The meeting began at 8:30 AM.
Bridget welcomed all the board members attending. Those not present were Surekha Bhat and Stephanie Anstine.
Treasurer’s Report – Lisa Murphy
- The gifts to staff were given out in December before the holiday break. All staff members received a gift of $25 from the PTO.
- The teacher gifts will be sent out late January/early February. Each full time teacher will receive $50 and part time teachers will get $25.
- A large gift to the school will be given in June. Matt Gibson is still researching the best use of these funds including a TV/Media Club and a Robotics Lab.
Board Member Recruiting – Bridget Tomasicchio
- Bridget took a poll of those members leaving the board this year. Those leaving include Bridget Tomasicchio, Stephanie Anstine, Debbie Riener, Lisa Murphy and possibly Lisa Davis. The open positions for next year are President, Assistant Treasurer, Secretary, Social Chair and Fundraising Chair.
- Lisa Murphy will follow up with Surekha, the assistant treasurer, to confirm that she will move into the role of treasurer for next year.
- Bridget is looking for ways to recruit new board members. Each member will reach out to people they know from the elementary schools. Bridget will also use the Blast notification system and possibly some upcoming school social events to recruit.
Health Fair – Bridget Tomasicchio
- Bridget met with Tom Green at the school to review the ideas for the health fair. The fair will take place during the weeks of April 7th and 14th, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and will offer a variety of healthy lifestyle exhibits. The students can go to the exhibits/sessions during their activity period. The gym will be used for active sessions like Zumba or Karate. A hallway will feature nutrition and other exhibits. The fair should run at a minimal cost with a budget projected around $200-300.
Book Fair and Ice Cream Social – Deb Riener & Bridget Tomasicchio
- Jenny Wessels will no longer be able to commit to the book fair co-chair position due to an internship but Robin Briggs is moving ahead with the fair plans. She is looking into adding an on-line buying opportunity as well as teacher/library wish lists.
- Liz Hyams is moving along with plans for the ice cream social (March 5). The night will include karaoke and a structured basketball activity. Bridget would like to use ivolunteer to recruit some new parents for this event. Jo Howarth will contact Robin Briggs to organize the poster competition for the event.
8th Grade Parent Coffee – Deb Riener
- The coffee will be held at Kathy Kneeley’s house on February 6th at 8:00 am. There will be two counselors from Conestoga in addition to Matt Gibson and the 8th grade counselors at VFMS.
Cultural Arts – Jo Howarth and Michelle Rossi
- They are still looking for a replacement program after Tim Greene cancelled his show for the 5-6th grades.
- Poetry Mayhem is still scheduled for all grades.
- Renaissance Man is coming for the 8th grade class and there is a possibility of adding a Christmas Carol to this program that would tie in with the 6th grade curriculum.
- They are under budget as of today.
German/Latin Presentation – Bridget Tomasicchio
- The Conestoga German and Latin teachers are preparing a presentation for parents and middle school students to drum up interest in these languages when the kids get to high school.
- The presentation will be held at Winberie’s at a date TBD but in the next few weeks. The PTO will provide finger foods for the event.
Issues & Affairs – Elizabeth Castleman
- The finance committee reported a budget surplus of $3.9 million at the end of last year.
- There is a projected deficit for the upcoming year. The TE School Board has applied for the exception to raise taxes if necessary.
- Keystones exams are moving forward.
- Despite all of the cuts to music and arts programs, the board will be directing efforts to focus on the area of creativity among the student body.
- There were some complaints about the school play not offering enough spots for the 5th & 6th grade students this year. Over 180 kids tried out for 60 parts. Matt Gibson is looking into ways to increase participation in the plays. One idea is a Drama Club run by some of the Conestoga students.
- Clyde Diehl is a counselor at Radnor Middle School and a parent at VFMS. He is working with a speaker to bring a presentation on bullying. The students will attend a day session and the parents will have the opportunity to see the presentation at night at Radnor Middle School. Matt Gibson has requested funds from the PTO to help pay for the speaker.
- The school safety meeting took place on January 9. The security enhancements that will be implemented include cameras, buzzer systems and impact resistant glass in the front of all the TE schools. More details can be found on the TESD website.
Next meeting – Bridget Tomasicchio
A late February meeting will be scheduled.