In attendance: Vivian Curl, Diane Jones, Ann Thomasset, Cori Chavez, Nicole Benjamin, Ginger Barnes, Marla Bachrach, Helen Matthews, Tina Rice, Christy Vaughan, Michelle Trudgeon, Tricia Rumph, Kristy Westnedge, Laurelyn Baker, Kim Decker, Julie Poyton
Call to order
Kim goes over the fundamentals of what PTO does. As an “ice breaker” we share with our neighbors one way in which we connect with our kids and another way we take care of ourselves.
Approval of the minutes from last meeting
Last month’s minutes went out in the emailed newsletter last week. Kim moves to approve the September meeting minutes. Diane seconds. All are in favor. None are opposed. None abstain. Minutes are approved.
President’s report – Kim
We have had a busy October. Events have included: walk and wheel to school day, book club, we fed teachers during conferences, we had two different parent speaker addresses, grant writing, book fair, appreciation and treats for front desk and support staff. Thanks to all volunteers!
Tina thanks everyone who brought food for teachers!
John says they were all so appreciative! John wonders if for conferences, we just do a catered taco bar or something (and PTO or the school pays for that) since there are so many other times during the year that PTO families cook and provide food.
Kim talks about the nonprofit, Impact on Education. They do classroom innovation grants, they put on Impact Awards where each school nominates a person from their school. Last year Hillary Culbertson won from CMS. IOE also puts on a benefit called the Razzle Dazzle gala which raises money for the opportunity fund (each school gets money to hep kids that need it). They do Crayons to Calculators which provides school supplies for students on free lunch program. They also support PTO/PTA summits where members can share ideas and best practices. IOA asks each school to donate. Currently, we donate $200 annually.
Kim goes over our PTO meeting norms.
Treasurer’s report – Diane
Diane files a report at the end of every month, but she will just provide an update today. We are 2/3 of our way to our donation goal. We have sold a lot of spirit wear. Use your grocery cards! Everything is looking good financially.
Ann Thomasette – Boulder Valley Gifted and Talented
Ann is parent liaison for BVGT and is a volunteer. There are a lot of speaker events and they are affiliated with Colorado association of Gifted and Talented. firstname.lastname@example.org
BVGT is very open to the public. You can sign up for their newsletter and they have great speaker events. The most recent event was on time management. bvgt.org for the free newsletter sign-up. (newsletter comes out 3 times per year).
Meet Morgan Dennison
This is her second year at CMS. Morgan is from Connecticut. Loves it here at CMS. Feels like she hit the jackpot working for John. Leadership here is phenomenal. She teaches PE and health. She gets to see our kids discovering who they are and who they want to become. When kids come to school, they do get loved here. She has some ideas for adult PE classes. She is thinking about a newsletter, family hikes, etc.
Questions for Principal John McCluskey
Someone asks whether an incident like what John emailed last week has happened before. He says not to his knowledge. They had a faculty meeting yesterday morning. They talked about this is exactly what we created RISE time for. He wrote a little script for the RISE teachers to read to kids and then there were questions to prompt the kids with. Kids need adults to talk with them about how they are feeling. Unfortunately, kids will create stories too and then others get victimized. We are not making anybody who told rumors feel bad. We want kids to think about the source of the information they are getting and then think about next steps and who to talk to that is appropriate. Nicole says that her son’s rise group was asked if they felt safe in school and nobody said yes. Most important thing is to build community and make sure that kids know who to talk to. John says we are working hard to find out what is going on and how to increase kids’ level of security. He interviewed over 25 kids. There is not a quick fix. Important that the kids know now that the school is willing to stop everything and talk about it.
Diane says extend RISE values outside of school to the bus. A lot of misinformation and rumor spreading happens on the bus.
Question is where did this come from? John says particularly for boys this has become sort of a form of entertainment for them. There were some significant consequences. Kids are talking about wwf “fake fighting” and seem enamored by this physicality. Our message though is that violence is never a form of entertainment.
Vivian asks about “threat assessment”. John says the District has protocols. Brooke, Jason, Leah and John were involved. Law enforcement and a district professional were also in the meetings with staff to ask the questions. It is important to stay objective. Point of the assessment is to stay objective and collectively answer the questions. There are 5 levels of threat. A safety plan goes into place. We monitor that over a course of a few weeks. We will use this to find out why kids are making the choices they are doing, what are they asking for in these behaviors.
Program Coordinator reports – 10 min
Fundraising Update – Fuel the Cyclones – Marla
A little less than 1 week to go. PTO is at 67% of goal. CMS is at 28% of goal. Diane says donations are still coming in. The fact that we set the goal at $85k instead of $65 makes things look kind of rough but we wanted to set the bar high as there are schools that raise over $100k. We had a $3k anonymous donation yesterday! Google matches donations at 100%! So, please remember that employers may match donations. There will be one more text reminder coming and one more mention in a newsletter.
Shout out to Cori for putting together a great video!
Book Club – Kim
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Friday, November 2nd.
Spiritwear – Kim
Keep spirit wear in mind for holiday gifts.
Winter Party – Tina and Vicky
The party is designed by students and paid for and staffed by PTO and school. In the past, we’ve had a DJ and photo booth, pizza and popcorn, poker games. Maybe we will also look to have some designated quiet areas and a movie in the auditorium? December 21st 2:15-3:30.
Walk and Wheel to School Days Discussion
Kim is curious what the PTO goal is for these days. The district’s goal is to promote safe streets and healthy kids through the practices of walking and cycling to school It has been going on for a long time. We do these events three times a year and what is our goal? We have about 630 kids at CMS. 255 of them bus to school. Many kids bike. How many walk or skateboard?
If you drive your student to school, what would motivate them to bike or walk?
How do you want PTO money going to this event? Do you want PTO money to go to a celebration of coming to school or something else?
Safety is a big issue. What about crossing guards? Better biking infrastructure?
John says this event needs a cheerleader.
Kim wonders how we can involve the bussed kids more? Maybe that day we have parents drop off all kids at the tennis courts and then those kids and bussed kids could be offered some incentives at the back part of the school.
What about raffles? Raffle off a bike?
Do we just spend our money on burritos and talk about safety?
Jason has been really involved in this. Jason counts bikes once a month and on special count days. On nice days we have sometimes 250 bikes parked around here. We have a high percentage of kids who bike. There is though an opportunity to improve. District has a whole team that works around the transportation piece. We would love to support the program. How about two stations? Lots of kids come down Oak and may not come to the front of the school. How can we steer kids to where the “celebration” is. Currently there are three ways to get in the building at 8:25.
Julie says parents need a reminder about not doing three point turns at pickup! How about a reminder about the transportation plan and a reminder that the tennis court area is underutilized?