In attendance: Ginger Barnes, Marla Bachrach, Merlyn Holmes, Diane Jones, Mindy Kefer, Ann Thomasset, Jean Anthony, Tina Rice, Natalie St. Denis, Wendy Barinek, Megan Boyle, Liza Weems, Kim Decker, Vicki Blair, Nicole Benjamin, Sarah, Madelyn Pollack
Call to order
Kim calls meeting to order.
You are PTO!
We introduce ourselves to our neighbors and talk about our favorite snow activity.
Approval of the minutes from last meeting
Kim moves to approve the minutes from our last meeting in November. Ginger seconds the motion. All are in favor. None opposed and none abstain. Minutes are approved.
President’s report – Kim
There was a book club meeting, an awesome winter party (food paid for by PTO), CMS brochures made for the open house (paid for by our donations), Rise honor roll celebrations (food paid for by PTO) and FET meeting. Thank you!!
CMS Brochure, Web Site Help, Graphic Design Stickers – Erin Vito. Erin is behind the scenes on marketing and web help. She designed cool stickers for CMS that John wants to give out to support school spirit.
Winter Party – Tina Rice and Vicky Blair. Vicky made 600 cookies and chopped up a ton of veggies that kids actually ate! Tina does such a great job with so many events!
R2ISE and Honor Roll Recognition Mornings – Tina, Ginger Barnes and Michelle. Thank you!
Treasurer’s report – Diane
Everything is tracking very well. We are very close to our income goals. Reports are available from Diane if anyone wants to see them.
Meet Wes Steinberg Math Teacher
Wes grew up in Chicago. Teaches 7th grade math. This is his 7th year teaching. He is going back for his principal’s license and John and Brooke have been great mentors. He coaches JV soccer at Boulder High School (3rd season there). He just got married over the summer. He lives in Littleton. It is worth the trip everyday for him to come up to CMS.
Wes went on the DC trip the last two years and will go this year too! It’s a great trip and he learns something new every time.
He finds 7th grade to be a big social/emotional stage. He notices kids trying to figure out how to act maturely. There is quite a range of emotional maturity in 7th grade. He is trying to get kids to self-advocate. We learn percents, equations – a lot of introduction to algebra. “$100 startup” book talks about companies started with under $100. Somebody did yoga mats with Shrek on them. Someone did cookies. It is a good exercise. We learn about markups, sales tax, locations, discounts, etc. He read a book called “Go For No” about a salesman who used to sell in threes. Then, he learned to try for more than three sales knowing that he’d get some no’s on the way to his goal. The more no’s he gets, the more yesses he’ll get along the way too. Tried a math failure log. Get kids used to the term failure. Be proud of failing because by failing so many times, a lot of successes happen too.
John says Wes is a phenomenal teacher. His class has an aura of sophistication. Kids are being asked to think critically and he connects with them as people. Marla reiterates that Wes has made great connections with her daughter.
Program Coordinator reports
Bike/Walk/Skateboard/Scooter/Bus Safely to school week – Natalie
This will be a week-long event, Feb 4-11 this winter. Bigger day will be the Wednesday late start day of that week.
We’ve had a change of mindset for this year. We’ve had some pedestrian/bike and pedestrian/car incidents so we are shifting to focus on safety, knowledge and awareness for students and parents. We have $479 in the budget for winter week and April day. We are trying to get as many resources for free as possible. We may look at getting bicycle bells! We are interested in feedback on where we should be putting the PTO money. There are two people within BVSD who run these programs. We are looking to them to see if they can bring some healthy snacks for free.
Feedback is that we can probably skip the burritos, but maybe we should keep the hot chocolate. Maybe we could use the hot chocolate as a hook to get the safety stuff in the hands of the students. CMS will try to do assemblies on bike/pedestrian friendly. We also want to reach parents with safety information.
We have been talking with City of Boulder to improve the whole sidewalk around the ballfields to include markings for bikers, walkers. The University of Boulder has such markings and we’re hoping the City will add them around our school. City is willing to meet and talk about it and do a walk through.
