thurston pto logo

March 8, 2016 PTO Meeting

  • 3-8-2016 PTO Meeting (rescheduled from 3-1 due to weather)

    Motion to approve previous meeting minutes made by Kelly Delp, seconded by Janice Stewart, approved with no abstentions or objections.

    Amy Sonntag purchased the classroom recess packs, but ran out of money before being able to buy some requested items like hula hoops. Would like additional $100.00 in funds for K-2. Motion by Amy Sonntag, seconded by Beth Hoecker-Martinez. Motion Passes with no objections.

    Equipment for teachers was priced out by Dawn Sackman. Total of $750 for paper slicer, electric stapler and pencil sharpener. Motion to purchase items made by Dawn, seconded by Beth Hoecker-Martinez. Motion Passes with no objections.

    Budget: Bank Balance at end of February was $31,720.65. The current budget will be posted on the website. Meetings will be announced to discuss next year’s budget. These meetings will not include discussion of Thurston Players and Nature Center. Best Practices is what we follow for minimum amount in account. After-school programs will be emailed to find out their funding needs/expectations.

    Natasha York wanted funding for Door-Decorating contest. Suggested a $10 gift card to a bookstore or Target for participants. Suggestion for spending some of $1000.00 Teacher Appreciation fund for this. Motion for gift cards from Target made by Amy Sonntag, seconded by Beth Hoecker-Martinez. Motion passes with no objections. Cards will be procured by Julie via scrip once amount needed is confirmed.

    Kelly Delp: Update on Boxtops. $1671.60 raised for this year. Excellent work and we are still accepting boxtops toward next year. Motor Challenge program is looking for new equipment and we will look at a $250.00 request in an upcoming meeting.

    Teachers have $20/child field trip budget without bus costs (still unknown). Teachers would like items purchased as soon as the final budget is decided so parents’ money goes to their children. One suggestion was that PTO have a summer meeting once the budget is completely reconciled to purchase needed items.

    International Baccalaureate Program Presentation. A brief overview follows, but more info can be found at than is presented here.

    The IB program is currently available in Huron High School and we are a feeder school for the program. People mentioned not knowing much about IB or hearing that it is an extremely difficult program. The IB program looks at Learner Profiles and focuses on Inquiry (or asking questions,) Action and Service (learning by doing,) World languages (all IB students will have to be proficient in a world language,) and Access, Equity and Global awareness. Students go through an intentionally developed curriculum.

    Parents requested the International Baccalaureate program in 2014 and the Board of Education began the process of starting one. IB is a non-profit Educational Organization based in Geneva Switzerland and over 4000 schools worldwide use the program. Primary Years Program K-5 is at Mitchell, Middle Years Program 6-8 is at Scarlett, continuation of Middle Years 9-10 and Diploma Program 11-12th grade are at Huron High. Largest number of Ann Arbor students will enter in 9th grade. Diploma Program features Traditional, Full Diploma, or Combination programming. Full Diploma is extremely rigorous and is a serious commitment from students. AP classes will still be offered in traditional program. The earliest Ann Arbor can become an Authorized Program is 2017-18 schoolyear and Ann Arbor is currently on track to be ready.

    Middle years required subjects are English, World Language (must learn to proficiency), Social Studies, Sciences, Mathematics and a required Personal Project in 10th grade. You can then choose one of Arts, Physical and Health Education, or Design.

    Diploma upper-years add Arts to the required subjects, and also have Extended Essay, Service or Activity Project, and Theory of knowledge course requirements. Students have several pathways offered to meet requirements. IB program studies claim that their students tend to have higher scores on standardized tests and higher college enrollment and graduation rates.

    Students in the Scarlett, Mitchell, or Huron High residency areas have first option for the program.

    Question was asked if too many kids could want to enter the diploma program at Huron. AAPS will try to grow the program to accommodate needs. Middle School program students may have an advantage but is not necessary to succeed in the Diploma Program.

    Questions asked about teacher training. Different requirements for teachers. More is asked of them, so they had to apply and interview, then attend summer training and begin writing the curriculum.

    Questions were asked about accessibility for ESL, Special Needs, and different-speed learning students. Continual revisions in curriculum are meant to take care of these concerns. This presentation will also happen at Clague.