PTO Meeting Minutes 4 March 2013

PTO Meeting 3.4.2013

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.

2.) Minutes from previous meeting; Ryan called for a motion to approve the minutes from the January meeting,  Motion approved.

3.) Treasurer’s report; Courtney asks if there are any questions about the budget. Darcy Hartman asked about the dance line item, but it turns out the Middle School Leadership Team made money on the dance, which doesn’t usually happen.

4.) Updates from principal Toure

  • updates on building: planning on a preK-6 design, 550 students. Not sure how preschool will be set up; probably not lottery, Kenwood is just housing the pre-k. One classroom may be special ed and two typical. We don’t know yet if there will be a language option—don’t know if there will be a direct tie to our unit. Timeline: the plan is to swing 2014-15; move into the new building fall 2015.  Teachers and parents will be involved in design.
  • $35,000 grant was secured for textbooks and nonfiction french books; french Envision Math program is being used in K-3 right now, will be available for K-6 next year. Grant money is left and M. Toure pushing for that to go to K-6 texts.
  • looking to add: interns from the Amity program.  These are college aged students who are finishing up education and they get to work at a school for a year. Typically, there are about 10 in a school.  They are native french speakers. Costs: $1500 per intern upfront, $1500 in stipend for the year. They will need host families. Students are here for 10 months, looking for 2 months minimum with host family.  Family provides housing and food. More information about the program:[put website up at PTO site] Host families could be non Kenwood families, Mme. Scoyez suggests it may be good for a family with a college student as to avoid a nanny-like situation. M. Toure would like some commitment by the end of April. Looking for 1-2 interns this coming year. We could do half year, but maybe the initial admin $1500 fee would stand.  M. Toure will seek out grant writers for help with funding; he has also been in contact with district grant office staff.
  • for next year, we will add a 3rd kindergarten and 6th grade (and will be hiring for those).  Courtney Smith will be on interview team as parent consultant.
  • Darcy Hartman asks about  6-7 graduation. M. Toure says he is planning for a “closing ceremony” for 6-7th grades, since they aren’t ‘graduating,’ and that 7th grade families will still help out with 8th grade graduation. M. Toure is thinking of having a dance afterwards.

5.) Events updates

  • open house/tours: Courtney says she has 40-50 tours in daytime. Only 5 families participated in evening tour—slow, but we didn’t have many more last year (most people want to come when school is in session). Kindergarten fair and Clintonville fair have given us a good number of families (we don’t have lottery numbers yet).
  • international potluck: Ryan says it was a success. It’s not a money maker, but a good opportunity to connect with families.
  • book fair–We made $900, about the same as last year, with 2 fewer days and one less conference night.  We can stay on stage next year, doesn’t interrupt library, BUT will need help getting the cases onto stage.
  • middle school dance—ryan: dance was great, we had a lot of positive feedback from the students.
  • Groovy Spoon fundraiser–we made $89, less than last year, but they gave us the whole day of partial proceeds last year (as compared to 5pm-close).

6.) Upcoming events

  • Family Fun Night-march 22nd.  Andrea: David Kaplan, former parent, will be magician.  We need volunteers for the evening; Andrea passed around a sign up sheet.
  • Teacher appreciation week—May 6-10th.  Megan McGonigle will lead this up.  We do something for the teachers each day of the week, and we will be coordinating this soon.  A sign up sheet was passed around for people who would be interested in helping.  One thing we discussed: cater the staff lunch on Wed or Thurs so leftovers aren’t wasted.  Megan will probably ask PTO for $100-200 at April meeting to get some small gifts for our teachers.
  • Fancy Fair—We need quite a few volunteers for this annual event. Date is May 18th. Lisa Ehleringer is chairing, Erin Stamper is helping her. Need people to chair different events: face painting/volunteers/food/etc.

7.) Volunteer opportunities (handouts were passed around for upcoming events)
8.) New business

  • Ryan points out that we are losing 2 grades and that we have a lot of great events and we require a lot of parents to help us out. We will be losing a lot of great parents who help out a lot. Wants to open a discussion for how we can attract more parents with volunteering. Julie Duhigg asks what was different about book fair and that we got a lot of volunteers? (maybe different because we did one volunteer per shift) Kristen Allison points out that most of the people in the meeting tonight are not 6-7 parents. Julie says the electronic devices (connecting through FB, having the PTO website, using signup genius online) have helped; not sure what else we can do. Brian Hagemann says that one-on-one contact has been the only thing that has helped with getting volunteers for his NP organization. Nothing else worked. Darcy Hartman adds that we need to be good about finding mentors for events so that no one is left hanging when it’s time to plan and organize. Kristen: part of the issue is that you just walk up to someone and tell them you think they would be good for X job. Darcy keeps hounding people into individual slots that need filled–so, for example, she needs 3 people to work these shifts at comfest.  She will keep sending emails with that specific information until the spaces get filled.

Chris Mercerhill says that a barrier to entry into pto is partly lingo and too little explanation during meetings.  For example, he didn’t know what Fancy Fair was and had to be caught up.

The PTO board is putting together a  new PTO handbook, detailing all of the PTO events and what is required of planning them, etc.  In addition to this, we should add detailed descriptions of all of the events, and this list can go up on the school/PTO website.

Amanda McClafferty pointed out that the ice cream social was a good time to appoach new parents. Have as many PTO families there as we can and have everyone talk to a new family. Kristin Allison suggests that we call all incoming families about the ice cream social, in addition to mailing them an invite.  Eugenia Romero points out that there’s an issue of continuity—we can connect at social, but then lose track of the other parents by the time the school year starts.  Lisa suggests that for each grade (classroom?) we have a parent-volunteer coordinator, so the delegate can assist more specifically with getting parent volunteers.  We could put this in place this year. Kristin Allison says that teachers would love this. BizTown needs volunteers, for instance, and you need not be a 4-5 parent. BT is the new junior achievement. The students run their own stores and a whole town–it teaches them about economy. Need a min of 14, hopefully have 22.

One other suggestion for K volunteers: get a parent there at kindy orientation day, after the kids leave and there’s parent info. PTO could talk to kindy teachers. Andrea suggests that parents are swallowing a lot of information that morning, and this may be information overload. Maybe we could have a kindergarten night a month into the school year. Mme. Scoyez: On the first day of school, though, that’s the ONLY time the parents will be here for sure. At the least we could have some PTO folks put phone numbers down on kindy forms from that first day, so new parents could have some other points of communication.  Mme. Scoyez: also ask teachers if we need volunteers for events, because teachers know certain strengths and interests of parents, and teachers can put call for out for volunteers in weekly newsletter. A parent-volunteer would be really good in this regard..


  • BizTown (March 14th) $220 is needed for a bus for the students: Ryan calls for a motion to approve this money: motion approved.
  • Mr. lockett has asked for a jazz emsemble to come in for his class. It is for 4 visits; he needs $500.  School district is paying $2000, M. Toure says Kenwood can pay $250, PTO is willing to match that amount. Ryan asks for a motion for approval for $500: motion approved. (asked for $500 in case the matching $250 doesn’t come through.  So we expect to use $250 of PTO funds, but have backup, because we want to support M. Lockett)
  • Mme. Williams discussed the clickers that she needs for her classroom.  We will hold the April meeting in her room, and will vote on those at that time.
  • tshirts: we need some further discussion of this; please vote on designs that were sent out in the newsletter.