PTO Meeting Minutes for May 1, 2018

President: Terry Holt
Treasurers: Kate Leary and Andrew Malone along with Aletta Tibbetts (end of year tax review)
Secretary: Roslyn Fitzgerald
VP of Fundraising: Patsy O’Brien
VP of Committees: Stewart Ikeda

Treasurer’s report- Kate Leary:
Budget Summary for April 2018

Please note: We are working out some spreadsheet kinks. Remaining budgets are in brackets, but actually this just means the money is committed. It doesn’t mean we overspent—just that we still expect to spend it. So, for example, we have $1405.92 left to spend in the library budget. We know it’s confusing and are working on it.  

For complete budget information, see tables here.

Other information:

  • Instead of paying for colonial day expenses, Kristin has asked us to cover the alternative enrichment from the Concord Museum. This is $586. We had $950 budgeted for CD supplies and enrichment, so that means we have $364 left over.
  • We’re still paying out for field trips. Total amount this year is $9893. The budget we voted on was $9500, so we’re $393 over. Let’s call it a wash with Colonial Day.
  • We spent $40 on gift cards for custodians, secretary, and head of the cafeteria in appreciation for their help with the Walkathon (it was muddy). It’s also teacher appreciation week, so good timing.
  • Please submit receipts for Literacy night: decorations, pizza, etc.
  • I made a $499 deposit today — mostly walkathon, but some from Silent Auction
  • We have about $800 so far for Walkathon, not all deposited yet. I’ll do a backpack reminder this week. Deadline is 5/18. (For reference, we made $4000 last year.)
  • Just got a custodial invoice for Int’l Festival ($270, 6 hrs) and Literacy Night ($135, 3 hrs)
  • We have outstanding teacher grant requests from Deb Bermudes for alternative seating, about $1000.
  • K teachers about $400 for curriculum materials.
  • We need to wait and see how Walkathon goes. I spoke to Deb this week and she’s going to prioritize and ask for less. I will let the K teachers know we need to see where we are at the end of the year. When we put out the application, we didn’t know the extent of the projector project.

Principal’s report – Kristin DeFrancisco:
The construction team has been super communicative about the build. They did stop the construction vehicles for the MCAS to avoid excessive noise. Kids have been very adaptable to the lesser playground space; inventing new games, playing with new friends, and teachers finding it easier to monitor kids in a smaller space. Kristin has received very few concerned emails; mostly constructive criticism. They are currently removing the trees and smaller playground equipment in preparation for the foundation preparation. It has gone as smoothly as we could possibly hope for.

Question from parent: are there any other town permits needed/delays expected? No.

Question from parent: are there plans to take kids to Thorndike Field to let kids burn off more energy/those that need to run around more? Recess would have to be extended a little which isn’t an option every day, but could be considered once a week. This would likely be accomplished with the help of TA’s, but we can also ask parents if extra chaperoning is needed. This could be done at all grade levels.

Question from parent: given that the new principal will start July 1st, are there ways we can make connections with her over the summer before the start of the school year? Kristin said she is invited to the next school council meeting, she is in contact with the Town building committee, she is included on all the staff notes/update emails, we could invite her to the June PTO meeting. Kristin will reach out and ask if she would like to come.

Teacher Representative report – Laura Ribiero:
Thank you so much for Teacher Appreciation Week and all the effort parents have gone to!!
Question from parent: how is MCAS going? ELA went smoothly. Some tech issues with 4th grade MCAS where they couldn’t log on but that was resolved. It ends May 16.

New Business – Volunteer coordination/recruitment:
The PTO leadership is finding that many of the same parents are volunteering repetitively, which could easily lead to burnout. We need to figure out ways to get more parents involved.
Brainstorming possibilities which were mentioned at the meeting:

  1. Have PTO representation at the summer meetups to inform parents, get them excited.
  2. Make the PTO Meetings less “expert”, more approachable for new parents who are sitting through the meetings. Possibly make the first meeting more social.
  3. Consider prioritizing events – do we need to do all the yearly events? Some are better attended than others. Having parents vote at that meeting which events they most value. Better explanations about what the monthly events are.
  4. Refocusing on the “why” and what is our purpose?
  5. For those that don’t or can’t make PTO meetings, could we foster a sense of accountability to get everyone to help? Can we categorize the types of volunteer hours that are needed for different types of events so everyone can work out what works for their schedule?
  6. Focusing on which events are for certain grades and drawing on those parents that it matters more to.
  7. Asking teachers to help encourage parents to participate in PTO and the importance of it to their children in the classroom.
  8. Educating about misconceptions about the amount of time or energy involved. Helping to see it as a flexible commitment.
  9. Asking parents to pledge time as well as money in our annual fundraising drive.

Upcoming events:
Hardy family evening (formerly the BBQ) must be reorganized due to space restrictions with the construction. We are also at risk of not being able to organize the event due to lack of volunteers. Thorndike, Magnolia and Spy Pond Field, Crosby and Thompson school are the main options. Food trucks are not allowed by a park. It can be on private property or a driveway but not on a street. However, we could possibly use the parking lot at Spy Pond Field and leave the option open for picnic and/or food trucks. Or we could organize purchasing pizzas in advance via the PTO. There were 192 responses to the BBQ survey. There was a big mix of people saying food matters/food doesn’t matter. We can’t make everyone happy but we will have to prioritize how to best suit the most people. Two dunk tanks have been reserved because we got feedback that it’s central to the 5th graders.
We had three volunteers at the PTO meeting who will co-lead the event and we will schedule a meeting – Heather Carey, Cedrine Bell, and Patty Zambardino. Thank you!

Announcements – Hardy PTO Elections:
PTO Elections of the Executive Board will take place at the June PTO Meeting and as an e-board we are going to be selecting 3-5 people to solicit nominations for the elections. Any Hardy school parent is eligible. Email, facebook mail or backpack mail reminders will be sent out. Daniel Jalkut and Laura Swan volunteered to be part of the search committee.

The next PTO meeting will be June 5 at 6:30pm
PTO ELECTIONS will take place at the June PTO meeting