Centennial PTO Minutes – April 26, 2018

1. Call to order (8:15 am)
Big thanks to Natalie, Jill and Amy for bike to school. There is a lot of momentum on this!

2. Welcome & Introductions
In attendance: Tina Rice, Natalie St. Denis, Jill White, Stasi York, Diane Jones, Cori Chavez, Kim Decker, Amy Shoffner, Wendy Barinek, Amy Chan, Erin Vito, Jill Zender, Diane Harpold, Nicole Benjamin, Amy Carpenter, John McCluskey

3. Approval of the minutes from last meeting
Since minutes weren’t published, we will postpone voting on them til next month.

4. Board work update: reserve policy & D&O insurance
Board approved a policy around reserves in the budget. In the past, we had a large one time donation and ended up with an informal reserve of $7500. However, that proved to be too high, so the new policy approved by the Board suggests $3500. Kim put that together, so thanks to Kim! So, we have about $6000 available to spend.

We are also getting D&O insurance. The expense is pretty minimal – less than $100.

5. 2018: May lunch events, remaining spending 2018
Meredith had offered to do a spring event. Since we are not doing that, should we proceed with the idea for some May lunch events? Does PTO want to sponsor some structured activities at lunchtime on Fridays?

Maybe we should ask Mr. Adams if he knows someone who could come in and rally a large group of kids.

There are no volunteers at our meeting who would be interested in leading the Friday lunch thing, although Jill said she might be interested.

John says we are moving to 3 lunches and there may be different hiring decisions in terms of support. We maybe could have Mr. Adams and Ms. Morgan Rein be available for a couple lunches a week – he’d need to compensate them. Maybe PTO could help out with the finances.  John will get a sense of what a stipend would look like and get back to PTO. John says we don’t need to pursue this for May because there is plenty going on with end of year already. Let’s pursue for next year.

John says Superintendent is coming today and could come to our meeting at 9. (Later in the meeting, we learn the Superintendent has canceled).

Remaining spending: Diane provides updated budget.  We have gone over on a few items intentionally. For end of year, we have spent more than we raised but with some residual funds we still have $1800 in grants budget to spend. We have another $500 from professional development that we decided not to fund.  We decided to reduce our reserve giving us another $4000. So we have over $6000 available. John gave us a wishlist which includes: auditorium and cafeteria sound system (we are waiting on a bid), some flexible seating where one of the computer labs is currently, new furniture around the whole building, sand volleyball court instead of the tetherball courts (kids need more to do out there), mobile stand up desks, substitute coverage/peer observations, computer class and family assistance, skateboard rack, outdoor games, garden supplies, and courtyard improvements.

Diane says we need to figure out what would be more appropriate for PTO to fund rather than the school.

John says we could also use another gaga pit.  John is guessing a volleyball court would cost $3000-5000.

Amy asks John to come up with a wishlist of priorities for our next meeting, understanding there is about $6000 available.

PTO seems most interested in “recess/lunch” type spending – sound system for lunchroom, volleyball/gaga courts.

John says Jennifer Dunn could use some help with the moving of stuff from the band room for the renovation.

John says on the last days of school we could use help with locks program and the handing out of yearbooks.  Amy Carpenter will get with the office staff.

Boulder HS PAC members: Visda Carson and Nancy from Boulder High School PAC (parent advisory council) come to address our group. They met John at their last meeting and talked about new graduation requirements. It is so important for parents to stay engaged even in high school. They have two missions:  facilitate communication between administration and parents (transition night, conferences, meetings, biweekly newsletter and fundraising to support curriculum. If you go to BHS PAC website, they have uploaded a couple of documents for incoming freshman parents – some FAQs. They want to recruit new members!  PAC website also outlines opportunities to volunteer. They had two parent volunteers who have been their scholarship volunteers and they are both leaving. If somebody is interested in learning about that and financial aid and willing to help other parents with that, they’d be grateful!  It is a huge help to the students.  Visda passes around a sheet for people to write down their email contact information.

John says there is a lot going on at the high school level that could really use parent help.

6. Small group discussion — Annual Calendar for 2018-19 and Spiritwear
We didn’t have time for this today.

7. Discussion on open PTO positions 2018–19
Kim Decker is signed up to be President. We have several open positions. To function as a nonprofit, we need Treasurer by July! Diane says it is really a fun job. Kim would also be happy to help the next Treasurer.  Nicole will stay on as Secretary. We also need a Vice President and several other positions. How should we recruit people?  Kim will be talking to PTOs at Crest View and Foothills.  Amy S. says it was a personal one on one ask that worked for her. Stasi says that at Foothill there is a joint PTO/SAC meeting tonight!  We will also try and recruit at the incoming 6th grade event, although that may be a lot to ask of incoming parents. Amy Chan says what about more shadow positions? Then, sell the shadow positions as ways of getting acquainted with the school and getting in the know. Might be a good way to fill our pipeline.

Wendy says that last year she signed up for PTO at transition night .

Natalie says the incoming 6th grader parents are the best candidates.

Erin says we should make a poster that says “we need help with…” and then list the specifics. This may reduce the intimidation factor in approaching the PTO table. The message is also: “many hands, light work.”

Amy C. suggests perhaps we assess interest levels and skill sets. People could then indicate what interests them and what level of commitment they are interested in.

Kim says we could also do a survey of parent skills with an eye toward lecture series speakers.

Diane puts out a plea to the folks in the room to really think if any of us might be interested or know someone interested in the treasurer position. Basic requirement is to report on what’s happening with the money and do the banking.

8. Principal’s report
Teacher appreciation luncheon. John apologizes for potentially overtaxing families with requests for another staff appreciation event. Tina says the more events, the better but we don’t want to fatigue families.  

John acknowledges that the volunteer appreciation event did come as a curveball but that was the intent as he doesn’t want PTO to have to do any work. The event is Wednesday May 2, 9-9:30.  Please come!  There will be snacks and a few surprises.

UIP (unified improvement plan) is final. You can read it online. State requires you tie your UIP goals to your testing data.

Testing update is that we had about 22% of our kids opt out so we reduced that amount by half. A nice improvement.

Testing Snacks were a huge hit.

Daily bell schedule update – we have a new daily schedule for next year. We will start at 8:35 but end at the same time. 3 days will look a lot like they do now but with 3 lunches. Then, modified block days 2 days a week. A RISE block will be on Wednesdays for 40 minutes. John is asking teachers to direct the RISE block. A group of teachers will work on its curriculum.  Passing periods are scheduled to be 5 minutes moving forward. John is still using bells to signify start of class but not the end of class.  There is some parent feedback that teachers are keeping the kids late.

We will not do quarter grade reports next year, however, the registrar will email quarterly to remind parents to check infinite campus.  We will move to semesters.

Small gym work has been stalled because there is a need for asbestos abatement.  The whole roof will be replaced when kids are no longer in the building.  Library will also be closed in a few weeks.

This involves a huge move. Every single pane window in the building is getting replaced and there will be asbestos abatement.  So, everything is going out!

8th graders will have awards ceremony the 23rd from 6:30-8.  Then, continuation ceremony on the 24th.  Then, sign yearbooks, have 8th grade movie, then go to Elks club.  6th and 7th graders have modified schedule in morning of the 24th.  6th graders have field day and 7th graders go to Parkside Park in the afternoon.  John will put that in a communication to families.

We are doing a lot of focus for professional development on how to teach on a modified block schedule and what does social/emotional education piece look like.

9. New business
Check out the new Centennial Family Tree!