Centennial PTO Minutes — September 27, 2018

In attendance: Mindy Kefer, Ann Thomasset, Erin Vito, Nicole Benjamin, Diane Jones, Vicki Blair, Emily Sellergren, Megan Boyle, Ginger Barnes, Michelle Trudgeon, Vivian Curl, Michelle Christenson, Jean Anthony, Madeleine Pollack, Amy Chan, Kim Decker, Wendy Barinek, Jennifer Williams, Marla Bachrach, Gabriella Schuler, Tina Rice, Natalie St. Denis, Julie Poyton, Ann Goldwasser, Liza Weems, John McCluskey, Jeremy McGee

Call to order

Kim shows off some new technology, including a nice microphone.  Also, we have an interpreter here.


We all go around the room and say our names and our children’s grade.

Approval of the minutes from last meeting

Any additions or corrections to the minutes?  None noted. Kim moves to pass the minutes. Erin seconds.  All are in favor. None are opposed and none abstained. The August meeting minutes are approved.

President’s report

Main goal is to pass the budget but a few things first.  Kim goes over the executive board members and coordinators.  Marketing and Communications Chair is open! We are willing to break that down.  Erin agrees to be PTO webmaster for the year. Do we have a graphic designer who wants to make our flyers look cool? Green Star Rep, Bike/Walk to School, Grocery Giveback Cards and Student Council are all open positions.  Interested??

We have had a busy few months.  Check-in Day, Parent Welcome Coffees, Meet the Teacher Night, Family Picnic, Book Club, FET night and Vision & Hearing Screening!  Thank you!

Treasurer’s report – Including Budget Approval

Ideally, we will pass the budget in the spring.  But that didn’t happen last year. So, we need to officially pass our budget now.  It has been looked at by the smaller executive board and the board recommended adoption of it.  Kim presents the budget. Diane passes around paper copies of the budget. The goal for the year was $7500 in donations and we are well on our way to reaching that.

Volleyball court has been approved and we have found an acceptable location so the $5000 designated for a volleyball court in the budget is still appropriate.

Our reserve is $3500.

Kim calls for a vote that we approve the 2018/19 budget.  All are in favor. The budget is approved.

Diane says we have plenty of money in the bank currently to fund programs.

Grocery cards are a great and easy fundraiser.

Meet Jeremy McGee our School Resource Officer

Kim introduces Jeremy as an officer, a counselor, and a kid whisperer in kind of stressful times of school safety.

Jeremy has been with the police department for 18 years.  They only get to do school resource officer positions for 5 years in a row and then have to come out for a year and then can reapply.  He is nearly half way through his 5 year stint. He signed up for it. He has a 15 year old son and an 11 year old son and his wife is a middle school teacher and librarian.  It has been a great experience. He still is learning everyday. He works for the City not BVSD. It is important to make good connections with administration and staff. He splits his time between Casey and CMS.  He gets to the elementary schools also as needed. He looks to build relationships. Tricky times we are living in. Part of his role is security. He meets with BVSD security and talks about drills and what-ifs and scenarios.  As far as law enforcement is concerned, he doesn’t look to bust kids and put them into juvenile justice system. His job is to help parents get the kids doing the right things toward becoming responsible community members. Occasionally he has to get involved with criminal matters.  He loves talking to the kids. He is aware that kids are all over the place at this age as far as abilities, interests. There are things he absolutely does not tolerate – drugs or alcohol in the school. In that case, they will get minor in possession tickets. Our school environment has to be safe!  He goes into Ms. Boswell’s health class and talks about internet safety. You’ve got to be in your kids’ business. Have an agreement. He does hang out with kids during his lunchtime.

His job is way better with the additional security in place at CMS.  He is very happy with the cameras outside. To his knowledge, Boulder is the only district in the state that doesn’t have cameras in the school, but that is coming.  They won’t be in bathrooms or in classrooms but will be in strategic places.

John reminds us that Jeremy is not a district employee.  He is a police officer. Kids should know that if Jeremy has to interview a child after a situation that that child should have their parents with them.  Jeremy assures the group he needs a signed Miranda waiver before any interrogation.

Principals report

Parent/teacher/student conferences are coming up.

John says this year we are doing 3 conferences in the fall and 3 days in the spring.  This makes him a bit nervous. We don’t have enough room for everyone to have a conference with every teacher.  He is trying to figure out the nuances around messaging to families. There is just a certain amount of time we can require teachers to be here at CMS.  We are going for 8 minute conferences with a 2 minute passing period.

It will be first come first served.  Kids are all doing self-reflection surveys during RISE time.  So, parents can use these forms to interact around how their child is doing.

Jon G. says many of our kids have their own digital portfolio.  In student led conferences, Jon asks what if we had chrome books set up and there were seven spots and you sign up for a window and you go with your child and look at their portfolio while teacher circulates around the room?

Julie says she thinks student-led conferences take up too much time.  John says it takes a ton of time on the front end to prepare the kids and role-play.  Julie says she’d like to hear what the teacher says. We can all talk to our kids at home.  John says we can email teachers in advance about what we really want to connect about. Liza says she thinks these are experiences the kids will never forget and she strongly supports student-led conferences.

Link to conference sign-ups should go live sometime either tomorrow or early next week.

