The meeting began at 1:00 PM.
Bridget welcomed all the board members including our newest member, Surekha Bhat. Stephanie Anstine was not present at today’s meeting.
Treasurer’s Report – Lisa Murphy
- Family donations total to date is $13,178. $3,411 of which came via Pay Pal. The board discussed a desire to send out thank you notes but will need to investigate best method.
- The taxes have been completed and mailed for the PTO.
- Curriculum night took in $4,481 for directories, magnets and spirit wear. Magnets represented $288 and spirit wear totaled $286.
- Golden Apple Grants will be increased from $200 to $300 per grant this year. There will still be the option of requesting a double grant if needed. Bridget mentioned the possibility of increasing the total amount designated for grants in next year’s budget. Tarina Mahtab has agreed to head the Golden Apple Grant Program this year for Bridget. This new role will be important to the program.
Principal Update – Matt Gibson
- Matt gave an update on the locker replacement project. There are basically three types of lockers (standard that we have now, short and wide stacked on top of each other, 2 thin side by side with a box up top). He learned in speaking with a Great Valley principal, the newer stacked style is problematic with kids having to reach over other kids. The side by side with a box on top also creates an issue with kids not being able to reach the top box. The estimated cost to replace the entire 700 wing which is all of the 5th grade lockers came in at $66,000. Matt learned that for every locker taken out, one must be replaced and there will also be standards to follow for handicap accessible lockers which often times go unused. Given this information, he is looking into another approach which is to replace sections of lockers that include several broken and update the hardware.
- The PTO would like to give a bigger gift to the school this year since one was not given at the end of last year. Should the locker project be put on hold or done on a much smaller scale, Matt is looking for other needs in the school. One idea is to update the TV room equipment and expand the program to include a weather person, video recording, and broadcasting school games. Another idea mentioned is a robotics lab similar to what Conestoga offers. Perhaps they could incorporate the lab with the Tech Ed course for 8th graders.
- Matt is certain that there are technology needs; however, they are awaiting word from the school board on technology infrastructure changes that will affect all the schools. The school board will be looking at bids due on or around 12/14/12.
New Event Ideas – Bridget Tomasicchio
- Bridget and Lisa Murphy discussed a Battle of the Bands night for all the kids to enjoy.
- Bridget brought up the idea of a DJ for the ice cream social night. The chair will look into having Joe Griffiths come and have a karaoke night with music for all kids to enjoy. In addition, many of the boys gather in the gym for basketball so perhaps a parent or two could coordinate a game of Horse for all to play. Deb will ask the chair to look into both ideas. The book fair will run on the night of the ice cream social and the following Wednesday and Thursday at school.
- The Latin and German teachers at Conestoga are concerned that not enough kids will want to take up their language since it is no longer offered at the middle school level. Bridget is asking if they would be willing to put together a presentation for parents of 8th graders at both TEMS and VFMS and perhaps we could make a social night out. Ideas for locations are Christopher’s, Waynesborough or Winberies.
- The district has so many parents that work in the health and fitness industry that Bridget thought it would be great to have a heath fair week at VFMS. She is looking into organizing volunteers and schedule the event during the week of PSSA exams. This may give the kids a little lift during the test taking plus some excellent information on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Parent Social – Bridget Tomasicchio for Stephanie Anstine
- Jean Kintisch is the returning chair and she has a committee of volunteers. They will decide the date shortly but are looking at sometime during the month of April.
January Meeting Ideas – everyone
- Some ideas to bring more parents to the meetings – a special speaker, job fair for new board members. A few to look into – Cruisin’ Not Boozin, Katie Koestner (speaks on cyber safety), Kenneth Ginsberg (author, speaker on practical parenting issues).
Cultural Arts – Michelle Rossi
- Author Tim Greene cancelled his show for 5-6th graders so they are looking for a new program.
- Poetry Mayhem is still scheduled for all grades
Issues & Affairs – Elizabeth Castleman
- The budget projections for 2013-14 which will reflect the new union contracts have not been released yet.
- There is a school board finance meeting on Monday, December 10.
Volunteers and Communications – Kathy Wynn
- Kathy had nothing new to report. Please contact her if you need any events posted on ivolunteer.
Next meeting – Bridget Tomasicchio
- A January meeting will be scheduled.