soon, as transportation may be an issue in the short amount of time
               6. Other suggestions:
                    a. Cranbrook: science on the go
                    b. Leslie Science Center to come out
                    c. Hands on Museum may have access to educators that travel to schools/events
                    d. Encouraged PTO to attend PTOC meeting 5/13 at 7pm to gain more perspective on district-wide policies/practices
                        i. Teachers are feeling disappointed with the districts treatment of staff; custodians/ta's teachers, etc.
                    e. Lower elementary teachers have enjoyed the science lessons from Mary Manthy, as they are hands on and interesting for students

    IV. Principals Report
         a. Recess Soccer has gained a lot of popularity with the warmer weather
             i. Lunch Supervisors are requesting weighted snakes ($240) for students who may require sensory support
               1. Requesting 6 at $40 each
               2. All in favor of using funds from general fund for purchase
            ii. Lunch Supervisors requesting soccer balls and goals ($500) for lunch recess
               1. All in favor of using $400 from box tops to pay for goals
               2. All in favor of using $100 from soup labels to pay for balls
           iii. Students to be advised to wear shin guards during recess to prevent injury
               1. All in favor
        b. Lunchtime volunteers
            i. Parent volunteers are very helpful and are offering great support in various positions during lunchtime
            ii. Buddy Bench has been a success
               1. Students are utilizing the bench and are excited to invite friends to join them to play
               2. Lunch supervisors report several students using the bench, and students eager to include them in playgroups
               3. Jan suggested that second grade service group performs skits again for younger classes, as they may need more examples of how to use the bench

    V. Event Reflections
       a. Earth Week
          i. Every grade had a stewardship project that went over well went well despite frigid conditions
            1. 5th graders built new trail on tnc
            2. 4th twig removal
            3. 3rd grade- cleaning
            4. 2nd-cleaned butterfly garden
            5. k/1- rain garden
         ii. Future suggestion would be to plan ahead of time to eliminate cramming projects so close to Earth Week
         iii. Ms. Yips class donated rocks from gravel pit to be utilized on the school/TNC grounds, but other second grade teachers were uncomfortable asking students to donate their rocks
             1. Suggestion to ask kids to bring rocks back to school to contribute them for beautification/landscape
             2. Teachers should follow up with John McCorkindale about ideas for rocks designation upon receiving rocks from other second grade classes
                 a. He will place them as needed
       b. International Night
           i. Performances went well
          ii. Next year, performers may be asked to attend a rehearsal
         iii. Room visits went well
         iv. Parent felt gym was too congested
          v. Suggestion to perhaps move more into the MPR
          vi. Susan will decrease questions in the book in the future
              1. Perhaps younger students to answer fewer questions
         vii. Passports were a big hit, parents were grateful for their enhancement
        viii. Attendance Friday vs Thursday
              1. Parents unanimously agreed that Friday was a better day than the traditional Thursday occurrence
              2. The main purpose of moving to Friday was to allow more time for room preparation
         ix. Rooms needed more trash bags/cans, perhaps more parent volunteers to help with green schools assistance with recycling next year

    VI. PTOC
         a. Parents encouraged to attend school board meetings and vote on relevant initiatives

    VII. Next school wide events
        a. Teacher Appreciation This Week
            i. Most spots have been filled on sign-up genius
           ii. Second Grade Community Service group decorated door posters for the specials teachers and office
              1. Students are encouraged to sign the posters with a note of gratitude this week
        b. Parents concerned about strangers in school during election
            i. Parents encouraged to take these concerns to the board to push for PD during elections in the future
        c. TNC meeting-5/7 at 7pm
            i. $52,000 has been raised so far
           ii. Ann Arbor zoning passed, bid is out for school board, and restoration is progressing well
          iii. Parents encouraged to attend school board to advocate for TNC and discuss money raised from community
              1. 5/13-TNC to be discussed on agenda
              2. 5/27-TNC restoration approval to be voted on
       d. May 16 5k and 50th Dinner
           i. Price lowered for dinner
           ii. Dinner looked upon as event rather than a fundraiser
           iii. Babysitters and dinner will be offered for small number of children for $10
       e. Science Olympiad-5/30
           i. Reps not present
           ii. Volunteers may still be needed
              1. Parent recommended using high schools students in need of community service hours
                 a. Parent discussed concerns from principals about students being pulled from school to attend events
        f. Field Day-5/29 Mr. Fisher
           i. Decisions not made yet for field day, as still finalizing
       g. Ice Cream Social/Used Book Sale 6/6
           i. Equipment ~$1000
          ii. Pizza generates ~$200-$300 in sales
         iii. Ice cream does not generate profit
         iv. Last years cost was: ~$1,000
          v. Most schools have ice-cream socials as fundraiser and charge for usage of equipment
         vi. Discussion occurred on whether or not to make this a fundraiser
             1. Parents did not agree with making this event a fundraiser and preferred to keep it a free community event
                a. Parents discussed implications of charging for bounces/foods/games
                    i. Families may be turned off from event
                   ii. This event may not be accessible to percentage of students/families
        vii. Ms. York expressed concern about the cost, and would like to see this event break even rather than taking away funds from field trips, school-related functions or resources
             1. One parent suggested that parents pre order wrist bands to help off-set costs
             2. Parent suggested allowing parents to donate money towards event
                 a. Donations boxes would be placed throughout event for parents to contribute if desired
             3. Eliminating 1 of the 4 bounce house
                 a. Mary expressed concern that less bounce houses may create longer lines
             4. Using box tops for ice cream social next year
             5. Increase cost of food
             6. Proceeding as planned this year, and considering more options for next school year

    VIII. Misc. and Next Meeting Agenda Item
           a. Committees/Clubs should end suggestions to Angela for funds to be written into budget for next year

    IX. Parent suggested voting for new officers sooner than ice-cream social next year
         a. Parent interested in position but unsure of the job description
             i. Requesting binder or written description of board responsibilities

    X. New clubs have been added and were not budgeted for
        a. Parents overseeing new clubs have paid out of pocket for supplies/resources
        b. All in favor of $50 to reimburse Patricia for the purchase of supplies/learning aids for homework club
        c. Parent suggested flat fee for each club in the future
            i. Other parent noted that certain clubs may need more than others

    XI. Hillers will not be honoring cards, as bought out by Kroger

    XII. Meeting adjourned