PTO meeting 1/10/2023
Attendance: President Lucy Bennett, Principal Matt Gibson, Jenny Ham-Roberts, Erika Dawson, Laura Olah, Lesley Farrell, Brittany Ortiz, Alora Chirchick, Amy Saylor, Rachel Kramer, Lauren Lentz, M. McLaughlin, May Mon Post, Ade Ajibade, Anjali Gupta
Lucy Bennett – Welcome
Mr. Gibson Report
· Thank you for teacher gifts and luncheon!
· In light of cold weather, implementing dismissal changes
o Keep kids inside as much as possible to avoid bad weather. Working well so far.
· Activity time – Starting Friday, January 13, 2023, children can sign up for different locations on Schoology. Creating an area in gym for socialization, away from sports activities.
· January 26, 2023 – Virtual Curriculum Night for 8th grade families
· February 7, 2023 – ½ day for VFMS.
o In-Service Day– Will be safety program for teachers. Working with TE police department about school safety policies
· February 8, 2023 – Breakfast for 8th grade parents.
o 8:30am in school cafeteria
o Mr. Gibson and high school counselors will present regarding transition process. Will discuss how to support kids as transition to high school
o Only for 8th grade parents
o Historically between 50-75 parents attend
· March – School Musical
· April and early May – standardized testing, PSSAs
· Question – what is protocol if child misses school due to sickness?
o Mr. Gibson – Stressed that if a child is sick, he/she should stay home. School and teachers try very hard not to cause kids anxiety due to missed assignments/school. Child can meet with teacher during activity, and if still a concern, child can talk with counselor or parent can talk with teacher.
· Question- when is 8th grade graduation?
o No date determined yet. Will wait until know final day of school and before determine date (likely 2-3 days before the end of school) and a rain date. Will be held outdoors due to allow maximum attendance
· Question – parent inquired as to whether there will be a Coding club?
o Mr. Gibson – Students have suggested clubs, and was interest in a robotics club
o New club announcements will come out soon on Schoology
· Question – with “triple-demic,” have there been more absences?
o Mr. Gibson – not significantly
· Question – PTO has noticed fewer Golden Apple Grant applications coming in this year
o Mr. Gibson – Likely a few reasons:
§ Some past Golden Apple Grants should have been school purchases (e.g., books for classrooms). Mr. Gibson has discussed this with teachers
§ Also, some teachers who requested them have now retired.
o Mr. Gibson will talk with teachers to promote GAGs and let teachers know is available
o Mr. Gibson does not need to review GAG requests before PTO approves them
President Update: Lucy Bennett
· Minutes approved from Dec. 6 meeting
· Holiday Gift Cards for teachers/staff totaled $85.00 per teacher/staff member; they were handed out at teacher luncheon
· Contact List for PTO leadership – not for public use. Includes key school personnel
· Leadership Social Survey
o Tuesday, January 24, 2023 works best. Place and time TBD
· PTO to start to consider gift to give to school for end of year
o Prior gift was updating Audion
o If is a gift for outside the school (e.g., additional outdoor seating outside of cafeteria), request must first be submitted to facilities committee
o Lucy will ask Mr. Gibson if school needs anything
· Introduced Lauren Lentz – new representative for Children’s Dental Clinic
Reports from PTO members
Lauren Lentz: Children’s Dental Clinic
· Children’s Dental Clinic – Non-profit that serves TE and Great Valley school districts
· Opened during school year on Thursdays
· Provides dental services and transportation to and from clinic for children
· Website: Kidsdentalclinic.org
· Fundraiser coming up soon
DEI: Erika Dawson & Jenny Ham-Roberts
· DEI: Erika Dawson & Jenny Ham-Roberts-
o Planning community conversation in March/April. Date TBD
· Meeting with Mr. Gibson next week
Treasurer: Anjali Gupta
· Annual fund donations – no additional amount from last meeting
· January 31, 2023: Will file taxes and need W-9s on file for that. Working with Amy Terlecki to obtain
· If need reimbursement for luncheon, please submit the request using reimbursement form on website
Golden Apple Grants: Pamela Badalato
· Pamela Badalato could not make meeting tonight so Lucy filled us in
· Last meeting, Pamela shared Golden Apple Grant request from Chris Kilby ($165.00 for 1 year of Adobe classes). She asked him the PTOs follow up questions, which he answered. Lucy shared questions and answers
· Lucy – this would be pilot program.
· Lucy – total budget for GAGs is 3,000 for this year.
· PTO Voted GAG for Chris Kilby – Request approved!
Fundraising: Amy Saylor
· Fundraiser with Main Point Books made $85.00
o Will revisit next year to see if worthwhile to try again.
o Not much lead time to promote this time, so may be better if better advertised
· To sell ceiling tiles in next month or so. Placement in school TBD
o Will start sale after school store closes
· Have contacted local restaurants about fundraising nights. Not much success but will continue to try
· Flyers tickets for sale.
o $320.00 profit made so far (as of December)
· Philadelphia Union announced schedule – Emily Carteen will work to schedule school night
· Spirit Wear. Emily hopes to have ready in next 2-3 weeks despite various complications
Volunteers: Amy Saylor
· Luncheon went well and everyone enjoyed.
Cultural Arts: Alora Chirchick
· February 16, 2023 – Author Nathan Hale coming to school.
o Books for sale now for the event
· February 23, 2023 – Ancient Egypt assembly for 5th grade
· April 12, 2023 – Holocaust remembrance event for 8th grade
· April 17, 2023 – American revolution assembly for 7th grade
· Still determining 6th grade assembly
Communications: Judy Reiter -no report
Directory: Stephanie Crill- no report
Blast: Rachel Kramer
· Please provide suggestions for blast directly to Rachel
Facebook: Stephanie Howard (not in attendance)
· Lucy noted that appears to be a scam spirit wear post on 6th grade FB page. Be on the lookout for anything like that and alert admins asap if you see it.
Green Team: Laura Olah
· In final stages of collecting holiday lights
· Working with green counsel to develop collections that are needed
· Oral care collection not going well (a lot of trash comes in)
o Looking for options for that bin – may try Trex recycling
· Lucy suggested shoe recycling; Laura will look into
· Have 3 recycling bins
o Please give suggestions for collections. Ideally ones that are needed in community
BUILD T/E: Laura Olah
· Looking for club ideas for kids that aren’t as into organized
sports, such as hiking, etc.
· Laura will talk with Mr. Gibson about clubs and whether parents can organize. Perhaps PTO can help expand list of clubs in future
T&E Care: Amanda Miller & Kim Jamme Howard – no report
School Board: Brittany Ortiz
· A lot of budget related discussions at last SB meeting
· Approximately 80% of TE residents don’t have children in schools, so important that school population is represented in SB meetings
· Budget for 2023-24 year to be finalized in June
· Budget workshops to be held in March and April – open to public
· Budget deficit right now
· Looking into acquiring property for potential new elementary school, although no decision has yet been made as to actually opening another elementary school
· Meeting February 7, 2023 at 7:00pm, via Zoom
Notes Compiled by Lesley Farrell