John says the idea would be to paint a lane on the sidewalk.
Comments are made about the traffic situation coming and leaving school – parents are systemically breaking the rules. What can be done about that? Stacy says that at Foothill they had a very solid after school pickup system. At foothill, there is a “Hug and go” situation. You get in, you stay in your car, you keep moving and you head out. Our situation at CMS is complicated because there are four sides to CMS. People on the front don’t keep moving. People on the west side aren’t supposed to be there at all. Maps have been put out. Maybe people aren’t reading them. At Foothill, they had a couple teachers handling the hug and go area. Wendy says at Crest View they had parent volunteers for a period of time making sure things were working the way they should. Wendy would be willing to volunteer. Diane said the vice principal several years ago made that his priority and was out there and it made a difference for a little while.
There is a signup sheet going around if you want to help Natalie.
Kim says there were a few transportation meetings and if we could give everyone a bell ideally they’d learn how to use it and announce themselves. Volunteers could go attach them to bikes around school. Average is about 170 bikers a day. Minimum order for bells was 200. We could have a bell blitz. The cost is $540 for 200 bells. We could sell extras at check-in day to recoup some of the cost.
There is some concern about whether bikes would be scratched by the application of the bells. Maybe we could just rubber band the bells on. There is also concern about putting bells on kids’ property in general. Maybe someone could be there to ask the kids if they want them. John says we could instead hand them out. Maybe we could incentivize the bells somehow.
Someone asks if this is such a big safety issue, shouldn’t we make some requirements around bells. She says it seems like BVSD should have more of a role than CMS in figuring this out.
Another person asks are the kids aware of the incidents that have happened? John says we haven’t had that as a focus of an assembly yet. John has made some informal announcements. We are waiting to see if the City can come with their presentation and hand some things out. Typically there is a grade level assembly once a month. Coming up some topics include preparing for testing and high school course selection.
Meghan asks if anyone goes outside (like Geoff used to do) to monitor the parents. John has been out there once a week. John says we could have more of a presence out there. John doesn’t want parents to have to do that.
Megan suggests: What about an “On Your Left!” concept for the event?
Kim summarizes by saying that is sounds like we agree on no burritos, maybe hot chocolate, “On Your Left” and bells.
Someone asks about reflectors too.
Book Club – Kim
February we are reading “Bear Town”. It is super page turning and intense. Join us!
PEN/ Parent Education Speakers – Emily/Kim
There is an anxiety and stress symposium this weekend at Monarch High School. Scholarships are available. Email Kim.
We will be hosting March 7th a tech talk and then in April a talk on how drugs affect kids brains.
Spring Conference Feed the Teachers Sign-up
Spring conferences are coming up. Feb 11th, 13th and 19th. Traditionally we have helped support the teachers. Please sign up. Tina has created a signup genius and there will be a link to it in Monday’s newsletter. John says in their big picture team meeting they decided to start conferences at 4. So, if food could be available by 3:45 that would be perfect! (However, it is ok to bring food anytime).
John says on the 11th (an invite-only night) you’ll get an email from Brooke and John if you are invited on this night for kids needing extra support. Those conferences on the 11th will be 20 minutes long and with the whole team. If you don’t get an invitation, you’re not on that list. Conferences on the 13th and 19th will be arena style. 6th grade team will be in main gym. 7th grade team in cafeteria. 8th grade team in auxiliary gym. There will be lines. We are hoping to serve more parents in that model. We will see how that works. Will go from 4-7:30. Mindy asks if kids should come? John will check on that.
Questions for John
Winter party went so well. John did a great job keeping kids interested. Several teachers helped create stations. Kids said how much fun they had.
Give Away items – Megan
Kim asks who has used the student directory. A few people raise their hands. It is accessed through the My School Anywhere app. There is a link on the PTO website.
Last year we provided testing snacks during March testing periods. Snacks were appreciated. Anyone who might be interested in going to get Costco snacks? Stacy, Ginger and Tina will help.
Megan has some giveaways. First, we give away a shirt and sticker to Madelyn. Next, we give away a pair of socks and a sticker to Marla.