PTO Meeting Minutes – May 18, 2017

8:15 Call to order

Amy calls meeting to order. We all go around and introduce ourselves. Amy S. asks people to sign cards and the attendance sheet.

In attendance: Kim Decker, Amy Shoffner, Dana Ellis, Amy Chan, Sue Gehlert, Nicole Benjamin, Robin Keys, Tina Hirshland, Cori Chavez, Marina Diaz, Sarah Schulte, Ginger Barnes, Jill Zender, Erin Vito, Natalie St. Denis, Jon Georgitis, Michelle Christenson, Diane Harpold, Liza Weems

Jon Georgitis, Scott Griffith, Matt Adams, Dana and John, our new principal, have been sitting with DAT, a bond committee, talking about what will happen next year. Jon will share the presentation with Amy S. who will send it out linked to the PTO newsletter. They have talked about changes to the cafeteria, library, and hall spaces. The group visited other schools to get ideas. They are talking about opening up the space a lot in the library, including maybe a screen and presentation space, maybe a collaborative space. This is still in the design plan stage. We will get a new roof over most of the school, replace all single pane windows to double pane, reduce energy consumption by 20%, get LED lighting throughout school, doors will be replaced to boost security, HVAC replacement, new carpet, new paint, and the auditorium will be worked on too. There will be a dedicated cooking lab, updated kitchen, revamped science labs. There will be a series of meetings next year. The last DAT meeting of this year will be May 24th and the first ten minutes of the meeting are open to the public.

8:20 Principal report—Dana Ellis

We hired a math teacher to replace Ms. Meers. Mr. Steinberg will stay in a permanent position. Counseling and language arts positions are in process. The names have gone to human resources and soon we will be able to announce.

5th grade transition meeting is next week on Tuesday from 4-5:30. If anyone wants to show up to the library and say how much they love Centennial to the incoming parents that would be appreciated. Incoming parents will be leaving the auditorium by 4:30 and then will go to the library and socialize. Parents love to pick up flyers and paperwork, so bring any if you have it or get info to Amy Chan. Spiritwear samples will be out, fundraising flyer and Lucky’s cards will be there too.

End of year schedule is in the e-blast and on the website. 8th graders will go to Elks at noon. BVSD food truck will be there. Games will be provided. 6th and 7th graders will have a ceremony. At the end of the day, they will have popsicles and cookies.

We have a virtual classroom that we piloted with Southern Hills. This is moving forward in Boulder. 4 more schools (3 middle schools and Boulder High School) are being added in BVSD to this virtual school program. Focus is to provide opportunities for specific classes that get hard to continue to staff at every middle school. For example, we have geometry as a class here but not all middle schools have enough kids or staffing so those kids have been going to the high school to take geometry. This virtual classroom would allow those kids to have geometry without having to leave their schools. This would also help us keep other languages available besides Spanish. Principals are working together. It has been a great learning curve with French 2 this year. For our school, a huge advantage will be to allow kids more choices without leaving school.

