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November 10th, 2015 PTO Meeting

  • 6:00-6:05 Welcome & Meeting Minutes Approval
    Motion by Amy Sonntag to accept minutes as presented, seconded by Kelly Delp. Motion passes with 1 abstention

    6:05-6:25 Budget and Financial Review
    The Budget Process was discussed. It should start in the Spring with a look back over past couple years of actual income and expenses as well as evaluation of current balances and obligations. 2016-2017 budget meetings will be held and input solicited from Committee Chairs. Budget will be presented during a PTO meeting, published on the PTO website, and voted on prior to the end of the School Year.

    Review of field trip budget, $20/student not counting transportation.

    Review of grant breakdowns from previous meeting notes.

    Net income appears on budget rather than income minus expenditures. Year to Date Income is $5,672 while Expenses are $3,380

    General Budget questions:
    Safe Schools. Money was never spent for this program, but remains a line item in case traffic becomes a concern. A parent volunteer is needed to move forward.

    Disability awareness workshop was put on hold last year but may return if a 4th grade parent volunteers.

    Thurston PTO Budget

    6:25-6:35 Fun Run & Fall Festival Recap
    We met our Fun Run Goal and will be having an all school event. $33,739.89 was final Fun Run total. New Book Sale raised $500.00 for the Thurston library. Community service group made over $500 selling bracelets/crafts.

    Classroom usage Guidelines:
    Note how room is set up and return it to its original condition. Food stays in MPR except for International Night. For $60.00 we can request an additional custodian to clean and re-set rooms. Teacher input on room expectations after events was requested. Lack of vacuum cleaners was noted, suggestion to repair existing, rent additional, or buy a PTO vacuum.

    6:35-6:45 Spring Social & Field Day Request to move to same day
    Thought was to use bounce houses for both and spread out costs. Question were raised about availability of volunteers if they are on the same day. Bounce houses can’t be brought indoors in case of bad weather due to safety concerns. Question about whether bounce houses should happen without proper number of volunteers and proper supervision. Spring/Ice Cream social is looking for an apprentice to run future years.

    New Parent Handbook:
    Revisiting funding for 100 Handbooks. Printing cost is $230 total and putting in PTO thrift shop ad will lower cost to $130. Additional ads from local businesses could also reduce costs in future editions. ESL families in particular like the printed book. Dates were removed so booklet can be used future years. Suggested that the contact person listed be the PTO president who would get parents in contact with the proper person for each event. That way changes in organizers won’t cause re-printing or confusion. Motion to fund made by Eleanora Katsambouris, seconded by Corentin Cras-Meneur. Motion passed with no objections.

    5K Run:
    The 5K run and Science Olympiad were scheduled for the same day. The 5K will be moved to another date to be decided later (possibly ice cream social date)

    6:45-6:50 Lunch Room Helpers
    District has a shortage in these positions, and no one is available to replace our current staff who will be leaving. Ms York will be sending out a signup for parent/grandparent volunteers. We should have one supervisor for every 75 children. If you apply for the job and commit to a regular schedule you can be paid $15/hr for usually a 2-hr shift 11:00-1:00 or 1:30. Thurston website will have a link to apply for positions. Positions are paid for by general fund. Ms. York is still investigating fingerprinting procedures.

    6:50-7:00 Parent Teacher Conferences & Communications
    Some people haven’t met with their teachers. Please email them and set up a time – it’s not too late.

    Teacher Report from Mrs. Stewart
    Teachers would like more paper cutters and they were advised to send this request through Ms York. 250 families have signed up for the electronic directory which goes live this week. People were concerned about lack of participation vs the paper version. Manpower is an issue assembling the paper version and it’s more expensive. Office staff confirmed after the meeting that the directory does not close and information can be still be updated after the deadline.

    The new newsletter opening process was mentioned as a possible problem in communicating to parents. The district instituted the current system for opening attachments/newsletters so parents can send complaints to them. Also, it was suggested that some items are written at a higher reading level than is accessible to ESL parents. Be aware of this when you post/send information.

    7:00-7:10 Fundraiser Idea
    Two Thurston parents have a business and would like to hold a fundraiser for Thurston with their products. They suggested that 50% of profits from sales would go to the school. PTO will investigate whether the bylaws allow for this to occur. If not, a recommendation was to buy advertising space in the Heron Happenings or New Parent Handbook.

    Room parents should have sent out requests for photos for the yearbook. Please send in your great pictures.

    People questioned whether yearbooks were included in the school photo packages this year and whether Thurston gets money for the photo service. Ms. York will investigate who gets yearbooks this year. The office receives some money from the photo packages.

    The next Science Olympiad Meeting is 11/17 from 6-8:00 to discuss logistics. Parents are welcome to attend with questions/comments. The team is very excited to see the increase in girls interested in STEM programs.

    Movie Nights:
    AAPS has obtained licenses for movies through 2017 for all schools (some studios like 20th Century Fox excluded.) If you are interested in showing a movie, check with PTO or Anupama Pal for specific guidelines. Student Council has had movie nights in the past and can now use this license for future showings.