PTO Meeting Minutes 7.1.2013

PTO Meeting 7 January 2013

Present: Andrea O’Carroll, co-president, Courtney Smith, treasurer, Megan McGonigle, secretary.  Erin Stamper was ill and Ryan Landi had a prior commitment.

I. Call meeting to order
Andrea welcomes everyone to the meeting.
II. Treasurer’s Report
Courtney asks if anyone had any questions about the report; Nikki Kraft talked to snow removal guy who will come this week. $85 per removal. [PTO budgets $300/year for this] Julie Duhigg has a question about the basketball uniforms (and how a large amount of the PTO budget went toward them): how does this effect next year? M. Toure says 6th grade can still use them for activities for gym class, etc. So they will not be used for sporting events, but they should still get some use.  Nikki Kraft mentions the $500 that has been set aside for International, originally for the HS PTO.  She thinks this could now go to start a middle school PTO.  Andrea brings up that the PTO board met and thought that it would be fair to split this year’s PTO proceeds by ninths (as we have 9 grades at Kenwood).  2/9 of funds raised this year will follow the 7-8th graders to International Middle School for a new PTO.  Tiffany Hanna asks about teacher reimbursement deadline, and wonders how many teachers have submitted requests.  Quite a few have not, and February 1st is suggested as a deadline.  M. Toure will remind teachers and staff about this money.  Money that is leftover will be allocated to next year’s budget.

III.  Technology Purchase and Approval to use General Funds up to $500
Andrea explains that at the officers meeting we decided the best use of the money raised in the walkathon (to purchase technology products) would be to purchase 4 of the requested 5 ELMOs. The board was considering the possibility of a document camera for the Kindergartens since we  don’t have enough money for 5 ELMOs.  A parent asked if we could put the 4 we can buy into a pool for the lower grades?  This depends on how the classrooms are laid out next year, and how we allocate this. This is slightly complicated by who has projectors and whether or not a projector would need to be moved around classrooms.  The ELMOs we are looking to purchase come with a projector, and come to about $900 each, so there will not be the need to move projectors around. There is consensus about buying 4 EMLOs and then figuring out about leftover money for document cameras. Nikki Kraft asks why we are paying for these kinds of things all the time, when at other CCS this doesn’t happen. Elaine Bell has said that we would be allocated funds for this kind of stuff, but that looks slim because of 25 million budget cut to CCS. VOTE: We have $3500 raised in the walkathon to spend on these.  The PTO board is asking for approval of $500 from the General fund if we go over the $3500.  Motion passed.

IV.  New school brochure—approval to have professionally printed ($500 allowance)
Chris Mercerhill talked about the meetings the brochure committee has been having and shows us the mock up brochure. [8.5×11 paper, folded once, book-style, with a close-up photo of the outside of the building on the front page, with some bullets of key positive elements about Kenwood.  Inside opens up to a photo of the main school hallway, with more detailed bullet points flanking the sides of the paper.  The back cover includes some FAQs.  Kelli Edinger asked if someone was taking photos for the brochure and offers to be the photographer. (current pictures are place holders)  Quick ideas for Chris and the committee: Tiffany Hanna brought up that we want to be able to use this again (so re-word the 2-year excellent rating on the front).  Will need to drop the inside info on Interscholastic athletic opportunities.  We should add info about the new feeder program and add the school logo to it.  If anyone has more feedback, please get in touch with Chris after meeting.  There is a Clintonville kindergarten fair next Thursday so we are looking to print as soon as possible (though this may mean printing ~50 copies inhouse so they will be ready for this fair, depending on turn-around time, and then professionally printing the rest).  VOTE: $500 is requested for the printing.  Motion passed.

V. Award Ceremony Assistance request from Lacey Drake—match funds up to $500
Courtney brings up the new quarterly awards ceremonies, and Lacey’s request for money for dog tags and wrist bands to give to the students; something different for middle school vs. elementary.  PTO is asking to match $500 that has already been given. Tiffany Hanna mentions that these ceremonies go over well at Colerain and how it’s a very positive thing. Nikki Kraft says that the middle school ceremony was not really successful; the kids were generally disrespectful and how awkward it was that some kids ended up getting excluded entirely (Kristin Allison noted that the exclusion was also an issue at the elementary school ceremony) and that we need to look at some way of doing it differently.  Neither is lobbying for every student to “take home a trophy,” but there were several instances when only 2-3 students from a class did not get any recognition for anything, while the rest of the class did.  VOTE: Request for $500 to go to Lacey Drake for ordering incentives.  Motion passes.  There are two “nay” votes.

