Centennial PTO Minutes — May 17, 2018

Welcome & Introductions

In attendance:

Nicole Benjamin, Amy Shoffner, Sue Gehlert, Tina Rice, Erin Vito, Diane Jones, Marla Bachrach, Cori Chavez, Ginger Barnes, Liza Weems, Amy Chan, Amy Carpenter, Kristy Westnedge, Megan Boyle, Ann Goldwasser, John McCluskey, Kim Decker

Approval of the minutes from March and April meetings

Sue moves to approve the minutes from April, Amy S. seconds, all are in favor. April minutes are approved. We will hold off on voting on March minutes, as not everyone had time to review.

Thank You’s

Thanks for all the RISE recognition work! Movie was fun! Some more publicity around the event would make it better attended. Thanks Tina for all the teacher appreciation events! Thanks Cori for launching grocery cards this year into Safeway and King Soopers! Thanks Erin for all marketing and communications work! Thanks Kristy for leading spirit wear! Thanks Erin and Kristy for getting us on Paypal. More than half the sales at 6th grade transition night were credit cards. Kristy is excited for fundraising piece. Will be quick and easy. Thanks Meghan for jumping in to the idea of a parent education committee. What a great resource for our school and a great community builder. Sexting talk was great. Thanks Sue for all your work on the parties! Teachers tell Sue that we have a very strong supportive PTO! Thanks Jill for leading the fundraising charge this year! Thanks Kim for being an amazing partner as VP. Thanks Amy Shoffner for your continued counseling. Thanks Liza for running parent book club – first Friday of every month! We will use the books read by the book club to start a nice library for the counseling office.

Kim thanks Amy Carpenter for all her hard work. Thanks for bylaws. Thanks for demonstrating consistence, grace and a calm attitude. Amy checks in with people and follows up with them and has archived a lot of documents on the drive. Thanks for being our leader this year. Kim presents Amy with a female action figure and flowers. Jill jumped in with her bravery this year. Sue’s energy has been tremendous. Diane is so industrious as Treasurer. Amazing!

Feedback on transition night is that it was really hot in the auditorium. Next year we will have air conditioning. Last year, Cori says we all met here in the library and that was really nice. Missed the opportunity to mingle. 360 leaders did an amazing job with their responses (thorough and true to their heart) says Tina. John says they gave half the presentation. Please email Kim with any notes so that when we get there next year we can make revisions and improvements.

John says his college friend is a PTO president down in Denver. She didn’t think twice when advising John how to honor Amy Carp for her work as PTO President – a manicure/pedicure! John presents Amy Carpenter with a gift certificate for mani/pedi. John says his transition to the school wouldn’t have been as smooth without her help. Thanks Amy for helping John to stay grounded and centered. He is very grateful for her help!

If you have any interest in helping out on last day of school events, field day (5/24) and locker day (5/23), please let us know! John will send a volunteer request email. We also need help with set up and take down for the 8th grade ceremony.

Nominations and vote on 2018-19 officers / open PTO positions

Nominations for officers are Kimberly Decker (“Kim”) as President, Nicole Benjamin as Secretary, and Diane Jones as Treasurer.  Does anyone have any other nominations?  Meghan will think about VP.  Meghan asks what the job requirements are for VP – putting signs up, checking in with President, being a sounding board for the President, shadow to be President.  Two meetings a month (2nd and 4th Thursday of the month).  

Amy Carpenter moves to approve the nominations.  Sue seconds. All are in favor! We are official!

Kim says open positions include: events char, VP, marketing and communications (requires about 4 hours a month in addition to the meetings), fundraising chair, green star school chair, grocery card coordinator. Erin says Mail chimp is already set up, PayPal is set up, a little knowledge of WordPress is all you need.   

Many hands make for light work!  

Kim says fundraising committee really laid it out this past year and we just need someone to roll it out next year. Marla says she may be interested. Yay, Marla will do it!!!  

Remaining spending recommendations of the year

In the spirit of giving kids more to do at recess, the school has asked us to support a volleyball court. Board felt like that furthered our mission. One recommendation the board has is to spend up to $5000 on the volleyball court. We don’t know exact costs. Additionally, the counseling office is creating a wellness space – a decompression zone kids can go to. It will have yoga balls, sand things, maybe music to help kids reset. The Board’s recommendation is to give Leah and Jason $500 to start to build that space.

Diane says with the $4000 by which we’ve adjusted the reserve we are in a great place to go ahead with the Board’s recommendations on spending.

Amy Carpenter moves that we vote to approve the $5500. Sue seconds. All are in favor. None are opposed. The motion to allocate $5500 to the volleyball court and the counseling library is approved. John says thank you!!!

