PTO Meeting Minutes – November 16, 2017

1. Call to order- 8:15

Amy Carpenter calls the meeting to order.  We all say good morning to each other.

In attendance: Ginger Barnes, Tina Rice, Nicole Benjamin, Amy Carpenter, Diane Jones, Jessica Coulson, Jill White, Natalie St. Denis, Quinn Daly, Kim Decker, Wendy Barinek, Amy Chan, Stasi York, Amy Shoffner, Sue Gehlert, Cori Chavez, Aaron Holmes, Jill Zender, Elizabeth Olivas, Marina Diaz, Ann Goldwasser, Liza Weems, Kristy Westnedge, Tracy White

2. Welcome & Introductions

3. Approval of the minutes from last meeting

Sue moves that we approve the minutes from last month.  Tina seconds the motion.  All are in favor and the minutes are approved.

4. Wrap Ups: Rise Recognition Ceremony

Ginger says we should get feedback or do a survey. Kids weren’t happy with bagels. They were disappointed there weren’t donuts. Quinn says the kids were talking all day about how they were bummed they didn’t get donuts. Amy Chan said she liked seeing all the grades together and the whole view. It is more efficient for the staff. Tina says John’s personal stories were great and motivating!

Stasi said a bit more clarity on how the grades work would be great. Elizabeth says it is under “reports” on infinite campus. Feedback though is that the information is not available on phones, only on computers. Elizabeth says there may be a way to notify parents what their child’s GPA is.  Elizabeth will also work on getting information to parents about when grades are available and how to check them.

At Rise recognition ceremony, we had two small bags of garbage for about 500 people!

5. Fuel the Cyclones Update—Jill Zender

Thanks to Erin’s amazing graphics, we raised $40,000 for Fuel the Cyclones CMS and $6000 for PTO! Thanks to Amy Carpenter, and the administration! $40,000 is the most the school has ever raised.

If you have any feedback/ideas about the Fuel the Cyclones campaign, get them to Jill or Amy Carpenter.  In January, there will be a small group gathering to make a plan for next year’s campaign.

6. Grocery Card Update—Cori Chavez

For grocery cards, they are pretty slow in reporting numbers. So, numbers Cori has are for May, June and July: $5775 in reloads just for Luckys! This year so far, Cori has given out 58 new cards. There are 8 cards currently left and they are loaded with $5. These are like gift cards. You reload money on to them with a credit card or cash.  Then, you pay for your groceries with the card. Every time you do a reload, Lucky’s donates 7% to PTO. Currently, we just have Lucky’s in our program.  We will start working with Safeway and King Soopers. Cori has 21 cards already asked for for Safeway and 11 for King Soopers. We only have $250 left in our budget.  King Soopers requires $200 for 40 cards.  We need a bit more in our budget – like $200 for Safeway. $100 more for Lucky’s. Cori is asking for $500. That would leave $250 for reloading Safeway in the future.

At Crest View, they are expecting to earn $9000 this school year and their revenue comes equally from Lucky’s, King Soopers and Safeway. So, imagine how much we can raise once we get Safeway and King Soopers up and running for CMS!

Diane says she has just received a check for $301 for Lucky’s cards. Diane J. reminds us that Safeway and King Soopers are national. So, get these for your friends and family!

Cori says we may work with the kids on a video for the grocery card program.

Amy Carpenter says we do have the funds to cover the overage on grocery cards. We think the executive committee votes on that. Kim Decker says the “overage” will pay for itself!  Nobody has a concern with approving the increased budget.

7. New Family Welcome Committee Update—Stasi York

We’d like to have a presence at the open house tours.  Stasi mentioned to John that we are available to help with that.  John said he’d like 10-15 parents.  We do have dates: December 7th from 5:30-7:30 and December 13th from 10-11.  If that goes well, maybe we will do the same kind of panel, face to face events, when students come in May!  We are working hard on FAQs.  We also have a Spanish version!  We are trying to get them up on both the main website and PTO’s website.

If you can participate in the tours, please let Stasi or Amy Carpenter know.

Elizabeth is also working with our Spanish speaking families to feel more welcome.

8. Spirit wear—Kristy Westnedge

Kristy debuts the new models and passes them around.  They also did socks.  We will try and do a push for the holidays.  Should we do before/after school sale?  Lunch?  Diane says we have done lunch time sales in the past and it was a bust.  Concerts are at Boulder High so what events should we look to?  Amy Carpenter says there is the Chasing Coral event.  What if we put the rack of samples out in the front office?  Then put in the e-blast that samples are in the office – come order for the holidays!

9. Upcoming Volunteer Needs: Vision and Screening, Winter Bike to School Day, OE tours, Teacher organizing help

Kathy in the office is awesome! She is our health room coordinator. We need help with vision and screening on Tuesday, November 28th. Two shifts:  8:30-10, then 10-11:30!

Teachers have been asking for some help organizing their spaces. Kathy is leading that charge too.

We will try Winter Bike to School in January on January 24th. Geoff is all over this! Natalie says we will try and be a bit more organized this time. Geoff is recommending beyond the skateboard shops, let’s bring in the winter sports shops. You can ski/snowshoe to school! We need people to contact REI and cross country ski shops, snowshoe stores, etc. Let’s have them all come and have a kiosk. Bring in forest service and have fire pits and bring in beetle kill wood. (probably some legal issues with this idea) Boulder Parks and Rec and representatives from Rocky Mountain National Park could come. YSI (youth services initiative) can help make this feel more accessible.

We are hoping to have a volunteer for music, and fire pits.

We will need volunteers to bring vats of hot cider and hot chocolate. Feedback from the last event was that the line was too long at the hot drinks truck.

We also want to provide donuts.

