PTO Meeting Minutes 10.8.2012

PTO Meeting 8 October 2012

Present: Co-presidents Andrea O’Carroll and Ryan Landi, Vice President Erin Stamper, Treasurer Courtney Smith, Secretary Megan McGonigle.

1.) Call to Order
Ryan called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone.
2.) Minutes from the previous meeting
Ryan modified the minutes from the 9/4/2012 meeting: $700 was approved for soccer goals and we are waiting to purchase the goals. If Kenwood moves to a swing space next fall, we may not need the goals any longer. The $700 will be kept in the budget for them, in case we do end up needing to purchase them. Erin moved to accept the minutes, Andrea second, motion passed.
3.) Treasurer’s Report

  • We have gone over budget for PTO meeting babysitting costs because extra babysitting money was needed ($60) for the first PTO meeting because of the number of people.
  • Courtney went through the annual expenses line items. She showed the new planners for the middle school students, they are more costly, but are in French and the kids are excited about them. Plans to get them for grades 3-5 in coming years. Ryan asked if we wanted to amend the budget for the cost of the planners, as we could move money from discretionary or holding to zero out the overage of the planners and folders in annual expenses. Erin suggests that it’s early in the year and maybe we should wait to see where to take the money from.
  • Eight staff have turned in money for staff reimbursements.
  • Canada trip: there is some concern that not enough people have put in a deposit (they need 30; only 8 are in place). There is some discussion that most likely deposits will trickle in. Courtney is going to touch base with M. Weibel tomorrow about the trip.

4.) Hotdog Hoedown
Ryan asks for people’s feedback on what they liked about the event and what didn’t work. There is discussion on whether to combine Hotdog Hoedown with open house, so there would be only one school event during that week. Points brought up: Would it make sense to do it the same day? It seems unlikely that there’s going to be an open house on a friday night (which would be the typical night for the Hoedown). The group consensus seems to be to keep the events separate. In previous years Hotdog Hoedown was in September and open house was in October, that seems like a good plan, unless there is a reason M. Toure prefers open house in September. There was some discussion of running out of beef and veggie dogs and strategies for next year: keeping them outside so people have to request them, procuring more veggie and beef dogs–maybe we can get those donated from Whole Foods, etc. There is also interest in offering the option of vegetarian baked beans.

5.) WCBE ad
This past Saturday (10/6) our ad ran on WCBE. Sounded good, pronunciation was on spot. Ryan discussed the history of how we got the ad and how last year’s lottery numbers were erroneously shared with a very low number, and the ad was taken out to help out enrollment. Jason Hambach added that he would be able to produce an ad for free in the future, if need be.
6.) Citrus sale
Darcy Hartman explained who is running it (Noelle Blande and Tammy Derden) and there was discussion of how to order fruit if you don’t have a student selling it. Ryan pointed out that we will need volunteers (but not too many) for the day the fruit comes in.  Hope McGonigle will put an order form on the PTO Facebook page. The reason the citrus sale order form isn’t widely distributed is that Kenwood prides itself on not making students sell things for fundraisers. Make sure we point out (on Facebook, etc) that this is not a PTO sponsored fundraiser.
7.) Winter Bazaar
Megan updated that about 15 people have shown interest in having tables; registrations are still coming in. We would like to see at least 10 more tables (there is space for ~30 tables). Last year there was a PTO-sponsored craft table where kids could make something for $1. PTO may consider doing that again this year. Last year middle schoolers who helped organize a bake sale during the Bazaar were paid for helping out with build up and tear down (this went into their Canada fund). There was discussion of PTO-funded ad for the Bazaar, thoughts were that it would be too costly. But it seems like a good idea to look into placing ads with The Other paper, Columbus Alive, etc. That same weekend is “Craftin Outlaws,” and we may want to contact them about cross advertising. Megan brought up one vendor who wanted to sell baked goods outside at the Bazaar; consensus was that this would take away from the 6th grade bake sale, and that we should decline this vendor.
8.) Walkathon
Andrea explained how this event came about with the help of Lisa Ehleringer and Tiffany Hanna, and that they have helped organize this. It will take place during school hours in gym class. Sponsorship forms will be sent home this week.  October 22nd is date of walkathon. We’re targeting this as a technology fundraiser. Once we see how much money we make, we can see what we can buy (ELMOs, projectors). If we dedicate these profits to a certain fund now, we can use this money now instead of next year. Amy Overmeyer suggests we explain what our goal is and how much these pieces of technology cost. For every $25 a student collects, his/her name will be entered in a drawing for three $25 gift cards. The good thing about this fundraiser is that it’s all profit—sponsors will be asked for a base donation instead of rate based on how many laps walked, etc. There won’t be anything like tshirts or water bottles given out for completing the walkathon.
9.) Tshirts
Ryan update: the tshirt is no longer in the office, he’s taking it to screen printers for quotes. He is currently considering Shout Out Loud, a company who specializes in local band tshirts. They have low cost for the screening. Ryan is hoping to get an order form up within a few weeks. The back of the shirt will say Vive la difference (the front says Ecole Kenwood, and in smaller font, “a Columbus City School”). It does not say anything about French immersion. There is interest in colors other than black; Ryan will see what the cost is for other colors. There is some question of how the design of the shirt was chosen; this design option was presented to the PTO.

10.) New business

  • Outreach (preschool visits/flyers/advertising)

Ryan: NBCC (North Broadway Children’s Center) is not hosting a Kindy fair this year. We do have a flyer that can be passed out, but it needs updated. We want to do that ASAP so we are not scrambling around in January when we are almost at the start of the lottery process. Angie Meeker has volunteered. Advertising: how do we want to push to get our numbers up? Plan on figuring this out for November meeting, so we can have this in place before lottery. Important for us to stay relevant in the district, especially considering how we’re going to be moved around over the next few years. We’re trying to create a buzz about our school.  What neighborhoods do we target? –this should go on November’s agenda and we should think about where we want to go. Hope McGonigle added that we need to work on the school website, adding good keywords so people searching for info on Ecole Kenwood will find quality information online. Brian Kraft can help out with website changes.

  • Creation of Standing Committees

Ryan suggested that we consider creating a voting board from PTO members (elected once a year), so there could be planning committees, etc for different events.  Currently the PTO officers form the board, and all parents/teachers who attend any given meeting can vote. This proposed change would mean that only parents/teachers on the elected board would have voting rights. There is disagreement with this method because there may be people who only come to a certain PTO meeting because the topics being discussed that night are what they are interested in. Ryan suggests that it’s hard to have an effective board when someone is only there for one meeting a year. A parent points out that we may be more effective [adopting this new structure], but less inclusive, and that the parents trust that the as-is board will come to the parents when considering something like a $1000 expenditure. Another parent adds that this seems very hierarchical and unfair. A third parent asks what haven’t we gotten accomplished in the structure we have? A fourth parent asks for Ryan to put his model in writing to see how it would work, and how we may alter it. One positive: standing committees could help with the transfer of information from year to year when planning events. Brief discussion begins of the PTO using Standing Committees in past years, for all events, and related to this, Amanda McClafferty volunteers to coordinate the PTO-provided dinner for the teachers during parent-teacher conferences. She will set up the online Sign Up Genius and Megan will forward her the contact information of parents who have already indicated interest in helping with this event. [Meeting time is over at this point, more discussion is wanted, especially because the currently-structured PTO has utilized Standing Committees in years past. This topic is to be added to the agenda for November’s meeting.]

  • Priorities for Spending

Ryan: looking to prioritize this so it’s more clear where our money is going instead of just deciding on the fly. This is tabled for the next meeting because of time.