Centennial PTO Minutes – April 27, 2017

8:15 Call to order

Amy calls meeting to order.

8:15 Introductions / Welcome Guests!

Everyone goes around and introduces themselves.

In attendance: Nicole Benjamin, Marina Diaz, Liza Weems, Sue Gehlert, Tina Hirshland, Amy Chan, Amy Shoffner, Marla Bachrach, Natalie St. Denis, Sarah Schulte, Robin Keyes, Cori Chavez, Jill Zender, Amy Chesterton, Erin Vito, Jessica Coulson, Amy Carpenter, Diane Harpold, Jen Donahue, Robin Keys, Cori Chavez

8:20 Teacher Representative Report – Quinn Daly

Mr. Daly teaches language arts. Mr. Daly reports that these are the last teaching units of May so everything is coming together. His classes are doing their poetry unit. Poetry readings are coming up at Innis-free poetry/coffee shop

(On the Hill, kitty-corner from The Sink) on May 3 from 5-6pm for his classes and on May 10th for the other classes from 5-6 pm. Kids will read poems with spotlight on them. College students love it, as they rarely hear 12 year olds reading poetry. His philosophy is kids don’t really know how to say goodbye and thanks for such a great, fun year.  So, they separate in different ways and sometimes this can be tough. Takes a lot of patience.

Our meeting is then “interrupted” by “Sources of Strength” music coming on over the loud speaker. Dana and Mr. Daly explain that the role model kids of the school are trying to get kids to help each other out and be positive influences. Lead by example and by how you behave.  This is a new program this year.  We were one of the few schools offered the opportunity to do this. Came out of a really solid suicide prevention program and character building programs.  Idea is to create student leaders in the school to help everyone to see their own sources of strength and to understand how others are sources of strength too. There was a training in the fall. This is the kick off week. This program is open to all grades. This is a big leadership development program.  This week they are working on how to frame your mind before you “come to work.” Yesterday, there was a bubble machine.  Positive encouraging messages are being put on lockers. Fun music is being played in the morning before the bell rings.

8:30 Principal report – Dana Ellis

“13 reasons” is now a Netflix show (was a book). The book and movie can be a great resource to begin conversations, depending on your state of mind. However, it can also be traumatic. We are encouraging parents to watch with their kids.  We don’t really want kids watching by themselves.

Amy Carpenter asks if there are any plans by counselors to talk to students. Dana says it is coming up a bit in health. There are kids coming down and talking to counselors. The district health coordinator, Andy Tucker, gave us information to send out to our schools. That was tweaked a bit by our counselors and sent out to the CMS community. Mr. Daly says he hadn’t heard about the film but a lot of kids have read the book.  It certainly opens a dialogue on adolescent suicide which is second in number only to white men in their mid 50’s.

We are running out of time for students to elect German or Latin for next year as an elective. We’ve got to take all interested kids and meet with high school to see how many seats they have available.

Teachers met yesterday and finalized plans on last day of school activities.  Soon, we will send out detailed info.  8th grade awards and promotion will be first thing in the morning on the last day of school. Other times for 6th and 7th grades we will have soon.

We are in the middle of hiring.  Counseling and math jobs may be filled next week. Ms. Meers is moving back to Missouri.  Kristin Westman is retiring.  Geoff and Dana are meeting to make sure we can afford all of teacher requests. We have asked for another 1/2 of school support assistant in office.  PE and health yesterday asked for more staffing.  Dana’s supervisor was here yesterday, so Dana elevated the appeals to the supervisor.  His response was that CMS has the lowest numbers in the district for those classes. Dana says it is not uncommon to have 35 kids in a PE class and 32 in Health, but our teachers are pushing for better than that.

Colleen’s job in the office was a .75 position (3/4 FTE – full time equivalent). The 1/4 was for temporary staffing and that ends at the end of that person’s contract year.  So, right now, Colleen is only 3/4 time for next year.  We’ll see.