In December, we will start advertising about the raffle drawing.

Does student council want to do anything?

There are lots of slots to sign up for!

10. Upcoming Events

Nutcracker Ticket Sales—Lisa Camm

Chasing Coral showing—Julie Frieder

Winter Party—Sue Gehlert: Winter party is December 22nd from 2:10-3:30. It will be all school. All on the first floor. Black jack tables will be in the 6th grade locker bank. Sue needs volunteers for black jack tables and in the food area.  We are doing pizzas, cookies from Safeway and popcorn.  Kids will get tickets for food. Kids will bring their own water bottles. We won’t do the chocolate station because party is on the last day of school and everyone wants to get out of the building afterwards. Sue also needs help setting up. Games will be in the gym. Dance will be in the old gym with Mr. Laman as DJ. There will be a few quiet rooms for yoga, reading and board games. Everyone has to stay downstairs. Teachers will be stationed around the building doing security. Natalie suggests we market the bike to school day at the party!  Student council decided they want to have cartoons in the auditorium.

Book Drive: One way to support our readers is through books that kids can bring home to read to their siblings.  So, CMS is doing a book drive.  So, drop them off in the office!  All types of books!  Whatever CMS won’t use, they will take to the Book Worm to raise funds for other books.

December 12 Barnes and Noble event: Featured entertainment by CMS students.  Come to this community event.  Remember to tell them you are from CMS!

St. Baldricks—Jessica: Jessica’s mom is having significant surgery and she may not be able to pull off St. Baldricks without much needed help. Is anyone interested? Amy suggests that she and Jessica get together and put a request out in the e-blast for help.

11. Principal’s Report

John is at a district meeting today so he can’t be here. But, Quinn Daly is here!

Quinn says this is a great year with great morale. John has a lot to do with that. Things are feeling positive. When staff raises concerns, they are appropriately addressed!

Curious about what happens Wednesday mornings at staff meetings? Quinn says they rotate in focus. One Wednesday is an all staff meeting in the big gym where everyone sits in a giant circle and we address all staff concerns. Another Wednesday is for department meetings. The third Wednesday (which was yesterday) – is for grade level meetings. Kid talks. We bring up students individually with concerns, worries, any kids falling through the cracks, making sure we are all on the same page. Quinn tells us about the new Front line system – every player’s inputs go to one screen for a kid. Information in the Front Line system can include teacher remarks, testing scores, assessments, counselor contact, strategies tried, things that worked and things that didn’t.  Front line is brand new this year. Yesterday, we covered about 14 different 6th grade students and make a lot of progress.

Amy asks what they talk about at all staff meetings. Quinn says they have talked about what do we want professional development to be? What are the Big Picture Team ideas? A representative from each department is on the Big Picture Team.  Things are really happening now! There are reactions to concerns by staff and it feels really good!

Amy says we at PTO are also a resource to the staff. Amy says that we appreciate you and the staff so much!

Tina says there will be a staff appreciation lunch on December 8th, catered by Organic Dish!

Quinn tells us that Susie Bosley runs the Sunshine Committee (each staff puts $20 into it annually). Sunshine Committee funds go to lattes, cakes, candy, birthday gifts, meal trains, etc. Quinn suggests PTO contact Susie. Amy Carpenter suggests perhaps we donate to the Sunshine Committee. Susie is like the staff mom.

12. New business

13. Guest Speaker: Tina Marquis, BVSD School Board Representative

Tina is our school board rep.  She just won an uncontested election for a second term. Tina tells us that over the next 6 months the board will be very busy!  We had board elections on November 7th.  We have two new reps coming on.  Now we will have a rep from Superior!  We will seat the new board members on November 28th.

We contracted with a search firm to find us a new superintendent. The first opportunity for community engagement will be through an online survey that asks what our values are. That closes early December. The search firm will come out on November 29th and 30th to do public community forums that parents can attend. We plan to announce a new superintendent on March 5th!

On December 5th, we are looking at our 5 year goals. We had a strategic plan for 5 years and that 5 years is up and we want to look at where do we need to focus. We will have to revisit the 5 year goal plan once our new superintendent gets in.

We are also opening up our union contract. This will happen in January with the interim superintendent.  Tina comments that the board feels extraordinarily grateful for our interim superintendent. She’s a veteran and she is incredible! The union contracts are on three year cycles.

We also always have to deal with our state and federal legislation, statutes, mandates, etc.  We are very well represented by our local legislators. The governor put out a proposal that’s pretty favorable for school funding. There was a per student increase of $200 or $400.  This was a more positive proposal than Tina has seen in awhile.

Natalie asks if Tina and the board do anything with standardized testing. Tina says that’s a great question. This board has gone back and forth. There are some local assessments in planning stages right now. These are home grown. We questioned whether we could do this faster. We don’t want to be PARCC reliant but we need something to assess with. PARCC tests were shortened up last year.  Until we get local assessments, we may need to rely on PARCC so we can make better decisions as a board on where to spend money to support lower income kids who are not meeting the standards. We are not adequately meeting their needs.

We are no longer accredited at the level we have been. We have some huge gaps and that may have contributed. Opt out levels may have contributed too.

Tina says email is the best way to communicate with her and other board members. The superintendent search process may be a good way for parents to get involved. Tina says it is difficult to follow the work of the board. She is toying with whether there should be a quarterly board news letter that goes out to the community and gives timelines and hits marks. We don’t do written minutes anymore. You have to watch a video of the board meeting to know what’s happening.  Would you read such a report? Maybe we could include a small section from the board in the superintendent’s letter. Tina wants the community to understand what the board will be talking about. It is always appropriate to go to a board member with concerns. The board represents the community. If community is feeling unheard, the board wants to know.