Library – Book Fair

We are holding book fair 10/15-10/22.  He tries to time it to overlap with parent teacher conferences.  6th graders buy quite a few and then it trickles down from there as we go up the grades.  He uses Scholastic because school gets a portion. Usually, Jon ends up with about $2000 and uses it primarily for books for the classrooms.  He also uses money for renewing magazine subscriptions. He is also looking to buy some more shelving without compromising the open layout of the new library.   He could use a parent volunteer during the lunch times and after school especially as we get later in the week. He sends around a list for volunteers.

Jon will take in donated books.  He will see if there are needs for those books in the classroom.  Also, some go to families who may not otherwise be able to afford books.  Any that we don’t use go to the Bookworm. Donations are tax deductible (office has forms).

Program Coordinator reports

Bike/Walk to school Wednesday October 10th

Natalie needs 3 volunteers to set up tables at 8:50-9:30am on Wednesday 10/10 for walk to school day fall.  This will be a smaller event. Anything non motorized is welcome although we will focus on walking. We will have little burritos.

Part of the BVSD program is the eco cycle bins for rubber soled shoes/sneakers.  The actual recycle shoe drive is october 8-11 and there will be posters and bins.  These will be recycled, not reused.

Ginger and Vicky volunteer to be there to help out!

The district will send us posters and stickers to help advertise.  The October date is officially walk to school day. The winter one is walk/bike to school week and then the April event is a one day walk/bike to school.


Jean attended the first FET meeting of the year and there was good turnout.  Leah (a counselor), John, a school psychologist and two moms from the Latino community attended.  There were translators. Anybody is welcome. Don’t be afraid to come if you don’t speak Spanish. Purpose is to see how we can make the larger CMS community more inviting to our Latino families.  One of the parents said families want to get involved but maybe there is some fear/confusion as to how. There were ideas discussed as to how to increase communication between parents and teachers.  Some discussion about how to build the community amongst the parents. Elisabeth Oliveras thought PTO could think about an event (maybe with food – like a tamale making day) that would bring us together and break down barriers.  Elizabeth is offering a computer class every Wednesday night. She had more people come than expected and she could use some volunteers. Classes run from 5:30-7:30 in the library on Wednesdays for the next seven weeks! Any other ideas for community building events?  Next FET meeting is on 10/25 in the library at 5:30 and there will be food! Elizabeth gave attendees homework to come back to the next computer class with ideas for what they’d like to see.

One of the moms talked about the Spring Fling at Crest View last year where parents made tamales and sold them and it was hugely successful.  Mindy said they also made fruit cups at the fall festival at Crest View. But, tamales were more successful.

Kim asks if there is a small group that might want to form and work on this?  Anyone interested can contact Jean.

Parent – Teacher Conferences – Sign up to bring food – bring your student to the conferences

Parent teacher conferences are in October.  Great opportunity to bring food for the teachers.  Tina feels like this should come from parents and so she is not asking for more money from PTO.  Just bring whatever you want – a crockpot, a salad that feeds 10, etc.

Book Club

We had one meeting and decided all the books for the year.  Currently reading “Educated: A Memoir”. All are welcome, no matter how much of the book you have read.   There are some books to borrow in the lounge of the counselors’ office. The books we will read are listed on the website.  Book club meets 8:45-10 in the conference room on the first Friday of the month.

PEN Parent Speaker Series

Emily is our PEN rep.  There are so many opportunities for parents to learn.  PEN means “Parent Education Network”, and focuses on social and emotional wellness.

There are two talks at CMS coming up:
10/15 6-7:30 substance use and abuse.
10/23 6-7:30 College Funding talk.

PEN is working on “Affect training” related to drug and alcohol prevention. Leah, our school counselor, is trained in this.

Avani runs natural highs program at New Vista and Boulder High. She is speaking on anxiety as your superpower at New Vista tonight!

Ming is doing “PEP talks” all about social media and how to support your child in the digital world.  She is trying to figure out how to get it into our school which is a bit complicated. One of us could facilitate a discussion or we could attach it to an email.  The big PEN organization is willing to help us with this.

Adolescent development series is happening at Casey. You can sign up for the whole series or individual talks.

PEN website shows events all year long at all the schools.

Harvesting healthy families is coming up on a Saturday at a ranch – for the whole community to bring kids and families together.  There will be music and food trucks. Check the website!

Kim and Emily will talk about how to get event information out to the community.

Erin can get things out to Boulder High.

Fundraising – Fuel the Cyclones

Marla is working with Michelle Trudgeon. Campaign starts Monday 10/1. New goal is $85,000 for PTO and $8000 for PTO. Suggested donations went up by $10 on the CMS side and $5 on the PTO side. Everything is set up on the websites for Revtrak.  It is confusing that there are two different donations. Links are together on one page but the donating is done at two different websites.  Next week, John will make a call home to kick off the campaign. Each week there will be a blurb in the newsletter and we will show our progress toward the goal. Campaign runs 5 weeks. Every other week we will do a text reminding people with a link. This has worked well at elementary level. Banner will go out next week. Atop the CMS website, there is a banner for the month of October. The flyer will be out at parent teacher conferences.

Kim asks if we want to have a table and staff it and have a way to take donations at parent-teacher conferences?

Kim thanks Michelle and Marla!

New Parents Committee Update

First week of September there was a coffee get together at Lucky’s for families new to town. Twelve families showed up. It was great. They started an email list.

John says he got several emails saying that was so great!

Unfinished business – More information about Indigenous People’s Day

10/7 from 1-6 at Boulder High, Indigenous People’s Day will be celebrated. There will be sharing, dancing, presentations.