There is a meeting 6/1 where we will start planning for next year’s fundraising campaign. If interested, please come. Location tbd. Updates to flyer, perhaps a video to show at back to school night. Cori says we should get some interviews done before school ends to include in the video!

Annual Calendar for 2018-19 – Fall Picnic Date and plans

We have all agreed we need a fall picnic so we want a date on the calendar! If anyone wants to spearhead the event, that would be great!

Welcome back coffees will be first day for 6th graders and 2nd day for 7th and 8th graders.

How’s Tuesday, September 11th for the picnic? We have funds to do a great picnic. Amy S. says we should provide food, if possible. 5:00-7:00. We’d love if teachers could come. Perhaps the volleyball court will be complete. We’ll have games. Fall picnic with field games. Maybe we could run dodgeball. BVSD has a good, reasonable food truck. We could have two or three food trucks. Kids on free and reduced lunch can use their ID’s at the BVSD food truck and get free dinner. Who wants to organize? Please reach out to Kim. Tina and Amy S. will do it! Thank you Tina and Amy S!

Check in day we usually have a big PTO table selling spirit wear, grocery cards, directory signup, some fundraising. If you could donate time that day, Monday, August 13th, we would appreciate it!

2018-19 Budget discussion

Diane hands out the budget. New thing this year is adding an estimate for revenue officially on the budget. Letters have gone out and people have responded as to what they’d like for next year. All updates and comments have been incorporated as well as estimates of what remaining balances will be coming over to next year.

Megan says PTO paid less than $300 for parent education (the administration did much more). Administration in previous years has paid for pretty much everything with regard to parent education. She would love for PTO to do more. Admin has a budget for some of this. We are batting around the idea of child care (Rocky Mountain Day Camp), translators and some other stuff. We have the quarters laid out and how much we intend to spend. Fees for presenters vary. Some are free and some need to be negotiated. Amy S. asks what Megan’s dream budget would be. Meghan says $1500. We are negotiating some of these speaking fees. She would like to take it off the shoulders of administrators. 15% of our total budget for parent education seems appropriate. Amy Carp says this is a huge asset for our school. We increase budget to $1500 after a motion.

Under “school gifts” line item, Amy Carp would rather see the $1250 spread out over our programs rather than designated for gifts to the school. Diane just feels it is nice to have flexibility to be responsive to meeting some other school needs. Amy says now though the school has funds to cover things like sign boards and water fountains. There is a difference of opinion. Kim says we should look at end of year and see what is there. It seems we shouldn’t be limited at our fall picnic to a certain small amount because we have $1250 designated as “school gifts investments”. Could we have more flexibility with that amount? We will look at the budget again in August. John says maybe we should take the word “investment” out from that line item because of our 501(c)(3) status.

We are not comfortable voting on the budget today.

Principal’s report

John says that the yearbook conversation general idea is we could as a school take the yearbook out of PTO’s world. We will probably increase price nominally to be sure school is covering its cost. All 8th graders get a yearbook. 6th and 7th graders only get a yearbook if they pay for it. So, that gives PTO about $500 back in its budget. It is a nice activity to be involved with on the last day.

John’s weekend task is to put together an end of year report to the community. It will be longish. John has had an amazing year. He is grateful and feels more at home career wise than he has in a long time. Thanks for all the collaborative spirit! Teachers feel it, kids feel it!

John examined the pace of the CMS school day. Next year we will move to a modified block schedule. Two of the week days kids will only see 3 or 4 of their teachers. This should gear things down for them. Three lunches serving 210 kids versus over 300 will make the experience so much better. We will go to grade level lunches. There will be mixed 7th and 8th grade level lunches on block days only.

We have an instructional leadership team with twice a month meetings just talking about teaching. 8 teachers stepped up for this! PLC’s (professional learning committees).

We created a Wednesday RISE block dedicated to social emotional learning time. Every teacher gets about 18 kids. 9 teachers have agreed to step up and create curriculum for this. We will look at national counseling standards because they are a nice broad overlay on what social emotional skills should be taught at schools. This is just once a week. It is also a flexible time for grade level community meetings (assemblies and time to talk about how we are doing).

All these shifts are teacher led!

Our participation rate in sports and clubs have gone up this year.

We have world class orchestra and band teachers in place here at CMS.

Our i ready scores have improved because kids are getting the pointed support they need.

Innovative spaces are happening.

“Family and educators together (FET) group to help involve our spanish-speaking families! We will be doing home visits!

Amy Carpenter thanks John for making these changes!

New business*

Cori is a designer for Amazon and can create cool CMS Merch. Is PTO interested in t-shirts for PTO? Everyone would get a link and then people individually go on and buy it. Cori will design one and send out a link. John totally wants one!

May 25th, John will be at Crest View for the duration of the move and bond work. Staff will be in the building on Friday though and Tina is bringing breakfast.