PTO Meeting Minutes for February 26, 2019


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

Principal’s report – Kate Peretz:

The planning process has begun for the Chandler Street playground. Thank you Kate Leary and Ginna Reeder for volunteering to sit on the playground committee as representatives from the PTO and School Council. A company has been chosen by the town to design the playground (Weston and Sampson) and we will begin looking for feedback from students, faculty, and families. There will be a public meeting on Thursday, March 21, 2019 from 6:00-7:30 pm at Hardy. A reminder will be sent out when the time gets closer.

The railings on the new stairs adjacent to the new playground are completed. Please remind students to use the stairs and not walk or run around them. There are a few remaining tasks on the list for the building project, but it is very close to completion. A few minor punch list items remain inside the building, and all we have left outside is some fencing that is being replaced.

There is one issue that needs to be addressed again to do with the roof. There have been some water leaks that we thought were fixed during the building process, but they are continuing. These leaks are not in the new wing, but in the older part of the building close to the new wing, primarily (but not solely) in the area around our 2nd grade classrooms. APS has been addressing building envelop leaks at Hardy over the last few years. The repairs included roof patching in several areas, window caulking, waterproofing the exterior and some re-pointing of the brick. The district’s CFO and the Director of Facilities are evaluating what can be done now for the short term and Kate is in close communication about this issue with Dr. Bodie.  A new roof is on the Town Capital Plan. It may be necessary to re-prioritize its relative position on the capital list. Also being discussed are the next steps for the continued monitoring of air quality and testing for moisture. The ceiling space was inspected over vacation and there is no visible sign of mold. Staff have been working with our roofers to check again and patch the places where they think the leaks are happening. Kate wants to be sure that everyone knows and understands that the issue is being addressed and thought about. Will continue to send updates as we know more.

Lastly, Kate is working with the town to ensure a more even temperature in the building, as some rooms are significantly colder/hotter than others. Window air conditioning units are going to be installed in the hottest spaces to get them into a more normal range. Unfortunately, units can’t be placed in all classrooms as the amount of power required would continually blow fuses. However, screens were installed on all upper floor windows, so they windows can be left open overnight to cool the building down.

Teacher Representative’s Report – Kate Peretz on behalf of Laura Ribiero:

March is a busy month – MCAS, a visiting artist, Hour of Code, and Silent auction to name a few. See more details below.

Upcoming Events:

–          Game Night, 3/1 – Chrissa Banner and Kate Leary:

This is the first time we’ve done this at Hardy. In the cafeteria. GameWright has loaned us several games to try, or bring your own games. Free pizza and baked goods. Priority is to make it a community event. There is a fundraising component, we can sell new games from GameWright; we get 50% of every sold game and it will go toward the 5th grade end of year fund. 5th graders are volunteering to do some of the shifts or help with playing games. Kate ordered compostable plates and cups and custodians will help with sorting the items into the composting bins. No water bottles or juice boxes this time, we will use refillable water pitcher. Teachers and afterschool were also given the opportunity to make wish lists of games that parents can purchase. We can also use the library if it gets too busy in the cafeteria. Need more help cashiering and checking people in and out.

–          Hour of Code, Week of 3/4 – Eva Bitteker:

In the library during each classes’ usual library time. More parent volunteers are needed for the first and second graders than for the upper grades.

–          Arts Enrichment week of 3/11 – Cedrine Bell:

Bren Bataclan, an artist from Cambridge will be at the school the week of March 11, painting murals on the walls. There will be two assemblies with the kids to introduce him, culminating with the big reveal of his artwork at the end of the week. The 5th graders will be helping him come up with ideas for the murals. His focus/message is spreading kindness.

We especially need photographers for this event. If you are in the building that week, please consider taking photos (non-identifying) as you see him working with the kids. Cedrine wants to get it publicized through the Superintendent’s newsletter and we are the first school in the town to do this. Bren will be donating a painting for the silent auction.

–          Silent Auction 3/30 – Patsy O’Brien:

Each year this event gets bigger. Consider donating an item, an experience, or you can purchase a wishlist to make a basket. Ticket registration and volunteering opportunities are available on the website.

–          Literacy Night 4/8 – Alham Saadat:

Terry will do a custodial request for the library, cafeteria and a couple of other rooms to be used. The theme that is most likely to be chosen is Superheroes (real or magical). Food funded by PTO, it will be pizza. Will also ask volunteers for baked goods. There will be a donation bin for gently used books that will be used for the Robbins Library used book sale later in the year. Would it be possible to invite incoming Kindergarten families to the event to help integrate them into the Hardy community? Parents will post to Facebook and ask neighbors to let their neighbors know.

–          Teacher Appreciation Week, week of 5/6 – Patsy O’Brien:

Patsy will discuss at next meeting.

–          Field Day 5/31, rain date 6/7 – Lisa Fuller:

To be discussed at future meetings.

–          Hardy Picnic 6/13, rain date 6/14 – Terry Holt:

Reserved two dunk tanks. Last year was at Thompson for the first time because of the construction but this year we’d like to have it again at Hardy. Terry will find a committee of people to help with organizing it.

Committee Updates

DIG (diversity and inclusion group) update – Sarah Evans:

Arlington schools are good at inclusion and diversity at a high administration level, but some of this information isn’t making it to the ground level, and a Brackett parent was concerned that the administration wasn’t hearing the experience at the ground level. If we are all aligned in some capacity, we can work together to make sure the curriculum is inclusive. It has been very well received by the superintendent. Brand new last year at Brackett, at Hardy we started this year. Inclusion doesn’t just mean racial issues, but special ed, family structures, cultural background etc. March 7th 7-9pm is next meeting. It’s included in the school council because it’s part of the school improvement plan. There is a question about the idea of holding some school council/DIG/PTO meetings in Boston instead of at Hardy, so METCO families would have an opportunity to participate. Is that something people are interested in doing?

Green team :

They want to do something for earth week but haven’t settled on anything yet. They wanted to do a festival, but the town is running one. Thinking of having the teachers doing something during their specials, and a plant sale (eg. Herbs and wildflowers). Anyone interested in volunteering for the third week of April? It would be after school. Will discuss during next PTO meeting.

PTO Executive Board Reports:

President- Terry Holt:

Ms Flynn asked Terry if a screen could be installed in the gym against the wall to be used during gym class and for community use. Terry has asked for a bid from the construction team and will get back to us for the next meeting.

Directory update: School council has asked if we can print out the guidebook only and pay for production and printing. It will be in both pdf format and printed so it is accessible to everyone. Everyone voted in favor.

Fundraising – Patsy O’Brien:

The online silent auction raised $7973. The best part of it being online was that it could be sent out to people beyond the Hardy community. Anything that was left will go into the town silent auction at the end of March.

Treasurer – Kate Leary:

A motion was requested to increase our savings budget to $10 000, as we are required in our bylaws to save at least 30% of our operating costs. It was unanimously passed.

Enrichment – Stewart Ikeda:

Fox Festival Parade/Feast of the East – one parent has volunteered to lead it. See more details from the Dec 2018 notes. We will discuss again at the next meeting.

March PTO meeting is Tuesday March 12.