PTO Meeting Minutes for April 9, 2019

Principal’s Report – Kate Peretz:

Thursday (4/11 at 6pm) is the second and final community playground meeting for parents to provide input about the upcoming Chandler Street renovation. The Weston and Sampson designers came up with another version of the playground (in addition to the three they had already provided), based on the feedback from the family meeting last month.

Kate is also looking into different options for extra teacher/staff parking in conjunction with the town. Even though parking issues aren’t part of the playground renovation, it factors into the plan because if we could find more parking, we could possibly reconfigure the playground space. For example, taking out curbing, relining the parking space and not needing to use any part of the playground as backup parking space during snow emergencies.

School council – the school improvement plan is progressing and they are trying to wrap up many goals with the end of the year approaching. There have been some grants which have allowed further help with reading instruction for students who are struggling.

Teacher Representative’s Report – Laura Ribiero:

There was an assembly on Friday to wrap up kindness week with Bren Bataclan, which featured a slideshow featuring each grade’s kindness project. There have been further enrichment activities for 3rd and 5th grade. MCAS started this week and the chrome books have been tested to ensure they are running properly (this is the first year all the classes are using the chrome books). Testing is based on common core curriculum for MA. The teachers actively try to make it a low key event so students aren’t stressed and it doesn’t feel like too much pressure.

5th graders: there are many fundraising events happening – on May 5th a car wash, on May 10th a flower sale, and a raffle for a knitted afghan. Funds go towards designing their own t-shirts, memory books, and a graduation ceremony on June 18th.

Debrief –

Silent Auction – Patsy O’Brien:

It was a huge success. The online auction in January raised $8 000, and the in-person auction last month raised $11 000. Moving forward, Patsy will likely do an annual online auction and the in-person auction every other year to avoid community burnout.

Thank you to everyone who participated, organized, donated, attended and volunteered!

Literacy Night – Alham Saadat:

It was Alham’s first year running the event and it was extremely popular. Thank you to all the volunteers and participants! There was enough pizza for the event (we ordered 42 pizzas).

Upcoming Events:

Green Team – Doris Pfaffinger:

Earth week festivities – plans include a textile drive/recycling week, a garden cleanup, a seed planting, a vermiculture demo and tree planting that week. On 4/26, each 2nd grade class is planting trees on the school grounds. The Arlington tree warden will give a speech and they will make a plan to water and tend to the new trees.

Teacher Appreciation Week – Patsy O’Brien:

May 6-10. We often do this earlier in the year, but this year it will run the same week as national teacher appreciation week. Every day of the week we do something special for the teachers. Room parents will be sending out ideas for how kids can also participate in appreciating their teachers. We are not doing door decorating this year because it’s a lot of work for parents, but we will do a smaller scale surprise instead.

Kindergarten Orientation – Terry Holt:

Each year we have incoming K parents come to visit the school, meet the teachers and take a school tour led by PTO members. This year it’s on 5/28 from 1-3pm. We need at least 4 volunteers (and up to 8) to do the tours. Please contact Terry at if you could sign up to lead a tour.

Field Day – Lisa Fuller:

Planning is going very well. The town waived the fees for the official day, although they aren’t waiving the rain date fee. We need to rent a PA system for microphone/music projection. $75 rental fee. If you have old spirit wear T-shirts that you no longer need, consider donating them in the bin in the lobby for students who forgot their shirts or parents who want to buy a used one. Cedrine Bell and her daughter are recruiting high school students who could help volunteer on field day.

Fox Festival Parade – Ellen Pfeiffer:

The parade coincides with Feast of the East, 6/15. It involves a parade of kids walking down Mass Ave with puppets that they’ve made. Hardy is having a water/dolphin theme (eg. clean water, recycling etc). Working with a local artist to help create dolphin themed art that the kids can help create. She will be working with all grade levels. There are three workshops where students can make puppets/art for the parade:  

  • Sunday 6/9 from 1-2pm at the Fox library, which is open to the general public.
  • Tuesday 6/11 from 1:15-2:30pm at the Hardy school.
  • Thursday 6/13 at the Hardy picnic.

All materials are provided and the artist will be leading the events, although parents are asked to remain at the workshops to assist their children.

A motion was put forth for Hardy PTO to contribute $500 towards running the cost of this event, with the Arts Council contributing another $500. The vote was passed unanimously.

Hardy Picnic – Terry Holt:

6/13, rain date 6/14. Two dunk tanks have been rented. Terry is beginning the planning stages. We will have a bake sale, an art project and the Parade workshop. Cedrine and Terry are recruiting volunteers to help with planning. It will be at Hardy this year even though it was at Thompson last year. Food details are still being discussed.

Supplies drive:

Katrina Bernstein has volunteered to do it this year to give Ann Chhabra (who has done this for many years) a break. Thank you both!

PTO Executive Board Reports:

President – Terry Holt:

Eboard Election Committee Update: Most eboard positions are being vacated and need to be filled. These include President, Treasurer, Secretary and VP of Committees. If you know of someone who would like to nominate themselves or another for Eboard positions, please let us know by emailing Terry at Patsy O’Brien is nominating herself for President.

Workshop at Hardy – “Navigating the Teen Years”. The town often presents workshops for parents regarding specific parenting topics, but has offered to present the above mentioned theme at Hardy school for Hardy parents, instead of the usual town-wide presentation. If parents are interested, they could schedule this in May.

Treasurer’s report – Kate Leary:

Total current cash balance: $52, 978.56

Announcements and/or New Business:

A parent asked if we can make a tentative schedule of events for school year 2019/2020 at the next meeting? Yes, we will put on May agenda.

Last year the 4th grade participated in a service learning field trip at Spy Pond Park. The Friends of Spy Pond Park asked if we want to repeat it this year? It was challenging for the 4th grade teachers to coordinate, so this would need to wait until next year to ensure enough lead time. Laura Ribiero is interested in coordinating it for her 5th grade class next year as it aligns with her science curriculum. Ginna Reeder said she would volunteer to help with this next year and Stewart Ikeda will pass along all the materials and curriculum.

Next PTO Meeting is May 7th, 2019