8:45 Business

  • Approve March meeting minuteswww.centennialmspto.org/pto-meeting-minutes-march-23-2017
    Nicole asks for additions and corrections. None are proposed. Nicole moves that the minutes from the March meeting be approved.  Erin seconds.  All are in favor. The March minutes are approved.
  • Officer and Coordinator elections (handout).
    • Amy says we have grown a lot in the last few years. We want to have a game plan for next year so we’ve been working on filling open positions. We want to be able to hit the ground running in August. We will vote on a slate. There are no contested positions.
    • Here is the proposed slate of officers:
      President: Amy Carpenter
      Treasurer: Diane Harpold. Diane says her youngest will be an 8th grader next year, so if anyone wants to shadow her, let her know. If anyone needs reimbursement or has questions about what their budget is, let Diane know.
      Secretary: Nicole Benjamin
      Principal: John McCluskey
      Marketing and Communications Chair: Erin Vito
      Fundraising:  Jill ZenderVolunteer Chair: OPEN. If anyone is interested, please let us know. We coordinate volunteers for school and PTO needs.Special Events Chair: Sue Gehlert
      Amy Shoffner moves to approve this slate of officers. Jessica Coulson seconds. All are in favor. The officers are approved.
      New principal is already working on a proposed group of teacher representatives to the PTO.
    • The following is the slate of proposed Coordinators and Representatives:
      Lucky’s Giveback Card:  OPEN. This person works closely with Diane and can be as much or as little as you want to do.  Lucky’s gives 7% back to CMS.  Diane says this fiscal year we have made $2759! Considering that our annual operating budget is around $8000, this is a significant component!  When you get the card at first, you get $5 on it. The Lucky’s Giveback Card person tracks who they give cards out to.  We tend to give cards to new teachers and staff loaded with $5. The position also involves promoting the cards, having them available at events and letting people know how much money we make on it. Cori Chavez agrees to take on this position. Hooray Cori!
      SAC Representative:  OPEN. Dana says that each SAC has guidelines. You are supposed to have a rep from other parent groups at your schools. So, here at CMS, we try to have a PTO rep on SAC.
      Welcome Coffees: Tina Hirshland
      New Family Welcome: OPEN. Erin says she has talked to Marina about doing this.  We have gotten some great PTO members from their attendance at that event. Amy Chan said it would be great to have a team, including New Family Welcome, Welcome Coffees, Welcome Back Picnic.  Marina accepts the position! Hooray Marina!
      Welcome Back Picnic:  Marina. We’d like to have a co-chair for this event.  Be sure to check with elementary schools to make sure there is not a conflict with the dates.
      Student Directory Coordinator: OPEN. This is a very flexible position. No need to come to meetings for this. Sarah says it is all done online.Parent Book Club Coordinator: Liza Weems. This club has been super fun and popular.
      Student Council Representative: Sue Gehlert.  Student council comes to our PTO meetings and lets us know what they need from us.
      Honor Roll and Awards Breakfasts: Ginger Barnes (6th), Michelle Christenson (7th), Tina Hirshland (8th). From now on, coordinators will buy some of the items and get reimbursed from PTO so to reduce reliance on volunteers for food donations.
      Parent Engagement Network (PEN) Representative: OPEN. We’ve had a few coffees with counselors that were very popular. There is one coming up for 8th grade parents to talk about transition to high school. They’ve done one on relationships in middle school. PEN has a very robust program of parent engagement and education.
      Bike/Walk to school coordinator: Natalie St. Denis. There are a lot of transportation questions on check-in day. There is a map that was created by the last holder of this position.
      Green Star School Rep: Julie Frieder.
      Spiritwear Coordinator: OPEN.  We have a good inventory of spirit wear right now. This person coordinates sales at various PTO and school events.  This is one of our more pressing needs!  Let us know if you are interested. Amy Chesterton says she is interested in learning more about this position.
      St. Baldrick’s Rep:  Jessica Coulson. We will do another survey to assess interest. Jessica will work at recruiting a parent to coordinate with her.  Goal will be to expand it to more of a district-wide event.  St. Baldrick’s is a foundation started back in early 1990s. 80 cents of every dollar they receive goes toward funding research on child cancers. Children shave their heads in solidarity with those going through treatment and get pledges.  We have raised as a school over $250,000 since the inception of our program. This year we shaved 36 heads and raised over $20,000. This year we had students from the Boulder County Hair Program do the shaving.
      Staff Appreciation Coordinator: Tina HirshlandAmy Shoffner says you do not need to hold a position at all on PTO to attend meetings.  We often have speakers come to meetings.  You do not need to take anything on to come to meetings and you will not be made to feel uncomfortable.Amy Shoffner moves to vote on approving the coordinators and representatives. Amy Chan seconds. All are in favor. The coordinators and representatives are approved.
  • 2017/18 Calendar review (handout). Amy Carpenter put this calendar together.
    Dana says teacher committee is meeting today to get draft dates.
    Jessica asks if we know what we need for registration day. Check in day is Monday, August 14th. 360 dates have to be set after some other things get set. District does a staff development calendar with rules assigned by district for schools to have certain work days and certain professional development days. At our school, Professional Development committee will put the blocks together next week. Then, we will know training dates for 360 leaders.
    District Annual Data Update (ADU) has gone out. Our registration materials are almost ready to go live. E-blast this week has information on ADU and CMS’s plan is to send it live next week.
    Amy S. says we are not voting on this calendar today. Amy Carp says we are looking for a plan so all who volunteer have an idea what their commitments will be and we can do budgeting around this too.
    Amy S. says we will take this calendar and at our next executive meeting we will get a proposed budget from Diane. Then, we will bring this all back to the larger PTO group.  We are just trying to operationalize and plan for next year.  Diane mentions that if you are in charge of a budgeted item and have comments on how that number worked or didn’t work, please let Diane know.
    Any calendar questions?

    • SAC Family Community Night – Robin Keys.
      We have 115 people RSVP’d for the event tonight. Pretty cool for the first time.  Robin thanks the PTO for supporting this (paying for pizza). Robin thanks Erin for promoting the event through the newsletter. This is a great way PTO and SAC can collaborate.  Robin hopes it can be an annual thing. We will pencil it into the calendar. It is a family pizza and movie night beginning at 5 tonight.
    • Last day of school plans – Sue Gehlert /Dana Ellis
    • May 23rd Orientation Event. Amy Chan:  This is for incoming 6th graders. From 4-5:30. For parents and rising 6th graders. There is a meeting in the auditorium. The Principal welcomes everyone. The 8th grade 360 leaders take groups of kids and tour the school and do fun activities.  While kids are doing that, we invite parents up into the library and we socialize. We want people to begin feeling like they belong here! We may have a sample of the available spirit wear there to get people excited.
  • Treasurer’s report – Diane. 
    We have some extra money to put out for any additional teacher requests. Six teachers did get back to us with additional funding requests.

9:30 Meeting adjourned

Amy thanks all who came to the meeting and we look forward to a great year next year and to finish out this year strong!