8:35 Business

  • Approve April meeting minutes.
    Nicole asks for additions or corrections. None are offered. Nicole moves to approve them. Sue seconds. All are in favor. April meeting minutes are approved.
  • Teacher grant distribution! (Handout) – Amy S.
    We got six requests from teachers. The grants are attached to the meeting agenda. Getting the money out is more difficult than you might think. Some has to go our through the district. Thanks to Diane and Dana!
  • 2017/18 Calendar/programming discussion and vote (handout) – Amy S.
    We are trying to operationalize our programs. Amy Carpenter pushed this out and it has been a great exercise. A “V” next to an item means volunteer support is required. A “$” means that money is associated with the event. Any additions or corrections to the proposed calendar? None are offered. Amy moves that we approve the calendar and programming associated with it. Jill seconds it. All are in favor. Calendar is approved.
  • Budget planning and review – (Handout) Diane
    We are on track for this year. We underspent several categories which enabled us to do more teacher grants. We also had residual money from previous years where capital expenditures didn’t happen as planned. We will still have a nice reserve for next year (we try for a year’s worth of programming). This puts us in a position to respond to requests that come up. Draft budget for next year includes some new categories: 6th and 7th grade last day events, marketing and communications, changed title of “investments” category to “school grants”, professional development (we should discuss this. Is it part of our mission?). District does support professional development. Dana says PTO’s budget would be to supplement what teachers have available through the district. There is no dissension on this. Skateboard rack and hallway display cases and water fountains we have put on hold. The display cases and water fountains could be affected by construction.
    Diane says things do change over the summer and a new administration is coming in so changes may come up. Whatever your line item is on this budget, we’d love your feedback about what you need. More or less? We seem to be overtaxing our volunteer resources and underutilizing our budgetary resources. So, make sure you have enough money for your line item.
    We supported some teachers through our contribution fund when teachers had special situations.
    Any questions or concerns about the budget? This is a great starting point but not set in stone.
    On the budget, there is a category for “corporate” that includes corporate matches and money from dinners out and the Nutcracker event.
    Sarah thanks Diane for doing a great job and organizing the budget in such a clear way. Amy S. moves to approve the budget for the 2017/18 school year. Erin seconds. All are in favor. Budget is approved.
  • Mission statement discussion and vote – Amy explains that Sarah led us in a bylaws committee which helped us structure ourselves as an organization. We did make some small changes in wording, but not in substance, to our mission statement. We want to run this mission statement by everyone and vote.The mission of the Centennial Middle School PTO is to provide volunteer and financial support to further educational goals and community-building opportunities at Centennial by working together and communicating with students, parents, administrators and teachers.

    Dana asks what is meant by “education goals.” Amy S. gives providing an iPad to LA department and Choice books as examples. Erin says we could eliminate “to further” through “goals.” The current one says “to further the mission of the school.” So: “The mission of the Centennial Middle School PTO is to provide volunteer and financial support and community-building opportunities at Centennial by working together and communicating with students, parents, administrators and teachers.” Sarah suggests we may not be able to finalize this at this meeting. Maybe we should just adjust the current mission statement and link the bullet points into one sentence! Everyone agrees.
  • Year-end highlights – Amy
    In our bylaws somewhere it says that the President will put together a year-end report of all that’s been accomplished this year so we have a history. Amy S made a list of all that we’ve accomplished this year and it is incredible:

    • We had 28 officers, coordinators and representatives actively involved with a job at PTO. We had 9 PTO meeting and averaged 20 people per meeting.
    • We worked on bylaws, started a popular monthly book club meeting with 10 regular attendees and 16 people on the list, we collaborated with 4 teacher representatives for the first time, we signed up over 300 students on the online student directory, we redesigned our website with up to date content, we launched a bimonthly newsletter in Mail Chimp, we collaborated with SAC on our first community movie night furthering goals of community building, we became Green Star certified and launched our Green Team, we awarded about $2600 in grants to six teachers. This is on top of all the staff appreciation events, honor rolls, winter parties, welcome back parties, back to school, etc. Diane says thank you to Dana and the administration.
    • Special Thanks to “graduating” PTO Officers and Coordinator’s: Sarah Schulte, Gwen Burak, Robin Keys, Amy Chan, Elizabeth Koehler, and Margot Brown.
    • Special thanks to Dana Ellis! Amy S. presents a succulent that you can hang on your wall to Dana. Dana says she has never grown anything on her wall before. Cool!
    • Sue presents flowers to Amy S. to thank her for all her work! Amy S. says it is perfect on a snowy day like today. They pose for pictures.
    • Amy S. thanks the group for all its work!

Sunday August 13th, there is a welcome back potluck for PTO. Sarah started this tradition. Past president hosts this. From 5-7pm at Amy’s house, Sunday August 13th. Diane reminds us to please reload Lucky’s cards over the summer!

9:30 Meeting adjourned