Thurston PTO

October 6, 2015 PTO Meeting

  • 5:40 - 6:00 - Pampered Chef Demonstration - Fundraiser

    Andrea Williams: will send a letter about a fundraiser. Catalogues and order forms will come in for people to order food and kitchen items, or you can also order online. Thurston PTO receives a percentage of sales.

    6:00 - 6:05 - Welcome & Call to Order (Julie Koehn)
    6:05 - 6:10 - Review and approval of minutes (Anne Traicoff)

    6:10 - 6:15 - Request for Funds for Additional Booklets (Tori Melendez) *Vote

    Some parents requested hard copy of booklet. School office doesn’t have the technology to make booklets of high quality. Dollar Bill will do it for $234.53/100 and is the lowest bidder. The group brainstormed cost-cutting ideas like removing dates to use booklets in future years, printing out sheets and just stapling instead of expensive/cumbersome booklet form. Group decided to ask in the newsletter who is still interested and possibly do a single printing based on final demand. Suggestion to attach a link to the electronic booklet to every copy of Heron Happenings. No funding vote taken at this time.

    Electronic Directory—Yvonne Schmitzerle : paper copy in past very expensive over $500.00. Electronic directory option would cost $398.00 and parents can submit/edit their own information. Evon would be parent liaison for first year trial period. We can cancel at any time. Company provides security for site. Directory would be available earlier in the schoolyear. For the families without an email, the office can print out a paper copy for just their class or have them use a Thurston computer for input. is the site for information on the new system. King and Clague already use this system.

    Motion to fund electronic directory. Angela motions, Kristin Ball seconds the motion. Motion passes with no objections

    6:15 - 6:25 - How to be a Parent Advocate - what is the process to follow if your child is having an issue at school (Anupama Pal)

    Many conflicts can be resolved or completely avoided through good communication. Open lines of communication with teachers, letting them know of difficulties the child may be going through. Be specific in emails about the urgency of the situation. If teacher doesn’t respond, try again and then go to the principal. Again let principal know about previous attempts at communication. Teach children techniques to advocate for themselves. Seek outside assistance with issues when helpful. For IEP and 504 plans, go to case worker/teacher consultant before the principal.

    6:35 - 6:45 - Fun Run (Kelly Delp)

    So far over $6000 in donations and climbing. Competition between classes is motivating students as well as the raffle and classroom incentives (orange leaf trip, tickets for fall festival, etc) Goal is $33,000 or approximately $75/student. No volunteers needed for the actual run, but feel free to come cheer. No one can see your child’s website unless you give them permission. Can drop off donations in the office. Please make checks out to “Thurston PTO” or processing could be delayed.

    6:45 - 6:55 - Fall Festival (Kristin Ball)

    Runs 6:00-8:00 this year. Same day as Fun Run and New Book Sale. Need many volunteers or we may have to cut games. Shifts are only 30-45 minutes, so no large commitment. Photobooth will be there and costs $2.00, PTO will receive $1 for each sale.

    6:55 - 7:00 - Upcoming Events and Meeting Adjourned (Julie Koehn)

    Walk to School 10/7 juice and snacks in MPR for kids

    Bagel Friday/PTO recap 10/9 Original yummy bagels are back.

    Little Caesars fundraising day 10/13. 3-8PM Thurston gets $1 for every deep dish pizza –last month we made $60.00 and Ms. Stewart’s class raised the most.

    Thurston Players auditions 10/20-21, a signupgenius is out there for slots

    Fun Run, Book sale, Fall Festival 10/23

    No School 11/2-3 due to professional development and Election Day

    Next PTO meeting 11/10

    7:00 - 7:30 - General Discussion

    There have been complaints about too many PTO emails recently. Group discussed that the large number of early-year events was a reason for this.

    Teacher Liaison Janice Stewart: Some parents/teachers feel academic games are too expensive ($60.00) and fewer people are able to compete this year. Ms. York stated that the earlier $30 program was disappointing and didn’t allow competition. Higher fees were required by the Academic Games organization for materials, membership, and the right to actually compete. If additional funding is found (possibly through a Stand up for Learning Grant), there may be reimbursements. If we purchase the games, costs will decrease in a few years. Two games this year, two next year, one in year three. Participation is limited by number of approved coaches.

    More programs to help students with academics would be good, but volunteers are needed to get any such programs off the ground.

    What will replace the tire swings? Need safety approved items from inspector’s catalogue.

    Sharon Weiner: introduced herself as the new room parent coordinator.

    Anne Traicoff: introduced herself as the new AAPAC (Ann Arbor Parents Action Council) rep for Thurston, representing parents of students with 504 and IEP plans.

    Remember to shop PTO Thrift Shop

    Thurston is hosting the next PTOC meeting. PTOC gathers representatives from all PTO’s in the district.

    Current PTO savings balance is $13,155.06