VI. Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities
Parents will provide a meal for teachers for the upcoming parent teacher conferences in February.  M. Toure will provide dinner the first night; PTO will provide dinner the second night. Volunteers for childcare will be needed as well.  Also: international potluck is 2/1.  Volunteers are needed decorations and tear down.  Bookfair: Feb 5-?? (usually lasts 1-2 weeks) Courtney asks for help with coordinating this.  We will need volunteers to help set up and tear down, as well as people throughout the school day to help with book sales.  Sign ups for all of these events will be going out via email.

VII. Ecole kenwood tshirts
Andrea shows the pictures of M. Weibel’s designs and passes around Amanda’s designs (based on previous PTO meeting discussion on looking for a Hollister-esque font and design) and the font that Kristin found that mimics the hand-drawn font of the original design by Amy Overmyer.  Andrea is going to create a survey to send out so we can decide on a design and proceed to ordering.  At the officers meeting last month, Erin said she thought that the exiting middle schoolers would really like these.

VIII. New business

  • Tiffany says the int’l potluck needs decorations from each continent and how the cafeteria is divided by continent/country (so folks know where to place their food). We will need decorations for that and volunteers to bring them in and set them up. People have made flags in years past. Volunteers can come by around 4pm, February 1st.  Potluck begins at 6.  If you are unable to help with decorating, but have items you’d like to drop off, you are welcome to do that.
  • Lisa Ehleringer will be looking for chairs for Fancy Fair (games, set up/tear down, food, tickets, volunteers) so heads up that info about that will be coming out.
  • Jena Huber says that her mother is a quilter and is making one for Kenwood this year. It will be ready for fancy fair, but email pics will be available sooner.  This will be a fundraiser, and running a raffle for it would be the best way to make the most money. She asked for help with it and Kelli Edinger said she can help her out with it. It is a French braid quilt. Let’s get a lot of hype going about this. We can display the quilt at Fancy Fair, and then try to sell more tickets and sell it last day of school, etc. We should set up the ability to be able to buy tickets online, Hope McGonigle offers to create this.
  • M. Toure is looking into an exchange program with college-aged students from French-speaking countries; students would stay with a host family and work at the school 35 hours a week. $150/month stipend for each student.  He may be asking for families to host, etc. PTO may be asked for help out with the stipend money. The program is part of the Amity Institute, based out of San Diego.  http://www.amity.org/

IX. CIHS middle school discussion
Chris Mercerhill asks for a recap of what we know so far (also, there were at least 2 parents at the meeting who had heard nothing of CCS plans to move the 7-8th graders to create International Middle School/International 7-12). Andrea runs through the timeline and goes into the curriculum a small amount. Wednesday night (1/9) is the open house from 6-7pm. A 6-7 grade graduation is desired this year, in addition to the 8th grade graduation.  Curriculum info: Social studies and science will be taught in french and spanish (and mandarin?), respectively; math and english will be in english, so that they will be combined with 5th ave and CSIA, thus creating enough students to have various ability levels.

While briefly explaining to the parents who were unaware of the changes and of International going 7-12, Nikki Kraft mentioned that this possibility (of 7-12) has been talked about in the past, and it is common knowledge that Dr. Harris’s vision for the district has been to go all 7-12.  With the new K-8 building plans falling apart, apparently the 7-12 model came up again.  One justification for it is that CCS does not have the space for a K-8 school (i.e. Kenwood) to swing while a new building is built on our current site, but there is space for a K-6 (at Hubbard, etc).  So creating a middle school/high school would remove the 7-8th graders from Kenwood and CSIA, thus alleviating any temporary potential swing space crunch for both.

Madame Williams asks how are they going to find a social studies teacher who speaks french?? There is concern about losing our specialists (art, music, etc, who may go to part time positions).  Kristin Allison voices concern that, essentially, because International High School will be a 7-12, starting in 7th grade, parents will have given up their spot at their neighborhood high school, per the School Lottery rules (if you opt into a lottery school, you give up your home school, and have to lottery back into it if you choose to leave the lottery school).  At the meeting on 12/17, she was assured that the new feeder program would NOT mean needing to lottery into your own neighborhood school if you chose to leave International after 8th grade, but she has not been able to get anything in writing from the district.  It is suggested that she ask to be put on the agenda at the school board meeting on 1/22.  Tiffany Hanna is on the committee presenting to the board.